Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Jesus Cult was all about magic mushrooms???

It would be something of an understatement to call this a mind boggling theory.

In 1970, the famed Dead Sea Scrolls scholar John Marco Allegro published the following series of articles in the London Sunday Mirror, UK. This series of articles was to announce that Christianity is based on a fertility-mushroom/drug cult, and that Jesus was none other than the mushroom itself.

Read more and see some intersting artwork at Sacred Mushroom and the Cross

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Jesus is the reason for the season."

"Jesus is the reason for the season."

Actually, no he isn't. According to the data in the Gospels, Jesus was born in the spring, early fall at the latest. The celebration of Christmas was a circa 400 AD (AKA CE) move by the Church to try and co-op pagan Yule festivals and the celebration of Apollo's birth. As a result the leaders of the pre-Catholic church decided to manufacture a celebration around the birth of Christ and schedule it to roughly coincide with the assorted Yule festivals.

Christmas trees, (Which may be forbidden by Jeremiah 10:1-5) the gift exchange, most the symbolism in Christmas decoration, even Santa Claus, are all Yule trappings. Jesus was clumsily grafted onto the existing traditions like a massive gold cross sprouting out of Stonehenge. A Catholic Saint was eventually tacked onto the Santa clause figure as an "origin" even though Santa predates Christ by 3,000 to 4,000 years. Comic book fans call this a retcon.

In the end, Christmas has very little to do with Christ. If you stripped away all the pagan trappings you'd be left with an extra church service Christmas Eve, another on Christmas day and a nativity. Unless of course the Nativity was stolen from the celebration of Apollo's birth. At that point you're left with the extra church services. Given everything else the church in Rome stole from the pagans, I wouldn't put it past them to have "borrowed" the nativity as well.

And don't get me started on the difference between Angels as described in the Bible and the winged androgynous sissies on Hallmark greeting cards.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christian Side Hug

I know this may sound racist, but, with rare exception, white people should never attempt to rap. This rule is even more important when people are attempting to write over the top religious lyrics with no comprehension of what makes a good song. Choosing to rap is NOT a way to cover a lack of musical talent. A lesson these nit-wits clearly missed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

About 'Twilight'

Twilight is the story of a 109 year old, blood sucking pervert who hangs out at high schools and stalks an underage girl because she "smells" right. He then proceeds to spend his nights watching her sleep and his days telling her how much she needs him to protect her.

And this is supposed to be romantic???

Let's make a slight change to the story. Let's make Edward a perfectly mortal 54 year old blood fetishist instead of a vampire and he's her Geometry teacher. This gives him a reason to be in the school, something he didn't have before. Don't make ANY other changes except ones needed to accommodate those tweaks.

Is it still romantic when he spends his nights watching her sleep and his days telling her how much she needs him all because of how she smells?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Unsubscribe request

I somehow got on the mercola mailing list. I just sent an unsubscribe request. When doing so I was asked why I was unsubscribing. This is the explanation I gave:

I was really sickened by the slew of misinformation and outright lies being spread by this newsletter. The easily debunked anti-vaccine nonsense alone was nauseating. It's clear that the newsletter promotes not science base medicine but whatever trendy quack idiocy is making the rounds.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is this some sort of holistic colon cleanse remedy I haven't heard of?

Some things just hurt one's brain to read:

Fulminant acute colitis following a self-administered hydrofluoric acid enema.

Cappell MS, Simon T.

Department of Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson (Rutgers) Medical School, New Brunswick.

A 33-yr-old white male presented with bloody diarrhea, leukocytosis, and left lower quadrant direct and rebound tenderness after a self-administered concentrated hydrofluoric acid enema while intoxicated from intranasal cocaine administration. Intraoperative flexible sigmoidoscopy and a gastrografin enema revealed severe mucosal ulceration and edema in the rectum and sigmoid colon. Laparotomy revealed an ulcerated, necrotic, and purulent sigmoid colon and intraperitoneal pus. The patient underwent a limited sigmoid resection and a Hartman procedure. Five months later, the patient presented with a rectal stricture which was resected. This case demonstrates that a hydrofluoric acid enema can cause fulminant acute colitis and chronic colonic strictures.

Hydrofluoric acid, the stuff the guy used in the enema, is used to etch glass. He got the brilliant idea after snorting cocaine. Five months later they were still stitching his rear end back together.

I can suspect Nancy Reagan never thought of using something like this as part of the "Just Say No" campaign.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Philip

"The woman at my polling place asked me do I believe in equality for gay and lesbian people. I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her: what do you think I fought for in Omaha Beach?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Keanu Reeves Conspiracy Theory

There's a new conspiracy theory floating around the Internet. It's proponents are still trying, and failing, to get some traction so it may yet die on the vine. The theory is an amusing one. Allow me to let one of the posts pimping the theory to speak for itself:

The painting on the far left is of actor Paul Mounet and it was done in 1875. Today, that same actor is known as Keanu Reeves.
But wait! There's more!
According to Wikipedia (Jean) Paul Mounet was a French Actor who lived from October 1847 – February 1922. Keanu Charles Reeves was born born September 2, 1964, leaving about 42 years "unaccounted for" according to the theory.

Is it silly?

Oh yes. The idea of Keanu Reeves having been kicking aorund since 1847 is very silly. The most amusing thing about the entire theory is that the paintings of Mounet provide proponents of this theory even MORE evidence than folks like David Icke and his instance that shape shifting reptilian aliens secretly rule the Earth. If the popularity of conspiracy theories was based on the supporting evidence the Mounet / Reeves "connection" would shoot to the top of the charts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Koala story

Just a bit of silliness circulating the web.

A koala was sitting in a gum tree smoking a joint.

when a little lizard walked past, looked up and said, 'Hey Koala! What are you doing?'




The koala said, 'Smoking a joint, come up and have some.'

So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a few joints. After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was 'dry' and that he was going to get a drink from the river.

The little lizard was so stoned that while trying to drink he leaned over too far and fell into the river. A crocodile saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard, 'What's the matter with you?'

The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he had been sitting with the koala in the tree, smoking a joint, but got too stoned and fell into the river while taking a drink.

The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest. He found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing a joint. The crocodile looked up and said,


'Hey you!'

The koala looked down at him and said,

'Shiiiiiiiiiiit dude...
How much water did you drink!?'

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The "Smoking Tooth"

There's a video out there called the "Smoking Tooth" video, depicting a lot of vapor rising from a recently extracted tooth that contained a silver filling. Silver fillings contain trace amounts of mercury. The video claims that the vapor rising from the filling is mercury. There's one small problem with this claim.

Mercury vapor is heaver than air.

If mercury was indeed coming off that tooth as vapor, the vapor would be FALLING not rising. Whatever is coming off that tooth, it's not mercury vapor. Anyone with dental training would have received enough basic science education to know this.

Why then is the narration in the video talking about mercury, when basic chemistry tells us that the vapor RISING from the tooth can't be mercury vapor? Is this a deliberate fabrication, or mere scientific illiteracy and incompetence? Is IAOMT, the distributors of the video, engaging in deliberate fraud, or merely displaying fundamental ignorance of the materials involved?

In short is the IAOMT lying or just plain stupid?

You can check out Mercury Fillings: A Mouthful of Death! by Skeptoid for more details, including the rather shocking fact that a chemist was involved in the production of the video! I shudder to think about the quality of work coming from a chemist who doesn't know mercury vapor would fall in air. You'd think if it was a deliberate fake he'd at least know to have falling vapor!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Few Notes About Homeopathy

A while back I posted "Scam artists Offer Fake Flu "Immunization" and it's legal." and it, like most the content on my blog, languished in obscurity. Then a true believer in homeopathy posted a rather comical reply where they tried to defend a methodology based on 200 year old misinformation about the human body. I started writing a response and it grew into the post below.

Defining Terms

"Medicine" can be broadly divided into two categories. Science based and mythology based.

Science based medicine, also known as evidence based medicine, relies upon research, clinical trials and the overall advancement of knowledge to progress. Treatments and recommendations change over time as we learn more about the human body and the cause of disease. A few hundred years ago if you went to a doctor with a digestive complaint you were likely to be told that your humors were out of balance. Today your doctor is able to examine you, talk to you about your symptoms, run tests when necessary and prescribe a personalized treatment program based upon about 100 years of modern medicine. Modern medicine is far more likely to actually work.

The advances of science based medicine can be clearly demonstrated by comparing the infant mortality rates and overall health of, for example, stone age tribes in undeveloped portions of the modern world to the average citizens of France, Japan or the USA. Modern medicine makes us healthier. Brian Dunning goes into more detail on Skeptoid in "Natural Hygiene: Health Without Medicine (or Wisdom)"

Mythology based medicine however is a bit different. At some point some kook comes up with a set of rules and treatments. Those "treatments" are then passed on with little to no modification. One easy way to spot a mythology based medicine is that it changes very little, if at all, when new information is introduced.

Homeopathy is one of those sad, pathetic remnants of the days when little accurate information was known about the human body. I could go into a long discussion about what homeopathy is and how it differs from herbal or science based medicine but more articulate people have already done that for me:

Podcasts, web sites and videos where you can learn more:

James Randi explains the history, theory and the "4 rules of homeopathy" part 1

James Randi explains the history, theory and the "4 rules of homeopathy" part 2

Here be Dragons, an introduction to critical thinking

James Randi takes on "Head-On" the homeopathic headache "treatment."

QuackCast 3. Homeopathic Theory Of all the kinds of alt.med available, Homeopathy has to be the most retarded. And thats saying something. Listen and see why.

QuackCast 4. Homeopathy Clinical Trials. Clinical trials of homeopathy are of poor quality and treat self limited diseases. The better the study, the less well homeopathy does. In the best meta analysis to date, it is concluded that homeopathy doesn't work. Duh.

QuackCast 12. How to Identify Quackery and Homeopathic Horrors. Seven rules of thumb to identify quackery, with examples. Also more on the potential dangers of homeopathy.

The Skeptics dictionary definition of Homeopathy

Homeopathy: Pure Water or Pure Nonsense?Most homeopathy users believe that it's some kind of herbal remedy. Is it?

What's the harm in homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a practice created by Samuel Hahnemann that believes that incredibly minute quantities of substances dissolved in water can have powerful effects. Here are 437 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake Homeopathic "remedies" enjoy a unique status in the health marketplace: They are the only category of quack products legally marketable as drugs. This situation is the result of two circumstances. First, the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was shepherded through Congress by a homeopathic physician who was a senator, recognizes as drugs all substances included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. Second, the FDA has not held homeopathic products to the same standards as other drugs. Today they are marketed in health-food stores, in pharmacies, in practitioner offices, by multilevel distributors, through the mail, and on the Internet.

This of course is jut the tip of the iceberg.

Searching for the Research

I've spent a good deal of time trying to find a homeopathy study that met the following criteria:

1. Double or triple blind
2. Placebo controlled
3. Had a large sample size
4. Showed an effect larger than placebo and the study's margin of error.
5. An objective measurement of clinical effectiveness, as opposed to a subjective one.
6. Rigorous methodology.

I haven't found any.

I've found a lot of garbage. I found small pilot studies of less than 50 people. I saw "positive results" that were so small that the study's margin of error made them indistinguishable from placebo. The simple fact is the more competently conducted the study, the smaller the result gets for homeopathy.

Now, Rene David can call me "simply ignorant" until the cows come home, but that won't change the fact that I have actual science on my side and Rene is relying upon mythology and anecdotes. I have the facts, Rene has wishful thinking and a misguided faith in nonsense. I'd love it if Rene could provide me with a few studies that met the six criteria I outlined above. In the past I've asked homeopaths for actual research that indicated efficacy. What I got were the titles of dozens of small studies showing tiny effects, none of which met the criteria I'd requested.

Where Zicam fits in

The closest anyone came was to mention Zicam, which is a "2C" dilution. The "2" means it's been diluted twice. The "C" means each dilution was 1 part source material to ten parts water. A 1C dilution would therefore be a 10% solution and a 2C dilution would be 1%. As a point of reference Household bleach is a 5.25% dilution of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCI) and a few tablespoons of that is enough to kill the bacteria in 5 gallons of water. Depending on the compound, 1% can be well in the range of a clinical dosage. Calling Zicam a homeopathic remedy is pure marketing.

