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Thursday, June 30, 2011

WTBlue F*ck Of The Weak

  In our enlightened culture of today, we like to think of ourselves as having more compassion for those who might have more challenging lives than we do, which is why what I'm going to tell you about tonight will horrify anyone with a conscience. 

  Jesse Kersey is a 17 year old mentally handicapped young man who resides in Dayton, Ohio. He was stopped by a police officer named Willie Hooper when riding his bicycle near his home. The officer apparently knew the boy's mental challenges but still mistook his severe speech difficulties as a sign of disrespect. Mr. Hooper then began screaming at the terrified kid and Jesse tried in vain to communicate. The boy then bolted home to get his mother so she could explain things. 

  On  the way home, a neighbour tried to plead Jesse's case to no avail, with the officer threatening to arrest the concerned citizen. As mother Pamela Ford opened the door, Willie Hooper and Officer John Howard fired their tasers at Jesse Kersey, striking him in the back with both probes. Once inside the house, they attacked the kid, who was against the back door in a defensive posture begging them to stop. And it gets worse, according to the complaint: 

On numerous occasions, Ford and a family friend, Christopher Peyton, informed Officer Hooper that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped, and that Jesse did not understand what was happening. 
Officer Howard utilized his Cap-Stun pepper spray and sprayed Jesse ... [and] struck Jesse with a closed fist in the upper chest area. Officer Howard utilized his ASP and repeatedly struck Jesse in the upper left side of his left thigh.

  The officers called in over 20 backup units, none of whom attempted to communicate with someone they knew was mentally handicapped as to why he was being chased. They simply handcuffed and hogtied the boy and fired him into the back of a police crusier.

  Amazingly, police still felt the need to charge young Mr. Kersey with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business. All charges were eventually dimissed, but Pamela Ford is seeking justice for her son, and I don't blame her.

Jesse and Pamela seek damages from the city and the two lead officers, for false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, assault, battery, excessive use of force, infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. 

  I'm going to say that this family has a serious case against the Dayton police department. Who attacks someone they know is a minor, know is mentally challenged, for something as simple as a speech impairment? There is nothing to suggest that Jesse Kersey intended to ridicule any officer in any way, besides, if every person who was mocked on the job feloniously attacked everyone for every slight, there would be a lot of maimed McDonald's customers.

  These officers not only viciously assaulted someone who couldn't defend himself, they brought shame upon their entire police force and the oaths sworn when they acquired their badges. It's my hope that Willie Hooper and John Howard will never be permitted to be in any position of authority, let alone one in which the motto is to serve and protect. The Dayton police department must get rid of this pair of thugs and institute a serious education campaign for their remaining officers, as well as open their checkbooks, to even begin to right such a grotesque wrong. 

Your Daily Weird

  Has someone ever given you shitty service? Does your neighbour let his dog crap in your garden? Well, if you are tired of someone treating you like shit, you can pay them back in kind- with a mail-order gift of very real crap. will anonymously send a package of poo anywhere in the Continental U.S.A. for a fee. You can choose from cow, elephant, or gorilla packages in a variety of sizes commensurate with how crappy the person has made you feel. In their disclaimer, shitsenders states that their gross gifts are purely for "entertainment" purposes and not for any unlawful purpose.

  Naturally, I'm an inquiring mind and wanted to know if this was for real, so I filled in the order blank to see what would happen using NBC's address. Sure enough, I was taken to an actual PayPal credit card checkout and I could have completed the order for a gallon of gorilla garbage. (Attention NBC- I didn't actually click 'pay' so if someone ships your mailroom a steamer, it wasn't me)

   I don't actually have the guts to send someone poo through the mail, but maybe you do. even if you don't, the comments on the website make it worth a visit. As a caveat, the company has one complaint of the stink package arriving very late.

  Anyways, this is Shitsenders. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Media Moment: Delayed Reaction

In a case of attempting to add recent history to antiquated scripture, Morning Star Ministries spokesbigot Rick Joyner declared Hurricane Katrina to be an act that proves the grace of his imaginary friend.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who find's Rick's suppositions to be somewhat after-the-fact. I mean, the city is in stages of rebuild and several bachannalian parades have occurred in the U.S. South since the dreadful hurricane that took the lives and livelihoods of many.

However, it's not just his late timing here that puzzles, but his justification for the act of nature. Yes, God did it because he loves us.  God loves homosexuals so much that he'll kill innocent people and animals and wipe out a large chunk of one of the most politically conservative states just to prove it. In my little heathen brain, any Creator that would erase entire cities to get revenge on a small minority of the population doesn't sound like a very nice God. In fact, he sounds just as evil as the guy on the podium.

How these peddlers of hatred manage to make millions of dollars tax-free each and every year never ceases to amaze and horrify me.

The Artist Formerly Know As Sane

  Few mature folks regard musicians as authorities on anything other than their trade, however, Prince has been around long enough that people listen to what he has to say.

  The veteran songwriter gave an interview to the Guardian, a British paper, in which he discussed things like his favourite tour stops. The 80's star claimed he enjoys hanging out in countries that are orderly, where one belief system is the law of the land.

  "It's fun being in Islamic countries, to know there's only one religion", the singer quipped. When it comes to freedoms, he opined "You wear a burka, there's no choice. People are happy with that." As for those who protest, he stated  "There are people who are unhappy with everything. There's a dark side to everything.".

  The singer also discussed his own religious realization, which came in 2001, when he became a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. "I was anti-authoritarian, but at the same time I was a loving tyrant. You can't be both. I had to learn what authority was. That's what the Bible teaches. The Bible is a study guide for social interaction."

  I'm going to add my bit here, since Prince decided to put it out there. He may think it's totally rad to be in undemocratic societies, but it's no picnic for those who live under such systems. I'm sure no woman is happy about having to wear a burka in 120 degree weather, about being prohibited from leaving the home, to drive, or even learn to read. It's a big old party to live your life in fear of being raped and then stoned to death as an adulteress, but then again, that's an idea Muslims stole from that wonderful social guide, the Bible. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

  I know Prince thinks he's spreading the good news, but he's not. If he wasn't famous, he'd be excommunicated from the death cult to which he belongs because he's been divorced twice and is now living with a woman he's not married to. In fact, he and his girlfriend could be arrested and possibly executed in one of those wonderful countries he loves to visit for living in sin.

  There's nothing wonderful about religious fundamentalism. The people victimized for life simply because they are born under theocratic regimes are not dancers to be choreographed for a concert. They can't go home at the end of the day and put their feet up with a Scotch in hand. Terror is what those in Islamic countries live under and how they die if they step out of line. Forced orderliness is slavery, plain and simple, and as someone whose ancestors lived under such a system, Prince should know better than to suggest that it is an appropriate way of being for others.

   I'm sure I'm not the only one who liked this Prince better

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thought-Provoking Quote Of The Day

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" 
                                                 Ernest Gaines

Monday, June 27, 2011

What CAN You Do Today?

