Jul 31, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Religion gives comfort to many and helps explain that which we do not fully understand. Humans want to believe the universe was created for them. To believe we are God’s special creation formed in his own image. That we are infinitely precious, and all other creatures are merely here for us to use as we see fit.

This human desire to have divine meaning to our lives continues to propagate religion from generation to generation. When you remove emotion from the equation, it’s not difficult to see religion for the ancient superstition that it is.

Wisdom from Carl Sagan:

Jul 30, 2010

Weiner In Your Face

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) lashes out at Republicans (namely Rep. Peter King) who voted against a bill that would have secured $7.4 billion dollars for the medical expenses of 9/11 emergency responders who became ill in the line of duty.

It's inspiring to see such passion - even if it was just yelling and screaming - presented in the Congress. Whether or not I personally agree with his decision I truly respect his stance and finally showed some balls. Most politicians are so concerned about their political career and walking on eggshells and partisan.

He could probably aspire to a higher office seeing as how viral this video has gotten today - too bad about that name though.

Failure to Perform

The Senate Republicans blocked a $30-billion plan to help community banks boost lending to small businesses, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s election-year battle to reduce unemployment.

Tempers ran high as Democratic leaders failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the measure over a Republican filibuster…

Even if the Senate passes the small business lending bill next week, it will be too late to get it to Obama’s desk before mid-September. The House of Representatives, which passed its version of the bill in June, is set to begin a six-week break on Friday. The House will be unable to vote on the version passed by the Senate until then…

Obama has been pushing for passage of the lending measure arguing that getting more capital into the hands of independent community bankers would lead to more small business loans. It is supported by independent bankers and business groups.
Right now, there is no sector of banking with more energy and activity than small business lending. Every penny made available to community banks would be going straight back out the door into economic stimulus – and to qualified borrowers at that.

The Republicans couldn't care less. Nor the Democrats. Maybe some of that unspent 'Stimulus Cash'... oh, that's only going to Democratic rough spots. Well, maybe if we just get rid of all the Drunken Congressmen we can have some of that change we all fell for?

Sorry, Dude

Jeff Bridges rules out 'Lebowski' sequel

Jeff Bridges has said that he doesn't think a sequel to The Big Lebowski will get made.

The Oscar-winning Crazy Heart star, who previously said that he is interested in reprising his role as Jeffrey 'The Dude' Lebowski for the Coen brothers, told MTV that there are currently no plans to make a follow-up to the 1997 cult classic.

"We talked about it occasionally [while making True Grit], but no plans man, no plans," Bridges said of the Coens' thoughts on a sequel. "No, no, no, I don't think it's gonna happen. But if it happens - what a wonderful surprise!"

Bridges has also stated that Lebowski is a film he watches all the way through every time he catches it on TV. Me too, Jeff.

Whitman: Arizona immigration law OK for Arizona

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is now in support of the anti-immigration legislation she recently opposed shortly after she stated she supported it, unless you speak Spanish.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman - who has campaign billboards and Spanish-language ads in California declaring "NO to the Arizona law" - told talk show hosts Wednesday that the same controversial immigration law should be allowed to stand in Arizona.

"You know, I'm running for the governor of California so I had to make a decision," Whitman said. "Does the Arizona law make sense for California? And I have said no, I don't think the Arizona law makes sense for California because we have a much bigger state with much bigger geography."

Whitman appeared on the America's Morning News, a conservative show that's a venture of the Talk Radio Network Entertainment and the Washington Times newspaper. The first question Whitman was asked had to do with Arizona's immigration law.

Whitman was interviewed shortly before a judge issued a temporary injunction blocking much law of Arizona's law because of arguments it infringes on federal responsibility.

Whitman was pressed for her opinion on whether Arizona, as a state, had the right to enact such a law to deal with the problem of illegal immigration.

"I would let the law stand for Arizona," Whitman said.

Huffington Post blogger Chris Kelly has posted the audio to Whitman's interview here.

To court Latino voters, Whitman began airing Spanish-language TV ads during the recent World Cup soccer games and has kept it up. In one ad, a narrator says: "She respects our community. She is a Republican who opposes the Arizona law and she opposed Proposition 187 (California's 1994 measure that sought to deny public services to illegal immigrants)."

I guess it's good there's no such thing as a bilingual person, right? What? Oh, oh!

The Flower

Black Mustache’s anti-pot-prohibition PSA gets straight to the point by comparing the sticky icky to nondescript flowers that turn anthropomorphized polygons a psychedelic shade of purple.

Ah, how much better the world would be with legal dope. The video is very, nay, extremely simplistic approach to the war on drugs and legal marijuana.

But with Proposition 19 on the November ballot in California, we may soon know whether legal recreational reefer actually turns people a happy shade of purple and increases tax revenue exponentially -

"The Flower," award winning artist Haik Hoisington contrasts a legal marijuana economy with an illegal one, to show how everyone stands to benefit from ending the war on weed. [note that no one is irresponsible, and even take public transportation?]

"The Flower" contrasts a utopian society that freely farms and consumes a pleasure giving flower with a society where the same flower is illegal and its consumption is prohibited. The animation is a meditation on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.

Jul 28, 2010

Proof of the End of Hollywood

First official poster for Yogi Bear — Eric Brevig’s live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic children’s cartoon series.

The film, which stars Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Christine Taylor, Anna Faris, T.J. Miller, Andrew Daly, Nate Corddry, and Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith, is due in theaters December 17.

