Maybe humanity deserves extinction, after all

Behold, the latest example of human stupidity and shortsightedness.

In small towns across America, manly men are customizing their jacked-up diesel trucks to intentionally emit giant plumes of toxic smoke every time they rev their engines. They call it “rollin’ coal,” and it’s something they do for fun.

An entire subculture has emerged on the Internet surrounding this soot-spewing pastime—where self-declared rednecks gather on Facebook pages (16,000 collective followers) Tumblers and Instagram (156,714 posts) to share photos and videos of their Dodge Rams and GM Silverados purposefully poisoning the sky. As one of their memes reads: “Roll, roll, rollin’ coal, let the hybrid see. A big black cloud. Exhaust that’s loud. Watch the city boy flee.”

These dumbasses think they’re being tough and rebellious, when they’re simply parroting conservative stupidity.

Aside from being macho, the rollin’ coal culture is also a renegade one. Kids make a point of blowing smoke back at pedestrians, in addition to cop cars and rice burners (Japanese-made sedans), which can make it dangerously difficult to see out of the windshield. Diesel soot can also be a great road rage weapon should some wimpy looking Honda Civic ever piss you off. “If someone makes you mad, you can just roll coal, and it makes you feel better sometimes,” says Ryan, a high school senior who works at the diesel garage with Robbie. “The other day I did it to this kid who was driving a Mustang with his windows down, and it was awesome.”

The ultimate highway enemy, however, are “nature nuffies,” or people who drive hybrid cars, because apparently, pro-earth sentiment is an offense to the diesel-trucking lifestyle. “The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal,” says Ryan. “I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.”

I despair of humanity sometimes. If we make it that far, future generations will look back aghast at these idiots. I know there is something at least that keeps me going.

According to the Clean Air Taskforce, diesel exhaust is one of the country’s greatest sources of toxic pollutants and leads to 21,000 premature deaths each year, but even that won’t deter the coal rollers. “I’m not a scientist, but it couldn’t be too horrible,” Robbie says. “There are a lot of factories that are doing way worse than my truck.”

I’m not ready to die off yet, because I want to see these motherfuckers die first.

Setting the bar low. Burying it, actually.

Penn Jillete defends Anthony Cumia. We’re all missing the important detail that exonerates him — sure, he went off for hours in a racist tirade, but don’t you all realize that Cumia is licensed to carry a concealed handgun?

Penn Jillette says that people are burying the lede in the alleged incident that led to SiriusXM’s decision to fire “Opie and Anthony” host Anthony Cumia. He also argued that he’s never seen any evidence that suggests Cumia is racist as many of his critics have alleged.

We are burying the lede of this story, which is that Anthony, who has a reputation for being a bit of a hot head, is carrying, comes up gets hit in the face and does not hurt the person back, Jillette said during his “Penn’s Sunday School” podcast this weekend.

That is incredible. If I am in the position where I cross somebody who is carrying a gun and who can defend themselves and hurt me, and their choice is to write angry stuff on Twitter instead of fighting me back — wonderful. Gandhi! That’s Gandhi! … That is Martin Luther King, he continued.

Seriously? He just compared a racist ranter to Gandhi and Martin Luther King because he didn’t shoot a black woman in the face?

Sure. This sounds exactly like something King or Gandhi would say.

Savage violent animal fucks prey on white people. Easy targets. This CUNT has no clue how lucky she was. She belted me 10 times. I had a gun

No,an ANIMAL BITCH used it’s instinctual violence on me. I restrained myself from putting it to sleep

It’s a jungle out in our cities after midnight. Violent savages own the streets. They all came 2 defend this pig. I had to yell like at dogs

Gosh. I’ve never shot anyone, and I’ve never even raged at minorities as animals. I guess that means I must be like Jesus!

By the way, the article strangely features a photo of Cumia’s concealed carry license…with a 2012 expiration date. I guess True Skeptics™ don’t give a damn about little details like that.


Sacrificing children on the altar of the Constitution

We have a new low — and there have been so many lows — in the gun fondler canon. Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, the dumb right-winger adopted as a pal by the McCain presidential campaign, has weighed in on the Isla Vista murders.

