Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Arkansas parents charged with manslaughter after two year old son finds loaded handgun, shoots self in head.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

An Arkansas couple has been charged with manslaughter after their 2-year-year old son accidentally shot himself with a .45 caliber pistol and died of a wound to his head, authorities said on Tuesday. 

The parents, Phillip and Tabitha Ashley, 27 and 23 respectively, were arrested on Monday. Local media said the couple left a loaded gun unattended in the house. 

Police declined to release any details but said additional charges are possible. The two, who are being held without bond in jail, have not commented on the incident.

Manslaughter seems like the appropriate charge here.

I am glad that we are seeing people like this punished for their negligence and no longer given a pass due to the fact that "they have already suffered enough."

No, they haven't. At least not yet.

Sarah Palin cancels book signing in Naperville, Illinois. Gee, I can't imagine why. Update!

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

Former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has scrapped her plans to appear in Naperville next week. 

Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, which would have been the official bookseller for the event at the Chicago Marriott Naperville Hotel, announced early Wednesday afternoon that Palin, formerly governor of Alaska, called off her Dec. 1 engagement. 

The appearance was to have been in support of Palin's most recently released book, "Sweet Freedom: A Devotional." 

The announcement said the event was called off "due to circumstances out of the control of Anderson's Bookshops," but provided no additional details.

Oh I think we all know the "additional details."

The details are that the crowds are so small they could all arrive on the same city bus, and that the book is falling so hard it threatens to break the sound barrier.

After all nothing screams "failure" like a book signing with nobody there to get a book signed.

I imagine that this will not be the last cancellation, and would not be surprised if she quit the book tour altogether. 

By the way here is the top review for her book over at Amazon:

So the other day I was going to bail my oldest son, Trek, out of the county lockup (Vandalism. Kids, right?). I had my eldest daughter in the car with me and she looks over and yells, "Mama, my water broke!" I started to yell back that I wouldn't have to haul her to the hospital if she'd roped that guy into marrying her before he found out the kid wasn't his like I told her to. But then I took a deep breath and remembered what I'd read in Sarah Palin's book "Sweet Freedom" about being patient on those days when your facade as a Christian family just goes right down the crapper. Sometimes it can be hard to live vibrantly. 

So instead of cussing out my daughter, I drove her to the hospital. There, as I waited for the birth of my second - or is it my third? - illegitimate grandchild, I went on Facebook and shared a few anti-Obama memes before flipping over to Sarah Palin's page to thank her for this book, and for being somebody I could relate to. I even dipped into my Marlboro money to send her a few bucks since I got three emails from her this week begging me to donate so she can save America. 

I hope she continues to write books. They are perfect. Maybe it's because I never got past the seventh grade and read slow. Or maybe it's because she makes me proud to be a bigot. Either way, when I'm reading her books it feels like she understands, and I think it's because she's just like me. Sarah knows thinking is hard, and her books requires no thinking at all. For a conservative reader, that's Sweet Freedom.

And the review has a five star rating too!

Gotta love it.

Update: Well there goes another one.

Anybody want to take bets on how long that will last?

Donald Trump admits he doesn't bother with fact checking.

Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

Here’s the full exchange with O’Reilly: 

O’Reilly: This bothered me, I gotta tell ya. You tweeted out that whites killed by blacks — these are statistics you picked out from somewhere — at a rate of 81 percent. And that’s totally wrong. Whites killed by blacks is 15 percent, yet you tweeted it was 81 percent. Now … 

Trump: Bill, I didn’t tweet, I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show. 

O’Reilly: Yeah, but you don’t wanna be. … Why do you want to be in that zone? 

Trump: Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people, @RealDonaldTrump, by the way. 

O’Reilly: You gotta, you’re a presidential contender, you gotta check ’em. 

Trump: I have millions of people. You know what? Fine. But this came out of radio shows and everything else. 

O’Reilly: Oh, come on, radio shows? 

Trump: Excuse me. All it was, was a retweet.

Yeah it's just a retweet.

I mean who expects THOSE to be accurate?

This is your front runner GOP.

Aren't you proud?

White supremacists shoot and injure five BLM protesters in Minneapolis.

Courtesy of the Star Tribune:  

Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police. 

Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement. 

Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.” 

