Assumptions of Believers and Post Death Sports

A very popular post death sport of believers is to foist their beliefs upon atheists – those sexy little blank slates.  In life atheists “have a faith in science!  ZOMG They worship science!” but in death there are secret prayers to assign, desperate conversions to gloat over (Pandagon):

humans have invented thousands and for all we know, millions of deities. Since you have so many to pick from, and you, being a naughty atheists, aren’t beholden to the one you inherited at birth, the field is wide open. Personally, for my secret moments of desperate prayer that I supposedly have, I’m definitely not going to go with the Christian god, who is mainly characterized in the Bible as a patriarchal dick. Seriously, fuck that guy.

This reminds me of debates I used to have with Campus Navigators and such at UMass, where I’d ask “if you start from scratch, how could you know which holy book to believe in?  Each claims to be the truth, none present evidence”. Without having been raised in a faith, there isn’t a compelling reason to join one outside of marriage, convenience, or intense social pressure.

For the believer, the assumption is always “oh an atheist will of course secretly believe in MY god.”  There are better alternatives out there.  Amanda Marcotte has chosen Tefnut – goddess of moisture, born of a holy wank, giver of sticky liquids in our times of need.  A wise choice, and she asks, who would you choose?  I’d like to invite fellow non-traditional-theists (like yours truly) into the fun, since doubtless true believers will speculate over our beliefs when we die – whether it is evangelical family members or celebrity religious nuts if we are lucky enough to grow famous.

I choose Zaltrog the Unbeliever – pictured above (src).  Zaltrog is frankly shocked at epistemic certainty of any kind, and demands contextualist cuddles.

Obama Says Gay Couples Deserve Rights, Just Not Right Now

Obama gingerly endorsed the rights of gay people, if they’d only wait a few more years or like a decade or two tops.  I’m pretty sure this is verbatim you guys:

With cat-like tread, President Obama praised New York state lawmakers who were debating landmark legislation to legalize gay love and Jesus (to be balanced). As expected the president stopped short of committing to supporting equal rights, choosing instead to say “We’ll totally come back to this in 4 to 20 years”.

The president’s views on same-sex marriage are a sore point with gay supporters and even hetero supporters who’ve otherwise warmed to Obama. The president has said his views are “evolving,” but he needs more time to reconcile respect for human rights and equality with his desire to court religious voters who hate him for being black.

As Obama spoke at a Manhattan fundraiser for the people whose rights he needs time to recognize, a handful of pro-gay marriage protesters shouted out “marriage!”.  And Obama said, “I heard you guys, I just don’t want to take a risky stand.  On anything really.  Haven’t you people caught on yet?  I don’t like risk.  It makes me break out.”.  The president never directly mentioned gay marriage instead choosing more neutral terms like “homo-erotic unions” and “marriages that make baby Jesus cry”.

“I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” the president said “just not for a few years.”.

Obama said progress will be slower than some people want, but he added that he was confident that there will be a day “when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, is free to live and love as they see fit.  I just don’t no if I think every single American ought to be free to live and love as they see fit yet.  My views on that are still evolving.”

“Traditionally marriage has been decided by the states and right now I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York,” he said to laughter. New York’s lawmakers, he said, are “doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do.  In fact I’ve long been a supporter of the states rights”

Debate on the measure continued into the night at the statehouse, and the outcome was uncertain.

Obama said there were those who shouted at him at events about other causes of the gay community, such as the need for anti-hate crimes legislation and for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay military service, and both of those have since been achieved.  “So keep shouting, eventually I’ll cave.  In the meantime I’m going to go meet with Republicans and pretend its possible to address our deadly budget issues and still give rich people the massive tax cuts they’ve come to expect.”

Obama also has won favor by instructing the Justice Department to stop defending in court a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, after spending the start of his presidency instructing them to defend that same law.

