Category Archives: Rants

According to a FOX News host we found Noah’s Ark some time ago.

FOX News has a well deserved reputation for disseminating a lot of misleading information. So much so that it’s widely regarded as the propaganda arm of the Republican party. So I suppose it shouldn’t come as any surprise that while discussing missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, host Bill Hemmer asks if we’ll ever find it considering that it took 2,000 years to find Noah’s Ark.

No, seriously:

If it were true that really would be news, but the last I checked it’s still just a myth. yourmouth

Not only that, but his time estimate is completely off. If we assume for the moment that he’s referring to the folks in 1959 who (wrongly) claimed to have found it and we go with the best estimate for when the myth is supposed to have taken place (2,349 B.C.) then the actual time frame would be more like 4,308 years.

This is the quality of journalist that FOX news puts on the air. Not only ignorant of reality, but also ignorant of his own religious viewpoint. Granted, this is nitpick of a throwaway comment in a segment that had nothing to do with Noah’s Ark, but it’s so indicative of what passes for intelligent commentary at FOX that it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Far Right Religious Nuts: Disney’s “Frozen” will turn your daughters into lesbians!

I’ve not posted much about the far right Christians in awhile in part because I’ve tried to stop paying too much attention to them for the sake of my blood pressure, but sometimes I’m so amazed and how divorced from reality they are that I can’t not bring it up.

If you really want to get a feel for just how looney these people can get you can’t do worse than listening to the likes of Kevin Swanson who hosts a daily Internet radio show over at the Generations with Vision website. On Wednesday of last week, Kevin and his co-host Steve Vaughn talked about “Disney’s Progressive Agenda” which, according to them, is to turn your daughters into lesbians via seemingly innocuous movies like Frozen. Check it:

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn't work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

Given this shot from the film you have to wonder how these guys didn’t work Incest into the list of things it indoctrinates your kids into accepting.

I love that he takes a moment to point out that he is “not a tinfoil hat conspiratorialist” and then proceeds to suggest that Satan bought Disney sometime in 1984 with the goal of releasing movies designed to indoctrinate 5 to 7 year-old kids into becoming lesbians and accepting homosexuality or bestiality and apparently Frozen is one of those films.

Now I admit that I haven’t seen the film yet, but from everything I’ve read and heard about it from folks who have seen it, it’s hard to fathom how it would work as an indoctrination film for the homosexual agenda. Apparently there isn’t a girl-on-girl scene to be found in the movie nor does anyone get busy with the reindeer supporting character that features throughout the film. About the worst that can be said about the film is that the character of Elsa was originally supposed to to be the villain of the movie, but ends up really being the protagonist in a story about being who you are instead of who others want you to be. An empowered woman? No wonder the far right nutcases are having a shit-fit over this film. How the fuck will they ever get her to make them a sandwich if the uppity bitch is out being the Queen of Winter and shit?

If you listen to the rest of their podcast you’ll find they’re also upset that Disney has pulled funding from the Boy Scouts over their policy of discrimination against gay troop leaders. Because according to Swanson if you have a gay man leading the troop he’ll have no choice but to turn all your sons into sodomites:

Swanson: I’m guessing the majority of American parents don’t want their little boys turning into sodomites, at this point. if you were to interview, stick a microphone in front of most parents dropping their kids off at the average K-6 school in Colorado where they’re sporting their GLSEN signs everywhere, but if you just interview them and you ask them: “Is your vision for this little 6-year-old boy, 8-year-old boy, 9-year-old, 10-year-old boy that he turn into a sodomite?” My guess is that 60 to 70 percent of them would say, “that would be my worst nightmare.”

Given the popularity of anal sex among heterosexuals I’m not sure how not having a gay troop leader will keep most kids from growing up to become sodomites. When you consider that — according to some Christian interpretations — any sexual activity that isn’t procreative is sodomy then there’s even more folks out there engaging in it regardless of their exposure to gay people. As long as the folks engaging in it are consenting adults and aren’t hurting anyone then I don’t see what the problem is, but then I’m not a Christian with a persecution complex.

