Archive for November, 2014


Public servants are supposed to serve the public. The public should feel confident that these public servants are going to execute their jobs fairly and not discriminate against anyone. Yes, there is such a thing as the First Amendment protection for their speech; however, when that speech gets in the way of that faith the public has in them, then there are consequences to that free speech.

Atlanta fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, is learning this, but WND commenters don’t understand it: “Fire Chief Suspended for Publishing ‘Anti-Gay’ Book.” The Raw Story has a different headline/sentence: “Atlanta fire chief’s book says ‘unclean’ gay people ‘defile their body-temple and dishonor God.’”

From The Raw Story:

“Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God,” writes Kelvin Cochran in the book, which is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

[…] He was suspended because he violated city rules by not seeking and receiving approval to publish the book, in which he compares homosexuality to bestiality and proclaims that his top priority as head of the fire department was “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.”

[…] The mayor suspended Cochran for one month without pay and ordered him to attend sensitivity training and prohibited him from distributing the book on city property.

Civil rights activists are concerned the punishment is too lenient.

“His views towards the LGBT community are shameful,” said Glen Paul Freedman, chair of Georgia Equality’s board of directors. “He will be back in charge, and I am sure telling his staff anti-LGBT stuff. I wonder how many LGBT AFD staff were not promoted or held back because of his views and telling his staff his views. The mayor should fire him.”

Keep in mind here that the Fire Chief serves at the discretion of the Mayor. They Mayor can suspend or fire the Chief at will, with or without reason (though generally it’s illegal to do so for purely political reasons, I think).

Here are two other quotes from the book: “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.” And: “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”

The three paragraphs that WND published are this:

(WASHINGTON TIMES) Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended without pay for one month and must undergo sensitivity training for authoring a Christian book in 1992 that described homosexuality as a “sexual perversion.”

Mayor Kasim Reed’s spokeswoman Anne Torres said the administration didn’t know about the decades-old book, titled “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” until employees came forward with complaints last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The book identifies Mr. Cochran as Atlanta’s fire chief and says it’s his first priority as chief is to run the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God,” a local ABC affiliate reported.

Straight-forward. Though I think the WND snippet / source article is wrong, because from what I can tell this book was published last year. That’s when Amazon says it was available, and if the guy identifies himself as the Chief, he was not Chief in 1992, there was a different person.

That aside, the WND commenters obviously don’t like this. Top-rated comment is by “Jacob Burke Jr.” who wrote: “Hope he doesn’t cave on this issue, because he was and is 100% correct.”

Or “Watson Forrest” wrote: “I hope he has enough backbone to not back down. The allowing of this perversion has gone on long enough. If they (gays) don’t like the way things are they need to go to Afghanistan. I hear it’s nice there this time of the year.”

This is why in recent posts about homosexual-related maters I’ve just stated, “WND comments are what you’d expect.”


Sometimes, I’m a glutton for punishment. In two days, I’ll be a glutton, for it will be Turkey Day in the US, or, as I call it in my holidays-can-be-identified-by-their-colors terminology, the “Red, Yellow, and Brown” holiday. (Contrast that with red & green holiday, or blue & white, or pastels for Easter.)

Anyway, being gluttonous. Sometimes I open WND’s few-paragraph snippets of news stories that are about the latest science. Just to see what kind of hell the commenters will twist them into. Recently, we had “Supermassive Black Holes Aligned Across Universe,” and “Saturn’s Calming Nature Keeps Earth Friendly to Life.” (I admit I thought the latter was an astrology article.)

The first article can be explained by standard gravitational collapse and conservation of angular momentum: As massive structures formed early in the universe, gravity pulled them into a foam-like structure, with concentrations of mass and material in filaments and planes with relative voids between them. As you continue to collapse down, conservation of angular momentum is going to orient spinning structures in a similar way, and so galaxies having massive active black holes that spew radiation in sets (quasars) being oriented in similar directions isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

The second article is about the large gas giant planet, Saturn, acting early in the solar system’s history to help circularize Earth’s orbit. It’s based on a lot of different initial conditions and seeing what happens when the orbits are allowed to evolve through time. Basic, simple stuff; not sure if it was worth the press release, but this is just basic science that we do all the time to better understand how things may have been in the early solar system. Notice I used the word “may” there, for later.

