Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Wacky World—12/19/2014

Why wait until New Year's Eve to look back on all the failed prophecy in 2014?

"Atheists don’t exist because God will not permit it."

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Torture report brings out self-justifying bullshit:
'Two of the most brutal CIA interrogation tactics revealed in the Senate’s report on torture are little-known techniques called “rectal feeding” and “rectal hydration.” ...former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden defended them Thursday as “medical procedures” necessary to get fluids into dehydrated detainees and were not used as “a method of interrogation.” Doctors and psychiatrists, however, said they have zero medical application and are nothing more than full-bore torture methods that no medical professional should ever be a party to.'
They did it to keep us safe from terrorists. (IBtimes)

"Among the report's most striking revelations is that CIA interrogators were often untrained and in some instances made up torturous techniques as they went along."
Somewhat reminiscent of the "plan" for rebuilding Iraq. If you haven't heard, Cheney et al are still all for torture. (Mother Jones)

But it gets worse:
"NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked."
The New Yorker

Christian 12 Step meetings for gays sounds like a blast:
'How would they counsel someone who was quite normal but happened to be gay? I told the group I’d never touched drugs or alcohol and that I’d been in one long, monogamous relationship. “CANNIBALISM!” the group shouted in near-unison. The leader explained cannibalism, again slowly stressing one word at a time: “You take on the attributes of the other person.”'
If you're gay before starting a relationship are you more gay 17 years later? If you're straightedge and in a hetero relationship for say 17 years and you "take on the attributes of the other person" (which happens to most people) what is that called "cannabalism" as well? (Dispatches From The Culture Wars)

"A new reality series slated for A&E will feature a cop-turned-pastor intent on saving sex workers' souls by luring them to hotel rooms and then lecturing them on national television. Once he has sex workers cornered, pastor Kevin Brown has eight minutes to convince them of the error of their whorin' ways."

"Narcissistic parents are piling pressure on their children by giving them wacky names and lying about their academic achievements"
No shit. (Doubtful News)

More info on one of the "doctors" who "treated" Glenn Beck's "illness":
'Wilson...says his book on adrenal fatigue has been “received enthusiastically by physicians.” Not exactly. ...the world’s largest association of people with formal, legitimate training in the treatment of adrenal disorders...says that adrenal fatigue is “not a real medical condition.” The group goes on to say that the diagnostic tests are “not based on scientific facts or supported by good scientific studies”... The statement concludes by urging patients “not to waste precious time accepting an unproven diagnosis.” Endocrinologists apparently do not beat around the bush.'

I think she means "vested interest":
'She said she can feel when a neighbor's meter is replaced with a smart meter. She now runs a website...that sells equipment to monitor radio frequencies and items to shield people from them, including $1,100 bed canopies. "Don't tell the commission that," she said... "Do I have a vast interest in this, yeah. Do I have a vast interest in keeping people alive? Yes I do."
AZ Central

Feng shui kills:
'Loyola said the club’s “swing-in” doors, the main the reason why the panicked patrons were trapped, were installed that way because the owners thought it to be good feng shui: “It would bring the money in.”'

"FOX23 went to the Family Dollar store in north Tulsa near East Pine Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to find out more about how the rings ended up being sold. They observed another ten to fifteen more swastika rings in the machine mixed in with other jewelry that featured dinosaurs and happy faces."
Crooks & Liars

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Wacky World—11/20/2014

Headline O' The Week: "Authorities Have No Idea How Family Bought LSD-Contaminated Beef At Walmart"

Shorter Richard Dawkins—"Help, help, I'm being repressed":
I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well,” [Dawkins] continued. “There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me.”
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

$6.75 million in judgement and settlements to family fingered by "facilitated communication":
'...a controversial method known as "facilitated communication," had been widely debunked in the last two decades. Nevertheless, Oakland County [prosecutors] pressed on...even as news reports showed the method was unreliable. 
'Ian...was interrogated for two hours by West Bloomfield police who told him they had videotape of his father assaulting his sister. Police never had such a tape and the claim was a lie that a psychologist would later testify left the boy traumatized. Jurors did watch a video showing Ian's interrogation, in which the boy, then 13, doubled over in tears.'
Only took seven years. [Detroit Free Press]

Glenn Beck "reveals" that he had a mystery "illness" that made him "crazy"; was "cured" by "chiropractic neurologist":
"Most harrowingly, Beck said that at one point he took a traumatic brain injury test at a hospital in New York City and scored in the bottom 10 percent. Doctors told him he would have between 5 and 10 years before he would no longer be able to function. He then began to search for a successor at TheBlaze."
So I guess now he'll be shilling for Ted Carrick as well as gold and silver dealers. [Crooks & Liars]

'An anti-gay US pastor has warned his flock against drinking Starbucks coffee, claiming it is flavoured with the "semen of sodomites… They're putting it into the blends of coffees that they sell".

