Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Other Grover


Norquist has said that it's wrong
to sing the "negotiate" song.
What *I* think is bad?
Republicans had
all sucked on this tea-bagger's bong.

So now Norquist changes the tune.
"Now negotiation's a boon!"
The irony's lost.
We all pay the cost.
But still people follow this loon.

Posted over at WWJTD.

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas The Limerick Before Christmas

Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

The night before Christmas was here
the season of friendship and cheer
'Tis the season of
sharing peace and love
(and perhaps share a cold glass of beer).

There was nary a sound in the house,
not even a small, stirring mouse.
'Twas naught to be heard.
No one heard a word
except for my long suff'ring spouse.

The stockings were hung up with care
in hopes that St. Nick would be there.
Like snow falling swift
he'd come bearing gifts
that were bourne in his sleigh in the air.


The children were nestled in bed
while sugarplums danced in their heads.
In kerchief and cap
set'ling down for our nap,
the last bedtime books had been read.

From the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang to see what was the matter.
I flew like a flash
tore open the sash.
The wife thought me mad as a hatter.

The moon shone on new-fallen snow,
giving the luster of mid-day below.
Then what should appear?
Eight tiny reindeer,
whose gait as they flew never slowed.

The driver so lively and quick,
I knew that it must be St. Nick!
Like eagles they came.
He called out their names
as they soared o'er the snow, mounting thick.

“Now Dasher! Now Prancer! and Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid! and Blitzen!
On Dancer and Donder!
Let's land up yonder
and find the cookies with the fixin's.”

“To the top of the porch and the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away all!”
As the hurricane flies,
they mount towards the sky,
all while I'm held, as if in thrall.

To the house-top, the coursers they flew
with the sleigh-full of toys, St. Nick too!
Then I heard on the roof
each prancing l'il hoof,
each step was as soft as the dew.

I pulled in my head, turned around.
Down the chimney he came with a bound.
Dressed in fur head to foot,
all covered with soot
like a pup just rescued from the pound.

A bundle of toys on his back.
Like a peddler he opened his pack.
He festooned the tree
and filled the stockings
with wonders he pulled from his sack.

His eyes twinkled! Dimples so merry!
His cheeks rosy, his nose like a cherry!
Mouth drawn, as a bow.
His beard white as snow,
and softer than the finest terry.

The stump of a pipe in his teeth,
the smoke 'round his head like a wreath.
A round little belly
that shook just like jelly
as he scampered and danced 'round the heath.

He winked his eye, twisted his head
I knew I had nothing to dread.
A plump, jolly old elf.
In spite of myself
I chuckled at the old man in red.

He spoke not a word, went to work.
Filled stockings, then turned with a jerk.
His finger on his nose,
up the chimney he rose
and he left with an all-knowing smirk.

He sprang to his sleigh, gave a whistle,
then flew like the down of a thistle.
While waving goodbye
he flew 'cross the sky
with speed faster than any missile.

He rose to a dizzying height
then before he rode out of sight
I heard St. Nick call,
“Merry Christmas to all,
and may each of you have a good night.”


From all of us here at SkepticaLimerick, may each of you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

From soldiers, up and down the ranks
to workers in groceries and banks.
Whatever your faith is
(or even atheists!)
today's a good day to give thanks.

This is what Turkey Day means, right?


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Commanding

Want to treat people's souls well,
and keep them from going to hell?
Put the Commandments
on a monument.
Just make sure you know how to spell.

11. Thou shalt use a spellchecker.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Master Debaters, Denouement

When you shoot your mouth from the hip
like a cowboy wearing wing-tips
you perhaps should have thought
foreign policy's not
just like a game of Battleship.

Last night was the third and, thankfully, final presidential debate. Mitt Romney looked less like a serious candidate and more like a beauty pageant contestant who couldn't think of a suitable answer to the final question.

There were a couple of really great points made by the president, as he slapped Romney around like a petulant kindergartner who pretends to know everything.

MR. ROMNEY: Our Navy is older — excuse me — our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships. It's — it's what are our capabilities. 

While that was the big "Oh, Snap" moment in the debate, the biggest WTF moment was, hands down, Romney's comments on Iran and Syria.

MR. ROMNEY: Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea.

Any Fourth Grade geography student can look at a globe and point out the idiocy of that statement. Iran is separated by Iraq and Turkey. Iran also has more than 1,500 miles of coastline, connecting to the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, as well as Caspian Sea.

I wish I could take credit for the "cowboy wearing wingtips" line, but I stole it from one of Obama's advisers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Master Debaters, Redux

The argument's so very flawed.
It shows that the whole thing's a fraud.
Unless you are dense
it doesn't make sense
that we are all children of God.

Last night, in the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney said that we are all children of God. That's not just a metaphor for him. Mormons believe that god is a real person living on a planet called Kolob. God has many wives who bear him spirit children. These spirit children come to Earth as humans. So, according to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are literally God's children. All of us are half-siblings, all with the same father.

The only logical conclusion to draw from this particular belief of Mormonism is the fact that each couple sealed inside a temple is married to their sibling, and each Mormon child is a consequence of incest.

Ick.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Theoretically

Sometimes it is easy to tell
who is or not mentally well.
Just ask them and see
if it's just a theory
or lies straight from the pit of hell.

Sigh.

Paul Broun is a U.S. Congressman from Georgia. He is an M.D., and considers himself a scientist. He is also the chair of the House Science Committee. He is also an idiot.

