If You Are Not in the Water, No Shark Can Bite You.

Alternately titled “If You Bite Everyone Wearing Water-skis, No Idiot Can Jump You.”  TL; DR version at the very end

At the risk of sounding very “get off my lawn” or “that shit they listen to now isn’t music, its noise,” allow me to take you on a stroll down the lane of fond memories, back to a time when there were cable networks with mostly educational missions.  I am not claiming that ratings were ignored back in the days long gone, only that there were some principles certain channels were not willing to sacrifice in pursuit of a larger share.

In the beginning, there were networks.  And apparently, they were good, at least according to my mother.  (I’m not that old.)  But as technology advanced, the ability to provide more viewing choices through the magic of cable television moved from fantasy to reality, rendering television sets with 13 channel dials obsolete. When video first began plotting the homicide of the radio star, cable already had buried UHF.  Channel counts rose to unimaginable heights as channels with niche programming came into being.  Mtv became a cultural phenomenon that changed the whole music industry.  ESPN moved sports from a 5 minute part of the evening news cast to an all day affair,   With CNN and then CNN Headline News the 24 hour news cycle was born.  Lifetime provided a home for movies about abused, cheated on, and otherwise done wrong women.  TBS brought Atlanta Braves baseball games into everyone’s house and launched the Turner media empire, eventually leading to every citizen with a television having seen every episode of Law & Order.  When our cable system added Comedy Central we had a total of 48 channels.  (We could have had more, but we never had HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, or Skinamax.  To my horny male pubescent self’s constant disappointment.)  At that point, we thought we had an endless amount of variety.    Anyone who watched early cable channels desperately try to fill air time had to assume the saturation point had been reached.  (Australian Rules Football on ESPN anyone?)  Oh, how wrong we were.

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Some Letter to the Editor Goodness….

Ah, Letters to the Editor.  Where everyone has a chance to share their often ignorant opinion.  Recently here in Altoonaland, the seemingly heartless have been grasping their crayons and firing off their compassion filled screeds to the local fishwrap.  Drug and alcohol treatment is the issue at hand, and since you know I have a history there, of course these letters have caught my attention.

First up is James Thompson with his letter titled, Why should society have to pay?:

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Help, Help, I’m Being Oppressed!

It has been horrible.  All my life, I have lived with the yoke of oppression, cursed by my gender and the color of my skin, discriminated against in ways I never even realized.  It is only because of Suzanne Venker and the important work that she has done to call attention to the plight of others like me that I am finally able to recognize the hate and the prejudice I have been the target of for all these years.  If only I was born in a different time, where this open bigotry was not tolerated, what my life could have been, what roads would have been cleared, what doors opened.  Thank you, Suzanne.  Thank you for your piece on FoxNews, which has finally given me the courage to proudly look at the world and shout:

I’m a white male, and I am sick of being a second class citizen!

Funny, isn’t it?  All those years I thought being a white male gifted me with, I don’t know, white male privilege, and it turns out I was the one being discriminated against.  It seems that when we give women equal rights under the law those rights are somehow stripped from me?  Like there aren’t enough rights to go around or something?  Let’s unpack this, with a hat tip to Ed Brayton over at Dispatches.…:

The truth is, men have become second-class citizens.

The most obvious proof is male bashing in the media. It is rampant and irrefutable. From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot to biased news reports about the state of American men, males are pounced on left and right. And that’s just the beginning.

Awww.  Poor men!  Are their feefee’s hurt?  Do they need a hug?  Wait a second….I’m a man!  Why am I not curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing over the endless attacks my sex suffers in the media?There is a lot of shit in this article.  Claims about Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act, and various other claims.  I’ll be honest with you, I really don’t feel it is worth the effort to refute it.  The article is just claims thrown at the wall.  The sources she quotes come from the WSJ opinion page and a female psychologist who is a Men’s Rights Advocates wet dream.  Perhaps her book is better referenced, and perhaps I will take the time to read it and respond to it.  But this article is just so much MRA bullshit.  Feel free to read it at your leisure, and look into the claims yourself if you feel the need.  The end of her article says everything I need to know:

 Yet it is males who suffer in our society. From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced. Unlike women, however, men don’t organize and form groups when they’ve been persecuted. They just bow out of the game.