Frozen is a bit of an anomaly for a Disney film in that it provides a positive portrayal of an empowered woman and that’s the real threat these asshats are reacting to. There’s no room in the far right Christian’s mind for women who aren’t submissive to men. Isn’t it enough that they can vote and drive cars? Do we really have to let them think for themselves as well? If the idea that a woman could be happy and fulfilled without a man in their life to tell them what to do were to catch on that would be the real nightmare.

Dave Daubenmire can’t resist the porn so he thinks we should ban it all.

I hear you asking: Who the fuck is Dave Daubenmire? He’s another Bible Thumper who made a name for himself by being sued by the ACLU. Seems he used to be a high school football coach who had a tendency of coercing the kids he was coaching into praying which brought on the lawsuit back in the late 90s. After settling the case he decided to leave behind his career as a high school coach to become a Coach for Team God. Not a bad decision as far as future athletes at his high school are concerned. Since then he’s attracted a bit of a following with a number of YouTube videos and setting up his own ministry called, ge this, Pass the Salt Ministries. Think of him as a less popular version of Joe the Plumber.

Anyway, he caught my attention with a recent YouTube video he did for NewsWithViews.tv in which be bemoaned being tempted by pornography while surfing on the Internet and a call to recriminalize it:

There was almost a coherent argument in that little rant. He starts off by talking about how he was minding his own business on the Internet when a popup window suddenly appeared with an ad for a porn site and he was strongly tempted to click on it. He doesn’t say if he did click on it, just that it’s one of the greatest temptations in all of society. He then tries to explain why he thinks we should criminalize porn. As near as I can tell his argument is that because we are a “rational people” we want ban smoking and guns and drunk driving and bullying so we should also ban porn because he feels it’s more dangerous than all of those things combined.

That’s about the extent of his argument, though he does try to use shame to convince you it’s legit. He wonders aloud on just how many people in any given business or church are regular consumers of porn and marvels at what a “dark, dark secret” it is. He goes on to say:

“It’s nothing that anyone likes to own up to. Nobody likes to talk about the fact that they’re looking at pornography because we know this, don’t we, that the end result of pornography in most cases when men in particular are looking at pornography it ends up in, what, masturbation. No man wants to talk about that. No man is proud to say that he does that.” 

I don’t have a problem talking about it. I occasionally watch porn with masturbation being the whole point of doing so. There’s not a whole lot of other reasons to watch porn. The acting is pretty terrible, the story all but non-existent, no real special effects to speak of in the majority of it. Some of it can be pretty funny, sometimes even intentionally so, but not enough to make that a reason to watch it. The simple truth is that my libido and my wife’s occasionally don’t sync up and I have a choice. I can make myself into a royal pain in the ass trying to get her to engage in sexy time or I can go blow off some steam with a little porn. Am I proud of it? Never really occurred to me that it’s something to be — or not be — proud of. I don’t advertise the fact that I watch porn mainly because I don’t think anyone really is interested in whether I watch porn, but I don’t consider it a dark secret that I won’t own up to.

“Coach” goes on to claim that porn is “laying waste to this land” and destroying families and careers and, oh my goodness, our young people! He doesn’t elaborate on how, exactly, it’s doing this. He just tosses the claim out there and expects you to accept it as true. I can’t speak for anyone else, but so far it hasn’t ruined my family or career, but then I have managed to develop a halfway decent impulse control as I’ve gotten older. To borrow a turn of phrase from the gun nuts: Porn doesn’t destroy people. People destroy people.

So, in summary, his entire argument seems to be: I was tempted to look at porn and I have bad self-control so I think we should ban it. Perhaps “Coach” would do well to install any of the dozens of porn filter applications on his computer that’ll block any websites that might contain temptation inducing naughtiness from his system? Or maybe he needs to hang out on a better class of website that doesn’t accept porn ads. It’s very rare that I have a popup for a porn site show up on my system, but then I don’t tend to frequent sites that are likely to accept those kind of ads. If I see pon on my screen it’s because I went straight to it.

