Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ben's Conspiracy Theory Related Clip uh da week

"He's black, Muslim, and Kenyan."
"Hell, his middle name is Hussein."
"I don't give a shit if he wears mom jeans, he ain't my damn president."

Now, if I could just get someone to marry those three accurate observations into one super quote I could save my self some real time with all those extra quotation marks.

Sometimes your peers make it hard to be in your current geographical location. Some of you in Delaware know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Too Good Not to Share!

I've said it before, and I'll likely say it again - I find Glenn Beck to be annoying. Like all the world's nails slowly being run down a chalk board the size of Asia, Greenland, and Connecticut combined. Now, I question dude's sanity. I really worry for those who spend large (over 35 seconds) periods of time around this man.

Listen to this clip. The respect he has for those who differ in opinion is unparalleled. Learning, listening, growing, and caring - it's the life Glenn leads 24/7.

This is the kind of thing you wouldn't hear on NPR on your morning commute. Imagine Diane Rehm temporarily losing her mind in this way. Ain't gonna happen. She doesn't have the voice for it, and she's a human. And, a goddamn fox. She's really a lovely older woman. Just beautiful. The kind of lady you could take out for tea and then just caress for hours. Sorry, I'm getting quite a bit off topic. Let's return: Glenn Beck's a mini-donkey's ass.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ben's Clip uh da week

Some of my favorites! Sarah, I'll miss ya, baby! For the sake of every Republican in this country I hope you go quietly, and stay out of national politics for good, but for the rest of us, I hope you garner the Republican nomination in 2012. My father always said, "Quitters never prosper." Prove him wrong, sweetheart!

I surely hope my post from last week didn't in any way influence your decision to quit on the people of Alaska.

Here are a couple of articles I stumbled upon while throwing together this rant: Wonkette and Anchorage Daily News. Both are worth reading.

Here's a better analogy, Sarah: A good point guard drives through a full court press, and instead of passing the ball she drops it says, "Fuck it, I know we're way down and we could use me, but I quit. Maybe I'll return in a couple of seasons, when you really need me. I'm out for now. Ya'll can take on this team with a woman down. Good luck!"

She's quitting to pursue a higher calling? A higher calling? Calling? This woman has a vivid imagination. If god exists I am quite sure he isn't calling her. But, for the hell of it, how does that conversation go?

"Sarah, it's me: God! Yeah, I know we haven't spoken in a couple of weeks. I was in Barbados. But, I'd like for you to abandon your post as governor. You heard me. QUIT! Tell 'em you're quitting for your family. Bring your son into it. And, then tell 'em I told you to do it. Shut up for a while. You know, lay low. Then, in a couple of years, you, with my help, will take America back! Good luck, sweetheart. I know I'm gonna love the basketball reference. You kill me with that sports' shit. You're so damn clever!"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fun with Cross-Referencing

File under Fun with Stereotypes. No, no, definitely What's Right With America. Fuck it, let's just keep it in the Marge's Irony Faves. There's nothing Marge loves more than irony used in proper context!

If it's true that newspaper's becoming the dinosaur of media, we're all screwed. When I can't start my day out with a cup fulla' joe and bittersweet pink-wrapped chemicals, some crunchy flakes dowsed in soymilk, and a few local black and white print gems like this one, I would rather just stay in bed. Fortunately, I live in a place where I can count on folks like Mr. Harrington and his kinfolk to fulfill their journalistic duty on a daily basis, even in the imposing shadow of the liberal media machine. Scott, you keep writing, and I'll keep reading, baby!

(Call me, Scott. I still need a date for the 4th of July fireworks in the park. I'll bring the hotdogs. You bring the concealed weapon.)

Improptu Stuffster Poll: What's your favorite? The subtle insinuation that the president is gay? The clever insertion of the sinister middle name? The mastery of the concept of irony? The quotation marks inserted arbitrarily in not one, but two, nonsensical places? Cast your vote in the comments box!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Palin at it again

Well, I guess we can add aerobic activity to the ever-growing list of things Ms. Sarah Palin is deluded over. Look at that first sentence - she's confident she can beat Obama at a long distance run. Who fucking cares? And, no fucking way! He could chain smoke the entire way and it'd still be a blowout.

Yes, she can beat him at praying, at removing stains in the laundry, at speaking like an imbecile, at blowing a nationally televised interview, at overreacting to a goddamn joke, at having children, at making a snow angel, at a pasta eating contest, at Bible Blurt, at a wet t-shirt contest (although it might be pretty close - you seen Barak topless? The guy's a stud)... Then, it typical pallin' around with stupidity fashion Palin casts another stone at John McCain:

"I feel so crappy if I go more than a few days without running. I have to run," she said. "A great frustration I had during the campaign was when the McCain staff wouldn't carve out time for me to go for a run. The days never went as well if I couldn't get out there and sweat."

Leave the man alone, Sarah!

Look, Sarah, you can't beat Obama at the important stuff: basketball, looking cool, smoking cigarettes, a spelling contest, and, sweetheart, you ain't gonna finagle the presidency away from him by being cute, chummy, and a down home kinda gal.

Face it. The Republicans need Bob Dole. Again. Where ya at, Bob Dole?

June 30, 2009
Posted: 09:23 PM ET

Palin says she has the endurance to beat President Obama in a road race.
Palin says she has the endurance to beat President Obama in a road race.

(CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is confident Barack Obama can be beaten — in a long distance run.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate told Runner's World Magazine if it came down to a foot race between the two famous politicians, she'd likely come out on top.

"I betcha I'd have more endurance," Palin said in an interview published on the magazine's Web site Tuesday. "My one claim to fame in my own little internal running circle is a sub-four marathon. It wasn't necessarily a good running time, but it proves I have the endurance within me to at least gut it out and that is something.

"If you ever talk to my old coaches they'd tell you, too," she continued. "What I lacked in physical strength or skill I made up for in determination and endurance. So if [it] were a long race that required a lot of endurance I'd win."

The avid runner also revealed an accident she had only days before the vice presidential debate last fall, when she fell on a trail while jogging at Sen. John McCain's Arizona ranch.

"I was so stinkin' embarrassed that a golf cart full of Secret Service guys had to pull up beside me," she said of the fall. "My hands just got torn up and I was dripping blood. In the debate you could see a big fat ugly Band-Aid on my right hand."

Declaring "sweat is my sanity," Palin also said some of her worst days on the campaign trail were those when McCain staffers did not schedule time for her to run.

"I feel so crappy if I go more than a few days without running. I have to run," she said. "A great frustration I had during the campaign was when the McCain staff wouldn't carve out time for me to go for a run. The days never went as well if I couldn't get out there and sweat."

And the bands that keep her going on the long runs? Palin said she kicks off with "old Van Halen and AC/DC" before going into country and ending with "mellow Amy Grant songs.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trying to have fun with near Family. Christ, Christ, let me be!

I love my partner. I'm also fond of the partner's family. They're generous, caring, relatively open-minded, compassionate, and generally a good time. That is, until it's time for the prayer.