As of the time I’m writing this, three days after they each came out, WND commenters have made 56 and 9 comments on each, respectively. Most are about the Judeo-Christian god. The top-rated comment on the first article is by “pebbie” who starts out quoting the article, and then responds:

“may be a hint that there is a missing ingredient in our current models of the cosmos”

God?

“kingdad” chimed in with some off-topic information:

Black Hole was Obama’s nickname at those Chytown Bath Houses.
Dark Matter is what fell out of Obama after those Bath House visits.
Black Hole is where Marion Barry should be buried.
Dark Matter is what should be shovelled in on top of him.
Black Holes spewing stuff have nothing on the Congressional Black Caucus and all they spew. Nor on Pres. Obola, Eric Holder, Val Jarrett and the Rest of the Dum-as-crap Party members. Black Holes are where they stuff their heads most of the Time.
Dark Matter is what is in-between their Ears and all around them in their head stuffed positions.

But, 56 posts is few enough that some reasonable comments can get through, like 4th-highest-rated comment, by “Pete Dreeber:” “None of this should surprise anyone. The universe is ruled by gravity, the weakest force but the one that works over the longest distances. If supermassive objects were not aligned with one another on a cosmic scale, I would take that as evidence of God’s hand at work.”

On the second article, it’s much the same. Top-rated comment is by “Sam Huston:” “So many things had to come together perfectly for humanity to evolve on our planet that it is impossible to consider that God’s guiding hand was not involved. “As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.” – Albert Einstein”

But, “luke” has the second-highest with something reasonable: “We actually owe Jupiter and Saturn a big debt, inasmuch as they have protected Earth and the inner planets from constant bombardment from asteroids, comets and dust, to a degree…”

But then, there’s “Bonnie,” who wrote:

Oh wow….

I really enjoy reading fiction from time to time. Although I prefer non-fiction.

Reading an article that is riddled with “coulds”, “maybes”,
etc just tells me they know no more than myself about the subject, but they DO
know how to write and make money.

For instance: “…earth’s orbit COULD have been widely elongated”…(they don’t know) Another one: Jupiter and Saturn “…COULD have shaped other planets orbits” (they don’t know)

She used a computer model to study these two planets to see how they ”MIGHT affect earth” (she doesn’t know). But she went into great detail on how a
scenario may play out, such as tilting Saturn’s orbit would affect earth’s orbit which would do all sorts of things to earth, but this model did not take into consider the other, lessor inner planets and their potential pull on the subject. Well then, that kinda negates the whole study, doesn’t it?

But, Roy Barns at the University of Washington came to save the day when he suggested that implications for life in the universe are UNCLEAR. Wow. A profound statement! Also, he suggested that what an elongation of an orbit means for life is UNCERTAIN.

So, in conclusion, I think I just wasted my time because there’s nothing to learn here and the entertainment is minimal.

Remember that I told you to pay attention to that word “may?” The issue is the different use of language between scientists and many other people, but especially between scientists and Biblical literalists. Scientists are never certain of their conclusions, pretty much by definition. Every conclusion is contingent upon further data. That’s why scientists who are intellectually honest and careful about their language will not use definitive language, like “is, are, certain,” etc.

Biblical literalists, however, will. That’s because the Bible must be literal and true, and it is unchanging. Therefore, things “are,” not “could be.”

This is a super-long way of saying that Bonnie doesn’t understand science, and is using the actual strength and entire method of science against it because she simply doesn’t understand it.


I spent Christmas with my brother who was in Scottsdale, AZ two years ago. We went walking and through a process I won’t get into, I was injected with Screaming Barbs of Eternal Torment. AKA, jumping cactus spines. These are ridiculously difficult to get out because the entire shaft is made of miniature arrowhead-like projections such that they are simple to get in, but they will rip things to shreds coming out. I still have the scars.

God is like that when injected into government on things like money, the national motto, or the pledge of allegiance (FYI, we’re one of the only countries that have a pledge of allegiance that students repeat with religious fervor every day for 13 years): Once it’s there, getting it out is nearly impossible and a political non-starter.

This is despite “Poll: 34% of Americans Want God Out of Pledge.” Hmmmm.

Well, top-rated comment by “Pi10107” smells conspiracy: “Look who did the polling. It is a scam by the atheists. Notice how they claimed that the number of those claiming to be Christians was 666. A little too obvious. Atheists will lie, cheat, steal, etc. to get God out of everything. Guess what, atheists. God will still be around no matter what you do.”

