Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
Charles M. Schulz
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
When two dudes marry, the marriage-is-between-one-man-and-one-woman brigades crap their collective pants, vomit up ten thousand press releases, and run in circles screaming about all the hurricanes and earthquakes and unattractive haircuts that Our Loving Father™ is gonna rain down on our heads if we don't pry Adam off Steve right fucking now.
Well, the one-man-and-one-woman crowd has been strangely silent about this polygamist sect in Texas that's been all over the news. It appears that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been organizing marriages/statutory rapes between one man and dozens or more women and/or girls. "Where's the outrage?" writes a reader, which prompted me to go looking for some outrage at the website of Concerned Women for America (www.cwfa.org). There are more anti-gay-marriage press releases packed onto CWFA's website than there is fudge packed into all the homos in all the Sodoms in all of North America. But there's not one single word that I could find about these straight men in Texas violating the holy and sacred one-man-and-one-woman rule. What gives?
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
From Road Bike Rider.com's newsletter #339:
U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama made a surprise appearance at Indiana University's Little 500 women's race last Friday while campaigning for the Indiana primary. Obama didn't issue any public comments, according to cyclingnews.com, as he walked the quarter-mile track with photographers and the Secret Service in tow, shaking hands with riders as they warmed up on trainers. His attendance reportedly set back the race start by 25 minutes. Afterwards, Delta Gamma rider Jess Lander was asked which was more exciting, meeting Obama or winning the Little 500. "I'm not going to lie," she replied, "Winning the race is better. But it's pretty damn close."You know, I'm an Obama supporter, but for the love of goodness, keep the man out of spandex! The bowling alley incident was bad enough...
Friday, April 18, 2008
Personal note: I actually read Dianetics when I was an idiot college freshman. Here's a snappy quote from its author to his flock:
"You can't be shot for what you have done, you can only be shot for what you haven't told us." --L. Ron HubbardI'm just as guilty as anyone else of seeing Tom Cruise as (at best) a somewhat silly man who landed a fluffy-headed little lovestruck girl for his bride, or (at worst) a real, certifiable weirdo with delusions of grandeur.
It's worse than that. If you read nothing else about Scientology, read this. Screw religious tolerance...these people are criminals. The German government was dead-bang on when it declared these freaks to be a cult, and its former celebrity members are now starting to make their stories known.
Xenu.net is to Scientology what ExpelledExposed.com is to Creationism. Check them both out.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
You got it, the people who pirated and altered a video from Harvard University and XVIVO also stole a documentary video from PBS. You assholes stole from Sesame Street, for Christ's sake.
Go here for details. These liars need to be denounced by the Christian community for being the most unchristian puddle of scum on the planet.
For more on the truth about the movie, go here: Expelled.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So much for taking the high road...
Nice going, jackass. You've managed to turn the whole debate away from religious and intellectual tolerance, to an accusation of reverse racism.
As any debate teacher would teach a high school freshman, STICK TO THE TOPIC, KNUCKLHEAD!
The producers of the fraud movie Expelled would have you believe people are being fired from their jobs for teaching Intelligent Design/Creationism.
Shoe's on the other foot, you hypocrites:
So, why isn't there a story about this lady on 60 minutes? Maybe there should be. And I'd love to hear Ben Stein and Mark Mathis's response.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I've been ranting about enough stuff on this blog I'm going to have to come up with a new name for it pretty soon. But until then, there are still a few cycling posts left in me.
I actually rode to work several days last week, and also today, despite unseasonably cold temperatures and depressingly gray skies. I even managed to ride for an hour last Wednesday night, when the temperature was in the upper 30s and it was starting to rain as I left. And if you ever wondered how I came up with the decidedly ironic handle that graces this blog post:
Notice the 497-yard stare that says, "I'm really glad I don't freeze my rumpus off every day of my life.
I also helped out at the hilarious entity known as the ISU Triathlon Club's Donut Run Sunday morning. The hole (har!) event is a hoot: eat a donut, get a sticker, be awarded with time bonuses at the end of the 5k based on how many donut/stickers you have (and no, you can't puke...until you cross the finish line). The (slightly nauseating) record for the race is 31 donuts. Blech.
To add to the woe-is-me nature of my life as a fat cyclist, two things happened related to the donut race. First, I rode down Saturday morning in snowy and sleeting conditions...to discover that the race was actually Sunday morning. Oops. I had to scrape ice off my dérailleurs when I got home. And Sunday morning, I decided to act as the advanced scout to see when the racers would be taking off. I rode a heroic pace on the trail to the starting line...hit a rock with the back tire in a turn, and ended up with a flat. I. Hate. Flats. Steve from Bike World was kind enough to drive the wheel to the shop, replace the tube, and bring it back to me (and adjust my rear brake with Approved Brake Adjustment Method #1: Beat on it with the palm of your hand).
