Republicans win another one

So Ossoff was defeated by Handel in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Are you getting tired of this? I’m getting tired of this.

Karen Handel is simply a terrible human being, and she wasn’t shy about broadcasting it. She’s a smug conservative Christian who hates gay and trans people, demonstrating once again that the Republicans have a solid base among the bigots. Not only does it not damage her electability among Republicans, but expect the media to tut-tut afterwards about calling the terrible human beings who voted for a terrible human being terrible human beings. And hey, it seems appealing to bigotry is a great way to get out the vote.

The Democrats, as usual, followed their standard strategy: find an upper middle class centrist, typically a white man in a nice suit, and give them lots of money and demand that they follow a cautious, inoffensive, and ultimately uninspiring path. Triangulate tactically to put up the Least Worst Candidate. That simply doesn’t work when you’re dealing with the Bold Candidate from Hell. Shouldn’t we have learned our lesson from Trump?

How about if instead we drew on our base? More black grandmothers who are fed up at seeing their sons shot or thrown into prison. More middle class labor workers who are smart enough to see through the lies of management. Remember the Carrier air conditioning deal? Trump knew that whatever happened would be to the advantage of the people who owned the company, not the workers, and he just lied. If you’re going to promote a white man in a suit, at least make sure it’s one who is willing to align himself with the interests of the working class and the poor, and is willing to say things that antagonize rich donors but might get people to actually turn out and vote.

Oh, well. The bright side of the story is that once again the Republicans have confirmed their solid commitment to evil, with yet another Republican representative who ought to make any decent, humane person sick.

I guess that’s the bright side.

It’s not very reassuring.


Jesus fucking christ. Police dashcam video of the Philando Castile murder has been released, and I made the mistake of watching it. The car is pulled over, the cop explains that he was pulled over for a broken break light, he asks for license and registration, the driver calmly tells him that he carries a gun, and then the cop freaks out and starts yelling and unloads his handgun into the car. Seven shots! It’s horrific.

Later, the murderer is telling his fellow gunmen that Castile had been acting “hinky” and was looking directly into his eyes (truly a criminal act). The only one “hinky” here is the cop, who panics at a traffic stop and slaughters a citizen.

Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted, unbelievably. I hope he’s not working in any position that requires that he be armed anymore — he is a coward unsuited to any stressful situation — and I look forward to the civil suit that should strip him of everything he owns.

Read the statement given by the murder-cop after he killed that man. Would you believe that he was afraid for the little girl in the car, and that he had reason to think Castile might be a stone-cold killer because he was exposing that poor girl to second-hand smoke?

He got off because of that callous kind of lie.

Conversation with an ex-creationist

I’ve never been a believer, so who am I to say how to convince others to leave their faith? Tonight at 7pm Central, I’ll have a conversation with Glenn D., a former true believer who even donated money to Answers in Genesis, but has now seen the Light. Let’s find out what it took.

If you have questions you’d like me to ask, feel free to leave them here; he’s also commented here before so maybe he’ll answer you directly.

More like “wary coexistence”

Annalee Newitz writes about the domestication history of house cats. They’re odd in that they haven’t been bred away from the standard wildcat, so the idea is that they’ve only recently been domesticated, and haven’t yet undergone extensive genetic selection. Interesting, but I must disagree with her closing statement.

Or maybe cats will continue to defy domestication. They could carve out a place as one of the only animals to befriend humans without ever falling completely under our control.

“Befriend”? She hasn’t met my cat.

The Face of Evil

Who are these people?

Fox News recently added another “news” program to their lineup, The Specialists. I’ve never watched it. It’s hosted by the cloddish one from Fox & Friends, Eric Bolling, and two young women I’ve never heard of before, Katherine Timpf and Eboni Williams. None of them have any significant expertise; Bolling is an ex-baseball player, Timpf is a comedian, and Williams is the best qualified of the bunch, with a law degree, and that’s it. This is just a group of opinionated people with opinions, and they get their very own news show on Fox — I think you could probably get a better group of people by going down to a local bar and hiring whatever table is having the loudest argument.

But here’s the real problem: these bozos are chattering about what to do about North Korea, and Bolling has ideas.

Bolling suggested that any threat of military action on the Korean peninsula will prompt China to take action for fear that millions of refugees will cripple the Chinese economy.

No one else is going to help them out, Bolling offered, adding the incentive will be even greater if South Korea builds a freaking wall so all North Korean refugees are forced to flee to China.

Build a wall? Why is that a solution Trumpkins always suggest? As you probably know, there is already the Korean Demilitarized Zone in place, a 250km guarded barrier 4km wide stretching across the entire Korean peninsula, backed by military forces on both sides. Travel between the two countries is already tightly controlled.

But think about this plan: he wants to terrorize the civilian population of North Korea into becoming a weapon used against China. Already awful, you might say, but how does he plan to freak out North Korean civilians?