 One of the women I respect the most is from a place called Minot, North Dakota. It's a place where airmen and construction workers ply their trades and rest their heads. It's a conservative town where kids play hockey and retirees golf, much like it's sister city Moose Jaw, Canada. But right now, Minot is a city under water, with 11, 000 people homeless and 4, 000 residences severely flooded.

  The Souris River runs from Saskastchewan through North Dakota and back up to Manitoba. Due to severe raining, 2 dams in Saskatchewan had to be relieved of pressure as the reservoirs overflowed. Various communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are flooded right now, but no place felt the flood like Minot. The dams were originally built as a result of the last flood Minot experienced in the 1960's, but there was just no containing what is considered to be worse than a 100 year flood. Combine this with nonstop rains and you have one hell of a natural disaster.

  Minot is a city with a huge wage cap that causes the average income to be significantly lower than the national midpoint. Many folks in Minot work 2, 3, or 4 jobs to support their families and floods are not covered by home insurance. Since Minot was considered flood-proof, most people didn't even know they could purchase Federal flood insurance. But, for the first time in 32 years, Minot is swimming and thousands of people are left without even the most bare necessities.

The water is unsafe and people need to be fed. Emergency homes need to be provided and then extensive repairs to the ones that survive. And it all costs money, and I know Minot's not the trendy kind of cause to lend a few bucks to, but as a town with some great people, I think you should open your wallet if you can.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!You can donate to the Red Cross or a larger group, but the money will have to change a lot of hands before it assists the hard-working people of Minot. I strongly endorse donating directly to the Minot Area Community Foundation's Disaster Recovery Fund so that the people who live around the Souris River get the help they need as quickly as possible. And you can do it with a click.

Photo courtesy of the CBC


  Minnesota GOP Representative Michele Bachmann has barely warmed her seat in office, but has declared herself a candidate for the U.S. presidential election in 2012. As a person born in Iowa, Ms. Bachmann decided to kick off her campaign in the state of her birth, touting her knowledge of the state as an asset when considering her for the GOP Presidential nomination. 

  That home-state familiarity took a monstrous hit on Sunday, when just prior to announcing her run in Waterloo, Iowa, she spoke to a Fox News correspondent. 
 The midwestern candidate was reported to quip " What I want them to know is that, just as John Wayne is from Waterloo, Iowa, that's the kind of spirit I have too." As was quickly pointed out by several news sources, the John Wayne of stage and film was indeed born in Iowa, (he moved with his parents to California as a toddler) but in Winterset, a 3 hour drive away. 

The John Wayne who lived in Waterloo, Iowa, well that's John Wayne Gacy, murderer of 33 men and children and star of the Statesville Correctional Center's death chamber. He lived there with his wife as an adult and committed the first slew of his infamous crimes in Waterloo and served his time in nearby Anamosa State Prison.

 So, Michele Bachmann made a boo-boo, and that really isn't that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes. The problem is, she repeated the same line to NBC's Kelly O'Donnell  "I'm not pining for nostalgia back in the 50s and 60s, that isn't it. But that sensibility about how we were grounded here is so important. For instance, another American that was born in Waterloo was John Wayne. We were a very patriotic 'yay rah rah America' city and nation and I think that's what America's looking for again."

  If I sound like I'm nitpicking here, do note that Michele Bachmann is from Waterloo, Iowa, and should have known that John Wayne the cowboy wasn't from there. After all, she's the one who stated that her meticulous attention to detail is the reason why my numerous American relatives should vote for her.

This is going to be an interesting election year. 

Sore Losers

  Conservative lobbyist and Holocaust "revisionist" Bryan Fischer is extremely upset with New York's decision to permit people he doesn't know, like our friends Richard and John, to become legally married. In a bold claim, he once again likens gays to Nazis and accuses the ominous gay army of committing hate crimes against New York Senator Ruben Diaz.

The Knight of the Long Knives continues as the homosexual lobby commits one hate crime after another.

The latest victim of homosexual bigots? New York state senator Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx, the only Democrat who voted against granting same-couples the “right” to marry in New York.

For taking a principled, religiously-rooted stand for the institution that undergirds all of human civilization, Diaz has become the latest in a long, sad string of victims of the true hatemongers in America, homosexuals activists. Their hate crime against him is motivated by prejudice against his religion, which teaches that God designed marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman. 

Chuck Colson is another whose eyes are wide open to the steaming hate billowing from the denizens of the homosexual lobby. "The gay-rights groups have shown their fangs. They want to silence, yes, destroy those who don't agree with their agenda." 

Homosexuals are rapidly cementing their position as the number one perpetrators of hate crimes in American today. Sen. Diaz is simply the latest prey of the hatemongering hunters on the left, who live in mortal fear that someone, somewhere, actually believes what God says about marriage and human sexuality. And the list will grow longer before it grows shorter.
  This is a completely ridiculous tirade that the AFA Director is on, simply because the members of the New York senate finally decided that there should indeed be a separation of church and state, as affirmed many times in the U.S. Supreme Court on all kinds of decisions. He is absolutely angry that democracy occurred because the outcome does not fit in with his Biblical visions. In essence, he is displaying his firm belief that one religion and its antiquated scriptures should be held superior over the will of New York's citizens and the candidates they selected for office. 
  Also disturbing is the "Knight Of The Long Knives" reference. Any historian worth his or her salt would know that the actual Night Of The Long Knives was a 1934 massacre of gay Germans conducted by Lutheran Christians in the name of their deity. Mr. Fischer's misappropriation of this event and other Holocaust imagery is a staple in his repertoire, as he uses absurd ideas poached from The Pink Swastika to demonize both gays and Jews on a very frequent basis.
  If Senator Diaz has indeed been the victim of hate crimes, there has been no true news of it, and it would be all over the airwaves if Diaz had been assaulted or attacked in any way. In Bryan Fischer's myopic view, democracy in action IS the crime because it's inconsistent with the hatred he spews daily. These two sore losers are angry that no matter how many people Senator Diaz could assemble in his hate rallies, even the Republicans couldn't find a constitutionally legal (ie non-Biblical) reason to deprive law-abiding citizens of their adult human right to have their unions recognized. 

  The federal Republicans, including many of the presidential frontrunners, have a long history of making public appearances alongside Fischer, sitting as a guest on his shows, and repeating his vicious talking points. And now they may wish to reconsider palling about with him in the future. Bryan Fischer is a spineless bigot who believes that only Christians are protected by the constitution, that Muslims should be deported, and that gays should be incarcerated.