Worried about reinforcing stereotypes online? Don't call yourself the "Food Babe" and give brainless advice about, say, travel:
"The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through. The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell."
Jesus christ, I'm breathing 78% nitrogen right now! No wonder I feel like shit. [NeuroLogica]

"I have autism-induced breast cancer (AIBC). While I am not absolutely certain that the 1.9 centimeter lump that grew in my left breast is the result of the stress of raising two autistic children, all indications point in that direction. There is virtually no cancer in my family, I eat organically, I exercise, I’m a good weight. OK, so I live in the toxic dump known as New Jersey, but that is the only other major risk factor. No, the drop in cortisol levels whenever one kid’s school calls or the other kid has a public “flare up” is enough for the cancer to take root."
 Stress causes a drop in cortisol levels? [Respectful Insolence]

Oxygen helps anti-oxidants?
"Oxygen is a miracle, an anti aging miracle! Oxygen therapy can help to jump start the body’s antioxidant defenses and ability to fight free radicals, boost metabolism, and counteract the hypoxia (low oxygen level) that leads to slower cell activity and oxidative stress. Research has shown that oxygen therapy can help to improve the efficiency of hemoglobin in transporting oxygen around the body, improve blood flow by helping to keep cell membranes flexible, and detoxify and fight infection by destroying bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that thrive in low-oxygen environments and don’t have the antioxidant resources to fight back. 
"However, none of these benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been clinically proven."
Science Based Medicine

'Ultimately, the claim involving a 666 on Monster energy drink cans relies on the incorrect assumption the three claw marks comprising the logo represent three iterations of the Hebrew symbol "Vav," resulting in a Hebrew equivalent of "666." But "666" in Hebrew would be written "Samech Resh Tav Vav," or "six hundred sixty-six.'
The author of Revelation did not know about place notation. It hadn't been invented yet. [Snopes]

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Wacky World—11/2/2014

I've almost entirely overlooked all the fear-mongering and disinformation from the current ebola hysteria—Michelle Bachman came close to winning the coveted MFAEECIA™ award but there were so many also-rans that she didn't stand out enough from the crowd. The governor of Maine did say that 13% of ebola victims die without any symptoms… But this charming piece was too much fun to overlook:
"My therapy to curtail and cure the Ebola virus infection is simple and inexpensive besides taking all preventive measures to come in contact. It is a precursor of a vaccine with production of auto-antibodies within the body of the infected patients. The therapy is called "auto urine therapy" (AUT). That is the infected person drinking his or her own urine..

"As soon as the disease is suspected or diagnosed, before waiting for any therapy: Start drinking all the urine that comes out the first day no matter what the condition of the patient is. If the patient is averse or has social stigma regarding this therapy, use a naso-gastric feeding tube to feed the urine. Collect the urine in a clean glass and feed the urine as soon as it is evacuated from the bladder through the urethra. Do not change the taste or save it to drink later."
Bolen Report

'Stefanie radiation from wi-fi internet and mobile phone signals give her headaches and nausea which make it impossible for her to be near some types of technology… “I’ve not been diagnosed by a doctor but my GP surgery is aware of my condition. Every time I am near wi-fi or mobile phone signals I feel ill… I know a 20-year-old girl who has to spend 23 hours a day in the dark after electro-sensitivity caused her to become light sensitive.”'
The Argus

The growing need for contiguous dirt:
'Jewish burial law is based in part on a passage in Genesis "For dust you are -- and to dust you shall return." Jewish law stipulates that the dead be buried separately on a layer of dust and earth. So while there is no restriction on multilevel burial, each body must rest on soil. To comply with religious law, the towers of the vertical cemetery structures have pipes filled with dirt inside their columns so that each layer is still technically connected to the ground.'

Forget roofies, you got yourself raped:
'In an odd video posted Monday, the prominent conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute reached out to young women and advised them to be less worried about drug-facilitated date rape. "Most commonly, victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault are severely intoxicated, often from their own volition"'

Because women have to protect men from their own urges. As always.