America needs to wake up. We have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction—from a man’s world to a woman’s world.

That’s not equality. That’s revenge.

Oh fucking please.  We have to fight through what?  That’s not revenge, it is MRA bullshit!

Rich Lowry, Dishonesty, and the GOP’s Current Strategy to End Reproductive Rights

One could be forgiven, if upon completing a crash course in American politics, one held the belief that the far right, realizing that time, and demographics, was passing them by, abandoning them to the dust bin of history, decided to try to do as much damage to women’s rights and reproductive choice, to turn the clock as far back as they possibly could in the fleeting moments they had in power before changing norms, unstoppable demographic changes, and their own inability to change, to evolve, to let go of a system of belief forged in a bygone era with no resemblance to our own, swept them from relevance for the final time.  While most of the current crop of Tea Party Republicans in office were elected on a promise to concentrate on economic concerns, on fiscal conservatism while leaving the divisive moral battles for another time, once in office this facade was quickly dropped so that the War on Women and the men who believe in their rights and autonomy could be waged in earnest.  So many abortion restrictions were proposed that records were broken.  Fringe beliefs common amongst the anti-abortion zealots, mainly about rape, began to enter mainstream discussions on a woman’s right to choose.  Perhaps drunk on the rush of not hiding their more unpopular beliefs, birth control was revealed as an enemy of the so-called “pro-life,” as fetal life amendments were proposed, contraceptive coverage was opposed, and Sandra Fluke was slut-shamed.  It certainly felt like the last charge of a doomed battle, a social suicide bombing intended to take years of elections and legislation to undo.

But this is not a part of the culture war that is already decided, like some.  Marriage equality, for example, is a war the religious right has fought and lost.  Changing cultural norms, the widespread visibility of the openly homosexual, the fact that almost everyone has a family member or a close friend that they love who is a part of the LGBT community, and the complete lack of rational arguments by the other side has left no question as to which side will eventually be declared victorious.  There will still be battles, and in conservative areas there can still be setbacks; don’t get me wrong, it is not time to relax and assume we have no more work to do.  Many states have laws that need repealed, others need laws passed, it is not finished until there is total equality under the law without exception.  But while there is a chance that individual battles will end in setbacks and delays, the overall tide can not be reversed.  When the history books are written, we know the victors are equality and human rights, not hate, prejudice, and intolerance.

No, the War on Women is still being fought, and on this front of the culture war there are no assured victories.  Illegal abortion, and the toll it took in woman’s lives, health, well-being, opportunities, freedoms and rights is a phantom, not seen or felt by so many alive today who would be affected.    Casual misogyny twists the minds of many, turning the conflict into one between the innocent unborn and the irresponsible sluts who will kill them for convenience, over and over again.  In these minds, birth control never fails, and if it does, she is the one who rolled the dice by daring to be a sexual being.  Slut shaming, if not a treasured pastime, is at least a weekend hobby for several men I know.  And then seemingly rational ideas are put forward, statements are framed in such a way that only the radical could disagree, goalposts are moved and the middle of the debate is undergoing an attempted redefinition.

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ABC Decides to Kill a Couple of Kids for Ratings

Are they going to feed them into a wood chipper?  Unleash a pack of rabid dogs on them?  Force them to watch endless hours of Extreme Weight Loss, The Bachelorette, and Celebrity Wife Swap until they can’t take it anymore and commit suicide?

Nah, they are just going to make Jenny McCarthy a co-host on The View.  You see, Elisabeth Hasselbeck decided to leave The View for a spot on Fox and Friends, Fox New’s insanity filled morning news show, which apparently opened up the “hot blond with crazy opinions” spot on ABC’s morning talk show.  Now while Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s crazy opinions were your garden variety right wing conservatism that you can find all over the TV dial, Jenny McCarthy’s crazy opinions are a bit more dangerous.  Jenny believes that vaccines cause autism, and has been an outspoken champion for the anti-vax movement.  She has appeared on Oprah to spout her insanity, appeared at anti-vaccine rallies, wrote for anti-vaccine websites, supported disgraced “researcher” Andrew Wakefield even after the truth of his “study” linking the MMR vaccine to autism was exposed; Jenny McCarthy is the celebrity of the anti-vaccine movement, and she has dedicated a large amount of effort to promoting a link between vaccines and autism and questioning the safety of vaccines in general.