Obama told of receiving a letter last year from a teenager in a small town. He said the boy was a senior in high school who was gay and was afraid to come out. The boy wondered to the president why gays shouldn’t be equal like everyone else.  The president wrote back “Look, I’ve got to get elected in 2012, and I’ve already sold out women’s rights for my tepid health care law, so now its time for the gay community to take one for the team.  You guys can die for your country now, you just can’t get married or adopt or whatever.”

“So, yes, we have more work to do,” Obama said. “Yes, we have more progress to make. Yes, I expect continued impatience with me on occasion.  Or every day.  I don’t care.  I’m the boss.”

(note: heavily edited for searing political impact!)

Fox, The Simpons, Family Guy and Rape: WTF?

Being a fan of Family Guy, I read this piece from Jessica @ feministing back in October:

The most recent episode, I Dream of Jesus, featured this conversation with Peter and a waiter (Peter is trying to get the waiter to give him a jukebox record he likes):

Peter: Can I have that record? I love that song. I’ll let you have sex with my daughter…

Waiter: I don’t know…let’s see what your daughter looks like.

P: She’s…uhh…(pans past Meg to “hot” girl)…right there!

W: Ok, I’ll do her. But can you tell her to cry and beg me to stop?

P: I think that can be arranged.

And this isn’t the first time the show has made light of violence against women. Usually, I’d consider Family Guy one of my (Un)Feminist guilty pleasures, but I think I have to cut the show off completely. Sigh.

More below the fold (warning, possibly triggering):

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Will I Am: CNN Episode 1

What the hell CNN?

At the victory party in Arlington, a bunch of us where wondering why there was a hologram talking to Anderson Cooper.  Glad to see we weren’t the only ones:

“Will I Am, I want to thank you for being with us via hologram tonight.”

How do these decisions get made? Was there really no one at CNN who had ever seen the first Star Wars movie? Did no one think, hmm, I wonder if this will make us the laughingstock of one of the most important evenings in American history?

I was actually secretly hoping their next guest would be voicing a poorly animated version brought into the study via the magic of the blue screen.  The night felt surreal enough.

Palin and the Prime Minister of Quebec: Pals 4Eva

This is priceless (Transcript):

A: Some people said in the last days and I thought that was mean that you weren’t experienced enough in foreign relations and you know that’s completely false. That’s the thing that I said to my great friend, the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse.

P: Well, he’s doing fine, too, and yeah, when you come into a position underestimated it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder.

A: I was wondering because you are so next to him, one of my good friends, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois, have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?

P: I haven’t seen him at one of the rallies but it’s been great working with the Canadian officials. I know as governor we have a great co-operative effort there as we work on all of our resource-development projects.

The campaign’s response (The Politico via HuffPost):

“Gov. Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy,” emailed spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. “Gov. Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C’est la vie.”

C’est la vie.  In 4 years a foreign policy maven she will not be.

The prime minister of Canada is Stephen Harper.

The premier of Quebec is Jean Charest.

Sarcastic Quip Sums up Right Wing Paranoia

My friend Adam emailed this gem to me from Fox New’s comments section:

Comment by ethan

August 28th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

i heard Barack fathered a black child. i cant vote for him. also.. i heard 25 years ago..a hot dog vendor sold Barack a hot dog. then that vendor went on to say that Blacks should take over all white economic power structures in a huge bloody revolution. that street vendor said that on a bar stool in a now demolished dive bar. i cant vote for someone who associates with counter culture revolutionaries. also Barack wants to take my money and give it to welfare queens who get their nails and hair done while getting abortions. also..i dont believe in global warming. i think its a hoax. the 35,000 pages of scientific evidence is wrong. intellectuals are dumb.
p.s. we’re winning the war on terror. iraq children were putting fluoride in our water supplies. its the part of 9/11 the liberal media doesnt tell you about.

That nails a lot of the right wing Fear Uncertainty and Doubt being pushed on Obama.  Well played ethan.  Dig the nod to Dr. Strangelove at the end.

Will McCain Leave His Wife for Younger VP Candidate?

My friend Masroor suggested it over lunch.  Its a funny thought.  But the answer is no, Cindy McCain isn’t crippled.