I’m actually okay with that. And that’s the whole point of God not being in government: You can still believe in your god as much as you want, just don’t shove it in everyone elses’ face.

Surprisingly, “Doug Indeap” has the second-highest-rated comment:

The government’s addition of the words “under God” to the pledge of allegiance in 1954 and adoption of “In God we trust” as a national motto in 1956, were mistakes, which should be corrected. Under our Constitution, the government has no business proclaiming that “we trust” “In God.” Some of us do, and some of us don’t; each of us enjoys the freedom to make that choice; the government does not and should not purport to speak for us in this regard. Nor does the government have any business calling on its citizens to voice affirmation of a god in any circumstances, let alone in the very pledge the government prescribes for affirming allegiance to the country. The unnecessary insertion of an affirmation of a god in the pledge puts atheists and other nonbelievers in a Catch 22: Either recite the pledge with rank hypocrisy or accept exclusion from one of the basic rituals of citizenship enjoyed by all other citizens. The government has no business forcing citizens to this choice on religious grounds, and it certainly has no business assembling citizens’ children in public schools and prescribing their recitation of the pledge–affirmation of a god and all–as a daily routine.

Couldn’t’ve said it better myself. Though perhaps a bit more concisely.


I feel sorry for the child of Missouri state rep Paul Weiland and his wife, Teresa Weiland. Why? Well, they’re suing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Labor and Treasury departments because they are required to have an insurance plan that would include contraception as a benefit: “Couple Fights Obamacare Over Birth Control.”

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Birth control is not abortion. Despite what “personhood” people want you to believe. Post-intercourse birth control tends to work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, such that it will not gestate and will be removed with normal removal processes (yes, I’m a tad squeamish about this). It’s like not planting a seed. I would not consider not planting a pepper seed from the pepper I just ate to be the same as uprooting a baby seedling that had just sprouted.

But, this couple is so religious, so Catholic, that not only would they never even consider using birth control (il Papa still says Catholics can’t even use condoms because Every Sperm is Sacred) that they can’t even have a health care plan that would let them have access to it for reduced or no cost.

And not them, but their daughters:

The Wielands’ daughters, though no longer living at home, were covered by the couple’s insurance. And that’s why the coverage for birth control became objectionable, he said.

“If Barack Obama and his HHS want to send a package of contraceptive tablets to our college-age daughters every month, they can do that,” he said.

But Belz said the parents should not be made co-conspirators with the administration.

Belz here is their lawyer, Timothy Belz, of the Thomas More Society of Chicago.

So, let’s repeat that: These two are so against any form of birth control that they are suing the federal government to prevent the couple from getting an insurance plan that would cover birth control for their college-aged daughters.

I actually feel sorry for their daughters.


Larry Klayman, perhaps better known as the guy who led thousands tens of people in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to get President Obama to resign, really doesn’t like Muslims. Which is like saying “water is wet” when talking about most columnists on World Net Daily.

In this case, after his failure, perhaps Klayman thought he’d have better luck spreading his Islamophobia by attaching it with a paperclip to anti-immigation sentiment among the broader conservative movement. For now, Klayman is advocating what America did to the Irish and then the Chinese and many other ethnic groups a century ago— limit immigration: “Time to Limit Muslim Immigration.”

Here’s the opening paragraph:

The time for political correctness is over. It is time to call it like it is. The nation hangs in the balance, and making excuses for the destructive conduct of President Barack Hussein Obama and his American Muslim constituency no longer cuts it. His acts are not the result of someone who is ill-prepared and disconnected from the office of the president. He and his racist, anti-white, socialist, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian minions – from Attorney General Eric Holder, to Secretary of State John Kerry, to closet Muslim Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan – know exactly what they are doing. To complement the race war Obama and Holder have stoked at home, Obama and Brennan are bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and around the globe. These are evil men, bent on taking the United States and its allies down. For Obama’s part, he not only identifies with his Muslim roots, he acts on them. Brennan is simply the white stooge who, among others, helps Obama carry out the plan.

That’s an impressive amount of hate in a single paragraph. It seems like anyone he hates is a Muslim. Doesn’t matter if they’re not, to Larry Klayman, they’re just hiding it.

It seems like Klayman’s argument is one of self-defense: “While Muslims have thus far not succeeded in wiping us off the face of the earth, much less exterminating Israel – the land of Jesus and Moses – the bottom line is that most of them hate our guts.”

