Archive | July 2016

PokemonGo! Likely To Be The Closest Thing To Science That Can Be Found At The Ark Encounter

Admittedly the PokemonGo! game is taking over the world. You’ve surely seen the memes and videos online as well as large herds of people trundling around like the protagonists of the Lemmings series.

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I say that because its funny. Calm down and stop sending me
PokeHateMail.

And @SquirtleGurrl79 I know your name is Scott and you are tucking it in those pictures, so just cut it out. (But that cosplay is on POINT)

Where was I? Oh, yes. As with almost everything that people can use to get a seconds joy out of this meek existence of ours (sex, drugs, music, art, fiction, et al) there have already been Christian pastors howling about the dangers of the game.

 

The host of the “Im Obviously Off My Rocker”, sorry, I think thats spelled “Trunews” radio show Rick Wiles describes them as “…these pokemon creatures are like virtual, cyber-demons” and goes as far as to worry that “What if this technology is transferred to Islamic jihadists and now they have an app that shows them where all the Christians are located geographically?” We will get back to Ken Hamm in a second, but please soak in this example of fear mongering. Im not sure if anyone has ever shown Rick the Internet but um, Rick? The jihadists already have google maps.

You can hear his 6 minutes of lunacy here: 

For some of you younger readers, you won’t remember the time of the Satanic Panic. For those of you that do, you are likely having some PTSD reactions to lat bit of audio above. But lest you think Im Over-Hyping the kind of mainstream nonsense that went on, here is the original 1987 “Escaping Satans Web”

followed by a recent ‘flashback’ post from the New York Times.

Also, as with almost everything religious, none of the groups, even the ones of the same sect, disagree with each others interpretation of PokemonGo. Thats the problem with interpretive, faith based ideologies. Everyones idea is on equal footing, and that is to say none. But in case you were wondering, Is Pokemon Safe for Christian Kids, it is.  But dont take my word for it, read all about what Christian Erika Dawson has to say about it.
Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis CEO and delusional founder of the Ark Encounter has a different view on the PokeDevils. Ken hopes to get all the kids to flock to the Ark to catch em all.

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ACTUAL exhibit at the Creation Museum. No, we aren’t kidding.

 

He even put together this great promotional video to drive all the hip, social media savvy and presumably demonically possessed kids to his ‘museum’.

 

At this point it almost feels like someone should just put a ‘Free Candy’ sign on the side of the boat and call it what it is. 2VC0d.jpg

 

 

 

 

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RNC Day 4: A primer on Liberty University

To prepare you for tonight’s first speaker, Jerry Falwell, Jr, lets take a look at the “University” he is president of. It’s actually a little less impressive than even the failed Trump University. A few key points you may be interested in (as this is trumps attempt to show how ‘educated’ his flock is). (taken from RationalWiki.org in chunks)
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“Liberty” University may not own a dictionary, as students “may not drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or organize petitions without permission, and are also subjected to random, mandatory drug tests. This restrictive code of conduct is called the “Liberty Way.” – not making this up.
Academic posts are entirely non-tenured so the authorities can control staff as well. Falwell has said, “Where tenure is practiced, eventually theistic evolution is taught.” – That’s right, they control the output of the staff, to keep from teaching one of the most understood Theories science has.
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The seal of Liberty depicts a book with a “tongue of fire” atop it and the motto “Knowledge Aflame.” This is either the most unintentionally hilarious image ever, or evidence that they intend on destroying all knowledge they disagree with; skeptics are not allowed close enough with their irony meters to get an accurate reading. Then again, the image of a book on fire does call to mind historical book burning, so the seal might not be so ironic after all, in a way. Somehow their being a Christian University nicknamed The Flames, has been completely overlooked by their English Department. 
 
Pseudoscience and pseudohistory are thoroughly integrated with legitimate courses of study. For example, a course called “History of Life” presenting Young Earth Creationism as fact is required for all undergraduate students. The course is run by the university’s Center for Creation Studies and purports to “draw from science, religion, history, and philosophy in presenting the evidence and arguments for creation and against evolution.”
The Center for Creation Studies appears to be a business front for pseudoscientist David DeWitt, whose “History of Life Course ePack” is a required text for the course.
 
