Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm Back Bitches

I finally got home from San Diego last night. The trip was fun but definitely tiring. We managed to see about three different friends/family members a day. Considering most of that was spent eating, I’m surprised we were able to fit my ass in the car.

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Unfortunately, I came home only to find out I had been fired. That’s right, FIRED. Even though I’m not as upset as I would think, I am peeved at the way it was handled.

I was fired through a note. That’s right, my boss didn’t even have the human decency to actually call me herself. Instead I have to find out through a Dear John letter. And the excuse I was given... “immodest attire.”

WTF?

That was the best they could come up with? I shouldn’t be so surprised considering their employee management is all but nonexistent, but I can’t help but feel cheated. Honestly, I could come up with plenty of better reasons why I could have been fired. Like stealing small office supplies.

This from a company that didn’t fire an employee after leaving the building unlocked over night and then just “forgetting” to come in for their opening shift the next day, inadvertently forcing the cops to show up when a random patron called them from one of our office phones. Or what about the employee that brought up false sexual harassment charges, forcing the entire staff to be investigated? (She ended up quitting without any notice, only to be rehired last month.)

Good job Taylorsville Recreation. Way to set the bar.

I really want to make a fuss, but I know that things like this always work out. And when bottom falls out leaving them with nothing but the unreliable staff they’ve cultivated, I only hope I’m there to see it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Terrorism That’s Personal

I found this article at the New York Times online. It’s about a form of terrorism in Pakistan that involves flinging acid on people. Not even people, just women and girls. I know most people probably don't want to read something like this the day after Christmas, but if anything, let us use this as a reminder of all we do have.

It’s completely disheartening and I hope you're as moved as I was:

Terrorism in this part of the world usually means bombs exploding or hotels burning, as the latest horrific scenes from Mumbai attest. Yet alongside the brutal public terrorism that fills the television screens, there is an equally cruel form of terrorism that gets almost no attention and thrives as a result: flinging acid on a woman’s face to leave her hideously deformed.

Here in Pakistan, I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region.

This month in Afghanistan, men on motorcycles threw acid on a group of girls who dared to attend school. One of the girls, a 17-year-old named Shamsia, told reporters from her hospital bed: “I will go to my school even if they kill me. My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

When I met Naeema Azar, a Pakistani woman who had once been an attractive, self-confident real estate agent, she was wearing a black cloak that enveloped her head and face. Then she removed the covering, and I flinched.

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Naeema Azar, above, was attacked by her husband after they divorced. Her 12-year-old son, Ahmed Shah, looks after her.

Acid had burned away her left ear and most of her right ear. It had blinded her and burned away her eyelids and most of her face, leaving just bone.
Six skin grafts with flesh from her leg have helped, but she still cannot close her eyes or her mouth; she will not eat in front of others because it is too humiliating to have food slip out as she chews.

“Look at Naeema, she has lost her eyes,” sighed Shahnaz Bukhari, a Pakistani activist who founded an organization to help such women, and who was beginning to tear up. “She makes me cry every time she comes in front of me.”

Ms. Azar had earned a good income and was supporting her three small children when she decided to divorce her husband, Azar Jamsheed, a fruit seller who rarely brought money home. He agreed to end the (arranged) marriage because he had his eye on another woman.

After the divorce was final, Mr. Jamsheed came to say goodbye to the children, and then pulled out a bottle and poured acid on his wife’s face, according to her account and that of their son.

“I screamed,” Ms. Azar recalled. “The flesh of my cheeks was falling off. The bones on my face were showing, and all of my skin was falling off.”

Neighbors came running, as smoke rose from her burning flesh and she ran about blindly, crashing into walls. Mr. Jamsheed was never arrested, and he has since disappeared. (I couldn’t reach him for his side of the story.)

Ms. Azar has survived on the charity of friends and with support from Ms. Bukhari’s group, the Progressive Women’s Association (www.pwaisbd.org). Ms. Bukhari is raising money for a lawyer to push the police to prosecute Mr. Jamsheed, and to pay for eye surgery that — with a skilled surgeon — might be able to restore sight to one eye.
Bangladesh has imposed controls on acid sales to curb such attacks, but otherwise it is fairly easy in Asia to walk into a shop and buy sulfuric or hydrochloric acid suitable for destroying a human face.

Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies: they are poor and female. The first step is simply for the world to take note, to give voice to these women.

Since 1994, Ms. Bukhari has documented 7,800 cases of women who were deliberately burned, scalded or subjected to acid attacks, just in the Islamabad area. In only 2 percent of those cases was anyone convicted.

For the last two years, Senators Joe Biden and Richard Lugar have co-sponsored an International Violence Against Women Act, which would adopt a range of measures to spotlight such brutality and nudge foreign governments to pay heed to it. Let’s hope that with Mr. Biden’s new influence the bill will pass in the next Congress.
That might help end the silence and culture of impunity surrounding this kind of terrorism.

The most haunting part of my visit with Ms. Azar, aside from seeing her face, was a remark by her 12-year-old son, Ahsan Shah, who lovingly leads her around everywhere. He told me that in one house where they stayed for a time after the attack, a man upstairs used to beat his wife every day and taunt her, saying: “You see the woman downstairs who was burned by her husband? I’ll burn you just the same way.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips

I found this on some random site and thought it was funny.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have SOME standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming, 'WOO HOO what a ride!'"

Received from Gary Miskimon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dang...I wanted to complain

I like to type random words into photobucket and see what comes up. This time it was “atheist” and I couldn’t believe one of the pics. It's a picture taken of the Clarion newspaper.

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I am sure your response is similar to mine. Pretty much shock with a little revulsion thrown in.

I am sad to say it was all a joke. Here is an editorial the paper published regarding the incident:

We never questioned Ms. Shannon’s sincerity. We felt she had laid it all out there for everyone to see. So the letter was printed.

In two days, we receive more than 30 letters. Some were angry with her. Some were angry with us. They said we should be ashamed of ourselves for printing it, and that we would never have done that if it were about blacks or Jews. They’re right, we wouldn’t have. However, to be an atheist, you make a conscious choice...

Weeks later we received the following letter from Ms. Shannon:

“While I’ve been thoroughly entertained by the overwhelming number of passionate responses to my January 29th letter, it should probably be noted that, as at least one writer speculated, it was a complete joke. I think it has run its course and at this time space in the Letters to the Editor section should be reserved for more important issues.”

Now we were angry. Numerous attempts to contact Ms. Shannon proved the letter was a hoax, and we stopped printing any letters referring to hers. Shortly afterward, we received a letter from a person telling us the same letter was found in a blog from a woman from South Carolina, and he sent us the Web address.

We wanted our readers to know the story behind the letter.


Dang.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Try Not to Miss Me Too Much

We are finally on our way to San Diego today. Woohoo! We couldn’t have picked a better time, what with Utah in the process of being turned into an ice cube.

It’s been far too long since I’ve seen my family and friends. I also didn’t finish two of my pictures till last night, so I am relieved they turned out fine.

Actually, more than fine… I love them.

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I made this one as a wedding gift for Ryan’s sister. Even though we don’t like each other, I thought I should make something. (I swear I didn’t make her nose so big on purpose. The picture I had of her and him were different sizes and I didn’t realize till it was done. I'll trim it down lol)

The second one is for my friend Stacy whom I love dearly.

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Pretty awesome if I don't say so myself. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Daily Obsession - Mohop

I just found these totally awesome shoes by Mohop. This was in the about section:

Mohop sandals are environmentally friendly, comfortable, and best of all, allow nearly infinite design options with just one pair of wooden soles. Simply lace any ribbon through our patent-pending elastic loops to create your own one-of-a-kind, custom-fit pair! Mohop shoes are individually hand made by Annie Mohaupt in our studio in Chicago.

They are pretty nifty. Here are some pics:

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I would buy a pair if they weren’t over three hundred bucks.

I'm Crushin on Sarah Palin

This is a testament to how bored I was at work yesterday:

I made a Sara Palin finger puppet. (I want you to know I was only slightly tempted to make an inappropriate joke right now. I must finally be growing up.)