Wikipedia shares this Fun Fact:

It will be the first movie development of a Hanna-Barbera property produced with the assistance of neither Bill Hanna nor Joe Barbera (the original creators), who died in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

Jul 26, 2010

Giant Sucking Sound in Arizona

Migrants sell up, flee Arizona ahead of crackdown

The 'tough' state immigration crackdown starts on Thursday!

Reuters is reporting a boom in yard sales as migrants sell off their belongings, and legal residents, meaning their US-born children, are joining the scramble to leave.

The story starts with a Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks [sic, that should be hocks] a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.

A few paces up the street, [because the reporter wants us to think he walked, in Phoenix? Yeah, right!] her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.

"Everyone is selling up the little they have and leaving," said Villasenor, 31, who is headed for Pennsylvania. "We have no alternative. They have us cornered." No, cornered would mean you're headed back to Nicaragua, right?

The U.S. government estimates 100,000 unauthorized migrants left Arizona after the state passed an employer sanctions law three years ago requiring companies to verify workers' status using a federal computer system. There are no figures for the number who have left since the new law passed in April. -- because they're un-documented - perhaps?

Some are heading back to Mexico or to neighboring states. Others are staying put and taking their chances. Best not break the law, then, eh, Pedro?

In a sign of a gathering exodus, Mexican businesses from grocers and butcher shops to diners and beauty salons have shut their doors in recent weeks as their owners and clients leave -- or perhaps these folks are part of the exodus too?

"They wanted to drive Hispanics out of Arizona and they have succeeded even before the law even comes into effect," said Aguilar, 28, a mother of three young children who was also offering a few cherished pictures and a stereo at one of five sales on the same block.

She said she had taken in just $20 as "everyone is selling and nobody wants to buy."


Arizona straddles the principal highway for human and drug smugglers heading into the United States from Mexico.

The state's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, signed the law in April in a bid to curb violence and cut crime stemming from illegal immigration. -- AND, no one mentions, that Texas, New Mexico and California have beefed up their borders, AZ has been a bit behind to catch up, which to me says that AZ is the hole in the fence?

Opponents say the law is unconstitutional and a recipe for racial profiling. It is being challenged in seven lawsuits, including one filed by President Barack Obama's administration, which wants a preliminary injunction to block the law - which, if the Federal Government would perform it's duty, the State wouldn't have had to make that law - hey, just sayin'!

So, bottom line - if you're looking for work - there's some cheap ass apartments and a crap load of landscaping jobs opening up in AZ this week!

Hitler's Just 'Out of Context'

Bringing round a friend; non smoker, veggie, bit of a painter... it's f*ckin' Hitler!

Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."

The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.

Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series "Secret History of America," seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."

Stone said that, "Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed]."

The Sunday Times interviewer then asked why there was such a focus on the Holocaust.

"The Jewish domination of the media," responded Stone. "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years."

The director, who recently met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, also slammed the U.S. policy toward Iran as "horrible."

"Iran isn't necessarily the good guy," said Stone. "[B]ut we don't know the full story!"

The Scarface screenwriter had even more encouraging words for socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who Stone called "a brave, blunt, earthy" man. The director has recently been promoting his Chavez-praising documentary called "South of the Border."

When the interviewer pointed out that Chavez has had a less-than-stellar record on human rights, Stone immediately dismissed the criticism.

"The internet's fully free [in Venezuela]," said Stone. "You can say what the hell you like. Compare it with all the other countries: Mexico, Guatemala, above all Colombia, which is a joke."

While Stone has not been as blunt about his views on Jews and the Holocaust in the past, he has been outspoken in his fondness for Chavez and his disagreements with the U.S.'s policy on Iran.

On ABC's Good Morning America on July 28, the director told anchor George Stephanopoulos that he "absolutely" believes Chavez is a good person, and claimed that there was "there's no pattern of censorship in this country [Venezuela]."

Stone also said that if the U.S. pursued sanctions against Iran, "it's going to be like North Vietnam again."

"Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support," Stone told reporter Camilla Long during the interview, which can be found behind the paywall on the Sunday Times' website.

Yeah, I mean, what about all the good things Hitler did, man? Volkswagens, Autobahn? Yu know?

Oh Deer!

Murry, I think I heard something?

Ah blow it out your ass, Ethel.

The Pentagon Papers 2010

Afghan War Logs: Key Findings -- The Telegraph

Thousands of classified US military documents including details of when coalition troops killed civilians in Afghanistan have been released through the website Wikileaks. Here are some key findings.

– A secret unit of special forces called Task Force 373 is being used to hunt down and kill or capture Taliban leaders without trial, The Guardian reported. More than 2,000 enemy targets were on the list called the "Joint Prioritized Effects List".

– The coalition is increasingly using Reaper drones controlled by joystick from Nevada to target and kill insurgents. Files also showed that 97 missiles had been fired by British reapers since 2008.

Read more ....

More News On Wikileaks Release of Tens of Thousands Of Secret Files On The Afghan War

The War Logs
-- New York Times
The War Logs -- The Guardian
The Afghanistan Protocol -- Spiegel Online
Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010 -- WikiLeaks

Wikileaks Afghanistan files: download the key incidents as a spreadsheet -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Shattering Illusion of a Bloodless Victory -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Secret War Along the Pakistan Border -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Iran's Covert Operations in Afghanistan -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Fear Taliban Could Tap Mobile Phones -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Taliban Listening in to Top-secret Phone -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: CIA Paramilitaries' Role in Civilian Deaths -- The Guardian
Afghanistan War Logs: Civilians Caught in Firing Line -- The Guardian

Inside the Fog of War: Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan -- New York Times
In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’ -- New York Times
Strategic Plans Spawned Bitter End for a Lonely Outpost -- New York Times
Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert -- New York Times

