December 18, 2014

Worst Xmas song? No way.

I saw a poll somewhere in the past few days -- probably at PuffHo -- suggesting that Paul McCartney's "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" was the worst Xmas song ever.

C'mon, it sounds like Xmas itself. I don't like McCartney much and I'm certainly no fan of his solo career. But this song is perfect. What do you think?

So that's how it's done!

I remember when I was four or five, someone gave me a compass. I looked at it and said, "This stupid thing doesn't work. It's not pointing North." It didn't occur to me that I'd have to turn the compass so the needle pointed toward the North. Nope, it was just broken. Didn't work at all.

That's the earliest dumb thing I can remember doing. What's your earliest dumb memory?

(Actually, I have a contender. When I was even younger, perhaps two or three, I remember being convinced that if I just pulled hard enough, I could grab the chains of a swing and lift it up and sit on it and hold myself up while I swung. No structure was needed, it would be all me. I was very upset when it didn't work. Truly, I suspected something was radically wrong with the world. It should have worked!)

December 13, 2014

Great atheist quote

Today, Jerry Coyne included a quote from Andrew Bernstein in one of his posts:
Here is the tragedy of theology in its distilled essence: The employment of high-powered human intellect, of genius, of profoundly rigorous logical deduction—studying nothing. In the Middle Ages, the great minds capable of transforming the world did not study the world; and so, for most of a millennium, as human beings screamed in agony—decaying from starvation, eaten by leprosy and plague, dying in droves in their twenties—the men of the mind, who could have provided their earthly salvation, abandoned them for otherworldly fantasies.
I love it. Religion is a waste of time and energy. It's killing the planet too, in case you haven't noticed.

Dog's image perfect for heaven that welcomes dogs

Dog would laugh at the idea of his image being synonymous with dogs going to heaven, but it could work! BTW, the reason he's smiling in the photograph at left is because he thinks crosses are so funny. They don't have religion on his planet.

Still, isn't it uncanny how perfectly this image would work for the new push to get dogs into a Catholic version of heaven? And of course, the real fun here is how much Dog would laugh about this use of his image. And that's the very meaning of fun.

In case you missed the true story about Dog's visit to Earth, just pump dog into the search box at the top left of this page. (You'll get a few irrelevant posts but most will be about Dog. Yippee!) And if you're too feeble to search for a simple word like dog, here's a post that explains who he is.

Sadly, now that I've raised the topic of Dog, I must reveal something that I've hidden for many months. Readers who followed this story from its inception probably suspect what I'm about to say. Yes, I have terrible news for you. After Dog arrived on Earth he took a long, close look at humans and turned around and went back to his own galaxy. He didn't explain himself; he didn't have to. We are unworthy to join the Federation of Sentient Planets. We're just too damned aggressive and greedy (and dumb).

This news crushed me...but I'm still in telepathic contact with Dog. So really, you missed out; I didn't. Sad, that. Hmmm, I think I'll put my Lid on and go talk to Dog right now. Oh, joy!

December 12, 2014

It seems a past pope hated animals

I came across this tidbit in a story about Pope Francis' recent statement that dogs go to heaven:
The question of whether animals go to heaven has been debated for much of the church’s history. Pope Pius IX, who led the church from 1846 to 1878, longer than any other pope, strongly supported the doctrine that dogs and other animals have no consciousness. He even sought to thwart the founding of an Italian chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Sweet guys, these popes. I don't understand anyone who says that animals "have no consciousness". They can't possibly believe that, can they? Does the creature look at you? Does it know you're there? Does it react to what you do and try to move away from you if show that you're a hateful git? But it's not conscious?!

My favorite thing is that Pius tried to stop the SPCA from forming an Italian chapter. Wow. But he was holy, people. He was holy! And don't you sinners forget it - or you'll burn for all eternity in the fires of hell.

Religion is an illness. Don't believe anything a priest, imam or rabbi tells you. They lie for a living.

One last thing. You have to love the confusion Francis' remarks have caused. I loved this (from the same article):
“The Catholic Church has never been clear on this question; it’s all over the place, because it begs so many other questions,” she said. “Where do mosquitoes go, for God’s sake?
They're so deep, these religious people.

December 11, 2014

United States of Torture

I can't even post about America's use of torture. It sickens me too much. But do you know how this monstrous practice became standard fare in our country?

Read the disgusting details on PZ's blog. It's not about what we did to those poor souls but how we came up with the rationalization to do it. It focuses on the psychotic psychologists who enabled the process -- and walked off with $18M for their troubles. Apparently, there is no justice on this Earth.