That’s right. Sarah. Palin. Finger. Puppet. Four words to make your blood run cold. I found it at fold US Candidate and I have to say I am thoroughly entertained.

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The fact I made this only to crush it, probably says something about my personality.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Douglas Adams Interview

I am bored out of my mind and counting down the hours till I can leave the shit hole that signs my pay checks. Some days, I really wish the place would catch on fire. Just once. I would be happy with even just a small trash can fire. Come on people…ANYTHING.

Trying to pass the time, I am going through random web sites I saved for desperate situations just like this. As usual, I found something I'd like to share.

This is an interview of Douglas Adams by American Atheists. Most people know him as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 49 in 2001.

His thoughts on atheism are brilliant, as to be expected.

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AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Mr. Adams, you have been described as a “radical Atheist.” Is this accurate?

Yes. I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god - in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly. In England we seem to have drifted from vague wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague wishy-washy Agnosticism - both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much.

People will then often say “But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?” This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would chose not to worship him anyway.)

Other people will ask how I can possibly claim to know? Isn’t belief-that-there-is-not-a-god as irrational, arrogant, etc., as belief-that-there-is-a-god? To which I say no for several reasons. First of all I do not believe-that-there-is-not-a-god. I don’t see what belief has got to do with it. I believe or don’t believe my four-year old daughter when she tells me that she didn’t make that mess on the floor. I believe in justice and fair play. I also believe that England should enter the European Monetary Union. These seem to me to be legitimate uses for the word believe. As a carapace for the protection of irrational notions from legitimate questions, however, I think that the word has a lot of mischief to answer for. So, I do not believe-that-there-is-no-god. I am, however, convinced that there is no god, which is a totally different stance and takes me on to my second reason.

I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me “Well, you haven’t been there, have you? You haven’t seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid” - then I can’t even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we’d got, and we’ve now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don’t think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don’t think the matter calls for even-handedness at all.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: How long have you been a nonbeliever, and what brought you to that realization?

Well, it’s a rather corny story. As a teenager I was a committed Christian. It was in my background. I used to work for the school chapel in fact. Then one day when I was about eighteen I was walking down the street when I heard a street evangelist and, dutifully, stopped to listen. As I listened it began to be borne in on me that he was talking complete nonsense, and that I had better have a bit of a think about it.

I’ve put that a bit glibly. When I say I realized he was talking nonsense, what I mean is this. In the years I’d spent learning History, Physics, Latin, Math, I’d learnt something about standards of argument, standards of proof, standards of logic, etc. In fact we had just been learning how to spot the different types of logical fallacy, and it suddenly became apparent to me that these standards simply didn’t seem to apply in religious matters. In religious education we were asked to listen respectfully to arguments which, if they had been put forward in support of a view of, say, why the Corn Laws came to be abolished when they were, would have been laughed at as silly and childish and - in terms of logic and proof -just plain wrong. Why was this?

All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.

So, I was already familiar with and (I’m afraid) accepting of, the view that you couldn’t apply the logic of physics to religion, that they were dealing with different types of ‘truth’. (I now think this is baloney, but to continue...) What astonished me, however, was the realization that the arguments in favor of religious ideas were so feeble and silly next to the robust arguments of something as interpretative and opinionated as history. In fact they were embarrassingly childish. They were never subject to the kind of outright challenge which was the normal stock in trade of any other area of intellectual endeavor whatsoever. Why not? Because they wouldn’t stand up to it. So I became an Agnostic. And I thought and thought and thought. But I just did not have enough to go on, so I didn’t really come to any resolution. I was extremely doubtful about the idea of god, but I just didn’t know enough about anything to have a good working model of any other explanation for, well, life, the universe and everything to put in its place. But I kept at it, and I kept reading and I kept thinking. Sometime around my early thirties I stumbled upon evolutionary biology, particularly in the form of Richard Dawkins’s books The Selfish Gene and then The Blind Watchmaker and suddenly (on, I think the second reading of The Selfish Gene) it all fell into place. It was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: You allude to your Atheism in your speech to your fans (“...that was one of the few times I actually believed in god”). Is your Atheism common knowledge among your fans, friends, and coworkers? Are many people in your circle of friends and coworkers Atheists as well?