'The coloring book...features cartoon children performing Satanic rituals and drawing pentragrams in school, along with a word search for words like "acceptance" and "friends" and a maze to reach the Necronmicon, a fabled occult spellbook. The children in the book wear Satanic symbols on their shirts and spread anti-bullying and religious tolerance messages.'
Orlando Sentinel

"The Rossen Reports team set up appointments with several psychics, then rented a brand-new home in a New Jersey suburb where no one has ever lived, and rigged it with a dozen hidden cameras." [hilarity ensues]

How many forms of acupuncture are there?
"Really. Not a joke. Watch a video but not, I repeat NOT, with liquids in your mouth."
Science Based Medicine

Jack The Ripper "positively identified"—FAIL:
"...the scientist who carried out the DNA analysis has apparently made a fundamental error that fatally undermines his case against Kosminski – and once again throws open the debate over who the identity of the Ripper."
Doubtful News

Disprovable fear-mongering by the FBI (includes "safety tips to protect your mobile device"):
'Powerful stories, right? Just imagine if the data on those phones were locked up and unavailable to law enforcement? Well, imagine-no-more, because people have been looking into these stories, and Comey's fear mongering doesn't check out. First up, The Intercept looked into these cases and their results can be summed up in the URL slug which includes "FBI Dude Dumb Dumb."'


Sunday, October 19, 2014

RatCave Book Club—10/19/2014

It's been a while. I've read dozens of books. Where to begin? Things have gotten a bit moldy...

Penicillin: Triumph And Tragedy—Robert Bud (2007)
" American physician made the telling comment, reported by sociologists in 1966, 'Nowadays you give a shot of penicillin for pneumonia and cure the patient but that's no credit to the doctor; all credit goes to the drug. An old doctor wouldn't have had so many patients; he would have sat at the patient's bedside until the fever broke.' Within a few lines he had captured the shift away from the world of the caring old-style physician to a new style drug-centered system. At the extreme, doctors were beginning to seem more or less interchangeable agencies by which canny customers obtained a desired medicine."
The advent of antibiotics during WWII led in the 1950s to a boom the likes of which pharmaceutical manufacturers could never have dreamed of. By the end of that decade there were attempts to reign in the gold rush mentality driving the business. But consumers knew what they wanted: more miracle drugs. Today earnings are better than ever, thanks to deregulation that allowed direct marketing to patients.

Thanks to the miracle of antibiotics old standards of hygiene slipped, making dependence inevitable. While some fixated on their horror of sexual promiscuity, the decline in quality of care in hospitals was far more real.

By the mid-Sixties antibiotics were being used to fatten farm animals (what could possibly go wrong?). Attempts to deal with that danger met with failure in the face of powerful lobbies and insufficient data. Today the rhetoric from industry is as strident as ever. Check out this expert opinion:
"About a third of livestock antibiotics used today are not used at all in human medicine."
Wow, I feel so much better knowing that "about" two-thirds of livestock antibiotics are used in human medicine. About the same portion of NRA members who favor tougher gun control laws. As it turns out MSRAs have moved from livestock to humans. What are these people smoking?

All in all a comprehensive, balanced history. The book, I mean. Next.

The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story Of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army—Stephan Talty (2009)

An entertaining account of Napoléon's great disaster (Waterloo? 'Twas but a scratch). Talty's twist in retelling such an perennial tale is to pay close attention to the effects of infectious disease on la Grande Armée. One gets the impression that Napoléon might have scared the Tsar into submission before he could muster more troops, of which Russia had an enormous supply, if only it hadn't been for Rickettsia, Shigella et al.

I've been told he would have never succeeded under any realistic circumstances. May well be. As it happens it was a death march. Marchons, marchons.

Bonus points for the decent maps. I hate it when there are no maps.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession—Allison Hoover Bartlett (2010)

John Charles Gilkey is a man with a problem. No, make that several problems. He likes old books, valuable old books. He enjoys owning them. He tells himself that he deserves to own them, that the people he stole them from deserved to be robbed by him. And possessing them makes him feel like he's somebody. A man of if not wealth then certainly taste. He steals books to feel like the man that he will never be.

The author enters Gilkey's world and almost immediately finds herself fascinated and appalled. She becomes part of her own story as she listens to Gilkey tell his, in good time. She watches him case stores that he's stolen from before and talks to dealers who have been burned by him. And she tries to fathom this complex but all too simple man.

Here is a video of the author on BookTV.

There is a list of all my Book Club posts here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Wacky World—10/13/2014

Another month, yet another fake bomb detector conviction. And Jesus has followed Elvis to the bathroom floor.

