06 December 2015

Link round-up for 6 December 2015

A Target employee has a bit of fun on the job.  And I think this book-cover artist knew exactly what he was doing.

Maybe Palin didn't quite think this through.

Hmm, paganism is kind of complicated.

The house I grew up in had one of these in the yard.

Gunman or terrorist?

Muhammad Rizalman's belief in black magic led to an unusual courtship strategy.

What's behind the "ghost boats", some with rotting corpses aboard, drifting ashore in Japan?

US Muslims condemn terrorism once again, but many people aren't listening.

The richest 12 Americans now own more wealth than the poorest 160,000,000.

Congress must get tough on terrorism -- even if it means ethnic profiling.

The "comfort" of believing in an afterlife is deadly dangerous.

A well-informed young lady speaks in defense of her sexual preference (if you're the judgmental type, here's another pic of her).

Even in the South, churches are losing influence (found via Republic of Gilead).

Violent religious bigotry is on the rise in India.

355 mass shootings this year?  No, not even close -- why do people think this kind of easily-exposed dishonesty does their cause any good?  Also, California already has tough gun laws and they didn't help.  Here's a shooting most anti-gun blogs won't mention.

Herman Cain pwns Jeb.

From Mississippi, news of another shocking police killing.

The new Jessica Jones show takes an unusually honest look at abortion.

France takes one small step against trophy hunting.

There's a lot more to Hillary than just being the first woman President.

What do the wingnuts really think about militarized cops?

Religious morons fly into a ridiculous snit over a drawing of a piggy bank (sent by Ranch Chimp).

Dâ'ish (ISIL) is still executing homosexuals, who are fleeing wherever they can.

To oppose Trump's bigotry, do as much of your shopping as possible at Macy's.

There are real signs that the insane "war on drugs" may be approaching its end.  Here's where every Presidential candidate stands on marijuana (found via Jobsanger).

The Saudi regime, whose practices are similar to those of Dâ'ish, threatens to sue anyone who says their practices are similar to those of Dâ'ish.  Here's more on Saudi justice.  They're becoming a threat to stability, too.

Villagers in India follow a traditional practice to bring their children health and luck.

That black pastor who endorsed Trump is an interesting character.

Defend Planned Parenthood for the right reasons.

Remember them -- and let the progress of 37 years give us strength for the struggles remaining.

Who can't be a real American?

The media put an odd spin on Hillary's latest endorsements.

What's up with the Republican party?  Juan Williams looks at the revolt of the base, Burr Deming documents how the elite thinks, Booman compares this election cycle to 1972, and Bill Moyers sees a descent into madness.  Here's a Trump supporter's view -- and yes, he will probably win the nomination.

The war against Dâ'ish is partly being fought on the internet.

If you leave your religion, it's morally OK to kill you.

The inimitable Faye Kane writes to her Governor about Obamacare and posts a round-up of Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets.

Crazy Eddie has a round-up of reportage on the Paris climate conference.

Here's why science, not religion, gets things right.

A hybrid skeleton found in Italy confirms that our ancestors interbred with neanderthals.

The last century changed our understanding of the universe -- and the language in which we understand it.

An experimental Alzheimer's drug, J147, shows promising anti-aging properties in mice.  Another drug with anti-aging potential, metformin, will begin testing on humans next year.

Bill Gates launches an initiative against global warming.

If you have ever been to Greece, Italy, or Iran, but have not yet responded to my travel questions, please click here.

[Image at top:  Dâ'ish oil refinery in eastern Syria, before and after US airstrike]


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"Muslims in America Condemn Extremists and Fear Anew for Their Lives"

Funny. I don't remember any Christian groups condemning Christian terrorists after Richard Lewis Dear slaughtered innocent Americans.

06 December, 2015 13:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: The responses I saw more boiled down to "It's not terrorism when we do it."

06 December, 2015 14:53  
Anonymous Connie said...


My take on the Springs reaction is it's not terrorism if the target is on the approved enemy list.

As for being judgmental about the young lady I have one word - consent. There is more but I'm squicked.

06 December, 2015 16:30  
Blogger Ahab said...

Shaw and Infidel -- Fundamentalist Christians are devoted to the "no true Scotsman" fallacy when it comes to Christian extremist violence.

06 December, 2015 18:14  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Connie: Welcome back! And no, they won't admit it's terrorism if it's committed against people they hate. It never occurs to them to realize that jihadists think in just the same way.

Please consider this: "Animals can't consent" is like "God hates fags" or "all sex work is trafficking" -- it's a blank-out phrase to protect the mind from objective consideration of forms of sexuality that make the onlooker uncomfortable. In fact, it's usually easy to tell from an animal's own reactions whether it likes or dislikes an activity (if you doubt this, try washing a cat), and dogs in particular seem able to engage in sex with humans with as much enthusiasm as they show for all the other things we train them to do for our own benefit, which arouse no such objections. The "moral" objections most people express toward sex with animals on the grounds of consent are best judged in light of the fact that the same people usually voice no objection to treatment which unquestionably violates animals' right of consent, such as killing them for food.