One of the three men wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening. 

When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots.

The Minneapolis police had arrested two suspects in the case, but released one after questioning.

I had originally resisted posting on this story because honestly it seemed almost unbelievable that actual white supremacists would attack this group.

But apparently that is indeed what happened.

As I am sure many of you have noticed there has been a concerted effort to vilify the BLM protesters.

Which has also lead to one them being attacked during a Donald Trump rally:  

“It was just a sea of white faces,” he told ThinkProgress. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.'”

While I myself have found some of their tactics to be a little questionable, I also think that the constant vilifying of the group, something that even Sarah Palin indulged in recently, may lead to more of these kinds of attacks in the future.

Planned Parenthood is suing Texas know, being Texas.

Courtesy of Think Progress:  

The national women’s health organization announced on Monday that it has filed suit against Texas for attempting to kick it out of the state’s Medicaid program. 

Last month, Texas officials announced they intended to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood clinics — saying that, in light of the videos, the group can’t be trusted to provide “medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.” Essentially, that means the group would no longer be reimbursed with state or federal Medicaid dollars for the health services it provides to low-income patients in the public health insurance program. 

“By canceling Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract politicians are telling women where they can and cannot go for reproductive health care,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards — a native Texan herself — said in a series of tweets on Monday afternoon. “This is illegal, and a violation of federal law.”

Go get'em Cecile Richards!

Planned Parenthood is also suing Louisiana for similar reasons. 

And of course they are also suing the Center for Medical Progress, the group that created those deceptive videos in the first place.

Perhaps if these lawsuits have the desired impact it will convince other states that they are on legally shaky ground by denying women access to reproductive health care.

By the way is anybody surprised that these states are also among those actively rejecting the Syrian refugees?

You know because they're so pro-life and all.

A little food for thought this morning.

Courtesy of Matt Ridley: 

Fifty years ago, after the cracking of the genetic code, Francis Crick was so confident religion would fade that he offered a prize for the best future use for Cambridge’s college chapels. Swimming pools, said the winning entry. Today, when terrorists cry “God is great” in both Paris and Bamako as they murder, the joke seems sour. But here’s a thought: that jihadism may be a last spasm — albeit a painful one — of a snake that is being scotched. The humanists are winning, even against Islam. 

Quietly, non-belief is on the march. Those who use an extreme form of religion to poison the minds of disaffected young men are furious about the spread of materialist and secularist ideas, which they feel powerless to prevent. In 50 years’ time, we may look back on this period and wonder how we failed to notice that Islam was about to lose market share, not to other religions, but to humanism. 

The fastest growing belief system in the world is non-belief. No religion grew nearly as fast over the past century. Whereas virtually nobody identified as a non-believer in 1900, today roughly 15 per cent do, and that number does not include soft Anglicans in Britain, mild Taoists in China, lukewarm Hindus in India or token Buddhists in Japan. Even so, the non-religious category has overtaken paganism, will soon pass Hinduism, may one day equal Islam and is gaining on Christianity. (Of every ten people in the world, roughly three are Christian, two Muslim, two Hindu, 1.5 non-religious and 1.5 something else.) 

This is all the more remarkable when you think that, with a few notable exceptions, atheists or humanists don’t preach, let alone pour money into evangelism. Their growth has come almost entirely from voluntary conversion, whereas Islam’s slower growth in market share has largely come from demography: the high birth rates in Muslim countries compared with Christian ones.

And before the troll inevitably accuses me of proselytizing on this blog, remember that you can here voluntarily to read what I had to say. I did not buy advertising time during your favorite show, come to your door to leave pamphlets, or threaten your children with eternal damnation if they did not accept my lack of belief.

This Ridly guy is exactly right, the non-theists ARE winning.

We have all of the tools needed to educate and enlighten the world, even the children regardless of where they live, or what religion surrounds them. And once that happens there is simply no longer any room for primitive superstitions or ancient mythologies.

And it is the very fact that victory is coming, which is behind much of the turmoil that we see in the world today.

Rarely does a dominating demographic drop the reins of power voluntarily, nor come down from the top of hill peacefully.

So yes we are going to see more violence, and more political manipulations, but in the end the outcome is predetermined. The only question is how long will it take, and how many will die in the interim.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

White Christians now make up less than half of all Americans, but virtually ALL of the Republican party.

