The blindness of some scientists »« Why I am an atheist – Cathy Oliver

Comments

  1. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    He’s echoed something I’ve often wondered about–how do the woo disciples decide what to believe. I’ve actually witnessed this in person. One of my hobbies is collecting rocks, and some of the rocks I collect are mildly to moderately radioactive.

    I’ve been to swaps before where people would pick up a rock or crystal and say it was “powerful”. Then when informed it was mildly radioactive, they’d suddenly decide its power was malign. Funny how that works.

  2. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m very glad they found this autistic boy, but as is par for the course in these types of incidents…

    “There were some times that you just had to reach down and find that faith that you were going to find him. Whether it’s appropriate or not for everyone, there is a God. He listens to prayers, and prayers were answered,” he said.

    He must come from a very good christian family because all those other lost children who were never found families must not be worthy. God didn’t listen to their prayers.

  3. ChasCPeterson says

    why are they referring to SC that way?

    As far as I can tell, it’s to make juvenile jokes by capitalizing certain letters of her surnym.

    nah. False positive.
    ‘Salty Current’ is the nym she uses elsewhere in the blogosphere (e.g., her blog). Ophelia Benson calls her ‘Salty’ too.

  4. says

    As far as I can tell, it’s to make juvenile jokes by capitalizing certain letters of her surnym.

    That’s not the issue. It’s that they tend to omit certain letters in “Current”.

  5. says

    From ye old subthread:

    Do not try to draw similarities to Men’s Rights Activists & confirmed bigots like the klu klux klan or feminists.

    Strike the idiotic inclusion of feminists from that and you will find similarities in thinking between members of men’s ‘rights’ advocacy and White supremacy movements, especially in the way that they find reason to believe that sexist and/or racist language is not a problem and in the preposterous usage of reverse discrimination in their ideological thinking. It seems foundational to both MRAism and White supremacism that there is no anti-woman and/or anti-Black discrimination or prejudice in society so that the one true discrimination is the one the MRAs or White supremacists are burdened with by sex and gender equality rights measures or civil rights measures.

  6. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    God didn’t listen to their prayers.

    I knew some kids when I was in school who were True Believers in every sense of the words. Their response would have been, “Oh, no, god(s) hears the prayers, but god(s) has plans that we poor ignorant sinners don’t understand.” Maybe not in those words, but the sentiment would have been the same.

  7. says

    Aratina: Yep. I think the extremist “MRAs” – the kinds of guys who get quoted on Manboobz referring to all women as “bitches” and who openly argue that women should not be treated as human – are accurately described as “male supremacists”. Their views are equivalent to white supremacists, both in the out-and-out hatred and in the imagined discrimination against men. I refuse to call those types “Men’s Rights Activists”, since this lends a false air of legitimacy to their claims.

  8. says

    From Aratina Cage’s link @13:

    This place is a sanctuary for the disaffected. We have no interest in your membership, no interest in popularity contests, no interests having a recognisable brand name. We reject all “atheist correctness” and related customs and conventions. Similarly we reject concepts such as public opinion, reputation, honour and dishonour.

    It’s awfully early in the morning to lose an irony meter.

  9. David Utidjian says

    Back in, oh, about 1978 I had a housemate that said I was a male supremacist (actually she called me a “male supremist”.) Of course, since I was one, I was totally clueless as to what she meant by that term.

    It is interesting to look back and see how this has changed over time… and why.

  10. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Similarly we reject concepts such as public opinion, reputation, honour and dishonour.

    They may reject the concepts of public opinion and reputation but these concepts exist in reality.

  11. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    From the video:

    Science is capable of undertaking its own reformation and critique and has been engaged in that fairly vigorously for some time.

    Couldn’t help imagining a bizarro world tirade where a preacher said the same of the church, arguing against gurus stealing followers and adding some parable about a gored ox…
     
    Possibly something one might’ve heard in the age A.C. Grayling referred to:

    I would very very much rather be described as an afairy-ist. [...] Almost always when I say this, I’m charged with trivializing the discussion. And I have to point out that it doesn’t [...] at all because for a very very long time [...], in England particularly, there was until the late 19th century a very profound belief in fairies. If you couldn’t find your laces, or the milk curdled, or the bread went mouldy, it was the fault of the fairies. In fact, ordinary faith in England had much more to do with fairies than it did with god. The reason why the Church of England founded its primary schools – and this is a relishable irony – was to combat superstition about fairies.

    -AAI Copenhagen 2010 @7:18
     
    Or… now from conservative preachers everywhere. *Sigh* For a moment there, I had them relegated to farcical imagination.

  12. says

    David Utidjian:

    Back in, oh, about 1978 I had a housemate that said I was a male supremacist (actually she called me a “male supremist”.)

    I like male supremacist fine, but it’s a bit clunky, so I’ve decided to go with supremanist. Congrats on getting past that, by the way. :)

  13. Jessa says

    Catching up on the thread. Work has been kicking my ass.

    ——-

    Ogvorbis, Caine, amblebury: Belated {{hugs}} on your loss.

    ——-

    I have successfully completed another orbit around the sun. My exciting plans for the day include taking a nap and trying to make some progress on a Fair Isle vest that have been on the needles too long. Fondue and wine consumption will happen later this evening.

  14. says

    @Walton, using male supremacist instead of MRA is something I will consider.

    It’s amazing the shit you can find just googling for Teh Poopyhead’s name and little else. Another hate website out there (that is involved in defaming you-know-who) actually embraces a male supremacist and White supremacist ethos in its self description:

    In Mala Fide is an online magazine dedicated to publishing heretical and unpopular ideas. Ideas that polite society considers “racist,” “misogynistic,” “homophobic,” “bigoted” or other slurs used to shut down critical thinking and maintain the web of delusions that keep our world broken and dying. We’re here to put their myths to rest by educating and entertaining you with such crimethink nuggets as these:
    –Multiculturalism and globalization are shams that are replacing authentic culture and community with lowest-common-denominator consumerism.
    –Women don’t want nice guys, they want dominant, assertive men, and you can become one.
    –Virtually all major economists, businessmen and scientists are sociopaths and liars.
    –Feminism is a hate movement designed to disenfranchise and dehumanize men.
    –The traditional left-wing/right-wing political dichotomies (liberalism vs. conservatism, socialism vs. capitalism etc.) are quickly becoming obsolete.

    They even have a post attacking MRAs.

  15. says

    –Multiculturalism and globalization are shams that are replacing authentic culture

    I’m always amused by this notion of authentic culture, at least when it’s applied to the U.S. Whenever I’ve encountered it, I always ask what the ‘authentic culture’ of ‘Merica is, exactly. I always get nonsensical crickets.

    –Feminism is a hate movement designed to disenfranchise and dehumanize men.

    Yeeaaah, it’s such an evil act, expecting people to treat women as actual, complete human beings. Tsk.

  16. consciousness razor says

    Check out this owl. It’s so cool. They slowed it down so you can really see his gnarly feet unfolding at you.

    Wow, thanks, Algernon. I’ve been hoping for a different kind of nightmare, and that looks like it might fit the bill.

    The other night, I dreamt I was shot several times in the back for having a bunch of guns in a shopping mall, an assault rifle in each hand as well as some handguns stashed in my belt and pockets. I’m a pacifist, for fuck’s sake! Somehow I acquired them (details are foggy), had to take them with me, and was stupid enough to run from the cops when they saw me. When I got outside, it was dark, but suddenly a helicopter put a spotlight on me and a SWAT team appeared out of nowhere. That’s when I stopped and put my hands up, still holding the rifles, but then one of them shot me anyway. I didn’t die, just started arguing with him. Then I woke up. Not pleasant.

  17. Algernon says

    I’ve been hoping for a different kind of nightmare, and that looks like it might fit the bill.

    I dream of bears a lot. They usually don’t hurt me, but that’s because I usually hide from them. This is funny because I don’t usually *think* about bears.

    They just show up when I’m dreaming, typically they are outside the window or have gotten in but don’t notice me.

    Black bears.

    In one dream, inexplicably, I had one of those hipster Che pillows and I was using my mom’s old communist flag as a blanket on my sofa.

    That may actually be scarier than bears.

  18. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    I have a question, and I promise I’m not tone-trolling or any other kind of trolling. If you think the following post is an attempt at trolling then please ignore it. I just hope that TET is the right place for this. But this episode is titled “clarity”, and the following is very muddled. Tone is difficult to convey in type. What follows sounds (in my head) like a request for clarity, rather than a confrontation or “aha! gotcha!”.

    Pharyngula (rightly) has little tolerance for attitudes and/or language which is sexist, racist, ableist (etc) in nature. But insulting attitudes and statements are accepted if directed at religions. Some actions, such as Draw Mohammed Day, or PZ’s “desecration” of a communion wafer, seem specifically calculated to offend, and moreover to send the message to the offended: “your hurt feelings are not our concern; don’t expect us to engage in self censorship just to accommodate your ideas”.

    I can see merits in both positions. On the one hand, we have free speech and nobody has the right not to be offended. But on the other hand, it is a good thing to show some awareness of other people’s feelings.

    So what’s the difference between the two? At first I thought that a general rule might be like the attitude of my old college debating society: “your opponent is off-limits; his ideas are fair game”. And a religion describes a set of beliefs, whereas a gender, sexuality, disability (etc) describes something about the person themselves (and even that doesn’t sound right; paralysis doesn’t tell you anything about the person…). Or, to put it another way, maybe it’s wrong to mock something about a person that is beyond their control. But then again, is that really a qualitative difference? Over the course of a person’s life, it is much more likely that they will change their religion than their gender, but both can happen. And in both cases, whether such a change takes place or not is beyond the volition of the individual. Nobody chooses to become convinced by an idea, nor do they choose to feel as though they were born in the wrong body.

    There’s the response “it’s just a cracker”, or “it’s just a cartoon”, but then again what’s so different about “it’s just a joke”, or even “it’s just a word”? We don’t get to choose what is offensive to someone else. What makes some forms of offense tolerable and others not?

    [ugh, more of the same deleted, because it's not making me any less confused to type this]

  19. Sili says

    Oh real nice, Sili. Eat any good books lately?

    Not really. Only gotten through one more chapter of Oulette.

    I need to read less Internet, I guess.

  20. says

    The very model of a modern armchair general, I’ll be very brief: no one has the right to not be offended. That’s pretty simple, eh? Perhaps the Standards & Practices will help you out:

    What we do have is mores. We have mores out the wazoo! This blog has been around for about 8 years and has a horde of active commenters, and the whole bloody mob has shaped expectations for what is in-group behavior and what is out-group behavior. Pay attention to the culture here.

    This is a science blog. There is no tolerance for creationism, climate change denial, anti-vaccination nonsense, homeopathy, crystal healing, quantum woo, New Age mysticism, alt-med, 12-strand DNA, ancient astronauts, Intelligent Design creationism, ghosts, reincarnation, or arrogant ignorance in general. Bring them up, you will be laughed at mercilessly. Everyone will think you are a flaming idiot. On the other hand, cool science news is appreciated, and informed criticism of scientific ideas using real data is respected.

    This is an atheist blog. We don’t want to hear your Come-to-Jesus stories, proselytization for your freakish dogma is absolutely forbidden, miracles will be mocked, and faith is a failing — not a virtue — which will be scorned and spat upon. Don’t bother to babble at us about your god unless you bring evidence and reason to the discussion…oh, wait, you’ve got no evidence, and if you were reasonable you’d be an atheist.

    This is a liberal blog. We believe in social justice and equality for all. We are sex-positive: gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, heterosexuals, and asexuals all hang out here and are welcome. We are pro-woman and pro-feminist, and we also think men are just peachy (I am one, after all). You don’t get to criticize people for what they are, so don’t bother with your gendered, racist, classist, or ableist insults, but please do tear into bad ideas. Leave your jingoism behind, this blog has an international readership and if you assume your nationality is favored, you are going to get an unpleasant surprise. Wars solve nothing, violence is deplored, and if you’re a right-wing crank, fuck off already.

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    We do have a general guideline for handling new people. If you’re a first time commenter, you get three strikes: you can make three comments, and the regulars are supposed to restrain themselves and try to get you to engage rationally before they are allowed to release the rabid hounds. They are hoping you will oblige them and give them an excuse to let slip the leash, so be warned.

    This is a personal blog. Casual chatter is perfectly acceptable. It’s a good idea to stay very roughly on topic on a specific comment thread, although that’s more a guideline than a rule. We have a social/community thread called the Endless Thread, linked to under the profile on the top left of this page, where anything goes and you can talk about whatever you feel like.

    What happens if you violate the mores? Mostly nothing, except that you antagonize a notoriously ruthless commentariat. I may be the ultimate overlord, but I’m mostly benignly lazy, and I’m usually content to allow the other readers to make this an uncomfortable place for you. If you aren’t having a pleasant experience here, why are you hanging around?

    You can click the link to read the rest.

  21. consciousness razor says

    Hmm, I guess I don’t have non-human animals in my dreams very often, or maybe I just don’t remember many. As a kid, I had a recurring dream (really more of a mini-series) involving some angry chimps, but they acted suspiciously like humans. (It wasn’t at all like Planet of the Apes, so I have no idea what that was about.)

    That owl might make the cut. I’m not scared of birds at all; but for some reason it looked quite terrifying, with those big, angry-looking eyes.

    It seems like a lot of mine involve a bunch of dialogue or just my internal monologue in weird situations. Either that or I’m hearing music, which is frustrating because I can never remember it well enough to write much of it down. Then there’s flying, lots of flying.

  22. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Pharyngula (rightly) has little tolerance for attitudes and/or language which is sexist, racist, ableist (etc) in nature.

    Yeah, and . . .

    But insulting attitudes and statements are accepted if directed at religions.

    Easy. We tend to insult stupidity, willful ignorance, and obstinate ignorance. This includes, but is not limited to, sexism, racism, ablism, mysogyny, rape apology, godbotting, trolling (of all sorts), and other stupidities. There are a shitload of them and I’ve gotta go eat lunch in a minute here so I can’t list them all.

    On the one hand, we have free speech and nobody has the right not to be offended.

    Wrong. Everyone has the right to be offended. That is the beauty of free speech. I may think that your offense is stupid and will thus mock it, but we are all free to be offended. I just ask myself, before I express my offense, ‘Is my offense valid or am I being stupid.’ Amazing how many times I’m being stupid and have to bite my tongue.

    As to the difference between the person and the idea, that is why I try very hard to follow the three post rule. Your comment is a perfect example. I could, with little trouble, invite porcupine insertions for what could be construed (especially with your disclaimer at the beginning) as tone trolling. Instead, I have attempted to answer some of your questions (and these are my answers alone, I do not presume to speak for anyone else) and toss the ball back in your court, hoping and/or expecting that the response will be reasonable. Once a person has shown, through multiple comments (sometimes it is less if the coment is really special), the ideas are fair game. Any insults directed at the writer are based solely on what that writer has posted to this blog as comments. This is why I feel quite safe in calling GunBoat Diplomat (on another thread) a sociopath — he may not be, but based on his writings it is a valid assumption. Clear as mud?

  23. Algernon says

    I never fly fly, although occasionally I can super-jump. Usually though if I remember my dreams they are *very* deeply twisted and disturbing, and if I remember anything much about them it’s just a lingering horror that is hard to shake off through the day (like so hard it takes drugs).

  24. Rey Fox says

    What did we decide to call these people?

    Mascots.

    Alternatively, maybe it’s national Award Oneself A Title To Which One Has No Claim Day

    Nah, we already did that on TET a few months ago. I was Baron Munchausen Von Proxy. Didn’t catch on as much as I thought it would.

    Who is that person, and why are they referring to SC that way?

    It’s gotta be Slanted Science.

  25. says

    CBC poll: Should cities remove “Occupy” protestors from public places?

    Looking good so far.

    Thank you for voting!
    Yes 18.85% (342 votes)

    No 79.38% (1,440 votes)

    Not sure 1.76% (32 votes)

    Total Votes: 1,814

  26. Rey Fox says

    Check out this owl. It’s so cool. They slowed it down so you can really see his gnarly feet unfolding at you.

    Awesome.

    On a similar note, a little light fishing.

  27. says

    @The very model of a modern armchair general,

    I guess I would ask you to think about who is hurting who. Stabbing a cracker is hurting no one at all, giving the haters something to really whine about instead of taking out their anger on an innocent college student, and is exposing the falseness of a particular religious belief (that a cracker can be magically turned into the flesh of a god). And of course, you can take such an act too far into the grey area, as some have argued has happened with Draw Mohammed Day, to a point where it can be unclear as to whether or not you are persecuting someone or some group for something they didn’t initially choose to believe or be part of or even whether or not you are simply causing trouble without regard for the harm your cause may be inflicting on others including your supporters (real-life trolling in a way).

    Being a woman or transgendered or lesbian or bi or Black is not hurting anyone and cannot hurt anyone. Believing that any one of those things and other such identities are bad and saying that or acting on that is hurting others. I think that is a significant qualitative difference.

    Myself, I care about people’s hurt feelings, but only if they are feeling hurt for good reasons. I don’t care a bit about their hurt feelings if they arise from having been told they can’t hurt others, or from having been stopped from hurting others, or as a way to deflect criticism of their ideas (that one is hard to turn on oneself when it is your own ideas being criticized). That’s not to say that it is always so cut and dry, but it often is with regard to comments on the Internet.

