On Christian Faith, American Politics, and Some Specific Human Conditions


It’s just one of those things: Can we laugh, now?

After all, some issues really are serious, and no matter how laughably absurd we might find a moment, well, it never is laughable if we find ourselves in the middle of it all.

Bryan FischerIn response to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the southern border of the U.S., the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is repeating his belief that all national borders were determined by God and therefore anybody who crosses them without permission is directly offending the Creator.

In a column for BarbWire today, Fischer writes, “What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.”

(Blue)

To the one, come on, that’s absolutely laughable. To the other, it would not be a particularly reliable promise that laughing our way through the current refugee crisis at our southern border would be an exercise of any useful function.

Right Wing WatchTo a third, one might notice that Mr. Fischer is invoking God’s judgment for earthly authority; we might imagine that his explanation of “what would Jesus do?” would be rather quite interesting. Especially considering the fact that Fischer’s exception to the rule is war.

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Blue, Miranda. “Bryan Fischer: ‘Our Southern Border Is There By God’s Design'”. Right Wing Watch. 10 July 2014.

Just … I Don’t Know, Say It’s Missouri, and Just Move On?


What part of this would be believable if Quentin Tarantino tried it in a movie?

A Naylor man faces domestic assault charges after allegedly shooting his wife during an argument Saturday morning.

At least he had a reason.  Or ... er ... thought he did.Bobby S. Leonard, 59, was charged Saturday with first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action or first-degree domestic assault ….

…. Ripley County Cpl. Earl Wheetley was sent to a home on H.E. White Drive in Naylor about 8:25 a.m. Saturday in reference to a “female being shot by her husband.”

Wheetley found a woman, Carolyn Leonard, “laying on the front porch covered in blood,” according to his probable-cause affidavit. A man, Wheetley said, was holding a towel on the victim’s right shoulder.

When Wheetley asked what had happened, “she stated her and her husband was arguing, and he shot her,” said Wheetley, who was told Bobby Leonard was inside the trailer.

Wheetley said he was telling emergency medical services personnel what had happened when a man came out onto the porch. When the man identified himself as Bobby Leonard, Wheetley handcuffed him.

“I asked him if he had any weapons on him, and he stated, ‘No, the gun is in the house on the counter,'” Wheetley said.

After being told of his rights and acknowledging he understood those rights, Leonard asked whether his wife was dead, Wheetley said.

“I asked Bobby what happened, and he stated: ‘I got tired of her and shot her,'” Wheetley said.

(Friedrich)

So … right. It’s a reminder that cheap punch lines, while certainly worth a chuckle, are sometimes best kept to oneself. No, really. I mean, take your pick, right? Sanctity of marriage? Middle America? Family values? Oh. Well, damn. Right. Anyway, you see what I mean.

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Friedrich, Michele. “Man admits to shooting wife because ‘I got tired of her'”. Southeast Missourian. 9 July 2014.

Must I Love ‘I (Effin’) Love Science’?


You know, it’s articles like this that make me wonder why the hell I have so many IFL Science links coming in via Facebook.IFLS Logo

Despite the many products that claim otherwise, using the term “chemical-free” is plain nonsense. Everything, including the air we breathe, the food we eat and the drinks we consume, is made of chemicals. It doesn’t matter if you live off the land, following entirely organic farming practises or are a city-dweller consuming just processed food, either way your surroundings and diet consists of nothing but chemicals.

(Lorch)

Obviously, I need new friends.

No, really. That’s the kind of half-witted, deceptive excrement I can get from the local news. Thanks, guys. I effin’ don’t love you.

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Lorch, Mark. “Five myths about the chemicals you breathe, eat and drink”. IFL Science. 26 June 2014.

Men Should Probably Ask the Men’s Rights Movement to Please Stop


“This is something I’ve always suspected about men’s rights activists, but it’s satisfying to see those suspicions turn out to be true.”

Paul Constant

Sigh.

Yes, really.

Keep reading:

The “vast majority” of college women lie about being raped. Men are violent because of their mothers. Feminists are plotting to dominate men.

One thing was ringingly clear among attendees at the first-annual International Conference on Men’s Issues in St. Clair Shores this weekend: Women are becoming an increasing threat and something must be done to stop them.

(Neavling)

Among the sights and sounds Steve Neavling witnessed were denunciations of rape accusations as “buyer’s remorse”, lamentations that, “There’s no stress defense for hitting your wife”, and even lowering the age of consent to thirteen so unwitting men don’t get into trouble for making a “mistake of age”. Janet Bloomfield explained to the conference attendees, “The point being that it can be incredibly difficult to know, just by looking at someone, how old they are”.

Meanwhile, male is the new black Negro, and I have no idea what to tell anyone about Lee DeVito’s astounding account of sexual harassment at ICMI.

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Constant, Paul. “There Are Fewer Men’s Rights Activists Than You Fear, but Those Few Activists Are Exactly as Terrible as You Think”. Slog. 2 July 2014.

Neavling, Steve. “8 ugly observations about conference on men’s rights in metro Detroit “. Motor City Muckraker. 29 June 2014.

DeVito, Lee. “I was molested at the Men’s Rights Conference”. Metro Times. 27 June 2014.

With Apologies to Matt Tarpley


To: Matt Tarpley

re: Facebook spoilers

(sigh)Why do I feel like I’m betraying you if I link to one of your comics on Facebook?

I mean, this just isn’t conducive to fourth-frame humor, and it certainly doesn’t help this panel arrangement; there’s almost no reason to click the link. Out of curiosity, are the artists grumbling, muttering, murmuring, smoldering, fuming, spitting, whatnot and so-how?

Anyway, yeah. Sorry.

Sigh.

What He Said


Certes, ’tis true that I am not one who generally appreciates certain modern shorthand, such as “^ ^”, “+1″, or, shudder m’soul, “ditto”. Then again, Ryan Grim made the point many felt viscerally as the news broke.

Still, though, it’s hard to not nod grimly (ha!) and think, “Yeah … what he said.”

Good Enough for the Software Industry


If ...?  Then ...?

I don’t think it is especially nitpickety to wonder what it is about software design for commercial purposes used by media research companies that this little outcome should occur.

“We appreciate your interest,” they politely tell us, “but unfortunately this survey is now closed”.

Just for that, I ought to put iModerate into my popup blocker. After all, I don’t mind the occasional survey request from websites I frequent; nor am I offended that this one launches in a way that evades the popup blocker in the first place.

But let us be clear: When N(sufficient) then stop launching the popup. That is to say, sure, I am not a computer programmer, but I still don’t see what is so difficult about a very basic if/then statement.

Instead, when N equals or exceeds the intended sample threshold for the survey, the subroutine simply changes the message to thank the user for their interest in a survey they did not ask to take and most likely would have bypassed, anyway.

And, yes, it is true one could run their browser with a less stringent cookie policy, so that the survey software might identify a user who has already answered, but that still does not explain the odd decision to continue launching the survey window with the new message. The nearest I can guess is that their unscientific poll might somehow or other have enough bad data that they might need to reopen the survey a couple days later. But even for marketing data that would seem a sketchy survey protocol.

So, you know … Just stop launching the survey when you have enough responses. Is this really so hard? After all, I will happily concede that it really does seem a strange thing to fret about. Then again, it happened, and I noticed, and then the question persisted. And, still, it persists.

It has long been said, “Good enough for government work.” But over the last twenty or so years, what has emerged is a business model that reads, “Good enough for the software industry.” This would seem just a particularly peculiar example of where that idea shows through.