Courtesy of the National Journal:  

Long the dom­in­ant group in Amer­ic­an re­li­gious life, White Chris­ti­ans have fallen be­low a ma­jor­ity of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion—and they are mov­ing to the right polit­ic­ally as they re­cede. 

The res­ult is that, like race and age, re­li­gious af­fil­i­ation marks a sharpen­ing point of dis­tinc­tion between Re­pub­lic­ans and Demo­crats, pre­vi­ously un­pub­lished res­ults from the Pew Re­search Cen­ter’s massive Re­li­gious Land­scape sur­vey show. 

As the na­tion re­lent­lessly di­ver­si­fies, both in its ra­cial com­pos­i­tion and re­li­gious pref­er­ences, White Chris­ti­ans now rep­res­ent just 46 per­cent of Amer­ic­an adults, ac­cord­ing to Pew data provided in re­sponse to a re­quest from Next Amer­ica. That’s down from a 55 per­cent ma­jor­ity as re­cently as 2007, and much high­er fig­ures through most of U.S. his­tory. 

Yet even as White Chris­ti­ans shrink in their over­all num­bers, they still ac­count for nearly sev­en-in-10 Amer­ic­ans who identi­fy with, or lean to­ward, the Re­pub­lic­an Party, the Pew study found. White Chris­ti­ans, in fact, rep­res­ent as large a share of the Re­pub­lic­an co­ali­tion today as they did of Amer­ic­an so­ci­ety over­all in 1984, when Ron­ald Re­agan won reelec­tion. A clear ma­jor­ity of all White Chris­ti­ans across the United States now identi­fy as Re­pub­lic­an, Pew found.

The data demonstrated that the result of the changing demographics is that the Republican party is becoming more entrenched in conservative religious values while the Democratic party is split among the white less religious liberals, and the more traditional, and more religious, blacks and Hispanic voters.

This means that the GOP can get the voters animated with simple talking points claiming there is an attack on their religion, or that the brown people are coming to take their freedoms away, while the gays are indoctrinating heir children.

On the other hand the Democrats have to walk a finer line, preaching more tolerant attitudes, while also being careful not to insult those raised in more traditional Christian homes.

Even though the trend is working in favor of the Democrats, there are still numerous elections ahead where the cohesion of the Republican party presents a real challenge to Democratic candidates.

And in smaller local elections, where getting out the conservative vote means simply paying a visit to the local churches, the challenge for liberals is to find a candidate that the various fractions within the Democratic party can rally behind.

Sadly this is the problem with leading those who make decisions based on critical thinking, as opposed to those who makes theirs based on faith.

Sarah Palin on Seth Meyer last night.

In the first part Palin talks about receiving an apology from Louis CK concerning his drunken tweets about her.

There are some websites claiming this did not happen, but according to the comedian it did: 

“I’ve never in a million years apologized for anything I’ve said,” C.K. told Howard Stern in a recent interview. But this time, he said, “Something came over me emotionally.” Palin was the one who approached C.K. to tell him she thought he was funny — and that’s when he decided to say sorry for the Twitter rant.

Speaking of apologizing, when will Palin apologize for this?

Posted by Sarah Palin on Monday, November 23, 2015

Yeah nothing racist about that.

Now in the second part of this video Meyers asks her about Donald Trump. 

Here was her response courtesy of Salon: 

Meyers asked why Palin thought Trump has taken off in the last six months since Palin made a joke about how much Lorne Michaels would pay her to run for president again, particularly if Trump was her VP nom. 

Her answer: “Because he’s not a politician, thank the Lord.” 

Meyers was quick to remind Palin “you were a politician … not only were you mayor, you were governor. Yet, you don’t think experience is important?”

Yeah, you know Palin seems to have a little cognitive dissonance around the fact that not only was she a politician, she also worked with Democrats in Alaska, and ran for VP on the Republican ticket, before she decided that Washington sucked, Democrats are the devil, and everybody holding office is corrupt.

In this next clip Palin, a former governor, makes ignorant statements about the Syrian refugees that Seth Meyers, a comedian, has to correct.