And Jenny is free to have these views.  If she wants to believe that vaccines caused her son to grow an invisible third arm out of the top of his head, that is her right.  And that belief would have about the same scientific backing as her belief that vaccines are harmful and cause autism.  This is not an open scientific question.   There is no debate in the medical community.  On one side you have Jenny McCarthy, discredited “researchers” like Andrew Wakefield, and a few people either out of their area of expertise, or with very questionable conflicts of interest.  On the other side, you have the rest of the medical community and all published research.

And yet, Jenny has these views.  And now she will have a national television audience, and she will use her platform on The View to express these views, because she has used every other possible platform to express them in the past.  And even if the rest of the co-hosts argue with her and say that vaccines are safe and do not cause autism, it will still have the appearance of an open debate, not the closed scientific question that it actually is.

And some people watching will listen to her.  And they will not vaccinate their children because of what she says.  Why would they listen to her?  *shrug*  They will.  As ThinkProgress writes:

It’s easy to dismiss the idea that McCarthy’s work on autism and vaccines has an impact–celebrity activism often gets accorded outsized importance or treated with utter contempt, when it’s a much more complicated phenomenon. But a University of Michigan survey of parents found that 24 percent of them were willing to place some trust in figures like McCarthy on the question of the link between vaccines and autism, which is a much higher level of credibility than the average person’s going to be able to elicit from the general public.

And even if it is only a small number of people who listen to her and make that choice because of her, well….

And even a small number of parents who decide not to vaccinate on the word of someone like McCarthy, or Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who wrote the initial paper linking autism and vaccines, and has since been banned from practicing medicine in the UK, can have significant public health impacts. California saw a spike in whooping cough in 2010 that resulted in a number of deaths. Wakefield’s work contributed to a rise in measles cases in the United Kingdom. And fears of vaccines in general have lead to suspicion of the HPV vaccine, which is a critical way to help girls reduce their risk of certain kinds of cancers.

Some children will get measles, and whooping cough, and other vaccine preventable diseases because their parents decided not to vaccinate them due to baseless fears sowed by Jenny McCarthy.  And those children will give those disease to children who are either too young to be vaccinated, or who can not be vaccinated due to compromised immune systems or allergies.

And some of those children will die from those diseases.

And some of those children who die will die because ABC decided to give Jenny McCarthy a national platform for her anti-vaccine lunacy.

Which leads to the title of this post.

Way to go, ABC.

I’ll close with this from the ThinkProgress article:

But while it’s possible to debate many sides of many issues, one of the benefits of medicine is that there’s actual evidence that some ideas and right and others are wrong. McCarthy’s are wrong, and continuing to defend them with that other standby of people who like to advance conspiracy theories without evidence, that she’s just raising questions, doesn’t make her decision to stick to her discredited ideas any more admirable. And it doesn’t give The View cover, either. This is not a vital debate in American society in which McCarthy’s position has been historically underrepresented, or a polarity along which it’s important to have multiple perspectives in order to make for a lively conversation. It’s a hoax, on par with McCarthy’s original belief, before her son’s autism diagnosis, that her son was an “indigo child,” a New Age theory that tries to comfort parents of children with autism and learning disabilities by convincing them that their children actually represent a new stage in human evolution.

Maybe Jenny McCarthy has a range of other opinions that ABC, which airs The View, thinks will be valuable to its audience. But the company is a news organization in addition to an entertainment company. And ABC should consider the damage McCarthy’s done to the public interest against whatever else she might have to offer.



Your Science Lesson of the Day

A h/t to Ed Brayton for letting us know this site existed.



Here’s a bit of trivia you can use to wow your friends with at the bar.  I’m sure I’ll find many more facts from this site to share with everyone.  From the Creation Science Hall of Fame:

Key elements of the Hydroplate Theory will help any reader understand why comets, and their orbits, could date the Global Flood. To review: when God created the heavens and the earth, He created two compartments of water on the earth. One compartment became the early seas. The other became a subcrustal ocean.

