Thursday, July 20, 2006

We've Moved

That's it, blogspot is driving me up the freaking wall. Party's moved to Wordpress, people.

Yes, Mr Angry, you were right.

Midweek Cuckoo: Wiolawa

Since the Bad Astronomer posted about Wiolawa last week, i've been just itching to introduce her to my cuckoo collection.

Barbara Crouse-Brown aka Wio aka Wiola aka Wiolawa (depending on which forum she's ranting on) would make David Icke proud. She is a member if the "lizard aliens disguised as humans are running our government in league with the nazis and illuminati and templars" brigade, usually characterized by people who dropped acid while masturbating to reruns of "V". Her little spin on it is that somewhere along the line she learned to use Adobe Photoshop, and it has become her little helper in identifying the lizard men inside their fleshy suits, through a process she calls "variance analysis" and the rest of the world calls "messing around with those cool PShop filters".

The Bad Astonomer sent her a photo of himself and asked what her method could tell her about him. These were her findings. Seems Phil is one "kreepy" "AS_tronomer".

She also sees very interesting things in rock formations, but there must be something wrong with my eyes because they just look like piles of rocks to me. And sometimes she takes high definition images and zooms into them, filtering as she goes, until she discovers marvelous images of lizards riding mopeds in the rings of saturn. At least, i think that's what she says they are, sometimes it's a little difficult to understand what she's on about.

Wiolawa's name was given to her by an indian (feathers, not dots), and according to her it means 'spirit song'. Or it could be moon song. Or it may have something to do with owls. Or walls. It's all very confusing in Wiolaland, and trying to read her spittle-flecked rantings makes my eyes hurt. I think it's got something to do with the utterly random capitalization, which even switches mid-word (and why is it that all crazy people seem to buy keyboards with faulty capslocks?).

Wiolawa likes to comment on posts about her, so i really hope she finds this one. She tends to make really interesting replies, like this:
find the comments interesting and idiotic.. taken out of context.. continually.. no appreciation of science, truth, human suffering. nasa lies.. jpl lies.. what the photos are actually showing or the processing used"variance analysis" etc.. ofcourse it is easier to disparage then to say perhaps..
such is the way on this planet EArth.. how many learn that the name EArth came from EA.. a genesis scientist.. is that taught in schools of geography on EArth? yet.. NO!!!
Now isn't that lucid?

Wiolawa also seems to blame everything that goes wrong in her life on the lizards. Take this example from her bio:
all of us in his class had to present a paper on one of the planetary systems.. and discussion.. i chose the formation of moons and the sound and alignment of the moons of Saturn and exactly how they were placed and created..- the rest of the students loved the paper and presentation.. but MALIN gave me back my paper without a grade or even looking at me!@. that said exactly whose side he was on.. the LIZARDS!).

As usual though, the creepy side of kookdom rears its ugly head. The reptiles have not been kind to Wiolawa, and will do almost anything to stop her in her quest to expose them. In the last few years many people close to her have died: her husband, her niece, her nephew, the guy who taught her website construction (three gunshot wounds), and the guy who helped resurrect her website after it was shut down (driven off the road). The lizards told her they did it to slow her down. But I have my own theories. Read her website and tell me that you don't think she's just crazy enough to have a split personality that is offing people to reinforce her belief that there really is a conspiracy against her. Add to that her admission that she is rated as a sharpshooter, and that she teaches children... and you have one spine-chilling mixture.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Has he even read the bill?

Bush has declared that he will veto HR810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, after it passed the House of Representatives at 238 votes to 194.

So what does HR810 say that has Bush so determined to use his power to veto? It allows for stem cell research to be performed on embryos that were created in fertility clinics and were meant for in vitro fertilization but were in excess of the need, that will otherwise be disposed of, and that have been donated with written consent and without any form of remuneration.

That seems perfectly sensible, so what are some of the objections? House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex) calls it a "vote to fund with taxpayer dollars the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation." He obviously didn't read the bill because it doesn't provide for any kind of funding from the taxpayer. Nor can something be dismembered when it has not yet developed any members, but that's besides the point. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill) obviously didn't read it either: "For the first time in our national history, taxpayers' dollars are going to be spent for the killing of innocent human life." Again, no provision for funding is specified. Some other people tried to make comparisons with slavery and the Tuskegee experiments, and i'm not even going to dignify their stupidity by quoting it.

But Bush takes the cake with this whopper:

This bill would take us across a critical ethical line by creating new incentives for the ongoing destruction of emerging human life.
He really must not have read the bill, because it specifies that only those embryos that would otherwise be destroyed may be used! The embryos are not going to be any less disposed of whether they're used for the research or not, retard.

