Sunday, December 22, 2013

Comparing the religious to fan clubs.

Earlier today I went on a bit of a rant comparing the biggest nerds of all, the religious, to other nerds. Here's the rant -

Trekkies do not suicide bomb Star Wars conventions.
Beliebers do not protest One Direction concerts.
No Star Wars fan has ever knocked on my door asking me if I have heard the good news about Luke Skywalker.
No Twilight fan has ever threatened me with the wrath of Edward Cullen because I told them their book was poorly written.
Warhammer 40K fans are not trying to make the rules and laws listed in Imperial Infantry Man's Handbook part of local or federal government.
I have never seen Dungeons and Dragons used as a basis for discrimination.
Marvel Comics fans do not own a considerable portion of the town where I reside and force local business and law enforcement alike to bend to their will.
Anime fans do not have a rather constant and annoying presence many US airports.
Bronies are not insisting that Rainbow Dash is real and that everyone knows it and chooses to ignore it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ATTN PJI: A Lie For Jesus Is Still a Lie



I want to start out with a Bible verse, it's a short one.
Exodus 20:16
King James Version (KJV)
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
That verse is actually repeated several times throughout the Bible and it is one of the 10 commandments, so I think it's kind a big deal. I bring this up because the Pacific Justice Institute, a 501 (c) non-profit organisation based out California, told a story about a transgender girl harassing other girls in a school bathroom in Colorado. This story found it's way on to ultra-conservative news services such as the Daily Mail, Examiner, and the CBN.

Some things already do not seem right about this. There's a pretty big distance between Colorado and California. Also, why is this coming through a source that claims to be for religious freedom yet does a lot of complaining about LGBT?

I'm not the only one that saw a need for some fact checking. Thankfully that has already been done by Cristan Williams at Transadvocate.com. However, I do encourage anyone that is about to call bullshit or just wants to see for themselves that they check the facts on their own and contacting the school would not be a bad start.

You may also want to look for the story on the Daily Mail, but it's been deleted. You can check it on the Examiner, they posted a retraction and an apology. You can check it on the CBN, it's still there but oddly enough it was posted there before it was posted that the case was under investigation in the local news paper.

So what is the truth? The transgender girl in question is described being very shy, timid, and sweet by students, faculty and people in the local community. The school had reported there are no incidents involving this student. Students have come forward and stated there were no incidents. There are 2 recorded conversations on Transadvocate.com that reference one parent that complained. One parent complained while students, teachers and faculty have stated that there was nothing to complain about.

During this the child in question and her family have been traumatised. Can you imagine getting a call from your child's principal because the media wants to interview your child. Can you imagine even a small group of people protesting at your child's school because your child goes there? How would you like to be a teenager and receive death threats from people all over the world over something you did not do? How would you like to be publicly accused and condemned for something you did not do? How would you like to have that happen to your child? Transadvocate.com spoke to the mother of the child. There is a recording of her on their site. She sounds very upset and rightfully so.

And why would the PJI do this? Why would they harass and bully a child and serve as the catalyst for others to do the same? Their claim is that a transperson's presence in a restroom is inherently intimidating and harassing. So what does that mean? By merely walking in the restroom and squatting down in a stall she intimidated and harassed someone? That does not make her a problem. In that case, the person making the claim of harassment is the problem. This claim that she is inherently intimidating and harassing serves as an admission that she has not done anything wrong. The only motivation I can see is that the Pacific Justice Institute trying to get a “bathroom bill” overturned in California. Tell me, are a few ill-gotten signatures on a petition worth child being completely traumatised?

Lifesitenews.com is also carrying this story and propagating the lies. This is a site that primarily focuses on the pro-life and personhood movements. It's a common claim by pro-lifers that all life, no matter how small, is precious. Between the article they posted and the comments at the end of it, it is quite clear that if said life is transgender, it's a little less precious.

