Rape Apologists!

I would occasionally see the term “rape apologist” thrown around by feminists and I assumed for a long time that this was merely hyperbole. What man, in his right mind, would publicly defend the act of forcing a woman to have sex with him? Instead, I figured the only proper definition of a rape apology would be a rapist saying to his victim months or years later, “I’m sorry that I violated your dignity as a fellow human being and I promise I will never do that again to anyone.”

Boy was I mistaken! Continue reading

Economic Abuse of a Little Girl

Read this article:

http://gma.yahoo.com/cupcake-business-run-11-old-shuttered-illinois-health-202621307–abc-news-topstories.html

HT_cupcake_girl_1_jtm_140205_16x9_992
Cupcake Business Run By 11-Year-Old Shuttered By Illinois Health Officials

By ALYSSA NEWCOMB

The cupcake empire Chloe Stirling built out of her home kitchen has come crumbling down after Illinois health officials said the sixth-grader wasn’t in compliance with local laws.

Chloe, 11, said she was told by health officials in Madison County, Ill., that if she wants to continue selling cupcakes she will need to buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen.

“It bummed me out because I wanted to keep baking,” Chloe told ABCNews.com. “I had a bunch of orders and they said I had to cancel them all.”

Stirling, who is in sixth grade, has operated “Hey Cupcake” out of her family’s kitchen in Troy, Ill., for the past two years. And it appears her success may have invited the scrutiny of regulators.

The cupcake mogul said she’s raked in some serious dough for a kid her age, charging $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 each for the more elaborate treats, such as cakes that look like high heel shoes.

“It felt good because with all my money I could buy stuff I wanted and didn’t have to wait until my birthday or Christmas,” Chloe said, adding that she was also saving money for a car.

Her mother, Heather Stirling, told ABCNews.com she’s meeting with officials from the health department and the state attorney next week in hopes of finding a way to help Chloe re-open Hey Cupcake.

“This is her niche. You have kids who are good at baseball and soccer and this is what they pursue,” Stirling said. “Chloe is one of a kind. No one else does this at her age. There are a lot of hoops we’re going to have to jump through.”

Toni Corona, a spokeswoman for the Madison County Department of Health, told ABCNews.com in a statement that the laws are “applied uniformly and without discrimination.”

She said the department “applauds the entrepreneurial spirit” of Chloe and “joins with her many fans in hoping she will find a location for her cupcake enterprise that complies with state laws.”

Do you see something missing in this article?  How about any evidence that anyone was sickened by any of the products produced by this girl’s baking business?

Shutting down her business for failing to comply with state health regulations even with no complaint from customers about her products serves one purpose:  Eliminating competition with the corporations that dominate our economy and both force people to work for them instead of working for themselves and force them to buy their products instead of creating their own. This is bullying of the worst sort and it goes against our legal standard of “innocent until proven guilty”. The State of Illinois and the officials of Madison County should be ashamed of themselves!

Rape, School Sports and Small Town Insanity

P Z Myers put the spotlight on a teenage rapist yesterday:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/14/matthew-barnett-sleazebag-and-rapist

The story is sadly typical of small towns and their pathetic bigotries, but what really drew my attention later was a comment below it. (Emphasis mine.)

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/14/matthew-barnett-sleazebag-and-rapist/comment-page-1/#comment-705351

39
MarkM1427

15 October 2013 at 1:04 am (UTC -5)

Anonymous? That scumbag will wish he only had the cops to deal with. If only they’d go after the media for not calling this shit what it is: an inexcusable, unforgivable act of violence against another human being. I didn’t see a word of this until ThinkProgress shared it on Facebook. I wonder why no one else seems to give a shit about the actual victims here. Ever since I first read this story it’s been stuck in the back of my head. It obviously pisses me off, but it also hits close to home in several ways for me.

As outraged as I am about this, I’m not at all surprised. It’s not the first time I’ve heard about a small town demonizing the victims who dared to put the town through the trauma of dealing with the fact that a heinous crime happened in their neighborhood instead of, you know, the actual criminal. A similar story of what happened to my grandmother has stuck with my family for nearly 50 years. (I’m not going to derail the thread with the whole story, but a small town covered up the murder of her mother since the guy who did it was close to powerful people in the town.) Why can’t this shit ever change?

And this has finally done it. I thought I would never say this, but I can’t go on believing that athletic programs are a positive influence for students. Even though I benefited from sports myself, I can’t support them anymore. I was an athlete in high school, and to this day I believe that being part of the football team did a lot to make me more social then. I have Asperger’s and I might not have as much as spoken a word the whole four years if I didn’t join one group or another. For so long I defended these sports programs as something that could be a great influence on the athletes if the coaches actually gave a damn about that like the ones I had did.

But no more. I now see that my experience was the exception, not the rule. School sports, much like religion, corrupts the adults who are involved in it, you know, the ones that are supposed to ACT LIKE ADULTS. If sports programs warp peoples’ minds to the point that they are consistently willing to enable rape by athletes in the name of winning a fucking ball game, they are toxic to society and we should cast them out of schools.