During a speech delivered at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia, he said a most astoundingly stupid thing:

"God's word is true. I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell"

This man is on the SCIENCE COMMITTEE! This person is in charge of legislation that helps determine the direction of science research in this country, and says such an abysmally ignorant thing, something which should disqualify him from that position.

He'll keep getting reelected, though. Republicans think education is a bad idea.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Play Time

Don't stay at home being lame.
Day in and out it's the same.
Do something today:
Come out and play!
Join H C C O for a game.

Tonight is HCCO's Family Game Night! All of the coolest people will be there. Not going? Then you're not one of the cool people.

Also, I'm bringing cookies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Master Debater

Neither side seemed to be great.
It wasn't at all worth the wait.
So fill up your cup
and get liquor'd up
for the first presidential debate.

Last night featured what seemed to be an odd debate. On style, the winner is clearly Romney, because he made sure he got the last word at every opportunity and all but called the President a liar, which his base will eat up.  Obama seemed to want to be somewhere else, doing something else. I can understand that, seeing as how it was his 20th wedding anniversary, but it doesn't forgive his sub-par performance.

On substance, the winner was Obama. Romney still refuses to name any specifics to any plan of his, except that he would cut all funding to PBS. Romney also spent a considerable amount of time denying the policies that he has been espousing almost since 2007, when he first began running for president.

The loser was clearly Jim Lehrer. The rejected officials from the Lingerie Football League would have had more control over this debate than Lehrer had. He refused to keep either man on question and let Romney walk all over him. A sad performance from a respected journalist.

What the Lingerie Football League might look like. For reference.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Is Love?

This question might sound cynical,
or maybe too analytical.
I just want to know,
can somebody show:
Which type of family is biblical?

The president of Chik-Fil-A has come out swinging for the derp again, saying that the restaurant chain supports "biblical families"

Of course, marriage in the bible is a very nebulous concept, and the "values" for the family can be disturbing.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em

It happens so often, it's rote.
The right disenfranchises votes.
But they look like clowns:
Each law gets struck down.
Permit me to take time to gloat.

Throughout the country, Republican legislatures and governors have enacted laws that stifle voters. Under the guise of stopping voter fraud, these laws have the effect of preventing possibly thousands of legal voters from exercising their right and responsibility as a citizen, namely electing those people into office.

Luckily, we have the Constitution, as well as judges who support it. In Pennsylvania, the restrictive voter  ID law has been blocked from implementation, meaning it will not be in effect on Election Day. This follows a pattern emerging across the country.

Why did these laws become so popular recently? Republicans claim it is to suppress voter fraud. That claim is put to the lie, however, when you look at the actual numbers. Since 2000, only 13 people have been convicted of actual voter fraud. Out of the millions upon millions of votes cast, there have only been 13. Why then, all of a sudden, is this such a disastrous problem for our democracy and a dire threat to our freedoms?

In 2011, ALEC, a very far right "think tank", introduced draft legislation that has since been used in multiple states This group, almost single handedly, has tried to disenfranchise potentially millions of their fellow citizens. Any reasons as to why would be purely speculative, but most of the people who would lose the right to vote would most likely vote for a party other than the one they represent.

Voter registration fraud is a much more prevalent issue, and it is one which the Republicans have not at all been trying to stop. In 2008, the right accused ACORN of voter fraud. Some of the people who were paid by ACORN had submitted voter registrations which were fake, and were flagged by the organization as such before they were turned into state offices. The right pounced on this, saying that ACORN was purposefully attempting to falsify voting records in order to help Obama win the presidency.

That same issue has recently come back to bite the Republicans on the ass, as the Republican National Committee has paid millions of dollars to a company that has done precisely the thing of which ACORN was blamed, but neglected to inform the officials that their workers might have added some not quite real names.

Schadenfreude can be a wonderful thing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Positive Step

What to do if your kid is gay?
Accept them, or love them? No way!
For now, in the west
the children are blessed:
You can't make the gay go away.

In an amazing development, the State of California has become the first in the nation to ban "conversion therapy" for homosexual minors. This means that all of the "pray the gay away" groups will not be allowed to abuse children by making them feel that who they love is wrong, forcing them to change who they are.

Some parents will, no doubt, still berate and belittle their children, abusing them psychologically or even disowning them, sending children out into the streets. But at least the so-called "professionals" will not be allowed to inflict their hatred onto children.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hello Again

I know that there's been a lack
of lim'ricks, but now I'm back.
I'll find the right rhymes.
It just might take time
to help me get on the right track.

There's really no excuse for my taking nearly four weeks between writing limericks. Can I be forgiven?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The 'C' Word

The right wing has opened my eyes,
though it should not have been a surprise.
If you haven't heard,
then new bad 'c' word
is the evil thing called 'compromise'.

I'm a bit of a political junkie. I love the democratic process, the nuts and bolts of our electoral machine. I also very much enjoy watching the implosion of a major political party. The Republicans have whole-heartedly embraced the lunatic fringe, the teahadist insurgents hell-bent on either everyone believing their way or destroying everything and salting the earth behind them, ensuring nothing will ever grow again.

I know that there are lunatics of every political stripe. On the left there is ELF, ALF, Greenpeace and PETA. The difference, however, is the fact that the left doesn't embrace the fringe as their base, insisting that everyone follow their beliefs lock-step, and excoriating those who don't follow their rabid frothings as not true believers and jettisoning them from the party.

The right has truly come to believe that compromise is a dirty word, and they will shut down the democratic process instead of finding a common ground.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Check It

Ignoring all semblance of tact
Romney's aides have finally cracked.
They said, right out loud
"Our campaign won't be cowed
by people who choose to check facts."