See, we’re going to use comets to date the Global Flood.  You know, that thing that never happened.  Pay attention.  So we have this subcrustal ocean.  What’s that you ask?  Jesus….

The Apostle Peter makes this abundantly clear, but only if you correctly read the original. The New American Standard Bible (copyright: the Lockman Foundation) renders that verse thus:

They willfully ignore this fact: that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

Or, if you read the original Greek words and know their roots, it should read in part:

The earth formed itself standing-together out of the water.

Standing. On what? On pillars that held up the dry land. Underneath that land: water. Or to be more specific, a subcrustal ocean.

Plainly obvious.  Now the moon is going to cook this water.

In the centuries that followed Creation, the moon would pull on the land, and let it fall, a little slower than twice a day. This tidal pumping heated the subcrustal ocean to a supercritical temperature. And because the massive crust confined it, this water was also under supercritical pressure. This condition creates a supercritical fluid – liquid and vapor dissolving one another.

Then the crust is going to fail.  Believe me, stepping on this crack would certainly break your mothers back….

“In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month,” the crust failed. (Genesis 7:11) That failure happened roughly where the Mid-Oceanic Ridge now stands. The failure began as a crack, literally microscopic in breadth. This crack rapidly widened and lengthened, until it ran the full length of the present Mid-Oceanic Ridge system. (The Mid-Oceanic Ridge is 46,000 miles long and wraps around the earth like the stitched seam of a baseball.)

All that water came rushing out of its subcrustal chamber, at hypersonic speed. It eroded the land mass for about 400 miles to either side. Beneath it, the floor of the chamber buckled up, now that all the weight pressing on it abruptly lifted. The two parts of the land mass slid down the slope that thus formed. North and South America fell away to the west, and Europe and Africa to the east. When they eventually crashed, they crushed and buckled up, to form the mountain chains we know today. (Note: Mount Everest did not rear itself up until late in the Flood year. So we have no reason to suppose that the Flood waters covered Mount Everest as Mount Everest.)

So the next time one of your hellbound friends mocks the flood by stating how much water would be needed to cover Mount Everest, just give them that pitying look that says “you are so ignorant and stupid, but I don’t want to ruin our friendship by telling you that out loud.”  You know, the one they always give you.

And some of the water, rock and mud that came rushing out of that chamber did not fall back to earth. A large amount, about one percent of the total mass of the earth, is still in space. It went into orbit around the sun, moved beyond earth’s gravitational influence, and then accreted to form several types of objects. These objects persist as the comets, asteroids, and meteoroids of today.

Now this is science!  Not that Satan spawn shit spewed out by college textbooks, public schools, and the National Geographic channel, but real, God fearing, Bible believing science.  Remember, if you can’t twist it in some insanely complicated way to agree with the Bible, then it is Satanscience and you have my permission to cover your ears and yell “Get behind me, Satan!  and no staring at my good Christian ass either!”

Now there is a lot of complicated insane twisting that dates certain comets back to this event, but this is just a blog post, not a graduate level class in Creation Science, so if you want all the hilarity totally backed up by evidence details you can read them at your leisure.  I’m going to skip ahead a bit….

The most-likely date for a “cluster of perihelia” is 3344.5 BC. That is, January of 3344 BC, and six months further back in the past from then. That would put those comets at perihelion in the summer of 3345 BC. Dr. Brown estimates greater than 96 percent confidence for this date. He further estimates an error of about one year.

This, of course, is the most statistically likely perihelion date for these comets. Such a tight clustering of these five comets near earth’s orbit any time in the last 6,000 years (the range of possible flood dates) would only occur by chance less than 4% of the time. As a surprising bonus, this date of convergence coincides with one specific biblically derived date for the flood, as explained below.

These comets would have launched about halfway through autumn in the year of the Global Flood. The annalists of the Global Flood year (Shem, Ham, and Japheth, sons of Noah) state that the Global Flood broke out “in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month.” Noah and his sons, in those days, used a calendar with a 360-day year and a 30-day month, with the first month beginning with the autumnal equinox. (Moses would receive a Divine directive to reckon the year from the first full moon past the vernal equinox in the year of the Exodus.)