This is a slightly puzzling question to me, and I think there is a cultural difference involved. In England there is no big deal about being an Atheist. There’s just a slight twinge of discomfort about people strongly expressing a particular point of view when maybe a detached wishy-washiness might be felt to be more appropriate - hence a preference for Agnosticism over Atheism. And making the move from Agnosticism to Atheism takes, I think, much more commitment to intellectual effort than most people are ready to put in. But there’s no big deal about it. A number of the people I know and meet are scientists and in those circles Atheism is the norm. I would guess that most people I know otherwise are Agnostics, and quite a few Atheists. If I was to try and look amongst my friends, family, and colleagues for people who believed there was a god I’d probably be looking amongst the older, and (to be perfectly frank) less well educated ones. There are one or two exceptions. (I nearly put, by habit “honorable exceptions,” but I don't really think that.)

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Have you faced any obstacles in your professional life because of your Atheism (bigotry against Atheists), and how did you handle it? How often does this happen?

Not even remotely. It’s an inconceivable idea.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: What message would you like to send to your Atheist fans?

Hello! How are you?

Crazies with keypads

Edit: Oh, my. I went back to that crazy True Christian site again out of boredom and I had to share this, “Atheists drink goat enema and eat the flesh of aborted babies.” That was accompanied by this pic:

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Wow...
I looking through random picture on photobucket and I came across this stupid shit:

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I know people are dumb, but give me a break. I mean, someone had to actually take the time to make these. The second one is just retarded and it's actually belittling to an omnipresent deity (I’ve always thought the Christians made their god small. He could have been so much more.)

It's the first one really frightens me though. I typed "atheist for christ" into yahoo and the only thing I could really find is a site made by Ken Schei called “Atheists for Jesus.” It is really just his attempt to show that you can respect the teachings of Jesus without resorting to Christianity or believing in god. Even though I think it’s idiotic, he still obviously grasps the meaning of atheism.

But then I found this website and I wanted to strangle someone. This is from True Christian.com. (I did not change the text in any way but to cut it down.)

What are Atheists? What do They Believe?

1.) Myth: Atheists have no belief in the Christian God or any of the false god of the other religions. It has nothing to do with hate.

Reality: Everyone including atheists know the Christian god, God is real. We know he is real since we call him God with a capital "G" -- that proves it right there.

2.) Myth: Atheists are very socially conscious and strive for humans to live in peace.

Reality: Atheists are all anarchist who hate everything and everyone. All atheists are out to forcibly remove God from the world and take Him out of the History of His Earth.

3.) Myth: On average atheists have higher IQs.

Reality: They are demons, meaning they are slaves to Satan. Since of this they don't think so thus have an IQ of 0.

3.) Myth: Atheists can live high moral lives. They can raise wonderful children, help the needy, provide food and shelter for the poor. They love to help humans since they don't believe in a god, so they instead turn to humanity for love and compassion.

Reality: Atheists live highly sinful lives and fill our state prisons. It's no wonder that 100% of our prisons our full of atheists. Any atheist who claims to be good is trying to act good to draw people to their religion. They will try to enter organizations to help the needy but rightfully will be turned down since everyone knows atheists are hateful and filthy bigots. When atheists start organizations for the needy us True Christians come along and dismember, and destroy their idolaterous buildings. These atheists enforce the Religion of Evolutionism onto these needy people before they give them food, demanding that they confess their alliegance to Satan. What kind of sick moran leaves a needy person in a cold like that with no solid help?

4.) Myth: Atheists are people to.

Reality: THEY ARE EVIL DEMONS! WRATHFUL AND HATEFUL NIGGER LOVERS!
Atheists aren't even Real Citizens of America!! Take THAT YOU FILTHY BIGOTED GOD HATERS! You are ALL immoral communists and all dangerous threats to society with your divorce rates being 100% and your anti-Americanism obvious!
If you EVER make any friendly contact with an atheist, you will go STRAIGHT to Hell. Jesus will NEVER receive you, you fools. GOD HATES ATHEISTS WITH ALL HIS LOVE!
So the answer is simple. Kill all atheists immediately.

