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RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?/Archive6

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This is an archive page, last updated 16 February 2011. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Hawaii Governor Takes on Birthers[edit]

As far as the Hawaii governor taking on the birthers goes... really, why is he even bothering? It won't work. They will not drop this issue until Obama leaves office, period. Almighty God himself could stick his head out of a cloud and say "I'm omnipresent and I saw him born in Hawaii" and Orly Taitz and Joseph Farah and the rest would call God a liberal and keep flogging this extraordinarily dead horse.

Orly Taitz has even said as much -- she's indicated that if Obama proved he was born in Hawaii, she plans to make an issue of the fact that since Obama's father wasn't a citizen, Obama isn't either. And that's assuming she'd accept any evidence of him being born in Hawaii, which you know damn well she won't.

This is the equivalent of the right wing noise machine's focus on Bill Clinton's sex life -- it's something to get the base's blood boiling, something that will last the entire Presidency, and something that allows them not to focus on real issues, because those are complicated and require explaining to the idiots who now form the base of the Republican Party. MDB (talk) 13:51, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

He has a good heart, and is being fairly idealistic in thinking that he could change their minds. Can you really blame a person for being naïve about how heart-hardened the fringe right can be? I mean, I didn't even know until just before I was banned from CP. "Oh, I just need to explain this better, and then they'll get it!" Such naïve optimism is cute... like a lolcat! Speaking of which, I'd like to see more of both. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:47, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I think we're falling for the fallacy of assuming that there's this entire body of crazy people believing every conspiracy theory who're all as crazy as their 'leaders,' also that it's only the absolute nutjobs who question the birth issue. For every Sarah Palin, Orly Taitz and Christine O'Donnell, there are dozens of normalish Americans who've seen these things being so prominently in the media, and probably wondered about it. Even if it only has a very mild affect, I still think there're people out there who'll listen and accept it. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Odonnell wigo[edit]

The comments on the grauniad article are great. One says 'When she says "I am you" she means what, that we are like her, corrupt witches that don't wank?' the graundia may be a bit of a boring paper but it's readers are some of the wittiest. Oldusgitus (talk) 21:29, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Cancer test[edit]


This is why I like news outlets to link back to papers (I'll see if I can find it in Nature later); I really want to know what the false positive rate for this test is. If it can really sniff out a single cancerous cell in billions there's undoubtedly going to be some false alarms. A single cell can go cancerous and not necessarily lead to a tumour. If it's high it could be worse than useless. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:17, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Mexican Wrestling[edit]

I'm actually shocked the Mexican government hasn't encouraged the Lucahdors to create bad guy characters who are involved with drug traffickers. That said, I haven't seen much in the way of Mexican Wrestling so I don't know how plot driven it is compared to American counterparts. I think it could help as a propaganda boost (and to help boost the morale of the people in Juarez) against these Narco-terrorists. Jsonitsac (talk) 20:33, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Lucha Libre isn't nearly as storyline driven as American pro wrestling, so it makes sense. The characters are generally just broad archetypes. They rarely talk, so while they could create a whole character and have them repeatedly lose to a "Captain Mexico" type character as a propaganda thing, it would probably just piss off the cartels and make things worse. SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 06:54, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Except that the drug traffickers will KILL any wrestlers portraying them as bad guys. What incentive could the government really give to a wrestler to risk their lives like that? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 06:57, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Vote number jump[edit]

Just to let you know, I've had to jump the number by one, for some reason teh next number in sequence already had votes attached.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 00:34, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Phyllis Schlafly is a DUDE?![edit]

Don't blame me, from the article: "While Schlafly’s paternalistic-sounding comments" (emphasis added) No one tell ASchlafy, but apparently his mom is his dad, like something out of Southpark! (No, literally, that is straight out of a Southpark episode.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:53, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

It's odd, but I think it's a standard phrase these days; like addressing a body of soldiers as "men". Although this does remind me of one occasion on which I was at a talk given by the wonderful Earl Conrad Russell at a Lib Dem Conference. He used the word "paternalism" and added a brief apology for not knowing a gender-neutral term. One of my colleagues, a rather lovely young lady called Holly, who is still the most pro-feminism person I've ever met, immediately said "parentalism" - I word I've still never heard elsewhere, and which I see is still not recognised by my spill chucker. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 02:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Paternalism has nothing to do with the gender of the speaker - it's acting in the manner of a father. Now there's a whole bunch of sexism in the underlying assumption that it's dad who lays down the rules but anybody of any gender, male female or yet to make up their mind, can be paternalistic. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:50, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Try telling that to the lady I mentioned. Some people insist on seeing sexist language everywhere. Stupid bitch. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 03:10, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

MMR Hoax[edit]

CNN has it too.

To my mind, Wakefield should be facing criminal charges for manslaughter over this (for US readers, that's sort of like accidental homicide - dunno how it translates to your legal system). The hysteria he caused over vaccines has undoubtedly led to needless death. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 03:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

This would be the blog making the Piltdown Man comparison, rather than the BMJ editorial itself. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:56, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Missing parts of Constitutional reading WIGO[edit]

In any proper representation of the current Constitutional text all sections noted as "skipped" are to be struck out written with a line through them, so that people can know and understand immediately that such law no longer has any effect. The text remains struck out so that it remains legible for only historical means, but no one would mistake it for valid and current law. The Constitution read by the 112th House of Representatives is that version of the Constitution that is currently enforcible and valid. Just a big misunderstanding WIGO, nothing to see here, move along... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 14:05, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

My sentiments exactly. It's not like they left out "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." DickTurpis (talk) 14:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't particularly like the WIGO, but I think the point is valid. Republicans and Teabaggers worship the Constitution like it was the bible. Whenever something comes up they don't like they start screaming "The founding fathers wouldn't agree to this," as if their opinion was infallible. This is their way of side-stepping the awkward moments of having the sections on slavery and no women voters read into record and reeks of cowardliness. SirChuckBCall the FBI 15:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
True conservatives (if there are any left) would argue that the founding fathers wouldn't agree to this, therefore if you want to do it you should move for a constitutional amendment. It's the next step in the "legislating from the bench" argument, only this time it's "amending from the Congress" or something (of course, Congress does vote on amendments, but through a separate process). DickTurpis (talk) 21:58, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Jack Straw is a cunt - discuss[edit]

Over the last fifteen years we've his opportunistic, cynical, reactionary nature come to the fore. Discussing, Blackburn sex abuse case, he conveniently ignores the black girls that were abused.

