Religion

Lost our way morally? Like hell, Mike.

In Huckabee’s America, all who fail to believe as he does are morally bankrupt

From Mike Huckabee’s announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign:
“But we’ve lost our way morally. We have witnessed the slaughter of over 55 million babies in the name of choice, and are now threatening the foundation of religious liberty by criminalizing Christianity in demanding that we abandon Biblical principles of natural marriage. Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law and enforce it-upending the equality of our three branches of government and the separation of powers so very central to our Constitution. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and they can’t overturn the laws of nature or of nature’s God.”

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Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

In Defense of "Jesus Glasses"

Jesus Glassesby James Corbett

The facts of my case are fairly simple. Chad Farnan, a 15-year-old self-described Christian fundamentalist student in my Advanced Placement European History class, sued me for a “pattern” of statements unconstitutionally hostile to religion. His claim was based on hours of illegal and surreptitious recordings.

In my attorney’s opinion, the law was on our side, so he advised me to seek a summary judgment. I now believe that was a critical error because when a defendant requests a summary judgment rather than a jury trial, the law requires that all the facts presented by the plaintiff be accepted as truthful. No fact may be disputed, only the law. My attorney believed a fair application of the Lemon test would turn in my favor, but the test fails in a case such as mine both as a matter of law and of logic. Had I gone to court, I could easily have demonstrated that Chad and his mother are Continue reading

Facebook sues Teachbook for trademark infringement

File this one under WTF?!

According to a CNNMoney article, Facebook is suing Teachbook for “a slew of crimes including federal trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition.” And this isn’t the first time that Facebook, presently the second most visited website in the world according to Alexa, has sued a startup for trademark infringement over the use of “book.” According to the article, travel site TripTrace used to be called “PlaceBook” until Facebook threatened them with a lawsuit.

This has been done before, with Apple recently losing a lawsuit in Australia that the DOPi (iPod spelled backward) laptop bag didn’t infringe on Apple’s iPod trademark. And if you ever needed evidence that Apple has made overreaching a habit, The Onion claimed in 2006 that Apple had planned to trademark the pronoun “I” – and it still sounds plausible. Facebook seems to have copied Apple’s playbook.

Maybe the woman’s magazine Redbook should sue Facebook for trademark infringement. Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #103: Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse

“To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker—that’s like an aberration. I know there’s some young actor sitting in New York or L.A. who’s spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft but isn’t going to get his opportunity because of some ‘actor’ who’s been created.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #88: Pigeon Power

♫♪ If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed Continue reading

Nota Bene #85: Beer Votes and Rock Quotes

Summer is gone Continue reading

What Would Jesus Do (with $40 million)?

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

– Matthew 25: 33-40

I was reminded of this little passage today as I reviewed these numbers: Continue reading

300 fingers for Bible thumbing

2009_02_06t075729_450x338_us_cyprus_bibleHoly Shit!  They found Jesus’ Bible and the folks over at the Rapture Ready forums, at least some of them, are already convinced that this is just one more easter egg laid down by God to let us know that the end times are right around the corner.

Ok, so it’s not Jesus’ actual Bible and the whole stink is being caused by the police in Cyprus declaring that the book they found in raiding an antiquities dealer could be 2,000 years old.  The world of Biblical archeology is neat stuff except that it’s generally ruined by people needing to find proof for their belief.  The practice goes all the way back to Constantine sending his mommy off in search of the True Cross and her subsequent population of European cathedrals with relics.  Jesus must have had like 300 fingers.

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Ignoring her Bible, Palin denies human dominion over Earth

by Tom Yulsman

Sarah Palin’s Alaska has been called the “Paul Revere of global warming.” That’s because the sharp impacts the state has been feeling, including the just-announced near-record melting of Arctic sea ice this summer, are a warning of what the rest of us will soon be feeling.

But even as these impacts have become evident (and notwithstanding her equivocal, unconvincing comments about climate change in her recent interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson), Palin has remained in a state of denial. If she should ever ascend to the presidency, we would be right back where we started from with a leader who believes in her guts, like George W. Bush, that humans can do no wrong to the planet. And that fantasy could ultimately lead to a truly scary future.

The harm is already vividly apparent in Alaska. Continue reading

WordsDay: Entropy in literature

The universe is destined to die. Some physicists believe that this death will occur as the rate of expansion tears every atom apart. Others believe that the Second Law of Thermodynamics means that, trillions of years into the future, all that will be left is the universal background radiation, after all the suns have burned out and all the black holes have even evaporated. But even before the Big Rip or the heat death of the universe, entropy – the degree of disorder in our own systems – is destined to rule our future. We can struggle against it, and we can even beat it back for a time, but ultimately entropy wins and we die. Our works fall apart. And memory fades.

Today, we explore entropy in the written word. Continue reading

The horror is getting to Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is perhaps the premier political writer of his generation. He made his bones with Mark Ames at Russia’s legendary expat rag The eXile before moving on to The Beast and New York Press. He now writes for Rolling Stone and will soon release his fourth book, ‘The Great Derangement.’ He’s also covering the ’08 campaign in a special RS diary entitled “Year of the Rat.” His caustic wit often compared to Hunter Thompson, he’s called Mitt Romney “a poll-chasing stuffed suit with a Max Headroom hairdo,” Tom Tancredo a “vengeful midget,” President Bush “a retarded Christian AA version of Woodrow Wilson” and gets Fred Thompson confused with Joe Don Baker. Taibbi was kind enough to answer some questions from S&R’s Mike Sheehan.


S&R: You famously described the last Congress, the 109th, as the worst ever. How is the 110th shaping up so far?

Taibbi: They’ve done some good things. In the 109th and the other Republican Congresses the two-day work week was standard, and even those two days were often half-days. This Congress has brought back the five-day week. They’ve eliminated for the most part the “vampire congress” late-night sessions and phased out the holding open of votes to intimidate recalcitrant members and that sort of thing. But on the other hand… the Democrats came in amid much fanfare and announced that they were reforming the system, eliminating earmarks, etc. After the first Continuing Resolution they passed (I think it was on January 31), Rahm Emanuel was bragging about how it was an “earmark-free bill.” But there are all sorts of earmarks in it. A guy I know named Continue reading