An aide for the Mitt Romney actually said "we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."

Out loud.

In front of other people.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Money Talks

Even before it had bloomed
Chris Christie knew it was doomed.
Although the ticket
asked him, he quit it
to avoid the G O P's gloom.

JT shares a story about ho Mitt Romney's first choice for his Vice-Presidential candidate, Chris Christie, turned down that 'honor' in order to remain governor of New Jersey. His reasoning?

Money.

If Christie would run on the presidential ticket, he would have to step down as governor, due to New Jersey's 'pay-to-play' laws. If he were to run, banks and other investment firms could not donate more than $250 to the campaign and still do business in NJ.

Would Christie had run if Romney had a chance of winning?

"But Christie adamantly refused to sacrifice his post, believing that being Romney’s running mate wasn’t worth the gamble."

That's faith in one's convictions.

He looks hungry.

The Unkindest Cut

Let's calm down and get a grip.
I'll give all of you a good tip:
It's a boy? Then rejoice
but leave it his choice.
Avoid giving your son the snip.

Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement stating that "Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it." I scoured the technical report looking for which study might have led to this conclusion, but there were no references at all.

There was a study concerning circumcision in the news recently. This study was deeply flawed on many levels, flawed to the point that The Lancet refused to publish. This study seemed to show that, for a certain subset of men in Sub-Saharan Africa, circumcision reduced the rate at which they contracted HIV. There are many, many sites which point out the flaws in this study, but the biggest flaw, in my mind, is the fact that those males that were circumcised for the study were told to refrain from sexual activity for 6 weeks and, if they were to engage in sex, they should wear a condom. Uncircumcised men in the study were not given the same advice, which gave them 6 extra weeks of opportunities to contract a STD.

Where did we get this idea that baby boys should have their genitals mutilated on a regular basis? As a religious ritual, circumcision has been around for thousands of years. In the United  States, however, we have John Harvey Kellogg to thank for the popularization of the practice. Yeah, the same guy who brought us Corn Flakes and Grape Nuts was a proponent of slicing off a bit of a boy's junk on a regular basis. From Plain Facts for Old and Young:

A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision.

The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice.

There is, of course, no medical basis for this type of thinking. Just an idea that, by cutting a boy's foreskin off, he would be broken of the evil nasty habit of masturbation.

Here's my idea. If we are going to perform unnecessary medical procedures on newborns, let's make them count. The only medical reason for circumcision is the prevention of phimosis. Phimosis has never killed a person in the history of humanity. Appendicitis, however, can be fatal. I propose that each newborn child, not just boys here, let's be truly equal, receive an appendectomy. If people are going to say that there is a medical reason for circumcision then let us perform other procedures on newborns that might save their lives down the road.

Of course, if you are against the saving of a child's life, then just admit that circumcision is a religious and cultural idea, and let us lump it in with female genital mutilation and stop the procedure completely.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One Small Limerick

On a pillar of flame through the air
he went to the moon, cause it's there.
Since I was a boy
I've looked up with joy
and wished that I could join him there.

Neil Armstrong, the first human being to step foot on a world other than our own, has passed away. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, put his achievement better than I could hope to:

"I’ve said many times that we can divide all of history into two parts: before humans landed on the Moon, and after. It was not just an important moment, it was the moment, a defining, crystallizing slice of time that confirmed that we humans had become a space faring race. One world could not and would not contain us, and the sky itself was no longer the limit."

July 20th is one of the Stage Family Holidays. We celebrate Moon Day, the anniversary of his singular moment, his one small step that will forever mean that we earthlings shall never more be bound to this one rock.

Goodbye, moon man.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Born Free

Of everything on and off Earth
there are things that my time is worth.
This story's a bore.
Some things matter more
than the place of the President's birth.

Mitt Romney has finally embraced the crazy end of the Republican party. I know, I know, he's said some really stupid things since the primaries, but this one takes the proverbial cake.

"No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised."

His campaign has since tried to mitigate the idiocy, saying that “He’s illustrating that he was born and raised here in Michigan.”

If he's so proud of being from Michigan, why did he vehemently oppose the bailout of the auto industry?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Legitimate Limerick


Originally posted on Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Some things leave your mouth agape.
The bottom of barrels they’ll scrape.
It’s not a surprise
that Akin’s allies
defend his definition of rape.

Thus far I have stayed away from the idiocy that is Todd Akin. Akin is a Republican member of Congress from Missouri. He is currently running for the Senate against Democrat Claire McCaskill. On Sunday the 19th, Akin made one of the most profoundly stupid statements a politician has ever uttered:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, 
that’s [pregnancy from rape] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape,
the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

I can kind of understand the "legitimate" part of the statement. I'm sure he meant "forcible", which is how he and Paul Ryan have tried to define rape under proposed laws. The "try to shut that whole thing down" starts with a complete lack of understanding of basic human physiology and continues with a healthy dose of misogyny. Because, of course, if a woman gets pregnant then it is not a real rape. Her body didn't shut down the pregnancy, therefore she either wanted it or enjoyed it, so therefore no rape was committed.

Bryan Fischer has come out in support of Akin, even as Republicans have pulled both verbal and monetary support from him and his campaign.

Grade Card

People are making a fuss
about the new "atheists plus".
There's loads to untangle.
Whatever your angle,
we still have a lot to discuss.

The Atheism+ thing has been going around the atheist blog-o-sphere for a few days now, and I am sure that both of my readers have been waiting patiently for my take on it.