Randall Price, head of the university’s Center for Judaic Studies, has conducted several expeditions to Turkey to find remnants of Noah’s Ark. Obviously unsuccessful endeavors.
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In 2005 Liberty University opened a School of Aeronautics that claims to be “the largest faith-based aviation program in North America.” Jesus take the stick? No thanks, I like my pilots sober.
 
I wouldn’t worry TOO much about all of this, as Liberty is ranks 825th in the nation for medical education (geee… cant imagine why a ‘school’ preaching virgin births might have a shitty medical program…) and 508th in general research.
 
Liberty DID get ranked 80th in the Southern Region in 2014, not too shabby, except that its out of 93 total.

Donald Trump Delivers Convocation At Liberty University

LYNCHBURG, VA – JANUARY 18: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers the convocation at the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University January 18, 2016 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A billionaire real estate mogul and reality television personality, Trump addressed students and guests at the non-profit, private Christian university that was founded in 1971 by evangelical Southern Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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See anything odd in the crowd?

Senator Ted Cruz gave his 2016 presidential announcement at the university, where students had to go or they would face a $10 fine.
 
If you’ve made it this far, and you still want to enroll (who wouldn’t want to end their career before it begins?) hop on over to their site, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. 
 

RNC Day One: A Post Mortem

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Hopefully you are not like me and you had far better things to do than glue yourself to a seat in a local coffee-house and force feed yourself heaping bowls of fear, loathing, hatred, hypocrisy and warmongering. If you DID have something better to do, then you may not be aware of what all happened at the First Day of the Republican National Convention.

If you asked me to recap the day in a sentence, I would just say “It’s like they wrapped an episode of the three stooges up in an American flag while vomiting jesus bits all over the veterans and crying mothers”.

In short, here is a recap of the days events.

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To start the only republicans that seem to have a brain left in their heads stood firm and demanded a roll call vote on whether or not to implement new RNC rules. The verbal vote was VERY close, and several states demanded the roll call vote for clarity and accuracy. I mean, that’s what this convention is all about right? Votes, representation and equality? Well apparently not, because the Chair decided to just bowl right on by this request. For the next 15 minutes chaos reigned as the scripted RNC tuned into an actual convention. Even the chair abandoned his post because it’s apparently too much to ask that they deal with things as they arise.  “I think the Republican Party will and should elect Donald Trump,” Birkeland said. “But the delegates have to matter, or we should not come anymore. If we’re put here to rubber-stamp it, I should’ve saved $5,000”—her costs for the week in Cleveland. “Let the body of the party speak! Otherwise it’s a dictatorship.”

Eventually the steam died down, the bullying er, I mean ruling majority had squelched the resistance and that was that.

Well, not exactly. As the convention recessed for dinner, Kera Birkeland, over in the Utah delegation, had tears in her eyes. “Now’s not a good time,” she said. “I just got yelled at and threatened in the bathroom.”

“They started calling me names, calling me stupid,” Birkeland said. “They said I should die. They said the Utah delegation should lose its police force and should all die, that we should have backed Trump and were too stupid to know that. I explained I didn’t want to stop Trump or take away the nomination, that it would have helped unite the party to have a roll call. They said I was too stupid to know what the roll call was about.”

Yeah, the party that wants to bomb the shit out of people who disagree with their ideology are strong arming and threatening people with death if they don’t fall in line. I’m shocked.

So, after order was gained the morning was fairly uneventful. The evening however was far more interesting.

The evening session was a mish mash of Arguments from Ignorance, fear mongering, war mongering, lies, damn lies, theft, WWE-like entrances and plagiarism.

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To define the three-ring event, Donald Trump emerged from backstage like The Undertaker stepping into a Summer Slam Arena. Trump was emerging from his private circle of hell to introduce his third wife, Melania. Here’s where it got nasty. Someone, no one in the Trump camp seems capable or willing to say whom, basically stole Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008. But don’t take my word for it, watch them side by side and decide for yourself.

Personally I think they had a rat in the writing staff, I mean, she even got Rick Rolled without noticing. But that might be what you get when we have all of these immigrants coming over here, stealing our speeches…. (see how stupid that sounds?)

