When the Recent Unpleasantness began in Crimea, many people tried to justify Russias actions by claiming that there was an active neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine that was threatening “ethnic Russians.” Behold:

Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine

In eastern Ukrainian, Jews leaving a synagogue were told to “register” with pro-Russian militants. They were supposed to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.”

The “logic” that supported a Russian annexation of Crimea to “save” the “ethnic Russians” would now support the annexation of eastern Ukraine and likely the surrounding bits of Russia by Israel. I wonder if Putin would agree.

‘People were polite, parents would shake my hand’: Canadian college blogger who wore a hijab for 18 days to reveal how racist her community is – finds people are actually NICER to her

Well, right off the bat, this is silly for the simple reason that wearing Muslim garb is not restricted to any particular race.

But it gets dumber:

‘It can be that someone actually does harbour [sic] racist tendencies but doesn’t want to look racist to others so they overcompensate in that way,’ she says.

She also says that it could stem from people who might think they have a bias but are trying to suppress it by being overly accommodating to people of other races or religions.

So: by being nice, you’re just proving that you are a racist (against the Muslim race, it would seem). I believe it’s fair to say that someone who was rude, mean or otherwise unfriendly to her would also be declared racist. So, no matter what the actual results were going to be, the conclusion was always going to be that “people are racists.”

Of course, Fark.com has a number of good comments on this story, the first being:

Sure they were nicer. They were afraid she’d blow up the place.

 

Child bride kills groom and three of his friends by poisoning meal: Nigerian police

14-year-old girl forced into marriage to 35-year-old scumbag adds rat poison to a meal of rice. Hilarity ensues.

Iraq ready to legalise childhood marriage

Children under nine years old could be legally married and wives forced to comply with sexual demands under newly tabled legislation described by critics as a setback for women’s rights

Oy_Vey

I propose a new rule: whenever the US goes into a nation and takes over, they are given ten years. If at the end of that time they are found to be a reasonable, rational land… they are welcomed back into the world. If they are found to still be backwards jacktarded aholes… they lose such things as international trade, the internal combustion engine, an electrical power grid and modern medicine.

It’s April 1st. AKA “April Fools Day,” a day notable for bad jokes and hoaxes (such as “A Necro-Biological Explanation for the Fermi Paradox,” a reasonable facsimile of a dry scientific paper, posted on Arxiv.org, which attributes the silence of the universe to a near universal zombie epidemic). The problem is, “real news” happens on April 1s, just like any other day. and while most news stories are clearly not April 1st gags, some are real hard to tell if they are hoaxes… or signs that some people are really, really messed up. Like this one:

What Can Educators do to End White Supremacy in the Classroom?

This, sadly, appears to be entirely on the up-and-up, just bad timing. It describes the 15th annual “National White Privilege Conference” held in Madison, Wisconsin. What was discussed there is *entirely* insane. Just utter racist rubbish, of the worst self-hating variety.

One of the “educators” featured in the story is gettign her PhD in “Critical whiteness studies,” something I’ve never heard of before. So, I looked it up on wikipedia. And what I learned is this:

“Black studies” are taught by black folk to explain how great black folk are.

“Chicano/hispanic studies” are taught by chicano/hispanic folk to explain how great chicano/hispanic folk are.

“Womens studies” are taught by women to explain how great women are.

“White studies” are taught by black folk to explain how terrible white folk are.

Buh?

Throw in a lot of gibberish about “privilege,” a whole lot of anti-white race-baiting, a heaping helping of psychobabble and a dumptruck full of socialist/Marxist bullcrap, and you have “critical whiteness studies.”

Gah.

I’m starting to come around to the thinking of many of those on the far left, that views that they don’t agree with should be banned or made illegal. In my case, I’m about to call for a petition to the White House demanding a moratorium on “liberal arts” being taught in universities for a generation or two. Higher ed should be restricted to the likes of physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, medicine, that sort of thing: STEM. And lay off the BS curricula long enough for the current practitioners to just simply *die.*

James Lovelock: environmentalism has become a religion

In case the name “James Lovelock” isn’t immediately familiar, he’s the feller who came up with the “Gaia Hypothesis” that the thin film of organic scum, water, oxygen and nitrogen on the surface of Earth is a self-regulating system, effectively a single organism. This has been an important feature of the environmentalist movement for many years now.

Environmentalism has “become a religion” and does not pay enough attention to facts, according to James Lovelock.

The 94 year-old scientist, famous for his Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, also said that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book, that “it’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer” and that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms.

Arrest Climate-Change Deniers

Sadly, the derp isn’t confined to the article… check out the comments for some weapons grade derptitude.

A fairly disturbing article about how pseudoscientific nonsense is becoming accepted practice in many medical centers:

A disturbing example of quackademic medicine at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center

Can we as a society really point and laugh at people freaking out about “mubobobo” when we have University cancer treatment centers offering newage like reiki and reflexology? We have become so “tolerant of diverse cultures” that we don’t seem to be able to say ” no, sorry, that’s *wrong*” to utter anti-scientific nonsense.