'It was around 5 or 6 a.m. when Charles finally left and walked out into the early morning air, his body and clothing drenched in urine. He headed to the subway and felt a buzz of excitement as he made the long journey home. “I felt I’d discovered something,” he says. “I had such a great night.”'

Ha ha ha
'Under threat of class action lawsuit, maker of “homeopathic” medicine settles, and exits North America'
Science Based Pharmacy

"If you are ill with ebola, listen to this music every 15 minutes until you are better. For protection from ebola, listen to this music twice daily (or at least once daily) until the danger passes.
"We strongly advise that PC Sound Resonances are always used direct from the on-line source because otherwise the effect is reduced. If this is not possible, make direct copies from the website but avoid copying a copy as this reduces the effectiveness further."

'When an Illinois woman began receiving “end of the world” messages from her estranged pastor husband, she reacted in a manner very few parents would: by attempting to kill her three daughters.'
Americans Against The Tea Party

"Officials in China this week examined the anuses of 10,000 pigeons that were set to be released today in celebration of National Day, amid government fears of a possible terrorist attack."
The Verge

Rush is now costing his network money:
"...Limbaugh's show has featured so few real commercial breaks that StopRush activists have been reduced to asking nonprofits to pull their PSAs. Volunteers have found ourselves contacting smaller and smaller businesses because almost all the big corporate sponsors have pulled their advertising. The resulting cash crunch has been so bad that FreedomWorks has started subsidizing Limbaugh's salary."
Brietbart Unmasked

Ken Ham's ark project isn't going well:
"The $18 million in tax incentives...for building the Ark Experience have been controversial from the day the Kentucky Tourism Department gave preliminary approval for them... However, that tax credit has since been put on hold…because of a job application."
Americans Against The Tea Party


I've been waiting for something like this to finally make the news:
"Seattle’s city prosecutor has announced a rather novel decision to toss out all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year after concluding that virtually all of them were written by one officer who opposed the legalization of pot."
Turley's Blog

This is your captain speaking—we have some idiots onboard:
"Airlines have also had to deal with ultra-Orthodox men of priestly descent called “kohanim” sealing themselves in plastic bags used to transport dead bodies to avoid ritual impurity when flying over a cemetery. According to Haredi Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, sealing oneself in a plastic bag is the solution to this problem."
Washington Post

FackBook FAIL

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Wacky World—9/17/2014

Spam O' the Week: "What a Drug Mall Was Meant to Be"

Headline O' the Week: "Teenage reveller dies after being electrocuted while URINATING on lamp-post"

Home is where the penis is:
"While His [god's] penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home."
Love, Joy, Feminism

The selfish evangelical:
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy... When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

"Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program… The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation's second-largest school system, will return three grenade launchers but intends to keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through the program."
Here's a textbook takedown of some brand new kook no one's ever heard of—a real pleasure to read:
"Jarimba has no medical or scientific training. His epiphany was a combination of two observations: he noticed that a man’s sideburns were asymmetrical and his hair coarser on one side, and he watched a film clip about a fetus. He thought: adults are not symmetrical, and when a mother lies on one side, that puts asymmetrical pressure on the fetus’ body. Eureka! He concluded that the mother’s sleeping position must cause physical deformation, organ deformation and malfunction, and various ailments.

"He himself had 52 years of low back pain, foot pain, and overall body discomfort. All of these vanished after he put an insert in his shoe. He has plenty of patient testimonials. Back pain relieved. Back surgery avoided. More energy. Better sleep, more mentally focused, no headaches, no longer get sick. Alternating sleep sides during pregnancy produced a happy baby who doesn’t spit up and sleeps through the night. He apparently doesn’t understand that the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence.”"
Science Based Medicine

Mystery solved:
"When I was a kid, one of the coolest mysteries going was the moving stones of Racetrack Playa. This is a dry lake bed in Death Valley, California, where large rocks are embedded in the dried mud. However, many of the rocks have clearly been moving; there are long tracks behind them in the caked, baked mud pushed up like rails along the tracks’ sides. What could be moving these stones? No one knew. They would sit for years, then suddenly be found to have moved many meters."
Bad Astronomy

The natural way to quit smoking…tobacco:
"...a small number of longtime smokers who had failed many attempts to drop the habit did so after a carefully controlled and monitored use of psilocybin—the active hallucinogenic agent in so-called 'magic mushrooms'"

Here's a point that cannot be made often enough:
"...we’ve heard a number of prominent people (from Michael Shermer to Neil DeGrasse Tyson) say that there’s no real difference between the political parties when it comes to science denial. According to this argument, there is bad thinking and “woo” on both sides of the political spectrum.

