Apology not accepted, Target

August 5, 2010

A few days ago, we found out that Target donated $150,000 to a Religious Right politician who’s openly bigoted against gays. So MoveOn.org started a boycott against Target.

So now the CEO has publicly apologized. And I for one don’t think it’s enough.

I’m with the guy in this clip. Target needs to either get their money back somehow or donate at least $150,000 to a prominent gay rights organization to remedy this situation. This is the obvious solution and one that took me less than five seconds to come up with. So if Target isn’t bright enough to think of it, then why should I trust their judgment about anything. Sorry. I love you, Target. But I say apology not accepted. Not good enough.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 4.6.10

April 7, 2010

1. More Catholic child buggery in Minnesota

Vatican officials failed to take action against a priest accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls in Minnesota despite repeated warnings from a local bishop starting in 2005, attorneys for one of the alleged victims said Monday.

Yeah, what else is new?

2. What’s the funniest religion? – A new “risque” British comedy film The Infidel, about an ordinary Muslim family man who discovers he’s Jewish has inspired an internet competition seeking to determine which religion is the funniest. My vote goes to Christianity. 3 gods = 1 god? Transubstantiation? Jesus riding on the back of an ass solely to fulfill a prophecy? Land of milk and honey? Hell? C’mon, it’s no contest.

3. Jordanians fools by April Fools UFO hoax – 72 years after the town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey was invaded by Martians only to discover later that it was was just a radio broadcast by Orson Welles, Jordanians fall victim to a similar hoax in the April Fools edition of a local newspaper, proving that perhaps UFO hoaxing is the oldest trick in the book. And early last year my friends Joe Rudy and Chris Russo hoaxed Morristown, New Jersey with their own UFO hoax. You’d think such a major news story being broken by newspaper instead of the internet would have been a big tip-off but what can you say? People fall for it every time! And that’s why the people of Jordan are this year’s April Fools.

4. Australian police ban Easter crucifixion re-entactment – It wasn’t real re-enactment though. It’s the Philippines who are go all the way with actual crucifixions because they’re hardcore. The Australian version was just a display of a semi-naked Jesus splattered in fake blood. . .cause Australians are pussies. (Kidding)

5. Poll suggests 78% of Americans believe in Jesus’ resurrection – And in related news, 78% of Americans are certifiably insane.

6. Move over Mexicans and Indians. Cause now robots are stealin’ are jobs! – It’s only a matter of time before a Skynet-designed Donald Trump Replicant calls you into his office to tell you that you’re terminated, while assuring you that all of this has happened before and it will happen again. Fuckin’ Cylons!

7. Pope’s ‘revenge’ as LA gets Opus Dei bishop – Remember that strange, radical Catholic group in ‘The DaVinci Code’ that was based on a real group, which then protested the book and film because it depicted them as masochistic freaks when in reality, they’re only masochistic freaks on weekends (or was it every other Tuesday?) Anyway, Opus Dei are back, baby! And this time they’re taking L.A.

But I’m sure it will all be fine. I mean, what could go wrong?

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, however, is one of the worst afflicted by the clerical sexual abuse crisis that has convulsed the US Church since 2002.

Son of a bitch!

8. Carbon nanotubes make quantum-sized black holes -This is how they say awesome in science-ese:

Physicists at Harvard University have found that a high-voltage nanotube can cause cold atoms to spiral inward under dramatic acceleration before disintegrating violently. Their experiments, the first to demonstrate something akin to a black hole at atomic scale, are described in the current issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

The anti-vaccine movement’s newest hero

December 20, 2009

My break away from covering anti-vaxxer news stories was going so well. But I guess it couldn’t last forever. Ugh!

The following is a video from a teenager, Robert Wanek, who was allegedly physically assaulted by a school administrator after he tried distributing anti-vaccine propaganda:

Orac goes into greater detail on this story here.

So far I’ve only got one side of the story, so who knows what really happened? Of course it doesn’t really matter because J.B. Handley is this kid’s biggest fan. If the student was genuinely assaulted, then obviously that behavior by a school administrator is completely unacceptable and they should be disciplined and face possible firing. But while that should be the story, it’s not as far as Age of Autism is concerned. To them, this is just further proof that vaccines are poisonous somehow and another chance to exploit someone in order to promote their own media whoredom. You can already tell Handley’s got folk hero aspirations for this kid.

What this story has to do with autism, the topic we’re led to believe Age of “Autism” is supposed to focus on is beyond me, especially since every one of the sentences printed on the sheet of paper the kid is trying to distribute is demonstrably wrong. Apparently, this kid thinks Google University is a substitute for a REAL science education. The kid lives in Minnesota, so maybe PZ Myers can set him straight. And yes, any time I hear about something happening anywhere in Minnesota, PZ Myers is my solution. How big of a state could it be?