Oh, yeah, this aughtta be interesting:

Anti-gay pastor who prayed for Obama’s death demands silence from women in church

“But when it’s learning time,” Pastor Anderson said, hammering his lecturn, “it’s silence time.”

“So what it’s saying is that they,” the women, “are to learn in silence.” He then quoted 1 Corinthians 14 again, saying that “when the learning is going on, they are not permitted to speak. When the preaching of God’s word is taking place — and first of all, it’s not for a woman to be doing the preaching, and second of all, it’s not for women to be speaking.”

“Even the Bible’s really clear on this,” he said. “Even if they were to have a question, they’re not to ask that question in the church, number one. Number two, even if they want to ask that question to their husband, they should wait until they get home.”

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that nobody really learns in silence, but through active questioning. Sure, you can get “facts” (accurate or otherwise) hammered into you by simply listening, but to really understand, you have to have some sort of back-and-forth. If someone tells you something that you don’t understand – either because the concept escapes you, it’s poorly explained or it conflicts with existing understanding – just letting it skate by is not the path to wisdom.

I’m sure, however, that this pastor will be getting an earful from the ladies.

As might be slightly obvious, I am in favor of scientific literacy and opposed to anti-scientific superstitious nonsense. It is a never-ending issue… nonsense is a remarkably self-restoring force. It gets knocked down here, it rises over there.  Witness astrology.

When you have a population that is scientifically illiterate, they can be easily seduced by the siren call of superstitious stupid. And then you get stuff like this:

Bulawayo man caught using mubobobo during church service

You really need to read the article to get the full flavor of the overwhelming dumbth on display. But in short, a man was severely beaten in Zimbabwe – that bastion of collectivism success stories – because he was using “mubobobo.” What’s “mubobobo,” you ask? It’s magical witchcraft. Specifically, magic that allows a guy to have sex with someone else without their knowledge. In broad daylight. Without touching them. At some considerable distance. Telepathically.

In other words: BS.

It’s also known as “Bluetooth sex,” not because a Bluetooth wireless device is used, but because the magic supposedly allows the user to remotely violate someone. One could argue that “well, it’s Zimbabwe. Shrug.” But the thing is: the whole concept is patently absurd… but people believe it anyway. People sufficiently technologically advanced to know what “Bluetooth” is and to have digital cameras to take photos of the beating, and to post about it on the web and discuss it online. Is it really so unreasonable to consider that this level of Grade-A superstitious moronery might find its way to the US? Considering all the commercials I see on late night TV for psychic chat lines? Considering the rise of “ghost hunter” shows? The success of  homeopathic “medicines?” The relatively recent importation to the west and rise in popularity of eastern magical bullcrap such as  Reiki and feng shui indicates that “alien” absurdity can become accepted by large numbers of people who, by all rights, really should know better. So why not mubobobo?

This acceptance of utter bilge is a societal danger. As someone who generally leans libertarian, with the view that what people do with themselves is their own affair, sometimes what people do needs to be countered. The anti-vaccine movement, for example, based as it often is on the myth that vaccines cause autism, has led to a whole lot fewer kids getting vaccinated. On one hand, the “live and let die horribly” part of me is fine with that: unvaccinated kids are more likely to contract and die from diseases they don’t need to, thus thinning the herd slightly and cleaning a smidgeon of idiocy out of the gene pool. On the other hand, it’s not the kids fault that the parents are superstitious idiots. And on the gripping hand, large numbers of the unvaccinated messes with herd immunity, and can risk large numbers of other people.

Further, acceptance of anti-science, and the incorporation of it into public policy, may wind up bringing down civilization. The political Left is forever screeching about climate change and how carbon dioxide is going to kill us all. The political Right is forever screeching about how it’s a hoax. Well… the facts back up the Left more than the Right here, even when you try to eliminate the hyperbole and dubious and sometimes outright fraudulent data collection.  The world *is* getting warmer, CO2 levels *are* rising, the climate *is* changing. How much, how fast and how bad are all valid arguments. But the political Lefts anti-science comes into full force on the climate change issue. If this is a problem, fine… suggest a solution. And the only suggestions they seem to support are increasing misery in the west via economic contraction… and putting energy production into the hands of the weather via solar and wind. what they *should* be doing, instead, is supporting wholeheartedly the development of many new nuclear powerplants, including thorium reactors. But on the whole they don’t. They display virtually the same exact superstitious fear of nuclear power as many Zimbabweans seem to have for witchcraft.

I suspect a primary reason why the political Right in the US is unconcerned with global warming is because so many of those who are loudest about the issue only offer solutions that result in economic backsliding, reduced standards of living and shrunken horizons. In one of the great modern political ironies, the “Progressives” are largely opposed to actual progress, while the “Conservatives” want society to become richer and more advanced. The solution to the global warming issue is thus straightforward: propose solutions that not only fix the environment, but increase wealth and the standard of living. But the superstitious dread of nuclear reactions causes far to many people to reject that outright. And thus we enter a cultural death spiral of idiocy.

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