I don’t intend to derail the thread with the tangent I know I went off on, but this story has had my mind spinning faster than a centrifuge ever since I read it. I can’t wait for the town to finally have the wrath of the rest of the country descend on them for the scumbags they are.

And that led me to ask what, if anything, do sports programs have to do with the actual process of education? Nothing that I can see. Yet almost every school and college out there has a sports program which no doubt costs money to maintain. Perhaps it is time to start putting pressure on schools to eliminate funding for sports programs before they even think of eliminating anything else from a school’s budget!

300 teens should be LOCKED UP!

I find this incredible!

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/brian-holloway-former-nfl-star-reacts-teens-trash-house-twitter-091813

Ex-NFL player reacts to trashed house

An estimated 300 teenagers threw a party at the house of Brian Holloway over Labor Day weekend, authorities say, causing a reported $20,000 in damage to the property of the former New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders left tackle.

That sentence might normally make Holloway sound like the coolest irresponsible uncle ever, except there’s a catch: Holloway spends most of his time these days in Florida and wasn’t at the Stephentown, N.Y., vacation home at the time of the rager.

Continue reading

Truth in Advertising: The Staffmark and Exel screwup

Corporate Logo of Exel Logistics (now a subsid...

Corporate Logo of Exel Logistics (now a subsidiary of DHL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a new job and so I responded to an ad on Craigslist:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/lab/3855558236.html

Want to beat the heat while working? (North Fort Worth)

Looking for energetic, sharp assemblers that build special packaging for food products to work in a logistics warehouse with opportunity to advance to team leads for second shift (6:00pm – 2:30am). The work week is Sunday through Thursday. Need to have great attendance and strong safety habits to be eligible for bonus. This is a long term assignment – 40 current openings! After verification of employment will start immediately.
If interested, please contact Jacob Holsinger at jacob.holsinger@staffmark.com

The employment agency that put out the ad was Staffmark. I visited their office and after orientation I started work at a nearby warehouse that was owned by a company called Exel and distributed General Mills products. So I went out there and found:

1. The actual work at night schedule was 6:00 PM to FOUR AM, not 2:30 AM.

2. We were told by the Exel managers at the work site that we may be working SEVEN DAYS A WEEK for several weeks, maybe even a month!

3. Beating the heat was not an issue. In fact, the warehouse was very HOT inside and we were told to keep ourselves hydrated constantly with water bottles due to our sweating so much. That we worked at night was little help: even after sunset, summer nights in Texas are often very warm. I cannot imagine anyone working at such a warehouse in the daytime when the temperatures outside may soar to 100 degrees F for weeks!

I went back to the Staffmark people and complained about the schedule changes bitterly, feeling like I’d been lied to. But I proceeded to work at the warehouse anyway for a week.

This morning, I was awakened by a call from Staffmark:  I’d been terminated because I’d not been “agreeable” to the changes that were made to my work. Uh, right, because I remember what I see and I insist as a matter of integrity that companies KEEP THEIR WORD! No one should be working seven days a week at anything, period!

But this is what happens when you live in a “right-to-work” state where labor unions have almost no power.

Copyright abuse

First, read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet[citation needed]. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.

The DMCA’s principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries, was adopted by the European Union in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.

Takedown notice

Google asserted misuse of the DMCA in a filing concerning New Zealand’s copyright act,[25] quoting results from a 2005 study by Californian academics Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban based on data from the Chilling Effects clearinghouse.[26] Takedown notices targeting a competing business made up over half (57%) of the notices Google has received, the company said, and more than one-third (37%), “were not valid copyright claims.”[27]

The original purpose of copyright laws was to protect creativity by allowing artists, both of visual arts and music, to make their fair share of money from selling their own creations. It is certainly unethical for anyone to claim another’s original work as his own and then make a profit from that work being sold.

Too often, however, what happens is that people wanting to censor a viewpoint they find offensive make claims based on their interpretation of the DMCA to claim copyright infringement that is not valid or, even if technically valid, really is not fair at all.

Here is a perfect example. Watch this video by YouTube user cdk007:

Did you enjoy it? Maybe if you were a younger person you were bored by the classical music track that was used for it. But in fact, that was not the original music that was used for the video. Instead, cdk007 used this music first:

That DOES sound 100% better, in my opinion. But soon after cdk007 posted the video about evolution, he was slapped with a DMCA takedown notice and he was forced to replace the soundtrack. But he never claimed the song “Jesus of Suburbia” was his creation, nor did he make money from that video. I doubt that Green Day, the artist that made the song, was to blame for what happened, it seems so unlike them!

What happened in this case was de facto censorship. The DMCA actually SUPPRESSES creativity and freedom of speech and it should be repealed.

Laci Green condemns “witch hunts”

This is the direct sequel to

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/a-death-threat-against-laci-green/

At the time, I assumed she was being attacked by people who were against her being an atheist and/or hated her sex positive stand. I later learned that she was being attacked by transgendered people and others because she had used the word “tranny” which they considered offensive. Continue reading

Beware of Justin Vacula!