The more common "X" designation on homeopathic remedies means it was diluted to 1 part per 100. this means a 1X dilution is a 1% solution. By the time you get to the 30X and 200X dilutions used for many homeopathic remedies, you could drink an entire Olympic swimming pool of the "treatment" and never encounter a single molecule of the original ingredient. The Mentalist James Randi will often start demonstrations by taking and entire bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, homeopathy is bunk. The people claiming otherwise are relying upon shoddy "research" and outdated fantasies about how the human body works. I'm sure most homeopaths are convinced that there's actual science behind their cute little mythology. I suspect most of them are sincere in placing 200 year old misinformation ahead of modern medicine. That doesn't change the fact that they're wrong. Homeopathy is, at best, a placebo. Relying upon a placebo in place of actual medicine can kill you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crocodile Poo as a Topical Contraceptive

I was participating in an online discussion about an "alternative therapy" for which there's no actual evidence of efficacy. In short, the sellers make wild claims but have no proof of those claims. One person in the forum posted the following as part of their defense of the unproven:

"I find it interesting that so many people are willing to poo-poo something with which they have no experience. Have they actually tried the water and determined that there are no effects or benefits? If they opened their mind enough to get past their prejudice, they might discover life changing enlightenment."

My response:
I could use the same logic to ridicule others for not using crocodile poo as a topical contraceptive. The Ancient Egyptians used it as a contraceptive AND as an anapestic on woulds. How can you ridicule it? Have you spoken to the people who use crocodile poo as a topical contraceptive? You have NO experience with it, so you have NO right to question it!

Clinical evidence? Bah. Who needs clinical proof when I can produce a stack of testimonials from people who did NOT get pregnant when they speared crocodile poo on their genitals before intercourse.

There's a whole list of compounds in crocodile poo that will kill sperm and it's all natural to boot! Who CARES if the arguments made in defense of this therapy are easily dismantled with a few minutes of research and a rudimentary understanding of biology and chemistry? The arguments SOUND scientific and plenty of folks who don't understand chemistry believe them! The very POPULARITY I claim for CrocPoo(tm) contraceptive cream is proof enough that it works, right?

I'm now tempted to create a web site for CrockPoo Contraceptive and use it to parody the ramblings of the ignorant and deluded who are promoting or buying quack remedies.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Few Notes on Water Powered Cars

Let's walk through a quick example of a water powered car.

Let's say you start with 100 Newtons of energy in the battery.

You use that energy to perform electrolysis on water. Let's be wildly optimistic and say you only lose 10% of the energy to heat, noise and friction. That leaves you with 90 Newtons of energy in the form of Hydrogen.

You then use the Hydrogen to power an internal combustion engine. There's isn't some magical way to burn hydrogen that's "better" than internal combustion, even though some water powered car proponents seem to forget this. Again, we'll make wildly optimistic assumptions and assume you only lose 10% of the energy in both powering the car AND recharging the battery. This leaves you with 81 Newtons of Energy in the battery.

On the next cycle, you only have 81 of the original 100 Newtons to work with. This means you'll be able to produce less hydrogen.

Keep in mind, energy is used by moving the car. Even if you found some magical zero loss way to convert the electricity into hydrogen and then combust the hydrogen, you still lose energy in the process of moving the car. That 100 Newtons of energy will get whittled down and on each cycle you'll have less and less energy with which to perform electrolysis and thus less hydrogen to burn.

Water powered car proponents skirt over this simple bit of science and pretend they can magically get more energy out of burning the hydrogen than it took to separate the water in the first place. Doing so would violate one of the most fundamental laws of physics. Anyone who found a way to do this, who managed to unseat a basic principal of the cosmos like the laws of Thermodynamics would sweep away Newton and Einstein as irrelevant footnotes.

Realistically, if you have a charged battery, it makes more sense to drive the engine directly. This allows you to use all the energy that would be lost during electrolysis and combustion.

But don't take my word for it. Popular Mechanics got their hands dirty testing some of these magical perpetual motion engines.

"The Truth About Water-Powered Cars: Mechanic's Diary"

"Water-Powered Cars: Hydrogen Electrolyzer Mod Can't Up MPGs"

"Why Water Won't Improve Your MPG: A PM and Dateline NBC Investigation"

You can also check out "The great "run your car on water" scam" for more detailed information on the con artists selling conversion kits.

Scam artists are using claims of a "Big oil conspiracy" to get people to buy plans for electrolysis devices that don't improve gas mileage. The simple fact is if these devices worked, auto manufacturers would be building them into cars as improved fuel economy is a MAJOR selling point in most markets.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Who am I to God?

I'd currently describe myself as vaguely protestant, ranging from moderate to liberal in my beliefs and views.

I was raised in a conservative home attending churches affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The 700 Club was on TV daily and my parents were members of said club. I was raised to be suspicious of charismatics, but televangelists like Pat Robertson were OK, even though Pat was a bit liberal at times. I was a Creationist and all around Conservative until College. I even listened to Rush Limbaugh and taped his TV show when it was on the air.

Then that pesky corrupter "knowledge" entered my mind. For example, the more I learned about the Bible, the more I realized that vast swaths of it were never meant to be taken literally by the original authors. Actually meeting people outside the safety zone of my youth allowed me to see that the black and white morality I'd been taught was inadequate for navigating the real world. I soon found myself disgusted with the behavior of many in organized religion and it wasn't until a few years later that I started separating that disgust from my questions about theology and God. My family and I don't discuss religion anymore, not after the last shouting match about sex ed. To give you a frame of reference my Mother still thinks George W did a bang-up job.

In terms of specific dogma and beliefs, I'm still reevaluating that. I haven't really "settled in" theologically speaking. I'm not entirely sure "settling in" is a healthy thing religiously, as most people seem to act like the need to explore and learn has come to an end when they do.

Monday, August 31, 2009

An observation about Religion and Pride

Why can't we just admit we don't know where the universe came from?

Because the unknown is frightening. It's more comfortable to assume a benevolent deity created everything as his own personal ant farm than to contemplative the prospect of an unthinking universe unconcerned with your existence.

Religion is, in many ways, the very peak of arrogance. A humanist view depicts human life as an accident, created by no one and likely unremarkable in the cosmos. If you insert God, then we're suddenly VERY IMPORTANT. We go from being the descendants of some accidental self replicating RNA to being part of the intimate design of the cosmos itself. Instead of being an offshoot of what the laws of physics happen to be we're the REASON those laws were CREATED to be the way they are.

Believing in a personal God elevates you. It makes you important instead of irrelevant. Instead of being one of the 6 or 7 BILLION creatures pretty much just like you, the most important entity in all of existence cares so deeply about you that he suffered personal agony just do you could spend eternity with him.

You can see the raw ego of religion in how the religious often describe atheists. Instead of seeing the surpassing humility of admitting "I am nothing" they convince themselves, through a grotesque parody of logic, that such an admission is somehow prideful. Insisting the universe, in all its vastness and glory, was created for you and your own kind is transmuted through this alchemical "logic" into an act of humility.

Being Christian does not preclude an honest self assessment. Pride is a major component in religion. Why do you think there are so many warnings about it in the Bible? If we are indeed the peak of creation, if intelligent life is the reason God crafted the universe, then isn't that something that can swell one's head? Doesn't that make it even MORE important for Christians, indeed most theists, to have a keen awareness of how innately arrogant our beliefs are?

Even when I was so far to the right I complained that Rush Limbaugh was a bit liberal, I saw the argument of atheism being itself arrogant to be a comically misguided thesis. Sure, you can find plenty of noteworthy atheists who are arrogant SOBs, but then most people who achieve a significant degree of fame and notoriety are equally arrogant. The problem is, theist critics assume that atheists are trying to place themselves above God, or elevate themselves to a peak position. They honestly can't understand that many atheists don't place ANYONE at a divine level. Knocking God off the pedestal does not automatically elevate everyone else.

Personally, I blame Satan. Not a literal Satan mind you, as his material existence is irrelevant here. I blame the common interpretation of scripture and tradition that depicts Satan as a rebel who sought to unseat God and take his place. This narrative has infected the human consciousness to the point where many Christians can't even contemplate atheists without seeing them as mini-Lucifers, out to unseat God and rest their own rumps upon the divine throne. They don't understand that the statement "I see no proof of God" is not even in the same ballpark as "I AM God." Knight VII's insistence upon humanism being inherently arrogant is based, in part, upon the inability to make such distinctions.

I've heard many pastors and speakers claim that atheism is inherently prideful and arrogant. I've never heard a decent explanation of WHY they believed this to be so. The most common explanation was that atheists "want to make up their own rules," an accusation that's simply not true. I suspect many of the people using that argument are themselves so morally bankrupt that the only way they can behave civilly is with the threat of a vengeful God and violent government looming over them. They falsely, and without foundation beyond their own hearts, equate the removal of God with the dissolution of morality and base their objection to atheism upon that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

250 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG

Copypasta a friend sent me a LOOONG time ago.