Oh, and Steve's son, Jacob, did the donut run, consuming 15 donuts and finishing with his life and lunch reasonably intact. The next morning, having brought a couple boxes of leftover Krispy Kremes home with him, Steve asked, "Hey, Jacob, want a donut for breakfast?" I think that constitutes child endangerment.
Spin easy, friends.
When is this fraud going to learn to stay the hell out of other people's business?
Staff members of the talk show helped one of eight teens facing charges in the case post bond this weekend, "Dr. Phil" McGraw's spokeswoman Terri Corigliano said in an e-mail.
"We have helped guests and potential guests in the past when they need financial assistance to come on the show — assisting with clothing allowance, lost wages, accommodations, travel and necessities," Corigliano wrote. "In this case, certain staff members went beyond our guidelines (re the bail being paid)."
Of course, now they're trying to blame it on a peon:
The show issued a statement saying certain staff members "went beyond their guidelines," but according to TMZ, the word at Paramount is that it would be impossible for the producer to pay the $3,300 for the bail and put up $33,000 in collateral without the full knowledge and approval of higher-ups on the show.
No kidding. They don't let the run-of-the-mill flunkies get their hands on the purse strings--and good for TMZ for pointing it out.
So, Phil, got any plans for your next gig? I get the feeling you'll need it soon.
My only question is, why are these people asking for more privileges and rights within the Catholic church? Instead of demanding greater rights for women, just tell Vatican City where she can stick it, and why, and take your collection plate money elsewhere! Why not just open your eyes and see that the church has enough crimes on its record that you shouldn't want to be a part of it at all?
That brainwashing must be awfully effective.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
From Bill Maher's New Rules.
Now, as my previous rants show, I'm not exactly the most calm-cool-collected guy in the room where the Catholic Church is concerned, nor am I one to pull punches on its crimes against women, children, and common sense.
But Maher would do well to intersperse a few citations in his rants. Like, ohIdunno, saying where he gets his claim of thousands of kids all over the world being abused by priests. Let's go to the videotape:
What tripped up the little cult on the prairie was that they only abused hundreds of kids, not thousands, all over the world. Cults get raided, religions get parades. How does the Catholic Church get away with all of their buggery? Volume, volume, volume! If you have a few hundred followers, and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If have a billion, they call you “Pope.”Notice how Maher is using terms like "thousands all over the world," and "some of them molest children"? You know, Bill, given the fact that there are thousands of comedians like you all over the world, the statistics are that there will be at least one pedophile in the bunch, too. Stop using vague language...there are enough examples and solid statistics out there to support your position. Use them.
There's a name for people who use inflammatory language and a lack of cited sources: Bill O'Reilly.
Oh, and it's not just Catholics, either. It's a pattern by religious "leaders" of denominations that tend to the authoritarian side of the ledger, which includes but is not exclusive to Catholics. Go to The Stranger's blogsite, Slog, and do a search for "Youth Pastor Watch." (Or follow my links if you're too lazy). Or simply scan your local newspapers and your favorite news websites. I challenge you to find a Unitarian minister up on charges of diddling kids.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I had a previous post about Catholic bigotry that seemed to resonate. It was originally aimed at the Roman Catholic doctrine against homosexuality (which John Paul II once called part of an "ideology of evil"). Somewhere in the middle, the post took a left turn toward feminism, specifically toward reproductive rights. I need to clarify a few things that might have been unclear.
For the non-Catholics out there, the church's attitude toward sex is basically, "don't have sex until you're married, and then the ONLY sex you're permitted to have is sex that allows for procreation." In other words, you're not supposed to masturbate, orally or digitally pleasure your partner, have sex in "other orifices," or (it should go without saying) engage in gay sex.
Furthermore, the church prohibits all forms of birth control that don't amount to the so-called "rhythm method." This is basically timing your periods of sexuality to coincide with the woman's least fertile period. Oh, and you can guess what the church has to say about abortion, right?
I'd like to take the liberty of speaking for those who, like me, have turned up their noses at the church for its stupidity, arrogance, and lack of touch with the modern world by addressing the flaws with these points, both practical and philosophical.
First, to the issue of "no sex before marriage." Let's get that right out of the way by saying it's impractical if not impossible to mandate that. You're talking about a bunch of beings who are exploring their sexuality for the first time, they're pumped full of hormones, they're looking at each other in a whole different light than a few short years before, and the best you can tell them is to ignore several hundred million years of vertebral evolution? Good luck with that.
And on another level, here's why you SHOULD sleep around before you get married: you need to find out what you like, you need to gain experience as a willing and skillful partner, and you need to find people who are basically on a similar footing with their likes and dislikes. If you marry someone before you've ever had sex, not only are neither of you going to be any good, you might turn out to be on far ends of the spectrum, not just in frequency of sex drive, but in how kinky you are. It's a divorce waiting to happen (something else the church frowns on, BTW).