  Mr. Fischer is the perfect preacher of filth during a time in which some Americans are reverting to views of the days of Jim Crow. People are poorer than they're used to and afraid for the future, and when fear strikes, some turn to old religions filled with antiquated ideas. Bryan Fischer is a Christian opportunist willing to take advantage of a frightened populace in order to further his ambitions, which include a dream for a one religion world. In any other political climate, Mr. Fischer would be considered to be a member of the lunatic fringe. It's my hope that the good people of America will wise up to the truth that the men who make fortunes peddling division are the true anti-Americans and will mark their ballots accordingly.

  If I were a Republican, I would want to run as far away from this kind of filth as quickly as possible.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Letting Go Of God Part 9 : Do Atheists Fear Death?

" Are Atheists Afraid Of Death?"

  This is a complex question, and while I don't profess to speak for all heathens, I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.

  While I don't spend too much time obsessing about death, there is certainly a fear of becoming nonexistent. It's inevitable, but it's so very final, and often times it's not on your terms. It's the fear of the unknown that I believe began all of the religions in the first place. Earlier man had very little understanding of the world and her surrounding universe, and death due to disease, fighting, and accidents was a constant. The concept that when you take your final breath and your being simply ceases to operate is a terrifying prospect for many, especially for the surviving family and friends, so belief in an afterlife became a panacea for all of those scary, misunderstood thoughts, an analgesic for the grieving.

  Even in my own life, as a formerly religious person, I bought into the death lies. I was brought up to believe that I was a punishment  from God brought on because my mum prayed every night for boys. My parents prayed too hard, so they got a dyke. This sounds like fuzzy logic to some, but it remains the prevailing belief amongst a few people close to me. I used to constantly pray for death because the afterlife couldn't be worse than the horrendous torments visited upon me by both family and strangers. When I believed in God, I had no fear of death whatsoever. I've driven drunk, done tons of incredibly dangerous stunts, and came within a few minutes of peacefully dying from sepsis before being saved by a "miracle", which was really some experiment that a genius Nurse Practitioner thought up.

  I also prayed to dead people, like my heroic grandmother, survivor of combat and POW camps, for advice and found no answers. But I knew she had to be in heaven because she'd led a righteous life. she was up there, chilling out with my brother and my uncle and my haemophiliac buddy from school who died of AIDS. Life came to an end on the Earth, but there were ghosts an angels all around in my mind, because God and heaven are the lies your parents were told and they told you, but as I've said in previous chapters, I finally decided that I could not believe in these things anymore. It was then that I truly mourned the losses of those who I once loved and decided to continue my life in a realistic fashion. Now I have a healthy respect for life and death for what they are, knowing that the former is never infinite and the latter is forever.

  Because I am of the opinion that we die just as all other animals do, I'm certainly more inclined to try to maximize my time spent on Earth as a sentient being, living and loving, and trying to avoid  doing absolutely stupid things, not out of a phobia of a manmade hell, but out of respect for myself and others. Humans as a species may have a strong self preservation instinct in general, however it's easier to give up on life when faced with the prospect of fighting and even dying from a serious illness when you think that there is going to be a utopia when you close your eyes for the last time. As I don't suffer from the god delusion, I'm going to make my best effort to overcome all challenges set before me, and should I gain victory over a deadly condition, offer my sincere thanks to the very human scientists who assisted in the lengthening of my life.

  But, alas, death will still come without my express written consent. My mental lamp will burn out, just as those of the generations before me. I may be aware that it is going to arrive, or I may simply pass away in my sleep as so many do. And while I won't be able to see, or touch, or even be anymore, I hope that the most important afterlife one can have occurs. All of my organs shall be donated and my corpse will never be embalmed. My body will nourish generations of insects and maybe even a vulture or two. My death will be like my life- in concordance with the scientific model. For my survivors, I wish them the most pleasant memories of me, but not sadness. Should my memory be sullied like that of Pat Tillman, I'd hope my family would be as tough as his, unafraid to educate and attest to the decency that one can hold without buying into an existential lie.

  I can understand why us arrogant humans would like to believe that we have control over life, both before it begins and after it ends, but we do not. The destruction of a star began our evolution and when our star fades away, it will take what is left of us with it. But until the light goes out, we as a species will continue acting our parts in a global play, with alternating characters, many identical dancers, a few prima ballerinas, and the odd clown. Death is inevitable for all of us, so we need to be present in our daily lives. It's your choice whether to sit on the sidelines, paralyzed by the words of men who are long dead and cannot hurt you, or to hop on stage and show the world what you're really about while you're still kicking.

  Death is a normal life process, and it's normal to be afraid of it, but I'd rather have that fear than be paralyzed by the idea of eternal hellfire as preached by the men who earn their living promoting spirit-destroying myths. Existence is real, it's finite, and I've wasted far too much of it as a prisoner of the concept that it lasts forever. Be a decent person because kind works spread joy, instead of hoping for a ticket into a place that your inner reason knows cannot exist. Humanity has been distorted because of our refusal to accept the fact that death is absolute. If there was no fear of ending up in the wrong afterlife, men wouldn't start wars, parents wouldn't mutilate their babies' genitals, and women wouldn't cover every inch of skin in 120 degree weather.

 I personally would rather have a healthy respect for life and the finality of death than to be forced to live a life of sexism, racism, homophobia, war, and abuse in the hopes of gaining an afterlife.

 Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not. - Epicurus

Is Subaru Driving Customers Away?

 Subaru has always projected itself to be a marque that is hip, fun, and reliable. Part of their appeal has been their progressive ideas when it comes to marketing. They were the first auto maker to be endorsed by an openly gay athlete, and they certainly love sporting women, who remain their target market. Subaru sponsors surf competitions, triathlons, ski events, and was even featured as a sponsor for a marathon on the L Word. But what matters most to me is the fact that Subarus have been the safekeepers of my favourite little dudes on many an off-road adventure. It would seem that I'm writing an opus praising the brand, and I wish it was true because I simply cannot.

  You see, there is a country on our planet where women are not permitted to drive- foreign or local, Muslim or Christian, married or widowed, there will be no driving by women in Saudi Arabia.  There's no public transport and women and children have been raped and murdered by chauffeurs, but still, no driving. The religious police would rather let someone die rather than permit a woman to proceed if she were driving herself or a sick family member to the hospital. There's no way in hell a Saudi woman is allowed to drive under any circumstances, let alone do all of those rad things Subaru sponsors. Something must change, and if it isn't the Saudi Arabian cavemen, it should be Subaru.

  Subaru has a long-standing reputation of being the social conscience of the automotive industry, yet they not only sell their vehicles in Saudi Arabia, but advertise them as well. The prime advertising target for Subaru in Saudi Arabia is still women, who purchase their products, but aren't allowed to use them.

  Subaru isn't the only company that makes money from gender apartheid, but McDonald's and Pizza Hut (there are 66 locations kingdom wide!) don't advertise themselves as having any conscience whatsoever, let alone have social improvement as part of corporate policy. In offering their cars for sale in the most sexually repressive nation on the planet, Subaru is telling the world that they are hypocrites willing to sacrifice their image for a few sales.