The Afghanistan Protocol: Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It -- Spiegel Online
The Afghanistan Protocol: Task Force 373 : The Secret Hunters -- Der Spiegel
The Afghanistan Protocol: German Naivety : Growing Trouble in the North -- Der Spiegel
The Afghanistan Protocol: The Flaws of the Silent Killer: When Drones Fail -- Der Spiegel
The Afghanistan Protocol: Intelligence Agents Drowning in Data -- Der Spiegel

Exclusive: Massive 'War Log' Leak Wasn't Done Alone, Whistleblower Says
-- ABC News
US documents leaked online give inside look at war -- Yahoo News/AP
Pakistan secretly helping Taliban: report -- Yahoo News/Reuters
US condemns massive leak of Afghan war files -- Yahoo News/AFP
WikiLeaks Drops 90,000 War Docs; Fingers Pakistan as Insurgent Ally -- The Danger Room
Thousands of 'Secret' Afghan War Files Released on Internet -- Voice of America
US Documents Leaked Online Give Inside Look at War -- ABC News
Leaked files lay bare war in Afghanistan -- Washington Post
Tens of thousands of alleged Afghan war documents go online -- CNN
Afghanistan War Logs: 90,000 classified documents revealed by Wikileaks -- The Telegraph
'Hidden US Afghan War Details' Revealed By Wikileaks As Thousands Of Top Secret Files Go Online -- BBC News
Wikileaks releases massive set of Afghan war files -- CNET
Papers: Leaks Show Unreported Afghan Deaths -- NPR/AP
Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert -- New York Times
The big leak -- Politico
Wikileaks takes new approach in latest release of documents -- Washington Post
Afghan war logs: inquiry launched into source of leaks -- The Telegraph

Afghan says it's 'shocked' by leaked U.S. documents -- CNN
W.H. condemns 'irresponsible' leaks, dismisses stories -- Politico
White House Responds to Disclosure -- New York Times
White House Decries WikiLeaks' Release -- Los Angeles Times
Government 'laments' Afghan war documents leak -- BBC
Pakistan denies Wikileaks reports it 'aided Taliban' -- BBC
Pakistani spy agency denounces US intel docs -- Washington Post/AP
Jones lashes out at Wikileaks for putting lives at risk with Afghanistan files -- The Hill
U.S. Denounces Publication of Classified Documents on War in Afghanistan -- Bloomberg
The War Logs: Reaction to Disclosure of Military Documents on Afghan War -- New York Times
Hamid Gul Responds to WikiLeaks Allegations -- Wall Street Journal

Afghan war logs: webchat with Guardian reporter David Leigh -- The Guardian
What the WikiLeaks Documents Really Reveal -- Leslie H. Gelb, Daily Beast
The New Republic: The Significance Of The Wikileaks -- Andrew J. Bacevich, NPR
WikiLeaks' Afghan Documents and Me -- Mother Jones
The Afghan war is too important to be side-tracked by wikileaks that tell us nothing new -- Con Coughlin, The Telegraph

Jul 25, 2010

The Week In Review - Sunday Comics

Like most Sundays I try to toss a couple cartoons up to either cap off the week, or mention a few things that I missed - intentionally or not. So let's start off with the Mosque at Ground Zero, or near it. I showed everyone the video that some folks got banned because it was so over the top. I don't think things should be banned. CBS and NBC were fools not to take their money. Free Speech is one of those grand things that allows idiots to let everyone know exactly how foolish they are. Sarah Palin, David Duke, Mel Gibson - it's great to hear them tell us what they really think. And to solve the problem at Ground Zero, how about they just rebuild what was already there, and have no religious icons or gathering places anywhere near it?This week the Unemployment Benefits for millions of Democrat voters has been extended, even though no one's really sure how the Federal Government is paying for it. But the Democrats convinced everyone that it was the obstructionist Republicans who were stalling their checks. Good political win for the Democrats there!
There's been a lot of talk about the Black Panther voter intimidation case getting thrown out. I think John McCain and Sarah Palin did a better job, and I guess the judge agrees with me.
The Pork-u-lus bill doesn't seem to be working out.
Financial Reform was passed, but, lets be honest - it's just setting up the dominoes for next time.
And meanwhile Mr. Obama's poll numbers and his Super Powers are shrinking.
And meanwhile at Comicon - this happened.
Have a great week.

Avengers Assembled

The entire cast of Joss Whedon’s just-assembled Avengers on a single stage at Comic-Con.

L to R: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man); Clark Gregg (SHIELD Agent Coulson); Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow); Chris Hemsworth (Thor); Chris Evans (Captain America); Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury); Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye); Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk); Joss Whedon; and Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige.


Jul 24, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons

From 1955, it's Beanstalk Bunny.

Siding, Windows and So Much More!

"Honey, I think we need new windows - oh, and we need to end "secular socialism."

"No dear, we're going with the Hindu guy. He's got a buy one get one deal, and he promotes religious tolerance in his ad."

"Okay, which ever is cheaper and reflects our values better."

Jul 23, 2010

Father Sues Son over Cubs Tickets

Father sues son over stealing his Cubs season tickets. You'd think he'd thank him instead?

Father Gerald Adelman wants $128,000 — plus damages — from his son for stealing four season tickets from 2007 through this year.

Dad says in a lawsuit that the tickets, and money he alleges his son pocketed while working for Adelman's insurance firm, should be worth much, much more — $2.5 million in damages.

Adelman acquired the four tickets from the son of a longtime client in 1993. For years Adelman's son, Stuart, handled the purchase of the tickets, getting money from his father to pay for them and then handing the tickets over to his father, according to the suit.

