Apr 212018
 

Ark Encounter’s Latest Attendance Numbers Are Ken Ham’s Nightmare

Their stated expectation for annual visits works out to an average of 117,000 per month. What they got:

2017:
July: 142,626
August: 106,161
September: 83,330
October: 93,659

November: 51,914
December: 36,472
2018:
January: 13,250
February: 17,961
March: 62,251

That’s neat.

The question is: what is this thing going to be when it’s inevitably sold off? Hopefully the locals will be able to successfully sue Ham & Co. to recoup the money they spent to bring this disaster to town, but if not it’ll be a useful lesson that, let’s face it, will be ignored too many times in the future.

It’s hard to imagine what it could be successfully and profitably turned into. It’s not exactly well situation to be a good hotel, casino, convention center or office building. I wonder if it’ll wind up just going up in flames; it’s not like it’d fully trust that it’s build the best, modern building codes.

 Posted by at 8:57 pm
Apr 182018
 

To really no surprise, Barbara Bush, wife of George HW Bush, mother to Dubya, died yesterday:

Barbara Bush, Wife of 41st President and Mother of 43rd, Dies at 92

Babs was a dignified lady, and she sounds like she was a hoot. She and GHW celebrated their 72 anniversary a few months back… and I would not be in the least bit surprised if he joins her soon.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s meet the face of the modern left wing as they deal with Barbara Bush’s passing: Randa Jararr, professor of English at Fresno State in California:

 

 

 

 

She is a *tenured* professor, which makes it quite difficult for the school to fire her (the whole point of tenure). And *should* the school fire her for her personal views, expressed on her own time and not on school equipment or systems? I believe… no. She should *not* be fired. But then, I don’t believe  that anyone expressing conservative, libertarian, scientific or Republican views should be fired either.

That said: being a publicly funded dickhole in a position to spread venomous propaganda to the generation that thinks that snorting condoms and eating Tide pods is a good idea? Yeah, there should probably be some sort of consequence. Suggestion: any parent sending their Lil Tyke to Fresno State should make sure that they don’t take any classes from Jararr.

Now, something that probably*should* result in in direct action against her and/or her bank account is a tweet should made in response to the flak she was getting. She posted her phone number in case anyone wanted to call her. Interesting, right? Except no.The phone number was actually that of the Arizona State 24-hour crisis hotline. The entirely predictable result was that the hotline was bombarded by people calling to complain to her… potentially clogging up the lines for someone who might have actually needed the service. I don’t know what if any laws that might violate, but it seems likely to be legally problematic.

Did we care about Jararr before this? nope. Doubt much of anyone had actually heard of her. And I’ve little doubt that she’ll be remembered even a few weeks from now, unless she does a masterful job of keeping herself in the news. but she is instructive about the views of many on the left: they was people who disagree with them to die, and they will celebrate those deaths. And the fact that Jararr was largely unremarkable before this is instructive: it’s not like the left was disavowing her *before* this.

 Posted by at 4:32 pm
Apr 132018
 

Every year or two, some jackhole pops up with a claim that that Earth is about to get either a close pass or an impact by the planet Nibiru.And every time lo and behold… no Nibiru. Mostly this is because Nibiru and it’s threatening orbit are nonsense, invented and propagated by crackpots and charlatans and hoaxers.

And now that thins in the world are getting, seemingly, increasingly nutty and fearful-making… oh, goody, here Nibiru comes again to lower our collective IQ. This time it’s associated with Christian numerology and Rapture-prediction, something that worked out so spectacularly for  Harold Camping.

No, the Rapture Isn’t Coming on April 23 Because of Nibiru (Which Doesn’t Exist)

You’d *think* that such a specific claim, so often made, so often proved false, would eventually disappear. But there’s something about the concept of Nibiru that seems to appeal to whackos.

 Posted by at 6:03 pm
Mar 202018
 

I think I’m out, and they keep sucking me back in…

Profs claim scientific objectivity reinforces ‘whiteness’

OK, let’s forget the nonsensical race-based identity politics that the University of Colorado/Denver professors are pushing. What *really* grinds my gears is this:

“This way of knowing science in the absence of other ways of knowing only furthers whiteness and White supremacy through power and control of science knowledge,” they maintain. “As a result, our students of Color are victims of deculturization, and their own worldviews are invalidated, such as described by Ladson-Billings.”

Other ways of knowing.

OTHER WAYS OF KNOWING.

OTHER FRIGGEN’ WAYS OF KNOWING.

These jackwads want to equate superstition and tradition and folklore and just pulling “wisdom” directly from one’s own rectal cavity with the hard work of hypothesis and testing and data gathering and reason… and, most importantly, questioning your own suppositions.

To that I say…

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:56 am
Mar 172018
 

Dennis Prager argues that there is an afterlife… and his reasons why are the worst forms of appeal to emotions imaginable.

