Michelle Bachmann recalls the shot heard ’round the world in Concord…New Hampshire

March 13, 2011

Oh, c’mon! Everyone knows the shot heard round the world that sparked the American Revolution between the 17 Colonies and the Soviet troops happened when Major Enola Gay fired into the Oklahoma City exhaust poirt without using his targeting computer, which drove King Tut to declare war!

Yes, I hate to post another story about the stupid things that come out of politicians’ mouths so soon but I couldn’t pass this one up. Last time, I  justified because I was singling out Rand Paul’s illogical argument. In this one, I’m educating Ms. Bachmann’s historical myth.

As any American reader who has passed middle school almost certainly knows, Concord and Lexington are not in New Hampshire…and that the “shot heard ’round the world was in Massachusetts.

I don’t know what troubles me more, that a sitting U.S. public official doesn’t know the first thing about one of the most basic historical facts concerning the Revolutionary War that is taught to literally just about every middle school student in this country, that she thought Concord and Lexington were in New Hampshire instead of Massachusetts…for some reason, or that she somehow got to the point where she was delivering the speech without anyone correcting her…or that she repeated the same error later that very speech!

To hear such ignorance of our country’s history come out of the mouth of a sitting Congresswomen is just disgraceful. This has got to be up there as one of the stupidest things to come out of a Tea Party candidate yet (and that says a lot)…at least until someone suggests that New Hampshire has the proud history of being the home of Plymouth Rock or that George Washington retreated across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wait, what?! She said the Plymouth thing too?! Son of a bitch!

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News From Around The Blogosphere 9.22.10

September 23, 2010

1. 5 Worries Parents Should Drop, And 5 They Shouldn’t – Notice how vaccine injuries didn’t make the list, but that car accidents made the number one spot. Maybe the anti-vaxxers should campaign to get rid of cars instead. After all, are cars not filled with toxins? Do they not cause millions of deaths every year?

2. Man charged with pretending to practice witchcraft – No, it wasn’t Christine O’Donnell. An Ontario man charged people money in exchange for allegedly promising to perform magic to solve any and all of his customers’  problems. Yeah, he should have realized that scam had a short expiration date.

3. Teaching robots to lie, cheat, and deceive – OH COME ON! Just the other day I had a little fun by referencing all the classic destructive robots of science fiction from the Cylons to the Terminators to the Replicants, to the machines of The Matrix when news came out about an artificial human skin for future robots that was sensitive to touch. But now comes a story about programmers giving robots the ability to lie. It just makes referencing how science fiction writers have foreseen that scenario going terribly wrong way too fuckin’ easy.

4. Pastor Terry Jones billed $180K for security surrounding protest – Damn it! I hate when I have to defend assholes. But here we go again. The Florida pastor who successfully manufactured the bullshit Koran-burning controversy is being billed for the increased security added to public places in response to fears that he’d single-handedly provoke an Islamic fundamentalist terror attack. That is fuckin’ bullshit. If that survives a court decision, it would set a horrible precedent that would greatly undermine free speech. Terry didn’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Whatever one may think of book burning, he had every legal right to burn any book he wants, so long as he owns it. And in fact, he didn’t burn a single book, merely claimed that he would. And if anyone should be held accountable, it should be the Islamic fundamentalists who are so insane, they provoke people into spending $180K on extra security every time some Islamic critic gets attention for stirring shit up. But if anyone else were to be deserving of blame, it’d be the media who turned this small town pastor’s little stunt into international news. There’s no reason I should have even heard of Pastor Jones, let alone Muslim radicals in the Middle East. Make no mistake. It was the media’s love of sensationalism that drove this story, not the actions of some redneck asshole.

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And I thought Asians were supposed to be good at math

September 19, 2010

A unicorn has been spotted for the first time in ten years. Actually it’s the saola of Laos and Vietnam…and it’s got TWO horns…which I guess is why the media is calling it a unicorn…because as everyone knows, “uni” means two. Ugh!


News From Around The Blogosphere 8.23.10

August 24, 2010

1. First Hitch, and now PZ? – First Christopher Hitchens gets cancer. And now PZ Myers has some sort of heart condition. My best wishes go out to him and hope his treatment goes well.

Aww, cute.

2. Alligators in NYC sewers? Urban myth confirmed – Though to be fair, it wasn’t a very big alligator:

Cops apprehended an 18-inch gator that crawled out of an overflowing Astoria storm drain and hunkered down beneath a parked car this afternoon, delighting onlookers and giving fresh meat to the urban myth that the carnivorous critters are living below the Big Apple.

3. Self-fulfilling prophecy is self-fulfilling

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Rachel Maddow exposes manufactroversies of the political right

April 6, 2010

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News From Around The Blogosphere 2.19.10

February 20, 2010

1. Wearing a bra does NOT increase your likelihood of getting cancer – I don’t know how this silly myth got started and never heard it before but I’m glad the NY Times decided to address it.

2. Religious parents learn the wrong lessons from Devo and really do whip it good – Eric and Elizabeth Schatz (yes, that’s really their name) whipped their 7-year-old daughter, Lydia. . .to death. She died while being disciplined “for hours” because she mispronounced a word during her home-schooling lesson. I have feeling she’ll never make that mistake again.

3. Ten Commandments plaque to go up in Arizona’s Capitol? – A certain political party is pushing for it. I know you can guess which one.