1. Cannot base characters off the Who's drummer Keith Moon.
2. A one man band is not an appropriate bard instrument.
3. There is no Gnomish god of heavy artillery.
4. My 7th Sea character Boudreaux is not 'Southern' Montaigne.
5. Not allowed to blow all my skill points on 1pt professional skills.
6. Synchronized panicking is not a proper battle plan.
7. Not allowed to use psychic powers to do the dishes.
8. How to serve Dragons is not a cookbook.
9. My monk's lips must be in sync.
10. Just because my character and I can speak German, doesn't mean the GM can.
11. Not allowed to berserk for the hell of it, especially during royal masquerades.
12. Must learn at least one offensive or defensive spell if I'm the sorcerer.
13. Must not murder canon NPCs in their sleep, no matter how cliche they are.
14. Ogres are not kosher.
15. Plan B is not automatically twice as much gunpowder as Plan A.
16. I will not beat Tomb of Horrors in less than 10 minutes from memory.
17. Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate name for a super hero.
18. When surrendering I am to hand the sword over HILT first.
19. Drow are not good eating.
20. Polka is not appropriate marching music.
21. No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
22. There is no such thing as a Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino.
23. Any character who has a sensitivity training center named after him will be taken away.
24. Even if the rules allow it, I am not allowed to summon 50,000 Blue Whales.
25. The green elf does not need food badly.
26. Valley speak has no place in a fantasy setting. Especially if you're the paladin.
27. I am not to shoot every corpse in the head to make sure they aren't a zombie in Twilight 2000.
28. The Goddess' of Marriage chosen weapon is not the whip.
29. I cannot have any gun that requires me to continue the damage code on back.
30. I am not to kill off all the vampires in the LARP, even if they are terminally stupid.
31. The backup trap handler is not whoever has the most HP at the time.
32. I cannot buy any animal in groups of 100 or over.
33. There is no such skill as 'improvised cooking'
34. I am not allowed to base any Droid off any character played by Joe Pesci.
35. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to play R2 units.
36. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to sit on the same side of the table.
37. They do not make black market illegal cyberweapons for rodents.
38. When investigating evil cultists not allowed to just torch the decrepid mansion from the outside.
39. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'can lick their eyebrows'
40. Gnomes do not have the racial ability to hold their breath for 10 minutes.
41. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'impromptu kickstand'
42. Having a big nose adds nothing to my seduction check.
43. No longer allowed to set nazi propaganda music to a snappy disco beat.
44. Not allowed to spend all 100 character points on 100 1pt skills.
45. My character names are not allowed to be double entendres.
46. Sliver rhymes with silver because the computer frelling says so.
47. They do not make Nair in wookie sizes.
48. The elf is restricted to decaf for the rest of the adventure.
49. Not allowed to blow up the Death Star before that snotty farm kid gets his shot.
50. Not allowed to use thermodynamic science to asphyxiate the orcs' cave instead of exploring it first.
51. No longer allowed to use the time machine for booty calls.
52. My bard does not know how to play Inna Godda Davida on marachas.
53. Not allowed to start a drow character weighing more than a quarter ton.
54. Cannot pimp out other party members.
55. Before facing the dragon, not allowed to glaze the elf.
56. No matter how well I roll, a squirrel cannot carry a horse and rider at full sprint.
57. In the middle of a black op I cannot ask a guard to validate parking.
58. Expended ammunition is not a business expense.
59. Not allowed to pose the Netrunner in embarrassing positions when he's on a run.
60. Not allowed to short sheet the bedroll of impotent dieties.
61. Can only taunt the ranger about his lack of swimming after my USCG E8 saves him.
62. I am not allowed to do anything I saw Han Solo do once.
63. No, I cannot buy 10,000 marbles even if I say please.
64. My paladin's battle cry is not "Good for the Good God"
65. There is no Summon Bimbo spell.
66. Not allowed to start a character that speaks every language except ones the party speaks.
67. There is no Kung Fu manuever "McGuire Swings For Bleachers"
68. Bring him back intact includes redundant organs.
69. There is more to wizardry than magic missile. Even if I can do 200 damage automatic with no save.
70. Not allowed to cook up nerve gas in the sink even if the target number is 5.
71. There is no 'annoy' setting on a phasor
72. Not allowed to start a character who is over 100 years old unless he's an elf or dwarf. Humans are right out.
73. Not allowed to name my cudgel Ceremonial Whoopass Stick.
74. My thief's battle cry is not "Run And Live"
75. Nor is it "You take care of the orcs, I take care of the traps"
76. I am not allowed any artistic license while translating.
77. I did not get my super powers from James T. Kirk.
78. Not allowed to commission a pistol that costs more than a sedan.
79. I am not liquid metal.
80. When accepting a challenge for a duel, I must allow the other guy time to find a pistol.
81. A picture of my ex-wife is not an acceptable backup weapon.
82. Victory laps after killing the dragon with my 1d2 bow is considered in poor taste.
83. My gnome does not like big butts and he cannot lie.
84. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying a 220lb pull crossbow.
85. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying an industrial strength flamethrower.
86. Not allowed to make a superhero with a 99% chance of dodging even after the -10 penalty for a successful called shot.
87. There is no such thing as a dwarven katana.
88. My bard does not get a bonus to perform if she is obviously not wearing anything under her tabard.
89. The elf's name is not Legolam.
90. My swashbuckling fop cannot take the flaw Dark Secret: Not Gay
91. A wet towel does not constitute an improvised weapon.
92. The name of the weapon shop is not "Bloodbath and Beyond"
93. I am to remind my DM that he must never, ever give my paladin a dire boar for a mount again.
94. I cannot base my ancient kung fu master on neither Gene Simmons or Bluto Blutarski.
95. I must not put the Thunder God on the spot again.
96. No making up polearms.
97. My one wish cannot be 'I wish everything on this piece of paper was true'
98. There is no such thing as Speed Polka.
99. Not allowed to see if Jedi can parry a shotgun blast with their lightsaber.
100. When any character from a d20 sourcebook is allowed, that doesn't include System Lords.
101. I am not allowed to pave ANYTHING.
102. I am not authorized to start any civil engineering project on the taxpayer's dime.
103. There is no such thing as a Club +3 of Cup Checks
104. Nor is there a +1 Longsword, +5 against party members.
105. I am not allowed to polymorph anyone into Abe Vigoda.
106. I do not have weapon profiency in cat.
107. There is no such game as Wereshark the Buffet.
108. No, I do not get XP for every single crewman on that Star Destroyer.
109. Not allowed to kill a vampire with any part from a DC-10 larger than my car.
110. Not allowed to serenade the party even if my character has an internal tape deck.
111. I did not pick the garrote skill last week from my grandmother.
112. If the gun can't fit through the x-ray machine, it doesn't go on the plane.
113. My Droid is not allowed to paraphrase any Jack Nicholson soliloquy.
114. The Demilich only falls for getting stuffed in the bag of holding once.
115. My musical instrument does not double as a personal flotation device.
116. Not allowed to take a coffee break during the final super villain showdown.
117. I am restricted to memorizing Floating Disc only once per day.
118. I will pick a more traditional paladin weapon instead of a sledgehammer.
119. My character's names cannot be anagrams of playboy playmates.
120. Not allowed to kill another party member with a boomerang again.
121. I am not a contractor for Dragon Cave Cleaning Services Inc.
122. The paladin's alignment is not Lawful Anal.
123. Not allowed to forget to mention traps when the powergamer has point.
124. I cannot insert the words "Kill Phil, Sorry Phil" into any list of instructions.
125. Lingerie can only snap coincidentally so many times per day.
126. Dwarves do not count as burrowing animals.
127. Not allowed to download AOL 6.0 on the Arasaka mainframe.
128. Polka Gnomes exist only in my mind.
129. Not allowed to name my ship The Antidisestablishmentarianism.
130. I am not authorized to form the head.
131. Not allowed to bet how many times the lich bounces.
132. There is no such feat called "Death Blossom"
133. My acrobat cannot balance on the warlord's head for more than one round.
134. The King's Guards official name is not "The Royal Order of the Red Shirt"
135. I cannot demand payment in electrum, backrubs or bubblewrap.
136. I cannot start the 7th Sea campaign with 3 confirmed Drachen kills.
137. I do not have a scorching case of lycanthropy.
138. If the mere thought of it costs the others sanity, I'm forbidden from doing it.
139. My bard is required to take levels in the perform skill and cannot 'just play by ear'
140. The Dutch language does not exist in the Forgotten Realms.
141. My maid does not know kung fu.
142. Not allowed to give a 4 year old a sugar rush just to jack up the CR later.
143. Not allowed to by a holy symbol for every god just in case one of them is right.
144. There is no such thing as pleather armor.
145. I cannot go back in time to cut in line at the Declaration of Independence so everybody now is asked for their Terrence E. Woczinski when signing documents.
146. Not allowed to play an Australian in any game set before 1600.
147. Hobbits are not allowed to have Norse ancestry.
148. There is no Gnomish Deathgrip, and even if there was, it wouldn't involve tongs.
149. Looting the unguarded baggage train is not considered a glorious victory.
150. Not allowed to create recreational drugs in suppository format.
151. Halflings do not have a racial proficiency with the flamethrower.
152. When the guy is at -9 HP is not the best time for my cleric to convert him.
153. I will not propose to every noblewoman at the royal ball until I crit my charisma check.
154. I am not allowed to rub the monk's head for luck.
155. I am not allowed to rub any part of the elf chick for any reason.
156. When one person forgets to buy rations eating the half-elf is not our first option.
157. Any capital scale weapon is not 'my little friend'.
158. I will not declare myself a god just so I can grant myself spells.
159. Airlocks do not double as trash disposals.
160. I will not load any gatling weapon with nothing but paint rounds.
161. I will not nail every single female party member except for the elf chick played by that creepy guy.
162. What ever monster we just killed is not to be tonight's dinner.
163. Not allowed to try and make a dire version of any dog of the toy breeds.
164. I am not to tattle to the halfling assassin's mom about his career choice.
165. I am forbidden from replacing anything with folger's crystals to see if they notice.
166. Not allowed to bribe the enemy commander into withdrawing with a stolen Elvis LP collection.
167. I was not recruited by Star League for any reason.
168. I was also not recruited by 12 dwarves and a wizard to rob a dragon.
169. I am neither the pagan god nor goddess of fertility.
170. I cannot name my character Xagyg or any anagram thereof.
171. My character's dying words are not allowed to be "Hastur, Hastur, Hastur"
172. At no point can I justify spending force points on a seduction check.
173. I am not allowed to recreate Veers' March of the AT-ATs on Zhentil Keep.
174. There is no use of Shatner's spoken word album that doesn't require a humanity check.
175. I am not directly descended from either Huey Lewis or any member of the News.
176. I cannot make called shots to the plectrum, anvil, stirrup, hammer or Isle of Langerhans.
177. Stinking cloud is a privilege, not a right.
178. There are no profanities in Celestial.
179. Chummer means he is my friend, not that sharks find him tasty.
180. I have neither the touch nor the power.
181. I cannot quote Shakespeare in Crinos.
182. No figuring out the plot and killing the actual villain five minutes into the adventure.
183. There are no rules for cooking corn dogs in any d20 supplement.
184. A starting character has no need for 100gp worth of hemp rope.
185. My bard does not need roadies for a dungeon crawl.
186. No cutting line to be a god.
187. I cannot gain more than three drama die per session for making the GM pee.
188. I cannot play a elf with a scottish accent, nor a cajun dwarf.
189. Tourretes is not a flaw, it is a reason to kill the character at creation.
190. Duel wielding small animals is strictly forbidden.
191. My character is not related in anyway to Boba Fett. This goes double for Star Wars characters.
192. If the gun is best fired using the artillery skill, my character is not allowed to have it.
193. Not allowed to kill vampires with seismic charges.
194. When the other guy picks swords for the choice of weapons, that does not leave me pistols.
195. I cannot use a silent feat enambled power word stun and blame it on the dog.
196. I cannot name a character anything that I can't say politely in another country.
197. My epic level character cannot take on the minor goblin menace to his country just to stay sharp.
198. Not allowed to steal my own soul.
199. My third wish cannot be 'I wish you wouldn't grant this wish'
200. I cannot name my character cliche canon characters from other systems.
201. My thief is prohibited from speaking solely in Cant.
202. Character descriptions cannot contain two of the following words: Slavic, Tonedeaf, Karaoke, Musician.
203. My superhero's strength is not classified as snazzy, neato or bodacious.
204. I am not too sexy for the elf, too sexy for the elf, so sexy myself.
205. My 3rd ed. Red Wizard is not allowed to start a business named Thay Co.
206. I cannot forge a +1 sword of Brad's Min/Maxed Paladin/Monk Slaying.
207. The following weapons are not legal choices in a duel: Steamroller, Nerve Gas, Landmine, Midget.
208. I cannot whine about the crappy selection of magical bec de corbins.
209. My Paladin's heraldry is not a smiley face.
210. My Antipaladin's heraldry is not Mr. Yuk.
211. If at any point if my dwarf takes on the mannerisms of Macho Man Randy Savage, he dies.
212. If the party always starts the adventure in a tavern, I cannot opt to start in a brothel.
213. I am not the patron saint of common sense.
214. There is no prestige class Drizzt Slayer.
215. They do not make heavy weapons in pump action.
216. There is an upper limit to the number of Bozo boostergangers I can get in a Volkswagon.
217. If the weapon is capable of staking vampires hiding behind engine blocks, I can't have it.
218. No matter my alignment, organizing halfling pit fights is a violation.
219. In formal introductions to royalty, I must not introduce my companions as just "The Other Guys".
220. I am not the master of the low blow or the gang up.
221. If I get that Yugo up to 120mph again, that's gonna get some paradox.
222. Druids are not against my religion.
223. I cannot convince the Solo he has a cortex bomb when he really doesn't.
224. I cannot insinuate elf chicks are all easy, even though you never hear about a half gnome do you?
225. I am forbidden from monologuing.
226. Troll bubblegum...bad idea.
227. My last wish cannot be "I wish we were playing another game."
228. I cannot use my time machine to hire Hitler a hooker in 1920, thus avoiding WW2.
229. Not allowed to spontaniously check if the elf can take a punch.
230. There is no such thing as monofilament tooth floss.
231. I am not allowed to do anything that would make a Sith Lord cry.
232. It is not possible to recreate any scene from Dr. Who in Crinos.
233. If I am the medtech it is generally assumed I am going to have skill in medicine.
234. My character does not get d34 HP a level.
235. My Samedi is required to have dots in obfuscate. Plural, as in more than one, two more than none.
236. My character has no need for 24,000 cartons of cigarettes, especially in his neighbor's garage.
237. Not allowed to use more than 3 words per game that the GM has to look up the definition.
238. My bard cannot play or has ever heard of the theremin, didgeridoo or glass armonica.
239. My rockerboy cannot play or has ever heard of the theremin, didgeridoo or glass armonica.
240. Any character with more than three skills specializing in chainsaw is vetoed.
241. Cannot use the jedi mind trick to get out of a speeding ticket.
242. Not allowed to give quicklings Mountain Dew.
243. Cannot cast haste on the king during a long winded speech to get him to hurry the hell up.
244. Not allowed to taunt the rest of the party in 8 different languages because they forgot to take any.
245. Not allowed to attend any opera whose name the GM confuses with a strip joint.
246. I cannot keep selling that creepy guy's always naked elf chick to nomads every chance I get.
247. If the king rewards me with a forest, I am to assume he intends for me to keep it a forest.
248. There is no Halfling god of groin shots.
249. If a black op requires me to impersonate an employee, I cannot bill the target for overtime.
250. Superfluous Man is not a viable superhero concept.