Atheists are the Vast Majority in the Public Education System and in the Judicial System. What do We do about that?

Firstly, never take your children to public school since you don't want them to be brainwashed by religious beliefs. Home school them and teach them only about the Bible and God's Love for all. Tell them the truth about atheism and they're religion: Evolutionism. Satan planted them in schools and things to make atheists look smart and appealing when the truth is they are all communists who wallow in their own vomit and lick the rectums of dogs. Since that's all atheists are, filthy stinky homosexuals who hate everyone. They should all die, as God orders us to kill them all.

WOW. It also goes on to say, “So if you miss a Sunday of Church you are to be killed since you are a filthy atheist then.”



The sad thing is there is even a myspace fan page for this word vomit. This video was on their myspace page and it's just special.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steroids Kill My Libido

Most of you know that I love gay porn. Well I am also a blog junkie and, not too suprising, most of the blogs I love the most are written by gay men. I don’t know why, they’re just awesome.

It’s the way of the world I suppose.

One common thread through all of them (besides the rampant sex parties) is the vainess that creeps into a lot of the posts. I don’t know why, but it seems most gay men prefer guys who work out to the point where it’s a full time job.

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I, on the other hand, do NOT like buff guys. I think they tend to look weird and misproportioned. I can’t stand vain people and I could not survive a relationship where the guy spends more on hair products than I do. Fake tan = not a chance in hell of working out.

It's just never gonna happen.

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It's not like there was a chance this was likely to happen anyways. It seems shallow people gravitate towards other shallow people.

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And I really can’t stand the oily look. What is the thinking behind that? It’s just gross. Wipe that crud off.

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Much rather have someone a little scruffy around the edges. Or someone with those nerdy glasses. Oh yeah...

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I guess it just comes down to whatever floats your boat.

Better Know a Lobbyist - Gay Agenda

I have told my friends about this video so many times and it took me forever to track it down.

It was totaly worth the effort though. :)

This is an interview of Joe Solmonese, from the Human Rights Campain, on the Colbert Report.

Each segment is like five minutes long but I promise it’s worth it.

Part one:


Part two:


Oh my, the face Joe makes when Colbert says "vagina" is priceless...haha

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally Some Closure

I am sure almost everyone can remember the kidnap and murder of the 6-year-old son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh. It happened four years before I was born, but I can still remember the interviews about what happened that day.

John Walsh then went on to become the spokesperson for missing children everywhere. I can even remember the sound of his voice perfectly.

This is an article I just read from yahoo news:

A serial killer who died more than a decade ago is the person who decapitated the 6-year-old son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh in 1981, police in Florida said Tuesday. The announcement brought to a close a case that has vexed the Walsh family for more than two decades, launched the television show about the nation's most notorious criminals and inspired changes in how authorities search for missing children.

"Who could take a 6-year-old and murder and decapitate him? Who?" an emotional John Walsh said at Tuesday's news conference. "We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know. The not knowing has been a torture, but that journey's over."

Police named Ottis Toole, saying he was long the prime suspect in the case and that they had conclusively linked him to the killing. They declined to be specific about their evidence and did not note any DNA proof of the crime, but said an extensive review of the case file pointed only to Toole, as John Walsh long contended.

"Our agency has devoted an inordinate amount of time seeking leads to other potential perpetrators rather than emphasizing Ottis Toole as our primary suspect," said Hollywood Police Chief Chadwick Wagner, who launched a fresh review of the case after taking over the department last year. "Ottis Toole has continued to be our only real suspect."

Toole died in prison of cirrhosis in 1996 at the age of 49. He was serving five life sentences for murders unrelated to Adam's death.
Adam Walsh went missing from a Hollywood mall on July 27, 1981. Fishermen discovered his severed head in a canal 120 miles away two weeks later. The rest of his body was never found.

Authorities made a series of crucial errors, losing the bloodstained carpeting in Toole's car — preventing DNA testing — and the car itself. It was a week after the boy's disappearance before the FBI got involved.