  28. trinioler says

    @The very model of a modern armchair general,

    The thing is, there is a distinction between harm and offence. When I insult religions, I only offend people. But when I start using racist slurs, I harm people. I contribute to a pattern, a history, a social context, and a system of bias and racism. I am expressing and reinforcing these things, and communicating that system to others.

    I don’t care about offence. I care about harm. This is why positive sexism like women’s centers are A-OK with me, because doing so is not part of some grand overarching penis cutting conspiracy.

  29. gc says

    Transcript:
    The great evil in my humble opinion which haunts our enterprise, and I say this realizing that I’m setting the fox among the chickens, the great evil that has been allowed to flourish in the absence of mathematical understanding, is relativism. And what is relativism? It’s the idea that there is no distinction between shit and shinola. That all ideas are somehow are operating on equal footing. So one person is a chaos theorist, another is a follower of the revelations of this or that New Age guru, someone else is channeling information from the Pleiades and we have been taught that political correctness demands that we treat all these things with equal weight. Because we have no mathematical ability, no logical ability, we don’t know how to ask the questions that expose some positions as preposterous, trivial, insulting to the intelligence, and unworthy of repetition. We all are very comfortable bashing science and flayling away at that, but that isn’t our enemy. Science is capable of undertaking its own reformation and critique and has been engaged in that fairly vigorously for some time. The enemy that will really subvert the enterprise of building a world based on clarity is the belief that we cannot point out the pernicious forms of idiocy that flourish in our own community. And this problem is growing worse all the time, I mean, just pick up a copy of Magical Blend or Shaman’s Drum and you will discover an appeal to the level of intellect that makes what’s going on with television advertising look like a meeting of the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies. We have tolerated too many loose heads in our community, we are not willing to take on the karma involved in argument and discourse that actually gores somebody’s ox so that at the end of the day, iridology, or Mormonism, or some other form of institutionally supported foolishness lies in shreds on the floor. We consider this politically incorrect. I can feel the tension in this room because people sense that I might gore their particular ox. If we had learned mathematical logic, or reason, or rules of evidence, when someone approaches us excited to inform us that the Ruins of Lamuria have been spotted in the deep sea off Big Sur, or something like that, we would be able to respond to that with the contempt it deserves. I had a conversation about this recently with someone, who if I had to describe their job category, I would have described them as Mafiosive, and I said, what do you think of the abduction phenomenon ? And without hesitation this person said “There are just so many foolish people in the world”. And to me, all of these things are intelligence tests, and the people that pass the intelligence test, are not worrying about pro-bono proctologists from other star systems .. in their bedroom. We have perfected politeness, we have perfected the ability to listen to damn foolishness without betraying by so much as the flick of an eyebrow, that we realize what we’re in the presence of. Now I think it’s time to refine our mathematical skills, learn to think straight, and not be afraid to denounce the perniciousness forms of foolishness that are vitiating the energy of our community and making us appear marginal and absurd in the discourse about truly transforming society.

    – Terence Mckenna
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_mckenna

  30. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    Father Ogvorbis and Aratina Cage,

    Thank you for your replies, and I appreciate that you held back on the porcupines.

    I shouldn’t overstate any disagreement I have: I too have no problem with mocking religion, but do have a problem with sexism / racism et al, so at that level there’s no problem. I’ve just been trying to work out what the general principle is, and kept getting stuck. If we draw the line between criticising a person for who they are, rather than what they think, I can understand that and it’s easy to follow. And why is it wrong to criticise a person? The reason I learned as a kid – “because they can’t help it” – is easy to grasp. But the problem for me comes when I try to take it a step further: aren’t ideas and beliefs also beyond our control?

    Aratina Cage, I agree that stabbing a cracker doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s an inanimate object, it doesn’t feel anything. But “it’s just a cracker” is like “it’s just a word”. The point was raised in another thread that what matters is not the word itself, or the action, or even the intent behind it. We don’t get to choose what is offensive to another person. Case in point: I will not use the word nigger (except in a detached setting like this) because I am aware of the word’s history and I don’t want to mess with that kind of baggage. But on the other hand, I reserve the right to describe a communion wafer as a cracker, and it wouldn’t bother me who gets offended. But if I had to defend myself, and explain why I’m okay with one but not the other, I get tangled up.

    …. until I refreshed the page just now and read Trinioler’s post. The fact that offensive words, in some contexts actually contribute to a general culture of harm is something which I hadn’t considered, and I think that’s what makes all the difference. Thank you very much.

  31. cgauthier says

    @caine

    No, but no link to the video appears on the site for me, so, thanks gc, i appreciate it.

  32. says

    @Armchair general:

    But insulting attitudes and statements are accepted if directed at religions. Some actions, such as Draw Mohammed Day, or PZ’s “desecration” of a communion wafer, seem specifically calculated to offend, and moreover to send the message to the offended: “your hurt feelings are not our concern; don’t expect us to engage in self censorship just to accommodate your ideas”.

    I half-agree and half-don’t. I think you’re conflating some different issues.

    In itself, criticism of a religion – even if it causes offence – is not the same thing as bigotry towards that religion’s adherents. Religious ideas, like political and ethical ones, ought to be open to criticism and challenge. Saying “[Religion X] is nonsense” is not bigotry, any more than saying “the positions of [political party X] are nonsense” would be bigotry. (On the other hand, saying “[Adherents of religion X] are dirty/lazy/stupid” would be bigotry, and many of us are in the habit of calling people out when they say things like that.)

    That said, it isn’t always so simple as this in real life. Although criticism of Islam is not in itself bigotry, for instance, we have to remember that (particularly for those of us living in the US or Western Europe) we live in a climate where Muslims are the frequent target of hatred, scaremongering and xenophobia from the far right, and where Islamophobia is heavily bound up with racism and anti-immigrant bigotry. Something that is intended as a criticism of Islamic beliefs can easily end up giving rhetorical ammunition to the anti-Muslim far right. (The strength of anti-Muslim hysteria in Europe can be seen in the success of xenophobic far right parties in many European countries, the French ban on the burqa, the Swiss ban on minarets, and so on. So, too, some of the teabaggers in the US are keen on painting Muslims as political subversives.) That’s why I was against “Draw Mohammed Day”; not because I think it’s wrong in principle to insult a religion – it isn’t – but because it contributed to anti-Muslim prejudice, and because the event was in danger of being hijacked by some very unpleasant characters who had an agenda of encouraging bigotry against Muslims.

    It’s a fine line to walk. I don’t think it’s easy to draw stark or categorical distinctions in this regard. A lot of it depends on the existing power-differentials in society; I’m much less bothered by Crackergate, which was an attack on the beliefs of a religious group which is powerful and privileged in our society, than by Draw Mohammed Day, an attack on the beliefs of a marginalized and discriminated-against religious group.

  33. says

    Btw, armchair general, I love your ‘nym! It makes me want to compose an entire set of faux-G&S lyrics for “The Armchair General’s Song”, but sadly I lack the poetic talent.

  34. says

    The very model:

    aren’t ideas and beliefs also beyond our control?

    Why in the fuck would you think that? That is very silly. It’s not as though ideas and beliefs are beamed into our brains by aliens somewhere in Alpha Ceti Tau. (At least there’s no evidence for that scenario.)

    Yes, people are taught things as children, however, one of the beautiful things about growing up is exercising those little grey cells, asking questions and learning.

    If someone wanders in here (or barges in), spraying stupid all over the walls, they will hear about it. How in the hell is anyone supposed to know they believe some weapons-grade stupid if everyone tip-toes around them and gives them head pats? FFS.

    I am not going to wring my hands over an anti-vaxxer or anti-woman, anti-choice fuckwit by telling myself they have no control over the opinions they hold.

  35. says

    My brain likes to create new hybrid animals for me to dream about. For example, once I dreamed about a lizard with legs/feet like a raccoon. Also, zombies. Always with the zombies…

  36. Esteleth says

    Woohoo new thread! :D :D

    My apartment is full of the smell of baking banana bread – and I’m getting HUNGRY.

    Armchair general, I’m glad you’re making an effort to get this place. As far as what is/is not appropriate for mocking, I think most of it boils down to a combination of immutable characteristics and historical awareness. Basically, mocking someone for something that they can’t change about themselves (gender, sex, orientation, race, etc) is verboten. Mocking someone for something that they could change (belief) is okay. We ALSO must remember that history being what it is, a “men are evil” rant and a “women are bitches” rant are – while both bad – not equally bad.

    _____
    A question for the horde – I’m sending out applications for jobs. Got an email yesterday confirming that an application had arrived. They addressed it to “Dr. [My Name].” I haven’t defended yet, so that’s not correct. I’m planning to send a reply thanking them for confirming and saying I look forward to hearing from them. Should I say that I haven’t defended yet (but will soon) or should I just ignore it?

  37. Tethys says

    They addressed it to “Dr. [My Name].” I haven’t defended yet, so that’s not correct. I’m planning to send a reply thanking them for confirming and saying I look forward to hearing from them. Should I say that I haven’t defended yet (but will soon) or should I just ignore it?

    Assuming that your application clearly states that you are not yet a Dr., I would assume the Dr. honorific is part of the auto-reply so as not to offend anyone.

    I would correct them at an actual interview, but see no need to correct the auto-reply.

  38. says

    Also, zombies. Always with the zombies…

    Really, you shouldn’t be dreaming about Jesus that much…

    You shouldn’t be dreaming about him. You should eat him! Ritually eat his meat and drink his blood.

    :D

  39. Esteleth says

    @Tethys
    Ah, that’s a possibility I hadn’t considered. Re-reading the email, it does seem very auto-replyish.

    If I get an interview, I’ll correct someone who addresses me as Dr. Until then, I’ll ignore it.

  40. says

    Do not try to draw similarities to Men’s Rights Activists & confirmed bigots like the klu klux klan or feminists.

    WTF? As far as I can tell, the KKK are anti-feminists in many ways. Furthermore, what aratina said.

    Waves Aratina hi during random drop by!

  41. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    Caine,

    Re: ideas being beyond our control, I mean in the sense of if free will is an illusion. Belief or non-belief in propositions is not something I can switch on and off at will. I can read about things, listen to debates, experience things for myself, but the act of becoming convinced is involuntary.

    And again, I agree that we should tell people when they’re wrong. The problem I had (which Trinioler pretty much cleared up for me) was in trying to nail down the essential difference between mocking somebody’s crazy ideas, versus mocking their gender / sexuality / etc, IF neither one can be deliberately chosen. This was because I was still labouring under a little fragment of morality that had been taught to me as a child, namely: “it’s not nice to tease somebody if they can’t help it”. Hence the cognitive dissonance in feeling that there was a qualitative difference, but being unable to say what it was.

    But Trinioler made an excellent point by redefining the issue away from questions of choice and free will. Some insults contribute to an overall culture of discrimination actual harm, but others don’t. The ones which are only insults and nothing more, are acceptable. This makes a lot of sense. And it also clears up another thing that used to puzzle me: why it’s acceptable for insults / mockery to travel up a social hierarchy, but not down. By the way, I think a similar confusion might be at the root of all those “what about teh menz” posts that crop up here recurrently.

  42. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Aw, I thought Algernon’s eagle owl was cute. It had a kinda “I are srs owl, give me srs mouse” thing going on.

  43. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    @Armchair General

    Yes, it is ultimately true that our beliefs aren’t really something that we can just push a button and change, what with our ideas being a conglomerate of past experiences and mental biases and all that. Our brains are mechanistic devices, and “we” are not really “in control” of what we think in any meaningful sense, and in fact it doesn’t make much sense to assume an external “us” to change our beliefs when those beliefs essentially are what composes the minds of those who hold them.

    There are two differences, though, between biological factors that one is not in control of and ideological ones. The first is that, unless you are a horrifying mutant that spews Attack Cancer at anyone who comes within range of your head vents, your biology harms no one. Being black/a woman/gayisn’t something that should be derided because being black/a woman/gay simply isn’t bad. Many/most, if not all, religious ideologies are pretty fucking shitty and harmful, and thus are appropriate targets in ways that race and gender are not.

    The second difference is that biology can’t be changed, at least not in general, and never through rhetoric. You can’t argue a woman into growing a dick, even if doing so was a good idea. You can, however, occasionally add sufficient new input to someone’s brain to cause them to reevaluate their ideas. Sometimes this is even managed by unequivocally calling them a fucking moron.

    That’s just my particular reasoning, though.

  44. First Approximation says

    There’s something so sick and twisted about the whole situation… everyone knows that the farm economy in the southern US is very, very, very reliant on undocumented migrants. Yet there’s so much political resistance (backed up by stupid xenophobic arguments) against giving undocumented workers amnesty and a path to citizenship. Because, while people are evidently happy to hire undocumented workers, it would, apparently, be “un-American” actually to give them civil rights and protect them from exploitation and abuse.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They addressed it to “Dr. [My Name].” I haven’t defended yet, so that’s not correct. I’m planning to send a reply thanking them for confirming and saying I look forward to hearing from them. Should I say that I haven’t defended yet (but will soon) or should I just ignore it?

    The honorific is used for politeness in the form letter. Someone may have defended between submission of the letter to them, and them receiving the reply. But, make sure you never claim the title until you have completed your doctorate. I wouldn’t correct them with an informal reply. For a real letter, just sign your name and leave off any titles. The message will be inferred by those who understand the process, and you won’t have lied, which could get you placed on the reject pile. When there are a large number of applicants for one position, it doesn’t take much to hit the reject pile.

  46. says

    Belief or non-belief in propositions is not something I can switch on and off at will. I can read about things, listen to debates, experience things for myself, but the act of becoming convinced is involuntary.

    I agree with this completely, actually. It’s a misunderstanding to suggest that one can “choose to believe” something. If one thinks that something is true, then one believes it; if one thinks it’s false, then one doesn’t believe it. I didn’t “choose” to stop being religious; I ceased to be religious because I could no longer sustain, intellectually, the belief that a literal or personal god exists or that the narratives of revealed religions are actually true. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I would not be able to “choose” to start believing in a god again, however much I might like to. Of course I could pretend to believe in a god despite not actually thinking that such a being exists, but that wouldn’t be “choosing to believe”; it would simply be dishonesty.

    “To believe X”, properly understood, means “to consider X to be true”. There is no context in which the formulation “choose to believe” makes any sense. If I consider X to be false, or I don’t know whether X is true or not, then I don’t believe X; this remains the case even if I choose to act as though X were true. (So it’s wrong, for instance, to suggest that agnostic theists “choose to believe” in a god, even though they themselves might present their position thus; rather, they choose to act as though a god exists despite being uncertain as to whether this is true.)

    But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile to argue with people’s beliefs, in an appropriate forum. Quite the opposite. I slowly ceased to be religious, over a period of several years, by virtue of a process of arguing with people and reading others’ views. If no one had ever argued with me, I’d still be a Christian now.

  47. Pteryxx says

    I appreciate the transcript, too. It’s much easier for me to parse written than spoken language. (and IMHO, videos should come with transcripts whenever possible, like images should come with alt tags and links should clearly be links.)

  48. says

    “To believe X”, properly understood, means “to consider X to be true”. There is no context in which the formulation “choose to believe” makes any sense.

    Actually, to correct myself, that’s not quite true. “I believe X” is, of course, sometimes used in a normative rather than a descriptive sense: to refer not to how the speaker thinks things are, but to how the speaker thinks things should be. (Examples: “I believe in freedom of speech” or “I believe in monarchy”.) It’s fair to say that these kinds of beliefs are choices, insofar as they give voice to the speaker’s preferences as to what the world ought to be like.

    So, while I don’t “choose” to be an atheist, it’s fair to say that I “choose” to be a liberal, a humanist and a monarchist, for instance.

    (Of course, I’m using “choose” loosely here. At a higher level of abstraction, one can dispute whether we have any “choice” in anything, since, of course, we don’t have contra-causal free will. But I’m referring to “choice” as it is ordinarily understood in human experience; the sense in which I might “choose” to buy or not buy a Diet Mountain Dew from the vending machine.*)

    (*Speaking of which, I really want one right now.)

  49. says

    Really, you shouldn’t be dreaming about Jesus that much…

    You shouldn’t be dreaming about him. You should eat him! Ritually eat his meat and drink his blood.

    See, this is why I’m not a Christian. I can’t stomach the taste of zombie meat. Too gamey. Also, when they “re-enacted” the Resurrection at the Holy Land Experience, I flipped out and tried to stab Jesus in the head with my car keys*. Zombies, man. Zombies.

    (*Not intended to be a factual statement.)

  50. says

    I “choose” to be a liberal, a humanist and a monarchist, for instance.

    ~One of these things is not like the other! One of these things just doesn’t belong!~

  51. Jaime says

    That was really great and eloquent takedown by TM –

    but the folks here do realize that McKenna put forth some theories that many would consider redolent of woo? F’rinstance, there’s his description of “the ‘jeweled, self-dribbling basketballs’ or ‘self-transforming machine elves’ that one encounters in that state” (ie tripping balls on psycho-active mushrooms or DMT). IIRC he was rather oblique as to whether he believed these entities were “real” in an objective, scientific sense. He also talked about the possibility of psychedelics being a gateway to “trans-dimensional travel”. And then there’s his ‘Stoned Ape’ theory (look it up!) of human mental development.
    I’m not being an a-hole about him – I think it’s terrific fodder for speculation and SF stories. He’s up there in my personal pantheon of Magnificent Crackpots.
    Still and all – great rant.