  So what can you do? You can join 50, 000 other people in demanding Subaru pull their cars out of Saudi Arabia until their customers are allowed to drive them. Click the Subaru logo to lend your signature to a letter advising Takeshi Tachimori and Bill Cyphers of what they stand to lose if they don't stand up for their principles.

  Keeping your word matters and it's time for Subaru to make their mark by walking the walk.

P.S. The lovely lady in the above Subaru advert is Martina Navratilova, who would not only be unable to drive in Saudi Arabia, but would be executed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quack Quack

 Remember this dude? I do- he's Don Lapre and he has been a star of many an infomercial, his hard-luck to good fortune story front and center. The man who told folks how to get rich off of selling "tiny classified ads" has it all- houses, cars, and cute kids. But he always had a weird veneer that told me that his real get-rich-quick scheme was selling fake opportunities to others. I mean, if all this stuff was so great, why didn't he just keep all of these secrets to himself?

  As it turns out, I'm not the only person who thought this guy was too good to be true. His Greatest Vitamin in the World scheme was purchased by over 220, 000 people who bought websites, often from Lapre, to pitch pills that the U.S. government has deemed to be utterly worthless. What's more, he published falsified sales records in order to get more people to sign up. He offered commissions to his best salespeople in the hopes of selling them advertising and other services. One popular package was bulk internet traffic, which Lapre said were targeted customers. All in all, Lapre bilked his "partners" out of over 50 million dollars.

  The likable loser has been charged with 41 counts that include Transactional Money Laundering, Conspiracy, and Mail Fraud. After failing to show up for court, he decided to run, knowing he faces 25 years in the tank, but was caught last night.

  It seems pretty easy to have sympathy for Don Lapre, or at least shift some blame upon his victims, but this guy was on the airwaves for a long time, and that longevity lent credibility to his image. People heard all about the internet and wanted in on the new technology and the wealth it can bring. Lapre took advantage of his image and the dreams of people who invested their money and hard work in what amounted to be a big Ponzi scheme. He used falsified documents and the health craze to sell a complete lie, and that's why Donald Lapre belongs in jail. There's nothing cool or savvy about abusing the trust of hundreds of thousands of poor, working-class, and elderly citizens.

  Donald Lapre may have gotten himself out of his "tiny, 1 bedroom apartment" through selling advertising and running marketing campaigns, but somewhere along the line he became enamoured by his own image. His self-esteem became consumed by the almighty dollar and he then decided that his wants were more important than those of others. Now Don Lapre is going to be surrounded by cement for a very long time, presumably selling the Miracle Colon Cleanse.

  How about getting that Kevin Trudeau worm next? Pretty please.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Sports

  Professional athletes have been well-known to make some pretty controversial statements when it comes to gay and lesbian people. From outward bigoted statements like Pat Burns and John Rocker's to David Tyree's god excuse, homophobia has been the name of the game as long as sport has existed. However, things are changing, and the sports town that is far and away the coolest when it comes to LGBT acceptance is Chicago, of all places.

  Last year, former Blackhawk Brent Sopel brought the Stanley Cup to a gay pride parade that included Cubs legend Ernie Banks and a contingent from the Cubs organisation.

 What's more- Monday, the Cubbies got on board with the Trevor Project to produce this cool video with a positive message to LGBT kids that proves that not only does life get better if you hang on, people's attitudes do too.

Hang in kids and hats off to Major League baseball for endorsing life-saving efforts such as this.

Monday, June 20, 2011

With This Ring

This is Richard and John, and they're 83 and 91 respectively. They have been together for 61 years, bearing witness to eras where gays could be lobotomized, incarcerated, or killed. While both still work as music teachers, there is still the possibility that as they age, one will wind up in a hospital and the other gent will be told he's not a real family member. That is, unless they get married, which they have wanted to do for longer than most of you have been alive.

The saving grace is that Richard and John live in New York. Albany's state assembly passed the gay couple inclusion amendment to the state's marriage law by a vote of 80-63. However, the Senate still has to pass it, and needs one more Republican on board. While religious groups have organized appeals, it does seem that New York will be the sixth U.S. state to extend equal rights to gay and lesbian families. (39 states have official bans)

There are all of these yoyos out there who say that gay marriage is a threat to their family or spacedaddy, but they're wrong. Anarchy will not reign, children won't be corrupted, and nothing bad will happen to your family if these two old dudes can tie the not. The only thing that will happen if gays are allowed to be married is gays will get married. That's it.

Now let these fellows have their rings.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's Your Take?

  There has been some international do-gooder outrage as some outlets revealed that there was a prizefight involving a 7 and 8 year old girl in Australia.

  The kickboxing bout involved Jasmine Parr, the 8 year old daughter of kickboxing great John Wayne Parr against 7 year old Georgina 'Punchout' Barton, the daughter of another Aussie champ. The 2 girls, wearing headgear, gloves, and leg guards, had it out before the fight was declared a draw and the girls each collected a small prize of around $100.

  As news of the bout hit print, many ladies expressed outrage and demanded that the parents and fight promoters be arrested, while most male commenters stated that it wasn't such a big deal.

  Well, I'm going to side with the boys on this one, and here's why. Kids engage in all kinds of sports, and some do engage in martial arts. The girls were wearing appropriate-sized protective gear and were supervised in a formal match. It's not like it was a backyard fight or anything. Moreover, if they were boys, nobody would be saying a word- boys play rugby, football, and hockey at the same age as these girls- they even enjoy contact martial arts bouts. But they're girls, and they're supposed to be paraded around like those little victims on Toddlers in Tiaras aren't they?

  I personally think that the nannies need to lay off, but I may be wrong here. What do you parents think of 2 girls being involved in a kickboxing fight? Are you down with it or not? Should CPS step in or is it up to the parents and kids to decide for themselves? And does the gender of the combatants make any difference as to your position?

  Let me hear it.

Wasted Talent

  Alcohol and drug addiction is a very grave condition, and one that can take a great amount of time to recover from, which is why I find it quite grotesque that Amy Winehouse was scheduled to perform a series of large European concerts beginning a mere 3 weeks after exiting a treatment facility.

  The first concert was Saturday evening in Belgrade, Serbia, where dedicated fans shelled out an average of $55, roughly half a week's salary, to be treated to this performance in which she staggered, gagged, and slurred through, to the dismay of her audience, who seemed to know the words of some songs better than she did:

  I can absolutely understand that the hard-working people of Belgrade would feel cheated and insulted by paying huge money to have their eardrums and eyes assaulted. She showed up shitfaced and put on a crappy show. But the thing is, the show shouldn't have even gone on. Who in their right mind would let someone embarrass herself and others in this manner? Oh, that's tight, her handlers that didn't want to give up a few bucks.

