Saturday, November 14, 2009

1st Amendment Fails in Indiana

After a notable history of book burning, Indiana is making waves with internet censorship. Last month the Indianapolis Public School System added two new categories to it's Inappropriate Content List; "Alternative Spirituality/Belief" and "Alternative Sexuality/Lifestyles." This means that school computers will now block all sites containing information on dangerous topics such as atheistic views, Witchcraft, voodoo rituals, "any other form of mysticism", LGBT information, fetishes and paranormal events.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is launching a campaign to protest this policy, claiming promotes it religion over nonreligion, which violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Kratz also wrote that this policy discriminates against the 15% of the population that is nonreligious (the fastest growing segment of the American population), and limits student's capacity to expand their knowledge and acceptance of all individuals and beliefs."

Of course this policy limits student's capacity to expand their knowledge and acceptance, but only on INAPPROPRIATE topics; that's the whole idea...If atheists really are the fasting growing segment of our population, then what better way to reverse that trend than making sure children can only read about the mainstream religions?

Note: this post may be unavailable in the state of Indiana.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

United Nations Saves Cellphones

Did you know the U.N. had meetings about cellphones? I didn't. Last month in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN telecoms agency passed a law that will make all cellphone chargers universal by 2012.

This policy is international and aims to cut down on global waste (and production) of cell phone chargers. With every type of phone using the same charger, no one will need a new charger when they switch phones. You will also be able to use a friend's charger, or a charger at work if you don't have yours in a pinch!

Monday, November 2, 2009

the Future of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai

You may have heard that Afghanistan canceled their upcoming election, granting the Presidency to the remaining candidate Hamid Karzai. Even without an election, the US has backed his new term.

Becoming President without an election seems bad enough, yes? BUT did you know the "new" President also supports stripping women of their human rights? Last August his office passed a law known as the "marital rape" law. It allows husbands to starve their wives if they refuse sex. It also requires a wife to get her husband's permission before taking any jobs and makes it impossible for a woman to have custody of her own children.

How did a law like this ever pass? Well, apparently the public did protest the original version heavily. That version removed a women's ability to consent to sex in marriage and simply stated that she MUST have sex with her husband every 4 days.

I guess the Afghan public now feels lucky the law was toned down. Just like they feel lucky that their President supports drug traffickers, standing armies of warlords, and bringing some of "the wonderful people in the Taliban" back into government.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine May be the Greater Evil

Swine Flu is still non-lethal; meaning treatable and "not life-threatening in most cases." It's important to remember this when we look at past outbreaks, like the one I mentioned where the vaccine was more lethal than the actual disease.

Oh wait, did I say past events? I meant past and present:

Meet Desiree Jennings, a former Washington Redskins cheerleader who can NO LONGER WALK after receiving this year's flu shot:

Yes, Desiree's reaction only applies to 1/1,000,000 people. But with over 300 million people in the US, it's likely she won't be the only one who was better off getting the Flu. I'm very sorry to everyone who has suffered from illness, but if you have a healthy immune system, please think twice before getting vaccinated.

the Real Census Comes in 2010

Republicans: they care about their voters so much, they're willing to trick you to hear your opinion!

Yes, the image you see to your right is an actual (minus the red edits) mailing sent out by the Republican National Committee. Don't worry, they won't send you this "census" unless you are a registered and declared Republican voter...or a Democrat Party Chair in Virgina, whose wife recently found this in the mail and posted it online for all to see.

The Democrats are probably hoping that by spreading this around, they can make the RNC look bad. But, the same people who won't read the fine print on those "census" forms probably won't read this news article, either.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maine: Put Your Money Where Your Marriage Is

Maine is currently battling Prop 1, which would overturn their new law permitting gay marriage. Two groups are up against each other in this fight;
Protect Maine Equality (Vote No on 1)
Stand for Marriage Maine (Vote Yes on 1)

The anti-gay-marriage Stand for Marriage Maine is very behind on $ raised, with only $2.5 million for their opponent's $4 million. So it's understandable, that they would criticize their opponents, saying that the pro-gay-marriage group has unfairly raised more than half their funds from out-of-state contributions.