It makes me sick that there isn't an IQ test before an election.

Pathetic Pete Rides Again

Salon has an interview with Pete, the blogger who caused outright hilarity on the intarweb recently with his belief that an Onion post on abortion was the real deal.

A few choice facts from the article:
  • Pete is 45. I was really surprised at this one - surely by that age you are meant to have gained a smidgen of wisdom?
  • Pete struggled with drugs and alcohol after moving to the US when he was 19. This brought him to Christ. It also brought him to a critically low density of braincells, evidently.
  • According to Pete: "I'm kind of used to people laughing at me." No surprises there.

Apparently he's made a few more posts trying to defend himself, so i guess he'll just keep digging til he gets to China. I couldn't be bothered to go and look at them. I've seen the quality of his stupidity, i doubt anything has changed.

Middle East Mayhem

I've never really commented on the Middle East and the ongoing turmoil there, but yesterday a friend made a blog post that I have to support.

My friend is a South African who is living in Isreal and serving in the army. Like most people serving with him, he's doing it because he has to, because the only alternatives are jail or being unemployable in yet another country. He is no more keen to be kidnapped or blown up than anyone else on the street, civilian or not. But he's caught up in the middle of the only logical result of an attempt to reason with fundamentalists, and for that reason I am afraid for him.

Yes, you read me right, I agree that Israel has made the right choice, purely because it was the only choice they had. They have been trying to do the impossible - to reason with religious fundamentalists and try to make them obey laws other than those of Holy Writ. This is impossible, by the very definition of what makes someone a fundamentalist: the insistence that the holy word is the last word in any argument.

So yes, the inevitable happened. The Lebanese government has ignored all attempts to negotiate peace, and continued to associate themselves with Hezbollah, whose only mandate is the murder of Israelis and the destruction of Israel. And you cannot negotiate with Hezbollah, because they are insane. I see no difference between standing up and saying 'we will go to war because god commands it' and saying 'we will go to war because the space aliens command it'. You've got to be equally deluded to make either of those statements, and good luck reasoning with someone who can make them.

So Hezbollah crossed the line, as anyone should have expected they would, and now Israel must answer force with force. You have to fight at the level of your opponent - sticking to Queensbury rules in a streetfight will only get you killed. I don't see it as Israel making the right choice, or the moral choice, or the ethical choice. I see them making the only choice.

On days like this, I allow myself to wonder what the world would have been like without religion...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Kent Hovind Arrested

Evangelist Kent Hovind has been arrested on 58 federal charges including all manner of fraud and tax evasion. For those of you who don't know him, Kent is a Young Earth Creationist who created his own dinosaur theme park to teach children that god made the dinosaurs and the rest of the earth in six days. He calls himself Dr. Dino, although Dr. Dunno might be more appropriate.

Hovind has a history of behaving as though man's law does not apply to him. His dino land was shut down in April because Kent believes zoning laws are against his religion. Here's some more detail on his past brushes with the law, and more detail on his current arrest. Here's an entire site dedicated to an analysis of his various stupidities.

So why didn't I save this for a Midweek Cuckoo? Because i don't believe Kent is crazy. I'm not even entirely sure he's a christian or a creationist. I think he just likes money a lot, and religion is a good excuse to claim tax exemption. I think he's a crook, not a kook.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Midweek Cuckoo: Nancy Lieder

The Zeta Reticulans are talking to Nancy Lieder. They tell her all sorts of wonderful secrets about astronomy, human history and impending doom. They share these things with her because she is special, and because they want to give humans a chance to mend their ways, avoid disaster and move toward a great galactic civilization.

That is, if you believe Nancy. But if you believe her, you also have to believe that the Zeta Reticulans, or Zetans, are either liars, pranksters, or failures at astronomy. Because nothing they predict ever comes true, and nothing they tell Nancy about the universe ever bears any resemblance to reality.

Take their 2003 prediction for example: Nancy was adamant that Planet X was zipping towards our solar system, followed by a tail of meteors. It would pass near Earth on May 15, causing the planet's magnetic pole to flip over, creating massive, worldwide disaster a la The Core. Naturally since we're all here the Zetans were just having a laugh at Nancy's expense.

Or how about in 1995 when Nancy claimed the Zetans had assured her there was no such thing as Comet Hale-Bopp, that what astronomers had seen was just a star and would get no closer. Those Heaven's Gate guys just can't catch a break, can they - first people are trying to tell them there's no spaceship behind the comet, then Nancy comes out claiming there is no comet. Nancy predicted that the date on which the comet was to make its closest approach would be a non-event. It certainly wasn't a non-event for 39 people in San Diego. And the rest of the world saw a rather nice comet in the night sky. Those nutty Zetans!