First, read this:

http://skepchick.org/2012/10/secular-coalition-picks-anti-woman-leader-for-pennsylvania/

Doing so, I felt profoundly disgusted that such a misogynous bigot as Justin Vacula would be allowed to have any position of influence in an atheist organization. What are the leaders of the Secular Coalition for America trying to do, discredit their own cause?

Rebecca Watson said:

If I were a woman in Pennsylvania, I would never, ever want to get involved in any way with Justin Vacula. In fact, I will never, ever get involved with SCA so long as someone like him holds a position of power anywhere, let alone in a state I live in. So Vacula is actively driving people away from SCA. I’d like to know how they expect to overcome that – how they hope to reach out to progressive people, and particularly women in Pennsylvania, while an MRA is a co-chair.

Well, I am a man in Texas and likewise I want nothing to do with that guy. He just seems sick!

Men’s Right’s Activists (MRAs) are to sexism what the Ku Klux Klan is to racism. As I commented on the Skepchick blog:

  • A Voice for Men? How about a Voice for White People, a Voice for Christians, and a Voice for the Wealthy? Oh yes, we must always ensure that those who are already privileged in society get to yell louder than their opponents, to maintain the status quo in society, even if they are abusive and dishonest.

    Damn them!

A Classic Case of Male Entitlement

Read this story and note especially the phrases I have bolded:

Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Ruined Attacker’s Life, Lawyer Says

Savannah Dietrich, a Kentucky teenager who was sexually assaulted and then threatened with jail for naming her attackers, has reportedly destroyed the life of at least one of the perpetrators.

“He’s had to move,” David Mejia, the attorney for one of the attackers, told The Huffington Post. “He has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out. He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized. He’s in therapy. He’s just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did.”

Mejia filed a contempt motion against Dietrich in July. She had tweeted the names of two teenage boys who assaulted her back in August 2011.

After naming the boys, Dietrich, then 16, tweeted, “I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.”

Dietrich’s anger stemmed from a June hearing in which the teenagers confessed to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism. She and her family were reportedly frustrated by the plea bargain the boys made with the state.

“If reporting a rape only got me to the point that I’m not allowed to talk about it, then I regret it,” Dietrich wrote on Facebook. “I regret reporting it.”

Mejia said that he and his client were angry about the posts and that Dietrich was not entirely honest.

“The victim, in a fit of anger, tweets my clients name, calls him a rapist — something he was never accused of — and said the court system was corrupt and he got away with what he did,” Mejia said. “She also said he videotaped her and put it on Internet. There never was a rape, there was no video and there was nothing on the Internet. But he did admit to the conduct as charged which was criminal sexual abuse or touching.”

The two boys charged were juveniles, and the court therefore kept the details of the case confidential.

Dietrich, now 17, told ABC’s “Nightline” what happened the night she was assaulted in an interview Monday.

She said she was drinking with friends when she passed out. When she later awoke, she discovered her clothes were disheveled and felt like “something wasn’t right.”

“I had my dress back on but my bra was shifted all weird and then my underwear was off,” Dietrich told “Nightline” host Juju Chang.

After the party, Dietrich said she was told the two boys had taken photos of her.

“They told me that it was me on the kitchen floor, passed out, my eyes are closed,” she said. “My clothes are — I’m exposed. Someone said one boy had his arm broken at the time and said his cast was in the picture.”

The details of the punishment the boys ultimately received is unknown, since court records have been witheld.

“Due to the confidentiality and privacy of the whole thing I am constrained except to say that what she is saying is a mischaracterization. It’s not accurate. It’s not true. What is the truth? That I cannot say,” Mejia said.

In the motion Mejia filed, he requested that Dietrich be held in contempt for violating the confidentiality of a juvenile. Dietrich could have faced 180 days in jail, but Mejia said that was not what he wanted. The motion, he said, was not to punish Dietrich, but to have a judge force her to delete her online posts about the boys.

“I was hoping she would even have some remorse or an apology to give. That didn’t happen,” Mejia said Monday on ABC’s “Nightline.”

The veteran attorney echoed those remarks during an interview with HuffPost.

“When we filed the motion, we wanted our client’s names off the Internet and wanted her to know that what she was doing was wrong,” he said. “[She should] acknowledge what she’s done, remove the name and promise not to do it again.”

But the motion prompted a flurry of national media attention and was quickly withdrawn. According to Mejia, canceling the motion did nothing to stop the influx of hate messages he and his client received.

“Everybody got hate letters and worse for this young boy — this high school kid was getting tweets, Facebook [messages], all kinds of terrible things. He even got death threats,” the lawyer said.

Dietrich told “Nightline” she identified her attackers because she felt like their punishment was a slap on the wrist. “I was upset,” Dietrich said. “I felt like they got less than the minimal punishment … I knew that they were manipulating the system to silence me.”

Mejia said that his client is devastated and would like to move on with his life, but that the Internet has made that impossible.

“I think it’s rather astonishing how the Internet changes everything,” he said. “Look at [Rep. Todd Akin], the politician from Missouri who was on the news a few days ago and made a comment about ‘legitimate rape.’ Those comments have now gone viral and he is ruined. Twenty years ago it would not have happened like this. These things just stream with enormous speed across the whole country.”