I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now, wrote Wurzelbacher, who became something of a mascot for John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign. But: As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.

His precious Constitutional rights…how come they never pay attention to the second and third words of that amendment?

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

It’s a bad amendment that has been no end of trouble throughout our history, particularly because of its sloppy wording and lazy interpretation, but also because it is no longer true — technology has progressed to the point where a militia is pretty much useless in providing security. What we need is another amendment to bring the Constitution into the 21st century, rather than the 18th, and then of course, because it will be in the Most Holy and Inviolable Constitution, every right-winger will respect it and get their guns checked and registered, as well as accepting limitations on access to particularly deadly weaponry. Right?

I have another question, though. Wurzelbacher also complains about gun-grab extremists who want to capitalize on these horrific events for their own political ends. I’d love to know, though…what are those political ends? How does he think we gain, and who profits, from enacting laws that limit the flood of weapons of mass destruction within our own country?

Other than not seeing our children murdered, that is.

Which he’s already said he doesn’t think is as important a goal as allowing him to stroke his rifle.

Dammit. I spoke too soon. Right after I say, “Look at this amazing new low,” someone has to go and dig a deeper hole. In this case, Todd Kincannon of South Carolina, who gets all macho and blame-the-victim.

No idea how my son will die, but I know it won’t be cowering like a bitch at UC Santa Barbara. Any son of mine would have been shooting back.

Cause to celebrate!

I surprise myself. I actually have two positive things to say about the movie, God’s Not Dead.

First, the projection was excellent. The last time I wrote about the workings of the theater, I described the amazing elaborate old-timey gadgetry to show a movie print. That’s all gone now, replaced by a modern digital movie projector. Crisp, bright, reliable.

Also, the movie itself was an elaborate exercise in projection. The academics were all portrayed as dogmatic and authoritarian and rather stupid — even the debate which was supposedly the core of this movie consisted of the Christian protagonist and atheist professor exchanging rounds of quotes from their respective corners. Dawkins says this, but Lennox says that. Hawking asserts X, but Strobel trumps it with Y. That may be how dopey Christians argue, with dueling authorities, but sorry, that’s not how philosophers discuss much of anything.

It was also implied that all of the students at this university were atheists, or apathetic enough about religion to blithely agree with the statement that God is dead, as part of the filmmakers’ martyr complex: this straw America is populated almost entirely with godless unbelievers. Here I am at a secular state university, and even here, that’s simply not true. Most of my students are religious, although probably not to the degree that the hero of the film is.

The second bit of praise, though, is for the fact that this is the most profoundly anti-Christian movie I’ve ever seen. I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Christians.

You know, most of us atheists are able to respect believers as human beings — I can appreciate that they’re just as intelligent, just as capable of living a productive life as I am, but that they’re simply burdened with years of indoctrination. Not this movie. In the hands of whoever wrote this drivel, Christians are dumbasses. It has to set up a whole universe made of straw. All the atheists are callous, cruel, vindictive people, while the Christians are pious and sincere. A first year college student is knowledgeable enough to out-argue a philosophy professor…and every argument he makes is well-worn idiocy dredged from the bowels of people like William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis, larded with bad quotes from Hawking or Dawkins, or good science mangled and distorted. It was little more than a Big Daddy style fantasy in which a Christian student can regurgitate tired, facile nonsense and send the godless professor reeling back in confusion and anger.

Really, the arguments for Jesus are: 1) the universe had a beginning, 2) life had a beginning, 3) there had to be a god to start things, and 4) how can you be moral without Jesus telling you what to do? And every time the professor would try to put the kid in his place by telling him that some other Big Name said otherwise, and how dare the credential-less punk disagree with them? It was appalling. I shall look forward to the young students who optimistically believe they will be able to crush the atheists with their brilliant strategies lifted from God’s Not Dead. This movie is setting up a lot of Christians with feeble assertions that will be so trivial to destroy — I fear my opponents have just been made stupider.

I would just like to thank Hunter Dennis, Chuck Konzelman, and Cary Solomon (the writers) for sabotaging the brains of another generation of proselytizers. You make it so easy for us.