"...nearly all conservative politicians in the modern GOP must at least pay lip service to a litany of dogmas, from lowering taxes, cutting spending on the poor, and boosting military spending, to opposing abortions, birth control, and stem-cell research, to homophobia—and, in this last few years, they must also toe the line with denying global climate change, and throw at least a bone to creationism."
I don't vote for the Democrats, I vote against the Republicans, which Clark Howard calls "tactical voting". If you piss your vote away on the Libertarian party you're a part of the fucking problem. It's sad that intelligent people like Tyson gloss over this. As for Shermer he's a libertarian (Clark Howard is too but seems slightly less up there).

Speaking of Shermer, he's been feeling some heat in recent years—I wonder why?
“Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that,” Randi told me. “I have told him that if I get many more complaints from people I have reason to believe, that I am going to have to limit his attendance at the conference."

Those remarks have led to attacks on Randi. And today this turned up:
"One of the people who has written a letter to the judge in Dinesh D’Souza’s criminal case asking for a lenient sentence is none other than Michael Shermer. If he really means what he says in that letter, it may be time to stop referring to him as a skeptic."
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

No wonder Phil Plait bailed from the Skeptics Society. What little he told me makes more sense all the time.

The hi-tech way to cheat at cards:
"...police arrested a gambler in Hanoi in 2006 for possessing playing cards marked with radioactive materials. The gambler admitted that his child's hair fell out soon after he brought the cards into their home."
Thanhnien News

As Detroit spirals down the toilet, in Flint, Michigan, officials mull a plan to distribute a Scientology tract:
"The idea that a police officer will hand a copy of this book to a drug dealer and he will suddenly realize that killing and promiscuity is wrong seems less than likely."
Turley's Blog

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our Wacky World—8/20/2014

Spam of the week: "Be a lethal weapon in the bedroom"

More fake bomb detectors, more convictions, more deaths. Long-suffering readers will recall this earlier post on the long-running topic.

Don't get me started on this clusterfuck
'...the fastest rebuttal I give when I run into one of these [chemtrails] nuts is: “Do you even understand the first thing about our atmosphere? Anything released at 30,000 feet will blow for miles away from where you see it, and has virtually no chance of settling straight down onto the people below, and be so diluted it would have no measurable amount of the chemical by the time it lands. That’s why crop-dusting planes must fly barely 30 feet off the ground"'
Skeptic Blog

There's a homeopathic cure for ebola!:
"During the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918, eighty percent of the people treated with allopathic drugs died. Eighty percent of the people who took homeopathic remedies, mostly Crolatus horridus, survived. We are once again faced with a virus that is poised sweep our country."
Light Party

Your small town needs way more policing:
"The same insurance company canceled its coverage this year for Oakley, a village in Saginaw County, after the police chief there brought in 100 unpaid and uncertified auxiliary officers, some from as far away as metro Detroit, to patrol a town of 290."
Detroit Free Press

Also in Detroit, what happened when the bankrupt city switched to cheap batteries for their parking meters to save money? They lost millions:
"At 8 volts, they stop working. So while the savings with the less-expensive battery might sparkle on a spreadsheet, it’s less practical when repair crews have to actually go out and replace them …"
Detroit News

Gun rights for the blind—hell yeah:
"Do you think because they're blind that they're going to start shooting in every direction and kill everyone? Fact is that it's been proven that people that lack vision have an increased awareness of their hearing and spatial surroundings."
Crooks & Liars

"The Public Prosecutor's Office in the Brazilian state of São Paulo is investigating why women are being asked to either submit to gynecological tests or, in some cases, prove their virginity in order to apply for state jobs."
Huffington Post

Another school system decides to buy gadgetry so they can give up making decisions:
Beginning this school year, Dubuque, Iowa public school students in middle and high school are to be required to wear heart rate monitors to determine their activity levels in gym class. “It will be a large portion of their grade, because we want to grade them on what they’re actually doing in our class,” Hawkins said. “It really takes the opinion out of things. You know it’s not really ‘I think your kid is doing this and this in class.’”
Turley's Blog

OTOH, the gym teacher who hated me gave me a failing grade for not being able to do a cartwheel. I guess it was a bad judgement call.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our Wacky World—7/30/2014

"George Harrison Memorial Tree beetles"

He's BACK:
"Although he's not a hired security officer, George Zimmerman has been 'patrolling' outside a Volusia County gun shop after it was recently robbed, according to the store owner."
Click Orlando

Even more reassuring:
"Open Carry Advocate Wants To Fight Police Brutality By Threatening Cops With Guns"
Crooks & Liars

Meanwhile, in Georgia, they now have open carry everywhere--what could possibly go wrong?:
"On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest."
They did make it to 3:00 PM. (Valdosta Daily Times)

Meanwhile, in Florida, they keep gun owners safe from nosey doctors:
"A responsible state would pass and enforce gun safety laws to keep firearms away from children. But Florida did the opposite: The state passed a law gagging doctors from asking patients about guns, effectively preventing doctors from sharing safety tips to keep those guns out of children’s hands."