The Fox News host later said the United States should consider an attack on the DPRK.

Thirty minutes is the lead time between firing that missile in North Korea and Los Angeles, Bolling said. Are you willing to risk Los Angeles?

It may be time for a preemptive strike, he added.

I forgot the other thing Trumpkins suggest: bombs. Walls and bombs. That’s how we’ll solve all of our problems.

I would ask Bolling “are you willing to risk Seoul?”, if I didn’t already suspect he’d cheerfully say “yes!” 25 million people live in the Seoul metropolitan area, and stacked up on the other side of the DMZ is the DPRK artillery, all within range and pointed directly at the city. Where are those refugees going to scurry? How can he be so cavalier about triggering destruction and death and misery to innocents?

And what are we going to do about a news organization that willfully sows dangerous misinformation? Point and laugh, I guess, and let everyone know that they’re a deluded idiot if you watch Fox News.

Like our president.

I have irked Ken Ham

I had no idea. Every few days to a week, Answers in Genesis puts out a youtube video called “Answers News”. It’s terrible. I watched all of this one.

They go through news stories and moan and groan about those dang secularists. There was a polyamorous marriage in Colombia — slippery slope! Gay marriage will lead to pedophilia. Rights are a Christian invention, you can’t talk about rights without accepting their version of Christianity. Canada just legislated gender theory into law — Georgia Purdom can be imprisoned if she doesn’t accept someone’s preferred pronouns, because it’s against her religion. There were brief snipes at various science papers, largely consisting of laughing at the idea that a fossil can be 50,000 years old, or 99 million years old.

One thing I learned, because I’d never listened to him before, is that Bodie Hodge is pretty damned thick. He kept interjecting explanations into the discussion: did you know that polyamorous is from a word meaning “many” and a French word for love? You gotta understand what the word “liberal” means: liberal means you’re taking liberties with things. It was nonstop dumbsplaining.

But mainly I listened because they spent about 5 minutes at the beginning talking about me. An atheist visited the Ark Park, shock horror, and he mocked everything. Ken has all my tweets printed out, and he was disgusted. How dare I say there wasn’t much information in the big wooden box? That seems to be what miffed them most. From the timing of my tweets, he calculated that I only spent an hour and 15 minutes in there, so I must have been racing through everything — why, when he personally takes groups through and explains everything, it takes about 2 hours to do the tour.

It sure felt like it was a lot longer than that — there was a lot of time spent slowly wending through ridiculously prolonged tours of empty boxes. But sure, I’ll believe it was objectively an hour and a quarter. I didn’t have to run to do that time though. It was more like a slow stroll, stopping at each room and display, and taking pictures. So once again, Ken Ham confirms my impression of the paucity of material in there.

He complains that I said the parking lot was ten times larger than it needed to be — it’s only twice as large, he said. No, that’s not true. I got there late in the morning, and got a parking spot right near the shuttle bus pick up, and sure drove a long way through empty spaces to get there.

About the weathered look of the outside of the ark — he says they intended it that way. OK. I guess grey is an attractive color.

Then Ken went searching through my blog for ways to psychoanalyze me. All atheists hate god, you know, and that can be traced back to some traumatic event that made them angry at god, so he singles out this post, Odious Christianity, in which I say that my father and my sister have died. A-ha! That must have made me hate god! But he completely misses the point of the post: it was that everyone suffers pain and loss in their life, but it takes a a Christian to turn that around and blame the victim. This is what enraged me: not god, not my grief, but that Ken Ham blames that pain on “sin”.

News items sometimes cite the major causes of death in humans as various diseases are discussed–but ultimately there’s only one cause–sin!

Yeah, everyone who has ever died, who has ever been in pain, deserved it. But don’t worry! All you have to do is believe in his hateful cult and you might die horribly for your sins, but you’ll be forgiven in your afterlife.

By the way, one problem with Ham’s diagnosis of my trauma is that I never believed in god, and became a self-aware atheist in my teens, long before those losses I mentioned.

Oh, well. One other thing I’ve now discovered is that there is actually a news panel show that is more stupid than Fox and Friends.

Raychelle Burks explains how chemists would get rid of a body

I always thought the idea of getting rid of a body by dumping it in an acid bath was impractical and inefficient — it would take such a long time to break down, and would require so much in the way of chemicals. Raychelle Burks does the test, dropping chunks of pork in beakers of hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide, and my suspicions were confirmed. This is a bad way to do it. It’s also really gross.

You really need to get a biologist’s expertise for this job. My first thought was dermestid beetles — clean it down to bare bones, then mount the skeleton and store it in plain sight in the anatomy lab. You don’t have any beetles? There’s always Lord Dunsany’s solution.

But for simple practicality, just find a crematorium.