  52. says

    ~One of these things is not like the other! One of these things just doesn’t belong!~

    I didn’t say it did; they were illustrative examples of separate things. Whether monarchism is compatible with liberalism and humanism is irrelevant to my point about the nature of belief.

  53. Pteryxx says

    I agree with this completely, actually. It’s a misunderstanding to suggest that one can “choose to believe” something. If one thinks that something is true, then one believes it; if one thinks it’s false, then one doesn’t believe it.

    I think I concur with this, though I’m mulling it over in an abuse context rather than a religious context. I certainly couldn’t just choose to believe that I might be a person worth defending… it’s taken years and I’m still not there now. However, my friends contributed by pointing out the abuse to me and pushing me to justify my dismissal of it. They didn’t force me to change my beliefs, but at some point I must have met them halfway.

    Less personally, how does this apply to privilege? I didn’t understand what the big deal was with, say, voter ID laws, until I read about how difficult it could be for POC’s to come up with the required paperwork. What’s the difference between merely absorbing the viewpoint of one’s own surroundings (religion, bigotry, food preferences, whatever) and actually believing it / buying into it? Is the difference just in how a person responds to having those viewpoints challenged?

  54. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Wow, thanks computer
    Let’s try that again

    nah. False positive.

    Nuh-uh!
    :P
    (But point taken – I won’t use it by itself as a shibboleth any longer. Although I think between Hoggle saying “Salty” and Hoggle bringing SC up for criticism when she hadn’t gone anywhere near the thread, it was fair in this case.)

  55. changeable moniker says

    Ing taught me a new word today: “disfluencies”. (Thanks!)

    True story. An uber-boss had a tendency to umm and err. So we invented an erm-ometer. (OK, it was a person with a stopwatch, pen, and paper, and yes, it was only viable on cross-location conference calls, but still.)

    It was very revealing seeing where the stress points were in the UB’s presentation of contentious or difficult topics.

    Psychopaths, you say?

  56. First Approximation says

    There is no context in which the formulation “choose to believe” makes any sense. If I consider X to be false, or I don’t know whether X is true or not, then I don’t believe X; this remains the case even if I choose to act as though X were true. (So it’s wrong, for instance, to suggest that agnostic theists “choose to believe” in a god, even though they themselves might present their position thus; rather, they choose to act as though a god exists despite being uncertain as to whether this is true.)

    Rationally speaking, “choosing to believe” something doesn’t make sense (with the exceptions you mentioned in 75). The human mind, however, is complex and not entirely rational. There are cases where a person can “choose” to believe something because it is convenient.

    There… Are… Four… Lights!

  57. Tethys says

    Armchair General

    By the way, I think a similar confusion might be at the root of all those “what about teh menz” posts that crop up here recurrently.

    I find that culturally ingrained sexism is at the root of some of the confusion. Upon prodding, the male supremancists generally reveal themselves to be rabidly attached to their preconceptions, while refusing to consider all evidence to the contrary.

    In the “MRA’s are almost as hilarious as creationists” thread, GD is a perfect example of the troll type. He started with claiming that he couldn’t understand. (Oh, I’m just a poor stupid menz, I shouldn’t be expected to know any better)

    When challenged on his logic/obvious stupidity, he makes sexist analogies.

    Women = coffee mug
    Rider/horse

    Days later he shows a likely root cause for all his tortuous mental and verbal gymnastics, by claiming that having sex with an unknown women who is zonked out of her mind on drugs is perfectly acceptable.

    So his professed confusion is an attempt to justify rape.

    I see no reason to treat such a poster with anything but contempt.

  58. says

    Ugh. I am dealing with Paulbots on the Occupy Vancouver group, and the Paulbottery appears to have manifested in Canadian form. Only, since the Bank of Canada is a government agency, it’s that the government for whatever reason hasn’t been using the Bank of Canada to issue money since 1974 and has instead been borrowing from private banks.

    Please help. For all my knowledge of dealing with specific US political nuttery I cannot do it at all with Canadian nuttery.

  59. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Damn you, Walton. You got my brain working and, in honour of someone who just jumped in and got me (and it appears, others) thinking about how I handle idiots, here is The Modern Armchair General:

    I am the very model of a modern Armchair-General,

    I’ve questions about trolling by the sexist and religiocal,

    I know the sexists and the ableists, and the insults well-desrvical

    From crackers to Mohammed and the drawings quite cartoonical;

    I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mostly racical,

    I understand the reasons, both for fun and philosphical,

    For tearing lots of new ones for the trolls full of abuse,

    With many questions about when to use

    The Leica or the porkypine depending on the writer’s views;

    I know the different types of trolls both sexist and religiocal:

    In short, in matters ’bout Pharyngula I will learn the proper ethical

    I am the very model of a modern Armchiar-General.

  60. says

    @Benjamin “Durr Hurr” Geiger #61

    I found this image amusing.

    For some strange reason, me too. :D [Saved]

    @Pikachu #66
    *waves hi back* Good to see you here if but briefly!

  61. Carlie says

    Doing the annual tape up the shitty windows since we can’t buy new ones routine today. This year I’m trying 4 mil plastic on most with weatherproof tape right against the windows, then the usual shrink plastic over the whole frames a few inches further out. Hoping that gives a vapor barrier that won’t leak in the sill (yeah, right) and the extra thickness and dead air space help. Stupid winter.

  62. Esteleth says

    porkypine

    I have a meatspace friend who insists that this is the proper pronunciation of porcupine. I maintain that it is porc-u-pine.

    Bah.

  63. Dhorvath, OM says

    Esteleth,
    I am quite sure it’s “No, I insist, after you.” Porcupine means ‘give me some space’ too.

  64. Adam Jarvis says

    I can’t say I expected to see a McKenna video posted here, perhaps only because there seems to usually be a disconnect between the scientific and psychonautic communities. The two often seem to have a lack of understanding about the other, which is a real shame.

    It’s good to see people bridging that gap, I think we’re going to need a lot more of it in the coming years. So many natural allies are splintered into separate factions.

  65. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    I have a meatspace friend who insists that this is the proper pronunciation of porcupine. I maintain that it is porc-u-pine.

    Ah. Not old enough to remember Pogo, eh?

  66. Sili says

    Jesus Christ. I didn’t realise how inarticulate Sarah Silverman is when speaking off the cuff.

  67. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    My dear old dad always told me two things. One of them was, “If you’re not careful you will learn something new every day.” And, lo and hebold, I was not careful. I had never before run across ‘psychonautic.’ Seriously? Studying altered states of consciousness? Do people make a living at that?

  68. Esteleth says

    Ah. Not old enough to remember Pogo, eh?

    My knowledge of Pogo is limited to a comic strip. Oh, and the bouncy-pole toy.

  69. Jeannie in PA says

    CAN a person change a belief? I always thought you either believed something, or you didn’t. I am an atheist, but I cannot imagine living in a theocracy where I was expected to believe a certain way. How can I change my belief to conform?

  70. Dhorvath, OM says

    Can a person spontaneously break a belief that they have for no apparent reason? I would like to see anyone prove such a thing possible. Everything else requires some level of external influence interacting with current brain function and memories.
    As well, one can easily behave in accord with a theocracy and never share the beliefs, merely not offending them.

  71. says

    Ogvorbis: That’s pretty damn good! Far better than I could have done. Though this line doesn’t quite fit the meter:

    With many questions about when to use

    (Perhaps add an adjective of some kind between “many” and “questions”?)

  72. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Occupy Denver’s being evicted today. Tents have been torn down, sleeping bags taken, rubber bullets and pepper spray used. Some protesters seem to be reporting that some of the police have their badges covered, and others report use of truncheons. Looks pretty bad over there, and I’m getting as-yet-unconfirmed inklings from Twitter that some of the protesters are not responding quite as nonviolently as the ones in Oakland were.
    It’s downhill from here.

  73. says

    Esteleth #91:

    Is this the FB group Setar?

    Yes.

    ‘Tis. ‘Tiiiiiiiiis. I need your economic knowledge to help me deal with Ron Paul levels of ignorance.

    Btw, the way inflation is measured does not include food and gas, so it’s pretty much a useless measurement.

    Inflation is just another way of oppressing the people. We need to fcus on tge fundamentals of ending our debt-slavery instead of tinkering around with how to make this fundamentally flawed system a litte fairer to a few more people.

    [RON PAUL END THE FED RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL]. We have a bank of Canada, but since 1974 we have not been using it and borrowing from private banks instead for infrastructure debt, the same as America. We are up 160 million a day in debt, probably more by now, on compounded interest, meaning interest on interest w/o even touching the debt. [RON PAUL END THE FED]. [ALSO DID I MENTION I LOVE RON PAUL].

    (No, seriously. That claim was surrounded by RON PAUL.)

  74. says

    “We have met the enemy and he is us”
    +++++++++++++++++
    I’m not sure why I put the barricade there, because the quote fit Ogvorbis’ and Classical Cipher’s posts equally well.

  75. says

    Occupy Denver’s being evicted today. Tents have been torn down, sleeping bags taken, rubber bullets and pepper spray used. Some protesters seem to be reporting that some of the police have their badges covered, and others report use of truncheons. Looks pretty bad over there, and I’m getting as-yet-unconfirmed inklings from Twitter that some of the protesters are not responding quite as nonviolently as the ones in Oakland were.
    It’s downhill from here.

    Dammit. I hate police brutality.

    (Of course, based on past experience, many people will continue to defend this. Because apparently, no amount of force is too much to prevent the librul hippie protestors congregating in the streets and disrupting the orderly flow of profitable free enterprise, doncha know.)

  76. says

    Walton, unless it’s a small gathering of teabaggers some of whom are carrying rifles. Then they get positive press coverage, over and over and over.

    IOKIYAR.

  77. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    (Of course, based on past experience, many people will continue to defend this. Because apparently, no amount of force is too much to prevent the librul hippie protestors congregating in the streets and disrupting the orderly flow of profitable free enterprise, doncha know.)

    The line of argument that infuriates me most is the contention that Occupiers are just jobless lazy people. Okay, first of all? Way to shame people for something outside of their control. Second, total self-awareness fail (thanks Og). Third, I know very few hardworking people who would be willing to sleep outside on the street for the sake of their job, so “lazy” is really a stupid insult to throw around here.

  78. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    My knowledge of Pogo is limited to a comic strip. Oh, and the bouncy-pole toy.

    Porkypine was a character in Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Obviously, he was a porcupine.

    Ogvorbis: That’s pretty damn good! Far better than I could have done. Though this line doesn’t quite fit the meter:

    Quite right. Meter has never been my metier. How’s this?

    The Modern Armchair General:

    I am the very model of a modern Armchair-General,

    I’ve questions about trolling by the sexist and religiocal,

    I know the sexists and the ableists, and the insults well-desrvical

    From crackers to Mohammed and the drawings quite cartoonical;

    I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mostly racical,

    I understand the reasons, both for fun and philosphical,

    For tearing lots of new ones for the trolls full of abuse,

    With many useful questions about when to use

    The Leica or the porkypine depending on the writer’s views;

    I know the different types of trolls both sexist and religiocal:

    In short, in matters ’bout Pharyngula I will learn the proper ethical

    I am the very model of a modern Armchiar-General.

    Better?

    Btw, the way inflation is measured does not include food and gas, so it’s pretty much a useless measurement.

    My understanding on that is the food and energy prices are not figured in for the short-term determination of the inflation rate. The volatility based on growing seasons for food, remixing gasoline and increased fuel usage (especially home-heating fuel oil) can make the inflation rate jump all over the place. Over the long-term, whether the food and energy costs are figured in makes a small difference. Please note, that I am not an economist and am merely parroting what I learned in macroeconomics way back in the 1980s.

    “We have met the enemy and he is us”

    Don’t forget, “There is nothing as dangerous a loaded gun.”

    BANG!!

    “Except an unloaded one.”

  79. says

    Ogvorbis, am I the only other person that was taught that unloaded guns are the most dangerous? Along with ‘never point a gun at something you don’t intend to kill’?

    I haz a phobia about this. Even when I know a gun is unloaded I can’t bring myself to point it at anyone.

    In some ways, I was brought up right.

  80. says

    @Algernon, that owl is beautiful. I love the amazing detail you can see of the wing and feather movements. Awesome!

    @The very model of a modern armchair general, I see you’ve been answered. But just let me say that I also *love* your nym.

  81. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I haz a phobia about this. Even when I know a gun is unloaded I can’t bring myself to point it at anyone.

    In some ways, I was brought up right.

    This guy wasn’t.

  82. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    amblebury, my sympathies for the loss of your dog. I don’t “know” you enough to send you a *hug* (at least, not by that ‘nym) , but if you accept *boozes* from strangers, have one on me.


    Happy Birthdya, Jessa.

    Was anyone asking for a transcript?

    I don’t believe anyone asked, but when I was watching the video the thought idly passed through my mind that I wouldn’t at all mind having an in-print transcription for more detailed perusal, so I, for one, would be good with it.
    :)

    It’s almost game time *confetti/chocolate/fizzy drinks*, so someone else will almost certainly have beat me to it, but:

    Belief or non-belief in propositions is not something I can switch on and off at will. I can read about things, listen to debates, experience things for myself, but the act of becoming convinced is involuntary.

    You can choose whether to allow yourself to read, listen to and experience things that may conflict with your preconceptions; having chosen to expose yourself to these experiences, you can choose to either dismiss them out of hand, or pursue whatever trains of thought they may provoke, and you can choose to accept, or reject, any conclusions that you reach that are out of agreement with your preconceptions.

    With many people who believe that the Bible is the literal and inerrant Word of God, their reasoning is, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”, and they will refuse to read/listen to/experience anything that may conflict with that preconceptions package. Ears closed, mind disengaged, conflicting information “discarded unopened”, belief system successfully defended from potential attack.

    And that is a choice they make.
    -

  83. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Ogvorbis, am I the only other person that was taught that unloaded guns are the most dangerous? Along with ‘never point a gun at something you don’t intend to kill’?

    Well, I was quoting Pogo but, yeah, I was taught, as a child and in the Army, that even an unloaded firearm is to be considered loaded and dangerous. I hope you and I aren’t the only ones.

    In some ways, I was brought up right.

    This guy wasn’t.

    That is a major change I have noticed in law enforcement training. Today, some police officers have absolutely no problem drawing their weapon even when there is no percieved threat. A long-time career officer I knew who was in the Maryland State Police went through an entire career, even with some major arrests, never drew his service revolver. In a 25-year career. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

  84. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I haz a phobia about this. Even when I know a gun is unloaded I can’t bring myself to point it at anyone.

    I don’t think I’d call this a phobia. I’d call it common sense.

    If someone intentionally pointed an unloaded or loaded gun at me for any reason, they’d better be wearing a helmet, because I would club them like a landed trout before the first donkey-laugh escaped their stupid lips. My brother and I are VERY strict about those rules. Absolutely no fucking around.

    My personal mental rule is that I always keep the gun pointed at the ground, never point it at anything I don’t intend to shoot, and always imagine a ‘cone of danger’ emanating from the barrel of every gun in the vicinity, to be avoided if at all possible. My brother’s rules are very similar. In theory then, there should be no danger. “In Theory.”

  85. says

    Og, I have no idea what is wrong with these people, I blame the Darryl Gates school of policing. Because it’s worked so well in LA.
    ++++++++++++++
    I had a flyer in my mailbox today by a person who wants to be my district’s city council rep. It was very generic and inoffensive, so I wrote to him and asked him whether he was running as a Dem or a Republican.

    He wrote back that he was a running as a Republican.

    Here is my response:

    REDACTED, I will not vote for you, and I will encourage everyone in my neighborhood not to vote for you. You believe that women do not have a right to choose. You stand with the 1%, even tho that is against your best interests. You believe that people should die instead of getting health care. You believe that the middle class should fall further and further behind while the rich just get richer.

  86. says

    Here in New England, it’s freezing cold and sleeting outside. And when I went to get dinner, I encountered a homeless man in Harvard Square trying to shelter from the weather. Obviously I gave him some spare change, but I wish I could have done something more to help. It’s so sad. :-(

    Seriously, what is wrong with society? Cambridge is America’s 21st richest city by per capita income, Harvard has an endowment greater than the GDP of many countries (and appears to waste a fair bit of it on wine, receptions and disposable cutlery), and yet no one can afford to provide a homeless shelter? It’s not difficult. A place this rich ought to be able to provide housing for everyone, whether by governmental or charitable means.

    (sorry for the rant)

  87. chigau (meh) says

    What would be the best way to go about writing a complete deconstruction of Ron Paul?

    As I zoom-scrolled past this the first time, I read “…deconstruct…Ron Paul…” and thought “dynamite”.
    After re-reading the whole sentence, I still think there is room for dynamite.

  88. says

    Walton:

    yet no one can afford to provide a homeless shelter?

    There are quite a lot of homeless shelters in your area, Walton:

    http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=Cambridge&state=MA

    The homeless problem upsets me too, however, I think you need to remember that not all homeless people have an interest in a shelter. Sometimes that’s due to mental illness, but sometimes it’s a personal choice on the part of the homeless person. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t assume. Maybe this person was unaware of a local shelter, so perhaps familiarizing yourself with some in your area would be helpful information.

