Alex Jones rants about a NWO trying to take away his guns

Alex Jones’ unhinged rant on Piers Morgan’s show, where the interviewer got maybe one question answered out of the three he managed to ask, tells me why I got a comment the other day demanding the rounding up and burning of antidepressants. There is now apparently a parallel narrative forming where antidepressants are responsible for mental instability, and that, combined with video games, induces people to obtain high-volume weaponry and commit mass-murder. And any attempt at taking away guns, instead of video games and antidepressants, is an attempt at creating a totalitarian single world government.

“You’re a hatchet man of the New World Order.” Someone please tell me how many guns Alex Jones owns. Actually, no, don’t. I’d be terribly frightened to know.
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Adam Lee’s petition to leaders: more diversity, less “shunning” by anti-feminists

A petition to leaders of secular and atheist groups to disregard the nonsense that Thunderfoot passed around to them, you say?

We, the undersigned, are atheists, skeptics and nonbelievers who value free speech and rational thought and who seek to build a strong, thriving movement that can advocate effectively for these values. We’ve chosen to put our names to this petition because we want to respond to a video created by a blogger calling himself Thunderfoot. In this video, Thunderfoot attacks named individuals who’ve been active in promoting diversity and fighting sexism and harassment in our movement. He describes these people as “whiners” and “ultra-PC professional victims” who are “dripp[ing] poison” into the secular community, and urges conference organizers to shun and ignore them.

Sign me the hell up.
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North Korean IT venture company makes country’s first (maybe) video game

Lord Setar brought this to my attention: the first IT venture company in North Korea, which brags of having internet connectivity, has built the country’s first video game (unless you count these mobile games published under the Fox Mobile banner… which might not actually count, honestly).

I’ve tried a number of times to play the in-browser Flash game, braving their site’s unfortunate overuse of clipart, but it fails to load repeatedly at the G in “Loading”. So I’ve had to settle for checking this out via Youtube.

This is very self-evidently a propaganda piece, to try to sell North Korea’s tourism market, but I have to give them credit for making a fairly good game for their first outing. Sure, it’s rather dull, with static cars as the only obstacle, and the only goal to pick up petrol drums and collectible placards that both show a landmark and a short piece of text chastizing you for your poor driving skills. And that’s not to mention the female traffic cop who appears on occasion to tell you not to look at her. But all in all, there’s a lot that’s laudable from a startup even where there’s a lot that’s laughable. I hope they learn from this and make another attempt. And I certainly hope it brings a little money into their wealth-starved country — from which most of the injustices of their totalitarian government likely flow.

Their about us page indicates, to me, why said government might have been interested in them. I can guarantee that “secrecy” is not a selling point over here, so much as an unfortunate reality.

Staver/Barbar: California law turns sexual abuse victims into gays and transgender

The specific laws they’re talking about, that are preventing kids from receiving counselling? The “change therapy” laws of course, which forbid religious “therapists” from trying to un-gay-ify kids. Their reasoning is that children who are predated upon by pedophiles have no recourse but to go with any gay feelings they have thereafter.

The premise that gays and transgender folks end up “that way” because of abuse as kids is patently wrong. And even if it was right, it is no justification for subjecting children to the mental and emotional abuse that reparative therapy represents.

I especially like that they’re trying to change the name “reparative therapy” to “change therapy”. It ain’t going to work. We already know that it doesn’t work [pdf], and we know what appropriate responses are to homosexuality.

It’s an incorrect and damaging response to a problem that’s entirely fictional. We don’t even have to get into the motivations these people have to attack homosexuals for their orientation — yes, the thin and threadbare rationale they have for their judging homosexuality as a problem is, of course, their religious beliefs. Otherwise they wouldn’t have called the ban “bullying and abuse” — devaluing both words, in the face of the very real abuse they’re being told they can no longer perpetrate.

Back from vacation. Need a vacation.

I’d been trying to maintain a post-a-day schedule for a few weeks now despite trying to suck the marrow out of a precious oasis of respite from a job that has, as late, challenged me to exceed what even I thought myself capable. I am back home now. My wife and I arrived home at 1:30am to a house with no food, short one bag.

While in Minneapolis, a mouse attacked our luggage and we decided to get new luggage rather than try to force one more trip out of the already haggard container which had to that point lasted almost ten years. All of the clothing was intact, though it all had to be washed; the bag was discarded. The bag we got to replace it attempted to take a diversion to Quebec and was apparently left in Chicago rather than following us all the way back to Halifax. We haven’t gotten it back yet. We’ve been told to call them for updates; the updates via the automated system presently say they’re “searching” for it. The number we were given to talk to a human landed at a voice mail box. Tomorrow, if our bags aren’t returned, we will be quite… put out.

And our car wouldn’t start today. Dead battery. Not just dead, DEAD dead. The money pit of a car had been sputtering during the summer and we’d suspected the alternator; the only piece of good news was that the battery had simply succumbed to the winter, and it wasn’t something more serious.

It was a lovely vacation with food, people, fun, happiness and love. It’s sometimes rough, I suppose, to switch back to home life mode and focus on the good things, ignoring the bad. Might take a few days. Bleh.

The Troll History of the Secular Movement

I’ve been thinking more about the parallel universes we apparently inhabit within the secular movement, where there are factions on either side of a great rift who see certain narratives as being more useful to their ends, even where they hardly match anyone else’s memories or documented facts of the events in question. When I noticed a large number of the narratives against harassment policies were predicated on misreads of timing or misreads of intent or misreads of targeting of arguments, I put together my widely-referenced timeline to stomp some of those memes flat. This seems to me like evidence that one side of the divide is reality-based, and the other significantly less so. And the only remedy for that is chronicling the events so you can point to that chronicle and show why people are getting things so wrong so consistently.

This time, however, I thought it might be useful to put together a timeline of that parallel universe. I’ll extend this service mostly to benefit “our side”, so we can get our bearings whenever talking to someone who inhabits that other universe. Care to help crowdsource some of it for me while I travel today? No need for extensive references, just point out those things that people seem to think actually really happened and we’ll, I’m reasonably sure, eventually hone in on a close approximation of the alt-reality history of the movement. This all assumes the alt-reality idea that there is a single secular movement comprising atheism, skepticism and secularism that involves all practitioners thereof.

Allons-y!
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A good old fashioned book burning, updated for the modern age.

Thirty miles south of Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, a tiny township called Southington is preparing to deal with the aftermath of said shooting and end the scourge of violence among youths by… you guessed it… amassing, destroying and burning violent video games.

Following the shooting, Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi said that he was flooded with emails from concerned parents asking what could be done to help both the nearby Newtown community and their own.

“What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown,” he said. The SOS “convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.”

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The Rise And Fall of God: a 90s compilation

Everything Is Terrible has cobbled together a compilation of their best religion-related found footage. They’re calling it The Rise And Fall of God. Here’s the first ten minutes of what’s probably going to be a multi-part series (you know, judging by the Part 1 in the title). I’m proud to say I watched the first 4:49 without a break.

THE RISE & FALL OF GOD PART 1 from Everything Is Terrible! on Vimeo.

How far can you make it without a palate cleanser? I recommend a turtle eating a strawberry.

Update: Parts two and three are available. ARE YOU BAD ENOUGH!?