Quote o’ the Day

Just because I always enjoy bashing Chris Mooney.  I consider it something of a spectator sport with occasional audience participation.  See his hysteria summed up rather wonderfully:

Really – Mooney seems to have this very easily-triggered terror that a critical comment from one person about one other person will cause some terrible, general, societal harm. But is the structure really that fragile? Are cascades that easy to set off? PZ calls Collins a clown and, whammo, children flee biology class, and Congress passes laws making fuel economy a felony, and the glaciers melt and everybody dies.

What people like Chris Mooney don’t realize is that you can’t change the world without shaking people up.  His freaking out at the slightest non-accommodating remark is just pathetic.

I Think George Became Upset

And why do I think our own dear, sweet, epitome-o’-kindness George became upset?  There’s a Clue contained in his most recent post:

It was about then that my predatory, reptilian atheist mind wanted to simply lunge forward and devour the theologian in two or three gulps.

Had I been there, I suspect he’d have only gotten about 1 – 1½ gulps in, because I would’ve been devouring with him.  So much for “friendly.”

I have no idea why atheists even try to have “friendly” debates with believers anymore.  I mean, sure, when you’re among friends, you’ll probably keep it friendly, but these “friendly” formal debates look like an exercise in frustration, without a little fire to liven things up.  The theologian spouts vapid crap, the atheist politely shares reality, and everybody in the audience probably ends up feeling like poor dear George except those frightening folks who seem to have had the irritation centers burned out of their brains.  You know the type.  They’re the ones who’ll chirp, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” when they’ve become a quadruple amputee in a horrific accident that also killed their family and their dog.

If you’re not one of the latter, do go enjoy George’s deconstruction of the blessed event.

Quote o’ the Day

Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable Ron Britton:

A cartoon about a boy who breathes underwater with the help of “oxy-gum” and fights crime with an electric boomerang and has a dolphin and psychic mermaid as friends is already starting to push the bounds of believability. Making the mermaid glue seashells to her tits would blow the last of its credibility.

Thank you, Ron. I’d woken up all woebegone from a nostalgic dream. That statement rather took a bazooka to the melancholy.

Ron’s also created an alternative to the phrase “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Obviously, I could never use this phrase, because I don’t believe that there is a God out there looking after people. Nevertheless, the principle behind that phrase is still quite instructive. Many years ago, I felt it would be a shame to let such a useful lesson go unlearnt just because it’s framed in mythology. I needed to rephrase it in a way that was consistent with a non-theistic view of the universe. When I see some random (or not) tragedy befalling somebody, I sometimes remind myself:

There but for the random distribution of matter and energy go I.

I’m not sure which quote I want to use in public first…

Quote of the Day

Ladies and gentlemen, Brad at Sadly, No!

…I am amazed at the sheer cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously believing that it’s treasonous to peacefully oppose an unjustified war but that it’s patriotic to lead an armed insurrection against the government because they want to pay you unemployment benefits. If there’s a weirder political movement than American conservatism, I’ve yet to see it.

Precisely.

Tweety Knocks One Out of the Park

Give the man credit where it’s due. This was a classic:

Here is the really pertinent quote from Matthews.

Lott: “By the way if you don’t have these delays you end up with the stimulus bill, nobody read, nobody knew what was in it. It raises spending, it’s gonna raise taxes, it’s gonna wind up cuttin’ defense. This is good?

Matthews: Well, it’s better than what your crowd left us with. We got the DOW dropping down to 6000, based on the economic policies of the last 8 years. I wouldn’t brag.

Oh, snap!