Friday, August 21, 2009

AP Bombshell about Obama and student aid

Did you get this in your e-mail?
April 1, 2009

Final Nail In Obamas Lack Of US Citizenship Coffin?


AP- WASHINGTON D.C. - In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obamas qualifications for the presidency, the group Americans for Freedom of Information has released copies of President Obamas college transcripts from Occidental College. Released today, the transcript indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship. This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obamas detractors have been seeking.

The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obamas legitimacy and qualification to serve as president. When reached for comment in London, where he has been in meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama smiled but refused comment on the issue. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scoffed at the report stating that this was obviously another attempt by a right-wing conservative group to discredit the president and undermine the administrations efforts to move the country in a new direction.

Britain's Daily Mail has also carried the story in a front-page article titled, Obama Eligibility Questioned, leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obamas first official visit to the U.K.

In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obamas legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. Donofrios case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obamas citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obamas campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter.

It's a hoax. An April Fool's day hoax no less!

And once you do some fact checking it has a few "tells" intended to clue folks into it being a hoax. Below are a couple of links that go into detail about the hoax.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/occidental.asp

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/print_has_a_smoking_gun_been_found_to.html

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama's Birth Certificate

The debate is way past the "silly" stage, and yet more and more people are getting suckered into this comically absurd conspiracy theory.

Want to see Obama's birth certificate, including photos of the serial number and the state seal? Check out the article: The truth about Obama's birth certificate

Snopes has tackled this issue too: Claim:: A Certification of Live Birth document provided by the Obama campaign is a forgery.

USA Today ran a story about the state of Hawaii saying the certificate is genuine: Hawaii: Obama birth certificate is real

Clearly, the title of the article Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter made a foolish assumption.

Finally, Slaon.com weighs in with an article on Why the stories about Obama's birth certificate will never die

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The fake rapture conspiracy nut

I was recently directed to the online ramblings of a conspiracy theory loony at their lovely page ARE YOU PREPARED IF THE ILLUMINATI STAGES A FAKE RAPTURE OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN CHURCH?

Lovely bit of silliness, isn't it?

Allow me to extract a representative quote:

"The Illuminati now claims to have the technical capability to stage the Rapture"

Notice, no sources are given for this claim. The statement is made as if it has some kind of basis in fact, as if there was some Illuminati press agency that had made the announcement.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Teen Needs Pacemaker After 60 Line-a-Day Cocaine Habit

Teen Needs Pacemaker After 60 Line-a-Day Cocaine Habit
A teenage boy was fitted with a pacemaker after he suffered a heart attack brought on by cocaine abuse, London’s Daily Mail reported.

Tom Bertram, of Portsmouth in Hampshire, England, was spending about $330 a week on cocaine and doing 60 lines a day. Since his heart attack, the teenager told the newspaper he has learned his lesson.

“The doctors said if I took cocaine again I could die, but I’d never do that,” said Bertram, who recently turned 18. “I know I’m lucky to be alive.”

Bertram said he began experimenting with marijuana at the age of 14 and lost interest in soccer, which he used to enjoy. During his 17th birthday party, he was tempted to try cocaine, and thus began his downward spiral.

“Coke gave me such a buzz and I liked the confidence it gave me,” he said. “I never considered the risks.”

However, the “risks” left Bertram with damaged arteries, so he was fitted with a pacemaker to ensure his heart rate does not drop so low again.
You can also see a photo of the young fool who did enough coke to impress Freud.





I'm sure this has done wonders for his life expectancy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Florida does it again

Florida is often mocked for a variety of reasons. Stories like this are among those reasons:

Police: Patient Bit Doctor's Fingertip Off After Being Denied Prescription

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Authorities say a patient at a Cape Coral doctor's office bit part of the doctor's finger off after being denied a prescription.

Cape Coral police report that 45-year-old Gregory S. Powell went to see Dr. Paul Arnold Wednesday morning, and Powell became upset about not receiving prescription medication. Police say Arnold turned his back and Powell attacked the doctor. Powell reportedly bit Arnold several times, taking off the doctor's finger tip with one bite.

The finger tip was recovered at the scene and Arnold was taken to a nearby hospital.

Police have put out a warrant for Powell's arrest on a charge of aggravated battery.


The article doesn't state what KIND of prescription was involved, but based on the violent reaction of the patient I'm inclined to suspect a narcotic of some kind was involved.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quiz: Were the following statements made in reaction to:

A: New Hampshire legalizing gay marriage.
B: The 1967 US Supreme Court decision legalizing interracial marriage

"This type of legal marriage must be forbidden simply because natural instinct revolts at it as wrong.”

“I believe that the tendency to classify all persons who oppose [such marriages] as ‘prejudiced’ is in itself a prejudice,” claimed a noted psychologist.

A U.S. representative from Georgia declared that allowing this type of marriage “necessarily involves (the) degradation” of conventional marriage, an institution that “deserves admiration rather than execration.”

“The next step will be (the demand for) a law allowing them, without restraint, to … have free and unrestrained social intercourse with your unmarried sons and daughters,” warned a Kentucky congressman.

“When people (like this) marry, they cannot possibly have any progeny,” wrote an appeals judge in a Missouri case. “And such a fact sufficiently justifies those laws which forbid their marriages.”

These types of marriages are “abominable,” according to Virginia law. If allowed, they would “pollute” America.

In denying the appeal of this type of couple that had tried unsuccessfully to marry, a Georgia court wrote that such unions are “not only unnatural, but … always productive of deplorable results,” such as increased effeminate behavior in the population. “They are productive of evil, and evil only, without any corresponding good … (in accordance with) the God of nature.”

A ban on this type of marriage is not discriminatory, reasoned a Republican congressman from Illinois, because it “applies equally to men and women.”

Attorneys for the state of Tennessee argued that such unions should be illegal because they are “distasteful to our people and unfit to produce the human race.” The state Supreme Court agreed, declaring these types of marriages would be “a calamity full of the saddest and gloomiest portent to the generations that are to come after us.”

“The law concerning marriages is to be construed and understood in relation to those persons only to whom that law relates,” thundered a Virginia judge in response to a challenge to that state’s non-recognition of these types of unions. “And not,” he continued, “to a class of persons clearly not within the idea of the legislature when contemplating the subject of marriage.”

A: They were ALL about interracial marriage, but it's hard to tell isn't it?

Why Womean Can't be Bosses

http://uk.askmen.com/money/career_250/278_why-women-cant-be-bosses.html

Thompson has fallen for the classic "Confirmation bias" logical fallacy. He's filtered his observations through his biases, discarding the evidence that refutes his beliefs, while accepting the experiences that supports them.

This is a common mental defect among people who fall for scams like your average "psychic." Because they want to believe, suckers remember all the vague, unspecified "hits" a psychic makes during a reading, but forget the 99% of the conversation that consisted of little more than inaccurate guesses, hemming and hawing.

It's clear Thompson either actively dislikes women, or is trying to convey that image in the article. I'm reminded of the members of the rather sad, pathetic "True Forced Loneliness" movement and their paranoia about WHY women reject them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

An observation

Western medicine tends to absorb and use any "alternative" treatments that are proven to be effective. Aspirin is an early example. It was found that the bark of certain trees contained a compound that eased pain. Bayer went to the trouble of isolating the active compound and mass producing a purified version. Many big pharmaceutical companies have departments that test and evaluate "natural" remedies to determine what the active ingredients are.

Most of the "natural" remedies that lie outside of western medicine fall into the category of folk medicine that refuses to die out, despite there being ample evidence that it's bunk. Others, like St John's Wort, are painfully inconsistent in the dosage of active ingredients. Saint John's Wort contains what many claim is a weak MIO inhibitor. The problem is the dosage of that inhibitor varies wildly not just from one brand to the next, but even from one PILL to the next in the same bottle. People using this "natural" remedy are, as a result, self medicating with a drug whose dosage can't be satisfactorily controlled. This is a recipe for disaster, particularly when dealing with ailments like clinical depression.

Finally, there's the myth that "natural" remedies aren't as "dangerous" as science based medicine. For some inexplicable reason, people tend to think that just because a drug is less refined (and thus has more contaminants) it's magically less dangerous. What's more, people often ignore "natural" remedies when discussing potential drug interactions with their doctors.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Copypasta about weights and measures

Does the statement, “We’ve always done it that way” ring any bells?
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an odd number, don’t you think? Why was that ‘gauge’ used?

Because that’s the way they built railroads in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads. Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the ‘gauge’ they used. Why did “they” use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay!

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

And bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse’s ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now the twist to the story…

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Religion Joke

A little boy was confused by the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament. "God was such a JERK back then" he said, "I mean, he had bears eat a bunch of kids because they made fun of a prophet's bald head!"



"Well" the father began, "It's like this. God was a really severe, angry guy in the old days. The creation had gotten all messed up, Lucifer had turned against him and even though he focused all his energy on a single group of people he couldn't get them to behave."

He took a breath, considering his next words and said, "Then around 4BC or so he saw this cute Jewish chick. He went down on, er, went down to Earth, got laid, had a kid out of wedlock and pretty much did a lot of the things he'd been grousing about for a few thousand years. It really mellowed him out."

The little boy looked up at his Father and said "Are you sure we're talking about God? That sounds an awful lot like the story Mom tells of how she met you."

The Father was shocked and asked "Why, what on Earth do you mean?"

"Well" said the little boy, "She was heading home from Synagogue, you were heading to the library for some of your Seminary studies-"

"Yes, well, your mother wasn't underage when we met. And I LEFT Seminary, God just went back to Heaven and left Mary to raise Jesus with her new husba-"

"Didn't they kick you out of Seminary for knocking up a Jewish girl?"

"I think it also had something to do with her being the Rabbi's daughter. Anyway, that's why we're Unitarians now."

The boy nodded sagely and asked, "So why am I circumcised then?"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scientists: Spanking 'brings couples together'

Spanking is stressful at first, but it could bring consenting couples closer together. That's the implication of two studies of hormonal changes associated with sadomasochistic (S&M) activities including spanking, bondage and flogging.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Rush Limbaugh taught me about research

In High School I was a Dittohead (Rabid Rush Limbaugh Fan), raised in a good Lutheran home watching the 700 Club. I was also a computer geek, well versed in the ways of DOS.

During college I heard an episode of the Rush Limbaugh show where he was talking about the antitrust case then pending against Microsoft. I knew the issues inside and out, so I was excited to hear Rush's take.

Rush went on to talk about being a Mac user and how people were all upset that there was a Microsoft utility on his Mac that he'd installed but never used. He then proceeded to paint the entire issue as being about people installing Microsoft software on their computers of their own accord. He went on to completely ignore the actual issues raised in the antitrust case and instead paint a fanciful and inaccurate vision of the issue. His vision, which I would later learn was a perfect example of a straw man argument, was easy to mock and debunk, which he proceeded to do.

I realized that Rush was one of two things:

1. A liar trying to discredit Microsoft's detractors.
2. A moron with no understanding of the issue who insisted on pretending to be an expert.

