Sunday, April 30, 2006

Best Political Satire Ever Made Hands Down

Last night after watching the film "Flight 93" on A&E, I felt a sense of nausea and my hands were shaking. I had peeled off all the fingernails of my left hand from nervousness. It was a sense of dread, that there is no meaning, no sense in all of life. I still can't shake it, I just can't move on from this.

For whatever reason I switched it to headline news after midnight and caught a glimpse of Stephen Colbert (pic above) making some mildly humorous jokes at an annual presidential dinner/semi-roast. Watching the clips I would have had no idea what significance this Stephen Colbert segment had. Only later when I watched the entire thing (available in the link below) did it occur to me how extraordinary an event this was. Without the slightest bit of joking or hesitation I can say that this speach by Colbert is very likely the most powerful and unnerving political speach I have ever witnessed. It is made all the more powerful by the sheer look of disgust on the faces of the president and the audience. I felt the same sense of nervousness, and fingernail peeling anxiety listening to Colbert poetically say everything I want to say in front of the president and all of his men.

Stephen Colbert has the biggest balls of any man I have ever seen.

He takes a minute or two to get rolling, and he doesn't relent from there.

The most powerful political speach you may ever see in your life, completely eliminated from the nightly news media.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Penn and Teller call it Like it is

Penn and Teller's wonderful show "Bullshit" tackles a touchy subject- the bible. Somehow, the entire episode was put on the web right here. There's also a great segment on Chiropractic, but I'm not sure if it's on the net anywhere.

Reason and Logic are not perfectly reliable ways to interpret the universe. But experience has shown that nothing else even compares. Bullshit is bullshit is bullshit.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bush Hires Fellow Echohead to Bellow Bullshit

Profoundly brain washed talk show Bullshitter "Tony Snow" has been hired as press secretary for his extraordinary ability to hold staunch opinions in the face of glaring evidence. I started listening to talk radio after 9/11 pretty much for the first time. I wanted to know more about what was going on, and quite literally, the *only* radio stations that come in on the AM dial are right wing talk show propaganda stations, even in this blue state of Washington. I was hooked like a school boy sneaking into a titty bar. My gut reaction was that the shows I was listening to were jokes. They were like Jerry Springer or COPS, where people just watch to get a kick out of the fact that there are other people more screwed up than they are. People don't actually *believe* this horse-shit do they? But then I realized...they do. Oh my. People like this Tony Snow for instance, not necessarily one of the more absurd free-will-less fools I would listen to, but absurd nonetheless. Get a load of this exercise in creative imagination. Can anything spinning be spun more than this? :

Tony Snow-Job Quote:

"Evolutionary theory, like ID, isn't verifiable or testable. It's pure hypothesis -- like ID -- although very popular in the scientific community. Its limits help illuminate the fact that hypotheses are only as durable as the evidence that supports them."

To anyone familiar with basic biological science this is like saying the earth is flat. This is flat insane. It makes you wonder, if people can be in denial or distort reality to this disagree, what else are they capable of? What manner of free will is it possible for someone like this to possess?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Future of Televangelism

Christian fundamentalism is decreasing gradually in the country. It is even decreasing in the black community in which over 60% are Christians. As the black community increases in wealth, they move away from Christianity. Even watching black church sermons, you will notice that almost all of them are rants about prosperity. They typically follow the following progression:

1.) Pastor says that the reason his congregation is not wealthy and happy all the time is because they are not doing enough of such and such.

2.) Pastor implies that there is a cause and effect between actions and happiness and prosperity.

-- Fastforward one week--

3.) Pastor does a sermon explaining spiritual riches and how all that glitters is not gold.

4.) Next week, pastor explains how if everyone just did this or that they would have more financial prosperity...

Its a never ending absurd circle. The solution is to just get some money and then lose the faith altogether because once you can save that 10% and invest it will do more than ceaseless prayer to solve your money woes. You might even be able to afford that new X360 and a subscription to internet porn.

So what happens when the black church fades away? What will be left?

I bring you, the future of televangelism

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How do we avoid it?

I was deeply concerned this morning as I read Israel's claim that the axis of terror is leading us towards the first world war of the 21st Century. It's the first time I've heard a public official actually say what we're all thinking. At first my mind was flooded with images of human carnage- melted bodies plastered gooily to charred remnants of houses and buildings. Environmental destruction for hundreds of miles- an eerie silence amidst a once bustling downtown, now infested with mutated rats bleeding from their guts from radiation, lapping fragments of liquified skull, half digested fecal material and roasted human fat sandwiched like oozing overcooked smores from pigeon pecked bones.

But then my mind turned to more selfish things. Will we ever see another superbowl or world series again? What good is my career or my desire to buy a house when gas is 5 bucks a gallon and my earnings are cut in half? What good is my friend Patrick's construction when nobody can afford to construct? What good is looking to the future with this on the horizon? How would the Christians react were they to see their made-up bible prophecies come to fruition? Would we then elect a Pat Robertson? Could I afford a plane ticket out of the country fast enough?