Gerald Adelman gave the tickets to friends or family, according to the suit.

After Stuart Adelman left the firm, Gerald Adelman and Associates, in 2007, he refused to hand over the Cubs tickets, even when his father had paid for them, the suit states.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, also accuses the son of pocketing $163,000 in insurance commissions after the elder Adelman suffered severe injuries in 2001 and was away from work. -- now that seems to be a bit more substantial? Maybe this should be what the story- dude, Cubs tickets? 2.5 mil? We *are* talking about the Chicago Cubs, remember?

The suit also asks the court to formalize the ticket purchase agreement.

In the end, a judge may have to decide the value of the tickets.

If it were up to me? Half face value.

Not the White Man's Bitch

Ieshuh Griffin is running for state office in Wisconsin, and she wants voters to know she is "NOT the white man's bitch".

She wanted that statement posted under her name on the ballot for state representative, in the place where the candidate's political party would be listed. "Its not racist, its not a slur...its not pointed to a particular person, in my point of view the average politician is a token" Griffin says.

Despite that, for some reason, the state's Government Accountability Board said no, and now Griffin is suing. She says her "freedom of expression" is being "suppressed". GAB spokesman Reid Magney says Griffin was denied because "Staff determined that her language used on her declaration of candidacy is perjorative in nature and does not satisfy the requirements of Wisconsin statutes". One board member asked "what if she just said 'not under the white man's influence? Is that okay?" No direct answer was given.

Griffin is running as an independent, to replace State Representative Annette "Polly" Williams, who is retiring after 30 years in office.

On a blog, which says its paid for by "The Poor People's Piece of the Pie Campaign", a statement attributed to Griffin is posted saying "There currently is...an in-depth corruption within our government... SLAVERY, yes SLAVERY has returned in almost every aspect except name".

Ieshuh has shown her light on the growing racism in the land that is not being addressed. Liberty is always for freedom from intimidation and discrimination. I wish Ieshuh the best of luck in her lawsuit and candidacy. Science knows she knows how to get attention.

NY Democrats Are Doing It Wrong

Remember how, back in 2008, everyone voted out the Republicans because they were greedy, corrupt, and disrespectful of the voting public? Well give them this much: But they were so GOOD at it!

If you want to see politicians who are simultaneously a) corrupt and b) really bad at it, look no farther than New York state, where elected Democrats are tarnishing every institution of disciplined corruption that the Gambino family worked for decades to establish.

To illustrate our point, here’s a list of all the corrupt Democrats that New York has had to endure in recent months… plus the corrupt Republicans they could learn from.

Corrupt Democrat
Act of Corruption
Republican Who Did It Better
Eliot Spitzer, ex-governor
Hard to believe this was 2 years ago. Spitzer rode a wave of self-righteousness all the way to Washington, DC, where he washed up aboard The Mayflower… and then paid several thousand dollars for rough sex. David Vitter, who one-ups Spitzer’s hypocrisy by trying to criminalize the very prostitution industry he patronized so faithfully.
David Paterson, current governor
Allegedly used state police to intimidate the victim of his wife-beating aide. And he forced the Yankees to give him free World Series tickets. Rudy Giuliani knows more about exploiting the Yankees. He also knows how to get way more out of thuggish police officers.
Hiram Monserrate, ex-State Senator

Beat the crap out of his live-in girlfriend. Ousted Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) beat the crap out of his live-in mistress.

Charlie Rangel, U.S. Representative

Despite chairing the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, he appears to not have declared a taxable asset since the Carter administration. Ex-Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who’s paying back taxes on lobbying gifts in the form of hand-made license plates.

Eric Massa, U.S. Representative

Propositioned a male aide in his Capitol Hill offices. Actually, Massa even beats the Republicans in this category. Not even Mark Foley was slick enough to use the excuse: “I’m just a salty old sailor.

Frankly, maybe the NY Democrats should caucus with Illinois or Louisiana Democrats to learn up on how to do it RIGHT.

Rangel Wrangles No More

House Panel Says Rep. Charles B. Rangel Violated Ethics Rules

A House investigative panel has concluded that Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, violated a range of ethics rules. Which means, in Nancy Pelosi's House, he was SO blatant, and was SO corrupt, they finally had to at least pretend to do something about Rangel.

The investigative panel did not disclose any details about the violations that it found, (science forbid!) but one House official who has been briefed on the findings said that they included some that were among the most serious allegations that had been examined.

In its investigation, which lasted nearly two years, the committee looked into accusations that Mr. Rangel received improper discounts on four rent-stabilized apartments he rented in Harlem, that he failed to report or pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owned in the Dominican Republic, and that he improperly provided legislative favors for a company that promised to give $1 million for an academic center named for him. Is the name of the building the Rangel House of Corruption and Hypocrisy? Well, that's what I'd call it.

Want to Read More?

Jul 22, 2010

Radical whom threatened South Park Creators, Involved in Real Terror Threat

A man known for posting an online warning to the creators of "South Park" that they risked death by mocking the Prophet Muhammad was arrested Wednesday and charged with offering himself as a fighter to a Somali terror group linked to Al-K-Duh.

Read More

F-U, punk-ass. I hope Eric Cartman tricks you into killing and then eating your own parents at the chili contest!

Nerd Counterprotest

Best Counterprotest of Westboro, ever. Fairly sure.

San Diego Comic-Con patrons take on the Westboro Baptist Church, who are in town to harangue attendees for false idol worship. (More photos here and here.) [from comicsalliance.]