His very first claim is this: “If there is a god, there is an afterlife.” This claim is patently ridiculous. If there is a god, there may or may not be an afterlife. Gods, after all, are by definition infinitely far beyond us; they would be the ultimate aliens. Perhaps some hypothetical god made mankind in his image… as a project out of boredom, or as a joke, or for any of an infinite number of reasons that have nothing to do with that god having some desire to have the souls of dead humans flitting about cluttering up his crib. Heck, perhaps “god” is Azathoth, who blindly created the universe without the slightest bit of conscious thought or intention, and all life within the universe is merely an emergent property, the result of the natural processes occasionally bringing together conditions right for biogenesis and evolution.

And then he goes on to claim that without an afterlife, there’s no possibility for “ultimate justice” either for victims or victimizers. But so what? Just because you *want* there to be justice – in particular, *your* conception of justice – doesn’t mean there *is* justice. Me, I want to be rich and attractive to the wimmins and important to western civilizations conquest and colonization of the universe. But just because I want those doesn’t mean that they are reality, or ever will be. And of course there’s always the possibility that there is indeed an afterlife, but it’s one you just don’t want. Maybe God really does love us so much that there’s just the one destination; let’s call it Heaven. Everyone gets to go there. Once there, God spends eternity showering us with his love. However, his love comes in the form of hydrofluoric acid mixed with lemon juice and small glass shards because to God, that sort of thing is *awesome.* What, do you think your idea of Heaven would be all that spectacular for, say, fleas or dust mites?

And a related argument: without an afterlife, he’ll never again see dead loved ones, and he thinks that if he believed he’d never again see the dead, he’d go mad. But then, there have been millions of perfectly sane atheists and agnostics who believed they’d never again see their beloved dead. Sadness and grief are bad, but not necessarily so bad that madness is the inevitable result. And the other side of the coin: a day ago I posted a video by a feller who seems pretty convinced that he’ll get to see his dead loved ones again…and he was clearly as crazy as a five gallon bucket of ass crack spackle.

Prager says that the thought of an afterlife keeps him sane because without an afterlife, torturers would get away with their crimes. But that’s just exactly the problem. If you put your faith in supernatural justice, rather than cops, courts and John Moses Browning, then you’re much more prone to let the torturers get away with it, because the afterlife will be sure to get ’em, so why is it any of your bother?

The arguments presented in the video are all exactly wrong. They are utterly worthless appeal to emotion logical fallacies, rather than logical arguments supported by facts and evidence. I’m honestly stumped as to who this video is meant to sway. I can only assume it’s meant to console those who already hold the same position he does.

If you want to convince someone that the afterlife exists… provide some incontrovertible evidence. How hard can it really be? People have been pondering the afterlife for at least 6,000 years of recorded history; surely in all that time if there is an afterlife, there’re some hard facts amenable to rational scientific testing.

Seriously, though. If someone comes to me and says, “I believe in an afterlife,” my first response is “why.” If their response is “because I just do,” hey, I can fully respect that. I got my own unsupportable beliefs that exist on no firmer footing than “because.” If, however, they justify their belief with painfully flawed arguments, arguments so bad as to be not just laughable, but essentially fraudulent, I gotta cringe. If they are making money pretending to be wise experts on the topic and they crank out these dumbass arguments, I really gotta point and laugh.

 Posted by at 2:07 am
Mar 162018
 

I’m an absolutist on very few things. As y’all may have guessed, I’m a big fan of the 2nd Amendment and am opposed to the great majority of gun control laws… but there comes a time when you look at someone and think “that there mofo is a nutburger who is going to show up on CNN sooner or later, maybe he aughtta get a looking-at by some nice men in white coats.” There are people who demonstrate such whackadoodleness that it’s fair to discuss having them at least temporarily losing their rights, at least until the authorities can determine if they’re about to shoot up a school.

Gentlemen… BEHOLD:

This here is one of those fellers who makes the rest of the Christian world look bad simply through guilt by association. Take a look at his rapturous face and dead-souled eyes when he takes glee in announcing that someone has been tossed into a lake of fire for all eternity for the crime of believing something different. There is a definite psychopathy that takes joy in the thought of people being tortured for infinity. For a real spooky thought, just imagine that this feller is right, and that the afterlife will consist of most people going to Hell, and a few people like *him* populate Heaven. Really, which would be worse?  If God wants to surround himself with the sort of people who giggle at the idea of Stephen Hawking burning in Hell, ya gotta wonder if being as far as possible from God might not be so bad.

Alternatively: assume Satan is real and wants to turn people away from Christianity. What better strategy could such an entity take than to create Christians like this guy and televangelists?