  89. says

    Walton, welcome to America.

    Oh, we have the same problem in Britain too. (In fact, if anything, I saw more homeless people in Oxford on a day-to-day basis than I’ve seen here.)

  90. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Walton:

    Do you really expect the rich to part with a few dollars so that others may live? You commiesocialistnazi!

  91. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    @Ogvorbis, 121

    Good heavens. I am delighted and amazed.

    Wow.

  92. says

    Is it wrong that I hug my guitar? It’s so pretty and almost as old as me, and when I got nuthin’ to say it speaks for me, and when I got lots to say it helps me figure out the words … and the melody.

    And when I got nuthin at all, I can hug it. Is that wrong?

  93. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    What would be the best way to go about writing a complete deconstruction of Ron Paul?

    —————— -/ ¯/)
    ——————-/—-/
    ——————/—-/
    —————–/—-/
    —————-/—-/
    ———–/´¯/’–‘/´¯`·_
    ———-/’/–/—-/—–/¨¯\
    ——–(‘(———- ¯~/’–‘)
    ———\————-‘—–/
    ———-‘\’————_-·´
    ————\———–(
    ————-\———–\

  94. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    What would be the best way to go about writing a complete deconstruction of Ron Paul?

    —————— -/ ¯/)
    ——————-/—-/
    ——————/—-/
    —————–/—-/
    —————-/—-/
    ———–/´¯/’–’/´¯`·_
    ———-/’/–/—-/—–/¨¯\
    ——–(‘(———- ¯~/’–’)
    ———\————-’—–/
    ———-’\’————_-·´
    ————\———–(
    ————-\———–\

    QFT. Though I doubt the deconstruction will be particularly legible in my blockquote.

  95. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    The Sailor:

    What kind of guitar? I have my dad’s old Martin which is actually older than I am by a couple of years. Great sound.

  96. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Algernon, #12: Awesome video, thanks. I wonder if they staped some prey or something over the camera.

    Very model, #32, replying to your original: You will find that who’s attackable and who’s defended is very selective and varies a lot with the commenter. The same person who rakes you over the coals for disagreeing with her will condole someone else over a sick cat. If you keep reading you’ll get to know the cast of characters, and I do mean characters. It’s a worthwhile journey.

  97. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    And not all instruments are a good shape / size for hugging. You should be glad. My piano doesn’t get any lovin’ because it’s too big, and pointy at the edges.

  98. says

    TLC, nice work.
    ++++++++++++++++
    Ogvorbis, it’s a Guild. I bought it a few years ago because I kept going into the pawn shop and I liked playing it the most.

    When I lost my relationship I thought ‘I can afford this, I don’t have to buy her Xmas presents this year.’ Maybe it was bouncing off a broken relationship.

    I can’t play a Martin, the necks are too narrow for my big hands and the action is too high.

    It’s like the difference between a Les Paul and a Strat.

  99. Sili says

    The continuing adventures of Sili, the entitled wanker:

    I went and said hi to the girlwoman after all. And even before I hit the red wine again.

    Stupid me.

  100. Aaron Baker says

    I’m making this over-long posting because there’s been a controversy here on how to interpret the historian Richard Evans’s views of the influence of Social Darwinism on Hitler and his followers.

    Before I go further, I want to make very clear that I am not now arguing that Evans is right to think so. Robert J. Richards has recently published an article (“Was Hitler a Darwinian”) which to me convincingly documents that Hitler’s most Social-Darwinian-sounding language was derived from the anti-Darwinian Houston Stewart Chamberlain (see pgs. 32-34). (My only reservation would be this: as Evans does make clear, Darwinian terms were tossed so frequently into the toxic stew of racist and elitist theorizing in late 19th- and early 20th- century Germany that it’s simply impossible to prove conclusively that Hitler never sampled the wares of some crank or other who appealed explicitly to Darwin.

    But this posting isn’t about the rightness or wrongness of Evans’s opinions. Rather, it addresses the question of what Evans does, and does not, say about Social Darwinism in his book The Coming of the Third Reich. Further, it addresses the question of whether I am a liar.

    Earlier on the thread, “Hitler was a True Christian,” I contended that Evans, and not Evans alone among scholars of the Third Reich, believes that Social Darwinism influenced Hitler.

    This statement aroused a truly extraordinary series of responses by Ichthyic, the most detailed of which I will now quote (note that where Ichthyic quotes me, I put the passage in italics.)

    [Aaron Baker:] both of them [Ian Kershaw & Richard Evans] thought Social Darwinism had influenced Hitler.

    which Evans book are you talking about then, because THIS ONE [The Coming of the Third Reich], most certainly carefully explains, in glorious and oft repeated detail, that the entire nationalistic scapegoating strategy only culminated with the Nazi party; it really had nothing to do with Social Darwinism, and Hitler was a latecomer to the affair that simply was a good poster boy.

    so you must have projected a great deal on to your reading of that book.
    . . . . . . .
    I’ve read the book {The Coming of the Third Reich, and it’s quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party.

    [Aaron Baker:] pp. 34-37 [of The Coming of the Third Reich lists a number of intellectual influences, including German examples of Social Darwinism, that Evans thinks had an influence on Nazism.

    I’ll post the relevant tracts tomorrow, so you can see, that out out 200 plus pages where he builds up what really contributed to this period, social darwinism is actually mentioned in passing ONCE in that section….

    Hell, you even note it yourself! not even the full section of of the 3 fucking pages between 34 and 37 that you cite relates the relevance of it, OUT OF THE HUNDREDS OF PAGES PREVIOUS.
    so, tell me again how wrong I am, fuckwit?

    Are you really trying to lie about what Evans’ thesis actually is, when I HAVE THE FUCKING BOOK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME??
    go on, I fucking dare you.
    goddamn idiot
    . . . . . . .
    [Aaron Baker:] Evans mentions a number of German thinkers who applied Darwinian concepts to social thought (so it’s disingenuous of you, to put it as nicely as I can, to claim that Social Darwinism is mentioned only once in those three pages.

    again, NO, FUCKWIT.
    think about it:
    how long is Evans’ book?
    If it was even a MINOR part of his thesis, do you really think it would take up so little space in it?
    yeah, that’s the fucking point.
    you’re lying.
    like I said, I will actually type out the relevant passages today, verbatim, so people can see just how much you are lying about what Evans thinks the importance of social darwinism was.

    Icthyic’s position is pretty clear and consistent, if inelegantly expressed: The Coming of the Third Reich is “quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party” (emphasis supplied). Social Darwinism is mentioned “in passing ONCE” in Evans, pgs. 34-37 (emphasis Ichthyic’s).

    Ichthyic then draws a few inferences. Because I have said that Evans does regard Social Darwinism as an influence on Hitler, I am not simply mistaken. Instead, I must be projecting a great deal. I am a not just a fuckwit, but a FUCKWIT, and a goddamn idiot. And I’m lying. And he fucking dares me say otherwise.

    Well, I checked today on the “Hitler Was a True Christian” thread, and it seems Ichthyic has not yet fulfilled his promise of typing out pgs. 34-37 of The Coming of the Third Reich for our edification. But that’s OK. I am providing here, not the entirety of those pages, but either a direct quotation or a paraphrase of most of what they say—enough I think to give you a fair and accurate picture of what Evans believes. (The book is very easy to find, so you’ll have no trouble checking the whole section against my treatment of it here, if you wish.)

    (NB: I have italicized all mentions of “Social Darwinism,” plus any other word derived from “Darwin,” and also the first mentions of writers or scientists to whom, rightly or wrongly, Evans imputes Social Darwinian views. I’ve also italicized some of the more pertinent statements.)

    (NB2: Evans’s endnotes are omitted.)

    Pg. 34, section II

    Chamberlain’s work impressed many of his readers with its appeal to science in support of its arguments; his most important contribution in this respect was to fuse antisemitism and racism with Social Darwinism. The English scientist Charles Darwin had maintained that the animal and plant kingdoms were subject to a law of natural selection in which the fittest survived and the weakest or least well adapted went to the wall, thus guaranteeing the improvement of the species. Social Darwinists applied this model to the human race as well.

    Evans next says (section III, pg. 34):

    Chamberlain was not alone in putting forward such views. A variety of authors, scientists and others contributed to the emergence in the 1890s of a new, tough selectionist variant of Social Darwinism, one that emphasized not peaceful evolution but the struggle for survival.

    A characteristic example was Ludwig Woltmann, who argued in 1900 that the Aryan or German race represented the height of human evolution and was thus superior to all others. “Therefore, he claimed, the ‘Germanic race has been selected to dominate the earth.’ But other races, he claimed, were preventing this from happening [pg. 34].”

    Evans goes on from this to make general remarks about the application of notions of Lebensraum to foreign politics, and then says on pg. 35:

    Such visions of international politics as an arena of struggle between different races for supremacy or survival had become common currency in Germany’s political elite by the time of the First World War.

    Then follows a list of WWI-era military ideologues who “saw war as a means of preserving or asserting the German race against the Latins and the Slavs.” The list concludes with General Bernhardi, who had written that war “was a ‘biological necessity.’”

    Evans concludes this part of his analysis with these remarks:

    Foreign policy was no longer to be conducted between states, but between races. Here was one beginning of the downgrading of the importance of the state that was to play such an important role in Nazi foreign policy [pg. 35].

    Evans goes on in the next paragraph to a discussion of some features of “the selectionist turn in Social Darwinism”:

    One aspect of the selectionist turn in Social Darwinism during the 1890s was to put greater emphasis than before on ‘negative selection.[pg. 35]’

    It was all well and good to concern oneself with things like improved sanitation and nutrition:

    But this would do little to counteract the influence of society’s abandonment of the principle of the struggle for survival by caring for the weak, the unhealthy and the inadequate. Such a policy, argued some medical scientists, whose views were reinforced by the emergence of the fledgling science of genetics, was bringing about the increasing degeneracy of the human race. It had to be counteracted by a scientific approach to breeding that would reduce or eliminate the weak and improve or multiply the strong. Among those who argued along these lines was Wilhelm Schallmeyer, whose essay advocating a eugenic approach to social policy won first prize in a national competition . . . . Alfred Ploetz was yet another medical man who thought that the height of human evolution had been reached by the Germans. He suggested that inferior specimens should be sent to the front if a war came, so that the unfit would be eliminated first. Most widely read of all was Ernst Haeckel, whose popularization of Darwinian ideas, The Riddle of the World, became a runaway best-seller . . . . [pg. 35]

    After this wide-ranging and (it has to be said) rather vague catalogue of Social Darwinian ideas, Evans expresses a sensible caution (on pg. 36): “It would be a mistake to see such views as forming a coherent or unified ideology, however, still less one that pointed forward in a straight line to Nazism.” To illustrate this point, he notes that Schallmeyer was not antisemitic, and rejected the idea of Aryan superiority. Woltmann wasn’t hostile to Jews.

    Haeckel certainly argued that capital punishment should be used on a large scale to eliminate criminals from the chain of heredity. He also advocated the killing of the mentally ill through the use of chemical injections and electrocution. Haeckel was a racist, too, . . . . [pg. 36]

    But Haeckel was also a pacifist, thinking that war would be “a eugenic catastrophe.”

    The next paragraph (pg. 36) begins:

    The nearest any of this came to prefiguring Nazi ideology was in the writings of Ploetz, who spiced his theories with a strong dose of antisemitism and collaborated with Nordic supremacist groups. Still, before the First World War there seems little evidence that Ploetz himself considered the ‘Aryan’ race superior to others, though one of his closest collaborators, Fritz Lenz, certainly did. Ploetz took a ruthlessly meritocratic line on eugenic planning . . . . The Darwinist Alexander Tille openly advocated the killing of the mentally and physically unfit, and agreed with Ploetz and Schallmeyer that children’s illnesses should be left untreated so that the weak could be eliminated from the chain of heredity. In 1905 Ploetz and his sometime brother-in-law, the like-minded Ernst Ru[e]din, founded the Racial Hygiene Society to propagate their views [pg. 36].

    This is Evans’s segue to a lengthy discussion of the influence of ideas of “racial hygiene” (pgs. 36-37), which he appears to elide, whether correctly or not, with Social Darwinism.

    Then he says (pg. 37):

    To be sure, for all the discussion and debate over these issues, the effect that such ideas had on government policies and their implementation before 1914 was not very great. Beyond the scientific establishment, propagandists for the breeding of a blond, Aryan super-race, such as the self-styled Lanz von Liebenfells, editor of Ostara: Newspaper for Blond People[!], appealed only to an underworld of extremist politics and tiny, eccentric political sects. Nevertheless, despite all these qualifications, the emergence of these ideas, together with the increasing role they played in public debate, was a significant element in the origins of Nazi ideology.

    (Pgs. 37-39, incidentally, provide further discussion of antisemitism and racial hygiene.)

    A few remarks from me now: a weakness of Evans’s account is a lack of citations to explicit appeals by Hitler and other Nazis to the named scientists and writers. Also, Evans appears to be wrong about Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whom Robert Richards argues pretty convincingly (in “Was Hitler a Darwinian?”) to have been emphatically anti-Darwinist (pgs. 23-24). Evans is also (though this may be unavoidable in discussions of this sort of subject matter) a bit vague, and his eliding of Social Darwinism with racial hygiene may require more substantiation.

    But whether Evans is right or wrong on these points is irrelevant. It’s also irrelevant whether he’s right or wrong on this question: did Social Darwinism influence Hitler?
    All that’s relevant here is: does Evans maintain that Social Darwinism influenced Hitler? Does he maintain that Social Darwinism was among the ideas that formed “a significant element in the origins of Nazi ideology”? I maintain that on an unprejudiced reading of his words, Evans believes both propositions—and that he does explicitly conclude that Social Darwinism was significant.

    Please note also that in these pages, contrary to Ichthyic, Evans mentions “Social Darwinism” quite a bit more than once, and not in passing. It is clearly the main subject of section III. Evans writes “Social Darwinism, -ist, -ian” five times in sections II-III by my count, and he mentions (on a conservative reckoning) at least seven people whom, correctly or not, he regards as Social Darwinians: Chamberlain, Woltmann, Schallmeyer, Ploetz, Lenz, Tille, and Ruedin. Evans calls Tille simply a “Darwinist”; whether Evans means us to take this as shorthand for “Social Darwinist” is unclear, but I suspect he does mean us to do so, as Tille was a philosopher, not a scientist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Tille)

    Nor are these pages the only ones in the book that give a significant role to Social Darwinism in Hitler’s thinking. On pg. 245, Evans mentions a speech given by Hitler to industrialists on in 1932:

    Delivered in a two-and-a-half-hour oration, these remarks were extremely general, and offered nothing concrete in the way of economic policies at all. They revealed Hitler’s Social Darwinist view of the economy, in which struggle was the way to success.

    I submit it is impossible to read Evans honestly and conclude that he thinks either that:

    Hitler was uninfluenced by Social Darwinism;

    or:

    such influence as existed was insignificant.

    So, Ichthyic, I’m not a liar. You are—or, because of some mental defect, you’re having a very hard time telling fact from fantasy.

    As a bonus: before taking issue with me about Evans, Ichthyic had this to say: “starting right at the beginning of Aaron Bakers inevitable attempts to paint Hitler as an atheist…”

    Another lie. I have repeatedly stated my opinion that Hitler was a theist, as anyone who cares to can check.

    Now Caine, Fleur de Mal and some others have decried examples of repeated assholishness on this site. Well, Caine, I expect you, Glen Davidson, and the rest to descend now with righteous outrage on Ichthyic and demand that he stop his malevolent, dishonest, trollish sliming of me every time I say something he doesn’t fully agree with.

  101. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Classical, #112: Covered badges? Srsly? I pass along a tip I’ve read in several places and confirmed by a biologist friend of mine: If your eyes are pepper sprayed, tilt your head sideways and pour whole milk or half-and-half over them ASAP. The fat in the milk or cream blocks the capsaicin’s effect on the nerves. People in the occupations are starting to carry creamers with them. But not Coffee Mate or skim milk. Milk fat is the idea.

  102. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Walton, #135: I have seen much the same. There are a couple of sizeable shelters in Boston. I don’t know of any in Cambridge, though I used to volunteer at a hot meal program that gives dinner to homeless/marginal people in Harvard Square. (Btw, it was hosted on a rotating basis by five churches.) So some level of food is available, but the guy would have to get on the train to Boston to sleep indoors.

    On very cold winter nights, the mayor of Boston sends around vans to collect homeless people and offer rides to shelters. (The shelter workers know all the hangouts.) Some go, and some decline. It’s sad. I hope they all get shelter tonight.

  103. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Father O: “Do you really expect the rich to part with a few dollars so that others may live? You commiesocialistnazi!”

    At least he’s now attending school in what’s fondly called the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

  104. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’m not saying that there are no foods that I like better than frozen pot pies…I just can’t remember what they are.

  105. chigau (meh) says

    Aaron Baker
    Why the fuck did you drop that here?
    Aren’t there two “Hitler was a Christian” threads for you to shit in?

  106. curiouser says

    Aaron Baker,
    Considering that you cross-posted that same lengthy post in the Hitler thread, it’s clear you know there is a perfectly good place to argue your point, and it isn’t in TET. If your intent was to complain about Ichthyic et al “trolling,” I think you won’t find a sympathetic ear here. Quite the opposite, actually.