This courtesy of Raw Story: 

The former half-term governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate defended U.S. governors who have said they would refuse to accept any immigrants fleeing Syria’s brutal civil war after Islamic State militants killed 129 people in Paris. 

“Their message is not, we don’t want Syrian refugees,” Palin said. “Their message is, what is the vetting process? How do we know that these are the innocents who are coming over and actually needing aid, and they’re not the bad guys infiltrating under the guise of refugee? And they want a vetting process, because we don’t have that from the top, we don’t have that at the federal level.” 

Meyers, the host of NBC’s “Late Night,” told Palin there was a vetting process — and he quickly sketched out how it works. 

“In order for any refugees to come in, it is, like, an 18- to 24-month process for them to get through,” Meyer said. “It starts at the UN, and then it comes through multiple government agencies here in the states. Is it maybe just that, at the core, I think there’s just a lack of trust across the board of the federal government? Do you think that’s what these governors are really saying, that ultimately anything the federal government tells them, they don’t trust?”

Palin of course quickly states that she does NOT trust the federal government and suggests that neither should Seth.

Which then led Seth to suggest that what the Republicans were doing was fear mongering, and to point out that the majority of the people trying to come to this country are doing it so that they can enjoy the same freedoms that he and Sarah Palin enjoy.

Palin actually had to agree that he was probably right about that.

I know a lot of people were disappointed that Seth Meyers had Palin on the show, but I thought he did a pretty good job, and as usual she looked like an enormous idiot.

Oh, and there was apparently NO talk about her book. So all Palin had to sell last night was stupidity.

As usual.

Donald Trump under fire for claiming that he saw "thousands and thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the 9-11 attacks. Spoiler alert: He didn't!

Courtesy of Business Insider:  

Donald Trump claims that "thousands" of people in New Jersey were "cheering" amid the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on US soil. 

In an interview on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Trump doubled down on his assertion that he saw people in New Jersey — where the real-estate mogul claims there are "large Arab populations" — cheering as the World Trade Center came down. 

"There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down," Trump said on Sunday. "I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down. And that tells you something. It was well-covered at the time."

Well if you watched cable news yesterday you saw this "fact" refuted multiple times, by multiple sources:

Despite Trump's insistence that he saw such celebrations, political fact-checkers across the board have found little to no evidence of any public celebrations after the attacks. 

PolitiFact noted that there were several media reports of police inquiries into individuals who were suspected of celebrating the attacks in Jersey City and nearby Paterson, but there is no evidence that these investigations revealed any actual celebrations or resulted in any convictions. 

"This defies basic logic," PolitiFact's Lauren Carroll wrote in a "Pants on Fire" ruling.

When I first heard the story I immediately went to Snopes where conspiracy theories and bullshit lies are usually laid to rest.

Snopes did a deep dive, and really tried to get to the source of Trump's misinformation, which seemed to stem from early rumors after the towers fell, that turned out to be false. 

However not only does Trump seem impervious to facts, he is also demanded in apology from those calling him out on his BS.

You might notice that the portion which is quoted in the tweet above says the words "allegedly." That is because their was nothing to the allegations.

At this point I think we have to take notice of the fact that according to polling the three top contenders for the GOP nomination, Trump, Carson, and Cruz, are all habitual liars who seem to have a specific allergy to facts.

Not exactly good news for the Republican party.

Bristol reveals the name of her new baby. No seriously, this is the name.

Courtesy of Bristol's Pikore account: 

when you find out @kristincavallari named her baby the exact name you are naming yours ���� what a weird coincidence .. congrats on your new bundle, and I do love her name.. Still naming my baby girl Sailor! ����❤️

Well we all know that the Palins REALLY like to name their children unusual names, but after a military branch of the service?

At least Kristin Cavallari had the intelligence to change the spelling a little.

I mean come on, a Palin named "Sailor," with the reputation that Bristol has? There is no way this is not going to result in hours of teasing from this little girl's schoolmates.

And you know here's a the thing. I actually tried to help.

As some of you might remember a little over a month ago, I wrote a post about potential baby names.

I received a lot of criticism, but in fact there was a method to my mocking.

Because you know sometimes I hear things.

So in my post I wrote the following:

Or perhaps she wants to honor the military by naming it after a branch of the service or a specific rank, such as Ranger Palin, or Sailor Palin, or Private Palin, or First Specialist Palin. 