"So many mistakes were made," John Walsh said in 1997, upon the release of his book "Tears of Rage," which harshly criticized the Hollywood Police Department's work on the case. "It was shocking, inexcusable and heartbreaking."
For all that went wrong in the probe, the case contributed to massive advances in police searches for missing youngsters and a notable shift in the view parents and children hold of the world.
Adam's death, and his father's activism on his behalf, helped put faces on milk cartons, shopping bags and mailbox flyers, started fingerprinting programs and increased security at schools and stores. It spurred the creation of missing persons units at every large police department.

"In 1981, when a child disappeared, you couldn't enter information about a child into the FBI database. You could enter information about stolen cars, stolen guns but not stolen children," said Ernie Allen, president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, co-founded by John Walsh. "Those things have all changed."

The case also prompted national legislation to create a national database and toll-free line devoted to missing children, and led to the start of "America's Most Wanted," which brought those cases into millions of homes.

What it also did, said Mount Holyoke College sociologist and criminologist Richard Moran, is make children and adults alike exponentially more afraid.

"He ended up really producing a generation of cautious and afraid kids who view all adults and strangers as a threat to them and it made parents extremely paranoid about the safety of their children," Moran said.


I have a problem with the ending on this article. Even if we have become more afraid, which I’m sure we have, this is not the fault of John Walsh.

They also shouldn't have ended this on a negative note. I find it belittling to the effort Walsh made for children everywhere.

I heart Bill Maher

So I just went on a youtube binge and this video really resonated with me.

I’ve always thought it completely irrational that people are willing to do anything out of fear of some intangible “terrorist.”

If anyone doubts this, just look at our "aggressive interrogation techniques."



I don't know who that British guy is, but I want to. lol

"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake"

Reposted from: American Humanist.org

"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," proclaims a new holiday ad from the American Humanist Association. Already in the New York Times and Washington Post, the message will soon be blazoned on the sides, taillights, and interiors of over 200 Washington DC Metro buses.

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It's the first ad campaign of its kind in the United States, and the American Humanist Association predicts it will raise public awareness of humanism as well as controversy over humanist ideas.

"Humanists have always understood that you don't need a god to be good," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "So that's the point we're making with this advertising campaign. Morality doesn't come from religion. It's a set of values embraced by individuals and society based on empathy, fairness, and experience."

At a press conference today launching the campaign, large displays were featured showing the ads in today's New York Times and Washington Post, the bus posters, and how the posters will look mounted on the side of a bus and inside, behind the driver's seat.

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"We expect these bus signs to generate a lot of public interest," said Fred Edwords, director of communications for the American Humanist Association. "Some folks may be offended but that isn't our purpose. We just want to reach those open to this message but unaware how widespread their views are.

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Church of Atheism

Sometimes you just know something is gonna piss you off by the title alone. This is especially true with most things regarding atheism.

Now, as most sane non religious people can attest to, the argument that atheism is its own religion has been used time and time again without any noticeable improvements. I love to debate, but please PLEASE do some research. (I mean jeez, at least make me work at ripping you a new one.)

Unfortunately, this article was no different. I cut off some of the beginning cause it was slow going in:
Now, atheism is certainly not a religion, and the phrase “evangelical atheism” certainly appears oxymoronic. But we have witnessed in our time the rise of a virulent strain of atheism championed by Bill Maher, the secularist philosopher Richard Dawkins, and their often indignant ilk. For all its schooling and pretense of intellectualism, this godless vanguard unknowingly adopts the very aspects of religion its leaders passionately lambaste and turns atheism into the kind of evangelical ideology it opposes.
Ooh..."godless vangaurd." Me likey.

The facets of evangelism most repellent to atheists are bigotry, proselytism, and an unquestioning certainty in the tenets of one’s faith. Secular atheism spurns all of these things, but the evangelical atheism of Maher and Dawkins has chosen to embrace them.