  107. says

    AB, AKA Aryan Brotherhood

    Wait… what?

    I haven’t been following the “Hitler was a Christian” threads, as I’m completely uninterested in the topic, but there’s certainly nothing in Aaron Baker’s post here that would suggest any such sympathies. He may or may not be right, but accusing him of being a white supremacist without any evidence is really not ok.

    (If he’s said something on another thread that would substantiate that claim, then I’ll retract my words.)

  108. silly thesis says

    The Sailor 155

    AB, AKA Aryan Brotherhood, get your shit out of our lounge.

    Oh lol how wonderful you talk about this website page like it is your own. U did not create it U do not own it U do not tell me who puts their feet in it.

    U live for this place that is Ur problem that U have nothing else in Ur life of a value. S o go back into Ur electric wheelchairs and SCOOT!!!!!!

  109. Aaron Baker says

    Well, folks, it was my understanding that the endless thread is an open thread. If I was wrong about that, my apologies. I thought it appropriate it cross-post my offering, because it isn’t solely, or even primarily, about Hitler; its main subject is: I am not a liar, and I think it proves its thesis pretty well.

    As for white supremacist sympathies, my black wife and my black daughter will be surprised to hear about them. The Sailor, I hope your ship sinks with you on it.

  110. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Aaron Baker
    TET is an open thread.
    Mostly that means if there is not a thread on a given topic, it can be discussed here.
    If there is a thread on a topic, discuss it there.

  111. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m not saying that there are no foods that I like better than frozen pot pies…I just can’t remember what they are.

    This is impressive

  112. Carlie says

    I’m not saying that there are no foods that I like better than frozen pot pies…I just can’t remember what they are.

    I made a pot pie from scratch today. :) Ok, partially. I bought the crust. And didn’t grow the vegetables or raise the chicken. Ok, so I put ingredients together with heat, fine.

    Sili, did the encounter go ok? (or don’t say, if you don’t want to)

  113. Tethys says

    Aaron Baker
    Nazi teal deer do not belong in the lounge/TET. Quit pissing on the rug!

    If you aren’t getting a response in the Nazi thread, perhaps you could take the hint that no one wants to discuss it with you anymore?

    Silly thesis

    Are U twelve?

  114. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Jesus Christ, all that Teal Deer just because someone called AB a liar.

  115. Aaron Baker says

    Curiouser, Chigau, Tethys, and whoever else:

    Once again, my post touches on Hitler, but more than that, it concerns lying, and that I AM NOT A LIAR.

    To quote the house rules: “We have a social/community thread called the Endless Thread, linked to under the profile on the top left of this page, where anything goes and you can talk about whatever you feel like” (emphasis supplied). Well, I feel that I’m tired of being accused of things I’m not, and I want to make sure that no one misses my point. Please save the scolding for when I actually break the rules.

  116. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I’m not saying that there are no foods that I like better than frozen pot pies…I just can’t remember what they are.
    [my emphasis]

    Isn’t that hard on your teeth?

  117. Tethys says

    AB

    Your righteous outrage and need for vindication are noted.

    Take it over to the Nazi thread where it belongs.

  118. Aaron Baker says

    Laughting Coyote:

    It’s an excellent cut of teal deer; give it a try.

    Benjamin I Crush Everything:

    Um, no I don’t, and I won’t.

  119. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Aaron Baker
    There are also a number of “unspoken” “rules”.
    e.g.
    “Don’t be a boring, whiny, self-centered, sucky-baby.”

  120. Orange Utan says

    @Aaron Baker

    Surely, common courtesy says that if you have a problem with someone in a specific thread, then you respond in that thread. You don’t go copy/pasting wherever you feel like trying to get a response.

  121. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    I remember the frozen pot pies that came in the little metal pie plates and got baked in the oven, not the current microwaveable ones. I think they were Morton’s. They smelled great when baking.

  122. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I remember the frozen pot pies that came in the little metal pie plates and got baked in the oven, not the current microwaveable ones. I think they were Morton’s. They smelled great when baking.

    I find even stuff labelled ‘microwavable’, with very few exceptions, is STILL disgusting when microwaved. A pot pie in particular, since it requires actual baking to get a half decent crust.

  123. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp
    Rocky Horror is on stage here, starting tomorrow.
    I don’t have my ticket yet but my plan is for a Sunday Matinée.
    ♩let’s do the time-warp again♫

  124. curiouser says

    Aaron Baker,
    My ear grows less sympathetic the more you post.

    Ichthyic’s rhetorical tactics (however ineffective and offensive you find them) are not a reflection of you. Your actions are, however; and what they reflect is self-righteousness and a refusal to admit you might be even a little bit wrong. I do not care that you were called a liar. I do care that the argument is about Hitler and Christianity, not you, and that it has its own perfectly good thread. If you don’t like the way it’s going, just stop posting. Complaining here will get you less than nowhere.

  125. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Curiouser: NOBODY calls Mister Aaron Baker a liar. NOBODY!

    Apparently.

  126. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT CLAP THE BARS, IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT CLAP THE BARS, IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT AND YOU REALLY WANT TO SHOW IT, IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT CLAP THE BARS!

  127. says

    Meh. I didn’t `get’ RHPS.

    Now, I can’t wait for next Saturday. I’ve got \textit{V For Vendetta} on Blu-Ray, and a friend with a full-wall projector and the kind of sound system that can make the neighbors wet the bed.

    “Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot…”

  128. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I never ‘got’ Rocky Horror Picture Show. Then I watched it.

    I still don’t get it, but I’m closer I think.

  129. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Meh. I didn’t `get’ RHPS.

    Not surprising really. Not an indictment just a comment.

  130. ChasCPeterson says

    aw, jeez, Rocky Horror thread?
    I am out of here; I hate that shit and always have.
    Rev, I’m surprised at you.

    bah

  131. Aaron Baker says

    You’re an arsehole, Caine, and a hypocrite; you’re perfectly OK with trollishness when it suits your prejudices, so please spare me any further lectures.

    And Curiouser, I did admit that I might be wrong, just not on the particular issue I had with Ichthyic. So, once more, what I actually say and what actually happened don’t seem to matter.

    And, if you don’t care that I was (wrongly) called a liar, why should I care about any of your complaints to me? Please keep them to yourself.

  132. chigau (何も知らない) says

    bah to you too, sven.
    —-
    Caine @209
    I didn’t follow that thread.
    pitiful

  133. Tethys says

    My traditional Hallows viewing is the Addams Family, and Addams Family Values.

    I especially enjoy Wednesday’s rendition of the first Thanksgiving.

  134. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    And, if you don’t care that I was (wrongly) called a liar, why should I care about any of your complaints to me? Please keep them to yourself.

    No. Quite frankly, you are annoying. First of all, because of that big long winded shitpost. Secondly, because who the fuck cares that much that someone called you a liar in another thread? Is your ego that easily wounded? This is the shark tank, and right now you’re leaking blood everywhere.

    Last but not least, you smell.

  135. Tethys says

    *stamp* Me, I me my, me me me. *stamp* Wah!!!

    ps Caine’s title is fleur de mal. Her fangs are very sniny from chew toys such as Aaron Baker.

  136. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    When Eddie said he didn’t like his teddy you knew he was a no good kid

    but when he threatened your life with a switchblade knife..

  137. says

    Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
    Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
    Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
    And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
    Can’t you just see it. Whoa ho ho!
    Don’t dream it, be it
    Don’t dream it, be it

  138. says

    The Sailor,

    AB, AKA Aryan Brotherhood, get your shit out of our lounge.

    Excuse me? Care to produce a link to anything AB has said that warrants such a label?

    Aaron Baker,
    This may be TET, but that doesn’t mean people will welcome you cross-posting uber-long posts from a thread they may not have been following. You should’ve posted a link to your comment.

    rorschach
    Düsseldorf. I did spend three weeks there once. I found it too far away from the sea. Case in point: while I was there, the Rhine dried up (*wail*)

    Armchair general
    Chinese idioms are one of my hobbies, and since we’re talking about Armchair generals, the Chinese idiom would be 紙上談兵 zhi3 shang4 tan2 bing1, ‘talk about military matters on paper’. It’s from the Shiji and refers to one of the most epic battles in Ancient Chinese history, 1.1 million soldiers on both sides in 265-260 B.C.E., the Kingdom of Qin invading the Kingdom of Zhao (this was basically levée en masse, both sides had conscripted basically all males over 15 y.o.a.). The armchair general is Zhao Kuo. His father had also been a general for Zhao, but the son could speak on military matters even more eloquently and knowledgeably, so he was given, as his first commission, the command over Zhao’s 450,000 strong army, only to lose against one of the most experienced generals Qin had, and to lose his life on the field. At least he has been immortalised in a Chinese saying, guaranteeing that millions of Chinese school children will continue to memorise his name.

    David,
    I know you’re travelling. I had a question regarding the status of Good Friday as a public holiday in Austria, it can wait..

  139. Aaron Baker says

    Sorry, Tethys, I’m not feeling chewed in the least. If you want to know real predation, ask whatever’s left of Ichthyic.

  140. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You won’t find Earth people quite the easy mark you’ve imagined. This Sonic Transducer, it is I suppose, some kind of audio-vibratory, physio-molecular, transport device?

    You mean?

    A VIBRATOR

  141. Aaron Baker says

    OK, Pelamun (and others who may be about to pounce),

    I shouldn’t have posted it here; I’m sorry. I had no idea it would attract the negative attention it did. Now I do. Won’t happen again. It’s actually, I think, a pretty good post–maybe it’ll attract some substantive comment on the Hitler thread.

  142. says

    At least he has been immortalised in a Chinese saying, guaranteeing that millions of Chinese school children will continue to memorise his name.

    Considering that Chinese school children have to memorise about 5,000 Chinese idioms (all at least four characters and many of them opaque in meaning to a modern speaker of Chinese), they will probably only memorise 紙上談兵 and what it means. Only those actually interested in stories from the Chinese past will read up on the stories (or in comic form). But the number of those might still be in the millions…

  143. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    LOL. From whining to declaring victory in less than 60.

  144. Tethys says

    Lemme guess…Arsehole Boy is whinging at super-speed now?

    I haven’t been following the Nazi thread. I am somewhat amused that Aaron decided that TET is a good place to make an appeal to authority.

    Transvestites are much more interesting than petulant bullies.

  145. says

    Since I’ve followed the thread over there, just a short summary:

    I think Ichthyic got it wrong in saying that this ONE BOOK they keep dissecting (which isn’t even a specialist book, it’s a history book written for a general audience) does not say that Social Darwinism (or rather Chamberlainism) influenced Hitler and the Nazis. It does say so. But many on the thread don’t deny that Chamberlain’s ideas were an influence.

    But Aaron Baker misses the point. It’s a thread about Darwinism and Hitler, and not about Chamberlain’s ideas.

    I’m not sure what AB has pulled before, but my guess would be that by bringing up Social Darwinism every time Hitler and Darwin are mentioned in the same sentence, an attempt is made to link Darwin’s ideas to Hitler’s.

  146. Aaron Baker says

    Maybe my tone was too querulous; being called a liar tends to do that to me.

    Ichthyic was mighty tasty, though. Alas, I had no white wine to wash him down with.

  147. Aaron Baker says

    “LOL From whining to declaring victory in less than 60.”

    Well, I’m nothing if not resilient.

  148. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Sometimes I just ♥♥♥ google translate.
    I did “hot patootie” to Japanese and got セクシーな女 (sexy woman).
    Then I tried 紙上談兵 to English and got a locked screen.
    (OK. not google’s fault)

  149. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Well, I’m nothing if not resilient.

    So are tapeworms. So what?

  150. says

    chigau,

    they don’t use 紙上談兵 in Japanese, unless they’re referring to the Shiji story.

    In Japanese you’d use

    机上の空論 kijoo no kuuron

    “empty argument/theory on the table”

  151. Aaron Baker says

    Tethys,

    Again, indignation about petulance or bullying seems entirely dependent here on whom these things are alleged to be coming from.

    Transvestites are also more interesting than hypocrisy.

  152. curiouser says

    Aaron,

    I am not complaining about you, merely reporting how your behavior makes you look to someone on the “outside” of the argument, so to speak. (And why do I not care about whether you were called a liar? I can judge for myself whether you are being honest in words and intent. I do not need to rely on anyone else’s rhetorical point to make that assessment. Whining in here that you AREN’T A LIAR doesn’t help anyone, least of all you. Ichythic’s statement that you are one does not necessarily make it so, either.)

    I was also pointing out that 1. this is not the thread to continue the debate, since there’s a perfectly fine thread still open — it was a huge post, with no real context — and 2. not only is no one going to particularly care that you feel insulted, you’re making yourself look worse by focusing on an insult. The best thing you can do is prove you’re not a liar by arguing in good faith, in the original thread.

    I wrote the above before seeing your latest posts. Maybe you can see what I am getting at, now that you realize you were in error? I will retract my previous statement about refusing to admit wrongdoing, too.

  153. curiouser says

    I’d be happy to do so, Caine. Should I take it back to the Hitler thread? I was actually planning on leaving it at that, but there’s always the off chance of wanting to respond.

  154. says

    Just for the record: 244 was the last post I intended to make on the subject on TET. If there is further need for debate, let’s discuss it on the Hitler thread.

  155. chigau (何も知らない) says

    pelamun
    I tried 紙上談兵 from Japanese, Chinese (Traditional) and Chinese (Simplified).
    It was simply too much for my little netbook. (happens all the time)
    I just really enjoy google translate for the quaintness of the translations.
    I also use to find kanji much quicker than I can in my well-worn beat-to-shit 辞書.

  156. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I tried out the new sushi place down on the corner. Sushi and coffee. It was really good, and for 15 bucks I got a fuckton of california rolls, some scallop rolls, and a free spicy cone-wrap (or whatever it’s called, never ordered one). It was delicious, I’ll be sure to ask for it again.

    I been hoping a sushi place would open up there for a while.

    In other news, I’m trying a new experiment in Starling cognition. If it works, I’ll have Jack whistling the simpsons tune.

  157. says

    I also use to find kanji much quicker than I can in my well-worn beat-to-shit 辞書.

    Of course the traditionalist in me thinks that it should still be considered an essential skill to be able to break down kanji into their elements, and what better to hone that skill than by using a paper-dictionary?

    But then on the other hand, I do appreciate iOS dictionaries (with a history of words looked up) and the possibility of Touchscreen input..

  158. chigau (何も知らない) says

    pelamun
    I’ve had my (classic) Nelson “Japanese-English Character Dictionary” for about 24 years.
    It is now extremely fragile so I usually use something on-line to find kanji by radical.

  159. Aaron Baker says

    Pelamun wrote:

    “But Aaron Baker misses the point. It’s a thread about Darwinism and Hitler, and not about Chamberlain’s ideas.”

    I think I was writing there about Darwinism and Hitler. I’d always assumed that when Hitler talked about the struggle for existence, he was parroting some Social Darwinist he’d read–and early in the thread I said that he (Hitler) was a Social Darwinist. Then, in the course of the discussion, I read Richards’s excellent paper–which supports quite well the thesis that Hitler wasn’t even influenced by Social Darwinists (if by SDs we understand people who explicit link Darwinian ideas to rightwing normative theories), and links Hitler’s use of Kampf ums Dasein convincingly to Chamberlain.

    I think my chief mistake (when it came to avoiding hostility from others) was in saying the connection of Social Darwinism to Darwin was a matter of misapplying Darwin, rather than being nonexistent. This led me to be accused of dishonestly insinuating in favor of the Darwin-led-to-Hitler line.

    So, for whatever good it does, I’ll emphatically assert here that even if Hitler had picked up a few Darwinian catchphrases from some questionable application of Darwinian ideas to politics, that fact (and it may not be a fact) would obviously not entail Darwin caused any of Hitler’s crimes.

  160. Aaron Baker says

    Pelamun:

    Just saw your “lets discuss it on the Hitler thread” post. Sorry, will do so there.

  161. Tethys says

    I haven’t watched much Top Chef, so can’t really offer any opinion.

    I did watch the Project Runway finale though. I was really impressed with all of the finalists runway shows. I’m glad I was not responsible for making the final decision.

    I am not into fashion, but the sewing and constructions skills blow my mind.

    Aaron
    Crossing threads to make personal attacks is a strong indicator that you have boundary issues. I don’t appreciate it when you choose to inflict your arrogance on TET. I don’t care about your opinion about Nazis OR your indignation at being ignored.

  162. Aaron Baker says

    “So are tapeworms. So what?”

    Laughing Coyote,

    Somehow you’ve mistaken me someone who cares whether you exist or ease to exist.

  163. curiouser says

    Caine,

    Thanks for the clarification. Again, my apologies. It was not my intention to piss in the lounge, and I obviously need a bit better Pharyngula education. I do tend to put my foot in it, eh?

    I’ll go back to the silent learning lurker thing. That seemed to work a little better for everyone. :)

  164. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    “So are tapeworms. So what?”

    Laughing Coyote,

    Somehow you’ve mistaken me someone who cares whether you exist or ease to exist.

    Really? where did I make that mistake?

    That’s the problem with tapeworms. They tend to talk out of their (host’s) ass.

  165. says

    Curiouser:

    I’ll go back to the silent learning lurker thing.