The Pacific Justice Institute needs to do one of two things – either prove that this child is the horrible person they claim she is or admit their lies and publicly apologise to her and her family. To the PJI and those carrying and promoting this story – CBN, World Net Daily, Liberty Counsel, Life Site News, and anyone else that I have missed – You make the claim that you are a Christian organisation. What does your god say about bearing false witness? Would Jesus have publicly slandered and traumatised a child for political gains?

Here's a list of links if you want to read more on this. I have included links that are on both sides of the story.

No Recourse for Girls Harassed by Transgender Student


What a shocker....transgender male harassing girls in high school bathroom


Transgender boy invades girls' bathroom


Transgender’ boy accused of harassing girls in the restroom at Colorado school: school denies


Pacific Justice Institute on Facebook

Trans Student Attacking Girls in School Restroom! Or, you know… not.


Fox Nation Touts Fake Story About Transgender Student Harassing Girls In School Bathroom


Anti-gay activist group admits trans school “harassment” is fake


How Eager Is Conservative Media To Demonize Transgender Youth?


YOUR HELP REQUESTED: HRC condemns fake trans harassment charges, ex-gay group dodges my fact checking, family & friends open up


California signature gatherer caught lying to trick people into discriminating against trans children


Family of Colorado trans kid targeted by harassment hoax speaks up


Mother Of Transphobic Smear Campaign Target Defends Daughter

Local newspaper - Transgender case under investigation at Florence High School

Monday, October 7, 2013

Glenn Beck and the Cursive Conspiracy



I really wish people would read the facts before speaking out against something.
http://www.corestandards.org/

Source:
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/glenn-beck-reveals-progressive-dishwasher-cursive-handwriting-conspiracy-theories

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Atheists against a movie that has not been produced?

News to me. And when I saw this tweet from Ken Ham, I had to check it out.

I like to follow Ken Ham on Twitter, sometimes I read his blog. It give me a peep into the mind of a man who is wrapped up in his delusions he can't think outside of it, or had so much riding on the ignorance of his followers that if he is found to be a fraud, he's fucked. Either way, when I read his blog post about atheists being against a movie, I wanted to say a few things. And people seem to like it when take shots at creationists.