EXCEPT that if we look at Stand for Marriage's stats, they've actually raised 70% of their funds from out of state! This means while out-of-state, the pro-gay-marriage group has just slightly more support, in-state they have over THREE TIMES the financial support of their "Stand for Marriage" opponents. This study goes on to mention that the average contribution of Protect Maine Equality is only about $400, while Stand for Marriage Maine's average supporter gives almost $4,000.

So what we have here is; a small number of wealthy donors attempting to take away the right to marry from Maine citizens, and mostof these donors are from outside the state! Something seems inherently broken about this equation..

Monday, October 19, 2009

PA Saves Education, Creates Casinos

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania almost closed its State libraries due to a broken state budget. The state had been running for months without a budget, and the legislators still couldn't agree on one that would balance for the next two years. There were too many expenses and not enough funding! No one wanted to accept cuts for schools or social services, but no one wanted to raise taxes either. :-/ Meanwhile, programs in PreK education, drug and alcohol counseling, domestic-violence shelters, and food pantries continued to suffer the immediate lack of funding-- laying off staff, reducing hours, cutting services, or simply closing altogether.

Luckily, Governor Ed Rendell had a great idea. Legalize gambling! If this bill goes through, it will create an extra $730 million in yearly funds, most of which will go to the state's universities.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dark Side of the Tweet

Remember when Twitter was used to aid the Green Revolution in Iran? Most people thought helping those protectors assemble was a good thing.

Well, that time is past. Welcome to the flipside.

Elliot Madison, a self-proclaimed Anarchist, was using Twitter to broadcast police locations during the recent G-20 Summit. And while investigating the government and sharing information about it would seem to be protected in America, Elliot and his accomplice have been charged with criminal use of communication facility.

Apparently, the growing utility of Twitter has pushed the First Amendment up against a wall. Who would have thought there are some things it's illegal to tweet about?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Obama's Nobel Intentions

Nobel Peace judges surprised everyone when they awarded this year's prize to fledging President Barack Obama. The only two other US Presidents to receive the prize were Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, and it took them more than one year of office to win the award.

The judges say their decision was unanimous, and that Obama clearly deserves the prize, as he has "contributed the most to peace in the world in the preceding year." They cited his accomplishments as closing down Guantanamo Bay, negotiating with Iran and North Korea, defending America at the G20 Summit, and dismantling nuclear arms in America and Russia.

Supposedly, other world leaders support Obama's award, and the critics mainly include the American media and rival politicians. This makes me wonder, who is running our media? If other countries are congratulating our President, why can't we do the same?

Maybe its more profitable to print critical news in place of celebratory news. Or maybe, America has a hard time congratulating their leader when so many of us are jobless, homeless and watching health care reform get further and further away. If our leader is so talented, maybe he should turn a little more of that talent towards domestic issues!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Swine Flu Kills [Sanity]

With the approach of cold weather, more businesses are posting signs about personal hygiene in the face of Swine Flu. You may have become accustomed to seeing signs telling you how to wash your hands and the proper way to sneeze. But if you don't appreciate being treated like a five-year old, this post is for Y O U. The sign at right is a perfect example of the useless propaganda that's spreading (like a virus, haha!) as flu season approaches. Schoolchildren washing their hands every hour, facemasks in public, classes being canceled and offices closing down; you can now mock each and every one of these events with the proper information.

1. Hand washing does NOT stop spread of the swine flu. You are much more likely to get it from someone sneezing; the virus actually becomes inactive once it hits your skin! (source)

2. Swine Flu is NOT deadly, the regular flu is actually SIXTY TIMES more likely to kill you. Being afraid of Swine Flu today is like climbing into an active volcano and worrying you'll die from a lightning strike. (source)

3. You probably ALREADY breathed in Swine Flu, and didn't even know it. Swine Flu has been in the United States since last spring, and has managed to spread around to most states since then. You can track weekly reports of flu prevalence at the CDC Website here.