    No! No, please don’t do that. Your posts are very enjoyable and you have much to contribute. It’s just that AB has a tendency to never shut up, which I’m sure you noticed.

    You aren’t the one pissing in the lounge. That would be on AB, who has done it before.

  166. chigau (何も知らない) says

    TLC
    I for one, hope that you continue to “ease to exist”. (see #269)
    Sounds waaay cool.

  167. says

    chigau,

    hah. Maybe it’s time to now graduate to a 国語辞典?The Three Big Ones are all available online/as apps.

    Unlike for Chinese, the student of Japanese needs two dictionaries, a kanwa jiten and a kokugo jiten, that has always struck me as unfair. At least with an app, this is no longer an issue..

  168. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Chigau: Considering the stuff I just smoked, I can dig that.

  169. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    you’re all ass, I would say.

    Yeah well I have it on good authority that you eat cat turds, so there.

  170. Tethys says

    How does that killfile command work again?

    Hey TLC

    Did you find any good rocks on your walk last week-end?

  171. chigau (何も知らない) says

    pelamun
    I have a good cubic metre of Japanese phrase-books, dictionaries, “for dummies”, “through manga”, “in just seven days”……
    I’ll get there いつか.

  172. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Tethys: Nah, none that were knappable. It was a bit hard to look, because the place was crowded with anglers. I will try again though. And again.

    Geology isn’t my thing, not like animals and biology and evolution (and lately a form of anthropology, it would seem) and I’m finding it hard, on a riverbank littered with rocks, to search for any particular type of rock, as it were. At least, without any experience identifying the types of rock that knap well. I can research it on the internet for a long time, but until I actually find one and see, touch, and work with it myself, it doesn’t fully ‘click’. But, I taught myself to hunt in a similar way so this isn’t impossible. I’m figuring that good potential rock has a really smooth texture, right? Almost glassy would be ideal, but from what I can see not all flint and related knapping rock has that appearance.

    However, it appears there is a way I can practice knapping skills anyways. On an episode of Dual Survival, I saw Dave knap an arrowhead from the bottom of a glass bottle.

  173. Tethys says

    Curiouser

    I think your posts add to the discussion, no need to lurk.
    —-

    My how AB stamps its little feet in impotent rage. Such drama over being called out on his asstastic behavior.

  174. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Re: AB,
    Gross.

    curiouser, it’s not your fault, and I don’t think you need to go back to lurking.

    How does that killfile command work again?

    Should just have “Kill” next to the nym in blue. If it’s not you might not have killfile installed.

    Ava, you put that a little wrong:

    The same person who rakes you over the coals for disagreeing with her will condole someone else sometimes turn around and console you over a sick cat.

  175. chigau (何も知らない) says

    TLC
    The research for knappable rock is less about the internet and more about smacking rocks together.
    Or better smacking rocks with antler billets.
    If you are doing river cobbles, you probably cannot determine if they are any good until you try to break them.

  176. chigau (何も知らない) says

    Aaron Baker

    you’re all ass, I would say.

    Rey Fox

    Not only a wanker, but a terrible insulter.

    Rey hit the nail right on the head.

  177. Tethys says

    TLC

    Look for rocks that have a dull sheen like they have been waxed, and no visible grain structure. An outer sandy/limey rind is common. The local natural history museum might have examples of stone tools native to your area.

    You’re right about learning anthropology along with learning about types of stone. It’s one of the few materials that lasts nearly forever.

    My grandparents farm in ND has an ancient hunting/fishing camp on it. My grandma has amassed a large rock collection over sixty years. I inherited her rock collection, and there are a lot of stone tools and fragments/reworked tools in it. Most are made from the native knife river flint, but some are made from stone that originated a long way from North Dakota.

  178. Aaron Baker says

    On reflection, I realize I behaved badly here. I was very angry, and very tired of being called certain things–but I realize I didn’t deal with this anger at all well tonight.

    I have needlessly offended several people, and I apologize for having done so.

    Good night.

  179. Tethys says

    Should just have “Kill” next to the nym in blue.

    I have it installed, but it doesn’t do anything when I click it. The hide comment tag works, but its just not as satisfying.

  180. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Aaron Baker: I find in my experience a key to successful internet interaction is to know when to just let it go.

    We are, of course, all real people, but the main difference between this and real life interaction is that at any point you can just get up and walk away without ‘losing face’ on the internet, so to speak.

  181. Aaron Baker says

    Thank you Laughing Coyote.

    I think part of me was hoping I could interact with you in a friendlier way–but I just kept lashing out.

  182. SteveV says

    WAAAAAHHH!

    It’s the first day of Absolutely Awful!

    (Summer time has ended, we’re back on GMT)

    I don’t like Winter.

  183. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I like winter. It feels great to snuggle up in a warm blanket, with a hot cup of tea and a good book while it’s cold outside. I don’t even mind waking up into a cold room in the morning. I always wake up a bit earlier than I need, turn up the heating and then relish the feeling of being in my warm bed and slowly feeling the whole place getting nicely warm.
    Although, I could do without the brown to black “snow” and traffic jams.

  184. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    I only hate the last half of winter. From about January first onwards. Until then it’s kinda fun, but by february, I’m ready to move to the equator.

    It’s not so much the cold here. It’s the rain. Days and days of rain. It gets incredibly depressing.

  185. Therrin says

    Thanks for the reminder of how much I enjoyed Q’s interactions, going to waste part of tomorrow watching old eps.

  186. satan augustine says

    Thanks for the nice vid from Terrence, PZ. Amazing that he could speak so much truth with such clarity, but then could also devolve into his own pseudo-mystical, psychedelics-enhanced woo. He was an intelligent man with some worthwhile and insightful things to say. It’s a shame he died at a relatively young age.

    Someone once boldly pronounced that Terrence was “the Timothy Leary of the 1990’s.” Of course it was Tim Leary himself…I guess he would be a bit of an authority on the subject. : )

    I may have to look for some other T. Mckenna youtube vids.

  187. SteveV says

    Caine:
    Now I feel bad.
    We will probably get a few frosts, maybe one or two snow showers and lots of mizzle.*
    And the daffodils will start showing by the middle of January.

    Six months of snow and ice? Shudder

    * Sort of thick mist or thin drizzle. Dispiriting.

  188. says

    I quite like winter, now that I live in Canberra. It’s colder than Sydney, but much sunnier – it’s light, not cold, that I care about.

    Of course it’s spring here now. Na-na nanana, northerners!

  189. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom says

    Of course it’s spring here now. Na-na nanana, northerners!

    Yeah, it seems we skipped spring here completely and jumped to “hot as hell” without passing GO. I miss winter so much!

    Also, TLC, I’m really jealous over here.

  190. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    [venting - about my father, as usual]
    You know that people with OCD can be “cured” if you bully them enough? Yeah, neither have I. You can thank my dear father for that new bit of knowledge.
    Background: A woman at the workplace sounds like she has ocd – she used to go wash her hands in every bathroom in the building, numerous times a day. People have been bothering her about it, and now she seems to be doing it a bit less. My father approves, because she is weird and what she does annoys people. I expressed disgust with their actions and his derogatory description of the woman, which in turn ruined poor man’s appetite. I ruined the Sunday lunch, as usual. Because I’m oppressing him. No really. Poor man can’t say anything without me jumping at him. How awful of me. I should probably feel terribly guilty….
    …..
    Nope, still not feeling it.
    [/venting]

  191. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    To those a the Smithsonian thingie yesterday.

    Wait. A Smithsonian thingie? Damn.

    Which brings to mind: I seem to remember some talk about a get together down in DC in March or April. Is that still a possibility?

  192. says

    It snowed here yesterday evening, quite heavily. I’m worried about the homeless person I encountered yesterday: I hope he’s ok. :-(

    =====

    Generally I like this part of winter, during the run-up to Christmas. (I don’t mind the cold weather, in itself.)

    What I hate is the period from New Year through to March: when Christmas is gone, there are no more holidays to look forward to in the immediate future, and one has to endure several months of cold, dark, gloomy weather during which one has to work.

  193. says

    A woman at the workplace sounds like she has ocd – she used to go wash her hands in every bathroom in the building, numerous times a day.

    I know the feeling…

  194. says

    What I hate is the period from New Year through to March: when Christmas is gone, there are no more holidays to look forward to in the immediate future, and one has to endure several months of cold, dark, gloomy weather during which one has to work.

    Fuck are you talking about ? From New Year to March it’s on average 30 degrees, beach time, flourishing love, blue skies. Unfortunately you can’t fly here right now, crazy Irish guy has fucked up everything.

  195. ChasCPeterson says

    I think I’m going to have to get Chas a new companion or two. He’s not coping well with being a single rat.

    these posts always freak me out for a second

  196. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Rev. BDC, Chiagu: About 15 years ago, I went to see Rocky Horror with some friends. The theater staff patted everyone down at the door, removing rice, toast, toilet paper, and squirt guns. They were tired of cleaning up the theater after every showing. I had fun, but I get sick of cultish audience members reciting the dialogue along with the soundtrack.

  197. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Classical Cipher #285: Hasn’t happened yet, not from that individual anyway, who always give me nothing but shit. OTHER people here, yes. Certainly.

  198. ChasCPeterson says

    Too much “get off my lawn”. Geez, people handle stuff you like.

    I guess you meant ‘don’t like’.
    But the comment to which you object was me handling it (i.e. RHPS, which I really really don’t like, as mentioned). You do not wish to hear an opinion that differs from your own?
    Next time I promise to instead exit silently with but a tacit eyeroll.

    watch carefully…here’s a demo…

  199. says

    Hi there
    Haven’t caught up with this thread yet, maybe tonight

    Today I’m praying to the Oh-god of hangover.
    Mr. and I made it to our favourite Greek restaurant last night and one of the alcoholic beverages was bad.
    No idea if it was the Sherry, or the wine, or the Ouzo or the Whisk(e)y…
    And I hate daylight saving time and the ende of it. Useless shit that messes up our days without any benefit.

    supremanists
    That’s a cool name, I think I’ll steal that

  200. says

    Walton

    What I hate is the period from New Year through to March: when Christmas is gone, there are no more holidays to look forward to in the immediate future, and one has to endure several months of cold, dark, gloomy weather during which one has to work.

    That’s why they invented carnival over here: You can bear it better when you’re drunk ;)

  201. consciousness razor says

    Generally I like this part of winter, during the run-up to Christmas. (I don’t mind the cold weather, in itself.)

    Bah. Christmas can go fuck itself. I don’t care if we’ve officially declared war on it yet this year. It’s not getting a break from me.

    What I hate is the period from New Year through to March: when Christmas is gone, there are no more holidays to look forward to in the immediate future, and one has to endure several months of cold, dark, gloomy weather during which one has to work.

    Not so. In the U.S., we have MLK day, Washington’s birthday, Super Bowl Sunday, Groundhog day, Mardis Gras, Valetine’s day, St. Patrick’s day, then you can look forward to April Fool’s day. Granted, you may not want to celebrate any of those, but we’ve got loads of fucking holidays if that’s what you want.

  202. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Bah. Christmas can go fuck itself.

    Hm, I’m thinking of an inventive use of a decorated Christmas three instead of a porcupine. With lights on. And a pointy star on the top. While “All I want for Christmas” is stuck on repeat in the background.

  203. Carlie says

    I said I’d shoot this photo. I find it amusing

    I like you very much right now. :D

    I am also not a fan of the January – April months. Cold, drab, no good holidays with the day off. Bah humbug. Feeling very good that we got some wood delivered Friday, though. It’s funny – I grew up in houses with gas heat, and am still living in a house with gas heat, but now that this house also has a wood stove, I have a nagging sense of oh my god we’ll freeze to death if we don’t have wood every fall. Might be because this house was built in the 60s when contractors apparently didn’t give a shit about things like insulation, but still. The change of mindset is interesting, especially since we only use the wood as secondary (it takes so long to get the heat through the house, it’s only useful to do it on weekends).

    Bought some fleece and dug out some old towels from the rag box to try with the guinea pigs. Now finished the third washing on the fleece and it still seems a little water-resistant, so I’m not sure whether to run it through the washer again.

  204. Carlie says

    Speaking of christmas, I had a Halloween party to go to yesterday and no ideas on what to do, so I dug through the christmas decorations box and put on a santa hat, tied some crocheted snowflakes to a red sweater and scarf, and went as a christmas caroler.

  205. Dhorvath, OM says

    I’m thinking of an inventive use of a decorated Christmas three instead of a porcupine.

    Are threes how we show appreciation for Typos at Christmas?

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We made it through October without any frost here in Chiwaukee. The ghosties and ghoulies will be around this afternoon for their candy. Light rain expected, which may keep their numbers down around 200 or so.

  207. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Are threes how we show appreciation for Typos at Christmas?

    Sure, everything comes in threes for Christmas. It’s a special threat.

  208. says

    Apparently, we have a German moment of Mormon madness here.

    550 cars have been damaged by arson in Berlin so far this year. An arsonist responsible for 102 of them is a “mission leader” at the German centre of the Latter Day Saints. The suspect was unemployed and almost every day at the centre, helping organise events and proselytise during the day. Envious of others better-off than him, he felt an urge to put (mostly luxury) cars on fire at night. Now facing 10 years in prison, he is afraid that his fellow religionists will shun him.

    Right now, there is only a link to a tabloid report

  209. says

    So the FWA judges have determined that all industrial action against Qantas has to be terminated. Wait, but isn’t industrial action within the rights of the unions ? Madness.

  210. says

    regarding shariah law*) in Libya.

    According to the Pfft, Libya was already moving towards shariah law under Gadafi.

    The announcement by the new government seems to amount to lip service. In an interview with Der Spiegel, the vice-president of the Transition Council said something like

    “Shariah law is not an issue. We’re all Muslims anyway. No law will be changed or made more severe because of it”.

    *) standard shariah disclaimer applies: there is a lot of variation of shariah law around the globe, shariah law does not equal shariah law, especially not the shariah law imagined by the Oklahoma Republican Party.

  211. Sili says

    pelamun says:

    David,
    I know you’re travelling. I had a question regarding the status of Good Friday as a public holiday in Austria, it can wait..

    I’m not a David, but I can play one on the Internet.

    Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday are mandatory holidays in Denmark. Schools and uni usually take off weds and tues as well to make it an even week.

  212. says

    Carlie, surely one more washing won’t hurt the fleece?

    In the 70s, we used a home-built microcomputer attached to a temperature sensor calibrated with ice water and such, plus a teletype for communication, to monitor when the home furnace went on and off. We found that a small woodstove in a small house cut the furnace on-time by one-third. So it might be significant. Also, if it has a cooking surface, it can be wonderful for slow-cooked things or you can put on a pot of water for humidity.

  213. says

    Sili,

    are you Austrian? According to the Pfft, Good Friday is a public holiday for Lutherans, “Old Catholics” and Methodists, but NOT for Roman Catholics, the majority. Bonus question, do atheists get off?

    But interesting that Maundy Thursday is off in Denmark. I would have associated “taking one week off for Easter” with Catholicism, not with Lutheranism.

  214. Carlie says

    Monado – time change is next weekend in the US. It was moved a week a few years ago because Congress finally realized that it was stupid to make it dark early a couple of days before Halloween when all the little kids were going out at night.

    I freakin’ hate that time change.

    Just did one more wash on the fleece, this time with vinegar (I forgot the other times) – hopefully that does it. Can’t wait to see curious little piggies react to it.

  215. Sili says

    Nonono ! Double pay and a half, I love Christmas ! Worked every single one since 1998.

    I need to look for another line of work.

  216. says

  217. Sili says

    But interesting that Maundy Thursday is off in Denmark. I would have associated “taking one week off for Easter” with Catholicism, not with Lutheranism.

    I don’t know the history of it, but we used to be almost as pious as the Dutch, so that might have something to do with it. We had a multitude of days of prayer and fasting, until our efficient German prime minister rolled them all into one in the 18C (in between schtupping the queen).

    –o–

    I usually quote the poet Henrik Nordbrandt this time of year:
    “The Danish year has sixteen months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November, November, December.”

  218. says

    There’s Valentine’s Day in Feb., which in Japan is celebrated by going to a hotel with your sweetheart.

    That’s tongue-in-cheek right? The Valentine’s Day tradition Japan is famous for is that on that day, women send men chocolate. The chocolate industry in Japan successfully lobbied for a “White Day” on March 14, on which day men return the favour.

    I would add Dec 31/Jan 1 to your list of secular holidays. The beginning and end of the year are probably important too.

    Also, we’d need movable holidays. Holidays that fall on a Friday or Monday, or Thursday or Tuesday, so you can get long weekends.

  219. says

    until our efficient German prime minister rolled them all into one in the 18C (in between schtupping the queen)

    Ah that guy, I think I remember him, the medical doctor?

  220. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    @ [waay up thread]

    The Koch (ˈkɔx) brothers are being featured on Al-Jazeera. (Linky)

    @ pelamon

    That arsonist sounds like the one we had in Delft in the 90’s. For some reason he hated old vehicles and regularly set fire to them. I woke up one night to lights flashing and the horn blaring (the fire had got to the electrics) on an old Deux Cheveux that had been set ablaze outside my bedroom window.