And, there’s almost no such thing as a good Muslim: “If American Muslims had tried to play a constructive role with their terrorist brothers, that would be one thing. But by and large they sit back and silently cheer events like September 11, or the beheading of American journalists.”

So, he wants to stop all immigration for anyone who is Muslim, “unless there are proven and legitimate family or humanitarian reasons for entry.”

He claims he’s not being racist, he’s just trying to protect America! Never mind that less than 2% of Americans are Muslim. Or that the largest, most comprehensive survey of Muslims show that they are just as likely to reject radical and militant Islam as the average American.

But don’t let facts get in the way of bigotry.

Meanwhile, WND’s Lord Monckton decides to tackle the Issues of Our Day in a different way: “The Quran Is Illegal.”

Since I’m a big advocate of the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech, even if it’s speech I don’t like, I was interested to see what Monckton’s reasoned justification would be. His first sentence made me dubious I would find it: “For obvious reasons, incitement to murder is a serious crime.” When I read that, I figured he was going to say that because there are verses in the Quran that advocate violence, it should be illegal.

Along the way looking for this passage, I came across this sentence, which directly contradicts Larry Klayman: “The great majority of Muslims, wherever they are in the world, do their best to live in peace with their neighbors.”

He points these out:

For instance: “Fight and kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them; besiege them, seize them, lie in wait for them with every kind of ambush” (Sura 9, Verse 5).

Or: “Make war upon such of those to whom the scriptures have been given who believe not in Allah, or in the last day, and who forbid not what Allah and his apostle have forbidden, until they pay tribute” (9.29).

Or: “When you encounter the infidels, strike off their heads, until you have made a great slaughter among them” (47.4).

And here’s his justification, just as I predicted:

Given the venom on every page of this extended incitement to murder anyone who does not follow Islam, it is surprising that there is not more Islamic terror than there is.

Craven public authorities have failed to act against the circulation of the Quran in its present form because they fear a violent backlash.

How, then, is this manifestly illegal text to be dealt with? It is not our custom to ban books, for freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution.

However, it is our custom to prosecute for incitement to murder. And the fact that incitement is on every page of what is said to be a holy book does not diminish, still less extinguish, the offense.

So, the Quran is a person and he or she is inciting murder. Well, I guess if corporations are people, too …

Here’s the problem: Monckton is correct. Not that it should be illegal, but that “freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution.” If it weren’t, then most of the writers from World Net Daily would be in prison for calling for, among other things, overthrows of the US government and various incitements of violence against non-straight people and against anyone who isn’t Christian or Jewish. Some of them on WND itself, but for the most part, they tend to confine their outright calls for such things to other media outlets.

If that explanation doesn’t work, I think that “Rm Mize”‘s top-rated comment is also good justification:

How’s this for incitement to murder?

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

Oh, but that’s not the Qu’ran. That’s Deuteronomy 13:6-11 (NIV)

Do you plan on making the Bible illegal as well? Or just the Torah? You do realize that Islam is related to Christianity in the same way Christianity is related to Judaism, right? I’m not advocating it as a belief system, I’m just saying that your knee-jerk reactions are hypocritical. You come off looking more like Pharisees than followers of Christ–who was actually pretty accepting of diversity if his closest friends are anything to go by.


I’m surprised that World Net Daily columnists produce posts that are pro-Intelligent Design (ID). ID is basically creationism (though none in the ID movement will admit to that, but they continuously claim religious freedom as the way to spread their ideas despite claiming it’s all science). The main superficial difference between ID and creationism is that ID proponents do a *wink*wink* when asked who the Designer is rather than saying it’s the Judeo-Christian god. I would’ve thought that’s too coy for WND folks.

But not so for Jerry Newcombe, who on September 2, 2014, published the column, “Charles Darwin and World War I.” The article has gotten a measly 52 comments, to the point that it was the non-crazies who got the most up-voted comments, basically laughing at the idea.

I’ve discussed this idea before, though in my other blog. Primarily, it was in the post, “If Darwin Is Responsible for the Holocaust, Newton Is Responsible for Bombs.”

You might be wondering how World War II and the Holocaust are related to World War I. If you are, you probably don’t follow the ID movement as much as I.

The issue is simply pigeon-holing Darwin: If any person in any way who had any sort of responsibility in any atrocity happened to ever espouse any idea remotely related to evolution or that other people have linked to evolution, then it’s Darwin’s fault.