Still this AP article has the unfortunate title McCain taps Alaska governor for VP.

Daffy Duck: You Smug #(+)($*

Daffy Duck is the king.

If you like Philosophy, Zombies and Ghosts

This is perhaps one of the best comics, ever, of all time, plus one.  Read first before the philosophy commences.

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The Christian Resistence and Hot Mermaid Action

Sometimes people are abominably silly:

A Christian group called “The Resistance,” having solved all other God-related problems in the world, has turned its considerable ire toward Starbucks, which recently re-introduced its original logo from 1971 as part of an attempt to …. well, I don’t know what, really. I assume it’s to make people nostalgic when they walk in and think they’re not paying $4 for a cup of coffee. Anyway, this guy Mark Dice had this to say about the old logo …

“The Starbucks logo has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute. Need I say more? It’s extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.“

In addition, “The Resistance” is apparently calling for a Starbucks boycott


It appears to me that it’s a topless mermaid, holding the ends of her fins, which look somewhat like fried shrimp (mmmmmmm …..). Does anybody besides Dice look at this and see something that looks like a “prostitute”? I mean, it’s a friggin’ mermaid. The entire point of a mermaid is that she doesn’t, ya know, have legs and, thus, is incapable of spreading them. She also appears to be some sort of queen mermaid, considering that crown on her head. Either that, or she just came from Burger King and is looking for her post-Whopper frappuccino.

But can this guy possibly be serious? And is anybody buying it? And does anybody else think the mermaid actually has legs to spread? And does anybody else think the mermaid is hot?

For what its worth, I thought I saw pineapples before I saw fried shrimp.

Hilarious Anti Liberal Atheist Rambling

This is just too much awesome to pass up. Probably a parody site, but well worth tackling seriously.  Frank (Ignorant Christian) writes:

I’ve been thinking for a long time why liberals don’t beleve in God. Here’s what I learnt:

This is going to be extra special, so I’m going to go through point by point.

They don’t understand, but they never let that stop them!

Don’t understand what exactly? God? Theology wouldn’t exist as a branch of human study if anyone understood God and the philosophical implications of such a being perfectly. That said, notice the lack of a supporting statement. Frank just makes a flat claim, then leaves it hanging in the air, waiting expectantly for nods of approval from his audience.

Science. They think it replaced God somehow. They think sceince has all the answers. They think if they can anser questions with mumbo jumno that’s the only reason for God, instead of understanding God made this world. Real science keeps proving God over and again, but there’s a lot of psuedo science out there. Whatch out for anyone who tells you the world is somthing crazy like a billion years old, or dinosaurs could fly. But they keep having new laws of nature, handd down by God the law maker himslf. How can you have a law without someone to make that law, like the Sabbath.

What real science proves God exists?  The fundamentalists who play dress up in lab coats and explain that God exists because bananas fit in our hands?  Science is about repeatable, testable theories.  How do you test if God exists?  Do we stick a piece of holy litmus in the air and wait for it to turn blue?  I do dig his point about laws though.  Who enforces gravity anyway?  Let’s all break the law of gravity now!

It’s new and trendy. I read a good quote it said “People today are atheists not because of conviction but from indifference, distraction and confusion accelerated by mass media. Truth is not a democracy. Test the message.”

New?  There have been atheists since we’ve had recorded history.  The emergence of the monotheistic traditions that gave birth to Christianity are relatively recent.  The arrogance in his statement about conviction, again, offered not only without evidence, but in the presence of a mountain of contradictory evidence, simply underscores how utterly divorced from reality Frank is.

They feel popular.

This might be my favorite.  Yes, people become atheists to become more electable and generally well liked.  The fact is atheists are despised and seen as untrustworthy by far far too many in this society.

They don’t have to folow any rules. Big selling point for librals.

A handy little lie.  The idea that ethics come only from a Daddy figure in the sky telling us how to behave.  We can form our own ideas on ethics and morality, and live by them just as well without some concept of God who is “gonna getcha” during the afterlife if you misbehave now.  If anything I’d question how moral we can be if we outsource our own ethical reponsibilities to God.