Now, let me say this: I'm not actually saying anyone should engage in sex before they are ready. It's a good idea to put it off for a while until you have some semblance of maturity. But until then, it's not a bad idea to get yourself off, both to learn what pleases you and to ease the pressure. Well, the church doesn't like that. Which is stupid. Barring abstinance, masturbation is the safest form of sex in which you can engage. And in this day and age, sex can be awfully, awfully complicated and even deadly. The only reason I can see for the Catholic church to forbid it is because of ancient sex-phobia.
Ancient taboos are, in my opinion, again the only reason the church prohibits gay sex (well, OK; Leviticus). But I'm going to punt this one to Dan Savage of the Stranger, whose "Savage Love" is one of the best advice columns out there. He made the following point about gay sex not exactly being the worst taboo out there:
The taboo against gay sex was irrational because it denied gay people the right to any sexual expression or romantic attachment, and consequently the taboo against homosexuality was as unjust as it was unenforceable. The cultural taboo against incest, however, is not an attempt to deny a group of people any and all access to love and intimacy, but an attempt to direct sexual feelings toward healthier, more appropriate targets.The point being that gay people cannot help their sexual orientation. And don't give me this ex-gay crap. Larry Craig might still be a married man, but does anyone have any doubt at all that he's gay? How would you feel if your daughter brought Ted Haggard home to meet you knowing what you know about him now? There's a difference between your sexual behavior and your sexual orientation. You cannot help who you are. You CAN, however, fall just as much in love and demand the same things that straight couples can. It's called equality. The only reason to deny it is bigotry. Savage again:
(G)ay and lesbian couples would like to marry for the same reasons so many straight couples would like to marry or have already married: They're in love, they've made a commitment to each other, and they want the rights, privileges, and responsibilities (RPRs) that come with legal marriage.
Finally, the birth control point. I pointed out in my last post on this topic (to the delight of one of my female readers) that the rhythm method is not exactly the most proven, foolproof method for birth control. Short of never having sex or getting yourself spayed or neutered, there isn't really anything foolproof. But the rhythm method is particularly insulting to me because it's so fucking condescending (I really tried this time to get through a blog post about the Catholic church without dropping the f-bomb. One of these days I will, but sometimes the crudest of words are all that will suffice to express the outrage).
Here's what the church is saying when it comes to birth control:
--You can't use it, male or female. No condoms, no spermicide, no pill, no IUD, no nothing.
--You have to make sure you're constantly keeping track of your body temperature to make sure you're not ovulating before having sex. And of course, we all know how the body temperature NEVER EVER fluctuates for any other reason, so there's NEVER A CHANCE of a false reading.
--If you DO get pregnant, and you can't afford the kid, and you're having a difficult and potenially life-threatening pregnancy--well, you should have kept your legs together, you slut. Oh, and the morning after pill is not an option, even if you are raped or you were falling-down drunk at the time, either (that should end the argument right there, as far as I'm concerned)
What really burns me about this whole debate is the fact that it demeans women by basically saying, "Even if you're in the mood NOW, and you are in the most fertile time of your cycle NOW, you can't so much as have your man put on a condom to responsibly, safely, and maturely postpone the chance of getting pregnant. I can't express this politely or quietly, so turn down your speakers:
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT PERMIT YOU TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN SEXUALITY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A WOMAN. THEY DON'T RESPECT YOU ENOUGH TO LET YOU DO AS YOU PLEASE WITH YOUR OWN BODY.
This attitude is stupid, wrong, and demeaning. And as evidenced by all the scandals in the clergy, not just the molestation of boys, and not just by Catholic priests, it's about enough to make you tell your local white-collar-wearer to stick it up his crucifix.
In short, when it comes to the Catholic church denouncing people for being in charge of their sexuality...I say it should go right on doing so. Because the less they change with the times, the more time will pass them by, and the more quickly they die out from irrelevance.
Someone over on Pharyngula made a great point: The NCSE's website ExpelledEposed.com is the #5 website when you search Google. Hit it up often enough, the web site decrying the movie will be the #1 site on the Web. So everyone who blogs about the movie should add the link. So here it is. Go get it.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I know, I know...so what else is new?
Corvino's presentation "What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?" was scheduled last week at the college, but administrators postponed it until April 22 after receiving complaints.
Aquinas President Ed Balog canceled the event Thursday, saying the Catholic school cannot endorse a program that directly opposes church teachings.
Yeah, like the teaching that there's more to a person's sexuality than is spelled out in the Bible. Or that the whole of the church's sexual doctrine is based on a bunch of sex-phobic creeps like St. Augustine ("Grant me chastity and continence, only not yet."--Wikipedia).