I told you Nerds Hate Church. And apparently, also Westboro Baptists looking to egg on a lawsuit from a nerd.

Hey Westboro, friendly advice: if you're going to try to win a lawsuit from someone taking a swing at you - go to just about any NFL game and tell all the tailgaters how they're going to hell. You ought to get a big pile of lawsuits going - you won't have any teeth left - but I think that's the goal we're all going for here, right?

Just don't bother in front of Wrigley. We already know they're damned. They're cursed too, last I checked.

One-fourth of Democrats think Jesus will ‘definitely return’ in 40 years

The Pew Research Center has gotten to the bottom of who's buying up all those “Left Behind” books. Many of them appear to be … Democrats? Whhhaaa?? That's unpossible!

As part of a larger survey about Americans’ predictions for the next 40 years, just over 1,500 people were asked whether they thought that Jesus Christ would return to the earth during that timeframe. Interestingly enough, it is self-identified Democrats who appear to have more certitude that this will happen than Republicans. Whhhaaa part II?

According to the poll, 26% of Democrats believe that the Second Coming “will definitely” happen within the next four decades. In comparison 19% of Republicans believe this.

Among those who think Jesus will probably return to earth in 40 years, there are more GOPers than Democrats. Just under a quarter (24%) of Republicans believe this will happen compared to 18% of Democrats who predict this. Independents are least likely compared to members of both parties to believe in Jesus’ imminent return.

By the way, the partisan breakdown on this question was not in the general report on the Center’s website. The info above was emailed to me in response to a question I had after spotting an item by New York Times columnist Charles Blow on a group that is rarely mentioned in by America’s journalists, the religious left:

According to a Gallup report issued last Friday, church attendance among blacks is exactly the same as among conservatives and among Republicans. Hispanics closely follow. Furthermore, a February Gallup report found that blacks and Hispanics, respectively, were the most likely to say that religion was an important part of their daily lives. In fact, on the Jesus question, nonwhite Democrats were roughly twice as likely as white Democrats to believe that He would return to earth by 2050.

Add to this the fact that, according to the 2009 Gallup report, 20 percent of the Democratic Party is composed of highly religious whites who attend church once a week or more, and you quickly stop second-guessing the Second Coming numbers.

Welcome to the Religious Left, which will continue to grow as the percentage of minorities in the country and in the party grows.

People often ask whether the Republican Party will have to move to the left to remain viable. However, the question rarely asked is whether the growing religiosity on the left will push the Democrats toward the right.

I guess the larger number, 75% believed that He was currently in the White House?

Look At Your God...

Jul 21, 2010

Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Ki

The Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit - Available at BSRemoval.com

The best part about this is, it came in the mail bag from a staunch Obama voter and liberal friend who reads Blasphemes.

TV Reporter Krushes Kid

Ah the incompetence of local news reporters. Watch as this voluptuous correspondent from Tampa attempts to get an interview via an inadvertent game of "Human Frogger," and fails miserably.

Should have taken pointers from George Costanza.

Jobs: Phones Suck

Scott Adams [Dilbert] bows at Steve Jobs’ crisis management skills.

I’m sure you’re all following the iPhone 4 story. If you hold the phone a certain way, it drops calls.

In a press conference on the subject, Steve Jobs said, “We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy.”

Jobs got a lot of heat about his response. Where was the apology? Where was the part where he acknowledged that the buck stops with him, and that Apple made a big mistake that never should have happened? That’s public relations 101, right?

I’m a student of how language influences people. Apple’s response to the iPhone 4 problem didn’t follow the public relations playbook because Jobs decided to rewrite the playbook. (I pause now to insert the necessary phrase Magnificent Bastard.) If you want to know what genius looks like, study Jobs’ words: “We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy.”

Jobs changed the entire argument with nineteen words. He was brief. He spoke indisputable truth. And later in his press conference, he offered clear fixes.

Did it work? Check out the media response. There’s lots of talk about whether other smartphones are perfect or not. There’s lots of talk about whether Jobs’ response was the right one. But the central question that was in everyone’s head before the press conference – “Is the iPhone 4 a dud” – has, well, evaporated. Part of the change in attitude is because the fixes Apple offered are adequate. But those fixes easily could have become part of the joke if handled in an apologetic “please kick me” way.

If Jobs had not changed the context from the iPhone 4 in particular to all smartphones in general, I could make you a hilarious comic strip about a product so poorly made that it won’t work if it comes in contact with a human hand. But as soon as the context is changed to “all smartphones have problems,” the humor opportunity is gone. Nothing kills humor like a general and boring truth.

The fact that the iPhone 4 is, in fact, a dud has been, at least temporarily, obscured by this brilliant jujitsu. But, it turns out, most of iPhone’s competitors still work if you hold them using your hands.

Hypocrite of the Week?

Ex-IRS agent pleads guilty

A former IRS tax specialist admitted in federal court in Maryland that he owes more than $789,000 in overdue taxes, federal authorities said. How much? 800K?

John Venuti, 62, of Harwood, Md, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to three counts of failing to file a federal income tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Venuti worked at the accounting firm KPMG LLP from 2002 until January as a tax consultant and principal, court documents state. He worked for the IRS from 1974 to 1983, including three years during which he was chief of the Tax Treaty and Technical Services Division.

According to the plea agreement, Venuti did not file federal tax returns from 2001 to 2006. Each year, though, he requested and was granted a six-month extension, and made a total of $97,060 in payments along with the extension requests. Authorities said he owes more than $789,000 in back taxes.

In July 2008, after he was told he was under criminal investigation, Venuti submitted tax returns for the tax years 2001 to 2006, authorities said.

