Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Murky Science in Time for Halloween

I think this is a possibility! I don't see things going quite the same way as Oliver Curry or H. G. Wells do, however. I think the two species will look superficially alike. One will be known as Homo Superstitious, and will insist on living in a spooky-magic world of their own making. They will have many moments of wonderment, delight and disappointment. They will have vivid and strange dreams that will either fuel their imagination, or validate their belief system, or both. The other species will be called Homo Pragmatus, and will generally think that the Homo Superstitious species is retarded. They too will dream, and will also fail to appreciate the entertainment value. They will be convinced that their strange dreams indicate that they are more mentally disturbed than their self-image would otherwise suggest.

If people are going to make up unverifiable, goofy shit about the world 1000 years from now, I don't want to be left out. I don't think that anyone in 903 AD foresaw the Buick. Speculating about the planet that far into the future is as futile as trying to predict the weather a year in advance, and for much the same reasons: too many variables.

I kinda like that picture by the way. The artist got a lot in there. Can anyone explain the party hat?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Short Story by Barack Obama

"We can't just tell people what they want to hear, we need to tell people what they need to hear. We need to tell them the truth!" - Senator Barack Obama, from his latest campaign commercial

I had hopes when this primary race started that we might see something different this time. Obama used to speak like a normal human being. Now, obviously, the speech writers are busy feeding him sound bites and making him into another pontificating politico-bot.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Didn't we see this plot in
The Seduction of Joe Tynan? As long as we have political regimes running both parties like privately owned machines, we have no chance of getting anyone in office that will effect significant changes.

The question that comes to my mind is why? Why can't we tell people what they want to hear? It seems like a good idea if we want something from them, like votes or money. The context of the quote above: Obama was speaking to a room full of people about his having gone to Detroit to confront the auto manufacturers about better fuel economy. He argued that we were sending too much money to potentially hostile nations for oil, and contributing to global warming to boot. All true, but I suspect that's what that particular roomful of people wanted to hear, that someone was standing up for these issues. Talk is cheap.

Telling people what they want to hear can be quite profitable. Just ask this guy.

Joel Osteen and his trophy wife have been telling people what they want to hear at the Lakewood Ministries ever since his father died and left him the family pitch. They emphasize the "Sunshine and Light" version of the gospel, and also push self-help materials in true medicine-show fashion. They seem to be getting a lot of free publicity lately on news and morning TV shows. Maybe he's being groomed for the recently vacated Jerry Falwell slot. The fire and brimstone crowd complain that Joel and his lovely wife are ignoring all the possibilities of selling fear and guilt. In short, they are being well paid to blow sunshine up the respective asses of their follower/victims.

This is also what I have come to expect from the modern breed of politician; sunshine. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know what a politician wants to do, I'd like to know how they plan to get it done.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oh Noes! Dumbledore is Gay!

According to this Associated Press article, J. K. Rowling has revealed that her head wizard is gay.


”After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.”

… Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.”

You’re darned right, J. K., those Christian types take their fictional characters quite seriously.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This is too good not to share

This speaks for itself. Anything I might add would be to gild a perfect lily.

gretachristina's elegant rant

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Very Basic Confusion of Ideas

If you don't like the facts, distort them into something useful.,8599,1670210,00.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A short story by Ambrose Bierce

King Log and King Stork

THE People being dissatisfied with a Democratic Legislature, which stole no more than they had, elected a Republican one, which not only stole all they had but exacted a promissory note for the balance due, secured by a mortgage upon their hope of death.


A Short Story by Mitt Romney:

"The blame, we must admit, does not belong to just one party. If we’re going to change Washington, Republicans have to put our own house in order.

We can’t be like Democrats – a party of big spending. We can’t pretend our borders are secure from illegal immigration. We can’t have ethical standards that are a punch-line for Jay Leno.

When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses.

It’s time for Republicans to start acting like Republicans. We have to remember who we are: We are not Big Government Republicans. We are not Washington Republicans. We are Change Washington Republicans. Democrats are not the change Washington needs. We are the change Washington needs and it’s time for Republicans like us to stand for that change again.
- Mitt Romney, Excerpt from Open Letter to the Republican Party and repeated in his campaign ads.

Ambrose Bierce disappeared in the Mexican desert in 1913. The Reagan Administration signed off on the first trillion-dollar budget. This has been going on for a long time folks. As far as I can tell, the Bush Administration has been acting like Republicans and it's time for Republicans to stop acting like Republicans. The Republicans are very good at blaming the Democrats, and vice versa.

Democrats: Tax and Spend.
Republicans: Borrow and Spend.

Any questions?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Evolution Meme Tag

Delta tagged me with the evolution meme tag a while back. In short:

Five posts to Illustrate the evolution of this blog. Then I’m supposed to tag 5 other bloggers. I’m not going to do that. If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged if you haven’t been by now.

First post, my first serious post. I actually got into this scene to get an avatar and comment on other people’s blogs. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with this. Confusion of ideas 101, class 1 This was kind of a mission statement. I was playing with the format of a college class structure, and I stuck with that for some time. I wasn’t sure who my audience was going to be, so now I look at this and wonder, does it seem condescending? Not my intention. I was going to be a teacher at one time, then I decided the politics and red tape made it too difficult to teach in this country. I’m not good with authority figures and stuffed-shirt petit bureaucrats. (can I get a ,“No shit!”?) I return to this format once in a while, usually if I discover some dirty mindfuck trick that I had not recognized before and that is not directly covered in the list of fallacious arguments.

Second post, 6 months later. I start to comment on other people’s observations. Anatomy of a Social Disease

Third post. In Ax 17, versus 22-34, I take on scriptural interpretation of my favorite con man, Paul. This was part two of a two-parter. I think I enjoyed writing it more than my readership enjoyed reading it. I toyed with doing a more jaundiced interpretation than the Skeptic’s annotated Bible, but realized it would be a lot of work. I learned from this, and did a little better send up of the Passover “Miracles”.

In April 2006, I tried to get some audience participation going without resorting to meme tagging. I was posting more regularly back then and had a few more steady readers. I quickly learned with Find the Money that my audience was too individualistic to enjoy directed writing projects.

In The Neverending Godfomercial, part n, I supply a definition for one of my pet phrases and go a little nuts with the links.

That’s five, but “Miracles” is kind of a bonus post, so I’ll make this a throw-away. This is the first time I figured out how to post a video from You-Tube. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


"One from the vault" - Frank N. Furter

Do NOT listen to this at work through your PC speakers. You have been warned.