Or that the church's attitude toward women is so obviously warped they couldn't conceive (har) of their savior's mother having normal sexual intercourse. And if you had any doubts about that misogyny (a word I don't use often), BOTH abortion AND birth control are still sins in Catholic doctrine. You can't kill it, but you can't use modern, proven, reliable, SCIENTIFIC means to prevent its conception, either. So you're saying the only birth control a woman has at her disposal is either crossing her legs or crossing her fingers? (And don't talk to me about the "rhythm method", either. The rhythm method is to birth control as draft animals are to planting your crops. It may get the job done, kinda/sorta, but there are better, more reliable, more SCIENTIFIC means of getting the fucking job done).
It's been said before and it needs to be reinforced...Jesus never said one god-damned thing about homosexuality. It's the gay-bashers who quote-mine scriptures for justification and ignore the "love one another" stuff when it doesn't suit them.
For the final fucking time, you fucking idiot clergy, you keep the fuck out of the private lives of consenting adults. You've done enough damage to non-consenting altar boys that you have no right to speak out EVER AGAIN on the subject of sexual morality.
My boss recently had a conversation with a client that boiled down to, "It's not our fault you incurred this bill, we're not paying it for you." T later said to me, "When they say 'It's not about the money,' it's about the money." Which got me thinking about the other top 10 whoppers I've heard in my time. Some of these are classics, others I just made up. Feel free to comment on your favorites.
1. The check is in the mail.
2. I'll respect you in the morning.
3. We come in peace.
4. It's not about the money.
5. I know what I'm doing.
6. I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job...
7. No, honey, that outfit doesn't make you look fat.
8. I love your hair like that.
9. Come with us, it'll be a great time!
10. Aw, your baby is so CUTE.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Uh, no, I haven't acquired a pole-dancer for a girlfriend. Yet. I'm talking about the type of Bambi that Ted Nugent would draw down on.
I went for a ride this evening after I got home. I felt ashamed to be driving to work, because it was 40 degrees and a driving rain...and a REAL cyclist wants to get into the spirit of Paris-Roubaix, which is this coming weekend (and yes, they're forcasting that the cobblestones will be nice and slippery. Fun!)
Anyway, I went for a casual ride after getting home, geared up in my "cold" gear of tights, long-sleeve base, jacket, hood, the works.
Man, did I roast. The rain stopped and the sun came out as I went out. My jacket would still be wet with sweat if I hadn't washed and dried everything when I got home.
But the thing that makes me an old softie is this: as I was riding through the park just east of the ISU soccer fields, I heard branches snapping in the trees to the right of me. Glancing over, I noticed a deer running parallel to the bike path. Neat!
Then I saw that it was a small HERD of them. I'm not very good at riding in one direction and looking another (nobody is, really), but I saw three clearly, all moving along at a very decent clip.
And yes, it's true that part of the charm of being on a bicycle or a motorcycle is the fact that you're closer to nature, and yes, that can also be overrated (think bugs hitting you in the back of the throat). But I found this particular little riding company to be pretty neat.
Spin easy, friends.
It's 40 degrees and raining sideways, and I drove my car to work today.
Shame on me.
A real cyclist would have endured the epic cold and wet as an homage to Paris-Roubaix, which is this coming weekend, and there's rain in the forecast. I need to do penance. Like, oh, Idunno, handing out donuts for the annual donut race to benefit the ISU Triathlon Club.
Oh, and this is a hell of a book.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Seems like some of the "students" portrayed in the Creationist liars' film Exposed WERE NOT STUDENTS AT ALL.
Pssst...they were hired extras.
That's right. Go to Scientific American and read this great piece (link updated for single-page view) by Michael Schermer, the author of their "Skeptic" column. And remember, Schermer is a recovering creationist. His money quote:
"It is perfectly okay to question Darwinism (or any other "-ism" in science), as long as there is a way to test your challenge. Intelligent design creationists, by contrast, have no interest in doing science at all."Bravo, sir.
Remember, there's an old line about a lie getting around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on. But the truth DOES get out, and is just as long-lasting to those who keep it alive.
Update: Our beloved Iowa State University here in Ames is apparently part of the controversy, for allegedly denying astronomy professor Guillermo Gonzalez tenure for his creationist beliefs. Sounds to me like he just lost his edge.
Update pt. 2: now they're in hot water for copyright infringement. No intelligence allowed, indeed.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I don’t have any stats except this one: 36 degrees. And rain. I rode for about an hour at a disgustingly slow pace. God, how I hate being out of shape. My belt is starting to split my gut in half, and I’m starting to get winded walking DOWN a flight of stairs. I feel like crap. I need this kind of wet, cold riding weather to steel my willpower.
DON’T spin easy friends...spin with determination.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Take a bow, ma'am.
YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now — here on earth — for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsibile persons, that the job is here and the time is now.
[Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961]
Full summary here.