But all that vapid noise was just the white bread foundation for the awesome mountain of fecal matter that would top this shit sandwich. I am going to tell you about the ending. You shouldn’t care — you don’t need a spoiler alert for a movie that is rotten from the first few minutes. This was the part that had me gawping in disbelief; it was the fate of the atheist professor that had me convinced that Christianity is actively evil.

He is crossing a street when he’s hit by a car and killed.

Not right away, though. He’s hit right in front of a car containing two missionaries, who get out and run to his ‘assistance’. Somehow, they are sufficiently knowledgeable about medicine to be able to tell that he’s going to die, and only has a few minutes left to live. So, with smiles on their faces, they tell him he’s going to be facing God in heaven in a few minutes, and that he must accept Jesus into his heart. It was my nightmare, that the last, brief, passing moment of life is spent with smug stupid assholes quoting Bible verses and pressuring the dying to affirm their superstitions, which is obviously the most important thing he could do.

See, projection. I just wish whoever made this film could imagine lying on their deathbed, when an atheist barges in and starts yelling that they are about to cease to exist, and there will be nothing forever, and slaps them a few times ordering them to reject God right now. That’s not going to happen, but of course all they can do is project their authoritarian proselytizing impulse on other. And of course, since this is the Christian straw universe, our atheist professor accepts Jesus with his dying breath.

After which, the two smiling missionaries tell each other that they have “cause to celebrate”. A man just died. They want to celebrate. They’re going to Disneyland!

Fuck me. All I felt was hatred. That was despicable.

I’ve got to start carrying a knife now. Just so all you Christians know, if I’m in a fatal accident, and I’m lying in the street dying, and you’re not running over to stop the bleeding or otherwise physically help me, and you try to pull that prayer-and-conversion shit on me, I’m going to stab you. I’ll have nothing to lose, and you sure as hell don’t deserve to continue living. I don’t like violence, but I will make an exception for this one possible circumstance.

Now I know a lot of Christians aren’t like that, and that there are many who are also appalled at this wretched excuse for a movie. You can have another reason for disliking it: it has hardened the heart of an atheist even further against your religion.

Christianity is barbarism, evil, and gibbering insanity. Thanks, God’s Not Dead. When your religion is extinct, then I’ll have cause to celebrate.

Some of the worst people in America

Gun fondlers are contemptible. Smug sexist men are despicable. But the intersection of gun fanatics and misogynists is the worst.

Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives.

The article in Mother Jones is a depressing litany of all that is awful about our second amendment lunatics. Just one example: Jennifer Longdon is an advocate for responsible gun ownership — she wants more background checks, registration, and gun safety. She’s also a victim of gun violence herself, paralyzed in an attack. This is how the gun fondlers react to such people:

After a fundraiser one night during the program [a gun buy-back program], Longdon returned home around 10 p.m., parked her ramp-equipped van and began unloading herself. As she wheeled up to her house, a man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in black and had a rifle, "like something out of a commando movie," Longdon told me. He took aim at her and pulled the trigger. Longdon was hit with a stream of water. "Don’t you wish you had a gun now, bitch?" he scoffed before taking off.

"It was like a mock execution," Longdon says, recalling the intense surge of adrenaline and how the incident triggered her PTSD from the 2004 attack that nearly killed her and her fiancé. She called the police, but they were unable to track down the perpetrator. By the following Saturday, Longdon was back at her post helping run the buyback.

Jebus. Those people are sick and fucked-up.

Fresh new enemies — their tears give me strength

I’ve long pissed off the sexist anti-feminist gang, and now that I’ve pointed out their ideas are simply racist, I’ve had the HBD twits hollerin’ at me, and now I discover that the intersection of misogyny and racism is simply the worst. Heartiste has weighed in.

He’s referring to my criticism of that absurd sexual market value chart, which is all made up. A couple of the more obnoxious HBD ravers turn out to be happy supporters of the SMV concept, too.

And that brought in even more low-lifes. Take a look at this guy, making his grand statements about rape.

And then, the pièce de résistance

I am so happy to have these wretched people as enemies.

We get comments

I was just doing a little clean up of the spam queue before I staggered off to bed, and found this one fascinatingly offensive comment that had been flagged for the garbage pile. I have preserved it because it was just so mind-bogglingly oblivious to its own content, but I’ve put it below the fold because it uses language that is normally prohibited around here.

