Observations and inanities by a second-shift assistant supervisor in the Puppy-Grinding division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy® (our motto: "Sure it's cruel, but think of the jobs!"), your host, Brent Rasmussen.
OK, I'd seen references to this elsewhere, but not the actual video. Just in case you too happened to miss it, here it is:
Hey, remember the story of the nice Christian teacher who liked to impress the kiddies with the Power of the Lord by branding them with crosses?
Well, gee, guess what - the school district that used to employ him had to settle with one of the branded students:
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio—A Central Ohio school board has approved a $121,000 settlement with the family of a student who said his teacher burned the image of a cross on his arm.
School board members in Mount Vernon agreed Wednesday night to resolve a federal lawsuit by paying $5,500 to the boy and his family and $115,500 to their lawyers.
The family still has a similar suit pending against the eighth-grade teacher, John Freshwater.
So, we now know the cost: $121,000. Well, that and a small thing called the Separation of Church & State.
Oh, and just for extra fun: guess who else is suing the district? Yep:
Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that also include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.
"It's first," she said to calls of "hallelujah" at a rally outside the zoo. "If we can't come to the foundation of faith in this community, those other answers will never come. We need to first of all recognize the fact that God needs to be honored in this city."
Falling, who has founded several Christian nonprofit groups and is a former city councilor, also said the next mayor needs to appoint people to boards, authorities and commissions who will "honor God."
"We will also look for people who want to characterize the origins of both man and animals in a way that honors Judeo-Christian science that proves God as the creator," she said.
Man, it must be nice that everything is so rosy in Tulsa that getting a creationism display in the local zoo is public priority #1.
This is what happens when you let religion determine health policy:
Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.
Via Phil Plait, a glimpse into how far woo can go wrong:
There is a Japanese lunar orbiter named Kaguya that is scheduled to crash into the moon today at about 2:30 pm ET. Scientists hope to learn something about the moon’s composition by observing the debris that is kicked up.
In many traditions, including astrology, the moon represents the feminine. It is the yin, the intuitive, the emotions. Women are connected to the moon by their menstrual cycles while they are fertile, and all beings, including the earth herself, are affected by the pull of the tides.
* * *
Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?
Just . . . wow.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
-- Lazarus Long
I can't believe it.
One of my favorite economic historians from my undergrad days wrote a famous treatise on human stupidity, and it took me 20 years to find out about it.
Well, just in case you too missed this little gem, I offer:
Go. Read the whole thing. It's not too long. And if you have a wry, cynical (maybe even sardonic?) twist to your view of the world (as I certainly do), you will laugh your proverbial ass off. Maybe even your real ass. But since most people need a bit of convincing to actually *read* things these days, here's a taste to whet your appetite:
THE FIRST BASIC LAW
The first basic law of human stupidity asserts without ambiguity that:
A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a Texas law that requires public school students to observe a daily minute of silence in order to pray, reflect or otherwise remain quiet.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed a district court ruling, saying the law is constitutional because it expressly allows any silent use of that minute, whether religious or not.
David and Shannon Croft sued on behalf of their three children, who are enrolled in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. The suburban Dallas couple contended that including the word "pray" in the mandatory moment of silence law was a way for lawmakers to advance religion in schools. Another family joined the Crofts in filing the lawsuit but chose to remain anonymous.
* * *
for another happy-happy Monday morning post about the economy! Yay! Everyone gather around, and let Uncle Jim tell you a story...
Did you like my story? Oh, you want details? If you insist.
No, I'm not going to talk about the Dow being down below 7,000 for the first time this century (it's at 6,900 as I write). Nor about the news this morning of AIG's additional $61.7 billion loss last quarter. Those are just symptoms.
Here is a (Christian) set of videos about science that takes apart not only Creationism, but also Intelligent Design in support of traditional science.
I'd like to get some feedback evaluations and reactions to his presentations.
In case you hadn’t heard, thanks to protesting e-mails and phone calls from the sane, the Cincinnati Zoo ended a cross-promotional deal with the Creation Museum of Petersburg, Ky. P.Z. Myers is getting a great deal of the credit/blame for encouraging his readers to make a stink. Well done, say I.
But I must also say, as happy as I am that this nonsense was dispensed with, I remain flabbergasted that the Cincinnati Zoo would enter into a deal like this in the first place.
Man, and I thought my opinion of Gov. Palin couldn't get lower:
Less than 24 hours after the election is over, and this stuff is starting to come out already. Someone has the long knives out for Sarah.
Here in California we've got a stupid ballot initiative that seeks to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Well the money has poured into the state from the Mormons and Dobson's Focus on the Family group and they're blanketing the airwaves, planting signs, and fielding troops on the ground to stand and street corners in matching shirts who wave Yes on 8 signs.
I just read an article about some high school kids who are doing their part to fight against this. Here is a great quote from one of them:
"Prop. 8 is not only a religious issue. It's an issue of discrimination and prejudice. Who's to say atheists and agnostics won't be next?"
This is a kid who started a school club called the "Freethinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship student club"
Just maybe there's hope after all...
. . . there's this thing called a Constitution, and you can't just suppress people's freedom of speech (no, not even children's) without damned good reason and clear application.
Another week, another free speech flap in our nation’s public schools. This time, we head to Colorado, where 11-year-old Daxx Dalton (insert snide “Daxx” comment here) has been suspended for refusing to remove a homemade t-shirt that reads: “Obama is a terrorist’s best friend.” Dalton’s suspension was reportedly for willful disobedience and defiance, not for wearing the shirt.
OK, I spent *way* too much time playing this game last night: Orbitrunner. And because I'm the kind of guy that I am, I wanted to inflict it on you.
It's actually a very interesting bit of gaming, for as simple as seems at first glance. Here's the description from the site:
Control the Sun with your mouse. Use it to manipulate the planets' paths. The Sun's pull gets stronger as planets get closer. If the gravity is at a right angle to the direction of travel, an orbit can form. Make sure planets don't leave the screen or collide!
Well, here's some good news:
If you have a problem with school officials strip searching 13-year-olds for Advil – or if you care about the government’s standards for informant use and invasive searches – you can take relief in yesterday’s ruling by a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which ruled 6-5 that students cannot be strip-searched based on the uncorroborated word of another student who is facing disciplinary punishment.
Yeah, good news. Barely.
And you can probably guess why this whole thing happened - our old friend, "Zero Tolerance". From Reason Magazine this spring:
OK, if I was smart enough to post the actual cartoon, I would. But since I seem to be computer illiterate this morning, for now I'll just direct you to today's Cectic strip. He nails perfectly.
Oh, and if Brent wants to put the image in, this blathering can go.
(Nah... We love your blathering, Jim! :) -Brent)
So, you're a single parent struggling to raise a severely autistic child. Of all the difficulties you might expect to confront, I bet this one would never cross your mind:
Leduc's weird tale began on May 30, when she dropped young Victoria off for class at Terry Fox Elementary and headed in to work, only to receive a frantic phone call from the school telling her it was urgent she come back right away.
The frightened mother rushed back to the campus and was stunned by what she heard - the principal, vice-principal and her daughter's teacher were all waiting for her in the office, telling her they'd received allegations that Victoria had been the victim of sexual abuse - and that the CAS (Children's Aid Society) had been notified.
How did they come by such startling knowledge? Leduc was incredulous as they poured out their story.
"The teacher looked and me and said: 'We have to tell you something. The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of "V." And she said 'yes, I do.' And she said, 'well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.'"