I note in a number of his other videos he’s wearing shirts that say “SECURITY” on them, in others he’s wearing a uniform with a badge reading “SECURITY ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.” This implies employment as some sort of rent-a-cop, quite possibly armed. When the movie of the week gets made, if they want to do it right the production company is going to have to clone a young Jake Busey to play the role.

 Posted by at 2:41 am
Mar 062018
 

Given my own religious views, or lack thereof, it may surprise some that I have watched a number of “Christian” movies. A very large percentage of modern Christian flicks are, in a word, UNFRIGGENWATCHABLE, and thus when I say “I watched that movie,” what I actually mean is “I watched ten minutes of the movie then hit fast forward a whole lot.” Holy Crap are they bad. The video below, made by a Christian feller who wants *good* Christian movies, explains what the problem is: these movies are not made by movie makers. Companies like “Pure Flix,”who have inflicted such execrable cinematic war crimes as the “God’s Not Dead” series onto the public are, first and foremost, *preachers.* They are message first, movie making a distant second.

This is not to say that *all* religious movies are like this. Back in the day, Hollywood used to crank ’em out on a regular basis… the Fifties was loaded with Swords and Sandals epics like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments that, regardless of what you thought of the supernatural elements on display, you can’t argue that they were anything but top-notch quality film making. More recently there was Mel Gibsons “Passion of the Christ,” a really rather remarkable achievement. And then… there are the “Left Behind” movies. There’s anything with Kirk Cameron.

Most of these religious flicks are by Hollywood standards “low budget.” But we’ve seen amazing stuff on YouTube shot on a shoestring. A low budget  movie – and here the budget is still likely measured at a million dollars or more – need not *look* low budget, yet somehow these Christian propaganda flicks manage to pull it off.

Additionally, from an outsiders perspective these movies look even worse than they do on the pure artistic level. These movies generally have non-believing characters, or characters of non-Christian faiths, and they are generally shown to be mustache-twirling one-dimensional villains. They are the sort of people that actual non-Christians look at and recognize to be an insult directed squarely at them. What, then, is the purpose of the movie? It sure as Hell isn’t going to do much to win converts if it insults those who are to be converted, while at the same time making the Proper Believer look like a bunch of smug jackasses. Plus, a *lot* of these movies feature interminable scenes of actual preaching. Yeesh, if you want to drive away a potential convert, bore him to death with a church scene. And then there are the “arguments,” where the Believer puts forward something patently ridiculous and easily refuted by a real-world skeptic, but the movie Nonbeliever is of course utterly flummoxed by in a way that real-world nonbelievers find laughable. Some of these religious flicks are so bad at the task of conversion that one might be tempted to wonder if they are, in fact, skillful efforts to *prevent* conversion.

See? There ya go, Christian movie makers. I’ve just given you your next religious blockbuster: an honest, earnest religious person stumbles across the greatest conspiracy of our time…most of the bad religious movie makers and televangelists are in fact secret Satan worshippers using their awful and ridiculous religiosity as a way to tarnish and destroy the faith from within.

 Posted by at 1:59 am
Mar 042018
 

National Geographic Just Sent Me a Crystal Healing Water Bottle

So Nat Geo is going to air a new documentary about Earth, and as part of their advertising, they sent boxes of stuff to journalists. That’s fine, I suppose. Get people who write about such things to become interested. If there was going to be a documentary about dinosaurs, you might expect the box to contain a book about dinosaurs, maybe a toy/replica dinosaur, some brochures about dinosaurs, a dinosaur poster…. that sort of thing. A documentary about Earth? One thing I would *not* expect is a glass water bottle with *another* glass bottle *inside* it, with the inner bottle filled with cheap gemstones because gems and crystals have Magic Healing Powers.

No, really. That’s what National Geographic sent.

The water bottle itself cost more than seventy friggen dollars, because apparently the world is full of rich assholes who think that magic rocks are A Thing That Works.

it contains “carefully selected and ethically sourced gemstones representing the building blocks of earth,” including “wood,” “water,” “earth,” “metal” and “fire.”

Ummm. The building blocks of Earth are iron, nickel, aluminum, oxygen and silicon, mostly. The planet is hardly made of “wood,” and the “water” is mostly a thin coating on the surface. “Metal” is a little vague, but I can go with it; “fire” is again purely a surface phenomenon, and there far less common than water. I guess they nailed it with saying that “earth” is a building bock of “Earth,” though.

Gems raise the energy level of water. That’s been known for hundreds of years and scientifically proven.

This makes me want to do unpleasant and antisocial things to whoever wrote that.

You know what actually raises the energy level of water? Heat.  You know what doesn’t? Putting room-temperature rocks into room temperature water. Unless those rocks are phosphorus or lithium or some such, the energy level of the water will remain essentially unchanged.