Time to deconstruct.
As we have come to expect from most atheists, they are already against a message before they even see and hear it! That’s because they have decided that no matter what evidence is before them and no matter what someone argues, if it has its basis in the Bible, it’s wrong regardless!
Really? There's an awful lot of atheists that I know that don't give a shit. But may that just reflect the people I know personally. Just the same, none of the Christians I know personally subscribe to the same brand of creationist fucknuttery as Ken Ham. The same fucknuttery that says if it is not in the Bible, then it's wrong. Look, if you have a message, that's cool. But if you are going to present your message as science, you are going to need evidence to back it up. A book a fables written by desert dwelling nomads during the Bronze age is not a source of evidence.
We saw an example of this again last week. Good friend of AiG Eric Hovind and his ministry are producing a 3D movie depicting Genesis. The Christian Post reported on this movie and quoted the president of the American Atheists as he commented on the movie’s successful fundraising campaign:
“I’m not at all surprised at this kind of support,” said David Silverman, president of American Atheists. “As we have seen in nearly every religion in world history, indoctrinated victims of religion will do anything, including pay large sums of money, to have their antiquated beliefs of immortality validated. Flashy movies may make Christians feel like there is validity to the myth that they are immortal, covering up the known and proven truth with special effects.”
While David Silverman at the most speaks only for his particular atheist organization, I agree with what he said here. This is merely his opinion of the production and those behind it. I have nothing against the production of the movie, though I would strongly suggest that it come with a disclaimer stating that it is based off a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Secular museums and documentaries (and other films) spend large sums of money to make flashy movies and exhibits—but that’s OK as long as they teach atheism, evolution, and millions of years as fact! But, if Christians use the latest technology to produce first-class museum exhibits and a startling movie to teach people the truth of God’s Word, well, that’s not OK for atheists because they have already decided Christianity is false.
Whine, whine, whine. So someone had an opinion and you didn't like it. Go cry in your Bible. I've never seen a museum or a documentary that teaches atheism. Can someone point one out to me? As far as evolution and a 4.5 billion year old Earth are concerned, that is the conclusion that the available evidence leads to. If you have found another conclusion, then by all means publish your findings with your research and methodology so that it may be peer reviewed. If your concerns do indeed center around finding what is true, then you will have no problem doing this and will not cry foul should any error be found. If you are going to build a museum or make a movie based off a pseudo-science that has no basis in reality and present it as fact, then people who are concerned about the truth of the reality we experience are going to call you out on your bullshit.
What I’ve noticed about many atheists and other secularists is that they often cry tolerance, but they are often the most intolerant people around! Really, they are tolerant of all opinions as long as they agree with their own.
I've noticed the same thing and the latter part of that statement can be applied to creationists as well. This is why I do not cry tolerance and make no claims of being tolerant myself. There many things I'm intolerant of and one of them is complete and utter bullshit. It's what happens when you are genuinely concerned with what is true.
Besides, why should an atheist like Silverman even care anyway? After all, within 100 years, according to Silverman’s atheist religion he will cease to exist when he dies! If that’s so, he will never know he did exist—so why care?
I care about what is true. I care about what is correct. I care about what is real. If we are going to function as a society, if we are going to advance as a society, if we are going to solve problems as a society, then the information we use needs to be true and correct. I care because I have benefitted from those who came before me that cared about the same things. I care because I want future generations to reap the same benefits. If I am only going to live on after my death in the form of memories and recorded data, I'd really rather not have any of that to be negative. I want to watch the world learn while I am here, not remain blissfully ignorant to preserve an ancient superstition.
As I’ve said many times, atheists do care because their heart is crying out that there is a God! But as Romans chapter 1 teaches us, those people who rebel against God “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” They work hard to try to convince themselves there is no God, so that there is no one to whom they are accountable, no one to tell them they are sinners in need a Salvation, and no one to tell them what is right and what is wrong (e.g., that marriage is between a male and female only)! Atheists work hard to suppress this.
I think you would get a lot further if you asked atheists rather than make blind, bold assertions. Did you have to convince yourself that Zeus or Krishna did not exist? Are you not accountable to yourself or anyone you may have wronged? Why does anyone need to be told they are sinners in need of salvation? Do you really need a god to tell you right from wrong or can you figure that out yourself? Why is marriage between male and female only and why did you feel the need to bring it up? Ask questions, it's how you learn stuff. Atheists are not the ones looking to suppress truth, if anything they are the ones who care about what the truth really is.

In closing I'll say that it is my opinion that the Genesis account was never meant to be taken literally and instead is a fable or a parable for which things can be learned from. Taking it literally gives it limited validity and promotes ignorance. Furthermore, creation peddlers like Ham and Hovind have turned it in to a really bad episode of The Flintstones. It's bad enough they figuratively piss on the works and  accomplishments of scientists who's work they reap the benefits of, but in their efforts to push their pseudo-science they piss on the text that they claim to hold in the highest reverence. This is bad and they should feel bad.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#Brighthouse came through for me

I like this modern world we live in. Have a problem with a business, bitch about it on social media, shit gets fixed. Where "Ryan" at Brighthouse chat support failed, Deanna @BrightHouseCare on Twitter succeeded.

Now I have a shiny new DVR, a clear picture and sound, and I can record without worry. Also the new box seems to be more responsive than the old. Old one had a really annoying delay.

So big thanks to Deanna on Twitter.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun with #Brighthouse support

Well, not really that much fun, my DVR is acting up and I'm not sure if I am chatting with a human or a machine.

