Colbert has still got it. He developed an instant Christianity test, just like the Republican presidential candidates want.

If you want to know if somebody is Christian, just ask them to complete this sentence: Jesus said ‘I was hungry,’ and you gave me something to eat, ‘I was thirsty,’ and you gave me something to drink, ‘I was a stranger,’ and you…

And the answer is…

[Read more…]


Minneapolis/St Paul are good cities and good places to live. This state was largely occupied by German Catholics and Scandinavian Lutherans, so it may be 80% white, but they also have increasingly diverse populations, with rising numbers of African Americans and Hmong and Somali people — it’s a city where a Muslim, Keith Ellison, can get elected to congress, and that, as the largest by far population center in the state can get a fairly liberal state legislature elected. Hey, Prince lives there!

The rest of the state…well, I can say that the people are generally laid back and well intentioned, and friendly as all heck. Lake Wobegone isn’t a total misrepresentation. But it’s also poorer and much more conservative.

This is Minnesota’s 6th congressional district.


[Read more…]

Are students waking up?


It’s strange and sudden. The problems have been here all along, but now we’re seeing this pattern of unrest on campus…with both a good and bad side. The bad side is that racists are doing their thing, but the good side is that people are fighting back.

At Harvard this morning (ironically, in light of these comments here, where Harvard is presented as the shining beacon to which all minorities are drawn), it was discovered that someone in the night had strolled down a hallway lined with portraits of the tenured faculty, and put black tape slashes across certain faculty members faces: only and all of the minority faculty. That’s chilling. And that’s exactly the feeling that these cowardly bigots always try to instill, just like the KKK: be afraid to be here.

And now ‘White student union’ has formed to ‘organise against black terrorism’ at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Amid ongoing racial tensions across US and Canadian campuses, a Facebook page entitled ‘Illini White Student Union’ (IWSU) surfaced – saying it sought to “organise against the terrorism we have been facing from Black Lives Matter activists on campus.”

…the IWSU told its members: “Feel free to send in pictures you take of any black protestors on the quad so we know who anti-whites are.”

Black terrorism is any group of black Americans daring to demand the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is promised to everyone in the declaration of independence…which was written by the same bunch of guys who apparently thought a black person was only worth 3/5 of a white person, so maybe the white dudes are right, and the black students are expecting more than they should. No wonder the precious White Students are complaining!

But I’ve visited the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. It’s not exactly a center of seething hatred against white people…I think I met a scarce few black students there at all, so I’m not sure why the white students would feel so endangered.

The next several years promise to be interesting ones, with the Republican party in its death throes and the country’s demographics changing. I fear they’re going to get uglier before they get better, though.

No, the Republicans definitely are not neo-Nazis

I know what you’re thinking. You’re seeing recent remarks from Republican presidential front-runners, and thinking that they sound an awful lot like Nazis. I must point out, in the interest of accuracy, that this is not true.

Ben Carson’s comments aren’t actually Nazi-like.

According to Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker, who was also present, Carson said of Syrian refugees: If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good.

See? If Carson were being fascist, he would have compared the Syrian refugees to disease-ridden rats. Rats, not rabid dogs. We all like dogs, so he was actually saying something nice about them. Except for the rabid part. Maybe he’s suggesting we should get the refugees shots and health care?

Trump is also not saying anything terrible.

Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy, he added. We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.

Trump would not rule out warrantless searches in his plans for increased surveillance of the nation’s Muslims, Yahoo reported Thursday.

He also remained open toward registering U.S. Muslims in a database or giving them special identification identifying their faith, the news outlet added.

Warrantless searches just means that we’ll follow the Harris plan for screenings (and we all know that Sam Harris is such a liberal fellow…), we’ll just be expanding them from the airport to everywhere, any time.

And the “special identification” will be tasteful, as all things Trump are. Perhaps some armbands with an elegant crescent symbol on them? Maybe they’d even be included in Ivanka Trump’s Lifestyle Collection. They’re gonna be BEEEYOOOTIFUL and YUGE (aiding in identification). Nothing like what the Nazis did.

And they’d even be fashionable. As everyone knows, Nazis never knew anything about style.

Rest easy, Americans! It’s simply True Patriots caring deeply and sincerely about the Fatherland!

Burzynski might be in trouble, at last

Today is the day that Stanislaw Burzynski, the guy who treats cancer patients with snake oil made from a horse urine extract, is finally going on trial by the Texas Medical Board. He stands to lose his license to practice medicine at last, which is kind of an amazingly minimal consequence for a fraud who has been bilking dying patients for decades. Over 200 pages of specific and monstrous abuses were in the initial charges, which had to be pared down to a manageable number before the judges were willing to go forward, which tells you something: if you’re going to commit amoral acts, go big. Do so many crimes that just reading the list of charges intimidates the courts.

The most hopeful news, though, is that Burzynski’s former lawyer is saying that Burzynski is bankrupt, wants to put his clinic into involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, and is so miffed at Burzynski’s failure to pay his fees that he has left the service of the clinic and is suing Burzynski. It looks like the rats are deserting a sinking ship.

Oh, hi, Ben Stein. I had almost forgotten that you existed.

But now that you’ve reminded me, could you please go away again? You’re simply an awful little man.

He has a question about Barack Obama.

I think the question is why is he so angry at America? I don’t think there’s much question that he does not wish America well. He has a real strong hatred of America. Is it because he’s part black? I don’t know. Is it because his father was mistreated by the British in Kenya? I don’t know.

Obama is a bad leader because he doesn’t realize that being black means you hate America? Clearly, Ben Stein is the new voice of the Republican party.

The magical world of epigenetics


Let me tell you the hard part about writing about epigenetics: most of your audience has no idea what you’re talking about, but is pretty sure that they can use it, whatever it is, to justify every bit of folk wisdom/nonsensical assumption that they have. So while you’re explaining how it’s a very real and important biological process that is essential for development and learning and behavior, half your readers are using the biology to confirm their biases about evolution and inheritance, and the other half already know all the basic stuff and want to get to the Evisceration of the Wrong, which is always the fun part anyway.

So I’ve split this post in two: there’s a section on the basics of what epigenetics is, and there’s a section on what epigenetics is not, and why. Read whatever part floats your boat.

[Read more…]