4. If you are still scared, there are now vaccines available for the Swine Flu. However, the vaccines may actually be MORE dangerous than Swine Flu itself. The US already had a Swine Flu Panic in 1976, and while an unfortunate single soldier died from that flu outbreak, many times more people died after receiving the vaccine and contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a paralyzing neuromuscular disorder, a rare side-effect of modern influenza vaccines. It only affects 1/1,000,000 vaccine receivers, but compared to the single US casualty of the Swine Flu in 1976, the vaccine killed more people than the disease itself.

So, what can you do in the face of Swine Flu? I'd recommend something like the green bio-mask at right. Sure, it's ridiculous to think that putting plants on your face will protect you from getting the flu. But at least you'll get noticed, and it's no more ridiculous than any of the other public responses to Swine Flu.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fernweher Oogles Germany

Germany is going green in a big way. They've now created a lovely logo to promote meat and milk that are farmed without Genetic Engineering at any level. This means no genetic altering of the cattle OR their feed.

I remember in college at the US debating the safety of "Frankenfruit" just for people. But Germans are so concerned about genetic engineering that 78% of them saw a reason why a label even two levels up the food chain makes sense.

Germany is different in a lot of ways from the US. Here, a political scandal means some Senator's mistress has been discovered. But in Germany, Steini Girl is causing a political scandal simply by professing her love for the new chancellor candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a viral video. It's similar to the Obama Girl videos that came out in the US last year before the presidential election. Except that in Germany, Steini girl is causing a lot of controversy with comments like, "Come under the blanket, my little toy boy." She also refers to Steini as, "the pimp," which is causing the office of Steinmeier to deny all connection and refuse to even comment on the vid.

Ridiculous? Maybe. But Steini Girl is not just some dancing bimbo, she's a 22-year old law student. Steini Girl is a political scandal that has actual political content, unlike the personal mishaps that typically fill up newspapers in the United States. Steinmeier runs on the Socialist Democrat platform, and critics claim that Steini Girl is sexist and could hurt her "pimp's" image.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bacon Flavor: for Adults Only

You might have heard how America has an obesity epidemic, and how restaurants adding bacon to everything is only one of the ways the problem is getting worse. Apparently even bacon-flavor is dangerous now, as schools ban junk food like bacon-flavored potato chips.

Tsk tsk, children. You can't eat bacon-flavored junk food instead of your healthy lunch! You'll have to wait until you're 21, and then you can indulge in hedonistic delicacies like this bacon-flavored Vodka.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Melodrama in USA Today

This Huffington post complains about Alaskan Personnel officials acting badly at a recent ethics hearing. It blames Sarah Palin for leaving a permanent stain on the moral fiber of Alaskan politics; causing legislators to resort to melodrama like making personal attacks, threats, and vulgar language on the House floor.

Now, there's no way that the legislators' atrocious lack of manners is Sarah Palin's fault. She hasn't been seen in Alaska at all since she retired, and she's clearly spent her free time learning how to use Facebook and Twitter, where her post about death panels attracted more followers than any other politician besides Barack Obama.

No, melodramatic conduct is not limited to Alaska alone. Professionalism and manners seem to be unraveling all over American society. Just look at Serena Williams in her last match, where she used so much profanity against a judge that CBS had to bleep out her speech in their broadcast. Serena also apparently gestured with her racket and threatened the judge for causing her to lose a point.

What's next? It seems America is quickly becoming the land of the wild!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death of the Anonymous

Courts are deciding you don't have the right to remain anonymous online. In a recent New York case, one blogger was outed by Google after calling a model a "skank" and "ho." The blogger is now suing Google for $15 million.

Blogger...Google, yes that's right, it involved this website;! And I thought Google was on the side of the free man. It's scary to think what Google could do with all it's stored information if they are on the side of the law.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lutherans Allow Gay Pastors

Today, I found that the Lutherans have formally allowed openly gay clergy. They suspect that it will "prompt individual congregations to split off from the denomination," but they don't seem to mind. I wouldn't mind either--if a congregation splits off now there's no questioning their prejudice.