Venuti faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison for each of the three counts. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 2.

You bet that Venuti is in the running for...
Blasphemes Hypocrite of the Week

--report comes from Maria Glod

Jul 20, 2010

One Small Step... One Giant Leap

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the Apollo 11 command module (piloted by Michael Collins) in orbit and performed a landing in the lunar module Eagle. At 4:18 p.m. EDT, Armstrong announced to a watching and waiting world that “The Eagle has landed.”

Six-and-a-half hours later, he stepped onto the powdery surface with the words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin soon followed Armstrong down the ladder to become the second man to stand on the moon.

The 'a' was lost in the transmission, but it was later found.

We haven't been back since December 1972. And it doesn't look like we're going to be back anytime soon.

Calling out - who?

Is she calling out men, or the women who shop at Lane Bryant? I'm so confused!


Heterosexual, white boy, Methodists.

This song/video is supposedly causing people to get really upset? Politicians are trying to ban it?

The Bellamy Brothers’ newest song release titled “Jalapenos” is being met with great controversy over the lyrics, which are very politically and sexually charged regarding some of the current political and pop-cultural events, such as gun control, immigration issues, and Tiger Woods affairs... sounds a lot like this here blog?

Furthermore, the song is accompanied by a music video featuring actors wearing giant masks, for example Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, and of course girls in string bikinis are featured throughout the video.

The Bellamy Brothers stated that they hope their new song “Jalapenos” does not offend anyone, they were just trying to add a smile to people’s faces as they always have. I wonder if their passports will still be valid on their way home from their European tour?

Seriously though - Banning this? Come on? Meantime, I'm sure Ray Stevens is watching these developments closely.

Jul 19, 2010

Trickle Down

Remember when everything was starting to look better? When spending by the most affluent was about to save us from the Great Recession? It didn't last, and now that the rich are on a budget, it's time to show how trickle down works, again.

“One of the reasons that the recovery has lost momentum is that high-end consumers have become more jittery and more cautious,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.

That cautious attitude stems in part from concerns about global instability, especially in Europe, and in part from the volatility of the stock market in recent months. Major stock indexes are about as safe and fun as that rusty roller coaster manned by the stoned Carnie at the Iowa County Fair. And after big companies announced disappointing earnings, and bank stockstaking a nose dive as investors wrestled with the twin issues of lower trading profits from Citibank and Bank of America and the prospect that new financial regulation would further crimp their businesses. The rich are starting to google "Frugal" and "on a budget."

Stocks are mostly psychological. Everyone hears the empty piggy bank of financial future and savings. There was a report that half of America has a grand total of two grand in their retirement savings. Waiting for the other shoe to drop? How about the entire shoe store? Consumer confidence slumped in July to its lowest point since August 2009 in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index..

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 261.41 points to 10,097.9 last Friday, for a loss of 2.52 percent. For the year, broad-based stock indexes in the United States all show losses of more than 3 percent.

Even The Fed has acknowledged that the recovery is losing steam and suggested that should conditions worsen further, additional stimulus will be needed. Well, what else would you expect?

At this stage of a recovery, businesses and economists want to see people of all incomes spending more, because the demand for goods and services would in turn encourage companies to hire workers. The American consumer accounts for an estimated 60 percent of the country’s economic activity.

ut the Top 5 percent in income earners — those households earning $210,000 or more — account for about one-third of consumer outlays, including spending on goods and services, interest payments on consumer debt and cash gifts, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by Moody’s Analytics. That means the purchasing decisions of the rich have an outsize effect on economic data. According to Gallup, spending by upper-income consumers — defined as those earning $90,000 or more — surged to an average of $145 a day in May, up 33 percent from a year earlier. Hmmmm.

Then in June, that daily average slid to $119. “I think a lot of that feeling that the worst was over has sort of abated,” said Dennis J. Jacobe, Gallup’s chief economist.

Although real estate brokers in Manhattan and the Hamptons report that buyers at the high end have returned, and Mercedes sales in the United States are up 26 percent this year, other indicators suggest a slowdown.

At the high end, luxury hotel chains like the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton said bookings were much stronger earlier this year but had recently slowed. And upscale retailers, including Saks and Neiman Marcus, said sales growth eased in June. Overall retail sales slid in June from May, the government said this week.

To the extent that the wariness of the affluent is driven mainly by nerves and sentiment, economists hope that it will be temporary. “If growth is actually solid, those fears will dissipate,” said Dean Maki, chief United States economist at Barclays Capital and a former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Board.

The worry, of course, is that consumers will stop spending because of their concerns about a slowdown, and that economic growth will slow because consumers have stopped spending.

After virtually shutting down during the financial collapse in late 2008, the wealthy began to open their wallets wider last year, in part because a stock market rally helped them feel better off financially.

By spring of last year, the savings rate — which represents the percentage of after-tax income not spent — of the top 5 percent of income earners had turned negative, according to the analysis by Moody’s Analytics. That meant the group was spending more than it made.

Less well-off consumers remained more frugal, most likely constrained by unemployment, declines in home values and the disappearance of easy credit. So the savings rate actually rose last year for those in middle-income brackets as they cut spending.

Job losses have disproportionately hit those at the lower end of the wage scale. According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate among people in management, business or financial occupations was 4.8 percent in June, compared to 9.5 percent over all, 18.2 percent in construction and 12.1 percent in production.

As a result, the affluent generally maintained their spending power at a time when others were losing it. “High-income households drove the economy out of recession into recovery and powered the recovery through its first year,” Mr. Zandi concluded. He added that although the incomes of the richest people might have been affected by swings in dividend payments or bonuses, the change in their savings rate was most likely driven by increased spending.