During the height of conservative whispers about then-candidate Barack Obama’s secret adherence to Islam, Maher parried the smears with one of his own, saying, “…You can’t be president if you practice a violent, Middle-Eastern religion and worship a genocidal desert god, which is why Sarah Palin can’t be president.”
Ok, that's just funny and people tend to forget that Maher is a COMEDIAN. He makes jokes. Good ones.

Maher may be right when he says that a candidate’s literal belief in scripture makes him or her ill-suited for high office due to the importance of having a rational hand on the levers of power. However, Maher then subverts his credibility by condescendingly condemning religious belief as fundamentally irrational, describing belief in God as maintaining that “…You’re in a long-term relationship with an all-powerful space-daddy, who will, after you die, party with your ghost forever.”
Does anyone else see anything wrong with that sentence? It doesn’t make any sense at all. How does pointing out that something is irrational subvert his credibility?

But in reality belief in God does not require a divorce from science. It simply requires faith in something that cannot be proven. After all, the logic of religious apologists, though circular, is correct in insisting that God’s existence cannot be disproved, either. Atheism, as opposed to agnosticism, therefore, requires faith as well. By scorning faith in God, Maher is simply scorning beliefs that he does not share but cannot rebut. Surely this sounds familiar.
That is true. No where does it say that religion and science are incompatible, it's just likely to be an unhappy marriage. The belief in something without proof, now THAT is incompatible with science.

Posing a challenge to biblical or Koranic literalism has some merits, for such a belief requires a significant rejection of empirical reality. But the ridicule of the beliefs of all religious people, literalist and otherwise, is bigotry, and bigotry reinforced by proselytism.

One would be hard-pressed to find anything more explicitly religious than the use of the language of proselytism itself, exemplified by a page on Dawkins’ website, titled “Converts Corner.” Granted, if one were to ignore the comically narcissistic objective of this blog, whose sole purpose is to allow proselytes to stroke Dawkins’ capacious ego by recounting how his book “converted” them from their religious faith, one could defend such efforts by pointing to their foundation in logic rather than faith. But this contention would only hold true if Maher and Dawkins were proffering agnostic uncertainty in place of evangelical certainty.
Ok. Even if Dawkins is a narcissist, which I’m pretty sure he’s not, that doesn’t make the impact of his book any less significant. I also think someone needs a dictionary for Christmas. Evangelicalism is all about Christ. The word cannot be use to describe atheists. Even if those atheist are spewing hate speech and foaming at the mouth like some evangelicals, the word still would not apply.

By insisting that God does not exist, rather than that we cannot know whether or not He does, and that everyone should believe as they do, Maher and Dawkins venture beyond the realm of skepticism and enter that realm of conviction—religious conviction. Atheism, like the Abrahamic troika with which it competes, requires faith, and when this faith is replaced by certainty, when doubt and healthy skepticism are jettisoned, atheism becomes a religion.

Evangelical atheism is not the answer to evangelical religion, for the problem with the latter stems not from the irrationality of its beliefs, but from the absolute certainty with which those beliefs are held. Responding in kind is not the solution.
Actually the problems stem from the absolutely certainty in irrational beliefs, not one or the other.

This article is simply another attempt to bash atheists as a whole without taking the time to truly understand the individual’s position. Dawkins even states, in one of his books, that atheists don’t have faith and reason alone cannot compel a person to believe one hundred percent that anything does NOT exist. (Like Bigfoot.)

I guess all them big words don’t mean much without research.

Weapons of Mass Humiliation

I am sure everyone has seen this a million times already, but it warms my heart. I love that George Bush had shoes thrown at him. It's like my personal sun beam on the Santa’s ass of frozen misery known as Utah.

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog," Muntader al-Zaidi yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."



A lot of people don’t realize that in Arab culture it's considered rude even to display the sole of one's shoe to a fellow human being since shoes are considered ritually unclean in the Muslim faith, so the shoe throwing was mainly symbolic.

Muntader al-Zaidi is already a hero in Iraq, and beyond. He was even given a an award for courage. That pretty much says it all.

Well, that and the fact the secret service allowed him to throw the second shoe before rushing out.

Daily obsession - Sabina Kelley

God I love her.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

"I think I've made a huge mistake."

