Al Gore's Electric Bill

I think this is comically retarded: Think Tank Blasts Gore for Hypocrisy

First of all, I suspect that if you compared Gore’s resource usage with people in his tax bracket, he is not above average. Second, he claims that he offsets his usage through various means (as the article above describes). Third, neither Gore nor the rest of the “hey, let’s be smart about global climate change” movement are saying that we should live off the grid. They are saying we, as a society, should embrace things which reduce our impact on global climate change and reject those things which do not. For example, the pussy, lobbyist-written energy policies of George W. Bush, which are soft on mercury emissions, provide incentives to not modernize coal-fired plants and subsidize big oil, with our dollars and our military, are wrong-headed and leading us in the wrong direction. The only time Bush does anything remotely “green” is during his state of the union address, in between a bunch of pie-in-the-sky bullshit. You wanna talk about walking the walk?

The fact is, if you compare Gore with any rich Right Winger, there is no question who stands for “green” policies more, in words and in deeds. This is a hatchet job designed to undermine someone who has been very successful in educating people on the data and risks of global climate change.

And I’m not necessarily a huge Gore fan.

Al Gore's Electric Bill

Child Protection: Working to harm children

A friend of mine told me a scary story. He is a marriage and family therapist. This is a first-hand account that he witnessed personally.

A couple went out for the night and left their three children in the care of a baby sitter. The baby sitter snooped through their dresser drawers and found some marijuana. She called her parents who called the police. When the couple came home their children were gone, under the protection of the county child protection agency. The cops had completely searched their house and the couple were arrested. The children were held for 3 days by the county and then released to a relative. The parents were allowed 9 hours of visitation per week. They had to undergo drug testing and be clean for 6 months (or something like that) before the state would release their children back to their custody. If they failed any of those drug tests they were at risk of losing custody of their children FOREVER.

Had the parents been complete alcoholics, or hooked on prescription drugs, child protection would never had been involved. But, because marijuana is illegal, even a small amount of marijuana in the home can result in the placement of the children under a state child protection agency.

This is insane. My friend did an assessment on the parents and concluded they were great parents, great role models and had done a fine job of raising the kids, one of which was 10 years old. So for 10 years they had been outstanding parents.

Now obviously there are situations where children need protection from their own parents. Marijuana use is not one of those situations. Marijuana is considered less harmful in virtually every way compared to alcohol. To be clear, children should not be exposed to drugs. Nor should they be exposed to severe alcoholism or prescription pill poppers.

This is a result of the insane laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, driven largely by the fundamentalist Christian bastards that I constantly bitch about on this blog. The criminalization of marijuana is a huge failure of public policy and it has to be changed. The reason it isn’t changed is because of god damn Jesus freaks, half of whom are complete fucking alcoholics and pill poppers and who seriously harm their children by indoctrinating them into their radical, intolerant and hateful religion.

Good thing I don’t smoke marijuana. Or believe in God.

Child Protection: Working to harm children

The word is "nigger" and the word is "fuck"

I don’t understand why newspapers and TV people can’t use the word “nigger” when discussing the word “nigger”. We all know it is a hateful word that shouldn’t be used as an insult or to refer to people. But when you are talking about the word itself, you are not insulting anybody by saying nigger as opposed to saying “the n-word“.

It also pisses me off that newspapers and TV shows can’t use profanity even when it is news. Like when Cheney told that guy to go fuck himself. They all had to report it as “the f-word”. What the fuck. We all know what the fucking ‘f’ means in that phrase. We all fill it in in our minds. Are we such children that we can’t even report the news word for word anymore?

If the Star Tribune or some other newspaper reported that Cheney said the word “fuck” and some Mommy gets mad about it, the person Mommy should be mad at is Dick fucking Cheney and not the newspaper.

The word is "nigger" and the word is "fuck"

What Atheism Means To Me

I’ve started actually calling myself an atheist now, rather than an agnostic. The reason is, no one describes themselves as an agnostic about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. The reason? There is not a shred of evidence for either. It is insane to be agnostic about the Easter Bunny. The same is true for the biblical God. There is no proof whatsoever that there is a Yaweh out there. Faith is dumb. By that I mean, there is no more reason to have faith in God than there is to have faith in the Easter Bunny. Note I am not calling people with faith stupid. Most people with faith are upfront about the overall irrationality of it. They simply choose to put aside this irrationality. That’s fine. For me, I see no reason to set this irrationality aside.

So I’ve reached the point where I do deny the existence of the biblical God because there is no reason not to. The Bible is mythology, it’s inconsistent, contradictory, vague and largely incorrect on many issues. There is no reason whatsoever to use the Bible as the basis for faith. You may as well use any mythology. They are all equally valid in their invalidity.

Now I do acknowledge (and have written about) the fact that science cannot answer where this universe came from or why. We don’t know where the energy came from. We don’t know why we are here. I don’t think science will ever be able to answer those questions. But neither can religion. Religion brings us no closer to understanding these questions. God did it? Why? So he could love us? Why? Who created God? Why did they? Religion does not get us any closer to understanding this, the biggest mystery of our existence.

Atheism, as I view it, is not about claiming there are no answers to these questions. We came from somewhere for some reason! Atheists are people who have decided that worship of a mythological deity is a shallow and fanciful answer to these questions. Fear of such a deity is silly, pandering to them is silly and believing they care who wins a football game, gets a raise or decides arbitrarily who lives and dies is silly.

So, yes, religious folks are silly. I suspect that many of you know this and are in denial about it. I also know that many of you really believe, in your heart, that Jesus, God, Allah or whomever is there, loves you, and cares deeply for you. You think somehow this gives your life hope and meaning. I completely respect your right to do this. I do question it, though.

Atheism is not about losing hope, it’s about rejecting your parent’s dogma, it’s about being open to other possibilities, it’s about accepting the mystery of our existence instead of clinging to the mythology of our ancient ancestors.

Not scary at all.

What Atheism Means To Me

Smoking Ban Pussies

I’ll start by saying I’m a big fan of smoking bans. The reason is simple: a minority of people smoke and yet their actions dramatically effect every one in the room. Besides the obvious health impacts, it is annoying and unpleasant.

The notion that smoking bans hurt bars is false and it has been proven all over. Yes, there is a short-term impact while whiny smokers try to have an impact, but it is temporary. People do not stop going to bars because they can’t smoke inside. In fact, a happy side effect of smoking bans is that more and more bars are adding pleasant outdoor seating areas.

So I’m displeased that the pussies in the Minnesota Senate neutered the state-wide smoking ban bill. A state-wide ban is the best way to level the playing field for all bars. It is also the obvious thing to do in terms of public safety.

What pisses me off is these senators are bowing to pressure from a whiny, addicted but vocal minority. Why would they give in to 20% of the people when 80% of us have made it clear that we want our fucking air back.

I’ll add that the bleating of smokers who say “If you don’t like it stay home” can easily be turned back on them — you fucking stay home if you can’t get through one beer without a cigarette.

I’ll also add that I don’t care if people smoke, I have no moral objection to people smoking and it is not my intent to try to get people to stop smoking. I don’t give a rats ass. But the notion that 1 out of 5 people can ruin it for the other 4 is insane.

What really cracks me up is a lot of smokers don’t smoke at home because they don’t want to stink their house up. So they go out and stink all the rest of us up.

It makes no sense. It is just not that hard to step outside for a smoke.

Smoking Ban Pussies