Neither option appealed to me. Both interpretations meant Limbaugh was a manipulative fraud more interested in his pocketbook than in accuracy. I began to critically evaluate everything he said, researching the topics on my own. I soon realized that Limbaugh was not to be trusted. He was either lying to promote an agenda or was too lazy to do any research past collecting a few tidbits that could be twisted to support his existing beliefs. Research, I realized, was critical. You need to evaluate not just the sources that you agree with, but the ones you find objectionable. There's no such thing as a bias free news source, although some try to achieve that goal. Sticking to one source however will just ensure you only get the news with that particular bias, that you'll only ever see things from one, often censored, viewpoint.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

American Racists Take Obama To The Mat

Another notjob is running around pimping the claim that Obama was born in Kenya. These conspiracy theorists are of course gleefully ignoring the fact that Obama's birth certificate HAS been released.

It just goes to show that some people will never be swayed by actual evidence.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Attacking the cost of the Oscars

Why does The Metro keep harping about the cost of the Oscars? The Metro is ignoring the fact that Hollywood actually turned a profit. The Oscars weren't paid for with tax dollars by companies who went to Uncle Sam looking for a handout. The Oscars were paid for by people who got rich selling a popular (if generally vapid) product.

If a failing company wants to pay it's executives and extortionate salary, that's between the board and the shareholders. The problems start when those same failed executives want to get obscene bonuses paid for with funds meant to bail their companies out of a catastrophic mess. If you screwed up your company so badly you need a government handout you damn well better not be getting a multi-million dollar bonus paid for with MY tax dollars.

It's clear the Metro is trying to tap into the anger and vitriol over the government bailout excesses. They fail to do so because they chose a profitable industry to attack. Yes, most of what Hollywood produces is useless, uninteresting garbage, but they make money doing it. If they want to throw an obscene party and air it on national television let them.

Now, if MGM came begging for a hangout like CITI or GM, it would be a different story. As it is, The Metro just comes across as a sour grape merchant who chose to attack the cost of the Oscars so they didn't need to bother watching or thinking about them.

Can anyone give me a good reason why Hollywood SHOULD cut back the Oscars because the economy is bad? Given their role in propping up national morale during the Great Depression I would think reducing the Hollywood spectacle is the last thing they should do.

A cute video to start the week

Friday, February 20, 2009

God must be a royal bastard if life begins at fertilization

Let's look at the facts. One estimate is that even without birth control about 80% of fertilized eggs never reach the end of the first month. They either never attach to the uterine wall or disconnect for any one of a variety of reasons. Discounting stillbirths and crib death, we're talking about 24 BILLION dead zygotes just for the 6 billion people alive today.

Now, since we are all tainted with original sin, this means if those zygotes have souls they go straight to Hell when they're passed by the woman's body.

This means our loving God who came to Earth and died for our sins has no problem with 24 Billion souls going straight to Hell without even having drawn their first breath or even had their first heartbeat. If you want to argue that life begins at fertilization then you're also stuck with a cold, heartless God who damns 80% of all humans right off the bat. Unless you're Catholic, and the Pope declares Limbo valid this month. In that case there's 24 Billion souls in limbo instead of Hell.

And that's just for the people alive today That ignores all the generations that came and went before us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don't go away mad Eli, just go away

I'd gotten tired of the flood of e-mail from moveon.org, so I decided to take advantage of their unsubscribe option. I was asked if I wanted to switch to their weekly newsletter instead. I thought about it for a second and then concluded that I wasn't really interested in getting any more messages from them. It had been so long since I'd read anything they sent I saw no value in a weekly missive.

An hour or two later I got the following e-mail:

from Eli Pariser
date Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:05 PM
subject Don't go!
mailed-by list.moveon.org

Dear Matthew Miller,

You've been permanently unsubscribed from the MoveOn list -- if you take no more action, this'll be the last email you get from us. But please don't go!

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Call me crazy, but when I try to unsubscribe from something I generally want to be left the Hell alone, not pestered with another appeal to come back. I'm terminating contact with a digital service, not breaking up with an emotionally crippled codependent. I want an unsubscribe to actually unsubscribe me. It's a clear and definitive message to leave me alone, not an appeal for you to come back begging to let you back into my inbox.

I reported the pathetic "Please come back pretty please" message as spam to spamcop and gmail. Since moveon.org has demonstrated it's happy to keep pestering me even after I ask to be left alone, I'm also adding a filter to send any e-mail from their domain to the trash can.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dinesh D’Souza, dumb or deliberately trying to mislead?

Dinesh D’Souza recently had the following to say in Salvo Magazine on the topic of atheism:

“I don't believe in unicorns, so I just go about my life as if there are no unicorns. You'll notice that I haven't written any books called The End of the Unicorn, Unicorns Are Not Great, or The Unicorn Delusion, and I don't spend my time obsessing about unicorns. What I'm getting at is that you have these people out there who don't believe that God exists, but who are actively attempting to eliminate religion from society, setting up atheist video shows, and having atheist conferences. There has to be more going on here than mere unbelief.”

I have to wonder if Dinesh D’Souza is being deliberately misleading or is as dumb as the comment makes him sound. The unicorn comparison is a poor one, largely because no one is going around trying to enact laws or shape government policy based upon belief in unicorns. D’Souza blithely ignores the negative impact of Christian Fundamentalism on the US in recent years. Bush's abstinence only education push has resulted in an increase in teen pregnancy. The denial of the morning after pill to rape victims by fundamentalist pharmacists is ignored by D’Souza's comment.

Yes, D’Souza, there IS more going on than a mere lack of belief in God. People don't like being told what to do by fundamentalist zealots intent upon using cherry picked verses from Leviticus as a legal textbook.

If our last president had spent his eight years in office claiming to take orders from a unicorn, or using a unicorn as the basis for his foreign policy, if he'd been using unicorn related language to try and drum up support for his invasion if Iraq, then D’Souza's unicorn comparison might have been relevant. As it is, it's a vague and unrelated tangent that reveals not a crushing argument, but intellectual bankruptcy on D’Souza's part.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama Conspiracy Theories: Obama in the Bible

There are a lot of comical Obama themed conspiracy theories floating around. My favorite is the claim that Luke 10:18 refers to US President Barack Obama. Here's the "logic" behind the claim as stated by Sollog (John Patrick Ennis, born July 14, 1960), a self-proclaimed "New Nostradamus"

www.sollog.com/news/satanbarack.html

In Luke 10:18 Jesus states,

“I beheld Satan as Lightning fall from Heaven.”

How does a Jewish Rabbi, which Jesus is credited with being (John 1:38), say in HEBREW, that Satan is like LIGHTNING from heaven?

Barack, also transliterated as Baraq in Hebrew, is LIGHTNING (Strongs Hebrew word 1300). Even in Greek, Barak is LIGHTNING (Strongs Greek word 913) for the name of a person!

The ONLY WAY, a Jewish Rabbi can say in Hebrew that SATAN is LIGHTNING is, SATAN BARACK!


Let's set aside the fact that a self proclaimed Rabbi is spending his time quoting the New Testament. While we're at it we'll ignore the fact that Sollog is a convicted criminal. Instead, I'll point out that the article's cornerstone are similarities between the Hebrew word for "Lightning" and the name Barack. There's a small problem with Sollog's argument. The book of Luke was written in Greek and Jesus would have spoken not Hebrew, but Aramaic. While the Hebrew alphabet is derived from Aramaic, we only have a vague idea as to how it was actually pronounced. Ancient Aramaic recorded largely consonants, not vowels. As a result the vowels we assign to many ancient texts are based upon tradition and conventional pronunciation. This means we don't know how Jesus would have pronounced the Aramaic word for "Lightning." Sollog's claimed use of modern interpretations of now to pronounce Hebrew are irrelevant to his claim.

Without a Lightning / Obama connection, Ennis' claims fall flat. He no longer has a supporting argument.

Believing Ennis' claims requires you to play Mad Libs with the Bible, assuming words with vaguely similar pronunciations in different languages and time periods are meant as part of some kind of hidden code. Ennis' claim is just bit of Post Hoc mental gymnastics. Luke 10:18 is a clear reference to the fall of Satan and trying to claim that the verse is somehow related to the current US President is using the kind of contorted, theologically unjustified garbage dogma that lead to things like the claim that Gorbachev was the Antichrist.

Believing Luke 10:18 refers to Obama as Satan involves trivializing the Bible itself, turning it from divine revelation into some kind of encrypted and obfuscated horoscope. It's a claim fostered by people who are more concerned with reasons to hate a given politician than in actual scholarship. A lot of idiotic "rationales" have been spun around this stupidity, but in the end it's just a racist "theologian" looking for a reason to hate Obama while boosting his own readership.

Friday, February 6, 2009

censorship

I always found censorship to be absurd. Censorship makes a thing forbidden, it makes it tantalizing and draws people to it. A lot of the books on the "Banned books list" are, to be honest, drek. The ONLY reason some of them are still in print is because people made a fuss about them, canonizing an otherwise dull book because it had a few sexually charged or blasphemous scenes.

There was a TV show a season or two ago called "The Book of Daniel." It was slow moving, boring, poorly written and poorly acted. It lasted about half a season and would have died sooner had one of those religious parents' action groups not started a massive campaign to get the network to cancel it. I'd never even HEARD of it until they raised a ruckus. Something that would have died a quiet, quick death was prolonged and got a hell of a lot more exposure than it deserved because people were outraged.

Of course, that might have been the point of protesting that particular show. When something terrible is attacked and it dies the death earned by its low quality, the not jobs who were protesting get to claim credit for its downfall. It's kind of like the career of Andrew Dice Clay. I know people who claim it was moral outrage against his act that ended his career. The truth is that he isn't all that funny. The moral outrage against him prolonged his career.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Auto Industry Bailout

The Truth about Atlantis THEY don't want you to know

Atlantis was one of the fictional societies Plato described to illustrate his ideas. Before Plato, there was NO reference to Atlantis or an Atlantis like society. All such references since stemmed from Plato's obvious philosophical construct.

The hunt for Atlantis is, quite literally, as comical and laughable as people trying to find the "Real" Hogworts, Utopia or Mordor 5,000 years from now.

There was never an Atlantis, it was obvious from Plato's work he never expected anyone to think it was real. Despite this brain dead morons have spent entire lifetimes trying to manufacture "proof" of a fictional society created to illustrate philosophical ideals. While I first learned this startling truth in a college philosophy course, the Wikipedia article on Atlantis is a good starting point for those new to the topic.

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

It was a common convention in Plato's time to create a fictional society or city to illustrate a philosophical point or argument. No one really considered "Atlantis" anything more than a philosophical construct until the 19th century or so. Around that time some of the noteworthy flakes started merging assorted "lost world" myths in a desperate attempt to give them some credence. The general idea seemed to be if they took enough unrelated, unsupported legends and combined them, they could create something with a sheen of plausibility.

The fact that people are still discussing the possibility of an obviously fictional island is proof their patchwork creativity worked.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some notes on Colloidal Silver

Recommended by quacks for numerous symptoms of life, Colloidal Silver tends to turn people blue.

http://www.kval.com/news/local/12648491.html

There's also the fact that Colloidal silver doesn't actually DO anything beneficial.

Then there's the list of Colloidal Silver's side effects.

* Argyria — an irreversible blue-gray discoloration of your skin, nails and gums
* Seizures and other neurological problems
* Kidney damage
* Indigestion
* Headaches
* Fatigue
* Skin irritation
* Drug interactions with penicillamine, quinolones, tetracycline and thyroxine medications


But hey, if one WANTS to be able to be a member of the Blue Man Group with minimal makeup, you can always make it at home.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Focus on the Family goes overboard with fear mongering.

Focus on the Family has released a PDF containing several pages of dire, and increasingly irrational, predictions for the Obama presidency. The fact that it was a PDF irked me, because many people using the free acrobat reader would be unable to just copy and paste sections from the article for review and commentary purposes. In order to address this issue, I'm offering the entire text of the PDF, copied and pasted using Mac's Preview utility. This is being done to facilitate the fair use of the document for those wishing to criticize, affirm or otherwise discuss Focus on the Family's predictions for the next few yeas.

I've done no editing, other than the removal of some blank carriage returns at the end. This means all the line breaks in the PDF are intact.