  Some people find the self-destruction of the famous to be a form of sick entertainment, but I'm not one of those.  This kid needs serious help that her circle of sycophants cannot provide. They are only concerned about making as much bank as possible before she dies instead of saving a young talent's life, and that does sadden me.

  Recovery is possible for even the most desperately ill; I've seen examples of extraordinary feats of self-improvement up close and personal. However, that healing can take months or years to attain. Each little 3 or 4 day hospital stay will just increase Amy Winehouse's sense of despair as she doesn't even have a chance to get the drink and drug from her system, let alone heal. This young lady needs 6 months to a year, at a minimum, away from the limelight, safely away from all of the bright lights and demanding managers and junkie friends that have circled her like sharks ever since they figured out she could write a song. 

  A few times a year, you see some famous person die because they took too much shit in their systems. Every time it happens, people are all shocked, asking why nobody did anything. But in Amy's case, she'll die because her circle won't leave her alone to fix her shit, and then they'll try to say they tried to help her, riding her coattails even after she's gone.

  Not every story has a happy ending. Call me a cynic, but I don't think this one's gonna be one of the great tales of redemption of our generation.

The Law Is Not Gumby: Why Extraditing Richard O'Dwyer Is A Ridiculous Proposition

In a case that can only be described as bizarre, the United States is demanding that a British website owner be extradited to the U.S. because of the activities of his sites prior to them being shut down by the U.S. government.

Richard O'Dwyer started TV Shack, a website which provided links to material subject to U.S. copyright laws. His initial domain was shut down last year under their Operation In Our Sites campaign. So Mr. O'Dwyer started a new one, which was seized again by U.s. authorities. Afterward, he abandoned the idea and moved on with his life as a Sheffield Hallam University student until he was arrested 3 weeks ago and released on bail. Why? The United States wants Richard O'Dwyer extradited to be charged for copyright infringement because Americans accessed his website.

 Naturally, Mr. O'Dwyer, his family, and attorney are perplexed as to the legality of extraditing a man to a nation not his own for alleged crimes which are not against the law in his homeland. The student has never had any physical connection to the U.S., and all of his servers were his own. He didn't even host any copyrighted content, save for his own written word, and merely provided links to the material of others. Websites which post links to content have been found to be legal in British courts on a number of occasions, (Including this nearly identical instance.) and I think that the U.S. is grossly overstepping their boundaries here.

The people who accessed Mr. O'Dwyer's website were Americans accessing foreign servers, not the other way around. U.S. law has no jurisdiction in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, otherwise you could be arrested when you're vacationing in England for drinking when you're 18 (English law) instead of 21 (U.S. law) or jailed for smoking a joint while vacationing in the Netherlands. When you access foreign servers, you are electronically visiting the host nation, which is why the U.S. government can technically bar you from visiting sites hosted in nations that you are barred from visiting in person, like Cuba for example.

Moreover, loads of people and corporations link to copyrighted content all of the time. I'm not saying it's a great thing, but it occurs. I've found links to copyrighted content on search engines like Google and seen it hosted on numerous video-sharing websites. If you're going to arrest a guy for providing links, you're going to have a whole bunch of nerdy kids sitting in the cooler.

The U.S. needs to reserve its scarce resources for prosecuting people for real crimes committed within their own borders instead of trying to pull kids who have never even stepped foot on U.S. soil out of their homes. The kid may have had a limited understanding of U.S. law, but wasn't breaking the law where he resides. If the U.K. justice system wants to make an O'Dwyer exception and find something to convict him of there, so be it, but the U.S. should have no part of it.

You can't go to a foreign country either physically or virtually and then haul a foreigner away for breaking one of your laws. The Saudis can't go to Canada and arrest the owner of a legal porn site for producing dirty pictures despite the fact that porn is illegal there and the U.S. can't have Richard O'Dwyer extradited for posting links in England.

If Richard O'Dwyer is sent to the United States to face trial and is sentenced to serve a sentence, it will be one of the grossest examples of injustice one could imagine. To be taken away to a foreign land for a non-crime is a violation of international law. If the British government caves and sends a college kid away to an unfair punishment, it sends a dangerous message to the rest of the world that nobody is safe from whatever laws a nation wishes to impose on others.

Even the notion that such a thing is possible should make each and every one of us feel a little less safe from the octopus of the law.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Politically Incorrect Thought of the Day

  I'm reading this message board right now, and the particular topic is women who sleep with/date men but call themselves lesbians. There are all of these folks saying that we shouldn't judge them or label them bisexual or whatever. And I'm going to give you my old-school, not-so-PC thoughts on this:

  I don't care to bestow labels upon other people, but if someone calls herself gay and then goes and marries a dude for any purpose other than a green card, she isn't gay. Period. Bisexual, queer, pansexual, unidentified- absolutely, but not a lesbian. To identify as a lesbian but still sleep with cisgendered dudes is not only inaccurate but offensive to all of us who hear stupid lines from dudes like "I dated a lesbian once, what's so different about you?".

  I get why bisexual babes do this for the most part. It's because some more insecure dykes get weirded out by the idea that their lust interest has an occasional taste for peen. But the thing is that anyone worth grooving with should accept you for who you are anyways. Besides, you have just a wee few more romantic options than we do, so if someone's an asshole, you can shop around.

  Now, it's up to you whether or not you want to label yourself. Some people find them restrictive, and that's an honest option here. I am going to tell you once and for all, as an old-school butch dyke, that the vast majority of us would rather date an honest bisexual than a lying anything. Trust me- I'd rather let you go out and have your (safe) flings than come home from 14 hours at work to some hairy little hobbit impregnating you in the bed I paid for. (yes, this happened)

  The reason why bi chicks get a bad name is not because of loud-and-proud bisexual women, trust me. It is because of the weirdos who call themselves gay but have free birds. Do yourself and everyone else a favour and be honest. Yes, some lesbians don't date bisexuals. Get over it and move on to a better option..

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's About Time

  Today, it was announced that the 700, 000 Aboriginal people who reside on First Nations reserves in Canada will finally be awarded the same human rights protections as other Canadians. Amazingly, when the new Charter of Rights and Freedoms was penned in 1977, First Nations persons were excluded from the freedoms that all other Canadians enjoy, such as protection from workplace discrimination.