What a cunt.Pooface (talk) 12:29, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

He's always been a cunt. My mother worked with him when she was a civil servant in the late 1960's and she described him to me as a "useless tosser", which for my mum is strong and abusive language. I love my mum. Darkmind1970 (talk) 20:32, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Arizona Congresswoman Shooting[edit]

No new details beyond the doctor's optimism about her recovery. This is truly awful, and I can't help but wonder how the dicks at Conservapedia are going to politicize this...I smell another "It's the MOVIE that made him go crazy" moment coming soon Saladin (talk) 23:49, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

It is sad and unfortunate. Oddly, the alleged shooter was a Grammar Nazi... who ENTIRELY FAILED AT GRAMMAR. So, the guy was obviously incapable of accurately gauging his own self. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:57, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Correction to this, or rather clarification to this... one of his videos says, "You don't allow the government to control your grammar structure, listener?" So, rather, he just has some grammar woo going on. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:05, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Saladin removed their own comment, but to cover some issues stated. The YouTube vids, which most seem to believe are genuine, he talks about how he was given a Bible as a military recruit at MEPS. (They do actually do this, the Gideons give a copy of the New Testament to every recruit unless you vociferously decline.) He expressed being upset about this, so it does appear that he disagrees with the notion of a god for some reason or another. But making this about "atheist, blah blah blah does shooting"... well, now we even more directly have another claim: "Military recruit shoots House Representative." --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:39, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it may have just been my computer before but the formating on my comment went apeshit, so I thought it was just easier to remove far as the ongoing politicization of the shooting, Sarah Palin deleted that tweet of hers about "reloading" or something like that and some troll went onto her Facebook page claiming support for the shooter and Palin...people are fucking crazy </obvious> (talk) 05:51, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Here's a good reason to support Toys for Tots[edit]

The Salvation Army refuses to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys.

This covers items already donated to them.

Not only than, they don't even pass them on to other charities; they are "disposed of".

Toy rifles are just fine and dandy, though. MDB (talk) 20:54, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Creepy, not giving them anything this year then, Toys for Tots it is. Тиранесcomplaints 20:58, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Note that was a Toronto Sun article, so it may just be the Toronto Salvation Army doing that; it doesn't indicate if it's Canadian or worldwide policy. However, I've never heard of Toys for Tots having any restriction on donated toys, other than "clean and new".
As an aside, when I did my Toys for Tots shopping this year, I cam very close to "accidentally" forgetting to put the Nerf toy sword into the drop box... MDB (talk) 21:03, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, every time I go to Connections for Life, nearly all the books there are 1. Trashy Romance, 2. Outdated computer how-tos, 3. Christian Inspirational, 4. Right wing rhetoric. Nice cheap furniture though. Тиранесcomplaints 21:06, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I can sort of understand refusing the "twilight" toys, after all , what nice kid wants a handsome (dont see it myself) vampire that glows in the sunlight. Vampires are meant to shrivel up, turn black and mostly burst into flame. On the toys thing my local supermarkets participate in a local toy drive. Just bring in a suitable toy and stick a label on it from the tree with the sex and age the toy is for. CD and DVD are donated by a video rental store for the older teens Hamster (talk) 06:42, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I know it's nothing new that we're segregating toys based on sex/gender... but I want to donate a bunch of Barbie dolls with a "boys age: 5-10" sticker, and see if they actually make it to boys. We don't usually realize just how extensive our gender indoctrination schemes are, and I'm way down for disrupting the status quo. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:51, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

WIGO 2482[edit]

I wouldn't normally comment out a non-dupe WIGO but this one is just bollocks. The link doesn't say what the WIGO claims it says. The whole WIGO reads like a slurred rant after twelve pints... it doesn't deserve to stay. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 06:17, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

It is understandable that you could only come up with yet another argument by assertion. To quote the article directly:
1. The Three-Fifths Compromise. The Founding Fathers, seeking to appease slave states, found a compromise that tacitly allowed slavery without writing the word into the Constitution. It wrote that representatives would be parceled out among states based on a count of free people, and three-fifths of "other Persons." That was understood to mean slaves.
The first sentence draws a sharp line between the "Founding Fathers" and the "slave states," and immediately thereafter says that the clause had something to do with allowing slavery. It also, like most other treatments of that clause, implies that the slave states were the ones who did not want all the slaves counted. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:25, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Your WIGO said "The Three Fifths Clause makes the news. The Washington Post kindly informs us that it was put in to legalize slavery, and that the Founding Fathers (who were apparently all Northerners) counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person to appease slave owners.". Where does your link mention that the FFs were Northerners, for example? Do better. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 06:32, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
The phrase "The Founding Fathers, seeking to appease slave states" would indicate that the Founding Fathers and the slave states were completely separate entities. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:37, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Not really. But what was the 3/5 clause for if not to count slaves as less than a full person? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 06:50, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Brief history: When the Constitution was being drawn up, the delegates from the free states did not want the slaves counted at all, which would give the free states more political clout. The slave states, on the other hand, wanted each slave to be counted as a full person, for similar reasons. They eventually hashed out three-fifths as a compromise. The "counting of slaves as less than a full person" was actually the legacy of people who were opposed to slavery. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:08, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
You've just reinforced what the article said - it was a compromise. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 07:29, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I did no such thing; the way they have put it is greatly misleading, since if the slave states had not been appeased the slaves would not have been counted at all. And, of course, there is also the matter of the wildly incorrect claim that the clause had something to do with allowing slavery. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:19, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

women manipulate men with tears[edit]

I'd call this super crazy sexist, but sociologically we (women) are not the sex of power, and are still widely raised with the expectation to take subtle and tactful actions rather than overt and aggressive actions... So, while the whole sentiment might be racist sexist, that doesn't make it not true... it just shows the systemic sexist biased of our civilization. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:08, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Are you complaining about data or the way it's presented? Because you really shouldn't confuse the concepts of sexism and testable statements. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:10, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I seem to have typoed enough to make my statement say something I didn't mean it to say. The data is true, the results are true, but it's also only true because of systemic sexism in our civilization. If girls were raised such that it were ok to be assertive, and/or even aggressive, and that wouldn't make them a life-long spinster bitch, then we would be so manipulative. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:13, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that's clearer and I mostly agree with your point. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:17, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually the article suggests that female tears have a real biological effect on men - not a cultural one. In which case it's got nothing to do with social upbringing at all but is (presumably) the consequence of evolutionary selection for the trait.
OK, you could argue that there's a cultural effect as well - but that's not what the article is about.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why people insist on separating biological and cultural effects completely - as if one is "natural" and the other isn't. You have to question where these "sexist" attitudes came from if they were distinct. Did the human race live a perfectly egalitarian lifestyle until some arbitrary point where the Patriarchy just turned up out of nowhere and started demeaning women? Or are cultural attitudes a complex and intricate extension of biological factors that have been with us for millions of years? We look at the animal kingdom and don't call the black window spider sexist for eating its mate - yet when we see any sort of differential behaviour in humans the assumption is that it is automatically must be sexist. And you can never have a sensible conversation about it because all the Liberal Humanities students out there start calling you backwards for daring to mention it and things go nowhere. Biology obviously influences culture - and depending on how far you think sexual selection criteria have influenced our evolution, culture will also influence biology. To claim that gender issues are 110% socially engineered is just naive, ignores a large amount of evidence and wouldn't explain the existence of transgendered and transexual individuals - nor specific cases such as David/Brenda Reimer, who you'd expect to have lead a perfectly normal and pleasant life as a female if gender was entirely determined entirely by social factors. But there are some Women's Studies lecturers out there who, for all intents and purposes, would say the mere existence of the Y chromosome is sexist. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:54, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I realise I may have skirted around the point entirely there and gone onto something different. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:55, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