I vacationed, at the lake, with nine members (including me) of the partner's family last week. This is only a sliver of the potential crowd of familial Christians that could be had at a get together involving the partner's family. Or, my family for that matter. The makeup of the vacation house consisted of seven devout Christians and two atheists. The atheists were silently represented by the partner and myself. You see, the family still is under the impression that the partner is practicing, and although they know I don't adhere to their denominational idiosyncratic beliefs, I don't think they're on to the fact I'm a "heathen." Strangely enough I've noticed the word heathen is being thrown around rather loosely these days by members of the partner's family. But, I think that is more chance than anything. They have no reason to suspect I'm a "militant atheist," as my former therapist believes.

I've had this discussion with my own family. The pops and I have agreed to disagree, and although it kills him (the former therapist weighed in on this one, too - said my Dad was worried he was going to lose me in the next life - I responded with, "well, that maybe so, but the truth is he's losing me now, and that's all any of us are promised - even the devout"), he avoids commenting, which makes life a lot easier and the reality that my father's beliefs have absolutely no evidence-based feet to stand on less, well, noticeable. We can discuss the weather and our lives and avoid the tension god and his cronies are causing us. My mother and siblings agree in varying degrees with my own stance on god. We can all talk about it and come to some understanding, whether that means Christian indoctrination is in many instances abusive or god is a perilous pipe dream. It's civil. We've all invested some time in asking tough questions about the unanswerables associated with faith. And, we're comfortable with the large void there. Instead, we've filled it with Skittles, science, compassion for our fellow humans, curry, and any product Apple pushes on us. We love you, Steve Jobs. If you need a kidney, let us know.

Okay, so back to the vacation and the partner's family. Springing my atheism or that of my partner's on the unsuspecting family isn't something I'm terribly excited about doing. I think some people are to a point in their lives where turning their backs on a god they perceive to be benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and fatherly to be a battle I'm, unfortunately, not yet fit to wage even as a militant. I would never avoid direct questioning, but I have no plans of unsolicited evangelizing directed at people I see as inherently good, tolerant, relatively flexible folks (yeah, if I have a chance at alliteration I'm taking it 100% of the time). Even if I don't think Christianity collectively is a global positive for our world, I can admit many Christians are.

Still, I am extremely uncomfortable around the time of each and every meal. "Who's turn is it to pray?" One will say. I'm suppose to be the ninth in that line, and I don't want to make a scene, so I just lay low and wait for any name other than my own to be called. Don't say Bennington, I think. As long as I don't hear my name called I'm fair. Yes, after there are repeat prayers it gets awkward. We all know Ben hasn't had his turn. But, the last time I said the prayer, I made no mention of god or jesus or anything. I only want to thank tangible aspects of the meal before us: the farmers, the migrant workers, the truck drivers, the stockers at the grocer, Peter Durand, the inventor of the tin can, the cooks (us), et cetera. Sure, I want the meal to be nurishing, who doesn't? But, I sure as hell don't think god or this ritual itself is powerful enough to combat Botulism. I find the whole tradition to be a monumental waste of time. Giving thanks is an honorable thing - no argument - but the dude upstairs didn't do anything to make this watermelon more flavorful or seedless, thanks.

One last thing: Why does google automatically capitalize the word god in the labels. That bothers me a bit, blogger. If you're going to autocorrect god then autocorrect Steve Jobs, too. The man is a fucking genius!

Your thoughts? Commenting is cool!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Great Staperclip Debate: Part One

Marge says paper clips, hands down. Staples don’t know how to multitask, and I have no patience for anyone or anything lacking functional versatility. Paper clips have uses yet to be discovered, but the staple’s versatility has obviously been exhausted. Here’s a great example. Just the other day, I heard, for the billionth time, “how much is a gram, really?” Well, if you’re British, you’re fluent with the kilogram or the stone or some other senseless weight measure equally offensive to Americans, but even you probably have no idea of what a gram actually feels like. And to all you stuffsters who also happen to be pharmacokineticists and/or dirty hippies, what are your scales really telling you? Just think of the paper clip, and there you are: the perfect way to describe the approximate product of force and mass required to generate a gram! Yes!

Also, they’re so colorful-some even have stripes!- and you can keep them in those little magnetic circular jars on your desk. (Does anyone not love desktop office supplies?) You can link them together into chains of infinite length, which you cannot do with staples. And, most importantly, have you ever tried to take a staple out with your fingernail, because you always lose your staple remover? (Staple removers are almost never kept on the actual desk; I bet your staple remover is buried in one of your lesser drawers too.) Do you like cracking your fingernail in half and slicing your finger open in the process? But you need that staple out, and you need that paper to retain its virginal crease-free dimension, because you want to copy it, or scan it to electronic format, without having to make a copy of it because you already have a copy of it and you don’t want to waste paper/energy/ink by copying something you already have because you care about trees and energy even though you hate the word ‘green’ when it’s used frivolously. A paper clip removed leaves no trace, but a staple removed leaves a scar.

No, seriously, I’m getting a bit worked up about this. Does anyone staple anymore? Why are we even debating this? I bet Brazil is already entirely staple-free at this point. They’re probably running their cars on recycled staples. Meanwhile, the leading Brazilian office supply store is called Grampeador. Have you been to your local Staples store lately?

Dear Readers, in the time between my initial response to this query and today, I have realized that I was wrong about staples. I haven’t slept the night through since I wrote this. I can’t believe those words were mine. I am so sorry. I’m not going to try to explain. Well, I have been dealing with a lot lately, okay? Right now, I just want to focus on moving on; I can’t afford to dwell on my mistakes. I’m sorry.

- Marge

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Maybe one of us was going to talk about boom boxes

Well I fired up the ol' mimeograph machine here to weigh in on a few of my favorite stereotypes: sony, technics, car, that sort of thing. Had a nice article all planned out. Then I start glancing around StuffPo and what do I find? Bennington pre-emptively mocked my whole concept with the subtitle of his stereotype article. Clearly my ideas don't pass mustard at Bennington's mental hot dog stand.

So here I am all signed in and no article to write; guess it's time to free associate. The last thing I read in Bennington's article was "Stereotypes reveal a variety of wonderful information about people ranging from genitalia size, learning ability, levels of apathy, generosity, frugality, sense of humor, and proclivity for violent behavior." Now that's good and true, but it's all abstract, head-in-the-clouds type stuff. You know what's way more tangible and contains that same information? Artist Tony Tasset ("I peed in my pants," 1994) does...



Uric acid.

Liquid gold.

Now, I've been a mellow yellow kind of guy since I learned how to rhyme - largely in protest against desert dwellers' backyard lawns, as alluded to in my "things i hate" article. I've even tried to carry the "brown is mellow" torch on a few occasions - usually just some philosophical repartee to cover up the fact that I sometimes forget to flush. Just now it's hitting me. How can I totally squirt my righteousness in the face of the Phoenix Golf Club? I'm going to start peeing on my veggies. That'll show em. Two birds, one stone; no more drip irrigation; no more bullshit flushing. Life is good.