The wife and I had a discussion about this a while ago. I have identified as an atheist for a while now. As we were talking, she mentioned that the "atheist" label seemed empty. Atheism is not a positive belief. Atheism simply means one does not believe in any gods. Standing for no gods, or against every god (as I tend to do), is all well and good, but that doesn't describe what I actually believe.

If I had to put down what I had to believe, I would say that my feelings for the most part overlap the ideals of secular humanism. The current kerfluffle, however, says that humanism doesn't go quit far enough in being an accurate descriptor of some people's beliefs.

In comes Atheism+.

Jen McCreight describes it as "Atheism + Humanism + Skepticism", which seems to be about the best definition I could find online. This seems to me to be a grand idea. No gods, plus focusing on our fellow humans, plus having a questioning attitude about our universe seems to be a very positive statement.

I'm not ready to start calling myself an "Atheist+" yet, but I believe that this basic start can be a jumping-off point, something with which we can start a much broader conversation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We're Not Evil, Just Misunderstood

We won't ask you to join a clique.
We're mostly here for laughs and kicks.
Come get to know
the H C C O
and help us get to 6 6 6!

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio is an extraordinary group of which I am lucky to be a part. They are having a drive on Facebook to get 666 likes before August 31st. As of right now, the page has 549 likes. If both of my readers like it, they'll get to over 550!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Deity Diet

If you eat your god like a roast,
like dry, dull and tasteless french toast,
make sure you don't slip
listen to this tip:
Make sure that you have the right host.

If you are Catholic, the ritualistic cannibalism is nothing new to you. Transubstantiation is the idea that, after the communion juice and crackers are blessed by the right magic words, they are turned into the literal blood and body of Jesus Christ. I touched on this earlier, concerning the passing of said deity. This post is not about that.

This post is about a little girl.

Allison Sisson has celiac disease, which prevents her from absorbing some essential nutrients and can cause abdominal distress and other issues. She is also a proud Catholic, and enjoys the ritualistic cannibalism that goes along with her beliefs. The normal cracker is just too wheaty for her, so her mother approached the priest with gluten-free crackers. The priest said that the snacks were hunky-dory, said the appropriate rites, and everything was fine.

Until the bishops got involved.

The one, true cracker is "wheat and wheat only", because "at the time, the bread was unleavened. It would have been basically wheat and water." Anything else would be uncivilized.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Money

Working for cash is a chore,
but I found a way to make more!
A business that profits?
Buy it, then gut it,
then ship all of the jobs offshore.

Bain Capital, the company which Mitt Romney founded, ran, and which he still owns controlling shares in, has continued the philosophy under which he began the company. They have recently bought out an auto-parts company that has been turning a profit for years. Not content with measly auto-parts profits, Bain has divested the company of its assets and is moving the plant's operations to China. And, if that was not enough of a kick in the junk, the current employees are being asked to train their Chinese counterparts. The company's employees have appealed to Romney, but so far no answer from his camp has been forthcoming.

As I said yesterday, I am not against a corporation making a profit. Putting profits over people is wrong, and putting short term profits over long term growth is just stupid.

Monday, August 13, 2012

With a 'B'

Though they won't indulge in a beer,
and they've stifled freedom for years,
Mormons have dug deep
and shelled out a heap:
Seven BILLION dollars a year.

Yup. Current estimates have put tithes given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at up to $7B. All of it tax free. And what does the church do with these funds? Donate it to the poor? After all, Christ said that the rich won't enter heaven. Of course they won't donate it. They use their money as capital to leverage business acquisitions.

Now, I'm all for a business making a profit. Hell, I'm all for a church making a profit. If you are using your religion to make an obscene profit, then going directly against the tenets of that religion, you should have your tax-exempt status revoked, immediately and permanently.

It's True

He might seem clever and wily,
and thinks of himself very highly.
It took time to place
where I'd seen his face:
Paul Ryan looks just like Guy Smiley.

The 2012 Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee
H/T to Tyler Lowry

Saturday, August 11, 2012

November is Coming

After we vote they'll be cryin',
because we ain't buyin' their lyin'.
Mitt Romney's veep pick
is thick as a brick
He won't win the race 'cause of Ryan.

Mitt Romney has hit derp factor 9, choosing Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate heading in to the Presidential election in November. Paul Ryan had become well known for his budget that would have gutted Medicare, while raising taxes on the lowest wage earners and cutting trillions in taxes from the richest Americans.

Some have said the Rep. Ryan is the smartest guy on the Republican's side. I'm not sure what that says about the right, but Ryan is what a stupid person would think a smart person would sound like.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A day of infamy

As your voting base gets littler
and your mind becomes brittler
just rip out a page
of the Book of Rage
and say your opponent is Hitler.

Today, August 1st, 2012, is a banner day for women's health. Insurance companies cannot charge a copay for a wide range of preventative measures, including mammograms and birth control. These new guidelines don't help women who are not insured, but it's a start.

The Republicans have decided to take a completely different approach. By not requiring a co-pay, they argue, the government is attacking their First Amendment rights. Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Representative, spouted:

"I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day.  The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."

Not to be out-derped, New York Representative Ann Marie Buerkle babbled:

"August the 1st is a day that we as American will look at as the largest assault on our First Amendment rights."

I can understand their point. It's not like Jesus ever healed anyone without charging them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Belief

Things sure do seem evident:
Religion is less relevant.
A new poll is out
that gives cause to shout:
Believers are less confident.

Gallup has released the results of a poll recently. Although, in America, 83.1% are believers, only 44% of Americans are confident in church/organized religion.

