left biblioblography: October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Halloween Robot Chicken Classic - “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”

So I can finally post this on Halloween (it’s not been available the last few years) – Happy Halloween!

Best lines:

"It's always that wah wah wah crap"
"I said strong christian overtones"
"Meet the Kite Eating Tree, you ugly son of a bitch!"



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cage Match! Score: Karate 1 – Jesus, Zero

For those of you who haven’t seen this viral video, it’s set in a McDojo in the 80’s, where apparently (according to the news story) a mentally ill fellow came in, and wanted to try out some moves he ‘learned from Jesus’.

‘Turning the cheek’ is decidedly not a martial arts move. I haven’t seen the full video (hard to come by), but it looks like some sort of ‘kick school’ nonsense, which is fairly common the world over. The news report states that the victim says ‘he doesn’t want to fight’, but it’s too fast and burbled to make out. It also happened in the 80’s, when items like insurance, injury, and other modern sensibilities for an MA school weren’t a concern. That’s not condoning the behavior, that’s an observation.

Nobody knows if the fellow that was dragged out was still alive or not. Regardless, that wasn’t a dojo, it was a training camp for vicious guard dogs. Shameful.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Funny: Mr. Deity

Favorite line: ‘You’re punking me!”



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Allegories Gone Wild – Superiority Is Only Skin Deep…

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!militia2

For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.  - Ezra 9:2

An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: – Deuteronomy 23-3

Of the myriad metaphorical monsters spewed forth from the womb of that old whore Christianity, there are few that are quite as odious or repugnant as the concept of the ‘holy race’. There can be no viler concept than that of race trumping rights, no greater kindling for the flames of xenophobia, no more irrational excuse for bloodletting and the horrific crime of subjugating one’s fellow man (or woman) than that worst of crimes, racism.

A major dominionist sect named Christian Identity are a group of mental pygmies who envision themselves (representing the white race) as a ‘holy race’:

The term "Christian Identity" has two distinct meanings:

Anglo-Israelism (a.k.a. British-Israelism): A theological belief that the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian, Germanic and associated cultures are the racial descendents of the tribes of Israel. Thus, by extension, Americans and Canadians, are composed of the descendents of the ancient Israelites of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

Racist, Christian-based faith groups: A number of small, extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian denominations which have accepted Anglo-Israelism, and grafted it to racist, sexist, anti-communist and homophobic beliefs. They view the Jewish people as descendants of Satan. Followers tend to be involved in political movements opposing gun control, equal rights to gays and lesbians, and militia movements.

It is this sort of madness that makes me so virulently anti-bibble.


The Christian Identity movement is a movement of many extremely conservative Christian churches and religious organizations, extreme right wing political groups and survival groups. Some are independent; others are loosely interconnected. According to Professor Michael Barkun, one of the leading experts in the Christian Identity movement, "This virulent racist and anti-Semitic theology, which is practiced by over 50,000 people in the United States alone, is prevalent among many right wing extremist groups and has been called the 'glue' of the racist right."

What is truly brain-dead, is the fact that they owe their ‘theology’ to actual ancient Semites, specifically the Israelites.

The largest Christian Identity movement has traditionally been the Ku Klux Klan which was reorganized in 1915 by William Simmons, a Christian pastor. He had been inspired by the film The Birth of a Nation which portrayed the KKK as a champion of white civilization. The KKK slid into obscurity by the second World War, but was revitalized in the mid 1950's as a reaction to enforced racial integration in the southern US.

That the CI is connected to the genetic rubbish of the pinheads of KKK is of no surprise.

And yes, the FBI has files on these people. A simple scan is enough to curdle the blood:

Quoting the FBI's Megiddo Report on domestic terrorism:

"Wesley Swift is considered the single most significant figure in the early years of the Christian Identity movement in the United States. He popularized it in the right-wing by 'combining British-Israelism, a demonic anti-Semitism, and political extremism.'  He founded his own church in California in the mid 1940s where he could preach this ideology. In addition, he had a daily radio broadcast in California during the 1950s and 60s, through which he was able to proclaim his ideology to a large audience. With Swift’s efforts, the message of his church spread, leading to the creation of similar churches throughout the country. In 1957, the name of his church was changed to The Church of Jesus Christ Christian, which is used today by Aryan Nations (AN) churches."