At the start of the video he says that what he’s about to say “…may seem really radical to ya…” and it’s really not because it’s not a new idea. Porn was banned for a long time and people were prosecuted for both making it and consuming it. Technically it still is illegal in many places as none of the laws have been removed from the books as far as I’m aware. Enforcement is rare because that’s easier than the political process of revoking the laws, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t used on occasion or couldn’t be used again in the future. The truth is: Much like alcohol and (increasingly) recreational drug use, banning it doesn’t seem to abate people’s desire to partake of it.

You were right when you said it was a “supply and demand” problem. What you don’t understand is that getting rid of the supply side won’t do anything to eliminate the demand for it. And when there’s enough demand there will always be someone willing to provide it no matter what the risks.

A few features may be missing from SEB for a bit.

losingmyshitI don’t know if you’d noticed, but SEB has been slower than molasses in January as of late and I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out why. It had gotten so bad that it wasn’t unusual for the Varnish cache system that Dreamhost uses to time out when trying to do things in the backend like delete spam comments in the queue. My first thought was it was a result of the massive spam attack SEB has been under as of late as the queue has been filling up with close to 3,000 spam comments in 24 hours. So the first fix I tried was to set the blog so only registered users could comment. This cut down dramatically on the comment spam (though, oddly, some unregistered spam is still getting into the queue), but didn’t change the performance of the site. OK, what next?

Turns out in the world of WordPress there’s a plugin for just about everything including trying to figure out why your site is so damned slow. I came across the WordPress Plugin Performance Profiler (P3) from the folks at GoDaddy.com. It scans your system and puts together nifty charts showing you the impact each of your plugins has on the performance of your site. So what was bogging SEB down? Oddly enough, it was Automattic’s own Jetpack plugin. This is a big plugin that adds a bunch of useful modules to self-hosted WordPress sites so that they more closely resemble the feature set you’d get at WordPress.com. Everything from some simple stat tracking to automatic publicizing to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to social sharing buttons, to blog and post email subscriptions, and so on. We used quite a few of its features here on SEB. It was convenient in that one plugin offered a crap load of features and was adding new ones all the time. We didn’t use every module, but we used a good number of them.

It turns out it’s one hell of a resource killer and a lot of WordPress bloggers heavily recommend against using it. According the the P3 plugin, Jetpack was responsible for 88% of load time for SEB. On average almost a full 9 seconds was spent dealing with plugins before the page could be rendered with Jetpack running. So the logical thing to do would be to deactivate it and see if it makes a difference. Only there was a problem. I couldn’t deactivate it. When I clicked the deactivate link in the plugins panel all it did was disconnect it from WordPress.com (you have to have a WordPress.com account to even use Jetpack even if you don’t use that account for anything else). After trying to deactivate it several times only to have it not deactivate I ended up ripping it out by its short and curlies by logging into the FTP account and deleting the directory by hand. Not a recommended way to uninstall a plugin because it leaves a lot of crap in your database, but it worked and I’ll clean up the database later. The result? P3 says the average amount of time spent processing plugins before the page loads is a mere 0.543 seconds. That’s a humongous difference. The odd thing is that Jetpack seemed to run pretty well for quite some time (I’ve used it pretty much since it first became available). Yes, it had an impact, but it wasn’t as huge as its been lately. I don’t know what’s changed, but I won’t be switching back to it anytime soon.

So the site is back to performing at a reasonable speed, but we’ve lost a lot of functionality in doing so. I’ve turned anonymous commenting back on (which means my spam queue will soon be overflowing again) and I’ll have to see if I can’t find a few high performance plugins to reinstate some of the features we lost in dropping Jetpack. I still use Jetpack on some of the smaller blogs I run for friends and family members and I’ll probably remove it from those sites as well as even on Momma’s Corner – which has considerably less traffic than SEB — it’s having a major impact on performance. If you’re using Jetpack and have noticed your site seems awfully slow then try removing it and see if things don’t improve. Drop me a note if there’s a particular feature we’ve lost that you relied on (I’m pretty sure email subscriptions is a big one) and I’ll see what I can do about finding a replacement plugin.