  221. says

    theophontes,

    in Berlin, owners of luxury cars have been living in fear for their vehicles. Due to the wide-spread phenomenon of Sozialneid (social envy), most perpetrators are stereotyped to be anarchistic, atheistic, unemployed young people, not Mormon mission leaders…

  222. SteveV says

    Should never have mentioned mizzle
    Been for walk over the causeway to The Mount.
    Mizzle arrived and now I’m so bloody moist I might as well have swum back

  223. says

    The phone rang at 4 am this morning. I don’t answer the phone past midnight because it’s never good news and it can always wait till morning.

    The machine picked up and it was a robo-call from the police department warning people to stay inside because a man 10 blocks away had fired a gun in the air.

    I’ve never heard of this type of service and I don’t care for it.
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    to all: I slammed down on AB because I considered it a completely inappropriate post. Aryan Brotherhood came to mind because of his initials and a post about Hitler. It was intended to be maximally insulting to short circuit the crap that came afterward. It was badly designed, poorly implemented, and won’t happen again.

  224. Esteleth says

    I usually quote the poet Henrik Nordbrandt this time of year:
    “The Danish year has sixteen months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November, November, December.”

    I’m reminded of the the explanation I got once of the seasons in Maine: Snow, slush, mud, black flies, spring, tourists, more tourists, sleet, snow.

    A real douchebag came to my Meeting today. Said that we need to be careful in how loudly we emphasize our belief that all forms of bigotry (sexism, racism, homophobia, etc) are bad – we’ll chase away Good Progressives (TM) who think that the patriarchy is just peachy, that white people are natural rulers, and “the gays” need “healing.” Said douchebag seemed startled that he didn’t get greeted with applause and started complaining about oppression. Fucker.

  225. Rey Fox says

    Jeez, it’s not even November yet and we’re already complaining about winter. Hold your heads up, everybody, embrace the cycles.

    Congress finally realized that it was stupid to make it dark early a couple of days before Halloween when all the little kids were going out at night.

    More like, Congress decided to ruin Halloween by making it not dark and spooky. Oh, maybe it’ll save a few lives…

    Now facing 10 years in prison, he is afraid that his fellow religionists will shun him.

    Why? It’s not like he’s gay or anything.

  226. says

    Ah Struensee, yes. And yes he got executed for the affair, the Queen divorced and sent to exile in Hanover.

    I didn’t know he was an atheist. Interesting.

    Johann Friedrich entered the University of Halle on 5 August 1752 at the age of fifteen where he studied Medicine, and graduated as a Doctor in Medicine (“Dr. Med.”) on 12 December 1757. The university exposed him to Age of Enlightenment ideals, and social and political critique and reform. He supported these new ideas, becoming a proponent of atheism, the writings of Claude Adrien Helvétius, and other French materialists.[1]

  227. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Sailor, those kind of insults, insinuating that the person is a fascist or neo-fascist, should be saved for those who have shown themselves to actually be that. Too many people, on the left and the right, are too free and easy in labeling other people in those terms.

    It is a very cheap shot and should be beneath you. Save it for the racists and fascists who reveal themselves or are revealed to be.

    In all of my time insulting trolls here, I have called only one person a fascist. That is because I tracked his user name and found that he was a member of Stormfront, a neo-nazi site.

  228. says

    I slammed down on AB because I considered it a completely inappropriate post. Aryan Brotherhood came to mind because of his initials and a post about Hitler. It was intended to be maximally insulting to short circuit the crap that came afterward. It was badly designed, poorly implemented, and won’t happen again.

    Fine, but please be careful in future. Calling someone a white supremacist, rhetorically or otherwise, is a very serious accusation, and shouldn’t be made unless you can substantiate it. Even if you think AB is an asshole – he might be; I’ll reserve judgment on that point because I don’t really know him – it’s not cool to throw those kinds of labels around as gratuitous insults.

    (On the other hand, when an actual white supremacist turns up here – as has happened in the past; we had a St*rmfr%nt infestation a couple of years ago – I’m all for calling them out as racist morons and telling them to fuck off loudly, clearly and repeatedly. Don’t mistake this for a call for “civility”. It’s just a call for accurate labelling.)

  229. says

    Sorry if I bring AB up again, but now that it seems that the disagreement on the Hitler thread has been resolved in a quite constructive manner – what’s the history AB has here people kept bringing up? What did he pull before?

  230. trinioler says

    Hi Carlie, I use quilt batting instead of fleece. All pee just goes straight through it. It took about four weeks, with regular washing and changes before it started to stain.

    Let me know how well the fleece works and how the cavies take it!

  231. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Ed Brayton linked to this and I felt inspired to spread the toxic slime. Bryan Fischer interviews Kirk Cameron. You can learn how to “fireproof” your marriage and have a love worth fighting for. Oh, and Cameron goes back to the Pilgrims in order to find a cure for the sickness that is in the soul of America.

    It is as bad as you think it is.

  232. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    Inkubus Sukkubus = balm for my mind and soul (or whatever).

    Lingering headache, although it’s not like it was when I woke up. Some special mass tonight, and I stupidly said I’d go help Mom set up for the party afterwards. I bet she’ll insist I stay for the ceremony. I’d have never felt any obligation to help if the woman who said she’d do it didn’t say, “The earliest I can be there is 5:30.” The mass is at 6. Criminy….
    ——————————————–

    No crying yesterday. Maybe it helped that I gave up trying to stay awake around 10 pm the night before and went to bed. None of that being awake and having shit running through my head. Or maybe I was really overdrawn at the sleep bank.
    ———————————————

    Anyone know of writing contests that aren’t scams? Seems like each one that looks just halfway for real is a scam, not worth bothering with.

  233. says

    @pelamun: I just watched that, and I have to say, I found Smurthwaite’s comments in the video obnoxious, smug and condescending. Not all believers are idiots; we may disagree with them, with good reason, but that doesn’t make them all stupid. (Of course some believers are idiots, but then so are some atheists.) And that kind of foolish generalization just contributes to the existing stereotype of “New Atheists”, and drowns out serious debate.

    (I’m not keen on the National Secular Society in general, even while agreeing with many of their aims. Which is a shame, because I have enormous admiration for the man who founded it, Charles Bradlaugh, the first open atheist in the House of Commons.)

  234. says

    Ed Brayton linked to this and I felt inspired to spread the toxic slime. Bryan Fischer interviews Kirk Cameron. You can learn how to “fireproof” your marriage and have a love worth fighting for. Oh, and Cameron goes back to the Pilgrims in order to find a cure for the sickness that is in the soul of America.

    It is as bad as you think it is.

    Aaaarrrgggh. No, I’m not going to watch that. I don’t think my nerves can stand it.

  235. says

    and since the atheist from the TV show was a woman, the misogynists are out in force, this time of the theist persuasion

    http://cruellablog.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-atheist-btchslap-and-internet.html

    Ugh. Now that’s really nasty. (I hadn’t seen this before I posted my last comment.)

    While I disagree with Smurthwaite’s comments, I’m also sickened and disheartened by the fact that every time any woman anywhere says something controversial on any subject, it seems that the misogynists come out of the woodwork and start advocating sexual violence against her and smearing her with sexist insults. What the fuck is wrong with society? Seriously?

  236. says

    Walton,

    she’s only a member, not a spokeswoman.

    Also, wouldn’t that be a case of the Overton Window? You also need atheists saying that belief in heaven is idiotic.

    Weren’t the Gnu atheists also about calling a spade a spade, to clearly say that faith is clearly irrational?

  237. says

    Also, Occupy Cologne is being overrun by conspiracy theorists telling stories about how Fukushima was engineered by the super sekkret American Weather Machine..

    head -> desk

  238. says

    well, in all fairness, it could be that it’s just one crackpot who came near a camera… but still… now the truth will out!

  239. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Weren’t the Gnu atheists also about calling a spade a spade, to clearly say that faith is clearly irrational?

    Being irrational and being an idiot are two different things. All of us are irrational, that is why we have to teach ourselves logic and how to think rationally. Religion is one of the heaviest burdens that we have to carry because of our collective irrational nature.

    Religion may cause people to act like idiots but people are not religious because they are idiots. So, yes, she was wrong when she called religious people idiots.

    That said, the people piling on her is coming from the same place as the atheist idiots piling on Rebecca Watson. It is the ugliness and hatred that we are all close to, even if we do not want to acknowledge it.

  240. says

    Janine,

    OK, I can see that, thanks. (It’s not been long for me that I’ve come off the agnostic fence, for which I credit this blog, I’ve had a we-must-respect-all-religions-no-matter-how-irrational attitude for too long, so now I’ve gotta be careful not to go the other extreme)

    In her defence, I’d say, since she is a stand-up comedian, she probably wanted to cause as big a ruckus as possible.

  241. says

    That said, the people piling on her is coming from the same place as the atheist idiots piling on Rebecca Watson. It is the ugliness and hatred that we are all close to, even if we do not want to acknowledge it.

    This definitely has been one of the lessons of Elevator Gate for me.

  242. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    There is nothing new about the idea of secret American weather machine causing the nuclear disaster in Japan. The left is just as prone to insane theories as the right. (Oh, all of the insane people I have met at protests over the last two decades.) The difference is that the left does not have a propaganda machine like Fox News so all of that insanity does not get a lot of air.

    Do not be surprised at all of the conspiracy theories. They are to be expected. You need to learn how to filter them out and counter them if they become too damaging to your cause. And they will become damaging.

  243. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    (It’s not been long for me that I’ve come off the agnostic fence, for which I credit this blog, I’ve had a we-must-respect-all-religions-no-matter-how-irrational attitude for too long, so now I’ve gotta be careful not to go the other extreme)

    I understand. I went from being a teen age lay member of a methodist church to an atheist in rather short order. And for a while, I was rather obnoxious about it. Now, I do not bring up my atheism unless it is relevant to the discussion. Sometimes, people get very surprised about my lack of belief.

  244. NuMad says

    From the cruellablog link:

    This clip also has a fairly generic title. Most places have titled it “Atheist B*tchslap”. I generally think the term “b*tch” is an unpleasant one, but in this case it seems to be being used positively so I don’t mind.

    As long as it’s someone else that’s the bitch, it’s positive?

    I’ll assume that the blogger is simply unaware that “bitchslap” has its own special, unpleasant character beyond just featuring “bitch.”

  245. Sili says

    Thank you, Internet.

    I’m finally learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube (knockoff).

    Now I just need to memorise it, and then pay attention to what I’m doing, so I might understand.

  246. says

    What I found noteworthy is that she actually doesn’t say “believers are idiots”.
    She says that she doesn’t believe in things for which there is no evidence because she isn’t an idiot.
    And suddenly all the religious people who totally think that their faith is absolutely reasonable and of course suported by evidence go berserk.

  247. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I’ll assume that the blogger is simply unaware that “bitchslap” has its own special, unpleasant character beyond just featuring “bitch.”

    Use your pimp hand to administer the bitchslap.

  248. julian says

    Religion may cause people to act like idiots but people are not religious because they are idiots. So, yes, she was wrong when she called religious people idiots.

    Somewhere an accomadionist’s universe has just imploded.

  249. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Somewhere an accomadionist’s universe has just imploded.

    I am not at all surprised. Being a lesbian, I already have to power to destroy either/or civilization and the world.

  250. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    I’ma stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!

    Wait ’til they cool first. Trust me on this one.

  251. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Occupy Oakland is planning a general strike Nov. 2. Rumors that some of the unions have come out in favor but this article seems more tentative. Anyone have updates? I don’t want this to fizzle, but I’m concerned. There are only three days left.

  252. consciousness razor says

    I want my iced tea to be extra phallicy.

    If I had a dime for every time I thought that…. ummm… I wouldn’t have any more dimes than I already do??

    Is “phallicy” supposed to be pronounced with a hard c, like phallicky? You could also say “phallusy,” but that might make some conversations a bit confusing. Beware the phallusy fallacy!

  253. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    Beware the phallusy fallacy!

    Ah. You’ve been on the most recent MRA thread, haven’t you?

  254. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    I will pass on the gravy

    And I read that wrong. I was wondering, pass on the gravy to whom? And why would one pass on, to another person, gravy that has be phallicly enhanced?

    I get it now. I may not be too bright, but I am slow.

  255. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I have made a lasagna. And not a simple one. Oh no, I have to get one that calls for ragu bolognese and béchamel sauce. It’s baking in the oven as I write this. It will be years before I make another lasagna. It’ll take me that long to forget what a pain in the ass making a lasagna is.

    It better be good because I put too much work into it for it to taste just mediocre.

  256. Tethys says

    I obviously spend too much time with insects. I look at those ice cube trays and see butterfly chrysalis

    Thanks for the gravy Janine!

    Sorry if the link is borked. Suddenly preview is not working.

  257. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    That would be a hard “k”, consciousness razor.

    Hard?

    *groan*

    English is set up like this on purpose.

    Perhaps I should pronounce it like you did.

  258. says

    I have made a lasagna. And not a simple one. Oh no, I have to get one that calls for ragu bolognese and béchamel sauce

    But…but that is simple lasagna. Complicated starts when you add salmon and spinach and that stuff. The good thing about ragu bolognese is that you can make lots of it and then freeze it, so the next time, you only need to make béchamel.
    (or add beans and corn to make chili, or just use it as bolognese)

  259. Sili says

    Oh no, I have to get one that calls for ragu bolognese and béchamel sauce.

    Is there any other kind?

    Even I, cheap that I am, do the simmering for hours thing now.

    Trick is to make a hella big batch, so that you can put three lasagnae in the freezer while you’re at it.

  260. says

    I miss the days when I had a kitchen I could actually cook in. (As a result of sharing a kitchen between two floors and twenty people, it seems always to work out that the place is full of mess and dirty dishes whenever I want to cook anything.) *sigh* Oh well. Some day I’ll have my own place. :-)

  261. consciousness razor says

    Ah. You’ve been on the most recent MRA thread, haven’t you?

    Not the most recent, no, though I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a phallusy fallacy fallacy or two (or if you prefer, a phallusist’s Fallacist’s fallacy).

  262. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Amanda fucking Palmer is going to the Occupy LA protests today. I can’t get there. My heart is broken.
    :(

  263. says

    I’m not sure what to make of this.

    Christian groups have drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.

    As the storm of controversy over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration deepened on Saturday, Christian activists said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul’s. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: “We represent peace, unity and love. A ring of prayer is a wonderful symbol.”

    With senior officials at St Paul’s apparently intent on seeking an injunction to break up the protest, the director of the influential religious thinktank Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, said the cathedral’s handling of the protest had been a “car crash” and predicted more high-profile resignations from the Church of England….

    Christian groups that have publicly sided with the protesters include one of the oldest Christian charities, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the oldest national student organisation, the Student Christian Movement, Christianity Uncut, the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and the Christian magazine Third Way. In addition, London Catholic Worker, the Society of Sacramental Socialists and Quaker groups have offered their support.

    A statement by the groups said: “As Christians, we stand alongside people of all religions who are resisting economic injustice with active nonviolence. The global economic system perpetuates the wealth of the few at the expense of the many. It is based on idolatrous subservience to markets. We cannot worship both God and money.”

    Bartley said: “There are some very unhappy people within the Church of England. The protesters seem to articulate many of the issues that the church has paid lip-service to. Many people are disillusioned with the position St Paul’s has adopted. To evict rather than offer sanctuary is contrary to what many people think the church is all about. The whole thing has been a car crash.”

  264. Carlie says

    Amanda fucking Palmer is going to the Occupy LA protests today. I can’t get there. My heart is broken.

    I know how you feel; I missed Janelle Monae earlier because she was here and I was out of town.

    Hugs, PTI.

    Well, piggies are on fleece and are somewhat confused. I went ahead and sewed a towel onto it to make a sandwich so hopefully it will be easier removal, and put another separate towel under it and a thin layer of aspen just to be sure for the first time. I finally found a tip online to use dish soap to get rid of the repellant coating on microfleece, and that seemed to work. I guess we’ll see what happens when the weeing starts.

    I am also making a ragu. However, mine is in a jar that says “Ragu” on the outside. What can I say – it’s what I grew up with, and it tastes like home. When I’m feeling really homesick, I go for velveeta on popcorn. ;)

  265. sandiseattle says

    Scanned it all, not caught up.

    Regarding gravy: had the chance to make chorizo gravy the other day, but discovered we had no flour. NO FLOUR! I mean really? Thats like a basic. I have so got to start doing the shopping again.

  266. Pteryxx says

    IMHO:

    I want my iced tea to be extra phallicy.

    Because of context (ICEd tea) I read it as “phall-icy” soft c. If it were the lasagna, then I’d read the same spelling as “phall-icky” hard c as in “garlicky”. But then I read with my ears. ~;>

  267. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    I have made a lasagna. And not a simple one. Oh no, I have to get one that calls for ragu bolognese and béchamel sauce. It’s baking in the oven as I write this. It will be years before I make another lasagna. It’ll take me that long to forget what a pain in the ass making a lasagna is.

    There are some shortcuts which can be made and still create a quality lasagna.

    First, get a couple of bottles of good Italian sauce. Wegmans makes a really good one with roasted garlic and red sweet peppers. Then, brown some ground beef or Italian sausage and mix it into the sauce with the pan drippings (you can deglaze the pan with some wine and that, too). In place of the bechamel sauce, use a small jar of Alfredo sauce, cut with a little extra milk. Assemble the lasagna as normal. I have had a lasagna on the table in an hour-and-a-half, beginning to end, which includes a little more than an hour cooking time. It is almost as good. About 95% as good with far less effort.