Such is the price of free speech – it does not guarantee lucidity of mind.

"One of Swift’s associates, William Potter Gale, was far more militant than Swift and brought a new element to Christian Identity churches. He became a leading figure in the anti-tax and paramilitary movements of the 1970s and 80s. There are numerous Christian Identity churches that preach similar messages and some espouse more violent rhetoric than others, but all hold fast to the belief that Aryans are God’s chosen race."

Other current organizations which follow Christian Identity beliefs are: American Nazi Party; Aryan Nations; Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations; Confederate Hammerskins; Jubilee, National Association for the Advancement of White People; The Order; radical modern offshoots of the original Posse Comitatus; Scriptures for America, White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and White Separatist Banner. Many small groups fade in and out of existence frequently.

There is no doubt that these folks would gladly espouse dominionism. And of course, like all crazed cultists, they too embrace an ‘Armageddon’:

"Christian Identity also believes in the inevitability of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ. It is believed that these events are part of a cleansing process that is needed before Christ’s kingdom can be established on earth. During this time, Jews and their allies will attempt to destroy the white race using any means available. The result will be a violent and bloody struggle -- a war, in effect -- between God’s forces, the white race, and the forces of evil, the Jews and nonwhites. Significantly, many adherents believe that this will be tied into the coming of the new millennium."

(Points finger to head, rotating index finger, whistling.)

"The view of what Armageddon will be varies among Christian Identity believers. Some contend there will be a race war in which millions will die; others believe that the United Nations, backed by Jewish representatives of the anti-Christ, will take over the country and promote a New World Order. One Christian Identity interpretation is that white Christians have been chosen to watch for signs of the impending war in order to warn others. They are to then physically struggle with the forces of evil against sin and other violations of God’s law (i.e., race-mixing and internationalism); many will perish, and some of God’s chosen will be forced to wear the Mark of the Beast to participate in business and commerce. After the final battle is ended and God’s kingdom is established on earth, only then will the Aryan people be recognized as the one and true Israel."

As this will never happen, it’s easy to see how this sort of group dynamic becomes a powder-keg.

"Christian Identity adherents believe that God will use his chosen race as his weapons to battle the forces of evil. Christian Identity followers believe they are among those chosen by God to wage this battle during Armageddon and they will be the last line of defense for the white race and Christian America. To prepare for these events, they engage in survivalist and paramilitary training, storing foodstuffs and supplies, and caching weapons and ammunition. They often reside on compounds located in remote areas."

What is even more frightening, is that like-minded zealots have been forming ties – the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that. For some more eye-popping rhetoric:

"We are going to build the Kingdom of our God on this continent if we have to turn it into a Bosnia first! Death may find you in front of your one-eyed church of Satan or in the filthy bingo parlors where you worship your devil god, but be sure that you will not escape the consuming fire that is the real baptism of the Holy Ghost, The God of Racial Israel.

‘One-eyed church’? Or more to the stupidity – BINGO PARLORS?!? Are you kidding me?

That an evolutionary by-product, perceiving the different as dangerous, has become so twisted into xenophobic hatred, is heart-breaking.

And that this sort of mental rabidity still flourishes, is a sad testament to what little progress we as a species has made. It enrages the hearts of those of us cursed with empathy, it belittles the dignity of Man, it smears the monuments of progress with offal, it threatens to benight us with the ignorance of mental rubbish.

It is to weep.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Funny – Extras

This series only went two seasons – but it had some extremely funny moments. It stars Ricky Gervais as Andy Millman. The funny bits were eye-squeezers, but sometimes the moments of rank cruelty were over the top. For instance, Rick’s had his script approved, they’re producing his sitcom, and he whines to David Bowie about how everybody keep messing about with his ‘baby’. Bowie improvs a song calling him a whiny fat loser there in the bar. Not terribly amusing, more painful. Then there are moments like these:



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Allegories Gone Wild – Weapons Of War In A Quiver Of…Love?

women in quiverfull

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. – Psalms 127 3-5

One of the scarier movements is the Quiverfull movement. These people truly frighten me. If you watch the video from this article, you’d think, “Oh wait – but they seem to be such nice, religious people”.  (Yeah, right, as if religion improves people.)