Welcome to Bright House Networks. My name is Ryan, how may I help you?
Charles X: My DVR resets 2-3 times a day picture is tiled and shakey sound is distorted. If I run the wire directly to the TV its clear. (Account/Phone: ##########)
Ryan: Welcome to Bright House Networks live chat my name is Ryan. Thank You for taking your time to contact us and I would be happy to assist you. How are things going so far today?
Charles X: not good, I'd like to used my DVR and it's not working right
Charles X: and I have someone I live with that wants to record something
Ryan: I definitely apologize that it is not allowing you to record. Is there an error that comes up when you try to record?
Charles X: no
Charles X: it resets 2-3 times a day, the picture is tiled, the sound is distorted, some of the channels say unavailable
Ryan: It indicates it is recording and does not record is that correct?
Charles X: can I speak to your manager?

Seriously? Was this guy even reading what I typed? Damn right I asked for a manager. Still waiting from him to call me at the moment. In chat support I should never have the need to repeat myself.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I prefer Ronzoni any way

So Barilla has come out as another business that does like gays.

So of course this means boycott. I always liked Ronzoni better. That's what my mom used, that's what I use and so far that's worked pretty well.

Of course this boycott is considered by fundies to be a "Gaystapo" attack. Janet Mefferd said so!
So does that mean that boycotts of Home Depot, Starbucks, General Mills are the work of the "Christ-stapo"? Or should we call them the "Godstapo"? Gestapo?

Perhaps that's one for the PhilosoRaptor.

Here's what I'd really like to see. Someone fundies don't like, that does something fundies are opposed to, someone like Hugh Hefner or Ron Jeremy, coming out and saying that they "stand for the traditional family" and couple that with some good old-fashioned, Bible-thumping, gay-bashing bigotry. I think such a thing would cause a fundie's head to explode from the conflict. It would be pretty damned funny to see Janet Mefford or Bryan Fischer trying to get people to buy porn.

Of course this does rely on fundies being consistent.

Bryan Fischer Bullies a 16 Year Old Girl

Warning - I have serious fucking rage issues


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bill Nye is wrong because Beethoven

Yes, Bill Nye is wrong because Beethoven.

Dafuq?

A little background here. Last week on "Real Time" with Bill Maher, Bill Nye was discussing the same lunacy in Texas that I brought up in my last blog (you should check it out, and the video). Bill Nye mentioned a talk he was giving in Texas where people booed him because he said the moon reflected light from the sun. This contradicts the Bible, which says that God made 2 lights. Stuff that contradicts the Bible makes Ray Comfort butthurt. Butthurt Ray Comfort waves his ignorance for all to see.
“He mocks that, and yet you take out what moonlight is in the dictionary, and it says it’s the light of the moon,” Comfort said. “The moon has light, it reflects the sun, (and) “Moonlight Sonata,” just lots of beautiful songs, the moon does.”

Yeah he said that. Called Bill Nye delusional too. Said he believes a lie. Because, you know, a 6000 year old Earth that was created in a week has to be true because a Bronze Age desert myth said so.

Here's a link to the full article and video on The Raw Story.

I'm not sure what makes good, reasonable, intelligent Christians look worse - Idiots like Comfort and Hovind who prey on those who are more ignorant than they are, or hate spewing bigots like Fischer and Labarbera. I've heard Comfort speak out against LGBT's, but it's a side note to his creationist spewing at best.

And that annoys me. Creationists make Christians look really fucking ignorant - the close-minded, can't tell them anything, blind, forceful kind of ignorance. It's not like I expect everyone to be a biology major. I'm not one, but if I am going to talk about something, I try to understand what it is. It's almost comical to ask a creationist what they define as evolution. Most that I have dealt with either don't know or think it is something very different from what it actually is. There's nothing in the field of evolutionary biology that makes any claims about crocoducks or chimps giving birth to humans. Evolution does not explain the beginnings of life or the universe. It makes no claims about the existence of God either. Life went on and people believed in God just the same after we found that the Earth was not flat and not at the center of the universe. And I do think that creationists look just as ridiculous as flat-earthers and geocentrists.