  Originally, the Feds claimed that the goings-on of reserves weren't a big deal, since the Indian Act should protect those both on and off reserves. Finally, after years of pressure from international factions, the government acquiesced, admitting they were wrong all along, but taking time to enjoy the spotlight: 

"The Canadian government has taken an important step toward correcting this historic injustice," said David Langtry, acting chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
"The purpose of the Canadian Human Rights Act is to ensure equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all people in Canada. The exclusion of people governed by the Indian Act from human rights law was discriminatory and contrary to democratic principles."
  The new law comes into effect tomorrow, and it's hoped that a real difference can be made to the living conditions of Aboriginals living on reserves, half of whom don't even have access to safe drinking water. A quick look at your average reserve will make most of you readers weep. First Nations people routinely live in shacks with little to no basic health care, unsafe or no electricity, and very limited social services. The levels of unemployment are horrifying, and those who do have the education to gain the few available jobs have often been prevented by disabilities. There are often pockets of devastating diseases of old, such as polio and tuberculosis combined with high rates of HIV and Hepatitis infection.
  While the immediate effects of recognizing First Nations people as equal Canadians aren't entirely known, it is never to late to at least attempt to atone for such a gross injustice committed against what were once proud societies. For example, details might need to be ironed out, like who pays for accessibility and health and the availability of federal transfer monies. One surefire change is that tribes will no longer be able to hurt their own with anti-LGBT and anti-disability rulings, which have plagued some groups more than others. Employment prospects for First Nations members should increase soon, both on and off of the prisons called Reserves.
  Many Canadians take their liberties for granted, but for those who have been rendered second class under the Indian Act, detention from birth is a way of life. Unbeknownst to most, the nation that fights for the freedoms of other global citizens was isolating, stealing from, abusing, and quashing the rights of their own. And as of today, that promises to change, but make no mistake, the government didn't give anyone anything- we demanded it ferociously and they saw the writing on the wall.
  Victories for humanity are never small, to be sure, but this one is as monumental as any human rights ruling in the modern history of the western world. It's not just those of us who have relatives confined in Canada's barrios who are triumphant today, it's a very real conquest to be shared with all; for if it weren't for international unity, the sombre song would be the same for generations to come. 
  It's never to late to change the future.
  Be well.

Some Things...

...go together.

  On the other hand, some do not.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Gotta Be Shitting Me!

  This advert was just released by the swine minds over at the European Fur Breeders Association and it is easily the most absurd defense of animal cruelty in recent memory.

  Do watch it, because it isn't a joke. Their defense is that animals should be overjoyed about the idea of being penned and slaughtered for their parts, whether they be a tasty Porterhouse or a hideous hag coat. I'm really not shitting you here- I couldn't invent something so ridiculous.

The host of this show is a cute little polecat named Fred the Mink. It should be noted that European Minks are a native species in Britain.

  Now, I am a vegetarian, and obviously avoid consuming dead things. That being said, I'm aware of European food animal standards, and I can tell you that there sure as shit is a difference between stealing an unfertilized egg out of the grass (most British hens get to run around because people actually care about such things and they wouldn't sell many eggs) and skinning an inedible creature while it's still alive for its coat.

  Fur is a dying industry in all meanings of the word. Animals bred so ladies can look "smart" are penned and underfed. They lose their minds from confinement and are usually batshit crazy and full of every manner of infection before they die via skinning or anal electrocution. It ain't a fun party time for the little minks, chinchillas, foxes, lynxes, squirrels, and domestic cats that are murdered in absolutely grotesque ways so a rich bitch can look like a self-absorbed Parisian cunt.

  The only people who have any business wearing fur are Aboriginal people who take the animal with dignity and consume every part of their kills; traditionalists who believe in decency and would be appalled by the conditions in the abbatoirs and fur farms.

  The European Fur Breeders Association has to be a conglomerate of the most arrogant tools if they think that anyone with an iota of intelligence actually would fall for this ridiculous attempt at image boosting. My mum told me once that sometimes it's better to just shut up when you're tempted to make an ass out of yourself. You'd think someone in the PR department would have been given such advice.

 Then again, I guess it's hard to sell your product with a tagline like "30 Million Murdered Annually!", so maybe these guys should find a way to make a living that doesn't involve killing.

  A good cause : The Minnesota Wildcat Sanctuary rescues cats ranging from F1 Bengals to Tigers from tragic circumstances such as roadside zoos, canned-shoot farms, and fur hellholes and you should check them out. 

What CAN You Do Today?

  Humans have something of a kinship with other highly-intelligent mammals, and few have the mystique of our aquatic neighbours, the dolphins. There are historical accounts of dolphins and whales rescuing both man and beast from sure death in the dangerous high seas, and many a sailor has told of the breathtaking songs of our marine cousins. We seem to adore the intelligence of our finned friends and sometimes want to get up close and personal with them.

  Our fascination with dolphins and whales has not gone unnoticed by those who wish to make a profit by any means possible. There are scores of aquariums and pools around the world that abuse these wonderful creatures for entertainment, forcing proud giants to perform demeaning acts in exchange for food. We know that large aquatic animals didn't start off as tadpoles in a backyard pond- they came from the vast open waters where they hunted and sang and swam freely until losing their battle for freedom with the cruel species inappropriately named homo sapiens sapiens. 

When you go to a resort that offers wild animals for exhibit, you should know a few things about how Flipper and his buddies got there and just how bad his future prospects are:

Over half of the dolphins that endure the trauma of being stolen from their Ocean homes die within the first three months and half of these survivors die in the next two years. Bottlenose dolphins, like the ones you see in parks and exhibits, have a natural lifespan similar to that of wild humans at about 45 years, but it's only a rare captive individual who even lives half that long. These figures are standard within an industry that doesn't care as long as a few survive to breed new victims.

Wild marine mammals often swim in excess of 50 kilometres a day in their search for food and fun. However, in captivity, they quickly begin to show signs of what we would refer to as mental illness. These highly aware creatures will bash their heads against pool surrounds, swim in circles, and attack each other. Many go blind or die from chlorine poisoning, parasites, or simply give up on life. And all of it is entirely unnecessary, but idiot humans don't seem to quite understand why someone wouldn't want to be taken from his or her home, tortured, maimed, trafficked, and forced to act like a moron whilst residing in a home 1/10000th the size of its previous one.

So what is so urgent right now that I'm bringing this to your attention again? Well, you see, they're building a Resorts World location in Singapore and in anticipation, 25 Bottlenose Dolphins were stolen from their home near the Solomon Islands and are being held captive in the Philippines. As of today, 2 of the victims have perished, and more are expected to follow in the days and weeks to come.

Well this does stink, doesn't it? But the good news is that THE Ric O'Barry has offered to help these dolphins get rehabbed and to take them back to the home they know and love, where they can catch fish and form social orders and raise their young as they always have. But the thing is that he can't do any of the awesome things that he has a lengthy background in doing unless Resorts World Sentosa gives up their sick plan to retain these beautiful, bright mammals as forced entertainers.

With such a release plan, it makes sense to give these majestic beings their homes back. We know that internet appeals have worked in the past when it comes to human issues, so let's take a minute out to unite in the defense of those who do not hold believe in greed or brutality.