I’m not exaggerating. That is one of the main tactics of the ID movement.

In this case, Jerry Newcombe is parroting Discovery Institute’s (the main “think”-tank of the ID movement) John West:

Dr. John West, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute of Seattle, says: “Historians continue to debate the causes of World War I, which were complex.” West has directed a new film, “The Biology of the 2nd Reich,” which highlights a link between Darwinism and the great war.

West states, “Social Darwinism was certainly one of the key issues that exerted a profound influence on German militarism before, during, and after the conflict.”

Newcombe goes on to talk about Hitler and Nazi Germany. Because of course those are related to WWII. He peripherally relates it to WWI:

The new film, on Darwin and World War I, quotes Charles Darwin: “The support which I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will ultimately prevail.” The film shows the link between Darwinism and German militarism, including genocide the Germans committed against a tribe in one of their African colonies.

The film quotes Hitler, who later set out to finish the work begun in WW I: “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”

So, because Hitler used a concept from biology that had been applied by sociologists to term something in Victorian culture, Darwin caused WWI and WWII.

Who cares that Darwin died in 1882, three decades before World War I?


I wrote about the Cliven Bundy affair back in May, when (short-short version) the guy owed the Federal Government, $millions for letting his cattle graze on public land, and then there was a showdown at his ranch between the federal government and Sovereign Citizen militias from all over the country. He was a right-wing darling until he opened his mouth and said that blacks were better off as slaves. Bundy owes more money than all other ranchers combined.

Then it fell off the media radar, until mid-September. Here’s why he owes the money:

The standard grazing fees on BLM lands are just $1.35 per cow per month, while a 1998 court order required Bundy to pay a whopping trespass fee of $200 per month per cow. That was later modified to $46 per day that Bundy’s livestock continued to graze on federal lands.

Remember: Bundy’s theory here is that not only has his family grazed their cattle on the land since 1877, but that he doesn’t even recognize the Federal government’s right to any claim:

<blockquote Bundy's claim that the land belongs to Nevada or Clark County didn't hold up in court, nor did his claim of inheriting an ancestral right to use the land that pre-empts the BLM's role. "We definitely don't recognize [the BLM director's] jurisdiction or authority, his arresting power or policing power in any way," Bundy told his supporters, according to The Guardian.

His personal grievance with federal authority doesn't stop with the BLM, though. "I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada," Bundy said in a radio interview last Thursday. "I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing." Ironically, this position directly contradicts Article 1, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution.

[…] Two decades after Nevada's founders proclaimed unswerving obedience to federal authority, Cliven Bundy's family first settled the land where he and his supporters now make their heavily armed stand against federal power. It's doubtful even the Nevada Constitution will change their minds—if legal and constitutional arguments could persuade the militia movement, there might not be a militia movement.

So, feds = bad, and no right to land; Bundy = good and has claim to land. That’s his entire legal argument (which was rejected by the courts, is rejected by the Nevada Constitution, and rejected by the Federal constitution). But that’s his argument.

In September this year:

The headlines this time don’t quite tell the complete story, other than WND did not deem this either important enough to have their own writers write about it, or they considered it not a good view of Bundy and didn’t want to promote it, but still felt the need to at least let their readership know about it.

What happened is that a woman hit a cow on I-15. She was injured, her passenger was injured, and her car was injured. It was Bundy’s cow. The woman “filed suit against Bundy, who she claims “recklessly, carelessly and negligently allowed his cows to enter onto Interstate 15 through an area where he had no grazing or other rights.””

A problem is: “Bundy said Wednesday that technically he is within his rights to make a claim of his own against Beck. “The person whose car hit that cow is liable to me,” he said.” (source)

Probably after he realized that he just admitted it was his cow, he backtracked, and hence the third WND headline, that Bundy now says he never saw any evidence the cow was his. So not only is he not liable because he doesn’t know if it was his (despite saying that the driver is liable to him for damages), but even if it were, either the state which maintains the fences or the federal government which maintains the highway is liable.

So, Bundy wants his cake and your cake too: He shouldn’t have to pay for the maintenance or upkeep of federal land he uses, and so when something is damaged by his property because of a lack of that upkeep which he won’t pay for, it’s the upkeep agency’s fault in totality and not his because they should’ve been maintaining it with the funds he’s not willing to pay.