  268. says

    If the Devil existed, vending machines would be his most cruel and enticing temptation. I’ve wasted so much money lately on diet sodas. :-(

  269. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Benjamin “I Crush Everything” Geiger@261, Now that’s funny!

    SteveV@296, I just put up a few lights for Halloween tonight, and they come down Monday night or Tuesday morning. I don’t like to let them linger.

    Alethea H. Claw@304, I guess it’s only fair since you just finished winter.

    Giliell@327,

    I really like christmas

    Would you like some “white wine in the sun” with that?

  270. First Approximation says

    This is horrible:

    Church HIV prayer cure claims ’cause three deaths’

    At least three people in London with HIV have died after they stopped taking life saving drugs on the advice of their Evangelical Christian pastors.

    The women died after attending churches in London where they were encouraged to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs in the belief that God would heal them, their friends and a leading HIV doctor said.

    AHPN said it believed the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), which has UK headquarters in Southwark, south London, may be one of those involved in such practices.

    The church is headed by Pastor T B Joshua, Nigeria’s third richest clergyman, according to a recent Forbes richlist.

    In one example, the church’s website claims: “Mrs Badmus proudly displays her two different medical records confirming she is 100% free from HIV-Aids following the prayer of Pastor T B Joshua.”

    “HIV-Aids healing” is listed on the church’s website among “miracles” it says it can perform.

    “Cancer healing” and “baby miracles” are also advertised.

    Via FSTDT.

  271. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    First Approximation:

    Any idea if criminal or civil law would be applicable?

  272. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    First Approximation:

    Good point.

    Anyone know the Walton signal?

  273. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I especially enjoy Wednesday’s rendition of the first Thanksgiving.

    Me too!
    :) :) :)

    I…I have to confess…..I’ve never watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    I think I’m going to have to get Chas a new companion or two. He’s not coping well with being a single rat.

    Our Pixel cat always acted like she resented not being an only cat…but when my Midnight died, it didn’t take her long to start moping and acting insecure. When we got Bitsy about a month later, she only put up a token protest, and now you’d think it was her idea all along.

    I’ll go back to the silent learning lurker thing. That seemed to work a little better for everyone. :)

    So, you made one little mis-step (if it can even be called that; I wouldn’t)! Don’t let that put you off posting!

    Have successfully painted a butterfly around my eyes. Next year, something more amibitious!
    -

  274. Sally Strange, OM says

    Hi everyone! I’m in NYC! Well technically right now I’m in Jersey. But tomorrow I’ll be in Manhattan! All day, all week! Occupy Wall Street! And the Halloween parade! Wheee!

  275. says

    Cicely:

    Our Pixel cat always acted like she resented not being an only cat…but when my Midnight died, it didn’t take her long to start moping and acting insecure. When we got Bitsy about a month later, she only put up a token protest, and now you’d think it was her idea all along.

    I’ll wait until Wednesday to decide, but if Chas doesn’t mellow out a bit by then, he’s getting a companion or two whether he wants them or not. Right now, he just doesn’t want to be apart from me, spends most of his time in my lap or on my shoulder. That wouldn’t be such a problem, except he doesn’t want me doing anything except cuddling him or feeding him peanut butter.

  276. Father Ogvorbis, OM: Machiavellian Inquisitor says

    Anyone know the Walton signal?

    I believe it’s shaped like a British royal crown

    I figgered that’d be too obvious. Walton needs subtle.

  277. says

    Well, there is a crime of “manslaughter by gross negligence” in English law, where X has a duty of care towards Y, X is grossly negligent in performing that duty, and Y dies as a result. It’s most commonly applied in cases involving parents or healthcare professionals. In this case I doubt a court would find that the pastors owed a legal duty of care to the deceased, but I suppose it’s possible. (Similarly, establishing civil liability for the tort of negligence would also require establishing a legal duty of care.)

    Annoyingly, I no longer have access to Westlaw UK and can’t search for relevant English cases, which is frustrating. So I could be wrong on this. But I’m not aware of a past case in which a faith leader has been held liable in such circumstances.

  278. says

    I thought it was a Mountain Dew bottle?

    Diet Mountain Dew. I’ve never tried the full-sugar stuff. (HFCS doesn’t taste good to me.)

  279. says

    Walton:

    But I’m not aware of a past case in which a faith leader has been held liable in such circumstances.

    I doubt a successful prosecution could take place in either the UK or the U.S., given the leeway religion is granted. It’s not against the law to stop or refuse medical treatment, if you’re an adult.

  280. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/62/leafkhukri.jpg/

    I made a sort of a khukri-like blade. It started out as something like a seax, but I didn’t like it, so I changed it a bit to something more like this, but it didn’t seem right until I put the little inward curved edge behind the big main one there. This is mainly a bushcraft tool, for chopping and splitting wood as well as rough carving.

    It’s attached like an old-fashioned seax, with the tang heated up and burned through a piece of thick sledgehammer handle and then peened at the back. Shouldn’t come loose unless it actually splits. Of course it will be decorated with some kind of tasteful carving in the future, once I can think of something that ‘fits’.

    Sailor, if you see this, I’m still entertaining the notion of making you a blade at some point, so just for future reference what do you think of this kind of thing?

  281. Sally Strange, OM says

    Har har. Yes, Walton, that was a TERRIBLE joke. Especially seeing as how I said goodbye to the Jersey cows when I left Vermont. MOO!

  282. changeable moniker says

    Diet Mountain Dew.

    Fair point, but are they different shapes??

    I’d-a thunk you’d have gone after “crown”, given there are several. ;)

  283. says

    I doubt a successful prosecution could take place in either the UK or the U.S., given the leeway religion is granted.

    In the US, there would be potential First Amendment issues with a prosecution in such circumstances, but it’s a complicated and nuanced area of the law. I’ve just had a look at some of the relevant law, and there’s a long line of cases on faith-healing-type claims.

    For instance, in Founding Church of Scientology v United States, 409 F.2d 1146 (1969), the FDA seized a number of “E-meters” from the Church of Scientology, alleging that the literature which accompanied the devices – which claimed that they could diagnose certain illnesses – amounted to “false and misleading labeling”, contrary to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The District Court entered a decree of condemnation and destruction. However, on appeal, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision and remanded the case for a new trial, holding that the First Amendment prohibited the court from inquiring into the truth or falsity of religious claims, and that the Act was not meant to deal with doctrinal religious claims. They accepted that Scientology was a bona fide religion and that “auditing” was a religious practice, and held that:

    …literature setting forth religious doctrines, and related to an instrument in the manner in which the “auditing” literature here is related to the E-meter, cannot be subjected to courtroom evaluation and therefore cannot be considered “labeling” of such an instrument for purposes of the “false or misleading labeling” provisions of the Act.

    However, they also added various caveats, including:

    Any prima facie case made out for religious status is subject to contradiction by a showing that the beliefs asserted to be religious are not held in good faith by those asserting them, and that forms of religious organization were erected for the sole purpose of cloaking a secular enterprise with the legal protections of religion…

    We do not hold that public health laws in general, or the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in particular, have no application to the activities of religion. For instance, it may well be that adulterated foods, drugs or devices used in religious practices can be condemned under the Act. It may be that a drug or device used in religion is subject to condemnation as “misbranded” if its labeling is found to lack, for instance, adequate directions for use, as was charged in this case. 55 Our holding prevents only a finding of false labeling on the basis of doctrinal religious literature.

    So the First Amendment does not exempt religions from complying with the general law. However, it does mean that the courts cannot inquire into the truth or falsehood of religious beliefs, and cannot convict someone of an offence merely for espousing an honestly-held religious belief, however absurd and non-evidence-based that belief is.

    The Court relied on the older decision in United States v Ballard, a case involving the prosecution for mail fraud of a bizarre religious faith-healing cult known as “I Am”, which claimed to be able to cure various illnesses and which sent out religious literature by post to convince people to send them money. In that case, the Supreme Court held that the courts could not inquire into the truth or falsity of the defendants’ religious beliefs, and that the trial judge had been right to instruct the jury that it should only convict the defendants of fraud if they lacked a “good faith belief” in the views they were espousing. The court pointed out that, if people could be convicted of criminal offences merely for espousing religious beliefs that they could not prove to be true, freedom of religion would be non-existent:

    Freedom of thought, which includes freedom of religious belief, is basic in a society of free men… It embraces the right to maintain theories of life and of death and of the hereafter which are rank heresy to followers of the orthodox faiths. Heresy trials are foreign to our Constitution. Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others. Yet the fact that they may be beyond the ken of mortals does not mean that they can be made suspect before the law. Many take their gospel from the New Testament. But it would hardly be supposed that they could be tried before a jury charged with the duty of determining whether those teachings contained false representations. The miracles of the New Testament, the Divinity of Christ, life after death, the power of prayer are deep in the religious convictions of many. If one could be sent to jail because a jury in a hostile environment found those teachings false, little indeed would be left of religious freedom.

    (In all honesty, I’d say the courts have got this right.)

  284. says

    The District Court entered a decree of condemnation and destruction.

    (Er… condemnation and destruction of the seized shipment of E-meters. Not of the church. I should probably have made that clearer.)

    =====

    Sorry for the tl;dr. I just love constitutional law. :-) And since I have access to Lexis and Westlaw, it’s currently (ironically enough) much easier for me to research US cases than English ones.

  285. says

    Walton @441, right, so it’s like I said. At least in the U.S., you can’t prosecute someone for a religious belief (nor do I think you should be able to) and adults are free to discontinue medical treatment. Now, if the church was causing parents to do this to kids, yeah, there’s a basis to prosecute. Adults deciding to do something stupid and life threatening? Not so much.

    It really does highlight the despicable behaviour of the religious leaders that are selling this crap to parishioners, but it’s not illegal to sell prayer.

  286. says

    Now, if the church was causing parents to do this to kids, yeah, there’s a basis to prosecute.

    Yep; in that circumstance the parents could clearly be charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, or equivalent in other jurisdictions.

  287. maddog1129 says

    @ Classical Cipher #407 I’m a newbie to posting on blogs. Lurked at Pharyngula a year or two. I don’t know my way around here yet.

  288. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Coffee heath bar crunch isn’t the best ice cream on earth but it’s god damn close.

    And it goes well with bourbon.

    that is all

  289. ChasCPeterson says

    Back in the day, National Lampoon magazine had a writer named Chris Miller, “Our Man in Porn’. One of his pieces I remember was a traditional whitebread American family Thangsgiving dinner gone pornographically awry, to hilarious effect.
    Dicks in the mashed potatoes was the least of it.

  290. says

    OT: Ugh. For anyone who’s been on (the English) Wikipedia today: is it just me that thinks the choice of today’s featured article was in really poor taste? I’m not unusually sensitive, I hope, but… damn, I really could have happily lived the rest of my life without knowing that a film like that exists. Yuk. I don’t think visitors to the main page should be confronted with that.

    (I know well enough that Wikipedia is not censored – nor do I think it should be – and I’m all for the article itself existing. But some taste and discretion should be exercised in deciding what to put on the goddamn ultra-high-traffic main page.)

  291. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    What are you talking about?

    The Wikipedia featured article for the day is The Human Centipede.
    And that’s more than enough said about that.

    Welcome, maddog. :)

  292. ChasCPeterson says

    How fucking weird is the internet?
    I poked around a bit, hoping to find a link to the Chris Miller Thanksgiving story in Nat Lamp I mentioned above. One g**glesearch yields somebody remembering the story…I click…
    and it was me, back in 2007. At least Doc Bushwell remembered it too, so I’m not insane.

    Check the prescient shit from 1973!

  293. Algernon says

    Slooow refresh there. I’m glad to see I was right though.

    I thought it seemed kind of stupid when I heard about it (have not watched it)

  294. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Does somebody want to loan Walton a copy of Pink Flamingos?

    How much is that doggie in the window…

  295. MGM says

    Are you referring to the Human Centipede thing? Yeah, it’s pretty grotesque, and I could do without it being featured, but it is pretty well known, so it’s not wholly unwarranted. It’s not like they’re publicizing some super-obscure monstrosity, just giving more attention to an already established phenomenon.

  296. Algernon says

    Does somebody want to loan Walton a copy of Pink Flamingos?

    Ohhhhhhh… that gives me an idea for Christmas!

  297. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    You can buy a Human Centipede necklace.

    I will stick with Divine.

  298. Ing says

    The Human Centipede isn’t as bad as it seems.

    I mean yes it’s a bad movie, but the presentation is so fucking goofy it is like a Monty Python sketch that got taken seriously.

  299. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Most horror films now are fairly bad, going into the torture porn aspect…

    Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain.

    Wait.

    That is Buffy. Nevermind.

  300. Algernon says

    That’s what I heard, Ing. That it was so badly made that it was pretty much the squick factor of the idea that carried the whole thing.

    It didn’t make the cut to get on my “to watch” list. I mean, I can gross myself out with my unvarnished mind.

    I’ll take Visitor Q for disturbing content over that.

  301. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Like the sex scene with the man, the woman and the chicken.

    But to be fair, it did not seem like the chicken was enjoying it.

    How about that kielbasa?

  302. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Esteleth, thanks. Most horror films now are fairly bad, going into the torture porn aspect, a la the Saw flicks and Hostel. I don’t find it offensive though, I just don’t watch it.

    The saw movies always bugged me. Not just for the torture porn aspect, but for the sheer silliness of some of the situations. Is ‘Jigsaw’ ever set up to be a psychic or something? How does he know exactly where people will stand and exactly how they’ll react? For that matter, how does he find all these conveniently empty warehouses to build ridiculously elaborate traps and devices in?

    Also there was a fairly disturbing aspect of the fandom, trying to make the titular character out to be justified in some ways.

    Hostel I can gladly say I’ve never even bothered with.

  303. Algernon says

    I never watched Saw. Honestly, I don’t watch horror films that way. I like them, but the best are allegories for the reality of horror in life I guess.

    Hallucinogenic, overly honest, something like that… like reality in dreams and the way it can be more real than real life.

    The silly stuff I’m on the fence about, cute enough I guess.

    The gore? Just not my thing.

    I also hate really obvious moral lessons wrapped up in horror.

    Hence most teen camp (like either kind of camp) irritates me too.

  304. First Approximation says

    OT: Ugh. For anyone who’s been on (the English) Wikipedia today: is it just me that thinks the choice of today’s featured article was in really poor taste?

    LMAO!

    Seriously though, that really shouldn’t be on the fuckin’ mainpage.

  305. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    My idea of a good horror movie is Cronenburg’s version of The Fly. Thinking about it, that is one of the few movies that does not have a bad guy. Yes, the William Hurt character was a creep but he did what he could for the Gena Davis character and in his own way, tried to be heroic.

    I just do not want to think about his hand.

  306. says

    (And now the Walton really must go to bed, as he has been promising himself he will do for the last twenty minutes.

    I’m trying to get into better sleep habits. Going to bed at 1am every night is not good.)

  307. says

    Algernon:

    Hallucinogenic, overly honest, something like that… like reality in dreams and the way it can be more real than real life.

    On the horror side of those type of films, I’d say Taxidermia and Gaau ji (Dumplings) fit well.

  308. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Hence most teen camp (like either kind of camp) irritates me too.

    I never liked the “horny kids gets hacked” bullshit. That is the type of conservative film making I can do with out.

  309. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I have a weakness for The Avenging Angel. It is so hard to find a good copy of that.

  310. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Even though it has been about fifteen years, I am still not sure what I think about Tetsuo.

    That corkscrew was pretty damned disturbing.

    I also got that “ick” feeling from the design of the medical instruments in Dead Ringer.

  311. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    I just looked up Tetsuo on YouTube. My memory was trying to be nice to me. That was not a corkscrew. (bad enough) That was a power drill. All I will say about that.

  312. First Approximation says

    Still baffled as to how that made the front page of the fifth most viewed website on the planet.

  313. says

    FA:

    Still baffled as to how that made the front page of the fifth most viewed website on the planet.

    I don’t get what the big deal is, it’s a shlocky horror flick right before Halloween. *shrug* I clicked the link you posted earlier, and the first complaint was someone going on about morality and how the movie is immoral, yada, yada, yada. A Tempest in a teacup.

  314. First Approximation says

    I don’t get what the big deal is, it’s a shlocky horror flick right before Halloween. *shrug* I clicked the link you posted earlier, and the first complaint was someone going on about morality and how the movie is immoral, yada, yada, yada. A Tempest in a teacup.

    I don’t really see anything immoral about it. I just find it strange that the people at Wikipedia didn’t really seem to worry about what kind of reputation this would bring (rightly or wrongly) or the complaints that might follow.

  315. trinioler says

    XPosted from PET:
    So the GF told me this today:
    “I call my landlord God, because he gives me a roof over my head. He gives me a stove to cook my food. He repairs my place when things go wrong. He provides heating and AC. All I have to do in exchange is give him a monthly tithe, and frankly, he’s done more for me than my last god did.”

  316. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Still baffled as to how that made the front page of the fifth most viewed website on the planet.

    I find it baffling that they managed to squeeze out a sequel for this piece of cinematic feces. I suppose I shouldn’t find it too baffling though.

  317. says

    Hai,

    I’m in the process of moving my blog away from wordpress.com, so if you can’t access the site or only see some garbled page for a while, it’s all my fault, and I’m working on it…:-)