Add your name to the 80, 000 others who contend that everyone wants to be free, and to rob a sentient being of his rights is wrong. Go HERE to change the world of those who look different from you, but would save your life without a second thought.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."  ~William Ralph Inge

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shameless Promotion

  Obviously, you kids know that running 5 different websites takes a lot of time out of one's day, but I still have to do the daily outside grind to pay the bills.  (or pick up the phone and say 'Good Afternoon, McMaster Property Management') Anyways, being old and broken makes torching roofs and crawling through attics really suck, which is why I'm hoping one day to just do the writing thing for good. Besides, if you do what you love, writing for 57 straight hours doesn't seem like such a chore. I like what I do and would be content doing it in my rocker as an old fart or on the toilet like Jerry Garcia.

  So, some of you may have noticed the little graphic off to your right hand side. Yes, I know, they're ads, and I'll tell you about them. First, a backgrounder, though. I noticed all these folks with Google ads on their blogs and someone close to me even recommended them. However, I noticed that their 'targeted' ads didn't jive with the contents you'll usually find here. For example- this is an LGBT-friendly site and there were often ads for JONAH, Exodus, and Scientology featured. As these organizations are openly homophobic, I wasn't feeling it, so I dropped Google and went with a Canadian company. The same thing happened. Not only were the adverts insulting to my readership, but they didn't generate any funds to replace this geriatric beast that I type on. Bummer. So no ads, which is fine.

  And then I found a few companies that I liked- ones that needed their cool stuff advertised and would give me a little scratch to do it. Welcome to affiliate marketing, where I choose not only who I want to pitch, but I even pick and install the ads. If they're too loud, you can even tell me and I'll change them. Plus, I can pass on deals to you and find stuff you guys like. You buy what you would anyways, and at a discount, I make a few cents, and hopefully I'll be able to do less busting my ass and bring more of the stuff people want to read. I don't want to sound like a whiner, but researching 10 verifiable sources for each statement is a bitch when you have 512mb of RAM and only a third of it works most of the time.

  So anywho, off to who I'm whoring for today:

MMA GearCentury MMA is a company that's as old as I am. These guys not only sell the best boxing and MMA stuff out there, but they're the real-deal manufacturer of UFC and Tapout gear. Fans may recognize that the guy in the sidebar is Wanderlei Silva, but the shops not just for knucklefans. They sell great stuff for fitness boxers, karate kids, and more. Century even sells custom-made mouthguards for athletes in all sports. Even better, they offer free U.S. shipping and decent rates anywhere in the world to go with awesome everyday prices.

As a Father's Day Promo, you can get 20% off the top by entering 20FORDAD at the checkout. Pretty sweet, right?

So, if you dig the grapple, click the Century logo and save a few bucks.


Roof Vlog: Heaven Or Hell?

My timing is a bit off, but you'll get the drift.

Also, if you're a humourless turd, meander over to another part of the blog while the rest of us assholes enjoy this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What Is Old

  Hey, parents- are your kids out of school yet? Well, if you live in Florida and are off your rocker, you can sent your pint-sized Adolf or Eva to the Tampa 912 Project's camp for kids.

  Kids 8 to 12 will learn a Christian version of the Tea Party platform, learning to say things like "I believe in God" and "I work hard for what I have and will share it with who I want to. The Government can't force me to be charitable."

  The day camp was founded by ultra-Conservative writer Jeff Lukens and will be staffed by volunteers from Glenn Beck's creepy 912 fan club. Mr Lukens got the idea from a similar, but monthly club in Kentucky and thinks that the low $15 admission will fill the hall daily.

  Admitting that he knows zero about actual public school curricula, Mr. Lukens asserted "I do know they have a lot of political correctness. We are a faithful people, and when you talk about natural law, you have to talk about God. When you take that out of the discussion, you miss the whole thing." Aha! I never knew that the modern Tea Party, founded on the ideas of a Jew-turned-Atheist immigrant from Russia was a Christianist movement, but according to Mr. Lukens and Mr. Beck, it has to be.

  So what kind of fun and exciting things can your little brownshirt expect to enjoy? Here's a sampling of delights that even Jon Stewart couldn't invent:

One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the "banker" will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.

"Some of the kids will fall for it," Lukens said. "Others kids will wise up."

Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).

Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.

Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other's bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.

Disclaimer: due to many people thinking the previous segment is a parody, I assure you that these are among the activities as presented by Mr. Lukens, and while bizarre, are very real

There is an upside in my mind about sending kids to this thing, especially if you're a Teabagger, and hear me out. It may seem improbable, but mom and pop Mussolini might actually learn something. Their kids will go back to home and school molded into selfish, greedy little pricks. Maybe the folks won't like it. Or maybe they will love their new-and-improved, perfectly molded, pocket-sized domestic terrorist. They'll adore Jimmy more when he spews about the evils of the 3/5ths of a man president and union thug teachers and about how immigrants are taking the apple-picking job away from his fat ass. Teamommy and Teajadi will revel as Jim-Jim recounts his speech about not giving money to them darky flood victims and increasing the size of the armed forces and how rape is a blessing from God. Yes, everyone will be happy, except the parents of the brown kid who just thought it was a Jesus thing, only to be confined to the sandbox and told that everyone's problems were his fault.

  I really wish that this 912 camp was a story from the Onion, but it's very real. I remember my grandmother being alive. I told her about some things that the white kids did to other kids in the Air Cadet troupe, and she told me a few things. She told me that they would come again, and that they probably wouldn't be in Germany. And she was absolutely right, except in this instance, we have our warning. You see what seems new is often very old, and as the Spanish Inquisition preceded the Salem witch trials and they preceded the Greek Genocide, this new Christian revival is a direct descendant of the kind of very real fascism that many people still recall. The Tea Party movement may have began as a secular concept, but it is absolutely not inclusive anymore. 

  The old fascists banned abortion, homosexuality, and birth control. While apologists claim that Hitler, Franco,  and Mussolini were at least agnostic, they were so absolutely religious that they were given veto power over whom the Pope could appoint as bishops. The Nazi movement was a Christian movement, make no mistake- Hitler even said so several times on stage and in his own hand. (“Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success.  This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain.”)
 He complained about the disabled being a waste of resources and immigrants stealing the jobs of those more deserving solely by the color of their skin or religion. He hated even white Jewish converts only because of their religion. There are thousands of quotes by 912ers that echo the speeches of the three fascists of 30s and 40s Europe because there really are very few original ideas left to discover.

  Like the fascists of yore, the 912 movement wants to start filling your kids with selfish, xenophobic, misogynistic, and downright bigoted ideas when they're very young. They have discovered that it's far more difficult to carve a Venus out of a block of stone than it is to make a Play-Doh snowman. The men who sent our relatives to places with names like Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen were children once who listened to their teachers and leaders and went to day camps. The soldiers were boys before they became monsters, and it is my fear that in the Tea Party movement of the USA and Christian Heritage movement of Canada, we're cultivating our own master race of Christian criminals who will stop at nothing until they rule the world.

"The anti-Semitism of the new movement was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge. Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ... I am fighting for the work of the Lord." - Adolf Hitler

Photo copyright 2010 Jonathan Hynkle. Shot using a Nikon D90. Some rights reserved. 