That said I also feel creationists do a disservice to Christianity. For instance, if you take the book of Genesis metaphorically, it still holds meaning regardless of what science tells you. Taken literally, it's an episode of The Flintstones gone horribly wrong.

Seriously Ray Comfort, stop making my friends who happen to be Christian look bad.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shouldn't science be in science books?

In case you were not aware of it, I'm a trekkie. I like the show. I like the movies. I like the games. I go to the conventions. Usually in costume. I've got pictures of the cast, figures, posters, models, thongs, upper thigh massager, and I have them all autographed.

But as much of a fan as I am of Star Trek, I would never demand that kids in public school learn how a warp core works, or the Ferengi rules of acquisition, or how to speak Klingon. Mind you these might make for some cool and interesting electives, but definitely not the material for required courses.

Just the same, as my stage name may imply, I like Ancient Greek mythology. But I would find it rather silly to teach Poseidon's role in the tides in a science class or teach the Iliad and the Odyssey as factual history rather than folklore.

I bring this up because the biggest nerds of all, fundamentalist Christian creationists, are trying to weasel their ridiculous franchise into the public school classroom. At least that's the case in Texas. It's bad enough Rick Perry appointed a young earth creationist to the board of education. That started the quality of education in Texas on a downward spiral. Lowered science standards, Revisionist history, creationists tried to get religious supplemental materials added. They failed, didn't stop them from trying again. Now they are asking so called experts that just happen to be creationists to evaluate new science books.

Here's what one of these experts had to say-
 I understand the National Academy of Science's [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution. At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.
Someone who clearly does not know the definition of the word "theory" as it applies to science should have nothing to do with deciding which science books are used to teach science. Such things are best left to real scientists. I'm not even going to get in to the "just a theory" argument. I'm just going to beat the next person that brings it to me with a dictionary. Maybe they will learn by osmosis. Probly not.

Here's what another "expert" had to say-
Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification. Text should ask students to analyze and compare alternative theories.
 Another one from the ignorant "no transitional forms" crowd. For fuck's sake, every fossil and every currently living thing is a transitional form. For an alternate theory to be valid, there has to be evidence, it has to be tested, and it has to stand up to a peer review. Otherwise at best it barely qualifies as a hypothesis.

The only things that should be taught in a science class are things that are science. That which was found by use of the scientific method. That which has been tested and stood up to scrutiny to be the best explanation. That's how it works. The earth is 4 and a half billion years old. Evolution is the foundation for modern biology. There is overwhelming evidence that supports this. It has been tested over and over by scientists in fields that relate to it. It is important that kids understand the difference between evidence and faith.

Look, I understand. I was disappointed as a child when I found out that Star Trek was fiction and the crew was actors. It totally changed the way I looked at Star Trek, but didn't make me like it any less. And as an adult it was pretty cool to go to Trekkie conventions and get their autographs. Speaking of which I really need to get George Takei's autograph. Maybe I can get him to sign my boobs. I'm digressing.

I also understand there's still a lot of butt hurt going around because Christian teachers cannot force prayer on their students. It's that pesky First Amendment. But if it is any consolation, kids are perfectly allowed pray on their own. Also, people of non-Christian faiths have to play by the same rules. Repackaging your creation myth as an alternate theory is only going to make kids more confused when it comes to science than Wesley Crusher waking up naked in Tasha Yar's bed.  

Now you might be wanting to ask why I am so concerned. I don't live in Texas. I care. I care about kids. I care about education. I care about America. We are not going to advance much if we question science every time it contradicts a bronze age myth. Another reason I am concerned is because the State of Texas buys a lot of school books. So many that book publishers use Texas as a standard. So this is not just a problem in Texas, but a problem for the rest of America as well. Standards should be going up, not down. Maybe this is why the aliens are not talking to us.

But what really breeches my warp core is that there is also a political agenda behind this as well. What kind of a PetaQ sacrifices education for a chance at having a generation of holy warriors to fight in a fruitless culture war?