I wonder if it could be a message issue.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Laws Are Made To Be Broken

Intelligence they will insult
because they don't think like adults.
If they did not know,
then this goes to show:
Actions will lead to results.

One thing that I learned as a child is, when I do something, something else happens. Later on in my life I found out this was codified as Newton's Third Law of Motion. From the Wiki:

"Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions."

If you do something, something else happens. Simple, right?

Unless, of course, you are in Florida.

A bill passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott mandated the closing of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana. This hospital was opened in 1950 to service tuberculosis patients in the state. You can guess what happens, can't you?

The state of Florida is undergoing what a CDC official has called the "worst TB outbreak in 20 years". I know that the closing of the state's last hospital to treat serious cases of TB did not cause the outbreak, but so far 13 people have died because there is no place for those cases to be treated, and it is unknown how many cases there might be.

Put public health at risk, causing people to die and putting everyone else at serious risk to save some money? Sounds like a reasonable course of action to me.

As an aside, I would like to admit, for the record, that I am a living testament to Newton's First Law of Motion. When I am at rest, I will stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force. Usually my wife.

I'm not lazy. I am deeply casual.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday's Best, July 8

As we meander life's road,
each burdened by our own load,
as some have now learned:
to yourself be concerned.
Don't inflict on others YOUR code.

A new thing I want to try is what I am calling Sunday's Best. I have written a lot of limericks about the idiocy of the religious people in America, and I think I should point out some of the not-as-hateful believers.

Today's entry is Alan Chambers, leader of Exodus International. Exodus International was founded in 1976 as a ministry seeking to limit same-sex feelings in homosexuals. Alan Chambers has recently said that "reperative therapy", the idea that you can "cure" homosexuality is wrong, and Exodus International, a one time  proponent of the "treatment", will no longer support such programs. He said that such treatments offer gays false hope, and may even be harmful. Exodus International has lost 11 ministries after Mr. Chambers made his statement.

I talk quite a bit about the idiocy of believers. I feel that Alan Chambers believes quite a number of extraordinarily silly things, but now there is a little less hatred being taught in the world

Friday, July 6, 2012

Taxing My Patience

It seems, at times, their thoughts are lax.
They can't seem to marshal the facts.
Though his thoughts seem strewn
Bryan Fischer's a loon:
He says "Go to church or be taxed."

I wish, from time to time, that I was more prone to use hyperbole as a rhetorical device. Sometimes it does appear that way, as I post the idiocy and drivel that comes my way. But this...this is a new brand of stupid, the likes of which I have not seen, and I have read a Ray Comfort book.

Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, came right out and said that if you do not go to church, then you should have to pay a tax.


No word yet on if a mosque or temple are allowed.

Eight Years Plus Job

Drive drunk and injure two men?
Go to jail, but what happens then?
The man in his robe
assigns the Book of Job.
Don't pass Go, just shout "Amen"!

The Constitution be damned, we're gonna start assigning Bible study as part of our punishment now!

Political Dissent

Can't stand which way he might vote?
Don't care 'bout his rights, not a mote?
One thing that ought'll
silence him: A bottle.
Or just shove a rag down his throat.

Good old Ohio. Just when I jump on Texas for Republican idiocy, my home state roars right back, trying to take the lead in a horribly depressing race.

Mitt Romney was stumping in Parma on Thursday, July 5th. A couple of rabble-rousers were exercising their "god-given" First Amendment rights, shouting "Pawlenty, Go Home" as the Minnesota Governor was giving his speech at the Parma strip mall. A true patriot, named Richard Brysac, thought that the peaceful chanting had gone too far, had crossed a line that should never have been crossed. So Mr. Brysac acted in the most patriotic way he could.

He tried to silence a chanter by drowning him with bottled water. When that didn't work, Mr. Brysac took the next logical step. That step, of course, was gagging the chanter, Al Neal, with a balled up handkerchief.

When asked why he assaulted Mr. Neal, Mr. Brysac stated:


"He seemed thirsty, so I tried to shove the bottle in his mouth. I thought it was wrong to interfere with [Pawlenty's] freedom of speech."

He then added:

"I acted out of character and I apologize if I offended anyone."

No, you acted completely in character. Politics is taking an ugly, ugly turn in this country. I just hope the violence doesn't increase in the next four months. I also hope that people can accept the results peacefully, no matter which team wins.

Politics is a gentleman's game.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom Train Coming Through

Let ev'ry young girl and boy
learn how to shout it with joy!
Raise your voices high,
let them reach the sky!
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, OI!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Burning Stupidity

Sometimes news leaves me at a loss.
We need to skim off all this dross.
You know things aren't right
if you just want whites
and then plan on burning a cross.

A church in Alabama is sponsoring a conference scheduled to begin on the 4th of July, running through to Friday the 6th. Inviting "All White Christians", they have a "sacred Christian cross lighting ceremony" event on Friday evening.

In Alabama. Burning a cross.

Yikes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm An Amapist.

No matter where you might go,
through the heat, rain or snow,
just ignore their pap.
Don't believe their maps:
There's no such place as Idaho.

It's true. There is no such place as Idaho. "Idaho" is conceived by and foisted upon us by evil mapists, who needed to invent a mythical land in order to extort money from us, the normal people, in order to support Big Potato.