Then again, I hate to be the one to suggest it but Nancy may not be the butt of an intergalactic running gag - she may just be crazy. Go look at her website and judge for yourself. This page is a prime example - you can see 'kook' rubber stamped all over it. I had to stop reading after the first few lines, in fear that my brain might implode.

I'll wrap up with a quote from the Chosen Conduit of the Zeta Reticulan Empire:

So, I had a visitation from Pumpkin heads (the big guys, see Zeta Types in Worlds) and they told me that when I went into my office I'd find the MUFON mags turned face down, not up as usual, and that would be my sign. So I went in, all excited, and they were face up. Got hysterical. Another visitation, and they said "this is why we don't give signs on demand! If they go wrong, or are perceived wrong, hysterics, etc." So I understood, not on demand.
Nah, she can't be crazy. It's those naughty Zetans and their fickle, fickle nature.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Look at the Silly Monkey!

Our illustrious leader, Thabo Mbeki, has lashed out at South Africans who are sceptical about whether our chance to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010 is going to be a success. People are quoting the issue with our stadiums or lack thereof, the pathetic state of our public transport network, and the high level of violent crime that can only make tourists a target in 2010. What does Mbeki have to say about this?

There are some people in the country, within South Africa, who think they've got a permanent job to paint a negative image of South Africa. I suspect they are people who essentially were not happy that apartheid came to an end and that South Africa became a democratic country. They've never accepted the transition to a democratic society. They retain the hope that the country will fail, but they're the ones who are going to fail.
I'm likening this to the Chewbacca defense, so don't mistake me for a racist when i say "look at the silly monkey". Understand that I mean this is a classic example of distraction tactics, the practice of shouting "apartheid" or "racist" every time someone points out that the government is fucking up. When it looks like people might be noticing how corrupt the government is, they order an investigation into corruption during apartheid. When someone points out to the Health minister that african herbs aren't a cure for AIDS, she calls them racist. This is par for the course around here. It's the easy out.

Our ministers like to ignore the fact that blacks, coloured and indians are also voicing their disatisfaction with the way things are. More and more you are hearing black people say that while apartheid was awful and they are happy it is over, the crime is worse now than it ever was under the apartheid government. After his mother-in-law was killed for her cell phone, coloured comedian and TV personality Soli Philander told journalists he wanted the Safety and Security minister to know that the worst week of his life was not under the apartheid government, but under this one. You all remember our Safety and Security minister, right? He's the one who said that South Africans must either stop 'whinging' about the crime rate or leave the country.

I expect it from his cronies, but to hear this from our president's lips only goes to show that this fatuous attitude goes all the way to the top. I've said it before, and i'll say it again: moron.

Like Kryptonite to Stupid

You gotta love the internet. When you're stupid, people find out, and then they tell other people, and the next thing you know the entire intertron is trying to tell you in graphic detail just how stupid you are. Overnight, you are infamous.

Take this guy, for example. He's a pro-lifer who took an Onion article on abortion so seriously that he blogged about it, trashing the ficticious character and her opinion. Honestly. He didn't get that it was all made up, and that the 'author' doesn't exist. What a wonderful testament to pro-lifer thought processes.

So what does he do when the entire english speaking web tells him he fucked up? He tries to spin doctor it in this equally hilarious follow up. He ends several paragraphs of frantic back-peddling with this definition of 'satire':
witty language used to convey insults or scorn; "he used sarcasm to upset his opponent"
Isn't it funny that a) it's not an entirely relevant definition, b) that isn't even the full definition provided, and c) the identical definition is given for sarcasm, irony and caustic remark. The average internet user would conclude from point C that WordNet is probably not the best source of a definition. They would perhaps have taken the more relevant American Heritage Dictionary definition, also provided by "A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit". Not this guy, which only goes to show that his skills at separating the wheat from the chaff are seriously lacking. As one person aptly commented: 'you fail at the internet'.

And then he wraps it up with a flourish:
Either way, I think I did a good job of turning the “satire” right back at them, don’t you?
Um, no. Asshat.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Midweek Cuckoo: Robert Gaylon Ross Sr and Cecil Ross

The place of honour this fine Thursday* is held by Robert Gaylon Ross, Sr, an expert on history, politics and government secrets. Or at least he thinks he is. Ross is an example of that most kooky of species, the paranoid conspiracy theorist. When no one would publish his book on the secret Elite who run the world (I wonder why?), he set up his own organization, Ross International Enterprises (RIE), and published it himself. He now offers his publishing services to a handful of equally nutty authors.