The 5-3 vote came over the objections of the [I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHICH PARTY OPPOSED IT] on the panel who said it amounted to the state imposing what are the beliefs of the majority on everyone else.

Sen. Amanda Aguirre said that while she believes in the Ten Commandments, she felt posting them in front of a government building amounts to “imposing our religious beliefs on other folks that have their own God.”

3. J.B. Handley suffers another embarrassing defeat – Yesterday, Handley saw a minor mistake in an article by Steven Novella about another study that further showed no link between vaccines and autism. And so what did he do? What any propagandist would do, jump on the opportunity to attack one of his critics while deliberately missing the point. Well now Novella has fired back and has delivered yet another crushing blow to Handley.

4. The Vatican leaves Dylan off their list of best albums – I thought Rock N Roll was devil music. And who made the Vatican the arbiters of great music?

The article by Giuseppe Fiorentino and Gaetano Vallini said that Dylan was excluded from the list despite his “great poetic vein” because he paved the way for generations of unprofessional singer-songwriters who have “harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners” with their tormented stories.

Yeah, but he’s the only musician in history to have a Nobel Prize for Literature for writing a song! But what can you expect from the Vatican. None of them along the line know what any of this is worth.

5. Greenwich Village “psychic” sued over $10,000 – Unfortunately, it wasn’t the one on West Third Street off of MacDougal. I want my money back, woman!

In two instances, Mitchell told Chan to put nine $100 bills in a jar — for a total of $1,800 — to help cleanse her. In both cases, Mitchell took the cash-filled jars.

6. Non-theists will attend religious services for charity – Let me go on record as loving this idea. Not only is this a great way to get donations but it draws attention to atheists doing charity work, spreads a positive image of atheists in a way that can’t be viewed as an attack on faith, allows the religious to see this as an opportunity to win over non-believers, and takes advantage of people’s competitive nature using a method I’ve only previously seen from Greenwich Village street performers who would shout out the name of the last donor’s hometown. Those from Queens wouldn’t like Brooklyn-ites being the last to give and so would give more, leading to French tourists giving last, to which no one from any other country could tolerate, leading to even more donations, ad infinatum.


News From Around The Blogosphere 1.30.10

January 31, 2010

1. Dinosaur Find Helps Solve Evolutionary Puzzle

A George Washington University expedition to the Gobi Desert of China has enabled researchers to solve the puzzle of how one group of dinosaurs came to look like birds independent of birds. The discovery extends the fossil record of the family Alvarezsauridae — a bizarre group of bird-like dinosaurs with a large claw on the hand and very short, powerful arms — back 63 million years, further distancing the group from birds on the evolutionary tree.

Until now, there was no direct evidence that dinosaurs of this type lived during the Late Jurassic, approximately 160 million years ago. George Washington University doctoral candidate Jonah Choiniere named the newly discovered species of dinosaur, Haplocheirus sollers (meaning simple, skillful hand).

Again, that’s 63 million years ago, which for those keeping count is 62,994,000 years before the existence of the whole universe, according to Young Earth Creationists.

2. Elmhurst, Illinois Mayor Pete DiCianni calls to waste tax dollars on prayer – DiCianni is calling from each City Council meeting to over with a prayer. Now besides the fact that this obviously tramples on the wall separating church and state, even rational Christians should be able to admit that we’re not paying these people to sit around and pray, but rather to run the local government. If these people wish to pray, let them do so on their own time and not on the taxpayers’ time.

3. Christian police force in UK who believe in power of prayer  receives £10,000 grant – If all it takes to catch criminals is prayer, why do they need any money? And for that matter, why do they need a police force?

4. Mennonites kidnap 14-year-old girl – The daughter of Doug Ramsey may have been brainwashed. Three church members were arrested for allegedly concealing the girl from her parents and police after she ran away from home. They intended to take her out of the state to Kentucky. Church members encouraged her to disconnect from her parents and helped facilitate her departure.

5. Midlife crises are a myth – Here’s a great article debunking the myths surrounding the so-called midlife crisis.

6. Virginia School district bans Diary of Anne Frank – That’s right. I’ll repeat that. They banned Anne Frank’s book. Why you might ask? Because of a passage about her adolescent curiosity concerning sexuality. The offending passage reads:

There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!

The horror! The horror!

But that’s not even the worst part, according to the article linked to above:

Amazon.com lists Anne Frank’s diary as one of the most banned children’s books, “for being too depressing for students.”

Anne Frank’s diary is among the most banned children’s books? Anne Frank? Are we talking about the same Anne Frank? The young girl in hiding from the Nazis? Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most banned children’s books? WTF!!!!!!!

7. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $10 billion to vaccines – Suck it, Jenny McCarthy!

8. Do children need both a mother and a father? – Yup, once again science proves the bigots wrong:

The presumption that children need both a mother and a father is widespread. It has been used by proponents of Proposition 8 to argue against same-sex marriage and to uphold a ban on same-sex adoption.

. . .

The lead article in the February issue of Journal of Marriage and Family challenges the idea that “fatherless” children are necessarily at a disadvantage or that men provide a different, indispensable set of parenting skills than women.

. . .

In their analysis, the researchers found no evidence of gender-based parenting abilities, with the “partial exception of lactation,” noting that very little about the gender of the parent has significance for children’s psychological adjustment and social success.

9. Pope calls for crackdowns on marriage annulments “at all costs” – But still nothing about cracking down on the thousands of child rapists whose salaries he pays. That’s fine.