1

Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America

What will the United States be like if Senator Obama is elected? The most reliable way
of predicting people’s future actions is by looking at their past actions. Jesus himself
taught, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). Anyone who has hired
employees knows that – the best predictor of a person’s future job performance is not
what he tells you he can do but what he has actually done in the past.

So here is a picture of the changes that are likely or at least very possible if Senator
Obama is elected and the far-Left segments of the Democratic Party gain control of the
White House, the Congress, and perhaps then the Supreme Court. The entire letter is
written as a “What if?” exercise, but that does not make it empty speculation, because
every future “event” described here is based on established legal and political trends that
can be abundantly documented and that only need a “tipping point” such as the election
of Senator Obama and a Democratic House and Senate to begin to put them into place.
Every past event named in this letter (everything prior to October 22, 2008) is established
fact.

This letter is not “predicting” that all of the imaginative future “events” named in this letter
will happen. But it is saying that each one of these changes could happen and also that
each change would be the natural outcome of (a) published legal opinions by liberal
judges, (b) trends seen in states with liberal-dominated courts such as California and
Massachusetts, (c) recent promises, practices and legislative initiatives of the current
liberal leadership of the Democratic Party and (d) Senator Obama’s actions, voting record
and public promises to the far-Left groups that won the nomination for him.

Many of these changes, if they occur, will have significant implications for Christians. This
letter is addressed particularly to their concerns so they will be aware of what is at stake
before the November 4 election.

Some will respond to this letter by saying, “Well, I hope hardship and even persecution
come to the church. It will strengthen the church!” But hoping for suffering is wrong. It is
similar to saying, “I hope I get some serious illness because it will strengthen my faith.”
Jesus taught us to pray the opposite: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil” (Matt. 6:13). Paul urged us to pray not for persecution but “for kings and all who are
in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every
way” (1 Tim. 2:2). So Christians should hope and pray that such difficult times do not
come. But if they do come, then it will be right to trust God to bring good out of them and
also bring them to an end.

Of course, there are many evangelical Christians supporting Senator Obama as well as
many supporting Senator McCain. Christians on both sides should continue to respect
and cherish one another’s friendship as well as the freedom people have in the United
States to differ on these issues and to freely speak their opinions about them to one
another.


2

October 22, 2012


Dear friends,

I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more. When I hear the words,

O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October of 2012, after seeing what
has happened in the last four years, I don’t think I can still answer, “Yes,” to that question. We
are not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Many of our freedoms have been taken
away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate,
and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more.

The 2008 election was closer than anybody expected, but Barack Obama still won. Many
Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed
margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far-
Left policies that had marked his career. They were wrong.


The Supreme Court

On January 20, 2009, President Obama’s inauguration went smoothly, and he spoke
eloquently of reaching out to Republicans who would work with him. Even in the next month,
when Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens announced they would step down
from the Supreme Court, nobody was very surprised – Ginsburg was already 75 years-old and in
ill health,1 and Stevens was 88. President Obama nominated two far-Left, American Civil
Liberties Union-oriented judges, and the Democratic Senate confirmed them quickly. They are
brilliant, articulate and in their early 40s, so they can expect to stay on the court for 30 or 40
years. But things seemed the same because the court retained its 4-4 split between liberals and
conservatives, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote.

The decisive changes on the Supreme Court started in June, when Justice Kennedy
resigned – he was 72 and had grown weary of the unrelenting responsibility. His replacement –
another young liberal Obama appointment – gave a 5-4 majority to justices who were eager to
create laws from the bench. The four conservative justices who remained — John Roberts,
Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — were suddenly in the minority.

Then in August 2009, two months after Kennedy resigned, Justice Scalia unexpectedly
announced his resignation due to health reasons and by October 2009 another Obama
appointment took his oath and joined the court.

1
“Election could decide fate of Roe, other big court issues,” USA Today, October 6, 2008.
3

The three remaining conservatives (known as “originalists” because they hold that the
meaning of the Constitution is its “original public meaning”) kept objecting that the role of the
Supreme Court should not be to create laws but only to interpret the Constitution and the laws
that had been passed by Congress and the state legislatures. But the six liberal justices paid no
attention. They decided cases in light of their understanding of the needs of society, and they
took more and more precedents not from the U. S. Constitution but from international laws.
From the end of 2009, Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito have been constantly outvoted 6-3,
and they are essentially powerless. It might be 20 or 30 years before enough new appointments
could be made to change the far-Left dominance of the Supreme Court.

Finally the far-Left had the highest prize: complete control of the Supreme Court. And
they set about quickly to expedite cases by which they would enact the entire agenda of the far
Left in American politics – everything they had hoped for and more took just a few key
decisions.


Same-sex “marriage”

The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme
Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual “marriage” was a “constitutional”
right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex “marriage” violated
the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Suddenly, homosexual “marriage” was the
law of the land in all 50 states, and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state
Constitutional amendment, not even Congress, had any power to change it. The Supreme Court
had ruled, and the discussion was over. This was a blatant example of creating law by the court,
for homosexual “marriage” was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, nor would any of the
authors have imagined that same-sex “marriage” could be derived from their words. But it just
followed the precedents that had been set by state supreme courts in Massachusetts (2003),2
California (2008)3 and Connecticut (2008).4

President Obama repeated his declaration that he personally was against same-sex
“marriage”, but he told the nation there was nothing he could do. The Supreme Court had ruled,
and it was now the law of the land. The president asked the nation to support the decision.

After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court
cases were reversed rather quickly — raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?”
(1) Boy Scouts: “The land of the free”? The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an
organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision
that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with
young boys. (This was to be expected with a change in the court, since the 2000 decision Boy
Scouts of America v. Dale, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts as a private organization

2
Goodridge v. Department of Health, decided by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, November 18, 2003.
3
In re: Marriage Cases, decided by the California State Supreme Court, May 15, 2008.
4
Kerrigan v, Commissioner of Public Health, decided by the Connecticut State Supreme Court, October 10, 2008.
4

to dismiss a homosexual scoutmaster, was a 5-4 decision, with Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and
Breyer dissenting even then.) 5
It had become increasingly difficult for the Boy Scouts to find meeting places anyway,
because in 2009 Congress passed and President Obama signed an expansion of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, which extended federal civil rights protections to people engaging in homosexual
behavior. So the Boy Scouts had already been kicked out of all public facilities.

(2) Elementary schools: “The land of the free”? Elementary schools now include
compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of
homosexuality as one possible personal choice. Many parents tried to “opt out” their children
from such sessions, but the courts have ruled they cannot do this, noting that education experts in
the government have decided that such training is essential to children’s psychological health.
Many Christian teachers objected to teaching first-graders that homosexual behavior was
morally neutral and equal to heterosexuality. They said it violated their consciences to have to
teach something the Bible viewed as morally wrong. But state after state ruled that their refusal
to teach positively about homosexuality was the equivalent of hate speech, and they had to teach
it or be fired. Tens of thousands of Christian teachers either quit or were fired, and there are
hardly any evangelical teachers in public schools any more.
Non-Christians found this hard to understand. “Why not just teach what the school says
even if it’s not your personal opinion? So what? We can’t have every teacher deciding what he
or she wants to teach, can we?”
But the Christian teachers kept coming back to something Jesus said: “Whoever causes
one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great
millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
And they quit by the thousands, no matter the personal cost, rather than commit what they
believed to be a direct sin against God.
In addition, many private Christian schools decided to shut down after the Supreme Court
ruled that anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation extended to private institutions
such as schools,6 and that private schools also had to obey the law and teach that homosexuality
and heterosexuality are both morally good choices.
(3) Adoption agencies: “The land of the free”? There are no more Roman Catholic or
evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States. Following earlier rulings in New
York 7and Massachusetts,8 the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that these agencies had to agree
to place children with homosexual couples or lose their licenses. Just as the Catholic Charities
adoption agency had closed down for this reason in Massachusetts in 2006,9 so all similar
agencies across the United States have now closed down rather than violate their consciences
about the moral wrong of homosexual behavior.
Christian parents seeking to adopt have tried going through secular adoption agencies,
but they are increasingly excluding parents with “narrow” or dangerous views on religion or
homosexuality.

5
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, decided by the United States Supreme Court, June 28, 2000.
6
Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, May 15, 2006
7
http://www.adopthelp.com/alternativeadoptions/alternatives2.html
8
Gallagher, op.cit
9
Patricia Wen, “Catholic Charities stuns state, ends adoptions,” Boston Globe March 11, 2006

5

(4) Businesses with government contracts: “The land of the free”? All businesses that
have government contracts at the national, state or local level now have to provide
documentation of equal benefits for same-sex couples. This was needed to overcome “systemic
discrimination” against them and followed on a national level the pattern of policies already in
place in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.10
(5) Public broadcasting: “The land of the free”? The Bible can no longer be freely
preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such “offensive”
doctrines as criticizing homosexual behavior. The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept
off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimination. These
policies followed broadcasting and print restrictions that were in place prior to 2008 in Canada11
and Sweden.12
(6) Doctors and lawyers: “The land of the free”? Physicians who refuse to provide
artificial insemination for lesbian couples now face significant fines or loss of their license to
practice medicine, following the reasoning of a decision of the California Supreme Court in
North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Benitez),
which was announced August 18, 2008.13 As a result, many Christian physicians have retired or
left the practices of family medicine and obstetrics & gynecology. Lawyers who refuse to handle
adoption cases for same-sex couples similarly now lose their licenses to practice law.
(7) Counselors and social workers: “The land of the free”? All other professionals who
are licensed by individual states are also prohibited from discriminating against homosexuals.
Social workers and counselors, even counselors in church staff positions, who refuse to provide
“professional, appropriately nurturing marriage counseling” for homosexual couples lose their
counseling licenses.14 Thousands of Christians have left these professions as a result.
(8) Homosexual weddings: “The land of the free”? Church buildings are now considered
a “public accommodation” by the Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to
allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples. If they refuse,
they lose their tax-exempt status, and they are increasingly becoming subject to fines and anti-
discrimination lawsuits.15
(9) Homosexual church staff members: “The land of the free”? While churches are still
free to turn down homosexual applicants for the job of senior pastor, churches and parachurch
organizations are no longer free to reject homosexual applicants for staff positions such as part-
time youth pastor or director of counseling. Those that have rejected homosexual applicants have
had their tax-exempt status revoked, and now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
has begun to impose heavy fines for each instance of such “discrimination,” which, they say, is
“contrary to the U.S. Constitution as defined by the Supreme Court.” These fines follow the

10
http://www.azpolicy.org/pdf/GFI/H4HomosexualDomesticPartnerBenefits.pdf
11
John Henry Weston, “Canadian Broadcast Regulators: Gay Toronto Radio OK, Catholic Radio No Way”
LifeSite.com, April 6, 2006.
12
Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Fate of Religious Liberty, Heritage Foundation Symposium, May 22, 2008.
13
North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. Benitez, decided by the California State Supreme Court, August 18,
2008.
14
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) presently has a case involving a woman who was fired by the Centers for
Disease Control for declining to offer counseling for a same-sex relationship, but referred the client to another
counselor who would help. See Walden v. Centers for Disease Control, filed in federal district court, July 14, 2008.
15
Robert Bluey, “’Marriage’ Changes May Shake Churches’ Tax Exemptions,” CNSNews.com, February 23, 2004.
6

pattern of a precedent-setting case in February 2008, in which the Diocese of Hereford in the
Church of England was fined $94,000 (47,000 UK pounds) for turning down a homosexual
applicant for a youth ministry position.16
(10) Homosexuals in the military: One change regarding the status of homosexuals did
not wait for any Supreme Court decision. In the first week after his inauguration, President
Obama invited homosexual rights leaders from around the United States to join him at the White
House as he signed an executive order directing all branches of the military to abandon their
“don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and to start actively recruiting homosexuals.17 As a result,
homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military service (to attempt to
compensate for past discrimination), and all new recruits, and all active-duty and reserve
personnel, are compelled to take many hours of “sensitivity training” to ensure they demonstrate
positive attitudes toward those with different sexual orientations and practices. Any one who
seems hesitant or who objects is routinely passed over for promotion. In addition, any chaplain
who holds to an interpretation of Scripture that homosexual conduct is morally wrong and
therefore does not espouse “mainstream values,” is dismissed from the military.18 This is not “the
land of the free” for them.