For the few that break off anyway, I bet the rest of the Church will not be sad to see them go.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Conservative Advocate Supports Gay Marriage

That's right, Theodore B. Olson, the man who secured Bush's first term by urging Florida to stop recounting their votes, is now fighting Proposition 8 and pushing the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage nation-wide. He has no gay relatives, he claims but is pushing for marriage equality because it "could involve the rights and happiness and equal treatment of millions of people." Mr. Olson now has colleges who won't speak to him about the issue, and he receives regular hate mail. Even his own mother is worried he will lose the support of conservative voters due to his work on gay marriage. However, Mr.Olson is not daunted. He argues that "You have to make peace with this because it is sure to happen, and you will see it in your lifetime."

Those aren't just words--Mr. Olson is a heavy-weight lawyer who has won 44 out of 55 Supreme Court battles, so we'd better keep tabs on this guy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Marriage a Federal or State Issue?

Recently, the Obama administration said that the Defense of Marriage Act (1996) is unfair. It's startling to look at just how this "conservative" law affects state rights over the definition of marriage.

Most people know that the DOMA limits the federal definition of marriage to "a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman." What this does is allow the government to deny any benefits of marriage to gay couples, even if they are married by their state. So even in states that decide to allow gay marriage, their gay couples cannot claim social security benefits of their spouse, file joint taxes, ect.

It seems a huge conflict that states can be allowed to selectively perform and recognize marriage (as if it were a state right) but then the federal government can turn a blind eye to some of those marriages created by the states. The DOMA effectively makes the federal government the final authority when it comes to marriage. You know something is wrong when a conservative law actually increases federal power.

It will be very interesting to see what Obama does next about DOMA. Although he has a lot of liberal supporters, Obama usually backs down on issues that would lose him a majority of popular support. Gay marriage and anything attached to it are one of the touchiest subjects in America. With Obama's approval ratings sinking towards 50%, what can he do here to maintain popular support? To remove all federal restrictions on marriage and allow each state full authority on the issue would be the truly conservative way of dealing with it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Emo Music Tragedy

This is why you shouldn't listen to emo music:

Comment on Burn This City Down Lyrics
Tears | Reviewer: Amber | 12/8/2007

"I use to love this song. Now when I hear it, all it does is bring back painful memories of my dead boyfriend.... He jumped of a bridge cause we got in a fight.... I LOVE YOU DEVIN! I'M SO SORRY!"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Maxine Waters & Other Crazy Socialists

Watch this ridiculous 70-year old California Democrat stumble over the word "socialize" as she threatens an oil executive:

Maxine Waters is basically a liberal version of George W. Bush: cringe-worthy speaking skills and constantly pushing extreme goals that embarrass most of her party. Known as one of the "most liberal members" of Congress, the media loves to mock her every bit as much as they did Sarah Palin and our late President Bush.

Maybe Waters's claim to fame is just that she's a member of most traditionally disenfranchised groups in the US; black, female, and elderly. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that her supporters have even more extreme views on big issues like healthcare;

"They [Blue Dog Democrats] should be more concerned about people who are dying than about their basic philosophy, which involves simply money. Which is more important, money or live human beings with flesh and blood running through their veins, who cannot get health care?"
---Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)

Wow, saving lives instead of saving money? That sounds more like bleeding-heart liberalism than scary socialism. But wait, could those two extremes actually be related?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Texas Rewrites History

Would you like all the value of sending your kids to Sunday school, without having to pay any tuition? Then you may be interested in moving to Texas, the first state to consider making Christian values a priority in public schools.

The Texas Board of Education appointed six experts to review the state's social studies curriculum. My favorite is Reverend Peter Marshall, an evangelical minister who preaches that Watergate, the Vietnam War and Hurricane Katrina were God's judgments on the nation's sexual immorality. The other reviewers are not as exciting, only half of them identify as conservative. Their goals include a desire to "emphasize the roles of the Bible, the Christian faith and the civic virtue of religion in the study of American history." These 3 members say the new curriculum "should clearly present Christianity as an overall force for good -- and a key reason for American exceptionalism, the notion that the country stands above and apart."