Dietrich’s attorney, Emily Farrar-Crockett, did not return a call for comment from HuffPost on Tuesday. Speaking on “Nightline” Monday, she was unsympathetic to Mejia’s complaints.

“They took the pictures, they disseminated it, they told people about what they had done. To come back and blame her now for ruining their reputation I think is despicable. They did this to themselves,” Farrar-Crockett said.

Yes, it is such a terrible thing when a girl who was assaulted is able to strike back at the boys who did it!

Actually, the plea agreement to keep the boys’ names confidential because they are juveniles was itself a violation of the girl’s free speech rights as provided under the First Amendment. It should be voided and the boys should be tried for any charges that can be made to stick. Age is irrelevant here.

The girl should be allowed to testify in open court, under oath, about what happened to her. Once that is done, she can be cross examined by the defense attorney. If her testimony is still credible after that, the offenders should be imprisoned and their names should be known to the public for what they are:  sex offenders.

Two Types of Corruption

There are two types of corruption in society: direct and indirect.

Direct corruption is when someone engages in unethical actions to make a gain for himself. An example is a public official taking funds that were paid to the government in taxes and embezzling  the money to make himself rich.

Indirect corruption is when someone enables the corrupt acts of someone else by not taking action against the other person or, even worse, taking action against anyone who tries to stop the direct corruption. Like a Catholic bishop who may never molest children himself, but upon learning that a priest under his jurisdiction has done that, he simply moves that priest to a different church and digs up dirt on the accusers of the priest to try to blackmail them. It is easier to do that than do the honorable thing, because the entire system is corrupted and removing all the corrupt members would make it fall apart.

Of course, one might argue that both types of corruption are equally bad. Indeed, if there were no examples of the indirect kind, the direct kind would not be able to do as much damage as it has. Therefore, we must have zero tolerance for either kind. A system with both direct and indirect corruption for too long will eventually rot from within and will have to be torn down anyway.

A Death Threat against Laci Green

 

Previous references on this blog to her:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/battle-on-youtube-between-two-atheists/

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/laci-green-your-warning-is-too-little-too-late/

Imagine my horror when I saw this:

http://lacigreen.tumblr.com/post/26843554247/hey-peeps-i-am-going-to-be-taking-a-break-from

hey peeps,

i am going to be taking a break from tumblr. i’m not sure how long. i have been getting a slew of people (who i can only guess are from “social justice” tumblr) telling me to kill myself, making violent threats, sending me my home address they somehow found. my inbox this morning was graced with pictures of my apartment building.

i honestly have no words.

love you all.

lace

To the bastard who sent those sick things to Laci, you are nothing but a worthless coward. Maybe someone should take a sledgehammer and slam it on YOUR face!

And if he wants to come after anyone for insulting Islam, what about me? 

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/category/religion/islam/

Except I never threatened the life of anyone for being Muslim, did I?

 

The Tragedy of Rodney King

First, read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/rodney-king-dead-swimming-pool-160339712.html

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 sparked the L.A. riots, was found dead at his California home on Sunday. He was 47.

Police said King’s fiancée discovered him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their Rialto, Calif., home, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles.

Police responded to a call at 5:25 a.m., pulled King out of the pool and attempted CPR, but could not revive him.

King’s representative Suzanne Wickman confirmed to his death to KABC-TV. According to TMZ, King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, told friends King spent the bulk of Saturday drinking and “smoked marijuana at some point,” before she went to went to bed at 2:00 a.m.

The cause of death is unknown, but police are investigating it as a drowning. Rialto Police Capt. Randy DeAnda told CNN there were no preliminary signs of foul play.

King was beaten by four white LAPD officers following a DUI stop on March 3, 1991. Footage captured by an amateur videographer showed the officers hitting King 56 times with wooden batons.

“I just got lucky that night to have the cameras on me,” King said in April, marking the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots. “When I saw the tape, I was so happy that it was on tape and then looking at it, it was like I was in another body. I felt like I had died in that one, and was just watching it.”

The four officers–Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon–were acquitted of criminal charges, sparking the riots that left 55 people dead. (Koon and Powell were later found guilty of federal civil rights charges and sentenced to 30 months in prison.)

In hindsight, it appears that Rodney King was an example of a soul who could not be saved and was doomed to pass away prematurely due to his own failures instead of being able to live a full life. Even so, he had a few good qualities that society should have done a lot more to nurture, instead of treating him like he was disposable.

There was simply no excuse whatsoever for the beating King received from the cops; they were clearly out of control and lawbreakers themselves. So why were they acquitted at the first trial? One reason was because the jury was all white, a racist practice that was all too common in the South, where blacks would be sent to prison for crimes they did not commit, while guilty whites would be exonerated.

Another issue was the misperception that it is better to have a few corrupt and abusive cops on the beat than too few cops to keep order in society. That is simply wrong; I think I’d rather have no cops at all than ANY cops that are themselves criminals and never held accountable for their misdeeds because such corruption can feed on itself to ruin a whole society from within. The riots that broke out resulted from people seeing lawlessness among the cops and in that courtroom and thus thinking, “If they will not uphold the law and promote justice, why should we?!” No, I do not blame them at all!

Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Stacey Koon, if they are still alive, should never work for any police force ever again, nor should any cop caught being so abusive. And no jury involved in a case involving a black person and white people should be of one racial makeup!

Fisherman robbed by our own government!

Imagine my shock when I read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-catches-881-pound-tuna-seized-feds-194650751.html

Man catches 881-pound tuna, seized by feds

A Massachusetts fisherman pulled in an 881-pound tuna this week only to have the federal authorities take it away. It sounds like a libertarian twist on the classic novella by Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, but for Carlos Rafael, the saga is completely true.

Rafael and his crew were using nets to catch bottom-dwellers when they inadvertently snagged the giant tuna. However, federal fishery enforcement agents took control of the behemoth when the boat returned to port. The reason for the seizure was procedural: While Rafael had the appropriate permits, fishermen are only allowed to catch tuna with a rod and reel.

It would seem that unlike the fictional New England shark hunters in Jaws, Rafael didn’t need a bigger boat, just a better permit.

In an interview with the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Rafael disputes the claims from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)  enforcement division that the humungous tuna was trawled from the bottom of the Atlantic. “They didn’t catch that fish on the bottom,” he said. “They probably got it in the mid-water when they were setting out and it just got corralled in the net. That only happens once in a blue moon.”

And while Rafael is denied the mother of all fish stories, the federal impoundment of his catch also means he’s probably losing out on a giant payday. A 754-pound tuna recently sold for nearly $396,000. NOAA regulators do not share any of the proceeds from the fish’s eventual sale with a fisherman found in violation of federal rules.

“They said it had to be caught with rod and reel,” a frustrated Rafael said. “We didn’t try to hide anything. We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn’t catch it with a net.”

Rafael says he has meticulously prepared for a giant catch like this, purchasing 15 tuna permits over the past four years for his groundfish boats. He even immediately called a “bluefin tuna hot line” (yes, such things exist) to report his catch. “I wanted to sell the fish while it was fresh instead of letting it age on the boat,” he said. “It was a beautiful fish.”

Proceeds of the sale from the fish will be held in an account until the case is resolved, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement. “The matter is still under investigation,” said Monica Allen, deputy director with NOAA Fisheries public affairs. “If it’s determined that there has been a violation, the money will go into the asset forfeiture fund.”

This is insane! The only reason to restrict fishing procedures is if they are making fish or other water organisms in danger of extinction. Is there ANY evidence that tuna is endangered? That wasn’t even mentioned in the article above.

Give the man back his fish, NOAA, and don’t ever pull such a despicable stunt again!

The law is closing in on David Mabus!

David Mabus aka Dennis Markuze, is a Canadian lunatic who for years has been attacking atheists and scientists in every public forum he could reach, and getting banned for it. His first target was James Randi and he has expanded his list of targets over the years to anyone who appears to reject theism. He even attacked me on my blog a couple of times. He is able to get around the banning by morphing his screen name and using internet cafes. His messages, which often include death threats, are always rambling and totally disjointed screeds that a twelve-year old in his mother’s basement might send, if the kid had no sense of shame.

And now it looks like he is about to get busted!

This bastard needs to be jailed for life! Sign this petition to help put him away!

http://www.change.org/petitions/montreal-police-take-mabus-death-threats-seriously

Abuse of children takes many forms

Read this:

http://moms.dailybuzz.com/blog/12823-not-without-my-niece

Hi Amy,

I have a pretty awful and ugly family situation and I really don’t know what to do about it.  I feel completely helpless and I thought maybe you and your readers may have some advice or suggestions on how to proceed.  It is kind of long and involved, although I will try to make it as brief as I can.

My older sister died almost 4 years ago from cancer.  She, my parents and I all live within a mile of each other.  At the time, her daughter was 4 (almost 5)–now she is 8.  She still lives close by with her dad.

At first it seemed we were all united as a family, together in our grief.  Little by little, though, her husband withdrew from us and began to push us away.  He has never been the easiest guy to get along with and the more time that passed, the less he wanted to have anything to do with us.  My parents and I took turns watching my niece while he was at work until I got pregnant and then I mostly turned things over to them after my daughter was born.

It soon became apparent to me that my sister was the glue that held us all together.  She must have worked really hard to keep everything going and everyone pleased.  Her husband was constantly angry with my parents (who can be very overbearing and pushy, yes, but they always mean well).  He was gruff and unreachable and things became very uncomfortable.  He stopped calling me to babysit if he needed it and things were just very, very stilted and awkward.  After a while, I ceased to speak to him at all and many, many months would go by before I’d have any contact with him.  My parents still saw him daily, as they would watch my niece all day or, after she started school, put her on the bus or take her off the bus and watch her until he got home from work.