The United States will never recover from this colossal misstep. Bush's coterie destroyed our country. That's what happens when you elect a stupid man as president, twice.

December 9, 2014

Just say no

Now here's a lesson for every kid who attends school.
Police say a Maryland teenager eating a pot brownie in class panicked when his teacher asked him for a piece of the treat, and that he is now charged for obliging.

Anne Arundel County police said Tuesday that the 17-year-old didn't tell the teacher that the brownie contained marijuana. She began feeling ill and acting disoriented, and was brought to the nurse's office at Broadneck High School in Annapolis on Monday.
The teacher told police that the student had given her the brownie during third period and that she suspected it contained marijuana.
When your teacher asks you for a piece of your marijuana brownie, just say no. Problem solved. See, kids? It's easy.

December 8, 2014

Digby says what we're all thinking

In digby's post, The Torture Genie, I found this:
At this rather late stage in life, I'm realizing that the solid America I thought I knew may never have existed. Running very close, under the surface, was a frightened, somewhat hysterical culture that could lose its civilized moorings all at once. I had naively thought that there were some things that Americans would find unthinkable --- torture was one of them. 
Someone finally said it. This ain't America anymore -- and what we think we miss, may never have existed. That's it, exactly.

Digby is a national treasure. I don't know what we'd do without her.

Drones are big this Xmas

A man on the teevee said that this year, at least a zillion people will get a drone for Xmas. Think about that for a moment. I mean, what could go wrong, right? Piece of cake.

Seriously, I can't believe that drones can be purchased by any nitwit with a few bucks in his pocket. This is not a good idea. Starting on December 26th, I guess you should expect to see lots of tiny air vehicles populating a sky near you. Wow, huh? What fun.

Some of these things are 50 pounds or more. How'd you like one of those to fall out of the sky and hit you in the head? Or perhaps it'll just hover near you and the rotor blades will nick your eye. And of course there will be many, many drones looking in bedroom windows; that's a given. If you're female, you can probably expect to see one at your window within a month.

But I guess it's not all bad. I assume some people, particularly people of color, will choose to have a drone hover over them everywhere they go. This way, if a police officer decides to assault or kill them, there will be a video record of what occurred. (Not that such records do any good; just ask the Garner family.) Still, it's a moderately good use for these things. Gotta try, right?

You can't fly drones too high. Nuh-uh. That's against the law -- and if there's one thing all Americans do, it's follow the law. But I guess it's okay to fly them really close to the ground to, you know, take photos up women's skirts. I could go on and on, suggesting awful uses for drones. You can probably come up with some on your own. These things are going to change the way we live. Just imagine the creative uses criminals will find for them. Put guns on a drone and shoot your local prosecutor. Fly them into police helicopters. Truly, the sky is the limit.

Moving right along, the law says you have to hide your gun so innocent children won't get their sticky hands on it. But what about your drones? I haven't heard anything about a requirement to keep them out of the hands of children. And let's face it, any self-respecting kid over the age of five should be able to operate one of these things. Maybe a little kid will send one out over the neighborhood and then forget what he's doing and walk away, leaving the drone flying, but unmanned. That won't be a problem, right? I mean, it won't crash into anything dangerous, like a propane tank, and cause a fire, or anything. Nah, it'll be fine.

Just consider how interesting life will be after everyone has a drone. Why, it'll be a brand new world. I can't wait to see how this plays out on the streets and in the skies of America. It should be lots of fun. Ho ho ho!

December 7, 2014

Before I forget

I meant to write about this yesterday but it slipped my mind. On Friday, NY's governor Andrew Cuomo and NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton both said stupid things about the Garner protests.

Bratton said, in his wildly irritating manner of speaking (have you heard this guy speak?) that demonstrations like the Garner grand jury protests "tend to peter out on their own". As in, he doesn't have to do anything but wait, and this too will pass. Naturally, he said this with a condescending smile. He might as well have added, "I'm the man. I know high-level stuff you peons know nothing about."

But, Brat, that's not the point. We don't need to see perfectly legal protests "peter out"; we need the unlawful killings of innocent black people by racist NYPD officers to "peter out". Better yet, "petering out" is not the optimal way to go. These police crimes need to cease immediately. Brat isn't even on the right page, which doesn't surprise me.

Then, as if to cap it all off, Andrew Cuomo said something startlingly stupid. He said the problem here is "the perception" that people of color can't get fair treatment from police officers. He literally said it's "a problem of perception". No, Andy, that ain't it. You see, it's not "perception" that is killing innocent black people; it's racist police officers with guns. Perception has nothing to do with it.

I'm glad to have cleared this up for both men. Hopefully, they'll send me tweets of thanks in the coming days.