Ahab: I see that over and over. Any right-wing extremist who commits violence is re-defined by wingnuts as being left-wing, usually on pitifully specious grounds. But it's good enough to protect their alternate-reality bubble in which their kind can do no wrong.

06 December, 2015 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The piggy bank brouhaha:

Yes, it is a silly protest. But an Indian newspaper should've known better than to publish that. Because of the ever-present risk of religious-based deadly communal violence, there are various laws on the books to prevent religious incitement to violence (to prevent opportunistic politicians—including people like the current Prime Minister, who is not averse to such tactics—and others from exploiting idiot religious fanatics). These laws is why the newspaper was quick to apologise to reduce the damage they face when a case is surely brought against them under the said laws.

07 December, 2015 04:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: That's absurd. By that argument, any violent group can exercise a veto over any form of free expression by reacting violently to it and claiming to have been "incited" -- and free expression vanishes. Laws that limit free expression on such grounds, instead of punishing only the violent would-be censors, are the cowardly politicians' way out. Here, fortunately, the First Amendment pretty much precludes such an approach.

07 December, 2015 05:04  
Blogger Pinku-Sensei said...

Thanks for linking to my entry about the Paris climate talks. Since I'm an environmentalist, I'd better write something about the largest environmental event involving heads of state.

Speaking of which, while I'm in good company with Dispatches from the Culture Wars (Ed is a fellow Michigander), Rosa Rubicondior, and Why Evolution is True in upholding science in general, I think I'm the sole environmental blogger on your blogroll. If that's true, then I should do a more diligent and consistent job of being that environmental voice.

Also, thanks for linking to "No More Mister Nice Blog." I hadn't read there in a while and found it refreshing. I think the establishment is still in denial when it comes to Trump. Let's see how long they take before they move along to the rest of Kubler-Ross's stages of grief.

07 December, 2015 06:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Adalin and I very want sex! t

07 December, 2015 07:45  
Anonymous blurber said...

I well remember the willow tree. It used to be a nesting site for butterflies. They continued to visit that area for several years after it was cut down.

07 December, 2015 10:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Pinku: Thanks. I do have RealClimate in the "Reality check" section, but it's true that generally I focus more on religion. I think every blogger should post one whatever topics strike their interest.

Adalin: I can't be of much help there, I'm afraid. Have you considered getting a dog?

Blurber: They're a unique and memorable tree, for sure.

07 December, 2015 18:14  
Anonymous Connie said...

Well poop. Now I have to reassess my ideas of consent and yes means yes.

Honestly I have to admit I'm a speciesist when it comes to sex.

As for eating - everything I eat had to die to get to my table, including plants. As a person who talks to their plants I have to say a lot of thank yous for everything before eating. At one point I considered Star Trek's replicator technology to be safe but the foodstuffs has to be created out of something...

Thank you for the welcome back. :) I hope this time of year is treating you well.

08 December, 2015 11:29  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Connie: It's not such a major reassessment really. We can usually tell when a self-aware but non-human animal likes or dislikes something, so it's not much of a jump to acknowledge that they can consent to things as well, even if not on such a sophisticated level as humans do.

I don't deny being personally repulsed by the thought of sex with animals, but that has no bearing on the ethical status of such behavior.

As for food, my position is that I will not eat anything that had a central nervous system while it was alive and thus had, potentially, some capacity for self-awareness. That still allows me the entire plant kingdom and, in case of dire desperation, Trump supporters.

Your comments here are always welcome.

08 December, 2015 19:40  
Anonymous NickM said...

What about cephlapods? They don't exactly have a CNS as such but are smart as paint. I refuse to eat them. The spell-check in chrome suggested "clapboards". I don't eat them either for different reasons.

I suspect you might have some competition over the Trumpsters. You might find a bald eagle got there first. One called "Uncle Sam" who went straight for the "thing" on Trump's head. Magnificent creatures (yes I have seen them). I meant the birds - not the Trumpsters.

PS I never quite got why they are THE symbol of your nation. Then I saw one. I got the USA's choice then. DC Zoo. Wow. It was like when I saw an SR-71 at IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire. My gf (now wife) said, "But they can't make things like that yet!". Cue small lecture on Lockheed's Skunk Works. I was down there in the summer and flew a Tiger Moth. Brilliant but not quite The Sled. I varied between 80 and 100 knots. Not exactly Mach 3.3 +

10 December, 2015 13:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: All animals, even insects, have central nervous systems -- granted that of the octopus is less centralized than most. But even if an animal is someday found without one, I won't eat it.

I didn't get your "Uncle Sam the eagle" reference until I happened to run across this just now. Yes, the eagle is an impressive beast, and not one that suffers annoying fools gladly.

10 December, 2015 19:12  

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