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Jesus F. Christ.

Ben Radford has taken the next step in sleaze, dumping all of his and Karen Stollznow’s mutual correspondence to the web, along with various other documents to demonstrate that yes, they once had a relationship, that Stollznow has had some turbulent relationships with others, etc., etc., etc. None of it really matters — does he think that somehow having once had a relationship, it means he can never ever be guilty of harassment ever again?

But I just want to mention one piece of ‘evidence’ he has released to the world. It’s a selfie he took of himself, shirtless, in bed with a woman. Radford has a smug smirk on his face; the woman is covering her face with her hand, clearly not wanting any part of this exhibition. Radford has commissioned an expert in photographic analysis to compare her hand to Stollznow’s hand in other photos, to ‘prove’ that it is her. Note what he has done: he has taken a picture of a woman in an intimate situation, clearly against her wishes, and has now posted it to the web, with evidence to identify her.

And he thinks this vindicates him.

My god. What a revolting narcissistic scumbag.

Christ, but I actually hate these people

Fox News Republicans and Libertarians — every once in a while they do something that just ignites this white hot flash of rage in my brain. I can’t help it. The Daily Show had a segment on conservatives getting angry at poor people for buying good food with food stamps; apparently, it would be OK if they had to use their pittance on garbage and rotting offal, but how dare they buy the same kind of fish rich people would buy!

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Oh, lord, the stupid…

In the expected counterattack from sexists defending Ben Radford’s obtuse sexism, there are now demented dingbats accusing me of being a veritable MRA and implying that I’m some kind of hypocrite, because I have in the past been subject to an abortive false accusation. I mentioned this in a comment four years ago (some people are obsessive in following my every word, and I should be flattered, I suppose — I must be very interesting). Here’s the dry account of the event that I gave then:

I won’t meet privately with students either — I always keep my office door wide open, and when I’m working with students in the lab, I find excuses to move out and let them work on their own if it turns into a one-on-one event. I just can’t afford the risk.

I was also subject to accusations of harassment, once upon a time. A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there.

Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation. I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.

I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be. Fortunately, I’d done the right thing by blowing it all wide open at the first hint of a threat, and getting witnesses on the spot.

There is nothing inconsistent about this. False accusations do happen, and they can have extremely damaging consequences (which I said previously: “Yes, they happen…rarely. They’re important to detect.”) Obviously, I had just explained that I certainly do know of at least one case in which a desperate student tried to cheat her way to a better grade with an accusation. It happens.

How I responded to that instance is just part of a protocol for how people should work together. Here’s what I do:

  • I don’t harass women, or anyone for that matter.

  • I maintain complete transparency. Not only do I not harass women, but any accusation that I do founders on the implausibility of the circumstance.

  • I deal with any potential situation by defusing it immediately. Not arguing, not protesting my innocence, not begging the person to refrain from hurting my reputation, but going straight to departmental authorities and explaining the situation. Again, transparency: the slander isn’t going to stick.

  • I bring in witnesses, preferably women too, who can testify to my innocence. And I don’t just mean people who will say I’m a nice guy, but witnesses to the incident who can describe all the details of the event.

  • I keep myself protected against false claims, which also means that I’m keeping my students protected from any harm. We all work just fine together, with nothing to hide.

  • I don’t sexually harass my students or colleagues. Period.

Not only is my reputation spotless, and honestly so, but there’s no way to even realistically bring such a charge against me. And of course the great majority of my interactions with students bear no risk of any such problems — we can trust each other.

But then, there are always people like those slimy ones, that minority of nasty untrustworthy liars commenting on Radford’s thread, who are happy to distort and make false accusations, and I deal with them in the same way that I did that earlier incident: with transparency and honesty and frank admission of what actually happened. I don’t deny that such unpleasant people exist, especially when so many of them are already populating that thread and the existence of contemptible liars is so apparent. But when one has no interest in harassing people, it turns out to be relatively easy to maintain one’s integrity — I don’t have years of stalkerish behavior and complaints and administrative disciplinary actions to make excuses for, unlike some people.