Things became even more complicated when he started dating his girlfriend.  At first she seemed nice and my parents thought it would be good for my niece to have someone around the house again.  About a year ago, his girlfriend moved in and ever since then, she has methodically and meticulously worked to remove every trace of my sister from that house and has made it more and more difficult for us to spend time with my niece.  I have only met her once, this past December at my niece’s birthday party.  She shook my hand and gave me the once over with a look of disgust on her face.  Then she spent the next 2 hours trying to pretend like she wasn’t watching my every move.

I have heard over and over again from my parents how she speaks to them–rude is putting it mildly.  She is apparently completely disrespectful to them and so is he.  It is really hard for me to watch all of this.  I am pretty sure that my parents die a little each day that they have to go through this.  When my niece’s dad calls, my dad is super nice to him and I want to vomit.  My dad tries to keep the peace and he rarely looses his cool although a few times recently he has said that he has never been more offended at how he is being treated.  I know he tries to be even keeled so he won’t piss off my niece’s dad because we’re all afraid he won’t let us see her anymore.  Someone once said, “He has the prize.”  And it’s true.  My niece is the prize.

A few times recently, my niece’s dad and his girlfriend have either been late or forgotten to pick up my niece at the bus stop after school and she has had to wait on her stoop for someone to come home.  My parents are incensed.  To make sure she wasn’t left outside again, my dad has taken to cruising by the bus stop to ensure that someone is there to meet her.  Today my mom told me that my niece’s dad and his girlfriend have decided to enroll my niece in an after school program at a local Tae Kwon Do school  Their van will pick her up at school, take her to the studio where she’ll do homework and take Tae Kwon Do lessons.  This is actually pretty cool and my niece is excited and I am excited for her.  However, the plan is for this to happen M-F.  Which means that we will never see her!  They do stuff on weekends so we typically get to visit with my niece after school.  My mom is beside herself and my stomach aches just thinking about it.  I’m so angry, so quietly angry.

I am positive that the girlfriend is quietly whispering in my niece’s dad’s ear.  He may have never liked us but everything that has happened lately is so diabolical and I don’t see him doing this on his own.  I want to ask her WHO THE EFF ARE YOU LADY?  You’re his girlfriend, not his wife.  She seems like a snake.  My niece may be too young to stand up for herself and her Daddy is her man.  It pains me to see how they treat her–they put her second all the time.  I mean, yes, the Tae Kwon Do is neat but I also see it as now they don’t have to worry about remembering to pick her up or be home early.  She’ll be out of their hair for a while, they don’t have to help her with her homework, etc.  It’s all very convenient.

I love my niece, adore her and I never, ever see her.  It is literally breaking my heart and it is making my parents even more wrought with grief.  My niece is our link to my sister and they are essentially taking her away from us by making it virtually impossible to see her and spend time together.  My daughter (who will be 3 soon) constantly asks me if we can play with my niece and I cannot take having to say “Niece is with her Daddy” again and again.  These cousins should be able to build their relationship.  I also have a son who is now 10 months and could potentially have no memory of ever having spent any time with her.

So tell me…what to do?  Anything?  Sit back and let this happen?  (This is what I’ve done and it hasn’t worked.)  I don’t feel like I have any leg to stand on to confront them.  I just don’t know where to go or what to do or how to begin.

Thanks.
Heartbroken Aunt

Let’s look at some passages from this letter for some clues to what went wrong.

It soon became apparent to me that my sister was the glue that held us all together.  She must have worked really hard to keep everything going and everyone pleased.

No one person should be holding together a family that is really meant to be together. In truth, the sister started the trouble by marrying a guy who was not compatible with the rest of her family. Unless you intend to disown the rest of your family to be only with your husband, that is ALWAYS a mistake.

About a year ago, his girlfriend moved in and ever since then, she has methodically and meticulously worked to remove every trace of my sister from that house and has made it more and more difficult for us to spend time with my niece.

This is flatly dishonorable. This girlfriend is being abusive toward’s the memory of the little girl’s MOTHER. If the girl’s father tolerates this, what does that say about his true attitude towards his dead wife and his daughter? He needs to find a woman who will be a replacement for the girl’s mother, not just someone to be his new sex partner! His priorities are screwed up, to the point where he really has no business being a father. If you don’t always put your child’s needs FIRST above your own, you are not being a good parent.

My wife and I have no children, so if our marriage ended we could separate and I’d never have to bother with her relatives again. But the moment any couple has a child, that complicates things. That child will have physical and emotional links to both parents and the various relatives of those parents. No outsider should EVER be allowed to come in and interfere with those links. That father in the case above shouldn’t be raising a daughter if he treats her relatives on the mother’s side as disposable.

The downfall of Richard Dawkins’ credibility

The atheist community, of which Richard Dawkins has been seen as a leader for many years, has been rocked by this latest controversy which has shown, once and for all, that just because you are atheist doesn’t mean you leave behind all your outdated attitudes and become consistently rational. If anything, Dawkins’ blatant sexism has only made him and his atheism look worse.

He wrote this in response to a complaint by Rebecca Watson about her and other women being mistreated and disrepected at atheist and freethought conferences.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/always_name_names.php#comment-4295492

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Richard

Talk about missing the point!