"Millennials don't want to change things, apparently – they want everyone to get along. The report observes '[m]any specifically identified LGBTQ rights as their primary reason for being liberal'; and '[o]ften, they decided they were liberals because they really didn’t like conservatives.'"

"The defense attorney says that Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis.” If that is the case, this is even more serious since it sounds like this abusive warrant was used to try to pressure a plea."
Turley's Blog

'"Yes, I was using drugs that night, but I was in complete control… I cut [my penis] off because that was the root of all my problems. My solution to the problem was the realization that sex is for mortals, and I am a god. ...Those kinds of activities got me into trouble, and I came here to be a god."'

First it was the pap smear. Then the mammogram. Now it's…
"Proponents of yearly pelvic exams may say that they compel women to seek counsel from their doctors and receive vital information about their own health. (They also, of course, bolster gynecologists' job security.) But it's becoming clear that this line of thinking is self-defeating: There’s no reason for women to report to their doctors every year if they can’t even trust what they’re being told."

It sounds as if women have to put up with a lot of shit; who would have thought?:
'A well-known male facilitator of equality in the workplace seminars always begins by asking his mix-gendered groups to please make a list of what they do in a typical day to stay safe and to write until the timer goes off. He reports that – always – the women immediately begin to scribble furiously, “park under a light,” “hold my keys in my hand so I can get into the car quickly,” and so on, and that they write right up until the timer goes off. The men, on the other hand, sit there looking bewildered.'
Scholars and Rogues

Oh no, it's the old "Hitler banned guns" canard:
"Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning? Should we eliminate all police officers because the Nazis used police officers to oppress and kill the Jews? What about public works — Hitler loved public works projects? Of course not. These are merely implements that can be used for good or ill, much as gun advocates like to argue about guns themselves. If guns don’t kill people, then neither does gun control cause genocide..."

Along similar lines, a fake news article fools the TeaPees once again:
"ARE YOU F——-g KIDDING ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On the 4th !!!!! He’s going to a mosque of the religion that killed almost 3,000 Americans !!!!!!!! OMG, Beyond insane & cruel !!!"
Let's see, what religion was it that supported sending thousands of Americans to their deaths in Iraq?(FTB)

Faith Healing Chicanery 101 as told by an ex-evangelical fraud (excellent article):
"There were a number of methods used to fake a demonic possession of a house. The simplest trick was having a pocket full of pebbles and occasionally throwing one at a random object. There was little chance of getting caught because there were plenty of distractions taking place, especially since everyone was kept busy praying. After we were done exorcising a room, we devised a great excuse for one of us to hang back for a while so we could clean up the pebbles."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our Wacky World—6/29/2014

Savor these words: "Fox news cuts Michelle Bachman's mic" Well, he did apologize. But the angry backlash from viewers has already begun. Not to be outdone, Glenn Beck has another staged moment on the air—firing his gun in anger: I guess we're supposed to follow his example somehow.

Sən of York
Jimmy Savile also liked to play with... the dead:
'D'you know what they are? They are glass eyes from dead bodies in Leeds mortuary where I work and I love working there, and I wheel the dead bodies around at night and I love that.'

"Ohio Group Toting AR-15s Through Neighborhood Indicted On Menancing Charges"
Apparently "open carry" doesn't mean "walking through town with an AR-15 whilst jestingly pointing out the niggers." (ABC)

WND founder Farah caught with gun in bag at Dulles IA:
"I had carefully folded my clothes before placing them in my bag. I had carefully separated the clean clothes from the dirty clothes. But what I found in my bag was that someone had pulled everything out and then stuffed it all back in with little regard for my future cleaning and laundering bills."
Because that's the first thing you think of when you leave a gun in your bag at the airport. (SPLC)