Religious speech in the public square

(11) High schools: “The land of the free”? High schools are no longer free to allow “See
You at the Pole” meetings where students pray together, or any student Bible studies even before
or after school. The Supreme Court ruled this is considered speech that is both “proselytizing”
and involves “worship,” special categories of speech which, as liberal Justice John Paul Stevens
argued in his dissent in Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001), should not be
allowed in public schools, since it is in a different category from other kinds of speech.19 (Justice
Souter filed a similar dissent, which Justice Ginsburg joined). The new 6-3 liberal majority on
the Supreme Court followed his reasoning and outlawed any use of school property for any kind
of religious meeting, even outside of normal school hours. In addition, Christian students cannot
raise religious objections to curriculum material that promotes homosexual behavior.
(12) Church use of school property: “The land of the free”? Tens of thousands of young
churches suddenly had no place to meet when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools in all
50 states had to stop allowing churches to rent their facilities — even on Sundays, when school
was not in session. The court said this was an unconstitutional use of government property for a
religious purpose. Most of these churches have been unable to find any suitable place to meet.
Public libraries and public parks are similarly excluded from allowing churches to use their
facilities. Once again, the reasoning of liberal Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg in 2001 in
Good News Club (see above) was able to garner 6-3 support with the new court.
(13) Campus ministries: “The land of the free”? Campus organizations such as Campus
Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, Navigators, Baptist Campus Ministry, and Reformed University
Fellowship have shrunk to skeleton organizations, and in many states they have ceased to exist.

16
See http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20080212/47000-fine-for-bishop-sued-by-homosexual-youth-worker/
17
See http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/10/obama.gay.ap/index.html
18
See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/03/politics/main2057198.shtml?source=RSSattr=U.S._2057198
19
Good News Club v. Milford Central Schools, dissent written by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, June 11,
2001.
7

After the Supreme Court ruled that “proselytizing” speech and “worship” speech did not have the
same First Amendment protection as other speech, and after it declared same-sex “marriage” to
be the law of the United States, a subsequent Supreme Court decision predictably ruled that
universities had to prohibit campus organizations that promote “hate speech” and have
discriminatory policies. Therefore these Christian ministries have been prohibited from use of
campus buildings, campus bulletin boards, advertising in campus newspapers, and use of
dormitory rooms or common rooms for Bible studies.20 Their staff members are no longer
allowed on university property. The only ministries allowed to function on campuses are “non-
discriminatory” ministries that agree to allow practicing homosexuals and members of other
religions on their governing boards. With the new Supreme Court appointed by President
Obama, the long years of liberal opposition to these evangelical ministries finally bore fruit, and
only liberal ministries are left on campuses.
(14) Pledge of Allegiance: “The land of the free”? Public school teachers are no longer
free to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. The 9th Circuit
U. S. Court of Appeals heard a new challenge to the phrase “under God” in the Pledge, and, as it
had in 2002 in Newdow v. United States Congress, Elk Grove Unified School District, et al., it
held the wording to be unconstitutional. Now the Supreme Court has upheld this decision.


Abortion

(15) Freedom of Choice Act: Congress lost no time in solidifying abortion rights under
President Obama. In fact, Obama had promised, “The first thing I’ll do as president is sign the
Freedom of Choice Act” (July 17, 2007, speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund).21
This federal law immediately nullified hundreds of state laws that had created even the
slightest barrier to abortion.22 States can no longer require parental involvement for minors who
wish to have an abortion, waiting period, informed consent rules, restrictions on tax-payer
funding or restrictions on late-term abortions. The act reversed the Hyde Amendment, so the
government now funds Medicaid abortions for any reason. As a result, the number of abortions
has increased dramatically. The Freedom of Choice Act also reversed the Partial Birth Abortion
Ban Act of 2003, so infants can be killed outright just seconds before they would be born. States
whose laws were overturned challenged the law in court but it was upheld by the Obama
Supreme Court. “The land of the free”? There is no freedom for these infants who are killed by
the millions.
(16) Nurses and abortions: “The land of the free”? Nurses are no longer free to refuse to
participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.23 If they refuse to participate, they lose their
jobs, for they are now failing to comply with federal law. Many Christian nurses have left the
health care field rather than violate their consciences. A number of Christian nurses challenged
their loss of jobs in court, but the Supreme Court ruled that medical professionals do not have the

20
These cases are unfortunately common on many public university campuses. ADF has several examples from
public universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rutgers University, University of California-San
Diego, to name just a few.
21
See http://www.citizenlink.org/CLtopstories/A000007601.cfm
22
The Freedom of Choice Act: Endangering Women and Silencing the Voices of Everyday Americans, See
http://www.aul.org/FOCA
23
The Freedom of Choice Act: Endangering Women and Silencing the Voices of Everyday Americans, See
http://www.aul.org/FOCA
8

freedom to refuse nonessential, elective care on the basis of conscience. In its decision, the
Supreme Court followed the reasoning of the California Supreme Court in the 2008 Benitez case
(see section (6) above).24
(17) Doctors and abortions: “The land of the free”? The same restrictions apply to
doctors: Doctors who refuse to perform abortions can no longer be licensed to deliver babies at
hospitals in any state. As a result, many Christian doctors have left family medicine and
obstetrics, and many have retired.


Pornography

(18) Pornography: “The land of the free”? It’s almost impossible to keep children from
seeing pornography. The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal Communications
Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and television broadcasts.
As a result, television programs at all hours of the day contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts.
The court applied more broadly the “Miller test” from the 1973 decision in Miller v. California,
by which a work could not be found obscene unless “the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious
literary, artistic, political, and scientific value.” In the 2011 decision, the court essentially found
that any pornographic work had some measure of “serious artistic value,” at least according to
some observers, and thus any censorship of pornographic material was an unconstitutional
restriction on the First Amendment. In addition, all city and county laws restricting pornography
were struck down by this decision. As a result, pornographic magazines are openly displayed in
gas stations, grocery stores and on newsstands (as they have been in some European countries for
several years).


Gun ownership

(19) Guns: “The land of the free”? It is illegal for private citizens to own guns for self-
defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of state
legislatures and governorships. This was the result of a 6-3 Supreme Court decision in which the
court reversed its 5-4 decision that had upheld private gun ownership in District of Columbia v.
Heller (2008).25 In the new decision, a response to test cases from Oregon, Massachusetts, and
Vermont, the court adopted the view of the Second Amendment that had been defended in Heller
by the four liberal justices, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.26

In this new decision, the court specified that “the right of the people to keep and bear
arms” was limited to that purpose specified in the Second Amendment, namely, to those people
who were part of a “well regulated militia” in the various states. To those who argued that this
view was not the “original intent” of the framers, they pointed to a long history of dispute over
the interpretation of the expression and then said that, in any case, the Constitution was an
“evolving” document that must change with the times, and so what may have been applicable in
1790 need no longer be decisive. Therefore they allowed cities and states to limit gun ownership

24
North Coast, op.cit.
25
District of Columbia v. Heller, decided by the United States Supreme Court, June 26, 2008.
26
Ibid,
9

to active-duty military personnel and police officers. Citizens in those areas who are discovered
owning guns have been subjected to heavy fines and imprisonment. Inner-city violent crime has
increased dramatically.


Education

(20) Home schooling: “The land of the free”? Parents’ freedom to teach their children at
home has been severely restricted. The Supreme Court, to the delight of the National Education
Association, followed the legal reasoning of a February 28, 2008, ruling in Re: Rachel L by the
2nd District Court of Appeal in California (although that ruling was later reversed).27 In the later
case, the Supreme Court declared that home schooling was a violation of state educational
requirements except in cases where the parents (a) had an education certificate from an
accredited state program., (b) agreed to use state-approved textbooks in all courses, and (c)
agreed not to teach their children that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that Jesus is the only way
to God, since these ideas have been found to hinder students’ social adjustment and acceptance
of other lifestyles and beliefs, and to run counter to the state’s interest in educating its children to
be good citizens. Parents found in violation of this ruling have been subject to prosecutions for
truancy violation, resulting in heavy fines and eventual removal of their children from the
home.28 Thousands of home schooling parents, seeing no alternative in the United States, have
begun to emigrate to other countries, particularly Australia29and New Zealand,30 where home
schooling is still quite prevalent.


President Obama’s response to the Supreme Court

After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public
places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said
that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond what he ever expected. But he has also stated
repeatedly that he had sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United
States,” and, now that the Supreme Court had ruled, he had no choice but to uphold the law, for
these decisions were the law of the land.


Military policy

In his role as commander in chief, President Obama has been reluctant to send our armed
forces to any new overseas commitment.
(21) Iraq: “The home of the brave”? President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and
began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, completing it in the promised 16 months, by

27
In re; Rachel L, decided by California Court of Appeal, Second District, August 8, 2008.
28
Alan Sears, What began in Germany has come to the U.S.
See http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/issues/religiousfreedom/default.aspx?cid=4431
29
http://homeschooling.families.com/blog/homeschooling-around-the-world-australia-amp-new-zealand
30
http://homeschooling.families.com/blog/homeschooling-around-the-world-australia-amp-new-zealand
10

April 2010.31 All was peaceful during those months, but then in May 2010, Al-Qaida operatives
from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security forces. A
Taliban-like oppression has taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of “American
sympathizers” have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The number put to
death may soon reach the millions.
Al-Qaida leaders have been emboldened by what they are calling the American “defeat”
and their ranks are swelling in dozens of countries.
(22) Terrorist attacks: “The home of the brave”? President Obama directed U.S.
intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first
obtained a warrant for each case. Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military
tribunals, are given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a
number of government secrets to prepare their defense.
Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing
hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe. President Obama in each
case has vowed “to pursue and arrest and prosecute those responsible,” but no arrests have been
made. However, he has challenged the nation to increase foreign aid to the poorer nations that
were the breeding grounds for terrorism, so people could have an opportunity to escape from the
cycles of poverty and violence in which generations had been trapped.
(23) Russia: “The home of the brave”? As Vice President Joe Biden had predicted on
Oct. 20, 2008, some hostile foreign countries “tested” President Obama in his first few months in
office. 32 The first test came from Russia. In early 2009, they followed the pattern they had begun
in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries,
starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. President Obama appealed to the United
Nations (UN), taking the same approach he had in his initial statements when Russia invaded
Georgia in August 2008: “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid
an escalation to full scale war,” and “All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability
in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international
community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis,”33 But Russia sits on the
Security Council, and no U.N. action has yet been taken.
Then in the next three years, Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous
Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, with no
military response from the U.S. or the U.N. NATO heads of state have severely condemned
Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on military action. Liberal
television commentators in both the U.S. and Europe have uniformly expressed deep regret at the
loss of freedom of these countries but have also observed that “the U.S. cannot be the world’s
policeman.”
President Obama’s popularity dropped somewhat after each of these crises, but media
criticism was remarkably muted. And Vice President Joe Biden reminded the nation that on
October 20, 2008, he had predicted that Russia might be one of “four or five scenarios” where an
“international crisis” would arise. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama
like they did John Kennedy,” he said. And Obama will have to make “some incredibly tough

31
“Obama Calls Iraq War a ‘Dangerous Distraction,” CNN.com, July 15, 2008
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/obama.iraq/index.html?eref=rss_topstories
32
See http://www.nypost.com/seven/10212008/news/politics/joe_doh_puts_o_in_crisis_mode_134547.htm
33
Barack Obama Statement on Georgia Crisis, August 8, 2008
11

decisions,” and that “it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're
right."34
(24) Latin America: President Obama has also moved to deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade
with communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, regimes that had long enjoyed the
favor of far-Left factions in the Democratic Party. Several other Latin American countries seem
ready to succumb to insurgent communist revolutionary factions funded and armed by millions
of petrodollars from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
(25) Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010, Iran launched a nuclear bomb that
exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel
cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night Cabinet
meeting, Israel’s prime minister agreed. Israel is reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able
to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain. President Obama said he abhorred what Iran
had done and he hoped the U.N. would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He
also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by
the U.N., but the Muslim nations in the U.N. have so far prevented any action.