Others have denounced Dawkins and defended Rebecca on this, including Rebecca herself:

http://www.blaghag.com/2011/07/richard-dawkins-your-privilege-is.html

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/oh_no_not_againonce_more_unto.php

http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

Dawkins is dead wrong about this! Indeed, he couldn’t be more wrong if he were to suddenly endorse Young Earth Creationism. And since his position is so repulsive, the only honorable thing for him to do at this point is for him to state, in a public forum or even on his own website: “I’m sorry, I was being sexist and hypocritical and I will never make such foolish statements again.” And then shut the hell up afterwards for a long time.

Until he does that, I will never listen to him again.

Dentists, sex dolls and pedophiles, oh my!

This story, and variations of it, are all over the web now:

http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/life/japanese-turn-sex-doll-dental-training-robot-976056

Japanese turn sex doll into dental-training robot

Tokyo university reveals realistic synthi-patient, claims “root canal” gags play no part in its appeal
By Mark Hiratsuka 1 July, 2011

Tokyo frequently presents a story that’s borderline fiction — sex dolls for cavity-filling practice, puhlease — but the pedigree of the new Hanako Showa 2 dental training robot tells us this is no product of a fevered imagination.

We previously saw big sister, plain Jane Hanako Showa, in early 2010, noting that the synthetic patient was being used in the Showa University dental school for more than simple caries-evacuation practice on her plumbed-in dentures.

That model even incorporated the concept of being female simply so junior dentists could learn not to accidentally fondle her breasts. We kid you not.

Silicone sheath

So, a year and a half later, little sis makes her bow sheathed not in her sibling’s PVC skin, but lifelike silicone, and sporting a host of internal modifications besides.

Hanako 2 genuinely is based on a Dutch Wife-style love doll from Orient Industry in Tokyo’s Taito Ward — trust us, you don’t want to click that link at work — giving her a head start in the “realistic” stakes.

Aside from the human-feel skin on her face, mouth and tongue, she also contains robotics that allow her to mimic a range of motions, including sneezing and gagging when clumsy trainees dip their instruments too far into her gullet.

Talkative, ain’t she?

Hanako 2 also has the gift of the gab and can chat with her human companions about how she’s feeling, what ails her and, probably, how she can manage to speak with all that medical metal in her face.

Japan being Japan, there’s clearly no scope for the tried-and-trusted medical school technique of pulling passersby in off the street for a free “checkup.”

Rather, Tokyo’s finest would-be dentists get to grapple with a chimera created originally for self-gratification, but packed instead with cutting-edge robotics and put to work in the name of a nation’s oral health. It’s a beautiful thing.

My first reaction to this was, “Wow, here’s another example of Japanese technical wizardry being put to a good use! It’s certain better to train dentists with dolls that can react like real patients than with real patients that might be injured or infected due to a mistake.” Continue reading

An unbalanced view of doing business

The basic goal of all businesses in a free market capitalist system is to make as much profit as possible. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making money, as long as you are honest and fair about it. But sometimes companies look at only ONE issue of making a profit and fail to see the big picture. Consider these  stories:

Micheal was hired to be a delivery assistant for Southside Deliveries in mid-November, doing what he was told would be a temporary job that would last until Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately, he was terminated after just two weeks (early December) and the excuse the company gave was “You are too slow.” Micheal was so disgusted at being tossed so quickly that he vowed never to even use Southside Deliveries as a customer. Thus Southside Deliveries, by firing him to save profits, actually lost profits they might have made from him over the next few years.

Mary was a loyal customer of Blue River Energy for years, so she reasoned that she would be an ideal employee for it as well. She was hired to be one of its Sales Representatives  and was sent to public places like shopping malls, grocery stores, convention centers, and electronics stores. At these places, she set up her booth and tried to persuade people coming there for other things to switch to using Blue River Energy as their electricity retailer. Despite her going by the book over a two month period, she never sold enough policies to satisfy management, and she was suddenly terminated by her supervisor when she went out to do another day’s work. He simply took her materials and table from her and left her in shock. Soon afterwards, she switched to another electric company, AP Power, because she felt totally betrayed.

Henry signed up for employment with a temp agency, and was sent out a week later to do work at a factory owned by Masters Manufacturing. He worked hard all day, and never got the impression from the supervisors that anything was amiss. But the next day, he got a call from the temp agency that Masters Manufacturing had rejected him. “They said you were too slow, ” was all Henry was told. Henry felt that was unjust, since he’d only done as he was told by those same people who rejected him….and vowed never to buy another cell phone or other electronic device made by Masters Manufacturing.

Now, there is nothing wrong with firing a worker who commits acts of direct insubordination or disrespect for either management or customers,  vandalism, assault of another employee, theft, drunkeness or drug abuse on the job, or some other illegal activity. In my opinion, those should be the reasons to fire employees and nothing else. Terminating someone because he is slightly less productive than someone else is a form of discrimination. What if this is due to a mental or physical disability, rather than laziness? What if the employee is new and just needs time to get used to his job? What if the employee’s contributions still count for something, as does the decision of the former employee to boycott the business after his termination?