I looked up the water bottle. It’s available on Amazon for $78. It’s here in a normal blog post where I’d tend to put a link to the Amazon listing, a link that would earn me a pittance if someone actually bought the thing. But buggered if I’m’a gonna contribute to selling such nonsensical woo-based gibberish. You want to buy one of these things, you go look it up yourself. Maybe, like the National Geographic representative who responded to the journalist, you think this would make a funny, ironic gift for the science type in your life. Or maybe you think it’d be pretty. Those are valid reasons for spending your money however you’d like, no worse than buying a Pet Rock or a copy of the latest Hillary Clinton book for use at the range. But if you actually think that putting a sealed container of inert rocks into a water bottle will do *anything* to materially improve the water… well, I’ll be diplomatic and say “ahhh… no.”

For your rage-reading edification, I went to the website of the water bottle company, and here’s some of what they say:

Following age-old traditions, we created gemstone vials to hygienically inspirit drinking water.

“Hygiencally inspirit?” “Inspirit???” I had to look that one up. Guess whether or not it even has a listing on dictionary.com. Go on, guess.

We offer several different gem blends, tested by naturopaths and based on the insights of modern crystal healing. Their scientifically proven efficiency make them an essential accessory in health-seeking households worldwide.

Naturopathy is humbug on par with homeopathy. “Modern crystal healing” should not be used adjacent to “scientifically proven” unless there is a properly placed “not” in there.

There are several “gem pods” you can buy, each with supposedly their own utility, from “wellness” to “love” to “inspiration.” Then there’s the “Forever Young” gem pod:

Forever Young

AVENTURINE // AQUAMARINE // SMOKY QUARTZ

Water is the elixir of life! The gemstone blend is designed to attract clarity, purity and fluidity like a natural mountain spring on a crisp clear day. If your personal detox practices are important to you in these hectic times, the Forever Young blend offers an additional dimension of energetic cleansing. Aventurine has been used for regenerative and reviving purposes, aquamarine for cleansing and smoky quartz for stress relief. In the natural healing arts, this combination of aventurine, aquamarine, and smoky quartz provides an invigorating cleanse of body and mind.

Gurk.

And for the big spenders:

Diamonds

DIAMOND SLIVERS // CLEAR QUARTZ

Diamonds are a GemWater lover’s best friend. The most precious gem on earth was believed to channel divine energy and was reserved only for kings and queens. Our customers say that no other GemWater tastes as intense and apollonian as this exclusive blend. Try it once and you’ll never again drink ordinary tap water. It also makes a perfect gift for that special someone you treasure most in your life – it is as unique as a diamond ring or a precious necklace. This blend is truly jewelry for your water!

“Apollonian?” Are they suggesting that water that has been near some chunks of quartz will now taste like the god Apollo? Now, I’m no expert on the Hellenistic gods, but I don’t immediately recall that people were constantly running up to Apollo and licking him or taking bites out of him. (I seem to recall that a few miles to the south-east of Greece the people there had themselves a god who came in the form of crackers and booze…)

Now, if this all sounds disturbingly familiar, it’s because I barked about something much like this before. As recently as September, in fact, I pointed out a “Psychic Vampire Repellent” which was the same basic idea… a few bits of colorful rock chips in a spray bottle, the rocks supposedly making the water in the spray bottle magical. Some ideas not only never die, they never stop being profitable.

So, once again I find that my attempts at earning an income by earnestly and honestly creating products that are both of reasonable quality *and* fact-based (well, except for the *fiction,* of course) are a fools errand. There is clearly much more money to be made in bilking the suckers. And now “the suckers” seems to include “National Geographic.”

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Feb 232018
 

Two stories from worlds apart that illustrate the same basic flaws in the human operating system:

Muslims burn piles of Pampers nappies and call for a ban because cartoon cat’s whiskers printed on them ‘look like the Arabic spelling of Mohammed’

Apparently this:

Looks like this:

And thus idiots in India are protesting, burning stuff in the streets, demanding not only boycotts but also arrests.

Stupid, you say? Too dumb to happen here? But wait! There’s more!

Student Faces Expulsion for Joking that Square Root Symbol Looks Like Gun

Apparently people thought this:

Looked like this:

Because, well, sure. And of course, the cops were called and searched a students home. And it gets better:

KATC reported, “Any student accused of talking about guns or school shootings will be investigated by three entities: the school board, the sheriff’s department, and the district attorney’s office.”

The student who made the joke is banned from campus and will enter a hearing to determine if he will be expelled from the entire school system.

TALKING ABOUT GUNS CAN GET YOU EXPELLED.

And yet somehow, the Left’s army of child soldiers can protest and howl and disrupt school all they like and not face expulsion… even though their whole schtick is based on the fear of guns being hammered into them by the media and peer pressure.

 

 Posted by at 1:11 pm