Thus these comets, and all other comets, launched in autumn of the year 3345 BC, give or take a year. This, then, is a good astronomical date range for the Global Flood.

Q. E. Mutha Fuckin’ D.  Suck on that, SatanScience!  So now we have the date, and the method, what will this mean to other subjects?

We now have a firm astronomical date for the Global Flood. This date by itself validates the most comprehensive (and comprehensible) model anyone has yet invented for the Global Flood. But it also carries weighty implications for many other disciplines, including without limitation:

  • Human biology, and especially human longevity.
  • The poisoning of the atmosphere by the carbon-14 that the Global Flood dumped into it.
  • History of ancient Mesopotamia, including Chaldean, Aramean (ancient Syrian), and Babylonian history.
  • Egyptology.
  • Assyriology.
  • History of Judaism.

This new date will force many scholars to lay aside many of their most cherished positions. It will do this by giving the strongest piece of direct evidence not only that the Global Flood happened, but exactly when. And when many other events occurred as well.

The Holy Bible, subject to the proper choice of manuscripts, now stands as the Gold-standard Historical Record. All other historical records must stand (or fall) on their synchrony (or lack of it) with the Bible.

So the next time someone calls you an ignorant halfwit, or tries to explain the so called proofs of an old earth to you, or suggests that you take a science class, or just gives you that look that you know oh so well, remember that they are going to burn in hell for all of eternity and you will get to watch them suffer and plead with you to ease their pain while you laugh at them.

Oh, and that our science is right!

Ohio Seeks to Bring the Crazy to Their Students

From Think Progress:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is challenging an Ohio school district for considering a “controversial issues policy” that would require teachers to encourage discussions about creationism and conservative conspiracy theories about U.N. Agenda 21.

Springboro Community City School District’s new curriculum — part of an effort to help students think critically and learn to “identify important issues” — mandates that “[a]ll sides of the issue should be given to the students in a dispassionate manner” to help “students to be taught to think clearly on all matters of importance, and to make decisions in the light of all the material that has been presented or can be researched on the issues.” Controversial issues include:

religion when not used in a historical or factual context, sex education, legalization of drugs, evolution/creation, pro-life/abortion, contraception/abstinence, conservatism/liberalism, politics, gun rights, global warming and climate change, UN Agenda 21 and sustainable development, and any other topic on which opposing points of view have been promulgated by responsible opinion and/or likely to arouse both support and opposition in the community.

Teachers would have to provide equal weight to widely-accepted scientific theories like evolution and right-wing conspiracies advanced by Glenn Beck. Under the policy, students could not learn about sustainable development without also assessing the impact of U.N. Agenda 21, a series of non-binding U.N. recommendations for ensuring that economic growth does not undermine the environment, which conservatives believe will destroy American sovereignty and freedom. The Agenda was developed at a summit in Brazil in 1992 with support from President George H.W. Bush.

Ahh, teach the controversy.  “We should have enough faith in our children to be able to present both sides of a controversial issues to them and trust that they can decide for themselves which one is correct.”  Most often presented in relation to the evolution/creationism debate.  The problems with this approach are legion.  For one, in many cases you are taking an issue that is not an actual controversy in the factual sense, only in the political/religious sense, and presenting both sides as if they had equal evidence in support.  Yeah, many high school students would be able to make a rational decision based on the evidence on these subjects, but if a distorted view of the evidence is presented, then the decisions reached are bound to be distorted as well.  Among other concerns also lies the whole religious issue of teaching creationism in public schools.  Which may be one hurdle this policy will not be able to clear:

The ACLU criticized the district for adding evolution to the “controversial issues” list, noting that the policy “appears to explicitly permit the teaching of creationism.” “It has been firmly established that this practice is unconstitutional, in violation of the Establishment Clause,” ACLU legal director James L. Hardiman explained in a letter.

In 2011, the school board “backed away from plans to teach creationism under public pressure” from the ACLU. It plans to vote on this proposal in early June and is facing similar criticism from parents and students. 

How long til the first school district requires equal time to 9-11 truthers?  To moon landing deniers?  Holocaust deniers?  The “reptoids run the government” nutters?  The Agenda 21 kooks?