Roof Vlog: Reality Bite

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mouse Meet Tomcat

  There's this broad who lives in Alabama, and she's a pathological liar. She lies about her age, marital status, and even used other folks' photos as her own. Now this girl turned 38 yesterday, but still models herself after one of the wenches from Mean Girls. Between her and her little lap dog, they've tormented people, including teenagers, on the internet for at least 2 years. I've even written about her before, but she seems kind of unstoppable in her wretchedness. Until now.

(Jump break for those who don't want to read the rest of this crappy story. click if you do)

Don't Miss This Daily Weird Link

 Belief is a very individual thing; from gods to science to government, there are as many opinions as there are people, and those who share the same ideas often come together in groups for support of their claims. There are religious organizations, vegetarian societies, and factions dedicated to promoting everything from the New World Order conspiracy to the expanding Earth theory.

  Today, I am pleased to bring you the Flat Earth Society, a group dedicated to spreading the claim that the Earth is flat. Their basis is in Samuel Rowbotham's literal interpretation of the Bible, which does refer to the planet as being flat on 18 separate occasions. (I counted) Now, they obviously don't think that our planet is flat a la a sheet of paper; more that it is cylindrical, like a cosmic hockey puck. Additionally, the faithful also believe that the Sun, Moon, Planets, and the remainder of the cosmos is very near, only a few hundred to a few thousand miles away in most instances, and that if you climb the wall of ice (Antarctica) around the Earth, you'll fall off.

  So what of the photos of the globe taken from space? FES members insist that it is a NASA conspiracy and all images of our orb are so because they have been professionally manipulated to appear this way. Additionally, adherents postulate that the North Pole is in the centre of the Earth's surface and that sunlight and set are caused by the Sun moving closer and further from our intergalactic tuna can. I swear on my very mortal atheist life that I'm really not making this up, nor are these folks joking. They believe this way because it is in the Bible. I even had a very heated discussion one night on the webs with a guy who is not a member of the Society, but also believes the Earth is a disc.

  I'm not really the type to point at belief and laugh, but I couldn't help it. I'm really trying to hold an open mind here. I know that being indoctrinated with an overly literal interpretation of the bible can cause certain folks to believe all sorts of peculiar things, so I hold no malice towards them. That said, I do wonder how, in our day and age, educated people can believe in things as absurd as our planet actually being God's pet Frisbee.

  If you're curious as to exactly what the FES believes and why they do, wander over HERE to get your spacemind blown.

Flat globe stolen from John Krygier at DIY Cartography , an amazing site for anyone interested in the scientific art of map making. 

Baseless Prayers: Why Are Orthodox Jews Petitioning For The Release Of The Great Kosher Liar?

   There are prayer rallies slated for a few days from now for the fellow featured on the poster above. You may be curious as to who he is- is he an ailing religious leader or political prisoner? No, he's Sholom M. Rubashkin, and he's one of the reasons why I don't consume flesh foods.  Despite the fact that his actions helped inspire my vegetarianism and later questioning of religion altogether, he's still not a nice guy.

  Sholom Rubashkin ran the world's largest kosher slaughterhouse on behalf of his father. Located in Postville, Iowa, the plant produced poultry, lamb, and cattle meat products for both the discerning kosher consumer as well as non-kosher beef cuts under the name Iowa's Best Beef. Coming from an agricultural area, I purchased products made by this company because I was under the illusion that the animals were more humanely raised and slaughtered. While this may be true of other companies, Aaron Rubashkin's kosher products were anything but.

  Agriprocessors had been whispered about for a long time before the cops showed up in 2008. They'd paid a $600 000 fine for dumping effluent waste into the ecosystem and PeTA had issued a damning report about unimaginable abuses to both man and beast. The corporation had tried to stifle union mandates, didn't pay workers correctly, hired thousands of undocumented workers and children, and had paid off USDA inspectors. In May 2008, ICE arrested 389 undocumented workers, many from Central and South America, but some from places as far away as the Ukraine and Israel. In October of the same year, they were fined $9.9 million by the Iowa Labor Commission for financial abuse of employees that included unlawful deductions and outright refusing to pay employees. The heat was on, and I wrote a lengthy account of their evils and how I personally felt defrauded by the Rubashkins.

  Naturally, Sholom and Aaron Rubashkin were arrested in a complaint that included over 10, 000 criminal counts. For all intents and purposes, they skated on the immigration and child labor charges. A supervisor names Juan Carlos Espinoza was sentenced to 3 years in prison, the company itself acknowledged some wrongs, and the company filed for bankruptcy and was sold.

  Sholom Rubashkin did get his time behind bars. He was convicted last year of 86 counts of fraud, money laundering, and various other types of financial corruption related to defrauding a bank of $35 million by artificially inflating the value of the company. The 50 year old father of 10 was sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $26.8 million in restitution. Justice is served, right? Well, not exactly.

  The Rubashkins have always been quite a revered family, and Sholom Rubashkin has used his political connections and local celebrity to petition for a reduction in his sentence, which he's translated in the appeal, which will begin to be heard Wednesday. DNC Chairwoman Schultz appealed to Eric Holder on behalf of folks like Anthony Weiner and Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Yvette Clark said her constituents felt the sentence was too high and were scared that the price of kosher meat would rise, even though Agri is now owned by a Canadian company. We also have all of these prayer requests, calling for us to join the "global Jewish community" in hoping for the release of a guy who doesn't care about anyone but himself.

  I, for one, think that Sholom Rubashkin belongs in a cell until he is 77 years old. He orchestrated a fraud on banks to be sure, but also on hundreds of thousands of people who thought that their product was kosher when it wasn't. He ran a network that bullied the competition out of business and endorsed horrendous abuses of hundreds of human beings and millions of animals. Sholom Rubashkin's company ordered workers to use dull blades, hang cattle by their feet, and rip out tracheas, which are not only violations of kashrut, but humane standards. Combine this with the fact that he lied repeatedly to law enforcement officials and you have the ultimate example of a wolf in lamb's clothing.

  I have no idea why the Orthodox are standing behind a man like this, after all, he deliberately sold them products that violated the religious laws to which they adhere. Even if they don't care about his financial atrocities and abuses of foreign workers, even if they think they're above the scads of little brown children who were forced to work for next to nothing in deplorable conditions, they should feel insulted by being lied to by a greedy sociopath named Sholom Rubashkin.

  Sholom Rubashkin did get a heavy sentence, and he absolutely deserves it. The Bernie Madoff of the food industry did anything to make a profit. He made all of his customers complicit in human and animal abuses and stole from his employees, competitors, and banks. If there is one puny positive, it's in the fact that Agriprocessors caused people to rethink food and our superstitions surrounding how it should get to the table.

  Scary poster courtesy of Shmarya Rosenberg at Failed Messiah