This Week In God 8.28.09

August 28, 2009

1. Phillip Garrido: kidnapper, child rapist, Heaven-bound-Jesus-lover – So Garrido and his wife kidnapped this 11-year-old girl in 1991, they imprisoned her in the backyard, he raped her repeatedly, he had 2 children with her (now 11 and 15 years old) who were also imprisoned for their whole lives, and of course he loves Jesus. In fact, some thought he was even going to start a church. Lovely. Oh, and he has–err, had a blog where he discussed Jesus.

2. 64% of people won’t be swayed by scientific evidence if it conflicts with their religious beliefs – That is frightening, though not entirely surprising. It’s like trying to convince an anti-vaccinationist that maybe their gut isn’t a better expert than the doctors.

faith healing3. Washington state law considers Christian Science faith healing to be acceptable medical treatment

Washington’s law specifies that a person treated through faith healing “by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.” Other religions are not mentioned.

prayerhardwork4. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s solution to healthcare – I’ve talked about this fucktard before. Just about every word out of her mouth seems to make Sarah Palin look smarter by comparison. Case in point, her solution to the healthcare crisis:

“That’s really where this battle will be won — on our knees in prayer and fasting,” she told the listeners. “Remember: faith without works is dead. So we’re asking you to do all of it: pray, fast, believe, trust the Lord, but also act.”

Seriously, can’t we throw her out of office at this point?

Judge rules parents can’t refuse chemo for 13-year-old son on wacko religious grounds

May 15, 2009

Last week, I blogged about Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old cancer patient in Minnesota whose mother was refusing to permit chemotherapy because of her wacko religion, the Nemenhah Band.. Well reason has prevailed in our legal system as now in a 58-page decision, Judge John Rodenberg ruled that Daniel must be evaluated by a doctor to determine if he’d benefit from restarting chemotherapy over his parents’ objections.

Further, the judge says that Daniel has been “medically neglected” by his parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser, and was in need of child protection services. I couldn’t agree more. This goes way beyond protecting the parents’ freedom of religion and should be considered part of the domain of child pretection services.

While he allowed Daniel to stay with his parents, the judge gave the Hausers until Tuesday to get an updated chest X-ray for their son and select an oncologist.

If the evaluation shows the cancer had advanced to a point where chemotherapy and radiation would no longer help, the judge said, he would not order the boy to undergo treatment.

However, he said, if chemotherapy is ordered and the family still refuses, Daniel will be placed in temporary custody.

The judge wrote that Daniel has only a “rudimentary understanding at best of the risks and benefits of chemotherapy. … he does not believe he is ill currently. The fact is that he is very ill currently.”

It’s currently believed that with chemotherapy, Daniel’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90% chance of being cured versus his 5% chance of surviving without chemo. So although he needs a new x-ray to confirm that the condition hasn’t worsened, to any rational human being, this should be a no-brainer decision, especially considering that the parents initially did agree to chemotherapy. It apparently wasn’t against their religion when they allowed his first treatment.

Daniel’s parents have been supporting what they say is their son’s decision to treat the disease with nutritional supplements and other alternative treatments favored by the Nemenhah Band.

Um, no. Thirteen-year-olds often don’t know any better than what they’re told by those raising them. Some adults don’t fair much better, but in this case he’s a minor, and not equipped to know the difference between real medicine and quackery.

With Obama’s speech tonight, I almost forgot that politicians are often stupid

February 24, 2009

Here’s some pearls of wisdom from Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina:

Well I think that it’s just, and science is more and more documenting this, is that there are real “chinks” in the armor of evolution being the only way we came about. The idea of there being a, you know, a little mud hole and two mosquitoes get together and the next thing you know you have a human being… is completely at odds with, you know, one of the laws of thermodynamics which is the law of, of … in essence, destruction.


Thanks professor, but if it’s all the same with you, I’ll leave the science to the scientists, not the crazy people.

And Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, responding to creationist statements by Sarah Palin,  said this little gem:

I saw her comments on it yesterday, and I thought they were appropriate, which is, you know, let’s — if there are competing theories, and they are credible, her view of it was, according to the comments in the newspaper, allow them all to be presented or allow them both to be presented so students could be exposed to both or more and have a chance to be exposed to the various theories and make up their own minds…

In the scientific community, it seems like intelligent design is dismissed — not entirely, there are a lot of scientists who would make the case that it is appropriate to be taught and appropriate to be demonstrated, but in terms of the curriculum in the schools in Minnesota, we’ve taken the approach that that’s a local decision.

I think the key here is “if there are competing theories, and they are credible.” Creationism is neither a competing theory nor credible. So I guess then I agree with Pawlenty under those conditions.

An unvaccinated child dies from a preventable disease

January 24, 2009

An unvaccinated child dies from a preventable disease

The Centers for Disease Control has put out an alert: in Minnesota in 2008, there were five confirmed cases of Haemophilus influenzae type b (or Hib) among children younger than five years old. Of these five cases, three of the children were unvaccinated, one had started the series of vaccines but did not complete the series due to shortages, and the fifth — who had been fully vaccinated — had an immune deficiency.

Five cases may not sound like a lot… until you learn that one of the unvaccinated children died. This was a baby, just a seven-month-old infant.

So what lesson can we draw from this?

Vaccinate your kid!