Maps are lies. Montana goes directly into Washington and Oregon. Anyone who says they have actually entered that mythical place known as "Idaho" is lying. They are mapists in the pocket of Big Potato, and anything they say about any subject can be dismissed with a slow shaking of your head, signifying the pity you feel for one who can believe such a silly idea.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Take The Plunge

I've got a tip for you, Rand:
Don't say such dumb things offhand.
Leave thoughts to those who's
ideas aren't so skewed
and just keep your head in the sand.

Rand Paul, dentist/senator/constitutional lawyer/historian extraordinaire has taken a plunge off the derp end after the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. In a statement so lacking in forethought, he said something so inane that it is scarcely believable a person could have made it and still have brainpower to breath.

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare
something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so.
The whole thing remains unconstitutional."


Yeah, Rand. That's precisely what it means. If the Supreme Court rules it constitutional, according to the what is written in the CONSTITUTION, it is constitutional.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New Low

If you've bid intelligence adieu,
and think that our progress is through
let your mind decay
just kneel down and pray:
"Today I will learn nothing new!"

This was going to be just a one-off limerick, something that has been buzzing around in my skull for a couple of days that I had to get out. The idea that "I will learn nothing new today" seems to be a motto of right-wing kooks, something that they adhere to but never actually say out loud.

Until now.

Yesterday, the platform of the Texas GOP was released (PDF), and it has some horribly regressive gems in it. The kicker has got to be this sparkling turd:

"We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
(values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs 
that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE)
(mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and 
have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and 
undermining parental authority."


Yup. The official platform of the Republican Party of Texas decries critical thinking. because it might challenge what the student believes. And we can't have that, can we?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Loch and Load

It's great to say that you're teachin'.
Make sure you aren't overreachin'.
'Cause if your lesson's
the 'truth' of Nessie
then those aren't facts: You're just preachin'.

The next step in fundamentalist idiocy is more stupid than I expected. A company called Accelerated Christian Education has reached the bottom of an already disturbingly deep barrel. Their argument, basically, is that the Loch Ness monster actually exists, so it must have swum there after Noah's flood, therefore evolution didn't happen.

They also teach that "apartheid was beneficial to South Africa; reasons include the claim that segregated schools “made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children”.

A charter school in Louisiana will receive government funding, in the form of vouchers, to teach these things to children.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

J Geils Band Was So Very Right

If dating is not going well
and you've gone through a dry spell,
then just take the bait
and sniff out a date
and find true love based on a smell.

So, this is an actual really real thing that people do.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Words Mean Things

The best thing I've learned is ask why,
and all of life's answers you'll find.
Through all my queries
the big mystery's
how any "real" Christian could lie.

Words really and truly mean things. Very specific words mean very specific things. David Barton, historical revisionist extraordinaire, said:

"Now, that's why the Constitution's a problem. Look at Article III, Section 1, the treason clause--direct quote out of the Bible. You look at Article II, the quote on the President [having] to be native-born--that is Deuteronomy 17:15, verbatim. I mean, look at how many clauses come out [of the Bible]. That drives the secularists nuts, because the Bible is all over [the Constitution]. Now, we as Christians don't tend to recognize that. We think it's a secular document--we've bought into their lies. It's not."


Verbatim, as it so happens, is one of those pesky words that mean a very specific thing. Merriam-Webster's defines verbatim:

": in the exact words : word for word "


Lying for Jesus is still lying, and the Bible has very specific rules about lying.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Everything You Know Is Wrong

The war on knowledge has begun.
What we thought we knew now's undone.
I believed a bit,
then realized it's shit
because real science has been shunned.

Attention Time Cube guy: A new challenger has arrived!

The Quest for Right is a series of seven textbooks that purports to

"represent the ultimate marriage between 
in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and 
natural and physical sciences"

A glimpse at parts of Volume 1 shows the level of sheer idiocy to which the author has sunk. It truly is an escape from reality, and a triumphant refutation of everything science has learned over the years.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Evidence Is Lies

Idiocy seems to be winning.
The creationists are grinning.
Science is losing.
Let's all keep boozing:
There's new polls about beginnings.


According to a Gallup poll released June 1st, 46% of Americans believe that we were created exactly as we are.

It makes Leakey's prognostication seem a little sillier.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Good Kitty.

I know people care 'bout their cat,
their friend who will purr when they pat.
It's okay to mourn
when your friends pass on.
It's never okay to do that.

A Dutch artist lost his cat after it got hit by a car. I've lost a pet in the same way, so I can understand the pain of the loss. What I cannot understand, however is his response to it.

In what I can only describe as the creepiest thing ever, he turned his cat, Orville Wright, into a remote controlled helicopter.


You will see this whenever you close your eyes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kids These Days.

Some battles need to be fought,
although they leave me distraught.
It is not innate:
Kids aren't born to hate,
they grow up just how they were taught.



video

A small child sings about how "ain't no homos gonna get into heaven" during a service at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, IN. These words aren't the child's words. These words were given to him by an adult he trusts. An adult who is supposed to help mold him into a functioning member of society. All this child is going to learn is that anyone who loves differently than himself is evil.

There truly is no hate like religious hate.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fowl

To fill all your prophecy needs,
make sure you get good chicken feed.
Because the devout
put back what comes out.
Just ask the Prophet Hen of Leeds.

Yes, this was a real thing. The moral I get from this tale? Don't shove anything back in a hole it came out of.

If either of my readers can find a natural rhyme for 'cloaca' please let me know.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Evolving Beliefs

Leakey has made up his mind:
Soon even 'skeptics' will find
that we finally solved
the facts we evolved
I think we'll still find them blind.

Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey has said he expects evolution "skeptics" will admit, in the next 15 to 30 years, the the evidence is too overwhelming to ignore.