Will these changes actually take place? Well, it's still early in the process. The above recommendations will go to Texas teachers who are meeting this summer to write new standards. They can accept, modify, or reject any suggestions from the expert panel. Whatever the teachers deem best will be sent to the Texas Board of Ed, the only group who can actually revise the standards. Bur for those of you unable to afford Catholic school, there's still hope. The 15-member Board of Ed is known as a conservative-dominated body.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Chickens

If current events are stressing you out, this magical video from Grillmaster33 will make you feel better. I know it worked for me, I've watched it twice this week:

Like Grillmaster33 says, I recommend this video to ", everybody! Cause it was that amazing. Unless you're like, the proud parent of like, a human baby."


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sued Over a Tweet

Last month I wrote about someone who lost their job due to poor use of GPS. Now, a woman is being sued over her tweet, which criticized Horizon and the mold in her apartment. The offensive part of the tweet read as follows; "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon really thinks it's ok."

This is the first lawsuit based solely on a tweet. A lot of people consider Twitter more of a public forum then a publishing method, and public chatter is usually not grounds for defamation lawsuits. But Twitter is still a developing service, and a lot of Tweeters are still not sure what it is. Because it's multifunctional, and so easy to use, it has continued to be loosely defined since it's creation. But in this age of lawsuits, Twitter may end up being defined by an outside source.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Japanese Career Opportunity

The NYTimes just published an article on the glamorous life of hostesses in Japan. In this career, women can "earn money just by drinking with men" and make anywhere from $100,000 a year to $300,000. A hostess would work at a Gentleman's club, where her main responsibilities are pouring drinks, offering attentive conversation, looking elegant in an evening gown, and flirting in a nonsexual manner. Hostesses at each club are ranked according to popularity, and the top hostess at each location is awarded star status. But, it's not all glory. The main risk is "exhaustion from a life of partying."

So, on one hand we have an easy and fun way to strike it rich, open to any attractive young woman in Japan. On the other, we have a society where a woman's attention has now become a publicly accepted commodity.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sarah Palin, Saving Alaska Money

Sarah Palin has already stated that she would hate to watch "valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain." (Resignation Speech, 1:22) So it only makes sense that she chose to pay her legal fees with private support through the Alaska Fund Trust. Alaska is actually lucky that Palin established this trust as the state legal defense fund. With all the ethical complaints filed against her, it would cost Alaska a lot of money to pay Palin's legal fees on their own. The thrifty governor states that despite her best efforts, she still owes more than $500,000 from all those peksy ethical grievances. And now, the State Personnel Board wants to slap another ethics charge against the governor for trying to save the state money!

Gosh, Alaska sounds like a pretty mean state to work for. No wonder Sarah Palin decided to resign.

United States of China

Apparently, it's not enough for China to own American companies like Hummer, or all the world's natural resources. Now China wants to own the American media too. Yes, China has begun buying and promoting English media to be published in our lovely USA.

Why would they do such a thing, you ask? Well, China already controls it's own media to the letter. And with all the US Treasury bonds they've been buying up, we might as well be called the United States of China. In our time of economic troubles, we are a great market for cheap Chinese products. So what if Chinese drywall releases sulfuric acid, or their toys are coated in lead paint? If these facts are hard to discover, all most Americans will see is a much lower price tag on Chinese goods.

Does this all seem a little farfetched? I too, had no idea China was investing in Western media, until I was reading the Onion today and noticed that every article had a decidedly foreign slant. Of course it's all a big joke to them, but when I start finding out about global events from a satirical paper, I have to wonder what the rest of the media is really focusing on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

German Internet Safe from Child Porn

Germany has successfully censored its internet~! The German Bundestag law passed on July 10th, intended to block child pornography, but politicians are already considering expanding it to include hate sites and violent video games. Internet Service providers in the country are now preparing to "create filters based on a secret list that is provided by the German Federal Criminal Office."