That study isn't even about women "manipulating" men - it's about a biological effect which does not appear to be deliberate (since the women cried in private while watching a weepy film & the tears were presented to male test subjects separately). It may well have an evolutionary/survival basis, but isn't a straightforward case of manipulation. This experiment used women's tears on men as a starting point, but we can't draw any solid conclusions about the sexual basis of this phenomenon until the corresponding research has been done with women exposed to men's tears, and to other women's tears, and men with male tears, etc. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, anyway in reality it's just a statement of fact about the physiological effect of female tears (assuming the experiment was carried out properly). But it's interesting to see how it's interpreted politically.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:57, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
So, it's interesting that it is politically interpeted in a sexist way first thing? Actually, I can see that. There was a study that found that women were more likely to have a favorite color with a red hue, while men were more likely to have a favorite color with a blue hue. They suggested that there were some sort of evolutionary reason or justification for the pink/blue baby dichotomy. In truth, the pattern didn't hold for asians, who prefered a red hue regardless of gender, because like... their culture holds red as a sign of good luck. Then, I saw people noting that older etiquette guides held that pink were too hot of a color, and that level of aggressiveness was not suiting or becoming for a woman, thus babies should be boys in pink and girls in light blue. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:15, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
That's a fairly famous case of evolutionary psychology not holding up to some scrutiny. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:52, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Yey Cold Snap![edit]

Woo, snow. This makes me happy, but also apprehensive... I'm pretty sure my female housemate is going to move past the stage of looking sad and saying she can see her breath, to the stage of actually demanding we turn the heating on. DalekEXTERMINATE 12:13, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Meh, snow forecast for Twickers on Sat. Bloody Poms will do anything to make sure they win a rugby game. --Ψ GremlinFale! 12:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
And the world-champion RSA did well at Murryfield.... Or does it not rain in South Africa? CS Miller (talk) 14:16, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Only in Cape Town during rugger season. Altho that really was a game that would make any rugby lover want to slit his wrists. 2 things - Stuart Dickinson is a terrible ref (I won't go as far as to call him a fucking cheat) and Peter "Noburrykenunnerstanablerriewurdeyesey" de Villiers needs to fuck off. And besides, it's nice to let the Scots win at least one game a decade. --Ψ GremlinSnakk! 14:22, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
It was slightly better than the Murrayfield game the week before. CS Miller (talk) 15:01, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Heating? What? Ridiculous! Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't she know there's a recession on? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 20:18, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Bah, stop being a skinflint and throw another cat on the fire.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 02:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Still haven't given in, but when she's shivering and saying, "This is the warmest room in the house AND I CAN SEE MY BREATHE." then she's not got a bad case for heating. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:45, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
(one of) the best inventions of the 20th century: the electric blanket! 17:55, 25 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
[sarcasm]How about that Global Warming?[/sarcasm] Majintahu
Well, considering that it's only an average one or two degrees difference so far... but to this point, -11°C is still warmer than -13°C, but it is still crazy cold for New Mexico. Good job on the scientific understanding fail. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 08:39, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Good job on not getting the joke. majintahu
Oh, I got the "joke", but some jokes suck, and are not funny. Especially, when they sound like you're a AGW denialist. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 08:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I guess I'll edit the comment to include sarcasm. So no one else has to be a buzzkill. Thanks for being "that guy."majintahu
I wasn't "that guy" because I was "that girl". However, the statement "How about that global warming" is still intended sarcastically by the AGW denialists as well. If you're actually a believer in AGW, then you're intending it as parody? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 09:35, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a denier. It was a snarky comment. For fun. As some people like to do. Given the snarky nature of many of the articles I've read here, I thought it would fit right in.majintahu
While the line of humor is, yes, right on target, we unfortunately get a bunch of people who aren't being snarky, and are actually being righteous idiots. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. I apologize for not being omniscient enough to distinguish your comment of snarky parody from the real thing, but again... it's nearly impossible. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:21, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
You don't need to be omniscient. Just less paranoid. majintahu

Liberal Democrats[edit]

You yanks make me chuckle!

The Liberal Democrats in the UK are not facing electoral meltdown for trying to save the economy. They have screwed themselves by hooking up with a party ideologically opposed to their own core values, by going back on their own public statements of policy and supporting some of the most harsh and unpopular policies in over thirty years, by sidelining some of their own senior and most respected people and by the general self-satisfied air of smugness that hangs over everything they do. Think Obama as a closet Teabagger...Pooface (talk) 06:36, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