While I admire his optimism, I think he has neglected to take into his calculations the ignorance of the truly religious.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dweam Wifin A Dweam

Think your marriage was a blunder?
Will it last? We don't have to wonder.
Dear Leader says he
thinks gays should marry
and now your vows will come asunder.

President Obama has come out to say the he thinks gays should be allowed to marry, using the same terms and getting all of the same rights and benefits of opposite-sex marriages. He has said before that he felt that same-sex couples could use the term 'civil unions', which I always felt had a 'separate but equal' kind of vibe.

I know that this pronouncement would not have affected the vote in North Carolina that enshrined hatred and bigotry into the state constitution. Again. I am happy that he has finally taken a stand to be on the right side of history.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On The Covering Of Legs

When I become king we'll all dance.
We'll celebrate with beer implants.
I'd hear all the pleas
then make a decree.
My first act: Ban all of the pants.

Pants are, inherently, a great wrong. They are an evil that truly great civilizations must eschew. There are many other options to replace pants that do not include seeing "your bits and bobs blowing in the wind, making noise, and reminding me of floppy wind chimes.*"

Shorts, kilts, togas and pajama bottoms are all classier, more comfortable options.

And pajama bottoms are NOT pants. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a lying liar, and anything they say can (and should) be dismissed.


*Thanks to Julia McCain for the quote.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nip It In The Bud

If you think you might have a hunch
that your son might like boys a bunch.
He's got a limp wrist?
Then ball up your fist
and give that li'l guy a good punch.

Sean Harris, a pastor in North Carolina,went off on an interesting screed this past Sunday, extolling the virtues of child abuse as a means of gender identification.

"Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second 
you see your son dropping the limp wrist, 
you walk over there and crack that wrist. 
Man up. Give him a good punch"

He has released a statement declaring his advocating of the punching of children to be a joke, taken out of context by the LGBT community.

Because jokes about beating children are the funniest.

Sean Harris, parent of the year candidate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's All Relative...

Since energy's equal to mass
times light squared, as I learned in class,
does that mean Andy's
mass will be increased
by the speed his head's shoved up his ass?

Andy Schlafly is not your normal, run of the mill idiot. He's a special kind of dumb. Andy is the "mind" behind Conservapedia, which bills itself as "The Trustworthy Enclyopedia". FSTDT brings us a quote of his, which seems to exemplify the neo-conservative mandate of waking each morning vowing "Today, I will learn nothing!".

"The problem is that E=mc2 does not meaning anything that makes sense. Anyone is welcome to try to explain it here. Eating a pound of cake does not cause one's energy to increase by the speed of light squared."
Andy Schlafly

Truly, this is a stupid that is willful, an ignorance to which one must aspire, a blithering idiocy that one must strive to attain. This is not a statement that a thinking person makes. This is the statement of a person who works diligently to remain at the forefront of ludicrous foolishness.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scopes, Mark 2

Tennessee, known for its hooch,
has given the fundies a smooch.
They've shown that they see
facts are secondary.
Creation will be taught as truth.

The Scopes Monkey Trial was one of the most famous court trials in the history of the USA. In 1925, John Scopes was, ultimately, found guilty of teaching evolution in the classroom in violation of the law.

Here we are in 2012, banging our heads against the same wall. Science has proved, irrefutably, that evolution has occurred. Any other argument is a lie. Any person who says that there is a controversy in the science is a liar. Tennessee has allowed a bill to be passed into law that indulges the liars to let anti-science rhetoric into the classrooms in the state.

I am disappointed in the governor for not vetoing the bill. As a cynic, however, I am not surprised.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reflections

I look at that guy in the mirror.
He looks scared. Could it be fear? Or
can he just not see
what tomorrow will bring?
I wish that I could see him clearer.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Head Games.

There are things that all people dread.
For me? Getting stuck in my head.
I so hate this pain.
It drives me insane.
I don't want to get out of bed.

I have, again, been fighting against depression. I know that the 40mg Citalopram is working for me, but the constant pain is working against me. It's impossible for me to ignore, or even put at the back of my mind for even a short time.

I am, however, going to be back to regular limericks. I have realized that creating these for both of you helps keep me sane.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Traditions

There once was a young bawdy nun
who did what each man wanted done.
She knelt in her grotto
repeating her motto
"God says many come into one."

Monday, January 30, 2012

She Blinded Me...

If you think the Koran is true,
then do what real scientists do:
Observe and then test.
Don't just make a guess,
don't count on what your "prophet" knew.

PZ tells a story about Islamic "science", in which the words of the Prophet Muhammad are subject to the scientific method. The issue, however, is that if you were to use shoddy science, you could prove anything, from a fly being dipped twice in a drink curing the diseases it carries to the existence of extra-terrestrials building the Egyptian pyramids.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Justice

The "good" book says "Vengeance is mine!",
and judgement is from the divine.
But just like that game
called "Phone" that we played
something got lost down the line.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Political Porn

Tonight we'll know the Union's state,
which we all know ain't all that great.
The President says
we'll see better days,
but it seems we'll just have to wait.

For the record, I am an Obama supporter. When he was running in 2008, we donated $25 to his campaign. We will not be doing that this time around. He seriously dropped the ball on the NDAA signing. Even though his "signing statement" stated that the indefinite detention would not apply to American citizens, what is to stop a future president from revoking that statement? Or even himself, at a later date. He has shown a bit more spine recently, though, with the recess appointment of Richard Cordray and standing up to the Republican idiocy in the House.