Rudolph Giuliani, former beloved mayor of NYC and Hero of 9/11 had his turn. He was a complete hit. He was very pro-police and armed services, as expected. “We – we know – we know the risk you are taking, and we say thank you to every police officer and law enforcement agent who is out tonight protecting us (HUGE cheers) – black, white, latino, every race, every color, every creed, every sexual orientation.” (slightly more reserved cheering as the words sank in)

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“When they come the come to save your life, they don’t ask if you are black or white. They just come to save you!” (Standing ovation, despite we have plenty of video, testimony and riots in the streets that profess otherwise).

“We also, reach out. We reach out our arms with understanding and compassion to those who have lost loved ones because of police shootings – some justified, some unjustified.” You can actually watch people shift uncomfortably in their seats, because as we have seen this party likes to identify the ‘us’ and the ‘them’ and have no grey area between the two.

“Those that are unjustified must be punished. Those that are justified, we must apologize to”. This broke everyone’s mind and the crowd was simply silent, minus a few resounding BOO’s from the crowd. Take from that what you will.

These were the two big ringers for the night, but the evening was also smattered as I said with a mix of other ‘great speakers’ like Michael Flynn who still holds to claims that Clinton’s email server usage was a crime, which the FBI concluded it was not. He also made bald accusations that Obama was concealing actions of the Islamic state, even though their workings have been publicly documented.

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Most of the night was filled with TV personalities presumably because TV is as close to reality as they can get. The list included Happy Days child star and subsequent nobody, Scott Baio and Willie Robertson. Yep, the openly racist, redneck from a Hunting show. There was some guy from MTV ‘Reality TV’ but I literally glazed over during his and Snookie 2.0’s speech.

The rest of the night seemed to be just an appeal to emotion. Wave after wave of crying mother, was paraded on stage to show how horrible illegal immigrants are. To ensure that no one left that arena not understanding how they are all drunken, murderous criminals.

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The last part of this convention I want to discuss is the talk that John Tiegen and Mark Geist (authors of “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi”) gave. This was a 20 minute recanting of events that cannot even BEGIN to be verified. But hey, we all already realize that facts, evidence and truth aren’t going to stand in the way of the RNC in making everything maligned in the world the fault of the current administration, even though there has been a pretty powerful republican presence throughout the terms. They actually did a great job staying away from any accusations that could be vetted, but stepped what looked to be ‘off-script’ to claim Clinton had watched the entire thing go down from a drone feed, a claim already concluded to be untrue. Remember, in the US we are innocent until proven guilty. So when the House Select Committee of Benghazi concludes that there were all kinds of failures in the area, but that Clinton was not culpable… you really should let go of the claim, it just makes you reek of desperation.

Now, on to day two.

#nevertrump

Full list of Day One Speakers:

Monday, July 18: “Make America Safe Again”

  • Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander and Buck Commander, star of Duck Dynasty
  • Gov. Rick Perry, Former Governor of Texas
  • Marcus Luttrell, U.S. Navy SEAL
  • Scott Baio, Actor and Television Producer
  • Pat Smith, Mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith
  • Mark Geist, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Fought in Battle of Benghazi
  • John Tiegen, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Fought in Battle of Benghazi
  • Kent Terry and Kelly Terry-Willis, The Brian Terry Foundation
  • Antonio Sabato Jr., Actor
  • Mary Ann Mendoza, Immigration Reform Advocate
  • Sabine Durden, Immigration Reform Advocate
  • Jamiel Shaw, Immigration Reform Advocate
  • U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, TX-10
  • David Clarke, Sheriff of Milwaukee County
  • U.S. Representative Sean Duffy, WI-7
  • Rachel Campos Duffy, The LIBRE Initiative
  • Darryl Glenn, El Paso County Commissioner
  • U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas
  • Karen Vaughn, Mother of fallen U.S. Navy SEAL
  • U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama
  • Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City
  • Melania Trump, Businesswoman and wife of Donald Trump
  • Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, U.S. Army, retired
  • U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
  • Jason Beardsley, Concerned Veterans for America
  • U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, R-Montana

 

 

Podcast Episode 3! Magical Thinking

The core underlying problem with religious, or other fanciful beliefs is that they separate the way we think the world works from the way the world ACTUALLY works. In this episode we dive into Magical Thinking: What it is, why we have it at all and what we can do to minimize its effects in day to day life.

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Click HERE for Episode 3, of the Freeligion Podcast.

PokemonGO; Game of the Year or Just a New Selection Pressure?