Affluent spenders “began to come out of the bunker about this time last year,” Mr. Zandi said, “and part of it was related to the revival in the stock market.”

Other economists suggest that while Mr. Zandi’s conclusions make some sense, the data is hazy on the precise role that the rich have played in consumer spending. “We have tried to do other things like look at consumer expenditures on products mainly purchased by the rich and could never get anywhere,” said Barry P. Bosworth, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

On the ground, those whose sales depend on affluent buyers have seen definite patterns. Last year and early this year, when the major stock gauges were rising, “everybody seemed to be a little bit more optimistic,” said Tom Hauswirth, general manager and partner of Moritz Cadillac, BMW and Mini in Arlington, Tex., near Dallas.

“Then I think everybody was affected when they saw the stock market go below 10,000,” he said. “Even though it may not affect their ability to buy or not, it affects their thinking.”

Mr. Hauswirth said that those who had recently bought new cars were sometimes fearful of being labeled as conspicuous consumers. A few, he said, insisted on buying new cars in the same color as their old models.

“They didn’t want their employees to know they bought a new car,” he said. “It doesn’t look good during a wage freeze or when they’re cutting people.”

Moritz laid off about 15 percent of its sales staff last year, and Mr. Hauswirth said that he did not yet feel comfortable hiring back until sales improved more.

Linda Dresner, the owner of a clothing boutique for women that carries designers like Dries van Noten and John Galliano in the upscale suburb of Birmingham, Mich., has reduced her inventory and says customers often say their husbands have asked them to rein in spending.

“They are wealthy people who live well,” Ms. Dresner said. “But their businesses have suffered some, and they are pulling back.”

Policy makers are divided on what may be needed to spur economic growth, with a current debate raging over whether to extend unemployment benefits, payments that are usually spent immediately. .

Sam Pizzigati, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning research center, cautions against simply boosting the spending power of the rich through tax cuts or other measures. “Otherwise, we find ourselves in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world,” he said, “and the solution to the hard times that the economy is going through is to help the people that are not going through hard times.”

For now, some affluent spenders are getting thrifty. Linda Stasiak, who sells high-end skin care products to retailers like Whole Foods, said that her biggest sales increase had been for a $15.95 tube wringer, made to get every last drop out of a bottle of lotion.

“During peak time, I don’t even really remember selling them,” Ms. Stasiak said.

However - There is one thing we've got that they didn't have in the Great Depression: built in obsolescence : in industrial design is a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model, heeelllooo iPhone customers waiting in line, over night?), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence. The purpose of planned obsolescence is to hide the real cost per use from the consumer, who will be willing to pay a higher price for the product than if he had been aware of its limited useful life.

So, we got that going for us. I know I've had to buy a whole bunch of crap - washing machine, fridge, car, lawn mower, garage door... I can name about ten other $300.00 items that needed to be fixed or replaced since the beginning of the Great Recession. So, perhaps, one of the worst aspects of capitalism will be the one thing that saves it?

PS Thanks to the NYTimes for the bulk of my cutn'paste.

New party surprise! Best hot weather- is that coming out of his head?

Jonestown Kool Aid Summer Spectacular!

Steve Jobs iPhone. Explained by the Taiwanese

Reality distortion field remains strong with Steve Jobs after antennagate

The iPhone 4 saga, as explained by that Taiwanese news program with the excellent animators and seemingly endless supply of LSD
Apple founder Steve Jobs have been busy defending the iPhone 4, which has been mired in problems since before its launch. The latest scandal to crop up, dubbed 'antennagate', is so-named because the phone's antenna gets poor reception if the phone is held the wrong way. Watch Jobs try and convince the world it's not a big deal in this animation.

Lieberman's Obsession

Mr. Lieberman has an obsession - and it's to bomb the living hell out of Iran.

Mr. Lieberman spoke about on the sanctions imposed on Iran which were “not about Iran’s nuclear weapons program” but rather, human rights. He then proceeded to bring it up THREE times during the press conference.1

The headlines light up from Lieberman’s suggestions:

“US Ready to Strike Iran” (2010) & “Bomb Iran If It Doesn’t Stop” (2007)

“We hope this threatens the abusers in Iran and we hope this legislation says to the protestors, your struggle is difficult but as has been the case for those who have fought tyrannies throughout history, that ultimately the cause of freedom and justice will prevail.” – February 11, 2010 joining John McCain on an Iran Human Rights Bill

On “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer June 10, 2007

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq…and to me, that would include a strike into…over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

“I think you could probably do a lot of it from the air, but they can’t believe that they have immunity for training and equipping people to come in and kill Americans.”

If the U.S. does not act against Iran, he added, “they’ll take that as a sign of weakness on our part and we will pay for it in Iraq and throughout the region and ultimately right here at home.”

In September of 2007, John Kyl co-sponsored an amendment with Lieberman to basically declare the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a global terrorist group. The initial intent was to identify Iran’s influence in Iraq to ratchet up the military response.

He told the Jerusalem Post: (aim of air strikes in Iran would be) “to delay [the nuclear program] to deter it hoping that you set the program off course so that by the time they catch up back to where they were there’s been a change in government. That’s the limited objective that I would see” – April 18, 2006

In December of that year he paraphrased he was opposed to a sit in direct talks with Iran because it was like “your local fire department asking a couple of arsonists to help put out the fire. These people are flaming the fire. They are extremists.”