Oz, the great and terrible, had his ass grilled on Capitol Hill (includes snarky John Oliver video). Here's more:
'John Oliver argued this weekend that, at this point, a more appropriate title for Oz's show would be one that dropped his medical credentials: "Check this shit out with a guy named Mehmet."'
How can you keep an audience enthralled five days a week without an endless parade of bogus crap? (plus he has a magazine,  daily radio spots, etc.) Thanks a lot, Oprah. (Vox)

Tell us how you really feel
"In the South, where researchers sent 3,200 resumes, those with a religious mention got 29 percent fewer email responses and 33 percent fewer phone calls than otherwise identical resumes with no faith ties according to the study"
Did you catch that? If you put religion on your resume you have a significantly lower chance of getting an interview... in the the most "religious" part of the US. I cannot make this shit up. (Religion News)

"A man arrested for allegedly hitting another car and attempting to steal cash and donuts from a gas station reportedly claimed the only thing he was high on at the time was the Holy Spirit. ...the man now faces a litany of charges."

'Representative Pettalia quipped “Don’t say we don’t understand women.” The three men smugly held up copies of fashion magazine [sic] in their attempts to appeal to female voters. One has to be pretty deeply immersed in misogynistic patterns of thought to think that the secret to securing more women voters is as simple a holding up a copy of Glamour magazine in front of camera.'
Political USA

Thinking outside the box:
"CIA hatched plan to make demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden’s influence" (includes photos)
Washington Post

'"It's unbelievable," Kelley said. "Unless you were here to see it or see the pictures I've got, you would not believe how huge this thing is." A 105 howitzer artillery shell, 14 and a half inches long and 3 and a half inches across, was lying on his bedroom floor.'

Think of the children
The scourge of genital shrinkage—will no one stop this plague? (the article is from 1999—nothing has changed):
"Those affected often take extreme measures and place clamps or string onto the precious organ or have family members hold the penis in relays until an appropriate treatment is obtained, often from native healers"

Are you scrupulous? You may be OCD:
"Traig didn't have a complete Jewish education; she invented her own prayers to say three times a day, until a rabbi taught her the actual words. Rather than fearing sin, which has a distinct meaning in Christianity, Traig was worried she would be punished if she didn't practice her religion correctly. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, killing the crew of seven, Traig felt partially responsible."

May god's love be with you

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Wacky World—5/26/2014

Al Feldstein dead at 88 after warping the minds of a generation (look at how I turned out):
"Feldstein edited Mad from 1955 to 1984 when the magazine was the most widely read satirical publication in America. He was responsible for bringing on some of the "Usual Gang of Idiots" -- the Mad staffers and freelancers who filled its pages with their caricatures, puns and general wackiness."
My dad loved the famous One Finger Salute cover. I still have all of mine. (CNN)

Here you can see Fred Astaire as Alfred E. Neuman in 1959.

'The opening months of Colorado's first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana industry have seen a rise in fiery explosions and injuries as pot users try to make the drug's intoxicating oil in crude home-based laboratories. 
'Firefighters in the state have raced to at least 31 butane hash oil explosions this year, compared with 11 last year… The data represents only reported and confirmed cases, and the actual number of explosions could be higher, said Kevin Wong, an intelligence analyst for the agency. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," Wong said.'

"It used to be a young women, she gets married, she has children, and that's her job," he lamented. "They literally count my wife as unemployed! She's not unemployed, she doesn't want to be employed. I mean, she's a wife, she's a mother."
Anderson noted that Annette Funicello, a star of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, had promoted birth control for a 1960s-era advertisement. At one point, he even began to sing "fornicate with me" to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club March theme song.
Crooks & Liars

Psychic faces tough crowd in Middlesbrough:
"I also don’t think that [the audience] reacted well to some of the particularly offensive scenarios Sally was recreating. One involved her re-enacting a dead man flushing narcotics down a toilet to his immediate family, whilst repeatedly saying 'flush it down'. Another was when she was talking to a teenage girl whose boyfriend had recently committed suicide by hanging himself. Sally told the girl that she can feel him hitting her leg and that he was, infact, re-enacting swinging against a door as he was committing suicide."
Myles Power

Got milk? PeTA says it's no wonder your child has autism:
"Regardless of the cause, testimonials show that many people with this disease may be able to find relief with a simple dietary change—removing milk from their diet. The Internet contains numerous heart-wrenching stories from parents of kids who had suffered the worst effects of autism for years before dairy foods were eliminated from their children’s diets."
The testimonial fallacy. (A Million Gods)

Another money-making gimmick based on the "natural" fallacy:
'The American Podiatric Medicine Association put out a policy statement back in November 2009 — which they still stand by today — saying that "research has not yet adequately shed light on the immediate and long-term effects of this practice… Barefoot running has been touted as improving strength and balance, while promoting a more natural running style… However, risks of barefoot running include a lack of protection, which may lead to injuries such as puncture wounds, and increased stress on the lower extremities."'