John Curtice, the professor interviewed in the article, says it is down to the budget issue. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:43, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
There are really quite a lot more factors to it: teaming up with the Tories in the first place, blatantly lying for at least one of their election pledges, and finding out that the man most people could agree was half decent (Vince Cable) isn't above making a huge, stupid, career-ending mistake did not help them at all. Besides, the Tories are slashing away at public funding in a way that the left wing of the Lib Dem voters (and indeed members and MPs) are dead against and, albeit naively, did not expect Clegg and co. to support. They've also single-handedly gone and lost their disproportionately large student vote and support for the foreseeable future by their behaviour over the tuition fees issue. Saying it's 'down to' their taking part in the cuts, which suggests that it's by far the largest factor, is short-sighted at best. Webbtje (talk) 07:53, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Webbtje has it. Him (talk) 07:59, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Prof. Curtice said, "It seems that history is repeating itself so far as public reaction towards the party's involvement in support for a government engaged in cutting public expenditure is concerned." The article does not mention any other causes for the popularity drop, and I am inclined to agree that it is the largest factor; people can shrug off partisan quibbling, and anyone who is stupid enough to believe a campaign promise probably needs his head examined, but nobody likes to see the gravy train cut off. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Curtis is WRONG (EC)I've altered it to fit the facts - change vote, anyone? Him (talk) 08:12, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Listener: the LibDems were seen as an alternative to Labour, not as a cohort of the hated Tories. They'd always been left of the tories and possibly left of Blair. The alliance was disgusting! Him (talk) 08:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC)"anyone who is stupid enough to believe a campaign promise probably needs his head examined" Oh, please. The Lib Dems were caught out having specifically lied about their intentions, having signed the pledge while explicitly having absolutely no intention of honouring it. If they'd ditched it out of pragmatism or even out of the necessity to compromise with the Tories, that would be one thing; the fact is that they won the student vote by outright lying to them. As for what Curtis said: I'm not really inclined to take a man who makes thinly-veiled partisan remarks particularly seriously. Incidentally, that the article does not mention other causes for the drop in Lib Dem popularity does not mean that they don't exist; I suggest you do a bit of reading around.

Him: Clegg and Vince are by no means economic lefties. Take a sneaky peek at the Orange Book. Webbtje (talk) 08:20, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

(EC) Him, your edit was pure opinion, and has been reverted. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:23, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Voters seem to be turning against the LibDems because of its change of position on the university fees issue. Him (talk) 08:26, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC) The consistent misspelling of Prof. Curtice's name would indicate that the actual article in question is not being read. The article cites several budget-related issues (e.g., university fees) as causing significant drops in the Liberal Democrats' poll numbers. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:27, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Problem with that: the tuition fees matter is an issue of ideology, not book-balancing. Webbtje (talk) 08:31, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
The fee increases are mostly to do with cost-cutting; it would appear that most if not all of the ideology involved is the ideology of the measure's opponents, according to which they are yammering as usual about how it is some massive campaign against the Poor and Disadvantaged. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:43, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Your little rant surely proves my point? The Tories want to cut as much spending as possible, and are, for the most part, using the recession as a cunning way of justifying it. In case you haven't noticed - which I honestly don't think you have - the government's tripling tuition fees at the same time as slashing HE funding. Book-balancing, 'necessary cost-cutting' my arse. Webbtje (talk) 08:58, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

(o/d) Given that the article is wrong that this is the lowest ever level of Lib Dem Support, I don't trust the rest of it. Listener, I'm afraid you are totally ignorant of UK politics if you think the meltdown is due to the cuts. Supporters, myself included, are disgusted that the Lib Dems have supported so many Tory measures and got so little in return. The only thing they've got is a referendum on the voting system, and that's only to switch to AV rather than STV. The fiasco over tuition fees has been the last straw for many. It'll be interesting to see how the vote holds up next Thursday. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 09:54, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

But are those people disgusted merely at the fact that they are "Tory measures," or do they take exception to the measures per se? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:18, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
In the specific case of the tuition fees, all my LD contacts (and me too) are of the opinion "It doesn't matter whether or not more people would be better off: you promised not to do it". The Lib Dems made ONE explicit promise during the campaign, and they broke it. Fuck 'em. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 06:21, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I submit that at least some of your contacts would not be sobbing over a broken promise if they actually thought breaking it would be beneficial. The absurdity of expecting politicians to keep campaign promises was shown up recently in Minnesota: Governor Tim Pawlenty was elected on a campaign promise not to hike taxes, and made quite a titanic effort to hold to that promise, in consequence of which he was made subject to veto overrides and, in the latter days, a smackdown from the Minnesota Supreme Court when he tried to slash the budget unilaterally. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:46, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I submit that you don't know my contacts. I know two people who have left the party over this issue, and others considering doing so. That isn't compatible with their stance being a politically-motivated one. Don't bring US politics into this - there's almost nothing in common between the two systems. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 06:49, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
...there's almost nothing in common between the two systems. Uh, right, except for maybe 1000 years of shared common-law tradition and some cultural norms, democratic elections, a system of checks-and-balances, (relatively) free speech, etc. Also, I would think the idea that "changing circumstances call for changing courses of action" is almost a universal truism in politics.
To clarify, I am not saying that your contacts do not honestly take issue with the broken promise, just that they might not have done so had they disagreed with what had been promised. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:03, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Oct 2009, Dec 2009 Dec 2009 Just a sample. Him (talk) 07:29, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, Listener, but you are just wrong. 1000 years of shared common-law mean nothing in the face of the radically different electoral systems. And for your other point, I remember the Kincardine and Deeside by-election when the LDs suddenly came out in favour of an increased military for political purposes (which worked - they won the election). Many members opposed that as naked opportunism - myself included. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 07:32, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I could go into a lengthy exposition of why each of the points of similarity I mentioned are relevant here, but I do not need to, since the point I was trying to illustrate — that holding to campaign promises is not always a good thing — is not dependent on any peculiarity of either system. Indeed, I only mentioned those similarities when you got all offended at even the slightest hint of an implication that there were any. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:29, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Listener, despite what people like Tony Blair might say, there are very few similarities between our systems beyond a few basic principles. The way our governments are structured is different, the way they are appointed and run is different, and our national ideogical spectrum does not map easily on to yours.

At a tangent, Jack Straw is a cunt. Pooface (talk) 12:27, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Joe Scarborough wants the Republican party back.[edit]

From the Daily Beast: [1] So, thoughts? Would his ideas be any better? He has called out Palin on the death panels thing, but I don't know enough about him personally. majintahu

I'm all for rational people getting the republican party back. If we had less of this call to extremism from the right things would certainly be better, I think. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:34, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Seconded!Saladin (talk) 00:37, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I remember back around the time of Clinton's first election I had a discussion about US politics with a chum. At the time we were both going for Clinton (didn't make much difference as we were both in Scotland) but he was giving serious thought about supporting the GOP candidates during the primary season - I can't remember which one in particular. At the time, I was already getting into this new thing called "Teh Internet" or something like that, but he hadn't had much chance to experience it. Even back then, I could see more of the wingnuttery and general idiocy that was becoming part of the Republican party. When the West Wing started on its 6th season, both of us harked back to the "good ol' days" of sensible Republicans like Arnie Vinnick. These days, the few remaining moderate GOPers are drowned out by the volume of nutty comments from the extreme right wing. It's sad to see the party of Lincoln reduced to such idiocy. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:47, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Shitty media reports[edit]