In 2004 Joe Lieberman help for the Committee on Present Danger (CPD) claiming the aim of the group was “to form a bipartisan citizens’ army, which is ready to fight a war of ideas against our Islamist terrorist enemies, and to send a clear signal that their strategy to deceive, demoralize, and divide America will not succeed.

Then all the way back to 2003, in an interview on FOX News:

I think it would be in the interest of the world, and most particularly of the Iranian people, to have a regime change in Iran.

I’ve actually been saying that for quite a while, that we’ve got to begin to look at Iran the way we looked at the Soviet Union for a long time, which is the people are on our side. Every poll says that. Every time they get a chance to vote, the Iranians vote for reform.

There is a small group of extremists at the top of the Iranian government, very much like the small group of communists at the top of the Soviet Union, who will not deal with us.

Of course, the Iranians even are more detached from us, and more extreme than the Soviets were. And I think what — we want to have a policy that looks for the Lech Walesas and Vaclav Havels of — and in some senses the Gorbachevs — of Iran, and encourage them in every way we can.

For nearly a decade Joe Lieberman has been beating the drum for us to blow up Iran.

“We can tell them we want them to stop that, but if there’s any hope of the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping, for instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can’t just talk to them,” Lieberman said. “If they don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force, and to me that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they’re doing.” – On “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer June 10, 2007

While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, on the other moderates and democrats supported by the United States… This bloodshed, moreover, is not the inevitable product of ancient hatreds. It is the predictable consequence of a failure to ensure basic security and, equally important, of a conscious strategy by al-Qaeda and Iran, which have systematically aimed to undermine Iraq’s fragile political center… On this point, let there be no doubt: If Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran… One moderate Palestinian leader told me that a premature U.S. exit from Iraq would be a victory for Iran and the groups it is supporting in the region. – December 29, 2006 Washington Post

And you thought that Joe Biden was gaffe prone?

Jul 16, 2010


Great, now God Hates Nerds

Our favorite intolerant hunt and peck the bible quotes that support our goofy agenda Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church sure have a lot of time on their hands. When they're not protesting dead soldiers at their funerals, because America loves 'the gays' they're at the San Diego Comic-Con. Yes, I know that was a run on sentence, but since there's no logic to the previous sentence, I'm going to look past the grammar right now. So according to the loving Westboro, Comic-Con is a gathering of lost souls who are obsessively worshipping false idols like Batman:
Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent - so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.
Members of the church intend on staging a 45-minute protest during one of the least busy days of the convention in order to get everyone back on the right track.

My response is that I have read the bible, and there are some very obvious geeky/nerd passages. First off there's that UFO in Ezekiel - come on, that's X-Files if I ever saw it... and then Psalm 69:4:
Which Kirk saith of Khan, "They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away." Psalm 69:4.
And of course our friends at Westboro don't realize is that comics ARE a kind of religion, and telling the same types of morality tales found in their ancient texts. You can't convince me that Superman isn't Jewish. However, since that won't hold up as a quick argument - realize that they're protesting the hobby comic books. What's next model trains?

If they knew anything about the medium, they'd know that there are hundreds of Christian books, and even Robert Crumb painstakingly recreated the entire book of Genesis (another Star Trek II reference, natch!) in comic form.

And before getting too far into an argument about the art of the medium, and how powerful a medium it can be...

Let's read a passage from Romulans 2:
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
~ Romulans 2:1
And if that's not enough to end this, we'll just say NERDS HATE CHURCH and call it even.

Thanks to Reader "T" who sent in the article from Gizmodo for the base of this post.

Jul 15, 2010

Al Qaeda Is Racist

Mr. Obama disparaged al Qaeda and affiliated groups' willingness to kill Africans in a manner that White House aides say was an argument that the terrorist groups are racist.

Speaking about the Uganda bombings, the president said, "What you've seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself. They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains."

Earlier today a senior administration official said the Obama administration believes that Al Shabaab carried out the attack.

Explaining the president's comment, an administration official said Mr. Obama "references the fact that both U.S. intelligence and past al Qaeda actions make clear that al Qaeda -- and the groups like al Shabaab that they inspire -- do not value African life. The actions of al Qaeda and the groups that it has inspired show a willingness to sacrifice innocent African life to reach their targets."

This can be seen, the official said, in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, when hundreds of Africans were killed and thousands wounded.

"Additionally, U.S. intelligence has indicated that al Qaeda leadership specifically targets and recruits black Africans to become suicide bombers because they believe that poor economic and social conditions make them more susceptible to recruitment than Arabs," the official said. "Al Qaeda recruits have said that al Qaeda is racist against black members from West Africa because they are only used in lower level operations."

"In short," the official said, "al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder and does not value human life."

The president also said in the interview that "it was so tragic and ironic to see an explosion like this take place when people in Africa were celebrating and watching the World Cup take place in South Africa. On the one hand, you have a vision of an Africa on the move, an Africa that is unified, an Africa that is modernizing and creating opportunities; and on the other hand, you've got a vision of al Qaeda and Al Shabaab that is about destruction and death.

"And I think it presents a pretty clear contrast in terms of the future that most Africans want for themselves and their children," Mr. Obama said. "And we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to support those who want to build, as opposed to want to destroy."

Wow. Wait until he finds out that AlQ-duh's stance on gay marriage? (PSssst - they're against it)

Look, I understand that this was a tailored message, but, but... when is Mr. Obama going to realize that the terrorists aren't a political group that simply disagrees with his policies?

Well, maybe now if he treats AlKayDuh like the Klan or the Tea Party (there's not a distinction in his Cabinet's mind) perhaps he'll take the safety off and take care of business? No, he'll just have Jessie Jackson demand some Affirmative Action in the AlKayDuh HR department.