Urine is two things: wet and stinky. Everyone knows plants need the wet. Fewer realize that plants love the stinky. That stinky is a nitrogen based fertilizer bar none. And someday, when our salmon and steelhead runs are completely annihilated from fresh water diversion, when oil has peaked and the wave of synthetic fertilizer that sustained our explosive population growth has receded back into the ether leaving a gaggle of dead golfers and golf courses in its wake, a day long after my prize zucchini takes state, I will be the last one chuckling as I saunter out into the moonlit ruins of a once mighty civilization and drench my veggies in pure. liquid. gold.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clip O' O' O' Da Week

This one's a no brainer. Mo shared this one with me months and months ago, but, and it's hard to admit this, I couldn't find it until now. I wasn't doing a ton of searching. Nevertheless, I've got it now. And, if you aren't one of the 13 million people to watch this one on youtube, well, you've missed out. No more! Enjoy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stereotypin': No, I isn't in the market for a new boombox

Stereotypes are many things - ignorant, offensive, inaccurate, and fun. A few have merit. For example, all Mexicans take after and speak English, if they do, which they fucking should, like their king Mexican, Geraldo Rivera. That's dead on. No argument there, right? And, all white Americans think all people with Hispanic roots, in Geraldo's case more Jewish than Puerto Rican, are Mexican. It's just one of those facts of life - like water runs down hill.

Stereotypes reveal a variety of wonderful information about people ranging from genitalia size, learning ability, levels of apathy, generosity, frugality, sense of humor, and proclivity for violent behavior. None of which can be trusted, outside of the aforementioned Mexicans/Geraldo/white America phenomenon, and the obviously accurate old adage that women are 1) inferior to men, 2) overly emotional, c) weak, 4) only fit to work serving the superior gender, V) and, lastly, responsible for the fall of all mankind. This I know. Thanks a fuckload, ladies! Read it in a pretty important little biography about this guy. It's a decent read, but it's, like, more popular than one of those goddamn Oprah books, so I'll avoid mentioning it by name. Nobody wants to be beatin' over the head with that kind of thing. After all, it's just a book! And, it's not like the thing won a Pulitzer. I'm sure you have a dozen lying around you're just dying to get to. Who needs another one?

My goal for this post isn't to get you to abandon all stereotypes. As I've discussed, many are sensible. I'm actually looking to clear up some common misunderstandings, misrepresentations, inaccuracies, and general shit floating around about my people: the anonymous. Let's start with that last sentence. I've had more people than I can count (and, no, bigots, it isn't because I, and all my incognito brethren and sisteren have difficulty with numbers) say, "Oh, ya'll are so arrogant. Ya'll think your shit don't stink." First, our shit does stink. In many instances it is unbearable. We actually take great pride in our aromatic idiosyncrasies related to digestion, thanks! We have a competition and award for it at our annual convention. Second, we refer to ourselves as secret people, us, anonymous, and, at times, the anonymous, but never will you see us employ the use of capitalization. Believe me, it has nothing to do with arrogance. It's actually secretive. Unfortunately, I can't say. Don't press me on it. Really! I'm serious. Leave it alone. Fuck. Okay, okay, we fucking drew straws and the guy who wrote the four appropriate titles on that selected sheet had this thing about capitalization. Happy now? He was an anarchist. I think that played a big role in him leaving our group. He used to say, "I'm totally against capitalism." He wouldn't even capitalize his own name. I think it was drew or brian or hugh. I can't recall.

Nevertheless we stuck with it, because we agreed prior to drawing we would. I think that brings up an important fact: we are honest, trustworthy people. If we say we're going to do something, we do it. A lot of people just can't see that in us. I think it has much to do with our lack of face. We're, admittedly, a tough read. We don't exhibit a twitching of the brow when we lie - for two reasons. We're not stoic at a poker table. We're faceless at a poker table, Lady Gaga. How you gonna read that? That's why I've written this. Now you know. Just like anything else you read on the internet, this, too, is true.

Many times people will say to me and my friends, "You must be important. Anonymity is reserved to those who have something to lose." We have to bridge this gap. We have members who are doctors, lawyers, politicians, and dental hygientists. But, we also have janitors, busboys, and the unemployed. Most are smart. Some are dumb. Some live in mansions. Others in mobile homes. We're a diverse bunch. Sure, Deep Throat was one of our guys. In a study I just made up, the pseudonym Deep Throat is as recognizable as the name of Sarah Palin. I'll concede that point: Deep Throat is important. But, we also have Max, the librarian, and Karla, the bus driver. Of course we've changed both Max and Karla's names and occupations to protect their identities in the anynomous community, but our Maxes and Karlas are just as common as the Deep Throats.

Lastly, it'd be incorrect to assume we secret people (aka us) represent all heights within society. We don't adhere to that standard distribution found out on the street corner. We're all either average height or tall. No of us are short. We don't have a single representative from the left side of the Gaussian function for stature. Many on the right. Some in the middle. It's not intentional - just the way it is.

Hope this clears some things up for ya!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Marge’s Conservative Slam Dunk pho duh Week*

“It is bad enough that biographical considerations carry such weight in considerations of nominees for the Supreme Court. But, if biography must be elaborated, let it at least be done ‘in context.’”

This yesterday from Thomas Sowell, who, in a column where he criticizes Sonia Sotomayor for the credit she seems to have been unfairly given for rising to success from a difficult set of circumstances, notes that her ghetto wasn’t nearly as ghetto as what the liberal media has led us to believe. In fact, that ‘hood where she grew up just doesn’t make the cut when it comes to Harlem street cred. Compared to the real projects, Sotomayor’s childhood government housing could be considered “quaint;” it probably wouldn’t even be worthy as a backdrop for one of those rap music videos on the MTV. Hell, it was basically a government-subsidized country club!

“There were standards for getting into the projects of those days and, if you didn't live up to those standards, they put you out. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was quoted as saying, ‘When kids played on the grass, their parent would get a warning.’”

So what’s the three-point message here? (1) It shouldn’t matter that you’re from the projects? (2) But since you are, I guess we ought to point out that the projects you came from weren’t all bad, that they had high standards for lawn care? (3) And it’s all backed up with a quote-‘in context,’ of course-from Kareem Adbul-Jabar. You just can’t argue with that.

This is really priceless. Thanks again for the sweet, sweet irony. I really appreciate how I don’t even have to think to see it. It’s like Irony for Dummies.

*Use of the work ‘week’ not to be construed in any way to indicate that author will provide slam dunks weekly or on any other regular interval; if you want reliable irony please click here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Clip, Clip, Clip of the Week

I was recently in Dallas, TX mixing business with pleasure. A lively cocktail! After 24 hours of debauchery, I flipped on the television, and was greeted with the ad below. I can tell you if I'm ever in trouble, I'm flying the hammer in to get my out of that trouble. This man knows how to work out a problem.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Funny Comedy Clip uh da week from Bennington

I've been spending quite a lot of time reading real news. It's a drag, so I decided a night off was in order. We all deserve nights off.

I like stand-up as much as the next guy or gal. Unfortunately, I was introduced to Mitch Hedberg after he passed away. Although, I guess never being introduced to him would be worse. I'm a little slow - not hipster material.

Last night I was reminded of his brilliance. I thought it fitting to offer you a taste. For additional laughter search him out on google video, funny or die, or youtube. It's worth it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

One of the dumbest things I've heard this week

See article below. Here's the part worth mulling over: "The resolution specifically asks the president 'to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of government.'"

