30 September 2021

For Blasphemy Day

September 30 is Blasphemy Day International.  I have long held that ridicule and mockery, not debate or argument, is the best way to address religion, and the observance of Blasphemy Day affirms that there must be no carve-out for religion protecting it from the broad principle of free expression.  The date commemorates the original publication of the immortal Muhammad cartoons in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

28 September 2021

Videos of the day -- a failed state

The Evergrande crisis in China deepens.  I've been saying for years that the common Western view of China is far wide of the mark and based on a Potemkin façade, that China is a backward country under a tinpot gangster dictatorship and mired in the staggering corruption (beyond anything most Westerners can imagine, even under Trump) which inevitably comes with totalitarianism and with lack of democratic accountability or a free press to keep everyone at least somewhat honest -- and that its official growth figures and the overall picture we're given of its economy are unverifiable and probably mostly bullshit.  It was always likely that the whole thing would someday come crashing down, and it now looks like that might be starting to happen.

Democracy, transparency, accountability, and a free press are not luxuries.  They are essential to a modern society.  The fact that we and western Europe, Japan, India, Taiwan, etc have those things (however imperfect) makes our economies and societies far more robust and resilient -- which should, at least, somewhat limit the contagion of damage from the deepening mess in China.

26 September 2021

Link round-up for 26 September 2021

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Crabs fart.

Our weather:  cool and rainy with a chance of bugs.

Meet a giant of modern science (found via Miss Cellania).

Every punster's favorite planet!

It's all about size.

Now for some cats.....

Surrender, Dorothy!

Interesting ancient graffiti from Pompeii here.

Don't mess with this supervillain.

Enjoy the grace and elegance of a bird in flight.

Clever idea here for extracting a few bucks from Trumpanzees😈.

Learn beer math, how to clean an oven, and more.

See a meteor shower.

He met a big fan and got blown.

It's a small world.

Feeling so androgynous.....

Set the turtle free.

What is that???

Some farm workers are pretty good drivers.  Here's a bad driver who got lucky.

Fight and defeat crippling self-doubt.

Build a witch's kitchen.

In the middle of Turkey Cappadocia stands a giant forest of petrified dildi.

Watch volcanic lava destroy a neighborhood.

To some, Halloween is genuinely scary.  I hope he lives next door to this person.

At last -- a comprehensive global study of dong size.

Interesting crow story here.

Newton is vindicated.

Nice rocks.

This is what 4.5 megabytes -- equal to a dozen large modern jpg images -- looked like in 1955.

Consider thrift stores for Halloween decor.

It's a scenario playing out in offices all over the country.

Meet John R Brinkley, goat testicle guru (link from Carol Seidl).

Infographics on national flags here.

"What's wrong with your dick?"

Many libraries have an abundance of resources besides books.

Comprehensive listing here of new movies coming out in the rest of 2021 (found via Miss Cellania).  Largely the usual wasteland of sequels, remakes, reboots, "franchises", and superheroes, but there are some potential diamonds in the rough.

Fiction these days is so "problematic".

It's a mistake to not mock idiots (found via Yellowdog Granny).

Pwned, I think.

Burn it all down!

Florida's "Holy Land Experience", the fundie answer to Disney World, has finally flopped for good.

Lenny Bruce exemplified the vital importance of freedom of speech.

We still know surprisingly little about dinosaur sex (found via Miss Cellania).

One country, one national anthem.

While other countries advance, work in the US seems likely to remain shitty.  "They’re fucking begging for a revolt at this point."  Many US companies can't get good workers because their hiring process is crap.  But the worker shortage is doing some good.

Even if covid-19 did have a 99% survival rate.....

"Non-essentialist intersectional" blah blah blah gobbledygook.

Call for action here from Instacart shoppers.  This situation sounds terrible.

Ross Douthat's recent attempt to defend creationism proves to be a dud.

The US is a land of obscene disparities of wealth.

They are literally talking about mudbloods and purebloods now (yes, I know it comes from Harry Potter).

Pwnage here in response to the ACLU's disgusting twisting of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's words.

If your state has a Republican senator, read this.

Most doctors support vaccine mandates (hardly surprising).

The Nabisco strike has ended in what seems like a win for the workers, though those in Portland dissented.

Bruce Gerencser looks at the legacy of evangelical superstar Jack Hyles.

The anti-vaxers are escalating their campaign of threats and violence against hospitals and medical professionals.

Growing meat in vats to replace animal farming will probably never be feasible, economically or technologically, except on a small scale.

BLM destroys a statue of Frederick Douglass.  You couldn't make this shit up.

Republicans are the party of male fragility masquerading (pitifully) as machismo.

No more excuses for anti-vax idiots.

Bluzdude dissects some more wingnut propaganda, and continues to deal with the aftermath of his father's death.

Many younger evangelicals are dropping out of their elders' cultural warfare.

This is how vaccines actually work (disturbing image) -- they're not 100% effective, but they don't have to be (found via Octoberfarm).  Good discussion here on breakthrough infections.

It's a stunning and inspiring new world record in bicycling.

Only about a quarter of Americans support the Republicans' war on abortion rights.

Breitbart thinks we're playing four-dimensional chess on vaccines.

Freedom of choice makes all the difference.

Sarah Palin was right, sort of.

"A small amount of incidents".....

This New Hampshire Republican got so sick of anti-science nonsense that he left the party.

Anti-vax police officers are quitting rather than submit to mandates (found via Hackwhackers).  I've heard talk of the same happening in the US military.  Vaccine mandates could have the side benefit of "purging" America's police and military of dangerously-unreliable conspiratard/alt-right elements.

Some who reject religion embrace other stupid beliefs instead.

If you think that masks are bad, try being this guy (found via Yellowdog Granny).

A series of best-selling books are challenging the entrenched dogmas of trans ideology.

The hard-core wingnuts are being sabotaged by their own paranoia.

While the UK forges ahead in vaccinations, covidiots keep holding the US back.

Kuwait is recycling the world's biggest tire junkyard.

France's ambassador to Afghanistan describes his country's tense but well-organized evacuation of its nationals and supporters.

The Islamist Taliban are Islamically re-imposing Islamically barbarous Islamic punishments such as Islamically cutting off people's hands in an Islamic manner.

Schools in Afghanistan are re-opening, but not for girls.  Courageous women continue to protest the regime.

Pakistan is unwise to celebrate the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan.

WION's Palki Sharma dissects Imran Khan's speech at the UN.

The US isn't the only country with religious scammers pushing bogus covid-19 treatments.

The Chinese regime wants to ban "effeminate men" and anything "overly entertaining" from the media.

The Philippines supports the new AUKUS pact.  China is predictably in a huge snit about it, but Australia doesn't give a damn, and indeed is doubling down with plans for hosting the US Air Force.

One Asian nation is among the best places for internet freedom.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced.

o o o o o

My own posts this week:  an assessment of the AUKUS pact, easily Biden's most important accomplishment so far; a collection of humorous images; and the case for ivermectin.

[Image at top found via Hackwhackers.]

25 September 2021

Video of the day -- the case for ivermectin

Don't be a neigh-sayer.  Just be aware of the side effects.

23 September 2021

It's a funny world (3)