Frankly, I don't see a way to prevent Iran from getting nukes. They picked a perfect time to taunt us, bogged down in Iraq, with public outrage at a failed foreign invasion sold falsely by knowingly shaky information at best and bald faced lies at worst. We bomb them and they just keep working even harder, garnering public support not just from their country but from the growing global anti-American sentiment. We bomb them and we start to lose the liberal Iranian youth who listen to classic rock and love American culture and who may be the only ones willing to "greet us with flowers in the street". We bomb them and suddenly more terrorist organizations sprout up and more technology, organization and financial supporters are willing to back them. Life is tough when you're at the top of the totem pole. In short, I think we're screwed. We may be living at the height of the American Empire right now. It may not ever get any better than this. I see no solution, and now some commentators are pretty much giving up and saying "maybe we can live with a nuclear Iran".

I'll have to agree with George Bush on this one- no, we can't. Good god, please no. It's unimaginable. In fact I think most of us agree since most of us backed the Iraq invasion (based on the false intelligence of course) for the same exact reasons we are concerned with Iran, only Iran is demonstrably more dangerous. Another decade or two and they have an arsenal like the old Soviet Union (as if even 1% of their arsenal wouldn't be enough already), and we may as well be bargaining with a group of people teleported straight from the 9th century who have the power to end civilization and are unafraid of death. But it may be unstoppable. I can picture all out war. With all stops pulled, it may seem an easy victory to us now. Civilian deaths? Who's counting now? Just let Jed and Jimbob from the cable hunting channel have their way and "turn it to glass",
oh... "in the name of Jesus" and republican family values of course.

Then enter every Tom Dick and Harry who thinks they can gain a stake while we're not looking- North Korea, China, Russia. It's too scary to fathom. We've all thought about this for years. We simply cannot let these types of people have nuclear weaponry. It's why congress gave Bush a blank check and the great majority of us didn't complain too hard. Only now it's for reasons that actually exist. It's inconceivable they develop these weapons. It's inconceivable that a major financial backer of terrorism can hand Abdul two pounds of enriched uranium to smash together on a London subway. How wouold we even moniter where the nuclear material is going? Oh my god, it's even worse than I imagined now I think about it. I welcome other points of view on this, because I just can't see any way around it, some force will have to be used eventually and that will be almost as bad as nothing at all- but not quite. We simply can't let it happen.

Imagine if you're an Israeli, and a country that wants you eliminated for religious reasons is being allowed to construct a nuclear program. How would you feel?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Nature is Bullshit

Nature sucks. It's meaningless, it has no rhyme or reason. Those who think the sound of the birds chirping amongst the tulips on a sunny spring morning is the glorious handy work of a loving designer are delusional. Fact is, tulips are nothing but giant sex advertisements, and the birds are chirping because they are fighting over sex and food. Fruit tastes good because thats how plants get their seeds spread. The fact is that all people really want is to be better than others. The easiest way to put your friends in a good mood is to tell them your misfortunes. The easiest way to get them in a state of self doubt and anxiety is to tell them that you just made lots of money. The solution to all this is simply inventing a god. This way, you can make unsuccess seem successful.

Nothing is as it appears, and truth is in inimical opposition to human well-being. This leaves us with a question- do we want to be happy or know the truth? Of course, many will say that they are happy despite the nature of the world, but invariably when you talk to them, they are trapped in a mythic belief system which involves self-deception. The more I learn about the nature of the world, the less likely it seems to me that there could possibly be anything meaningful about any of this experience. No god, no souls, no purpose. No free will, no true ingenuous human actions under the sun which do not involve some sort of secret darwinian scam.

On top of that, I'm tired of studying for my exams. I'm tired of seeing shit like this:

Praise Jesus!

And let me just insist on this Easter Sunday, that there isn't a god of any sort, and no human soul. Altruism is no more than a darwinian power tool. The universe is worse than a tragedy.

Eat drink and be merry.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Surely you're Joking Mr. President

If you ever want to read an extraordinary and entertaining book, check out Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman, Adventures of a Curious Character.

The word "genius" is bandied around loosely these days. I've always thought it interesting how 50% of the people you poll claim to have an I.Q. in the upper 95% of the world. Ive come to believe that a normal healthy person with dead average intelligence (for a normal healthy person) should score about 120 on a standard I.Q. test. So it's not surprising that virtually every normal healthy person I know claims to have a gifted level I.Q. I guess this means they can tie their shoes or maybe do their own taxes. "Gifted" is average, lets
all get over it, we're not all that bright, we're just surrounded by people who have deficiencies. Due to the Flynn effect, I.Q. tests and scores are virtually meaningless. If any of us took an I.Q. test from 50 years ago, we would score in the mega-genius category. Always remember that there are people vastly more intelligent than you are, who believe in virgin births and crop circles. So even if you're just an average gifted person, you may still be much more intelligent than people who solve puzzles better than you, but believe in crop circles and virgin births.

But this Richard Feynman is like Da Vinci reincarnated, a true renaissance man. His stories are entertaining and amazing. Here's a little snippet of him I saw today-

--The above woman "only" has an I.Q. of 120. Pat Robertson's is higher, I'm sure. Go figure. Yet another reason there can't possibly be a God.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What They Pray For

--"If he actually believes this bullshit, it might
help guide him towards a better life"

--"Oh Lord please!
If you remove these anal warts,
I swear I'll never try double penetration again..."