I have swapped the link for something considerably more in depth. It was short-arse media reports like this that were responsible for the MMR scare originally. The LBRB piece actually discusses the data and adds the caveats that you need to know about the research. I'm not sure if it's my internet connection or Web of Knowledge playing up, but I cannot find the original paper. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:08, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I will expand the title, and address something else, too. The fish article is a total piece of shit. Only a science journalist could go from "students universally outperformed the fish but had difficulty recognizing the larger of two groups when their ratio was close" to "students are as smart as fish". The study found that a 1:2 ratio was easy to spot, as was a 1:4 ratio, but that a 3:4 ratio was significantly more difficult for both groups to spot a difference in. Well, NO SHIT, a pile of 50 balls and 60 balls is much harder to tell apart than a 50 balls and 100 balls groups. That doesn't make students as stupid/intelligent as fish. The students can also do addition and multiplication... the fish were just able to recognize one set having more items than another. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:04, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The journalists rarely ever - well, as a rule they never - get to write the headlines. What is the issue here is that they're overhyping relative performance problems (recognising and differentiating close ratios) to more absolute terms. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:13, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Headlines fine, but the journalist still wrote: "Whether these results are interpreted as boding well for the fish or poorly for the average college student is left to the discretion of the reader." --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:15, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC) In fact, the story is fairly honest beyond the lead-in and headline - "scientists do a study to test ratio recognition in fish" is going to be read by nobody. I disagree that it's the worst form of science journalism. The worst form of science journalism happens how Ben Goldacre describes it; when science stories get "big" and the better known journalists and reporters write it up without any specialist knowledge. And the worsest form happens when op-ed columnists are allowed to weigh in on the subject. I.e., major health stories such as MMR, where people who might actually have science qualifications just don't get a look in. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Guns don't kill people[edit]

There was a similar story last year when a hunter's dog accidentally shot his owner.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:12, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Miss America[edit]

I don't know who wrote the WIGO (and I'm a little too lazy to look it up) But her response was actually pretty well reasoned. Maybe we should avoid labeling people as stupid or misinformed simply because we don't like their opinions and save those labels for the truly stupid. SirChuckBBoom Goes the Dynamite 19:56, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

She seems to conflate Wikileaks (the site itself) with espionage, which it blatantly isn't. It's no more guilty than the NYP or The Guardian or Das Spiegel - any media outlet that took part in releasing leaked documents of any kind. Any act of espionage lies purely with any individual obtaining the documents, not the media outlets who receive them. Secondly, she said something along the lines of government information comes before people's rights to know, which is utter authoritarian bullshit. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:16, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
This may be an interesting thought on the subject of whether WikiLeaks constitutes an illegal espionage action. The precedent of New York Times Co. v. United States clearly puts WikiLeaks as a legal and non-espionage organisation in US Law. However, I disagree that WikiLeaks' "global" status makes it somehow different, though, as the difference between national and global scales is far too spectral in nature. Thus the line between the two is ultimately arbitrary, and making clear and definite rules and laws based around such arbitrary cut-off points is, frankly, one of the current problems with law around the world. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:06, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I've mentioned this before somewhere, but the lack of movement in the US government beyond tightening security policies against leaks is pretty indicative that the US government so far understands the provisions of the New York Times ruling. I think the government is less willing to trample all of Wikileak's rights in a court of law, where they're likely to lose. (US First amendment rights to Free Speech and Free Press are taken extremely seriously. And the NYT ruling says can only be infringed when National Security is on the line. i.e. They're likely to hold prior restraint and criminality against publishing nuclear launch codes, but diplomatic cables? Sorry, charlie, no go. Otherwise, the courts can't even issue a court order to make me stop spouting lies and slander and defamation...) Plus, who wants to give the chance for the courts to even more strongly assert that Free Speech and Free Press can't be infringed on? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:05, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, another interesting discussion point comes from the comments section of BoingBoing - namely the one stating that we shouldn't expect her to have an informed opinion on politics and world affairs so should be unsurprised if she was a bit off-the-cuff and incoherent. But then again... why was she being asked it in the first place? Surely if these competitions are asking for coherent answers to social and political questions then we should expect coherent answers to social and political questions! If not let's just keep them in the bikinis and the prom dresses and shout "ooooh!!! look at the jiggly-jigglies!!!" at them repeatedly until there is a winner as decided by naked pillow fight. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:33, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional. I don't know how to add this news to here though. [2]

11:35, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Creationist teacher[edit]

If this fellow actually "burned the image of the cross" on a student's arm, I think the appropriate reaction was not to fire him, but to lock him up. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:26, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I hear the claim that he did it every time this guy is brought up. Whenever one of the conservative bloggers talks about it, they focus pretty hard on questioning this one aspect of the story. Majintahu (talk) 05:37, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It seems odd that he could have done that and not been arrested. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I always hate to lend credibility to right wing nut jobs, but it is an aspect I'm curious about. Majintahu (talk) 07:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Read the Panda's Thumb coverage that I've added to the WIGO. It has lots of details, including the cross-burning incident.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:27, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm tying to understand this as well. I rather suspect that the "branding crosses on students" and "burning crosses onto students arms" may be suffering from slight hyperbole. Because if he was really, literally, doing this then, yes, how come he isn't in prison or a psychiatric institution? How permanent were these marks in reality? Are there any recent pictures of the scars?--BobSpring is sprung! 10:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It seems the family settled with him out of court in order to spare their kids the need to be called as witnesses. Here is a picture of the cross. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:42, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, but that's from mid 2008. Is is just a temporary red mark or a permanent brand? It's obviously a weird thing to do and I've got no doubt these people do weird things but it would be interesting to know the current status of the injury. --BobSpring is sprung! 12:24, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I read through the Panda Thumb stories on the subject, but I didn't see a reference to how he made the cross mark on the student. No matter how he did it, I'm surprised that alone was not enough to immediately terminate him. I'm not sure how that kind of thing works, though. When I was in high school, my American Government teacher was a pretty hardcore neo-conservative. He advocated teaching intelligent design in our science curriculum, but he never used religiously biased arguments in our discussions. Despite his rather crazy views, he was one of my favorite teachers, mostly because it was such a blast to engage him in debate. He'd mention something, I'd go look it up, and come back to class with an informed opinion to destroy his points. I never agreed with his views, but his insistence on challenging my views made me more informed on my own opinions. However, there is big difference in debating the finer points of politics, and trying to infuse religion into a science curriculum. Majintahu (talk) 22:17, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I had a look through the archives, and they seem to say he did it with a Tesla coil. Based on my experience with Tesla coils, I would venture that if the teacher had actually done what was claimed, the student would now be dead, or at least missing his arm. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:38, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Was it a Tesla coil? Or one of those devices that quack physicians used back in the 1930's? I honestly can't think of the name for them, but it looks like a Vandegraff generator on a stick. Majintahu (talk) 02:19, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
This is a Tesla coil. The ball-on-a-stick thingy sticking up out of the secondary coil is just an electrode. The ball is to keep the electrysicles from leaping away too soon, which they tend to do off of pointy things. With the ball, a more impressive display is generated.
In junior high school, I once bumped into a kid who was drawing sparks like that at a science fair, and got an electrical poke to the sternum about like what an electric fence might deliver. It didn't leave a mark, but maybe the coil was just a wimpy one. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:31, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm familiar with Tesla coils. I am specifically thinking of this device that woo pushers in the 1930's used as a way to "treat" various disorders. It's a long glass tube, with a rubberized handle. It could burn off zits and warts, and it does hurt a bit when it makes contact with the skin. I think something like that could have left a mark similar to the one in the picture. And I have no doubt that a quack like this teacher would have something like this. I just cannot think of a name for this damn thing. I just saw it on the Science Channel show "Oddities" the other day. Majintahu (talk) 22:03, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia blunders[edit]