Let's blow some additional time and, more importantly, taxpayer monies on resolutions asking the president to issue proclamations calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the aerobic benefits of red rover, or the mental benefits of Sudoku, or the tanning possibilities provided by our favorite star, the fucking Sun, Mr. Paul Broun. At least these have factual, verifiable components. But, how outraged would the majority of Americans be if Broun proposed a resolution targeting the hygienic qualities of regular bathing?

Georgia, do the country a favor and flush Paul Broun. Also, just for fun, read the actual words of our founding fathers. Skip the latte and spend 30 minutes researching these dudes. You'll see that Paul Broun is doing the state of Georgia, the country, this nation's solid, rational political roots, and
even atheists a disservice.

The Bible bill?

When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 2009, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) hopes you’ll be ringing in “the Year of the Bible.”

It’s probably just wishful thinking.

Broun’s simple congressional resolution aimed at honoring the Good Book has produced a push-back of biblical proportion in the blogosphere, with critics dismissing it as either unconstitutional or a waste of time. Jews in Congress and atheist activists are dismissing the resolution, while none of the many Democrats in Congress who are Christian have bothered to sign on as co-sponsors.

According to GovTrak.us, the resolution is among the most-blogged-about pieces of legislation, with most posts less than complimentary in nature.

“Does that mean 2009 is not the year of the Bible?” mocked Rep. Barney Frank ­(D-Mass.), who is Jewish. “What is 2012 the year of? The Quran?”

“That’s an endorsement of religion by the federal government, and we shouldn’t be doing that,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), even though he has introduced his own legislation dealing with religion.

“Republican lawmakers with apparently too much time on their hands and no solutions to offer the country are pushing a resolution that will not address the nation’s problems or advance prosperity or even untangle their previous governing mistakes,” blogged the Progressive Puppy.

Broun rejects the critiques leveled at this effort.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity,” he said in an interview with POLITICO. Rather, he says, it seeks to recognize that the Bible played an integral role in the building of the United States, including providing the basis for our freedom of religion that allows Muslims, Hindus and even atheists to vocalize their own beliefs.

And even as Nadler criticized Broun, he has done his own share of mixing religion and legislation.

Last year, he introduced a bill that would overturn a federal appeals court ruling — an “idiot” decision, he says — that a condominium board in Chicago had the right to ban Jews from installing mezuzahs, which consist of a piece of parchment inscribed with a specific religious text put inside a case and hung on a door frame.

Condo boards shouldn’t be able to interfere in an individual’s right to practice his or her religion, Nadler said.

But he himself declined to install a mezuzah on his congressional office door when asked by a rabbi, even though he does so at home.

“That’s my religious symbol, and the office does not belong to me; it belongs to the people of the congressional district, and no one should feel uncomfortable walking into the office if it’s not their religion,” Nadler said, describing his feelings on religion and Congress.

“Same thing with the Bible. ... It’s not everybody’s religion. And the federal government should not be imposing religious viewpoints.”

Atheists, who might feel themselves a particular target with the declaration of a biblical year, aren’t even worried about Broun’s effort.

“Right now, we’re seeing atheism on such a rise,” said David Silverman, vice president and national spokesman of American Atheists, a group dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of atheists.

“We are seeing Christianity on such a dramatic decline that we’re not particularly worried about it. We’re thinking that this kind of old-style George W. Bush Republicanism is about to go away,” Silverman said, referring to the latest Pew Forum survey of American religious life, which showed nonreligious Americans as the fastest-growing group.

And it may be the best-selling book of all time, as Broun’s resolution points out, but the Bible isn’t such a popular legislative topic.

A search of Thomas, the online congressional database, for “Bible” yields just one other bill: a resolution to have the “Lincoln-Obama Bible” on permanent display in the Capitol Visitor Center.

The resolution specifically asks the president “to issue a proclamation calling upon citizens of all faiths to rediscover and apply the priceless, timeless message of the Holy Scripture which has profoundly influenced and shaped the United States and its great democratic form of government.”

As for the economy, health care, global warming and all the other issues on Congress’ plate?

“While we must focus on fiscal policies that provide relief to families during these tough economic times, an endeavor I have been working tirelessly towards in this Congress, we must also not forget to protect and celebrate our fundamental freedoms that the Bible has influenced,” Broun said.

Broun has gathered 15 co-sponsors, all Republicans, but says he’s looking for more and hopes Democrats will sign on, as well.

“This is not a partisan issue,” he said. “I want it to be bipartisan.”

Whether he’s successful or not — the same measure didn’t go anywhere last year — at least Broun and his fellow supporters can take heart in one fact: They already had a “year of the Bible.”

Ronald Reagan designated 1983 as one, with Congress’ blessing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sissification of the United States

Remember the good ole days? Remember how we, as a nation, would torture our enemies while smoking, and yes inhaling, a cigar in one side of our national mouth all while devouring a bloody 72 ounce steak in the other? Remember when we'd rinse off at our neighborhood pool with DDT? Remember when we could backhand our child in a grocery store without Child Protective Services following us home? Those days are over. America's going to hell!

This is the kind of argument I've heard a lot recently. It's been a constant among close-minded people for some time. Yep, we're a nation of weenies. Collectively, we cannot do a pull-up. We're weak. Defeat is imminent. It's all over!

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

Walter Williams, George Mason professor and nationally syndicated weekly commentator for over 140 newspapers, wrote about the sissification of America twice.
Saying, "then again, I'm not a member of America's sissified generation;"
and, "We've become a nation increasingly ruled by emotions and feelings -- in a word, feminized."

Michael Smerconish, author of Muzzled: From T-Ball to Terrorism-True Stories That Should Be Fiction, on the sissification of America part 1

Part 2

In those Michael says the following:

"We've become a nation of sissies. And if you're offended by my use of that word, then you're exactly the person that I'm talking about. You want another example of the sissification of America?"

"And generally, I think that the limp-wristedness -- and that's the only way I can think of to describe it -- that's going on at home, spells weakness in the 'war on terror'"

"Yes. Yes. Root word: 'sissies.' That's what we've become! Hey, Joe, go watch United 93. The only conclusion one can reach in watching that movie is that we must kill these SOBs before they kill us and our kids!"

Okay, Walter Williams commented on the sissification of this country back in 2002, and Michael Smerconish did so in 2006, so this isn't exactly fresh, but I still think it's relevant.

The point is the guys invoke Oprah and Jerry Springer and children's sports (Smerconish says that his children have many trophies. He only ever had four. We're taking the losing out of sports. Thus, we're sissifying America), and even Hollywood to make a shitty, idiotic political point. It's a big fucking leap, dude. If we used Hollywood films for our politic compass, we'd be in bad shape. This guy is suggesting we watch a movie in order to gain further understanding of American foreign policy. No thanks, Michael.

These guys aren't the worst; they're just the most prominent voices against sissies in America. Others state that men taking women's sir names is a form of sissification. Still others suggest political correctness is to blame. Liberals get pointed at, too. Who the hell can we blame?! We must blame someone!

I know why America is sissified - and it has nothing to do with Oprah, Springer, trophies, or movies. It's totally chemical, people! And, we, the writers of Stuff Po, have already voiced our hatred of pesticides.

Recently, America's greatest "news" anchor, Bill O'Reilly suggested the United States is in danger of becoming Sweden. It's a curious argument. If we were Sweden, we'd have outlawed Atrazine in the 1980's. You see, Atrazine, an herbicide, is also an "endocrine disruptor-chemically castrating all male amphibians by stripping them of a key hormone." The United States uses about 80 million pounds of this stuff a year. That's a lot of Atrazine. Now what's more likely to be "feminizing" this country, an abundance of sports' trophies or herbicides (aka toxic chemicals)?

EPA's thoughts on Atrazine

Faux News

Pointing out the fallacies of each and every 15 second Fox News clip is like sleeping. We can all do it, and it's fairly easy. I find this clip about the recent tea party protests to be especially hypocritical. O'Reilly's my favorite journalist. No surprise, right!

Incidentally, and I don't know if this is true, but I heard that Greta Van Susteren once applied for a job here at Stuffington Post. I don't know if that's true or not. Is that true, Mo? Seriously, maybe I should have checked before I wrote this, but I'll mention it anyway in a sophomoric attempt at further discrediting her credibility, and, incidentally, the credibility of Stuff Po's biggest competitor in faux news, Fox News.

Who knows! Why would I know? I am only an employee of Stuffington Post. Fuck, what's the extension to HR! I must have thrown it out with the recycling. HA! You think I recycled it? I don't recycle!

It shouldn't take more than 200 seconds to confirm that, right? I don't have that kind of time. Since I haven't done that and I have no desire to ever do that, because my end goal is neither fairness nor balance, I don't know if that's true or not.

How 'bout an example of O'Reilly's treatment of his guests?

And, how might O'Reilly engage a protester?

More O'Reilly professionalism? Okay!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ben's Clips of the Week

Each and every week I struggle to not post Fox News-related lunacy. Again, this week! I've decided to use the Fox News clips for rant ripe with non sequitirs, but that'll have to wait for tomorrow, because for now it's the Clips of the Week. Why? Because Monday is part of the week, and I've selected my clips. I've chosen two this week, but as you'll see they belong together. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

From our Guestington

I just found out that Guinness, among other beers, is made using fish bladders. Did you know this? I'm not the beer drinker I used to be, but this is still very disturbing. The source is reliable-I heard it on NPR (okay, it was a quiz show, but still... Here's a fun Wikipedia link in case you don't care to listen to the whole show).

This is nearly as disturbing as the time we found beef extract listed on a box of Walmart-brand chocolate cake. Actually, what it said was "may contain beef extract," which is even more disturbing.

Sorry if anyone already 'kind of' knew this but not officially and now that I'm officially telling you you have to stop drinking it. I guess I should have put a spoiler alert on this one, but it's too late. Now you know!!!!!!! If you want revenge, you can just share with me one more thing that has gelatin in it. I've found the pretty much everything delicious does. Mmmmm....hooves...

If you're one of those "vegetarians" who eats fish, I also learned (coincidentally from the same quiz show) that recent research by German scientists has revealed that fish do indeed get seasick.

- GR

Friday, May 1, 2009

Flush some time!

Stuff Po tried to sit down and iron out a hip new background for our Twitter page. Yes, we did. But, after spending much time throwing together a list of items we enjoy discussing, it just didn't mesh with Twitter, so we abandoned it in favor of a new, leafy template. Yippee! Now we can get back to wasting our afternoon with the help of CNN, Fox News, and Guardian UK. Here's what we were going for.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My hate makes your hate look like fluffington!

Guestington here. Honored to share my hate. I’ve a list of five to start, but I’ve tried to pick from within the 36-42 range of my top six hundred, because I want this to be more interesting to read than a list of the obvious things that everybody hates. For example, Rush Limbaugh, bananas, being tickled, and performance art are generally hated by everyone, and thus we’ve all spent enough time thinking and hearing about why they suck. But don’t be fooled by my rankings; I hate the following five things with a hatred so intense it makes Ann Coulter look like the Easter Bunny.

Get ready to relate!
  1. 100 calorie packs. I have serious objections with the amount of packaging involved in making people feel better about eating foods that aren’t really food anyway. Why can’t you just count out seven wheat thins from a much larger box of wheat thins and be done with it? I’ve also noticed that the 100 calorie packs of the seemingly more delicious foods, such as cookies, often contain only sad imitations of what I was expecting. Actually, I think they’re all just wheat thins cleverly disguised as other snacks. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go get yourself a 100 calorie pack of Oreos next time you’re in the mood for some Oreo cookies but you are too full of self hate to allow yourself what you truly desire. You’ll see what I mean. Then you’ll eat some actual Oreos in addition to the three packs of chocolate chalk-dust coated crackers you just wolfed down.
  2. Chewing gum. Gross. No exceptions.
  3. Cold. As in, the state of feeling cold; not necessarily the entire state of Alaska. I like scarves. I like hats. I love the word mukluk so much that I knowingly use it inappropriately all winter long. But there’s nothing worse than having to endure Florida-style air conditioning without unlimited access to slippers and personal-sized space heaters. I don’t know who decided that 70ish degrees is an appropriate thermostat setting for our air conditioners when our internal thermostats are set to 98.6 degrees. And I’m not fond of winter, but my distaste turns to hatred when it refuses to back down, even into the summer. Equally perturbing is my resistance to just move to Miami or San Diego and be done with it. Because if I were to do that, then (argh!) I just know I would actually miss hot chocolate and bonfires so much that I would experience at least a tinge of melancholic nostalgia. And I hate melancholic nostalgia so much that it deserves a spot on my top ten list. (Not that I have one; I hate top ten lists.)
  4. Small coffee cups. These are not to be confused with the tiny tea cups used by English people in my imagination. Perhaps I should say small coffee mugs. Undersized, actually, is a more appropriate descriptor. Who is happy with 8 ounces of coffee? It’s not just the insufficiency of the size, but the pity I feel for the waitress. And yes, I am really only talking about undersized coffee mugs at restaurants, because any respectable coffee drinker would not tolerate the undersized coffee mug in their cabinet. Who has room, with all those other decent-sized mugs that people keep gifting us? We all already have too many. We all already struggle to fit together the ceramic puzzle of the ones we have. If they’re not good enough for our homes, why do otherwise respectable restaurants (and also Waffle Houses) continue to force us to endure them? (And while I’m on the subject, coffee mugs are not appropriate gifts for your caffeinated friends. We already have too many, and we can’t get rid of the ones we have because we feel guilty because they were all gifts and many of them say things that lead to melancholic nostalgia. If you want to get us a coffee-related gift, get us some coffee. But truly, you should probably just go entirely in another direction with the gift ideas, because we’re particular about our coffee too.)
  5. Babies. There. I said it. Please don’t challenge me on this one. I know I’m not alone.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Soon?

One more thing I hate before I move on to the epicenter of this blog. Okay. Yep. The slangishly unhip, completely unnecessary near-word sheeple. Are we so damn unimaginative that we need to fuse sheep and people together in order to call people sheep? There's already a word for that! It's SHEEP! I don't see people running to merge lady and bitch together when they feel it necessary to dehumanize a woman by calling her a female dog. No, because there is no need for it. It'd be redundant and kinda dumb.

Now the real shit. Take a look at this, for a lack of a better word, shit. Sorry to use shit in two (okay, now three) consecutive sentences, but you'll see it's warranted. Holy shit!

What's spreading as fast as the H1N1 Swine Flu? Lunacy-backed consumerism related to the H1N1 Swine Flu! That's right! Tasteless attempts to sell tasteless handmade wares to tasteless lame-os. We're on the brink of the first pandemic since 1968 (read about it, yo), and all these people can think about is making a cool $12.25 after they account for supplies and the extra $2 they'll make for overcharging for shipping.

How does that thought process, a result of mindless capitalist indoctrination, go: Hey, so the World Health Organization just raised the pandemic alert to a 5 (out of 6) I think I'll make this really tacky, poorly made piece of shit and try to sell it for $15. Hey, yeah! Chaching! I'll have to put that in my piggy bank. Oh, I'm such a clever piece of shit! HaHaHa. Laughing all the way to the bank. That's right. Again, with the change bank reference. I'm awesome. This is such an original idea!

NO! NO! Never. It's not original. It's not funny. And, it's sure as fuck not cute. Take a look for yourself.

Swine Flu "Way Too Soon" Designer Mask: Apparently designer is being used in the loosest sense of the word these days. These may take the award for most desperate attempt at making $15 while having a skewed perception of appropriate business practices or decency.

"Each one comes with a pink glass pig charm. What a hoot! Oink!" - These are the seller's own words.

The truly disturbing part is this nutter has three masks available for purchase. So, as he/she/it watches schools and public transit close and reports of deaths due to influenza spread, he/she/it continues to pump out these cute, handmade gems lacking any inkling of taste.

Swine Flu "Too Soon" T-shirt: Considering a t-shirt that says, "hey, I'm a thoughtless prick!" You'd be better served spitting in your "friend's" face and flushing the $15 down the drain. Maybe I'd think twice about buying a shirt like this if the cost were $15 cheaper and the caption read: "My maker deserves endless nights spent at home without the privilege of other human contact, because he/she tried to financially benefit from one of the potentially biggest health disasters of our lives."

Swine Flu "Too Soon" Discounted Animal Plaque - Need a reason to save $6 on something you'd cringe to see adorning your walls?

I know! Let's offer a 24% discount to mark this really exciting time. Yippee. Swine Flu discount!

Are you fucking serious?

The description actually says, "Swine Flu special...originally $25"

And, on last unrelated thing: Arlen Specter, we know you're only doing this so you have a sliver of a chance of being re-elected, but no matter your motivation, you're driving a lot of conservatives crazy. Bravo, brah! It's fun to watch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Addendum to the Short List

1. Patchouli. I really hate the way patchouli smells and not just because it typically is being used in a vain attempt to conceal horrific body odor.Patchouli makes the very back of my tongue convulse, kind of like gagging but not quite. Seriously, I would take just the body odor any day.

2. Baby talk. If you are over the age of 18 months baby talk is never okay.

3. Overuse/misuse of the same word. The classic example here is the misuse of literally, but if you heard the misuse of the word exactly approximately 10 times a day from the same individual, you might harbor some ill feelings too.

4. Single use items that are supposed to make life easier but are really just a huge waste of resources and go straight to the landfill. Don't get me wrong, I am frequently really lazy but even I can dust a bookshelf and still muster the energy to wash a rag.

5. Littering. Especially when it's the kind that a lot of people do and don't even think about. I'm talking about balloons here people. I hate it when people let helium balloons go and think that they are sending out wishes or something of the sort. If your wish is for dead marine animals, then by all means let those balloons go folks.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Things I Hate

I try to spend most of my time dwelling on the things I love, so this is going to be tough. Try to read this all in one breath.

From the top:

Rogue hairs.
Wasting food.
Complex bongs.
Drawing a blank.
Baggage handlers.
Impenetrable truths.
Non-Forever stamps.
Planned obsolescence.
High Fructose Corn Syrup.
People who date my ex-lovers.
Cities in the middle of the desert.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
Getting frisked on my way into a concert.
That there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Anything cool that I wasn’t in on from the beginning.
That deer haven’t evolved to see the color bright-orange yet.
Feeling like a rapist every time I smile at an attractive human being.
Not telling off the inspector at the airport because he or she is just a lackey.
The cumbersome lack of a non-gender specific third person singular pronoun in English.
Antiperspirant with a bunch of crazy shit in it that Old Spice expects me to rub all over my lymph nodes.
People who’s complete agreement with you makes you look like you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
People who think they know more than you about something just because they’ve been working in that field for years, or they have a degree in that field, or Joanna Macy’s chauffer comes to their potlucks. Fuck you.

Wow, that was cathartic.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Stuff Bennington Hates (Part II)

6. Lawn Care - My mother used to say, "Life sucks, then you die." Actually, she still does. I think about lawn care similarly. "You have a nice green lawn, then you die." But, it's much more complicated.

Yeah, I'm a tree hugger. I'm an environmentalist insofar as altering a natural setting with noxious chemicals solely because "it looks green" (not necessarily better) seems idiotic, wasteful, and selfish as fuck. All so your grass can be awarded "yard of the month" in your dumbass neighborhood.

Let me break it down for: chemical on the lawn, rain on the lawn, chemical in the river, chemical in the ocean/sea, chemical in the fish, chemical back in you. Plus, you really shouldn't be rolling on, playing in, or touching a lawn that has been sprayed with such pesticides. And, you really shouldn't allow a pet or child to be anywhere near the grass!

A cost savings idea for someone who loves a green lawn: pay for a round of golf, take along your digital camera, snap as many photos of the fairways and greens as you like, develop your favorite, let's say, 30 photos from the day, and then get out the scotch tape, with photos in hand, and affix them to your windows. Tadah! You now have the opportunity to always, each and everytime you look from your windows while watching re-runs of Quantum Leap, see a green, happy, toxic lawn outside.

And, the next time you eat fish you won't have to worry about neurotoxins. Oh, and, maybe you'll do your part to reduce the nearly 80 million pounds of pesticides used on U.S. lawns each year (http://www.ehhi.org/reports/lcpesticides/summary.shtml). And, you'll be rewarded with eternal life.

For more ideas: http://www.yougrowgirl.com/

7. Glenn Beck - Put Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Gary Busey in a blender and remove 97% of the personality and you've got Glenn Beck. You should read this guy's column or watch his show. He's guaranteed to make you gag, or you'll get a dollar off your next case of Coors Light.

And, he's now on Fox News! When are those hacks going to give Ann Coulter her own show? Am I right, Ann?

8. Drafts - You remember rough drafts from your 9th grade English class? They sucked. Now all of my email programs are equipped with a draft section. And, I still hate it. Who's slaved over an email for hours, and saved it as a rough draft, only to months later realize you hit "save as draft," not "send?" I do it weekly.

"What the shit? I could have sworn I sent that hate mail to Glenn Beck."

9. Acne - I guess everybody goes through an awkward acne-riddled stage, but that doesn't make it any easier. While you're going through it you just want it to be over, and then when you grower older and feel you've logged enough time, and are even now wearing scares to prove it, there it comes again to rear its ugly head. Plus, all the synonyms for the word grate on my ears. I don't care to hear the word pimples or zits, much less have them.

10. Top Ten Lists - They always suck. Number seven is always the best, and when you get to number one you feel cheated. The worst part is each time you hear about a top ten list you forget about the years of experience you've had with less-than-stellar lists and instead slide back into this child-like mentality awaiting hilarity only to leave confused and jaded.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yawn & Clip Uh da Week

Clip Uh Da Week

I think we can all agree Arike and Holly are stealing the damn show!

Yawn Uh Da Week

Seriously, if you haven't seen this woman sing you are missing nothing. I'm actually envious of you if you haven't. This clip isn't even worth watching. Just watch the first one twice.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stuff Mo Hates: The Short List

1. I hate vocal jazz. I had to ask to find out it was called that, I think of it as that beebopping, scattin’ crap that makes my blood pressure rise. Seriously. I hate it that much.

2. Hot raisins, you know, the plump ones. If you want fruit to be juicy why did you dry it in the first place? Hmmmm?

3. The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean. It has nothing to do with Canada or the CBC and you know I loves me some public radio, but this show really bothers me. It's Stuart's inflection, he sounds like a sweaty, cheap suit wearing, christian pastor. There, I said it.

4. The way steak smells when it is cooking. Alright, I know not a lot of people are with me on this one, but I really do hate it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stuff Bennington Hates Part 1

One of my grade school teachers used to say, "I hate the word hate." I don't.

The following are in no particular order. They're all disliked.

1. Sand - The beach is one of the best places to be. There's no need arguing that point, but when you're done with the beach, you're done with the beach. I hate when I return home to a perfectly clean hotel room or house and the floor is shortly covered with sand. Sand belongs outside! Otherwise sand is a pretty cool material.

2. Uggs - People really buy these monstrosities? In pairs? They ain't cheap! They're like fur coats for your feet.

3. When people refer to the sex of an animal as "he" when they really have no idea if the thing is a male or a female - Have you noticed how people do this? I have. And, the most annoying part is: I fucking do it.

"Oh, he's so cute!"
"I bet he's a handful. He looks like a handful, right?"
"He's eating that other fish. Every man for himself!"

4. Your vs. You're - How difficult is this, people? Contractions ain't rocket science. Here's an easy way to remember this brainbuster. Let's say you have the following sentences (see below) and you are perplexed about which homophone to use. Simply ask yourself: Self, does you are fit here or not? It works 100% of the time, and you'll appear like you have a 4th grade understanding of English.

_________ (Your, You're) fun to watch television with!
_________ (Your, You're) watchband smells like cauliflower.

5. When people say, "___________ (some shitty place on Earth) is the best place on Earth" when they have been nowhere else -
If you have spent your entire life inside a 30 mile radius the chance that the 30 mile area you have confined yourself to is superior to all others on Earth is dangerously low. Plus, you could probably use something to compare it all to. Maybe a day trip to the adjacent county would provide you with a little more information.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ned's hatred

Ned, just because you ain't never been down to southeastern Tennessee don't mean you gots to drag it through the mud because of Marilyn's illogical, colossal brain fart (I hate that term, but, Marilyn, you made me use it).

"I reckon you can just shut that big city mouth of yours, boy. We don't like your kind 'round here."

Chattanooga's home to the Choo-Choo and Senator Bob Corker (speaking of brain fart).

Water's good. Waffles are good. Dry humping has its moments. And, Marilyn missed the target on this one, her God can't hold a candle or a waffle or a birthday waffle with candle to a waffle.

Sorry, man. And when I say man I mean the dude uptop. Walk on water and we'll talk. Or, move some water around. Or, furnish the keg for my upcoming house party. You could use some water as a base or just switch it straight over. Cure my acne. Something! Anything! Or, or, better yet reveal yourself to me and I'll carry you to stardom. Send me a text. I'll shoot you my address. We'll talk! I'll introduce you to George Clooney and David Letterman. If they can't deliver your message to the masses, well, no one can. You need to stop depending on the Marilyns of the world and getchya a Sean Penn or a Rosie O'Donell. I know Uma.

And, how about a book. An autobiography, perhaps. Biographies are for chumps. I know a guy who knows a girl at Harper Collins. Let's get serious about this, guy. We'll send out some emails, tweets, and post a listing on Craigslist San Francisco. We can have a weenie roast and just kick some ideas off of one another. I'm not omniscient, but I know a little something about how this is done. You gotta give a little. We'll meet you halfway, but you can't just kick back in a hammock upstairs and expect us to bake you a bundt cake or some waffles. That shit ain't gonna work!

And, we'll get you a cool name like Ned or Russell. No can ignore a Russell.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I don't have a God complex, you have a simple God

Frustrated Ned here. I can't seem to get this typewriter to post comments, or watch the video of two old ladies patting each other down. So, I guess I'm stuck writing an article.

First off, Kirk, don't forget to cup the balls. Second off, why is there such a long Jesus article on Stuff Po. I had time to queue up a Janis Joplin record and pray to the east for God to buy me a new computer, while waiting for that main page to load. Other than the obvious insult of the length of the article, I find the content completely outlandish.

For those of you who don't have office jobs with hours to kill, I took some notes while reading so you won't have to: We may or may not have landed on the moon. Yada yada yada; water's great. Anyone who's ever chugged a glass of water while peeing knows that. Ok, Marilyn, I like what you have to say about how cool the Big Bang and the Earth are. I'm starting to come around here. And by "come around," I mean "dry hump my inflatable globe." My brain's pretty awesome, too; still with you. Maybe it filtered out God as "relatively unimportant," ha, in yer face, still with you though. Really, Confucianism is the fifth major world religion? In yer face, Hindus! (And Animists, if you really want to have this debate.) Uhp, Jesus, there he is. I new he was coming. Hey Jesus, what do you think about Global Warming? You couldn't have given us a little heads up about the biggest threat to the survival of our species since the divine invention of STDs? Not very forward-thinking for a prophet, if you ask me. Oh, sorry Marilyn, not very forward-thinking for the light of the world. And for the record - that someone claims to be the light of the world, does not necessarily make it so - as the crux of your argument seemed to indicate at the point in which I lost interest.

Since then, I've been staring into the mirror wondering if each of my individual cells is actually a planet like the earth - if not the earth itself - wherein I am sitting, staring into this mirror, and trying to figure out my relationship to the rest of the cosmos, which itself exists entirely in the space between my cells, which is to say, everything exists within me. Quark, atom, cell, organism, social population, biosphere, solar system, galaxy, universe, quark. I am God. You can be, too, if you get yourself a mirror and reflect on the space between your cells. Thanks for numbing my mind to the point of epiphany with your Chattanooga drawl, Marilyn.

Anyway, now that Stuff Po has thoroughly exhausted the God topic, I'd like to turn my attention to some real issues that are plaguing society, like baby eating. [Article forthcoming.]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Possibility of Plagiarism

One of my favorite shows is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It's frequently funny, but I am seriously concerned that one of the writers stumbled on the Stuff Po blog prior to slapping together this piece. Yes, like any good writer or team of handfuls of writers they've elaborated on Stuff Po's original blog, but I think you'll agree we have a valid argument. Our blog was posted hours before Jon and the guys taped their show. Check our Yawn of the Week prior to viewing the video. And, prepare to be shocked!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yawn of the Week

Seriously? Really? Yeah? Honestly? For reals?

Am I the only one completely underwhelmed by the queen and these archaic rules? And, I'm all for respecting elders, but... Maybe, maybe a curtsy is appropriate, but the queen ain't made of hydrochloric acid. Protocol like this should have been discarded long ago. Thoughts?

The Queen and Mrs. Obama: Did the First Lady Break Protocol?

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, pose with Britain's Queen AP – US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, pose with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during an audience …

The rules are set in stone, and so the eagerly watching British media sputtered when the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, briefly put her hand on the back of Queen Elizabeth II as the two chatted at a reception. Etiquette is quite stern about this ("Whatever you do, don't touch the Queen!"). In 2007 John Howard, then Prime Minister of Australia, got plenty of criticism for apparently putting his arm around the Queen to direct her through a crowd. He denied actually touching her, but photographs suggest that he came quite close. (Another former Australian Prime Minister did put his hand on the Queen in a similar circumstance and was later branded "the Lizard of Oz.")

Of course, there are corollaries to this. One must certainly touch the Queen if the monarch offers her hand (though you should return this not with a firm handshake but just a touch). On Wednesday, Michelle Obama put her hand on the Queen only after the Queen had placed her own hand on the First Lady's back as part of their conversation. So there is room for theological argument as to whether the American reciprocity of touch was allowable given the social dynamics of the situation. (Less explicable was when President George W. Bush winked at the Queen.) Still, the sight of anyone apparently touching the Queen with anything more than a limp handshake is enough to send the British (or traditionalists in the old Commonwealth) twittering. (See pictures of the Obamas' travels in Europe.)

Another defense for Michelle Obama, of course, is that she is not a subject of the Queen. (Australians, despite referendums attempting to turn themselves into a republic, still recognize the Queen as their head of state.) The First Lady of the United States is not required to curtsey before her or any other crowned head. In any case, the touch lasted just a second or two, and the Queen did not seem particularly perturbed - though she appeared slightly surprised as she drew away. (See how Barack Obama is connected to the Queen via TIME's Person of the Year.)

So where does this rule about not touching the Queen come from? The sovereigns of England and France at some point in their nations' long histories claimed a divine right to rule, a right often amplified by titles bestowed by the Pope in Rome. (The Queen, in fact, still has the title Defender of the Faith, an honor given to Henry VIII before he broke with the Catholic Church and established the Church of England.) That touch of holiness once gave the occupant of the throne the supposed ability to cure certain diseases - most famously, scrofula, a terrible skin ailment that was called "the king's evil." Thus, the miraculous contact had to be conserved. And so, whether a touch or a nod or a gaze, royal favor, like that of God, is not a subject's on demand; it is dispensed by kingly prerogative. (See pictures from the 2006 celebration of the Queen's birthday.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Compelling Argument?

Many of us at Stuff Po received a wad of emails related to our guest contributer's post about bananas, Kirk Cameron, and atheists. A fair amount took issue with the defacing of the lifeblood of Growing Pains. "His curlies should protect him from meanies like you!" Others simply said, "Bananas are high in potassium, what, what!" But, our largest complaint was from our Christian fans who "just don't get that post." It got us thinking about providing a certain balance to our posts, so, while I personally find the following article to lack critical thought, reason, or balance itself, I'm posting it here. Let us know what you think. The article can be found here: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CNPKvYqJ0JkCFSAhDQod8zyjJg

Does God exist?

Here are six straight-forward reasons to believe that God is really there.

By Marilyn Adamson

Just once wouldn't you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God's existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, "You just have to believe." Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away. It is like if someone refuses to believe that people have walked on the moon, then no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Photographs of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks...all the evidence would be worthless, because the person has already concluded that people cannot go to the moon.
When it comes to the possibility of God's existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, "You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you."2 Before you look at the facts surrounding God's existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know him? Here then, are some reasons to consider...
1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
The Earth...its size is perfect. The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4
Water...colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You'll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
Water is a universal solvent. This property of water means that thousands of chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5
Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth's water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6
The human brain...simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
The human brain processes more than a million messages a second.7 Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.
The eye...can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages -- simultaneously.8 Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain -- the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.
2. Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."9
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light."10
The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn't change -- on earth or in galaxies far from us.
How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."12
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."13
4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billions of these letters in every human cell!!
Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual.14
Why is this so amazing? One has to ask....how did this information program wind up in each human cell? These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person's body should develop.
Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it.
5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
I was an atheist at one time. And like most atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people...to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.
I didn't realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn't escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God's existence, my prayer began with, "Ok, you win..." It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.
I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, "I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued." C.S. Lewis said he remembered, "...night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England."
Lewis went on to write a book titled, "Surprised by Joy" as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God's existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.
6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you'll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you're looking at him. Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.
He said, "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."15 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, "follow my words and you will find truth." He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me."16
What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can't do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people...blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects...created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature...walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I'm telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you're seeing.17
Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.
Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."18 This is God, in action.
Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. We're told that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."19
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The earth's perfect distance from the sun, the unique chemical properties of water, the human brain, DNA, the number of people who attest to knowing God, the gnawing in our hearts and minds to determine if God is there, the willingness for God to be known through Jesus Christ. If you need to know more about Jesus and reasons to believe in him, please see: Beyond Blind Faith.
If you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can.
This is your decision, no coercion here. But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into your life. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. He who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him [or her]."20 If you want to do this, but aren't sure how to put it into words, this may help: "Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me right now and come into my life. I want to know you in a real way. Come into my life now. Thank you that you wanted a relationship with me. Amen."
God views your relationship with him as permanent. Referring to all those who believe in him, Jesus Christ said of us, "I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand."21
So, does God exist? Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way. If you need more information about Jesus' claim to divinity, or about God's existence, or if you have similar important questions, please email us.
I just asked Jesus into my life (some helpful information follows)...
I may want to ask Jesus into my life, please explain this more fully...
I have a question or comment...
About the Author: As a former atheist, Marilyn Adamson found it difficult to refute the continuously answered prayers and quality of life of a close friend. In challenging the beliefs of her friend, Marilyn was amazed to learn the wealth of objective evidence pointing to the existence of God. After about a year of persistent questioning, she responded to God's offer to come into her life and has found faith in Him to be constantly substantiated and greatly rewarding.
(1) Romans 1:19-21 (2) Jeremiah 29:13-14 (3) R.E.D. Clark, Creation (London: Tyndale Press, 1946), p. 20 (4) The Wonders of God's Creation, Moody Institute of Science (Chicago, IL) (5) Ibid. (6) Ibid. (7) Ibid. (8) Hugh Davson, Physiology of the Eye, 5th ed (New York: McGraw Hill, 1991) (9) Robert Jastrow; "Message from Professor Robert Jastrow"; LeaderU.com; 2002. (10) Steven Weinberg; The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe; (Basic Books,1988); p 5. (11) omitted (12) Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great about Christianity; (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2007, chapter 11). (13) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (New York: BasicBooks, 1998), 43. (14) Francis S. Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, and author of The Language of God, (Free Press, New York, NY), 2006 (15) John 8:12 (16) John 14:6 (17) John 14:11 (18) Jeremiah 31:3 (19) John 3:16 (20) Revelation 3:20 (21) John 10:27-29