Health care

(26) Health care systems: The new Congress under President Obama passed a
nationalized “single provider” health care system, in which the U.S. government is the provider
of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine in the
United Kingdom and Canada. The great benefit is that medical care is now free for everyone -- if
you can get it. Now that health care is free, it seems everybody wants more of it. The waiting list
for prostate cancer surgery is 3 years. The waiting list for ovarian cancer is 2 years. Just as the
Canadian experience had shown prior to 2008 with its nationalized health care, so in the U.S.
only a small number of MRIs are performed — down 90% from 2008 — because they are too
expensive, and they discover more problems that need treatment, so they are almost never
authorized.
(27) Limited care for older Americans: “The land of the free”? Because medical
resources must be rationed carefully by the government, people older than 80 have essentially no
access to hospitals or surgical procedures. Their “duty” is increasingly thought to be to go home
to die, so they don’t drain scarce resources from the medical system. Euthanasia is becoming
more and more common.


Taxes, the economy and the poor:

Many Christians who voted for Obama did so because they thought his tax policies were
fairer and his “middle-class tax cuts” would bring the economy out of its 2008 crisis. But once he
took office, he followed the consistent pattern of the Democratic Party and his own record and
asked Congress for a large tax increase. He explained the deficit had grown so large under
President Bush, and the needs of the nation were so great, that we couldn’t afford to cut taxes.
And several of Obama’s economic policies have hurt the poor because they have
decreased production and increased inflation and unemployment. Here is what happened:

34
ABC News online, Oct. 20, 2008.
12

(28) Taxes: Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains,
corporations, and inheritance transfers. The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has
nearly doubled. The effect on the economy has been devastating. We have experienced a
prolonged recession. Everyone has been hurt by this, but the poor have been hurt most. In dozens
of cities, there are no jobs to be found.
It turns out that the people President Obama called “the rich” were not all that rich. They
were just ordinary people who worked hard, saved, and built small businesses that provided jobs
and brought economic growth. They kept inventing new and better ways to produce things and
bring prices down. They produced the goods and services that gave us the highest standard of
living in history. They provided the competition that kept prices low. And the top 50% of earners
were already paying 97% of income taxes collected by the U.S. government in 2006.
President Obama increased their tax burden so much that many business owners decided
they didn’t want to work any harder when the government was taking so much away. “The land
of the free?” Not for the most productive workers in the American economy. Just as nearly 2
million citizens in the decade prior to 2008 had moved out of California and New York when
the Democrats had control and kept raising state taxes, many of these entrepreneurs have moved
their money, their factories, and often themselves, overseas. So many jobs have been lost that
welfare rolls have swelled, and President Obama is calling for more taxes to meet the needs of
those without work.
However, Obama’s tax bill still included “tax credits” for the lowest 40% of earners, who
were said to “need the most help.” Since the bottom 40% were not paying any federal income
taxes in the first place, these “tax cuts” were actually a gigantic redistribution of income, a huge
welfare payment, a way to “spread the wealth around,”35 as Obama told “Joe the Plumber” on
October 13, 2008.
When critics objected that Obama’s tax policies were leading to inflation and
unemployment, he responded that our goal should not be merely to increase America’s
materialism and wealth and prosperity, but to obtain a more just distribution of wealth, even if it
costs everybody a little to achieve that important goal.
(29) Budget deficit: The federal budget deficit has increased dramatically under President
Obama, in spite of higher tax rates. Increasing tax rates on “the rich” did nothing to reduce the
deficit because the economy shrank so much with reduced investment that the total dollars
collected in taxes actually decreased — even though most people’s tax rate is now higher. As
numerous economists had predicted, higher tax rates meant that the government took in less
money. When reporters asked Obama why he still favored higher taxes on the rich when it
brought in no more money, he replied that it was important that the rich pay their fair share.
(30) Union organizing: “The land of the free”? In 2009, Congress passed and President
Obama quickly signed a “card check” program that nullified the requirement for secret ballots
when voting on whether workers wanted a union shop.36 Now the union has to get signatures
from a majority of workers in any business, and unions around the country are using strong-arm
tactics to intimidate anyone who stands in their way. Several industries are completely
unionized, and prices of goods produced by those industries have shot up as a result.
(31) Energy: World demand for oil continues to climb, and prices keep going up, but
President Obama for four years has refused to allow additional drilling for oil in the United

35
“Obama to Plumber: My Plan Will 'Spread the Wealth Around'”, Fox News.com. October 13, 2008.
Seehttp://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/13/obama-plumber-plan-spread-wealth/comments/
36
Donald Lambro, “Obama supports union organizing,” Washington Times, July 31, 2008.
13

States or offshore. Gas costs more than $7 per gallon, and many Democrats openly applaud this,
since high prices reduce oil consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide output. But working
Americans are hit hard by these costs.
Nuclear energy would provide a substitute for oil in some cases, and could generate
electricity to power electric cars, but environmentalist legal challenges have prevented the
construction of nuclear plants, and the courts have been leaning so far in a pro-environmentalist
direction that nobody expects the construction of nuclear plants for several decades, if ever.
Obama keeps reminding people we cannot guarantee it will be safe.
As for coal, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to
implement strict new carbon emission standards that drove many coal-powered electric plants
out of business. The country has less total electric power available than in 2008, and periodic
blackouts to conserve energy occur on a regular schedule throughout the nation. The price of
electricity has tripled in places like California, which also faces rolling blackouts during peak
energy periods. The impact on our economy, and our homes, has been devastating.


Talk radio

Through the actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress,
Democrats were able to largely silence the largest source of conservative opposition: talk radio.

(32) Fairness Doctrine: “The land of the free”? By the summer of 2009, the five-member
FCC was controlled by Democratic appointees – including a chairman appointed by President
Obama. The “Fairness Doctrine” became a topic of FCC consideration following pressure from
Democratic congressional leaders who initially did not have sufficient votes to pass the measure.
The FCC quickly implemented the “Fairness Doctrine,” which requires that radio stations
provide “equal time” for alternative views on political or policy issues.
As a result, all radio stations have to provide equal time to contrasting views for every
political or policy-related program they broadcast by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Laura
Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Janet Parshall, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, and
broadcasters like Dr. James Dobson. Every conservative talk show is followed by an instant
rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group. Many listeners gave up in frustration,
advertising (and donation) revenues dropped dramatically, and nearly all conservative stations
have gone out of business or switched to alternative formats such as country or gospel or other
music. Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.
In order to solidify the Fairness Doctrine at the FCC, Congress in 2010 passed, and
President Obama signed, legislation making it permanent.
Many legal scholars had predicted the Fairness Doctrine would be declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. But the liberal Obama court upheld it easily. Of course,
this bill fit the deeper purpose of the liberal-Left wing of American politics, which trumps all
other purposes, and that is getting and increasing its power so as to impose its agenda on the
nation. It was not surprising the liberal Supreme Court went along.




14

Christian publishers

(33) Christian books: After the Supreme Court legalized same “sex marriage,”
homosexual-activist groups targeted three large Christian book publishers that had publications
arguing that homosexual conduct was wrong based on the teachings of the Bible. The activists
staged marches and protests at Barnes & Noble stores around the country, demanding the stores
remove all books published by these “hate-mongering” publishers. Barnes & Noble resisted for a
time, but the protests continued, there was vandalism and secret defacing of books, and
eventually the cost was too great and Barnes & Noble gave in. The same thing happened at
Borders and other chains. Then they staged a massive nationwide computer attack on
Amazon.com, with the same demands, and the same result. As a result, those evangelical
publishers could no longer distribute any of their books through any of these bookstore chains.
Any Christian publisher that dares to print works critical of homosexual behavior faces the same
fate. As a result, several Christian publishers have gone out of business.


Prosecution of Bush administration officials

(34) Criminal charges against Republican officials: In his first week in office, Obama
followed President Clinton’s precedent and fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, replacing them with his
own appointments, including the most active members of the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU). President Obama argued this was not a selective political action like what President
Bush had done, because Obama had fired all of them, conservatives and liberals alike.
The Justice Department soon began to file criminal and civil charges against nearly every
Bush administration official who had any involvement with the Iraq war.37 During his campaign,
Senator Obama said, “What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my
Attorney General immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are
there inquiries that need to be pursued.”38 In order to facilitate these proceedings, President
Obama rescinded President Bush’s executive order that had prevented presidential papers from
being released, and millions of pages of previously secret White House papers were posted on
the Internet. ACLU attorneys have spent four years poring over these papers looking for possible
violations of law. Dozens of Bush officials, from the Cabinet level on down, are in jail, and most
of them are also bankrupt from legal costs.


Where is the opposition?

Has America completely lost God’s favor and protection as a nation? If it has, is this
surprising? How can God continue to bless a nation whose official policies promote blatant
violation of God’s commands regarding the protection of human life, and sexual morality? Why
should God bless any nation that elects officials who remove people’s freedom of religion and
freedom of speech and freedom even to raise their own children? His Word says,
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).

37
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/15/obama-would-immediately-r_n_96690.html and
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Barack_on_torture.html
38
Ibid.
15

Many brave Christian men and women tried to resist these laws, and some Christian legal
agencies tried to defend them, but they couldn’t resist the power of a 6-3 liberal majority on the
Supreme Court. It seems many of the bravest ones went to jail or were driven to bankruptcy. And
many of their reputations have been destroyed by a relentless press and the endless repetition of
false accusations.

The same question written in “The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key in 1814
rings in the air:
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Now in October 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, the answer to that
question is “No.” Our freedoms have been systematically taken away. Many of “the brave” are in
jail. We are no longer “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”


How did this happen?

When did this all start? Christians share a lot of the blame. In 2008, many evangelicals
thought Senator Obama was an opportunity for a “change,” and they voted for him. They did not
realize Obama’s far-Left agenda would take away many of our freedoms, perhaps permanently
(it is unlikely the Supreme Court can be changed for perhaps 30 years). Christians did not realize
that by electing Barack Obama — rated the most liberal U.S. senator in 2007 — 39 they would
allow the law, in the hands of a liberal Congress and Supreme Court, to become a great
instrument of oppression.
Many people thought he sounded so thoughtful, so reasonable. And during the campaign,
after he had won the Democratic nomination, he seemed to be moving to the center in his
speeches, moving away from his far-Left record. No one thought he would enact such a far-Left,
extreme liberal agenda.
But the record was all there for anyone to see. The agenda of the ACLU, the agenda of
liberal activist judges in their dissenting opinions, the agenda of the homosexual activists, the
agenda of the environmental activists, the agenda of the National Education Association, the
agenda of the global-warming activists, the agenda of the abortion-rights activists, the agenda of
the gun-control activists, the agenda of the euthanasia supporters, the agenda of the one-world
government pacifists, the agenda of far-Left groups in Canada and Europe – all of these agendas
were there in plain sight, and all of these groups provided huge support for Senator Obama. The
liberal agenda was all there. But too many people just didn’t want to see it.

Christians didn’t take time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him.
Why did they risk our nation’s future on him? It was a mistake that changed the course of
history.





39
Brian Friel, “Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007,” National Journal’s 2007 Vote Ratings,
http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/, January 31, 2008
16

What about our faith?

Personally, I don’t know how we are going to get through tomorrow, for these are
difficult times. But my faith in the Lord remains strong. I still believe that “for those who love
God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom.
8:28). I still believe “kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations” (Psalm
22:28). I still believe our salvation comes from no earthly government for “there is salvation in
no one else” than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). I still believe God is sovereign over all history, and
though I don’t know why he has allowed these events, it is still his purpose that will ultimately
be accomplished. He alone can say of all history, “There is none like me, declaring the end from
the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I
will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:9-10).


Sincerely,

A Christian from 2012


© 2008 Focus on the Family Action, Inc.

This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for noncommercial and nonpolitical purposes without prior permission from Focus on the Family Action.