While an amusing read, this is meaningless without saying how long each edit stood for. I could make Wikipedia say the most hilarious things ever... it'd just last for 30 seconds. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:33, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

For instance, "bellend" (which refers to the tip of the penis, not the whole penis, BTW) comment lasted all of five minutes - and that's unusually long for WP vandalism. Other vandalism edits to that article have lasted about a minute. This is hardly "look how gullible Wikipedia is". Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:39, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Clearly the edit for Sepp "You give ze money, you haz ze tournament" Blatter was up long enough to enable our govt to look like idiots. Then again, it doesn't take much, these days. Altho, I dfo agree - about the only real bad one was the Essjay incident. I'm surprised the bruhaha over SlimVirgin wasn't mentioned. --Ψ GremlinParlez! 12:44, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Five minutes? I've had legitimate edits that have lasted less time than that. As far as I can tell, the process on WP goes as follows:
  1. Discover an innacuracy, change it providing a citation
  2. Change is reverted within a few minutes by a BoN
  3. Someone else changes the same info but gets it wrong and doesn't provide a citation
  4. Above change sits for a while, then someone changes it to the same as your edit, with a citation (usually the same one)
  5. A BoN replaces the whole section with "Wikipeewdia iz gayz!!!"
  6. Above change reverted
  7. The initial fact is changed back to how it was before you got there
Etc etc. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:40, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Vatican letter WIGO[edit]

Not denying anyone's right to do so but who the hell downvoted this? Him (talk) 11:20, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

See discussion elsewhere about why people down-vote things. Maybe it wasn't written up right. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:26, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Voting is open to any driveby reader. It's not unknown for one of "the opposition" to vote opposite to what one might think that the vast majority of RWians might approve of. Similar things have happened on WIGO:CP. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:48, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I just had a vision of a dark and smokey room somewhere in the Vatican with rows of old men in magenta robes hunched over laptops. "Signore! Signore! Padre, theya did it againa. RationalWikia hasa posteda thata letter froma the papa abouta fucking little boys. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DOA?" "The red arrow! The red arrow! Vote it downa! You gotta vote it downa!" Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 15:01, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


* This message brought to you by the Holy Order of Catholic Priests. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:15, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

To be fair, it took me a little bit to get the wording right while still getting all the horrible stuff in; it's possible they may have voted on the style. (It's also unusually long for a WIGO, though I think this is a rare case where that's justified.) Aconite (talk) 15:17, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Gun at school[edit]

What fuckwad walks around with a bullet in the chamber? I nearly blew my own damn head off, accidentally no less, that way. Тиранесcomplaints 14:44, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Paradoxically you have answered your own question. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:49, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Err... didn't you just answer your own question? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 14:49, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Well damn. Oh, and the safety was on by the way (my case not his). This is the kind of thing that talk about at every firing range I've ever been to, as well as boy scout shooting events. Тиранесcomplaints 14:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Us Brits wonder what sort of fuckwad walks around with a gun (outside of farmers and/or "sportsmen" with shotguns). Jack Hughes (talk) 15:01, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Paranoiacs, 2nd amendment protesters, All police officers, Target shooters, Gangbangers, Diane Feinstein, Bodyguards, retired soldiers, crotchety old men, and cultists. There is some overlap between categories. Тиранесcomplaints 15:11, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
there are some situations where a chambered round and hammer cocked , safety off is a good idea, but not in a bag at school. US crime statistics offend a lot of people because they do show crime rates down in cities where concealed carry is permitted. With recent announcements of police forces reducing staff and not even showing up to property damage and similar offences even more people will be looking at guns. Hamster (talk) 15:20, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Hence my owning of a 1920s vintage revolver, that lives in my desk. I do have a higher caliber revolver from ~1890, but ammo is rare and the model has a reputation for exploding. I've never worked up the courage to fire it. Тиранесcomplaints 15:23, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Please explain to me why you could possibly need a revolver at school? People who own guns are more likely to be shot - why do you put yourself, and others around you, at risk? What conceivable circumstances would you use it? Jack Hughes (talk) 15:29, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
To reinforce this - from [3]
The contention of those who would like college kids and just about everybody else to be armed to the teeth is that the good guys can shoot back whenever the bad guys show up to do harm. An important study published in 2009 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimated that people in possession of a gun at the time of an assault were 4.5 times more likely to be shot during the assault than someone in a comparable situation without a gun.
So, tell me again why you need a gun. Jack Hughes (talk) 15:36, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Not at school. That is a very very bad offense in LA(5 years imprisonment, minimum, hard labor). In my desk at home, I live next to BRs highest crime area. Usually I keep it in a safe, but there was a double homicide near my house a few weeks ago. My parents gave me both of them as gifts years ago. I take the one that won't explode to the range occasionally. If it makes you feel better, I am the least armed adult in my immediate family, and the only one who feels automatic weapons should be illegal. Тиранесcomplaints 15:38, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
And I'll climb down from my high horse and admit that, by US terms, what you're doing is sensible and normal. As I say, it's one of the areas where us Brits go wtf. Jack Hughes (talk) 15:44, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I can't say I wouldn't lol when your unsecured gun is stolen and used to commit violent crimes. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:48, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
My family seems to delight in giving me weapons for Christmas. They are also convinced that Europe is crime central because all guns are illegal everywhere except england, where in lala land, everyone has shotguns. They discovered a rural British Youtuber who describes himself as a progun Christian Conservative. This hasn't helped their attitude. @Occasionaluse My desk does lock, and I put it in the safe during the day.Тиранесcomplaints 15:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd like to see a citation for the bullshit claim (should it ever come about) that "gun rights advocates consistently have insisted that it is impossible for [a] gun to discharge accidentally"