You know I thought that maybe, just maybe, seeing the name she picked for her child subjected to a little teasing by a liberal blog her family hates before it's birth, MIGHT just convince her to go in another direction.

However such was not the case.

So yes it appears that there will actually be a Sailor Palin.

Assuming of course she does not have a baby daddy that she is planning to blame for not pulling out.

In which case we might instead see a Sailor Meyer or Sailor Junker.

Yep, the kid does not stand a chance.

But hey, I tried.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck bails on Fox News. Cites wanting time with her family.

Courtesy of AOL:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is saying goodbye to 'Fox & Friends.' 

Hasselbeck announced Monday that she will step down from her role as co-host of the morning show on Fox News Channel and will leave the network by the end of the year. The 38-year-old talk show host joined the show in 2013 after her tumultuous exit from "The View" and has told the network that she plans to put her TV career on hold as she raises her three children, Taylor, Grace and Isaiah. 

In a statement, Hasselbeck said, "Oftentimes, the most difficult decisions are between two great things. Throughout my 14 years working in television, I have never experienced a more positive and thoughtful atmosphere than FOX News Channel, thanks to the strong leadership of (FOX News Chairman & CEO) Roger Ailes, who has created the best working environment a woman and mother could ask for. His understanding, compassion, and kindness was exemplified when I shared with him that I am entering into a season where I want to start my day with my children first, and he offered his blessing to do so. With a heart full of gratitude and the peace that God has given me, I am confident that this personal decision is the right one for our family, and we will be joining all of you watching Fox & Friends each morning as we get ready for school together."

You know when a politician quits claiming they want to spend more time with their families we all know there is a scandal brewing somewhere.

Now Hasselbeck is no politician, but it is still suspicious that she would walk away from a gig like this with no plans for the future unless there was a compelling reason.

So what do we think?

Was the gig too partisan even for her, or was she actually too dimwitted even for Fox News?

Well according to the Pope there really is a war on Christmas, but not the one you've been hearing about.

Courtesy of Time: 

Pope Francis told churchgoers that Christmas this year is going to be a “charade” because “the whole world is at war.” 

The pontiff put this holiday season in perspective during mass at the Basilica di Santa Maria last week. His speech comes after a rash of notable violent incidents, including the now infamous terrorist attacks in Paris, as “we are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war. 

“It’s all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war,” Pope Francis said. “A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be—a little here, a little there—there is no justification.”

So according to the Pope it's not the non-religious or those who don't want to say Merry Christmas to shoppers that is threatening Christmas, but rather those who want continual war.

Gee now which political party promotes that around the world?

I understand what the Pope is saying, and I even agree with it somewhat, but if we allow the warlike, the fearmongers, and the terrorists to take Christmas away from us, then are we not allowing them to win?

I mean I'm an Atheist but that does not mean I don't love this time of year and wish to celebrate the holiday of giving with my friends and family.

I don't know about anybody else, but considering what is going on in the world I think we need to celebrate more aggressively than ever.

New York Daily News comes out hard against the NRA for blocking laws that would keep high powered guns out of the hands of terrorists.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

A New York City tabloid is continuing its battle with the National Rifle Association, calling NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre “Jihadi Wayne” on the cover of Monday morning’s edition for opposing sensible gun laws that could prevent terrorists from purchasing high-powered weapons. 

The New York Daily News screaming headline “Nowhere To Hide, Jihadhi Wayne” on Monday morning comes on the heels of a similar headline last Wednesday reading: “NRA’s Sick Jihad.” 

At issue is the NRA using their overwhelming influence with lawmakers to block a law that would ban anyone on the terrorist watch list from purchasing a gun. 

The bill, known as the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, was proposed in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people in Paris dead and hundreds more injured. Gun control advocates say that a legal loophole allows suspects on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns while the same list prevents them from flying on U.S. airlines. 

The bill was originally proposed in 2007, but has been blocked by conservative lawmakers who are heavily backed by the NRA.

Well good for the New York Daily News. Which is not something I get to say very often.

So I guess the next time Americans are gunned down in the streets by terrorists, most likely NOT Muslim terrorists, we will know exactly where to lay the blame.

Not that I did not know that already of course.