In case you have been too wrapped up in reading about Juno, the Paris Attacks, or just have been hiding under a rock, you may not know about the latest gaming craze, PokemonGo.

1-PO0AUOLVTSZNbcS8_owfWgPokemonGo is a mobile device app that allows you to walk around in real space while looking at a virtual overlay on your phone or tablet. As you wander around parks, malls or strangers homes you get the chance to capture pokemon that will later fight for you in ‘gym’s placed around the country.

Simply put, this game has gone batshit.

I’m not a fan personally. I don’t like the implementation. I don’t like the interface. And frankly I could care less about Pokemon. But, as some friends have pointed out, I can’t be a hypocrite. I’m a gamer, so hey, if you love this stuff, then let your geek flag fly.

But let it fly safely and sanely.

Since pokemonGo’s release, the injuries have been pouring in. Not just injuries, deaths.

People are playing the game while DRIVING. People are walking into traffic and being hit. People are falling off cliffs. This game needs to stop! Or, does it?

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After thinking about this the last few days and watching the injury toll pile up, a thought crossed my mind about humans and their much lessened selection pressures compared to the ‘pre-industrial, pre-technological’ world. There used to be a ton of selection pressures on humans.

And that’s when it hit me. technology might be our next greatest selection pressure outside of the ‘want’ or ‘non-want’ to have children.

Technology appears to be a selection pressure on humans for mating opportunities, learning opportunities, and even just to be able to find food or shelter. Not only that, but technology is actively killing off swaths of population, equating to a lessening of the genetic diversity, lending to a world that may be more filled with people willing to use technology for good or evil.

This might just be a mental exercise, and it might not really play out in man’s overall evolution, but what if it does?

Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe we are creating a world where not physical attributes like genetic health, strength, hunting etc are not what defines the future of the species. Maybe it’s just not being stupid.

Maybe if you have a child who is too dumb to not know better than to cross a FREEWAY at 5PM to chase an imaginary cartoon that only lives in her phone…. well, I would assume that a) best for the genepool in the long run and/or b) you are too horrible of a parent to create children intelligent enough to make it through life.

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Maybe if you don’t know spatially that you are walking on a bluff, or a cliff, and a phone app is something that’s capable of making you walk off a cliff, you should not be part of the breeding pool when we head to colonize mars.

Just a thought.

Border Defense Advocate and Militia co-founder Guilty of Child Molestation

You guys may remember Chris Simcox from the mid-2000’s group the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

What you may not know is that Chris is now serving a 19.5 year prison sentence for molesting a five year old girl. Bad news? Hes getting to serve the two terms consecutively instead of as the 36.5 years that should have been warranted.

Chris was found guilty of two counts of molestation of a minor and one count out providing pornography to a minor. He was accused by two girls aged 5 and 6 in 2013.

A far cry from the american values that I think most of use would want to incorporate into our country.

FLA Woman Prays Instead of Driving; Crashes

From the ‘no shit’ section of the Okaloosa County Florida newspapers, a 28 year old woman, was taken to the hospital for evaluation after driving into a Mary Esther house Thursday morning.Capture1.PNG

The woman told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies she was praying at the time and had her eyes closed, according to the OCSO.

The Fort Walton Beach woman was traveling eastbound on Marcia Drive when she failed to stop at a stop sign, went through an intersection and into the yard of a home on Miramar Drive.

She tried to back out but got stuck in the sand, the OCSO said. She was cited for reckless driving with property damage. No one in the house was injured.

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Yep, you read that right. A completely grown woman ran a stop sign, jumped a curb, drove through a BIG ASS yard and hit a house hard enough to get stuck in the sand surrounding it. Because she was talking to herself or if you like, her imaginary friend. She was literally driving with her eyes closed, talking to herself while in operation of a 2,000+ lbs vehicle.

Now the million dollar questions, should having a literal ‘jesus take the wheel’ moment exclude you from being qualified for a drivers license? What level of magical thinking WOULD exclude someone from that privilege? If you genuinely believe that one day you may be raptured out of your car leaving it to careen down the freeway, you are being severely irresponsible. On the flip side, if she had been talking to little purple people only she can see on her dashboard, would she get the same treatment? Why or why not?

For those of you living in southern california where I live, please, pray at home if you need to pray, or while its in park. I would like to continue existing for a little while longer.