When a German tries to access one of these blocked sites, they will instead see only a STOP sign on the screen.

Glückwünsche, Germany. You could have fought child porn at the source, but this law quickly and totally protects your entire public from seeing offensive content instead. After all, who cares if people are really making child porn, so long as you don't have to look at it? Furthermore, Germany has now joined the other fine countries who censor their internet; including China, Iran and North Korea.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Shrinking Sheep

Climate change is now causing sheep to shrink, say scientists in Scotland. With shorter winters and more grass available in cold months, the winter isn't killing off small animals as fast as it used to.

The article doesn't say if shrinking sheep are a bad or good thing. But it does say it's possible that, "in 100 years, we will have chihuahuas herding pocket-sized sheep." And you know what that sounds like to me?


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Global Warming Flu

Here's another reason to be afraid of global warming: ancient bacteria will be revived when ice caps melt... leading to a new disease?

It's true; according to scientists at Pennsylvania University, "ancient bacteria and viruses will come back to life as ice melts due to global warming." But don't worry, because "the process has been going on for billions of years and the bugs are unlikely to cause human disease."


Now I don't know about you, you can tell me not to worry about an ancient disease coming back to life, but that still doesn't sound like a good thing to me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Frodo in Iran

Iran is now showing it's people a Lord of the Rings Marathon to keep them inside, hopefully too distracted to protest in the street. Normally they only show one or two Hollywood movies a week, but the state television station has made an exception here to pacify the people. I always thought it was the American media that was champion at entertaining while manipulating, but now it seems we have some serious competition.

Still, you think Iran would have chosen a movie that doesn't revolve around a small paragon of good fighting against an evil empire?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dangers of MMORPG

Ever played an online game? Consider yourself lucky to have escaped with your life, and more importantly, your anal virginity. Watch this kid get so angry when his parents close down his World of Warcraft account that he tries to fuck himself with a remote control.

Monday, June 22, 2009

French Fashion vs. the Burka

France is considering banning the Burka in public. French president Nicolas Sarkozy says, "[The burka] is not the idea that the French republic has of women's dignity... It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic." It only makes sense that France, as a leader of global fashion, would be considering laws to make sure all its women dress in ways representative of the state ideals.

And so, while we're making law on how women should dress, I have a few other suggestions for France:

* ban Crocs
* ban Uggs
* ban socks with sandals
* ban panty lines
* ban orange fake tans
* ban muffin tops

Friday, June 19, 2009

Use GPS Wisely

I always thought this XKCD comic about irresponsible use of GPS was hilarious. People going everywhere with their cellphones, unaware what the technology is really capable of:

But today I read about someone who lost their job due to GPS. Sure, they were also falsifying work hours, but they didn't realize that their government-given cellphone was keeping tabs on where they were while they said they were working. I wonder if this guy was at a sex shop, too?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Office for Unborn Children

Today, I am writing to thank Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) for jumping to protect our children, even before they are born!! Together, they are working to pass policy that will guarantee healthcare to unborn children, and create an Office of Unborn Children’s Health, to stand up for the rights of unborn children everywhere. As Senator Hatch says, " America itself is built on the foundation of unalienable rights which we receive from God. Government exists to secure those rights." Yes, aren't we lucky in America, to have a government there to promote God's will!

You'd think that giving healthcare to the mother would be just as important, that we could have an Office of Mother's Health too, and someone to stand up for what the mothers need in all of this. But wait...who does God love more, adult women, or unborn babies? Why, there's nothing more pure and free of sin than an unborn baby, while the mothers are just women who got pregnant, and so...I guess we can see why this policy is a good idea.

Killer Insects

Reading the news today, I hear that the Pentagon is creating cyborg insects to sniff out chemical weapons and WMDs. Insect populations are already fast-evolving, reproduce in incredible numbers and are very hard to exterminate. Seems like it's only a matter of time before this project dooms us all.