Tyrannis, myself, and plenty of others can testify that it does happen. And by the way, the NRA is not eeevil; they are an advocacy group like many another, but that's a can of a different set of critters. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

The NRA itself is not a bad organization, but many of it's members are flat out nutters. Majintahu (talk) 22:07, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
How many? An insignificant minority, I suspect. Too bad if they are visible and vocal.
I was once a member, even before it became a condition of my (summer) employment: (rifle coach at a BSA camp; membership was part of the bona fides required for getting certification.) I don't remember my dad ever frothing at the mouth nor sticking straws in his hair, and he was a lifetime member. Kind of a classy dude actually, world traveler and bon vivant when duty permitted.
I don't keep guns in the house any more; in my present city-dwelling situation it doesn't really make sense. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:26, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

BSA and "lifestyle"[edit]

I'm sorry you had to work for such a homophobic organization as the BSA... ---Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:39, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
2 more years until my brother makes Eagle and I can quietly disappear. One of my fellow Eagle Scouts came out the closet recently, he is now an un-personТиранесcomplaints 02:07, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Eira, it was a fun summer, and I wasn't sorry a bit. It was the 1970s; the kids and the counselors had an outdoor blast when the weather allowed, and indoor crafty time when it rained too hard. Most of them had their eyes and ears open, and in some ways which surprised me. Of course, I was shacked up in the health lodge with the camp nurse and our rug rat.
I think it is a huge mistake to think you know something about a large diverse group of people because you have seen a label applied to them, be it "homophobic" or "nutters."
My brothers made Eagle, but I don't conform well to organizational expectations, and found other things to do with my time after about a year as a Scout. No idea what the atmosphere is like now, and I expect there is some difference from district to district. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:34, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I made Eagle. My troop was "moderate" no non-Christians(crucifixes do come in handy here). But some troops here are sow insane, that at one of their Eagle Ceremonies, even the rest of my family looked uncomfortable. That is saying something. I am now an adult leader and had to go through child sex abuse training(snigger) in addition to equating teenage homosexuality with monkeys(it makes slightly more sense in context, but not much) we were given a list of "people in society most likely to become child molesters. Guess what profession was suspiciously absent? Тиранесcomplaints 02:41, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't call the various people in Boy Scouts homophobic, but the organization itself has institutionalized homophobia. By saying that gay people cannot be members or leaders... they also take the official institutional position that atheists cannot be members or leaders as well. Again, some people in Boy Scouts are awesome, and accepting. But again, the organization. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:46, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh it does. When James came out of the closet... we cannot even mention him anymore. For all intents and purposes, he has ceased to be. I'm persona non grata for playing DnD and MTG at campouts, something that used to be a troop tradition. I learned MTG in the boy scouts, and SWCCG. Then they just changed the policy. Тиранесcomplaints 02:51, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Wow, anti DnD/MTG, that sounds like some srs Bible-belt stuff. I was in the Midwest rust belt. The boys there were being indoctrinated encouraged to be little entrepreneurs, swapping and selling stuff.

I wonder if the institutional homophobia isn't preventive CYA kind of stuff, considering the "profession suspiciously absent from the likely offenders." The business manager at that rust belt camp was pretty fabulous, but very careful to subscribe to Playboy and be seen flirting with the cook's adult daughter. I do believe his heart was in the right place, and that he kept his private life private, with the boys' best interests at heart, and I do mean that in a good way.

Some topic drift going on, so I made a subtopic. Eira, I hope it's OK that yours is the first comment in it. No fingers being pointed here. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 03:43, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

It's kind of less CYA (although that's a happy side effect) and more so that the Mormons have basically bought out the entire organization. If you go back to the 70's, or 80's at the latest, they had no such policies, and didn't really care. But since the fundamentalists have started freaking out and going on a binge, they're pushing against homosexuality at every chance, even if they have to buy organizations. They talk about "they're indoctrinating our kids" in a manner of projection, assuming that we must be doing what they are doing. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:16, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I did not know that. One of the honcho counselors, can't remember exact job title, had completed his LDS mission work. Some of the adults actually gave him grief for "swearing too much" when the worst thing he ever said was flippin this and flippin that. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:35, 20 January 2011 (UTC)



Well, I could have told you that! 1st year; party. 2nd year; recover. 3rd year; cram like mad because you've wasted two years. It's how it has always worked. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

What is this partying of which you speak? Тиранесcomplaints 16:24, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
One thing that amuses me is the suggestion that professors do research. It is, of course, far more expedient to make the undergraduates do it for them. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:28, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I spent the entirety of last summer working on research. I saw the professor once. After the first day, he went on vacation for 3 months. Тиранесcomplaints 16:31, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I actually ended up spending only about 4 hours total of study time alone while I was in college. This was to cram for the statistics class that I hadn't attended since the mid-term. But seriously, if you had a nearly eidetic memory, how much of it would you spend studying alone? On another note, I spent a lot less time socializing than most people as well. Our weekly "party" was actually a LAN party, where we got together and played counterstrike. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't study. I'm just shy and spend huge swathes of the day... here/working/at the gym. I have a whopping 3 IRL friends, 2 of whom attend a different college so I do not see them often. This is actually the place I talk the most (excepting family). Which just makes me depressed. Тиранесcomplaints 18:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Fuck! That makes me depressed. For goat's sake get a proper social life.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:00, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, when I can herd the friends together we go to the movie theater and such things. And I go to plays and concerts (I saw Cats last weekend). It is simply 1. Everyone in my family dislikes my friends and 2. Mom thinks more church time is the solution. Тиранесcomplaints 21:29, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
My commiserations on that last one. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 22:19, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
"You should date one of the girls at church" And my sister keeps pushing her friend on me, saying "she is so religious! she goes to church 2-3 times a week!" Тиранесcomplaints 02:52, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
The whole thing about partying in the first year, recovering in the second year and then swotting like mad in the third year has given me flashbacks to Swansea Uni. I have a sudden need for bad kebabs and Brains bitter right now.... damn I'm in London. Darkmind1970 (talk) 13:50, 20 January 2011 (UTC)