Ross makes all the standard claims of a secret Illuminati-esque society pulling all the strings. His first novel, The Elite Don't Dare Let Us Tell The People, apparently "unleashes alarming new evidence of the Elite's monumental crimes against humanity". If they don't dare let us tell the people, how exactly did they let the book get published? Another book of his, The Elite Serial Killers of Lincoln, JFK, RFK & MLK, claims to tell "who the shooters were, where they were standing when they fired their shots, who organized the events, and who wrote the checks to pay the killers of these four fine men." Ross seems to be so well informed, one wonders if he isn't a member of the Elite himself.

All of this would be fairly run-of-the-mill kookiness if it weren't for the second half of RIE's mandate - alternative physics. Ross apparently supports the alternative physics theories of Cecil Ross, and relates them to his own theories of an Elite conspiracy (don't ask how, i'm not going to read his books to find out). There's no indication of whether Cecil is a relation, but I have my own theories, which I will expound on in a moment.

Cecil Ross's alternative physics is fairly standard stuff from those who wish to believe that they have a solid grasp of theoretical and experimental physics, but don't. As usual he claims to have revolutionised, nay replaced, the theories of Maxwell, Newton, Einstein and a host of particle physicists of the modern era. Here are a few snippets - judge for yourself:

Waves of light only appear to be in motion. The apparent motion of light is the result of an influence conducted from one atom to another. This proposition requires that the "space" between stars is not void of matter; it consists of a medium of matter, which Aristotle called ether.

I believe that the single, most important quantity that physicists and astronomers have not been able to prove, beyond any doubt, is the speed of light beyond our atmosphere, or the speeds of radar waves over great distances, which have been assumed to be the universal standard for long-distance measurements.

I cannot define it; yet, I am led to think that light is nothing more than a visible influence that helps us to "feel" something without touching it.

...spiral galaxies are actually evolving "solar systems", appearing as our own maturing solar system must have appeared long ago.
Cecil has also ventured into the genre of science fiction (some might say that is the only genre he has ventured into), with a book published by RIE entitled Friends of the Ezekians. The author adds the following note to the synopsis:

This book contains no explicit or otherwise undesirable language, and no sexual behavior, either explicit or implied. It does contain three brief incidents of inoffensive violence. Although it is not intended for preteen aged children, it should not, in my opinion, be detrimental to their character if they choose to read it.
Robert Gaylen Ross Sr adds his 2c:

The above Author's Note is his way of telling the reader that this is not an offensive piece of work. My personal opinion is that this book can be read and enjoyed by anyone who can read. The intent is not to be politically correct, but is simply that the author's moral and ethical base is so straight that he finds the typical novel offensive because of the heavy dependency on violence and sex to tell the stories. It's about time that authors and publishers produce novels for anyone who enjoys reading. This one is a WINNER.
And this was when I realised that Cecil Ross and Robert Gaylen Ross Sr are not related. They are one and the same man. The proof is right here:

From Robert Gaylen Ross Sr's bio: "Born in Big Lake, Texas, he holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A & M University. While active in engineering, he was a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, and a National Certified Manufacturing Engineer."

Cecil Ross: "I am an engineer. "

I rest my case.

*Owing to the fact that I had Monday and Tuesday off work (Happy 4th of July!) and that I have no internet connection at home and hence no ability to go freak fishing, your wednesday weirdo comes to you one day late this week.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Devil's Dictionary

I recently purchased The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. It is a satirical dictionary that was begun as a newspaper serialization in 1881 and continued erratically until 1906. It was first published in a single book under the title The Cynic's Word Book, because (according to Bierce) one of the papers in which it was originally published was a Christian paper and found the use of 'Devil' in the title to be offensive. Considering that they did not find the use of 'nigger' in one of the definitions to be offensive, it seems the hypocrisy of Christians has not changed much in the last 100 years.

I highly recommend owning this book, or at least having a browse of the online version, available for free. It's for definitions like this that the man has my respect:

HOMEOPATHIST, n. The humorist of the medical profession.

Burning Issue

Recently Americans had their panties in a twist again about the flag desecration amendment being put before parliament... again. More or less every two years the issue is raised, is passed by the House of Representatives, and is thrown down by the Senate. As it rightly should be, of course, because it's utterly stupid to propose an amendment to the constitution that is in direct contravention of another (in this case, the First Amendment).

But what I find funny about the whole thing is this: the amendment proposes banning the descration of the flag, which includes a lot of things but in the public eye is mostly focused on the act of burning the flag. Other methods of desecrating the flag include when it is torn, or when it is allowed to fall and touch the ground. When a flag is desecrated it must be disposed of in an approved manner. What is the approved manner of disposing of such flags, according to the US Federal Flag Code?

Burning them.