They think God id boring. Not as fun as drugs and grand theft auto.

I guess non existent beings are kinda boring, huh?

Ignorance. Some of the critics on this web blog say they were born as athiests and never grew out of it.

Shame huh, some people weren’t indoctrinated into a religion when they were minors?  I guess knowing your own personal history does kinda count as ignorance in a bizarro sort of way.

They think God is a bully or something. I dunno how they can not believe in God and hate him at the same time?

You can hold the Biblical account of God to the fire.  This is a God who kills entire towns, and has the negative traits of jealousy and anger.

Ignorance. Libtards love to say “thats a strawman falsify” and the God they try to talk about is one to. They make up all kinds of things they don’t like, call it God, and then use that like it proves anything.

Ignorance, the point so good (and ironic) he had to hit it twice.  Again, with the lack of specifics.

Personality disordered. Athiests are always mad, you ever notice that? They can only decribe themselves being against something. God is always there.

Atheists mad?  Dear lord!  What delightful nuttery.  Atheism is simply not believing in God.  It is not an active belief like “I am against God”.  It is a simple lack of belief, usually due to a resounding lack of evidence.

Liberals are united by the desire to make the world a better place for everyone, including (gasp) the meek.  This is a feeling and a calling shared by the very deity worshiped by Frank.  Perhaps in his rush to condemn the scary people who don’t share his religious fervor and hate of science/reason, he forgot that.

p.s. For the curious, I myself am a liberal theist.

DC Streetcars Minus Tracks

So DC bought some streetcars (wjla):

Three streetcars purchased by the District of Columbia for about $10 million are being held in the Czech Republic until the city builds tracks for the cars.

D.C. Department of Transportation (web|news) Director Emeka Moneme say that although the streetcars were purchased three years ago, there is no timetable for when a rail line will be built.

A commenter sums it up perfectly:

I mean really, WHO signs the checks for these things.. you mean to tell me there was not ONE person in the DC DOT that spoke up and said… “I’m no rocket scientist.. BUT we have no rail line for that 10 MILLION dollar street car to run on”

Well done sir.

Cheney’s Hand Looks Like a Naked Woman

And now you can’t un-know it (McClatchyDC):

What’s stirring all the buzz is the reflection in the vice president’s dark glasses. Some thought that the reflection looked like a naked woman

So McClatchy/Tribune Information Services photo editor George Bridges used the latest digital technology to enlarge the picture, took a close look at Cheney’s sunglasses and concluded that Mitchell was telling the truth.

The image is of the vice president’s hand on his fly rod.


Dear NYTimes

Please just stop this:

A One-Eyed Invader in the Bedroom

Published: March 4, 2008

Here’s one simple way to keep your children healthy: Ban the bedroom TV.

I know I’m not the only person completely immature enough to find something like this hilariously wrong.  The media’s obsession with cute headlines at times really goes overboard.

Even Cats Show Hillary Obama Divide Perfectly

This is beyond ridiculous. Here I am, with about 10,000 things I want to post about, and the first thing that pops to mind is this excellent post of Bob Harris’s:

As I’ve pointed out a bit on my own site, this large difference in small communication skills is visible everywhere in the Obama and Clinton campaigns — amusingly, right down to their e-mail sign-up buttons. (Obama’s says, invitingly, “Learn More.” Clinton’s says, dourly, and playing directly into every negative stereotype about her, “Submit.”)

I’ll be revisiting the main thrust of his argument later. But for now, consider that, the warm inviting nature of Obama’s rhetoric and campaign, vs the very serious, almost grouchy nature of Clinton’s. Now, observe, thanks to cute overload. Clinton:

vs Obama:

The image for Obama is predominantly warm yellows and oranges.  Support is indicated with a shirt on a cat.  The image for Clinton is predominantly shades of gray, and support is indicated with a book.

Its like the supporters who submitted each photo have internalized the rhetorical style and personality of their candidates.