"The country's interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, singled out an icon of the Virgin Mary, in Málaga, to receive the gold medal of police merit – which is normally reserved for police who have died in terrorist attacks."
Not the Mother of God herself, an icon of the Immaculate One. (Guardian)

"France's national rail company SNCF said on Tuesday it had ordered 2,000 trains for an expanded regional network that are too wide for many station platforms"

An excellent overview of the awesome nonsense that is EMDR:
'While strolling through a park one day, Francine Shapiro noticed that certain of her troubling thoughts suddenly lost their distressing qualities. Curious about what had happened, Shapiro regenerated the mental images and again found them no longer upsetting. Attending closely to her behavior, she realized that her eyes had been spontaneously and rapidly shifting back and forth."

'Shapiro renamed her method “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” or EMDR, a method that one enthusiast has claimed to be “the most revolutionary, important method to emerge in psychotherapy in decades.” Others have declared EMDR to be nothing short of “amazing,” “profound,” and a “miracle”'
"Bullshit" is more like it. (Skeptic)

Dreaming O' California

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Wacky World—4/22/2014

Click to read inscription
Sentence seen online:
"She also recommends spritzing on a leave-in conditioner like Rene Furterer Fioravanti Shine Enhancing No Rinse Detangling Spray to help hydrate and protect hair."

New Age Bullshit Generator:
"Do you want to sell a New Age product and/or service? Tired of coming up with meaningless copy for your starry-eyed customers? Want to join the ranks of bestselling self-help authors? We can help."

It's important to think for yourself:
"But as much as YOUR argument that I don't have science proving gluten is bad for everybody - nobody has any science showing that NOBODY benefits from a GF diet.

"Let me reiterate: NOBODY has ever done even a single study that shows in any sense that NOBODY benefits from eliminating gluten from their diet."
Post-modernist quantum mechanic. (Karate Conditioning)

How did that happen?
Does your town have Homeopathic Urine in its water supply?
"It is, from a chemical and infectious viewpoint, silly to get rid of the water, since birds routinely swim, crap and die in the water as well."

Dallas Swonger wants the world to just know one thing. “I didn’t piss in the fucking water"

'The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is tasked with cracking down on con men like these. So is Interpol. The duo says they are able to skirt law enforcement because they have a lot of people on their payroll. "They're all criminals," Danjuma explains. They estimate that 30 percent of their earnings go to what they call "security"—that is, the payment of bribes. "We are not scared of any minister or president," Danjuma says, his words slightly slurred by the third 20-ounce bottle of Star. "We are not scared of him…Fuck him."'
Mother Jones

Glenn Beck isn't crazy enough for his audience anymore (did anyone not see it coming?):
“Get a grip Glenn. My vote didn’t keep Obama out of office. Our country is being destroyed and you and Obama think talk will fix it all. I am not for violence but you can’t use a sign against a fed sniper.”
Dispatches From The Culture Wars

'Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint...insisted that “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.” DeMint, a former US senator from South Carolina, [said] that “the conscience of the American people” and not the federal government was responsible for the end of slavery.'
Crooks & Liars

Typical southern white boy historical angst. Note that he quotes the Declaration of Independence but says it's from the Constitution, an error that no naturalized citizen—or someone who was awake during US Government class—would ever make. Spoken like a real American.

"It also doesn’t help that Morris has been affiliated with the Gilgal Society a pro-circumcision organization that also published a book of ‘erotic’ circumcision stories. Yes, you read that right. Circumcision child porn. Short excerpt below, in rot13."

You can decode the "porn" sample here. Do they think that this will protect them from scrutiny somehow? I Googled "rot13" and that site was at the top of the list.

A good overview of the sheer inanity of chiropractic:
'The United Chiropractic Association is based in the UK and has members in the US, Canada, and ten other countries. A perusal of its website rings alarm bells. It includes a lot of informative (sarcasm intended) articles like “Detox with a Smoothie,” “Kids’ Spines Not Coping,” and “Usain Bolt Utilizes Chiropractic.” An article titled “Studies Prove Chiropractic Can Prevent Heart Disease” tells us that “adjustments of the atlas, or first cervical vertebra, may stop some heart attacks while they are occurring...”'
Science Based Medicine

"An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed."
LA Times

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