I found this at tvgasm.com and I thought it was hilarious. I was laughing so hard at work people all around me were looking at me crazy. The captions just make it over the top.

Enjoy:

Ever wonder what would happen if one of our favorite Food Network chefs created something they actually didn't like? Well, we were lucky enough to witness such an event when Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian attempted to make some sort of sorbet. She claimed on the air that her facial expressions of disgust and malaise were merely a reaction to the icy treat, but we know better. Behold the Great Giada Disaster of 2006.

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Giada eagerly anticipates the first taste of her cranberry sorbet. What culinary splendors await??

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Here we go!

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"Mmmmm..."

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"Wait a second. This doesn't taste right."

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"I think I've made a huge mistake."

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"Oh dear lord."

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"OH DEAR LORD!!"

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"Must... be... brave..."

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Never willing to admit a mistake, Giada reluctantly goes in for another taste.

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"How did I do this? I'm so stupid! STUPID STUPID STUPID!!"

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"I mean, it tastes like salty barnacles."

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"I'm in such a f*ckin' bad mood now."

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"I mean... this is really good! See! I'm smiling!"

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"MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!!"

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"It actually burns. Seriously, someone call a medic. MEDIC!!"

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"It's as if Lucifer himself has served me a slushy!"

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"I'm ruined!"

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"Mommy."

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But as always, Giada rebounds with her trademark smile. Can't keep her down for long!

You're welcome.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Generic Non-Denominational Winter Solstice Festival

I have a bone to pick with people who think Christmas is under attack.

Because what are they thinking? Are they seriously so unsatisfied with their lives that they have nothing better to do? Why not worry about... I don’t know... people who ARE being attacked throughout the world instead of retail stores that have decided to simply reword their intentions of good will on their signs? This idea that Christmas is under attack is one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard. I even had to listen to Ryan’s mom (the crazy wonderful woman who said we couldn’t technically be married because I’m an atheist) complain that non Christians are celebrating Christmas.

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The truth of the matter is that non Christians have always celebrated Christmas. Christmas is a secular holiday (the fact that it’s a federal holiday proves that). People all over this country celebrate Christmas without any sort of religious connotations. When little kids run down the stairs to see what a breaking and entering fictional character brought them, with the help of flying animals and elves, the last thing on their mind is the birth of Christ.

Because lets be honest with ourselves, we don’t know that Jesus was born at all, and if he was, it definitely was at a different time of year. (It says in Luke 2:8 that on the night Jesus was born angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds in a nearby field. Most historians say that Jesus was probably born no later than October, because why the hell would shepherds be out in the field in the middle of December?) The Dec. 25th date was chosen simply to rival the popular Pagan celebrations of winter solstice and the Mithras celebration of the birth of their infant god of light.

Does that make it a pagan holiday? I don’t think so. Even though the Christians stole copied the timing, the tree, presents, and mistletoe ideas, they still had every intention of celebrating the birth of Christ. Their intention is what made it a Christian holiday. Just like my intention makes it secular. When Christians put up a tree, they aren’t doing so to worship some nature god. When I put up a tree, I am not doing so to worship some man god myth Jesus. Get my point? Brilliant I know.

What it comes down to is respect. People recognize that Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated this month and are simply trying to include everyone in their well wishes. (I think as long as the nation is 90% Christian, they should keep their mouth shut about persecution because the other ten percent, which is acually 30 million people, have just as much right to enjoy the holidays any way they like.)

Even if there was some big conspiracy to attack Christmas, how would a sign in a department store have any bearing on that? Are window displays and advertisements a necessary part of the celebration of god? Are presents an indispensable role to celebrating the birth of Jesus? I really hope the answer is no.

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I don’t think the crazies that listen to Bill O have even thought this out. For one, it’s just ludicrous. Two, there is NO proof of an actual attack on Christmas. Third, the declaration of Christmas as a religious holiday only hurts them because it would be treated like any other Christian holiday and religious holidays can not be recognized by the federal government.

So can we please more beyond this and just enjoy our time with our loved ones?

(Great article to read more about this made up claim. FOX hypes stories to claim "Christmas Under Siege.")