Family of armed robber pissed suspect was shot by good samaritan.

Sometimes I’m amazed by the utter gall of my fellow humans. Take, for example, this news report about some idiot named Adric White who decided a dollar store would make a good target for an armed robbery down in Alabama and his resultant gunshot injury:

The Good Samaritan, who we are not identifying, told FOX10 News he was shopping at the Family Dollar on Stanton road when he noticed a masked gunman leading one of the employees to the front of the store.

“He had the gun to his head. He had him on his knees,” said the man. “I drew my gun on him and I said ‘Hey don’t move.’ At that point he swung around and before he had a chance to aim the gun at me I fired. I didn’t want to shoot him.”

This appears to be one of those rare cases where a Good Guy with a gun does manage to take down a Bad Guy with a gun possibly saving some lives in the process. I don’t buy into the idea that the solution to all gun crimes is more people with guns, but I acknowledge that occasionally it does work out well if someone nearby is armed and this definitely fits that bill.

The suspect survived the shooting and is under police custody at a local hospital. We already suspect he’s not too bright for thinking a dollar store was worth robbing . That suspicion is confirmed when we learn that he was out on bond after being charged in connection to another armed robbery at a local restaurant about a month earlier.  This guy is as dumb as a bag of rocks.

Apparently, stupidity is inherent to his gene pool:

A family member who did not want to be identified said White should have never been shot to begin with.

“If his (the customer) life was not in danger, if no one had a gun up to him, if no one pointed a gun at him – what gives him the right to think that it’s okay to just shoot someone?” said the relative. “You should have just left the store and went wherever you had to go in your car or whatever.”

I have two words for White’s anonymous family member: Fuck You.

8P72l5F

I’m a flat-out Liberal with a capital L, but even I think that if you or your loved ones are stupid enough to engage in an armed robbery and are threatening the lives and livelihoods of other people then you shouldn’t be surprised — let alone upset — if you get shot in the process.

I don’t carry a gun, but had I found myself in that situation where a gunman had a gun pointed at someone’s head and it was apparent the gunman wasn’t aware of my presence and I could see a way of coming up from behind and clocking him in the back of the head with whatever large, blunt object happened to be on hand you can be pretty sure I’d take the opportunity to give him a new opening in his skull. I wouldn’t try to kill him outright, but I’d make damn sure he wouldn’t be getting off the floor before the police arrived.

Your precious little snowflake lost any right to not be harmed the moment he threatened to harm someone else. If you’d rather he not be injured again then perhaps you should encourage him to find a more legitimate way to get his cash. There are certain occupational hazards that come with being an armed robber. Whining about him being shot just makes you look like a bigger idiot than he is.

Which do you support: Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?

The above is an inherently stupid question because Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same damned thing. Some people apparently don’t know this, but Jimmy Kimmel discovered that they won’t let that stop them from having an opinion about both things:

This is meant to be funny, but it reveals one of the reasons why political discourse is so fucked up in this country. Uninformed people willing to make arguments about things they know nothing about. You don’t have to pay too much attention to what’s going on to know that Obamacare is the nickname the Republicans use when talking about the Affordable Care Act because they know that a large part of their base will instantly dislike anything that is associated with Obama without need for a good reason. Just by slapping a different name on it you can get people to say they don’t like it even though it contains many provisions that they like and support. Granted they did manage to find one guy who thought Obamacare was better than the Affordable Care Act which shows that there’s uninformed idiots on both sides who will base their opinion on the name of a law rather than on what it actually says.

There is a difference between an opinion and an informed opinion. In an age with ready access to so much information literally at our fingertips there’s no good excuse for these people to be so clueless.

Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: Stamping Out The Devil.

jewish-zombieIn a continuing effort to answer the question of “what’s the harm if someone thinks gods are real” I’ll often argue that accepting that idea implies accepting all the other baggage that goes with it such as angels and demons. This can be a problem when, say, a mother suddenly decides that her 5-year-old son has been possessed by demons. When exactly that happened down in Texas it didn’t turn out well for the son:

Magnolia police said Spurlock slashed her son’s throat from ear to ear and stomped on his head and chest. His chest cavity was crushed.

The boy, Michael, is in a medically-induced coma with life-threatening injuries. He is in stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“She informed us she was trying to rid him of his demons,” Detective Brian Clack said.

According to investigators, Spurlock is very religious. Her Facebook account is filled with Bible verses and religious pictures.

“She stated they are a Christian family. She was reading the Bible with him and realized he was infested with demons and had to get rid of the demons,” Clack said.

The article doesn’t say, but presumably the mother will undergo psychiatric evaluation on the assumption that she’s mentally ill. Again I have to point out that anyone who claims demons are real and working to ensure a person ends up in Hell shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this woman is nuts. Sure, you can quibble over her methods, but who are you to say he wasn’t infected with demons?

It’s all fun and games believing this nonsense until someone acts upon it. Then everyone carries on about how obviously that person was crazy all the while ignoring the crazy ideas they’re spewing themselves.

SEB Safety Tip: Don’t use gasoline to rid your child of head lice.

People like this mother are the reason why signs like this exist.

People like this mother are the reason why signs like this exist.

And if you do decide that gasoline is the only appropriate way to get rid of head lice, don’t do it next to a space heater. Because bad things may happen:

According to an affidavit filed in the case, the incident happened in January. The affidavit says a space heater ignited the gasoline and burned the 5-year-old girl and Suggs.

Haileyville Police said the child suffered second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body.

The mind boggles at what possible thought process could have concluded this was a good idea. The article doesn’t say if the mother was drunk or high as a kite, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would explain such abject stupidity. In fact there’s a part of me that hopes either alcohol or drugs played a role in this because the thought that anyone could be that stupid without being impaired is too frightening to consider. 

I know times are tough and all and I could maybe, sorta see the logic behind trying to use gasoline to kill head lice if you can’t afford a proper licecide treatment because (amazingly enough) the idea actually shows up in medical journals as far back as 1917. That said, you can find decent over-the-counter treatments at your local CVS for under $20, but perhaps they didn’t have $20 and did have a container of gasoline in the garage. Assuming for the moment that is the case that still doesn’t explain why you would use the gasoline anywhere near a running space heater. Granted it was January so maybe they couldn’t afford their heating bill and the space heater was the only thing keeping them from freezing, but you’d still think that common sense would dictate that gas near a heat source is a bad idea.

I’m not the world’s greatest parent and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the years, but this sort of thing isn’t rocket science. Just a little time spent thinking your cunning plan through would avoid an awful lot of pain for both you and your kids.

SEB Mailbag: Hilariously bad extortion email from the “FBI.”

unbearable_consequencesBeing a famous and world renowned blogger such as I am I tend to get a lot of phishing emails where the authors attempt to convince me to send them money. This time out it arrived in the form of yet another letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard from the “FBI.” I got two emails from them just days apart back in 2008. Back then they contained offers to help me acquire money that I had inherited in another country.

This one is a different story. This one is a threat to ruin my life. Well, it starts that way at least. Then it suggests that the sender knows I wasn’t the person who engaged in the illegal activity because my identity had been used by someone else, but I could still face the consequences unless this person helps me because he’s a Good Christian® and would hate to see me go to jail. (You gotta love how they toss some religion in there.) So if I wire some dude in some other country who doesn’t even have an FBI mailing address $250 he’ll get the whole thing straightened out for me PLUS I’ll get the $10.5 million that I was promised in the previous emails that got me in this mess to begin with! This guy is all over the place and can’t decide which route he should go to convince me to send some money. If one approach is good then all of them must be better, right?