--"But Lord, I slaughtered them all...
Man, woman, child and beast. Why dost thou
repeatedly not keepest thy end of the deal?"

--"Oooh, here it comes bubblin' up.
He who farts in church must sit in his own pew, hehe"

Pastor Tilton- He talks to:

The Devil

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Power of Temptation

I have no idea who this guy is, I just think he reminds me of someone. He reminds me of someone who is about to preach a sermon about warding off the temptations of bodily desire.

Oh ya, I remember who this guy reminds me of...

Pastor John Hagee

Hagee on 9/11 and Islam

If reincarnation is true, this guy was once a member of a dark age church, gnawing giant turkey thighs straight off the spit in between excursions with 15 year old girls bound and gagged in the bushes.

This guy speaks with the certainty that God Almighty is talking through his lips.

Does it look to you as if this guy has a weight problem? Is this someone who you can take seriously preaching to you?

It was the woman afterall, who first ate of the fruit of temptation....

Or was it?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Will the Real Christians Please Stand Up

If the early church believed that war was wrong and that Christians should not participate in the military, why dont most Christians believe that now? How did Christians make peace with the idea of war? John Driver tells the history of the early church from the close of the New Testament through Augustine. He shows how there was a gradual shift in thinking as Christians became involved in the military until they lost their peaceful approach to solving conflict.

I wrote the following note to a friend and thought I'd post it here. I've made a few alterations to make it more readable:

Today I was listening to the right winger Michael Medved's show. He had a Christian guest on who was one of the ones recently rescued from being a hostage in Iraq. Medved and his callers ganged up on this poor guy and accused him for not supporting violence and war and having a twisted sense of good and evil because he was not willing to commit violence against enemies. This guy had this radical and bizarre idea that violence against enemies was "non-Christian", can you believe it? It was the most hysterically funny thing and I wish I could have taped it for you. Here we had a very humble sounding, thoughtful Christian, just back from being captured no less (his friend was the guy who was killed) who simply wanted to follow Jesus and be Christ-like, who was not willing to wage violence against enemies or support violence due to its total contradiction to his Christian faith.

The guy was getting harangued by Christian callers and Medved! It was a perfect example of what I've been going on and on about. Here we had a *real* Christian on a right wing talk show! It was astonishing as one caller quoted some scripture from the book of Joshua about how god commanded the Israelites to kill every living person in a city. The caller was trying to draw a parallel for the current situation, justifying war waging as a Christian ideal or God's will. It was just astonishing. I could not have contrived a better example of what I've been trying to say. The callers in were all Christians and they were unanimous.

It goes to show... you get an *actual* Christian, you know, one who *actually* follows the teachings of Jesus or at least takes them seriously, and you put this guy on a right winged family values talk radio show and he is A-BOMBED!

Christianity in America has become little more than a political ploy.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


"I believe natural selection represents a truly hideous sum total of misery...a process of misery that has given rise to immense beauty."--Richard Dawkins

I love this picture of Richard Dawkins (Darwinian evangelist). It just has that penetrating look of deconstruction. His eyes are similar to Midas' touch, only everything he looks at turns straight to shit.

In reality, I think Dawkins is awesome. I once despised the man, following the line of complainers about his uncompromising "faith" in stark naturalism. Once I pulled my head out of my sigmoid colon, I realized that Dawkins really wasn't all *that* bad. The fact is that Dawkins has a mountain of evidence and lots of semi-testable ideas which can be evaluated and make a butt-load of sense. The fact is that there is not one competing explanation for the origin of life and it's behaviors- not one single one that can be tested and evaluated. No wonder his opposition is so irate.

"Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"
-Richard Dawkins
Immense Beauty
The more I've listened to debates concerning naturalistic evolution versus faith the more I've come to realize that there really are three different camps. One is 97% of biologists who study the stuff who are almost entirely in agreement with Dawkins' basic ideas. The second camp is tiny. It's maybe 3% of biologists, most of whom don't conduct serious research or serious work, who grasp onto ideas which are faith based and completely untestable. They generally have religious backgrounds like Michael Behe. The third camp- an astonishingly huge group of people, are people who have almost no idea of what the hell they are talking about, yet want to agree with the 3% crowd without bothering to learn about evolution. They remind me of the talk radio hosts who don't believe in global warming who fish around for some expert (usually a guy who was paid off by some conservative think-tank to do corporate PR and disguise it as scientific opinion) to come on their show to cleverly make reality dizzy. "But volcanoes millions of years ago spewed vastly more CO2 than cars do today" they might say. And you always feel like calling in to say that an asteroid obliterated 95% of all life on earth 65 million years ago and we all turned out just fine, so who gives a shit about giant asteroids either.

`Look how powerful a male I am, because I can afford to wear my balls outside my body, in the most vulnerable position. You'd better not mess with me because I am proving my strength and my ability as a fighter.'

Dawkins on balls