Workers need to get together and stop letting companies bully them into ruin. They can do that by boycotting any company that treats them as disposable. Maybe if enough people start doing that, then the companies will start treating workers with more respect!

ATTENTION ALL SPAMMERS!

Part of a spam e-mail

Image via Wikipedia

I just found NINE spam messages among my comments to be moderated here, and I am really irritated. So, let me state for the record……………………I AM NOT INTERESTED IN GETTING MY PENIS ENLARGED, YOU PERVERTS, NOR WILL MY BLOG BE USED AS ADVERTISING FOR SUCH THINGS! TAKE YOUR WORTHLESS CRAP ELSEWHERE!!!

Priestly Celibacy is unbiblical and stupid!

Cover of "Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy...

Cover via Amazon

For many centuries, all clergy in the Roman Catholic Church have been required to be celibate, despite the total absence of any scriptural basis for this policy. Indeed, there is a clear statement in the New Testament against it!

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%203&version=NIV

1 Timothy 3

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) [Emphasis mine]

Continue reading

The Irish people must abandon Catholicism!

It is painful for me to proclaim that, despite being a non-theist who was never a Catholic. I know all too well how deeply embedded Catholicism is in the spirit of Ireland; a major theme of past Irish rebellion against English domination was the British being Protestant and the Irish being Catholic. Without the support of the Catholic Church, Ireland might never have won its political freedom. But now the time has come for the Irish people to seek their spiritual freedom as well, and so they must throw off the Catholic dogmas and institutions too!

Why? Because of this report:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_eu/eu_ireland_catholic_abuse

Continue reading

Slammed by an electric company

First, read this:

http://www.fcc.gov/cib/consumerfacts/slamming.html

{{{“Slamming” is the illegal practice of switching a consumer’s traditional wireline telephone company for local, local toll, or long distance service without permission. The slamming rules also prohibit unreasonable delays in the execution of an authorized switch by your local telephone company. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) slamming liability rules provide a remedy if you’ve been slammed, discourage slamming by removing the profit, and protect consumers from illegal switches. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau can also take action against slammers.}}}

Did it ever occur to the federal and state governments of the United States that electric companies might pull the same $#itty stunts?

At about 7:00 on the morning of December 9, 2010, we suddenly lost power at our home. Thinking it was a mere power outage, I called ONCOR, which manages our electric grid in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to have it fixed. But instead,

  1. We were told our power supply had been DISCONNECTED and that we had to talk to our electric retailer!
  2. TXU is supposed to be our retailer. But when we called them, we were told that we had been switched to another company on Dec. 1. We had no prior knowledge of this, nor could TXU tell us what the new company was. We were given another number to call, for ONCOR’s customer service line (the first number I had called was for power outages only).
  3. ONCOR then told us that the company that we had been switched to was Direct Energy. We were given their number to call.
  4. Direct Energy confirmed the switch and indicated that a sales rep for them had talked to my wife Cheri. But Cheri remembered nothing about asking to be switched. I told them they had no business cutting off our power, that I would dispute the charges and we wanted to be restored to TXU and have our power restored as well ASAP!
  5. At 9:30, our power was restored.

Consider yourselves warned! It could happen to you!

Attacking homophobia and bullying in the Fort Worth City Council

Having lived in the Fort Worth area all my life, I was never prouder of that than I was when I saw this video on YouTube. For the people of Texas, there is hope for greater enlightenment as long as people like Joel Burns and myself are around!

Such courage may cause him to be voted out of office, but it may also lead to a revolution. Let us keep up the pressure to stop the hate, the violence and the ignorance.

I’ll add this much older voice to Mr Burns’ as well:

Because bigotry is evil no matter where it comes from, and even if religion or social standards support it.

Who is the real pervert here?

There is a public menace in the state of Michigan, a bully who is engaging in tactics that bring total disgrace to his office. And his name is Andrew Shirvell. He is an Assistant Attorney General in that state, and he is harassing a college student named Chris Armstrong who is the President of his student body at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Armstong is not even a suspect in any crime; his only “crime” in Shirvill’s eyes is being openly gay. CNN has exposed the abuses of Shirvell:

Sorry, but while the First Amendment may allow individuals to express whatever views they wish, there is no prohibition against firing a homophobic extremist from any job he holds.

Indeed, not only should Shirvell be fired, he should immediatly be committed to a mental hospital and subjected to a battery of tests to determine what, if any, mental illness he actually has!

And next time Attorney General Mike Cox comes up for reelection, I call upon the people of Michigan to VOTE HIM OUT! How dare he duck his responsibilities in this case!

Oh, and Shirvill is not only a sick bigot, he is a coward too. He has hidden the blog he was using to attack Armstrong:

https://www.blogger.com/blogin.g?blogspotURL=http%3A%2F%2Fchris-armstrong-watch.blogspot.com%2F

This blog is open to invited readers only

http://chris-armstrong-watch.blogspot.com/

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In case you think I’m being hyperbolic, consider the case of San Francisco politician Dan White and his murder of two other politicians in the city, including Harvey Milk, who was openly gay. Can we risk a repeat of that in Michigan?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_White

NEVER AGAIN!!!