Tonight is the State of the Union Address. In it, President Obama is planning to lay out a path for future economic growth. The only way that can happen, in my view, is to cut spending (including military), increase taxes on capital gains to reflect the rest of the tax rates, decrease deductions and loopholes (including deductions for churches), and increase education and R&D spending. Only then can we truly compete in this global economy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Michael Behe Is A Moron

Behe is causing me pain
Intelligence he often feigns.
Explain to me, please
how he walks and sees
with such a less evolved brain.

Michael Behe is an idiot. It is a tribute to the tolerance, patience and freedoms allotted to him that he is allowed to continue to spew his uninformed lies to the masses and claim it as "science". I'm not the smartest man on the planet. I don't have a college degree. I write limericks. But, and here's the important distinction, I am not a moron. I will not lie about or distort scientific findings to try and prop up an idea about the main deity of a bronze-age, desert dwelling goat herder. If I am shown to be wrong about a statement or a belief I hold, then I am willing to change it. That's what makes me different than a serial liar like Michael Behe.

Nothing is more or less evolved than any other thing. Because we are more complex than an amoeba does not mean we are "more evolved". That's a trap that most people fall into, if they don't really understand what evolution truly is.

Get educated about evolution.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's As If Everyday Is My Birthday!

This year, for the lulz I'm rootin'.
The right? Their own feet they're shootin'.
Let's vote for the dope
and real soon, I hope,
we'll be cruisin' for a Newton

Newt Gingrich is the Hero of South Carolina, beating Mitt by nearly 13%. Since Dick Perry dropped out, my allegiance for laughs have shifted to Newt.

Newt and Mitt discuss their chances of winning in November

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love And Marriage And Bigotry

Sometimes these excuses are great,
and add humor to the debate.
They'll stand up and fight,
say "Don't take our rights!"
"If it's religious it's not hate!"

So, the newest argument from the religious leaders is that the legalization of same-sex marriage will cause them to be seen as bigots(PDF), therefore the marriages should not be allowed.

"As religious leaders across a wide variety of faith communities, 
we join together to affirm that marriage in its true definition must 
be protected for its own sake and for the good of society."


"In short, the refusal of these religious organizations to treat 
a same-sex sexual relationship as if it were a marriage 
marked them and their members as bigots, subjecting them 
to the full arsenal of government punishments 
and pressures reserved for racists."

Hey guys, I have a secret for you...

If you don't want to be seen as bigots the DON'T ACT LIKE A BIGOT.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

See Dick. See Dick Run Away

He's leaving the stage in disgrace.
There's no way that he can save face.
The derp that he spewed
would leave us all screwed
Let's be glad he's out of the race.

Dammit all straight to the fiery pits of hell. Dick Perry, the biggest moron in the GOP race this year (and that's saying something), has dropped out of contention for the Republican nomination for president.

I has a sad.

That is sooo Takei.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stay Strong, Jessica.

From Cranston, there once was a lass
who handled attackers with class.
The religious screed:
"She'll cow if bullied!"
stopped when she handed them their ass.

Jessica Ahlquist, student extraordinaire, has come under increasing fire from state legislators in Rhode Island. It is not, apparently, the job of a government official to uphold the United States Constitution. At least, not when votes are on the line.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Laws Are Made To Be Broken, Right?

When you want the poor to take tests
perhaps, I think, it would be best
before driving drunk
that you would have thunk
how to get your ticket suppressed.

There is a growing movement, in some of the "red" states, to force recipients of government funds, be those funds welfare, food stamps or even unemployment, to take drug tests. Personally, I feel that those laws are a violation of the 4th Amendment, but none of them have seen a court yet. There is a state representative in Georgia, John Andrew "Kip" Smith who has introduced similar legislation in the Georgia House.

Kip was driving home from a restaurant, ran a red light, then was pulled over by a trooper. He blew .091, and then failed the field sobriety tests. At the police station he blew .099 and .100 on subsequent tests.

This is, truly, the definition of poetic justice.

So THAT'S what hypocrisy looks like.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tyranny Of The Majority Is Still Tyranny.

Palumbo's shown to be a fool.
Laws are now suggestions not rules?
He picks on a teen
who's "evil and mean",
and thinks prayers are okay in school.

Peter Palumbo is not a nice person. After Jessica Ahlquist won her fight to have the banner removed from the Cranston West High School gym wall, he called her an "evil little thing". who is "being coerced by evil people".

Palumbo needs to grow up a bit, and realize that laws are to protect EVERYBODY. He also needs to recognize courage when he sees it, and to stand up for what's right.

Why Campaign At All?

"Let them eat cake" is the quote.
Born rich? Then you shouldn't gloat.
Hand out a pittance,
then say good riddance.
The best way to win is buy votes.

Mitt. Such a down to earth normal Joe. If that "normal Joe" inherited millions of dollars from his father, got every opportunity handed to him then became a politician who will do or say anything to anyone for a vote, then he's the most normal Joe there is.

Mitt Romney, Schrodinger's candidate for president, was at a campaign stop in South Carolina. At this stop, he was approached by a woman with a story about how her electricity was turned off, and how was he going to help her. He reached into his wallet and handed her "50 or 60 dollars". A man who is campaigning partially on a platform of boot-strappiness and no government handouts hands out money to random strangers at campaign stops.

Although...

It appears that this woman, Ruth Williams, was apparently a volunteer for the Romney campaign. So an act of supposed kindness turns out to be a calculated political move that, if not blatantly illegal, should be at least investigated by the FEC.

What bootstraps might look like