Here’s the hilarious email complete with spelling and grammar errors:

From: “Federal Bureau Of Investigation”<info@fbi.us>
Subject: Re: Final Warning From FBI.

FBI headquarters in Washington, d.c.
Federal bureau of investigation
J. Edgar Hoover building
935 Pennsylvania avenue,
NW Washington, d.c. 20535-0001
Federal bureau of investigation (FBI)

Attention Needed.

Attention to you. This is the final warning you are going to receive from me do you get me????

I hope your understand how many times this message has been sent to you?.

We have warned you so many times and you have decided to ignore our e-mails or because you believe we have not been instructed to get you arrested, and today if you fail to respond back to us with the payment then, we would first send a letter to the mayor of the city where you reside and direct them to close your bank account until you have been jailed and all your properties will be confiscated by the FBI. We would also send a letter to the company/agency that you are working for so that they could get you fired until we are through with our investigations because a suspect is not suppose to be working for the government or any private organization.

Your id which we have in our database been sent to all the crimes agencies in (USA) for them to insert you in their website as an internet fraudsters and to warn people from having any deals with you. This would have been solved all this while if you had gotten the certificate signed, endorsed and stamped as you where instructed in the e-mail below. this is the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) am writing in response to the e-mail you sent to us and am using this medium to inform you that there is no more time left to waste because you have been given from the 13th of January. As stated earlier to have the document endorsed, signed and stamped without failure and you must adhere to this directives to avoid you blaming yourself at last when we must have arrested and jailed you for life and all your properties confiscated.

You failed to comply with our directives and that was the reason why we didn’t hear from you on the 13th as our director has already been notified about you get the process completed yesterday and right now the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and it will be carried out in the next 48hours as strictly signed by the FBI director. We have investigated and found out that you didn’t have any idea when the fraudulent deal was committed with your information’s/identity and right now if you id is placed on our website as a wanted person, i believe you know that it will be a shame to you and your entire family because after then it will be announce in all the local channels that you are wanted by the FBI.

As a good Christian and a honest man, I decided to see how i could be of help to you because i would not be happy to see you end up in jail and all your properties confiscated all because your information’s was used to carry out a fraudulent transactions, i called the efcc and they directed me to a private attorney who could help you get the process done and he stated that he will endorse, sign and stamp the document at the sum of $250.00 usd only and i believe this process is cheaper for you. You need to do everything possible within today and tomorrow to get this process done because our director has called to inform me that the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and once it has been approved, then the arrest will be carried out, and from our investigations we learn that you were the person that forwarded your identity to one impostor/fraudsters in Benin Republic last year when he had a deal with you about the transfer of some illegal funds into your bank account
which is valued at the sum of la

I pleaded on your behalf so that this agency could give from tomorrow on,so that you could get this process done because i learn that you were sent several e-mails without getting a response from you, please bear it in mind that this is the only way that i can be able to help you at this moment or you would have to face the law and its consequences once it has befall on you. You would make the payment through western union money transfer with the below details.

Receiver name: Okagbue Christian
Country: Republic Nigeria
City: Abuja
Text question: You
Text answer: Me
Amount: $250
Senders name:
Senders Country:

Send the payment details to me which are senders name and address, mtcn number, text question and answer used and the amount sent. Make sure that you didn’t hesitate making the payment down to the agency by today or tomorrow so that they could have the certificate endorsed, signed and stamped immediately without any further delay. After all this process has been carried out, then we would have to proceed to the bank for the transfer of your compensation funds which is valued at the sum of $10,500.000.00 MILLION U.S. Dollars which was suppose to have been transferred to you all this while.

Note/ all the crimes agencies have been contacted on this regards and we shall trace and arrest you if you disregard this instructions. You are given a grace tomorrow to make the payment for the document after which your failure to do that will attract a maximum arrest and finally you will be appearing in court for act of terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking charges, so be warned not to try any thing funny because you are been watched.

Thanks as i wait for your response

Respectively:

Agent Norman Wood.
E-mail: drnormanwood@qq.com
Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI)