Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pueblo School of Arts And Sciences?

ABC News: Women Who Can't Stop Feeling Sexual
PSAS, identified and named just six years ago, remains a mysterious condition that thousands of women wish they didn't have. They are constantly on the edge of orgasm regardless of time, place or circumstance.

That's some curriculum, huh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blessed Are the Poor? - Financial Woes Force Church To Sell Private Jet
Financial Woes Force Church To Sell Private Jet
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) ― Dwindling donations to the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park have prompted its high-profile pastor, Mac Hammond, to put his private business jet on the market.

Church spokesman the Rev. Brian Sullivan says Living Word has also cut its hourlong Sunday morning television broadcast to 30 minutes to save money.

He says the church has fallen $40,000 to $70,000 short of its weekly budget in recent weeks. Sullivan says the church is adjusting its budget accordingly.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

30 Day Sex Challenge

Church says: Take the 30 day sex challenge! - Tampa Bays Local News

Ybor City – Pastor Paul Wirth says at Relevant Church located at 1731 E. 7th Avenue they're not only talking about sex they're doling out homework. He's gearing up to issue a challenge to his congregation this Sunday. Married couples must have sex for 30 days. Single members have to abstain from sex for 30 days.

Viagra sales skyrocket!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ann Coulter Must be Smiling

Romney Endorses Former Rival McCain | The Trail |
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gave a big, wet kiss on Valentine's Day to his former rival, Sen. John McCain, endorsing him in Boston and calling him "a true American hero."

With McCain standing next to him, Romney said he was urging his 280 delegates to support the Arizona senator at the Republican convention in September.

At CPAC, or at least in the same hotel, Ann Coulter made a speech critical of McCain, pursuing her "my girl, Hillary" theme. Along the way she canonized Mitt Romney as the "true conservative", echoing Laura Ingraham's effulgent introduction for Romney's CPAC address the day before.

I wonder how the girls are feeling on Valentine's night, knowing the "true conservative" heartthrob has betrayed them with his endorsement of McCain, the Republican so loathsome even Hilary would be a better choice.

I felt so bad for Ann, knowing she'd invested so much in "my girl, Hillary", that I nearly overlooked one of her best lines, supporting a McCain:Romney ticket, "I led one impeachment, I can lead another."

Yeah. I bet Ann Coulter's smiling tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's the Delegates, Stupid

The horse race is at the far turn. . .

From the Incredibly Obvious Deaprtment

Catholics Who Attend Mass Are Divorced Less and Have More Children: USCCB Poll

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 12, 2008 ( - Last April the USCCB Subcommittee on Marriage and the Family Life commissioned a poll on marriage and family issues, to be conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The final product, a poll of 1,008 self-identified Catholics, shows, as put by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the Chairman of the subcommittee, a "mixed picture." Amongst many other findings, the poll indicated that Catholics who attend Mass frequently are the least likely to get divorced and are more likely to have more children.

Sort of the whole point of the exercise, isn't it?

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Who Could Have Seen This Coming?

Livingston Parish Council refuses to repeal soothsaying ban

Livingston Parish Council refuses to repeal soothsaying ban

Associated Press Reporting
A proposal to repeal the Livingston Parish ordinance outlawing soothsaying died in silence last night before the Parish Council.

The council ignored the recommendation of its attorney, Blayne Honeycutt, who had advised council members to repeal the ordinance in the face of a Wiccan minister's federal lawsuit, which Honeycutt said the parish probably will lose.

A Wiccan woman asked the council to repeal the ordinance, which she said makes unlawful a practice of a recognized religion.

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I've Been Wondering Where to Find This

And now, thanks to the christoconservatives at the Alliance Defense Fund, we can lay hands on a copy of the often-cited-never-before-seen Homosexual Agenda.

I just wonder where these jesusboys got their copy? Ted Haggard? Larry Craig?

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Monday, February 11, 2008

WiFi @ Starbucks - It's Free, Only a Dollar

Starbucks: Forget T-Mobile, get (free) WiFi with AT&T

Free my ass. Discounted? Maybe, but somebody's paying for this loband access, overpriced calories and lame tunage:

AT&T says that, beginning this spring, anyone who uses a Starbucks Card (a prepaid gift card, like one you would give to a friend) will be able to get up to two hours of free WiFi service per day at any Starbucks location with WiFi service. Better yet, if you're an AT&T broadband or U-verse subscriber, you'll be able to use unlimited WiFi at Starbucks for free.

So if someone else buys it (Starbucks Card) or if you've already bought it (AT&T broadband) it's "free."

Yeah. I had a "free" lay once, but after the penicillin shots. . .not so much.

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The Increasing Irrelevancy of the Recording Industry

Grammys a Ho-Hum Affair for TV Viewers
I'll do the full disclosure here - studio music as delivered by radio reached its qualitative peak in 1978. The industry had declined since then, a spectacular dissolution into self-referential chaos. And now, at last, when uber-geek and musical illiterate Steve Jobs effectively owns the recording industry, even its award show has fallen to a depth merely indicative of its essentially meaningless place in culture.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Amy Winehouse, Herbie Hancock and Kanye West didn't provide quite enough drama to enthrall television viewers. Preliminary estimates indicate the Grammy Awards telecast was watched by 17.5 million people.

Nielsen Media Research said Monday that would make it the third least- watched Grammy Awards ever if later estimates confirm those numbers.

And this during the 14th week of the writer's strike, when the only new content broadcast was this pallid corpse.

Fueled by dwindling but still significant profits, corporate tunage will continue a few years yet, but it's Cheyne-Stokes respirations at best. Available cultural channels, reimagined along digital domains, have multiplied and as yet cannot be controlled by central agencies. And as long as that remains the case, the music will be free.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, disgraced former House Speaker Tom Delay gave an example of why electing exterminators from Texas raises the quality of political discourse, in a sort of Lil Abner way:

It is attitude and, and understanding that in order to put together a winning coalition, you’ve got to have a winning coalition. You can’t just have certain groups. What’s happening in the Republican party right now is they’re trying to find ourselves.

The Increasing Irrelevancy of the Radical Right, Part 3

The Republican Reformation - New York Times
The failure of conservative voters to fall in line behind Mr. Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, among others, reflects a deeper problem for the movement’s leadership. With their inflexibility, grudge-holding and eagerness to evict heretics rather than seek converts, too many of conservatism’s leaders sound like the custodians of a dwindling religious denomination or a politically correct English department at a fading liberal-arts college.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Never Can Say Goodbye

Romney Wins Conservatives’ Straw Poll, After Dropping Out of Race
Ballots for the straw poll conducted at the Conservative Political Action Conference were collected Thursday morning through Friday afternoon. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, quit the race in a midday speech to the conference on Thursday.

In the straw poll vote, Romney got 35 percent and McCain 34 percent. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas tied with 12 percent.

Romney won the straw poll at the conference last year.

It's not surprising that the straw poll went to Romney - it is, after all, a great chance to make an anti_McCain gesture. But here's some news that should worry Gov. Huckabee:
On another question, two-thirds said they would vote for McCain if he’s the eventual nominee, two in 10 said they would vote for someone else and about one in 10 said they would not vote.
At the starting gate, 2/3's of Huckabee's natural constituency has defected while another tenth will sit this one out. Doesn't leave much for the man who's trying for the "true conservative" mantle.

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McCain Uses Naughty Language, Says Romney

The Associated Press: Romney Offers Democrats McCain Playbook
"Choosing to ignore substance and relevant issues, the McCain way has always been to attack opponents in a personal manner," read a Jan. 5 e-mail from Romney press secretary Kevin Madden. "Defending his amnesty bill, Senator McCain lost his temper and screamed, 'Fk You!' at Texas Sen. John Cornyn."

Dick Cheney nods in sympathy.

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This Can't Be Good

New details emerge in NRCC scandal
. . . at a recent meeting, the now former [National Republican Congressional Committee] treasurer, Christopher J. Ward, relented, giving [Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)] what was supposed to be an official internal audit from 2006. That document was a fake, the GOP members said. Even the letterhead on which it was sent was a forgery.

Revelations about the falsified document touched off an unfolding scandal that has rocked the NRCC and spurred a criminal investigation by the FBI into the committee’s accounting procedures.

During an election year it's not considered good strategy to do the other side's oppo research for them.

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Pretty Good Privacy, Indeed

Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma

Maybe some of the civil liberty erosion we've endured under the Bush administration is slowing down. Here's a case that will pit personal privacy against government intrusion in a way fundamental to digital life:
When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography.

But when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, authorities were stymied by a password-protected encryption program.

Now Boucher is caught in a cyber-age quandary: The government wants him to give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files
Mr. Boucher uses a program called Pretty Good Privacy, encryption software that has a history of pissing off governments. Creator Philip Zimmerman ran afoul of panicky feds in the early '90's. They realized his encryption scheme was virtually unbeatable, and in a legal stretch that still astounds, defined PGP as a weapon, making it illegal to export, or, in this case, release to the Internet.
Philip R. Zimmermann is the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, an email encryption software package. Originally designed as a human rights tool, PGP was published for free on the Internet in 1991. This made Zimmermann the target of a three-year criminal investigation, because the government held that US export restrictions for cryptographic software were violated when PGP spread worldwide. Despite the lack of funding, the lack of any paid staff, the lack of a company to stand behind it, and despite government persecution, PGP nonetheless became the most widely used email encryption software in the world.

The idea that surrendering a password involves 5th amendment privilege is fascinating and a court decision regarding the issue is well overdue. This case bears watching.

PS: For a very solid on-the-fly and free encryption tool, I recommend True Crypt. It takes privacy to a new level. Without the password, files on a True Crypt drive can't even be seen, let alone examined. It's called "plausible deniability", and it's not just for Presidents anymore.

UPDATE (2/10/08): From the TSA Blog:
TSA does not and will not confiscate laptops or other electronic devices at our checkpoints. Our officers’ are solely focused on the safety of the traveling public and are looking for explosives and other prohibited items. Should one of our officers find something suspicious, we will immediately contact local law enforcement and potentially the local bomb squad. We will not ask for any password, access to any files or take the laptop from you for longer than it takes to determine if it contains a threat.

Should anyone at a TSA checkpoint attempt to confiscate your laptop or gain your passwords or other information, please ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

The Increasing Irrelevance of the Radical Right, Part 2

Dobson Endorses Huckabee - Politics - CBN News
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson officially endorsed the Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee in his GOP presidential bid Thursday night.

The endorsement doesn't appear to be too late, either, especially with Mitt Romney dropping out of the picture earlier Thursday.

"Doesn't appear to be too late?" Is there anyone at CBN with a calculator? As the AP reported it after Super Tuesday:
Overall, McCain led with 707 delegates, to 294 for Romney and 195 for Huckabee. It takes 1,191 to win the nomination at this summer's convention in St. Paul, Minn.
I've thought for some time Dr. Dobson's influence had crested. By now backing a certain loser, he may have just squandered the last bit of political capital he had left.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ann Coulter's Career Trajectory

OK, now that Ann has to make good on her Clinton-over-McCain claim, I can't help but fear for her mental state.

Dang, but doesn't she look good in white?

McCain Mutiny Succeeds

Say goodnight, Mitt.

And We Think Britney's the Crazy One

The Corner on National Review Online

Dig this:
It Needs to Be Said [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This McCain speech would not have been given today, if it weren't for folks like Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Andy McCarthy, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Can I thank them on behalf of America?

Umm, no, Kathryn, you can't. This minor revision makes it all ok, though:
It Needs to Be Said [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This Romney speech would not have been given today, if it weren't for folks like Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Andy McCarthy, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Can I thank them on behalf of America?

(h/t Sully)

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The Increasing Irrelevance of the Radical Right

From the Right, Both Acceptance and Distrust of McCain
Sen. John McCain makes an appearance at CPAC today. Last year, he faced a hostile crowd that booed his talk. This year he's Sen. John McCain, Republican candidate for President. And there's a bloc within the Republican party uncomfortable with that.

Rush Limbaugh declared that a McCain triumph would "destroy the party." James Dobson, leader of Focus on the Family, said that he will not vote for McCain under any circumstances. Ann Coulter allowed as to how she would rather vote for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton than for McCain.

Former and current Republican congressional colleagues joined in the attacks. Former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert cited what he termed McCain's lack of party loyalty by labeling him an "undependable vote," and Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.) raised questions about his temperament for the Oval Office.

It's looking more and more like the radical right is feeling its influence fade away. The presidential picks favored by Rush Limbaugh were panned by actual voters. No one has kissed James Dobson's ring, and even now, Mitt Romney has dropped out of the race.

I think Phil Gramm has it right:

The incoming conservative fire against McCain has become a distraction, Gramm acknowledges. "Some people, in their own minds, think they have exerted a strong influence over the party, and now they are seeing that influence passing," he said. "There's some bitterness on their part. They're people who put their dogma in front of the interests of the country. . . . They don't like it that McCain is McCain."

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mixx truly suxx

Login - Mixx
OK, here's the thing. This lameass site boasts openID access, yet my Verisign credential is never recognized, even after I let mixx query verisign for me.

Even if I was logged in, all I can find are front page links so poorly maintained that "news" is always 18 hours behind the MSM links they point to.

mixx tries to hybrid digg and cnn - it sucks at both. -5 stars from me for a site that seems to have a detailed vision with no concept of reality - much like teenage masturbation.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pat Robertson Sucks Hypocrite Dick

I loathe the self-serving hypocrisy of millionaire evangelists, Pat Robertson in particular.
On CNN Tuesday, Robertson recalled McCain's 2000 comments:

"I had spent years and lots of money getting him and his buddies and his chairman on various Senate committees. And then to have him come down to my city and make a statement like that, it was outrageous."
Yeah, sure, Pat. Not precisely biblical, though, is it?
Revelation 21:22-23
22 I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple.
23 And the City has no need of the Sun or of the Moon to shine on it, for the Glory of God has illumined it, and its Lamp is the Lamb.

Doesn't leave much room for CBN or 1,000 pound leg presses, huh?

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Another Martyr for Dollars

B.C. Teacher Kempling May Lose Teaching License for Defending Christian Beliefs
I don't much care what folk believe and practice in the privacy of their own consciences or churches. As an atheist, all religions look pretty silly to me, Christianity no more than any of the thousands of other irrational belief systems humans seem to enjoy.

This teacher, Chris Kempling, is an example of the sort of public exposition of superstition that deserves reflexive ridicule, just to keep the biblical virtue of humility healthy and influential. When this private belief evolves into a mission to dehumanize and publically identify others as sinners deserving of eternal pain and suffering, a threshold of taste has been crossed.

But more serious, for me at least, is this tidbit:
for offering orientation change therapy as part of my private counselling practice and mentioning this in a radio interview,
So this sanctimonious asshat is complaining that his academic career is threatened for offering completely bogus and potentially dangerous "therapy" and then advertising it on mass media. So he's a rude malpractitioner - the last dregs of sympathy I may have harbored for this mildly pathetic little guy just evaporated. He is not, in my view, fit to hold any teaching position. Why expose students to his brand of applied superstition?

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Another Sign of the Impending Apocalypse

From the Lawrence Welk Show:

Child of an Even Lesser God

Poor Pat Roberston. His prophetic powers have never served him well. Remember this:
In the latest of a long-but-unsuccessful line of predictions and prophecies, Pat Robertson said Jan. 2 the United States will face a massive terrorist attack in late 2007.

Or this?
In May 2006, he claimed American coastlines would be "lashed by storms" and the Pacific Northwest hit by "something as bad as a tsunami." No such disasters occurred that year.

I don't think it's quite a failure of Rev. Robertson's hearing God's word so much as he tries too hard. For instance, when he lowers his sights just a little:
This year's winner of the Scripps Howard Super Sage Award goes to Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network. His "preference" of a 20-14 Giants victory put him the closest to the final score of 17-14.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Difference in Style

In speeches tonight, Sen. McCain began by complimenting his rivals, Govs. Romney and Huckabee. Sen Obama began his address by offering condolences and sympathy to those affected by violent storms in the South. He also expressed the hope that the Federal government will respond to the needs of those storm victims quickly and promptly.

Points to Obama for appearing more concerned about people and more critical of establishment Washington.

It's Money That Matters?

On MSNBC's Super Tuesday coverage, Peggy Noonan pointed out that Mike Huckabee's staff has been working without pay for the past couple of weeks. And yet, Huckabee is racking up wins (and delegates) that Mitt Romney would certainly pay top dollar for.

I guess the message is simple - when Americans believe they have a choice, they will exercise it.

And that gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Bad News for Sexual Harassment Consultants

Work romance improves work

Researchers found the thrill of a fling “raised energy levels and led to better professional capacity”.

One in five people quizzed by Italian sexologist Serenella Salomoni admitted to an affair at work.

She said: “We discovered that people who had an office romance said they were happier, more energetic and more productive.”

Nearly twice as many women as men admitted to having a fling in the workplace, Dr Salomoni added.

One in three owned up to having a relationship with a superior to enhance their career.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Wait 'Till rush Limbaugh Reads This

Born Again Voters No Longer Favor Republican Candidates

George Barna, the evangelical pollster, has some interesting new data to mull over.

The new Barna study shows that if the election were to be held today, 40% of all born again adults who are likely to vote in November would choose the Democratic candidate and just 29% would choose the Republican candidate. The remaining 28% are currently not sure whom they would choose, preferring to make their selection on the basis of the candidate than strictly on the basis of his or her party affiliation.

This sure can't be good news to Mitt Romney's ears, and it's bound to be troublesome to previously-important fundigelicals like James Dobson and Richard Land. But the defection of evangelicals to Democrats is likeliest to upset talk radio punditry, many of whom have been leading cheers for a Clinton nomination in the belief that Hillary for President stickers would energize the Republican base, i. e., the evangeicals, and somehow preserve the White House for the minority party.

And it's only February.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Andrew Sullivan Shows His. . .Age?. . .Boy Georgeness?

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Maybe the Grateful Dead just proved my essay wrong.
I like Andrew, really, I do. He's a genuinely articulate spokesman for what I consider enlightened conservatism. I even like his beard.

But, c'mon - calling a Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir performance in support of Obama a "Grateful Dead" event?

Stick to politics, Andrew. Psychedelia is not your forte. And the Grateful Dead is completely out of your range.

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Are You Better Off Now Than 4 Years Ago?

Not yet, but maybe soon.

Micro$oft and Yahoo

NBC's Maria Bartiromo noted this morning that the proposed Microsoft purchase of Yahoo would be the biggest Internet deal since Time Warner bought AOL back in 2000.

And that certainly worked out for the best.

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