Does anyone else read his quote as: "I did not have sex with that woman, and besides she said she was 24." The contradictory implications of both clauses strikes me as... incriminating. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:39, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Berlusconi is a dirty old man who, whilst being 74 himself, likes girls that are barely legal - if that. My favourite Berlusconi quote - after a party where various female guests cavorted in his swimming pool - is "The average age was seventeen." Jack Hughes (talk) 18:44, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
There is pretty much nothing Berlusconi can do that would surprise me. Have you ever seen them take the piss out of him on Mock The Week? Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:09, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah that's exactly how I read it when I heard it on NPR that morning and went to go find the story. If you can think of a filthier way to put it, by all means. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 20:47, 22 January 2011 (UTC)


While I don't think it warrants editing the WIGO, this has been a recurring story for a year or so. It started in the Physics Forums a while ago where someone circulated an email claiming that Betelgeuse was about to pop. It was the usual thing, a friend (unnamed) of a friend (unnamed) who works in a telescope (unnamed) on a project (vague) says Betelgeuse is getting bigger is about to blow". It's almost entirely unfounded and on par with those emails that say Mars is approaching the Earth and will look as big as the Moon. Yes, it's a red supergiant near the end of its life, but it will explode sometime randomly in the next 100,000 years or so. It is "imminent" on an astronomical scale - which basically means it's been "imminent" since long before the pyramids were built. In short, it's interesting, but not really news. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:29, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

cf. WIGO:world1771:


Is Betelgeuse about to blow up? Let's watch the science sites over the next few days ... Update: Er, no. (everybody say "awww" Cry.gif)

Thought I remembered it from somewhere. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:34, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The same news outlet gave credence publicity to a story about "NASA manipulating images". Apparently someone on their editorial staff reads conspiracy websites.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:52, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Ironically there is a germ of truth in this. Betelgeuse might go supernova any day now, as its volume has shrunk by about 15%. Then again it might go boom in 3011. We can't tell. Darkmind1970 (talk) 19:46, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
More ironically, Betelgeuse could have already gone super nova 642 some years ago... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:37, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Nah. Ford and Zaphod would have mentioned it. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:48, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
If Zaphod would even notice. Majintahu (talk) 03:07, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Obama/Bachmann WIGO[edit]

He might lead her by 18 points, but it's still damn scary that a third of that sample would vote for her. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 20:21, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, to be fair, there are people out there who would apparently vote for Hitler over Obama... they're just so against the idea of voting for Obama. Of course I'm hyperbolizing, but my mother certainly is one who would never vote for Obama, no matter what kind of nutjob the right put up. (And I honestly don't think they would put up a Hitler.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I've seen it said that political scientists assume that, in anything resembling a competitive two-party election in the US, roughly 40% will vote reliably Democratic, and another 40% will vote reliably Republican. It's the remaining 20% centrists/moderates that elections are fought over. If Obama leads Bachmann by 18 points, that means he's getting practically all the mugwumps.
In 1984, Reagan came close to a 60-40 split over Mondale (58.8% to 40.6%), so Reagan came close to capturing the entirety of the center. MDB (talk) 11:54, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
But thanks to the founding fathers we have to look at the state level for the electoral votes - don't forget: there was no majority for GWB, still the guy got in office (even if everything was done legally). So a clear cut popular vote doesn't really say anything. Think about this: What would happen if Bachmann took Texas (sure thing anyway), Florida and Ohio and of course the rest of Jesusland™? That would be roughly 60 votes in her pocket. (But one thing is for sure: Europe would be pissed) --Ullhateme (talk) 00:29, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Who ever parsed Erick Erickson's sentence fails an constructional arguments[edit]

Erick Erickson did not call for bloodshed if it doesn't get struck down. What he said is:

  • Proposition A: Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
  • Premise 1: There has been a repudiation of a Supreme Court ruling through bloodshed.
  • Premise 2: This bloodshed is not necessary again.
  • Proposition B: Those committed to Proposition A will waiver.
  • Proposition C: Those committed to Proposition A will compromise.
  • Proposition D: Those committed to Proposition A must send a clear signal to their representatives that they support Proposition A.
  • Final Assertion: (P_2 is true) if and only if ((not (P_B or P_C)) and P_D)

In fact, from a logical stand point, it sounds like a bunch of blubbering, because it's saying that bloodshed will become necessary if the committed waiver or compromise, or fail to tell their representatives what must be done to have their support....

But then, if they do that, then who will be willing to break bloodshed to accomplish it? All of the people against Roe v. Wade would have already waivered, compromised, or failed to tell anyone their position. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:57, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

While that might be true from a strict logical reading, I think it's a pretty clear dog whistle saying that a mass rebellion will be necessary if the supreme court can't be convinced to overrule Roe any other way. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:54, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
That is a rhetorical analysis, and a totally valid one, however the article specifically attacks the sentence from a constructionist analysis. Thus, their analysis is flawed. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:58, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Ugandan "Christian" Compassion[edit]

This is terrible, and I'm sad to say I'm surprised this didn't happen in Uganda sooner. I'm curious, does anyone else here think that Scott Lively and his little flock of fundie vultures should be held at least partially responsible for crap like this? After all, they were the ones who traveled to Uganda to spread the gospel of the Gaypocalypse. It makes me sick, especially considering that this will not affect these assholes talking about the Homosexual Agenda like it's the fucking Holocaust in the slightest. Saladin (talk) 23:52, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

January 2010:"The three Americans who spoke at the conference — Scott Lively ... Caleb Lee Brundidge ... and Don Schmierer are now trying to distance themselves from the bill." January 2011: "Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Murdered, US Evangelicals Must Take Responsibility." This story isn't big enough. The world will permit these noxious fundies to train Ugandan hatemongers so eager to murder members of a vulnerable minority in their message of Christian bigotry and then distance themselves from the consequences of their violent students taking their criminal message to its logical conclusion. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 00:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
And, as always with these kinds of stories, us RWikians are going to wonder "how is Assfly going to morph this into a 'libruls r bad' angled MPR story?". Personally, I'm placing my vote on accusing the deceased of being either "violent", "radical", "leftist", or more likely all three and going along with the totally not incompetent police assertion that it was a coincidence that he was brutally beaten to death in a country plagued by violent homophobia. I thought it was telling that a Ugandan interviewed in the article said that he was upset, not because Kato is dead mind you, but because it was a private citizen and not the government that carried out his execution. In other words: "Don't get me wrong, I'm totally glad that he's dead, I just wish they went through the proper channels". Clearly Uganda has been influenced by the most moral and righteous of people. Saladin (talk) 03:19, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, here's how CP covers the Matt Shepard murder, which is basically "nope, it had nothing to do with him being gay, nothing at all, liberals lie when they say it did", etc etc etc ad infinitum as nauseam. MDB (talk) 15:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)