Families with more than 10 children are becoming the norm among a group of traditionalist US Christians. The so-called Quiverfull families believe they are carrying out God's work, and providing a new generation of moral leaders. .

The way Psalm 127 talks about children has an almost military sound.

It describes them as "an inheritance, and arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior," adding, "happy is he whose quiver is full of them".

The standard apologist’s excuse would likely be, that this is in a ‘metaphorical sense’.

Many Quiverfull families do indeed sense looming battles for Christians, and often see their children as potential future leaders in fighting them.

Or potential cannon fodder. Remember, the religion is hierarchal by nature?

Rev James McDonald has 10 children, aged between four and 26 - an extraordinary fertility motivated by obedience to the Bible.

So, my question is – if this clown McDonald were infertile, would they be hitting the fertility clinic?  Would that make any kids conceived in that manner the ‘Snowflake Brigade’? “All in the valley of death rode the in vitro six hundred”?

"We believe that they are blessings… to be raised up in the worship of the Lord and they will be used by him in whatever way God will call them, to fulfill the Great Commission which we find in Matthew Chapter 28," he said.

And all it takes is one loon who knows how to re-interpret the wholly bibble to suit his/her ‘needs’ to turn the sheep into ravening wolves.

I’ll skip to the bottom:

Quiverfull families insist that the government cannot fix America's problems, but that their children could.

And to illustrate this with a proper counterpoint, here’s a review of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, of which I will quote selected highlights:

I can’t forgive the Christian patriarchy movement subjects of this superbly crafted and deeply troubling new book, for their bad faith, cognitive dissonance, and behavioral misdeeds carry heavy consequences. Whether or not they know what they’re doing remains an open question. Kathryn Joyce’s gripping new account, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, is about Christians who want literally to take over and remake the world by outbreeding everyone else, warping the minds of school-children, justifying bigotry with transparent illogic, and systematically denying civil rights. That most of the violence is committed quietly and privately against women and girls, most of whom accede to it with joy and penitence, will give even the most devoutly and egalitarian Christian reader pause. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Christian patriarchy movement members who feel imperiled by Jews, lesbians, Muslims, atheists, gay males, feminists, foreigners, and the less fecund seem conveniently to have forgotten these words.

A nice big heaping helping of xenophobia. Why am I not surprised in the least?

The book’s twenty chapters are divided into three gendered parts—“Wives,” “Mothers,” and “Daughters”—in each of which Joyce deftly explores the bizarre ideology and political-economy of feminine subservience. The resulting dystopian communities in real-time and on-line in cyber-space rival those depicted in novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale, George Orwell’s 1984, and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can't Happen Here. This ain’t fiction, however. As befitting their understanding and practice of “complementarian theology,” as opposed to the alleged unnaturalness and godlessness of egalitarian gender relations, men and women in the Christian patriarchy movement believe equally (but differently) in the inherent inferiority of Eve (the Original Sin), females (on biological and spiritual grounds), Jezebel (in terms of sex) and women (who have hearts and minds). Sisters are in the process brainwashed into becoming meek and quiet supporters of their brothers, wives are instructed to remain sexually available to their husbands 24/7 (and forego any contraception), and mothers who don’t home-school their children commit them to Satan. Insofar as submissive females require degradation—the more public, the better—virtually every page is painful to read.

And gender biased – even gender bashing. ‘Unconditional love’ my homesick ass.

From another review:

Knowing that exposure to the wider world will be a serious temptation toward apostasy, Quiverfull families have crafted a totalistic environment that completely cocoons their kids off from influences their parents deem harmful.  This cocooning, for the girls at least, lasts a lifetime.  As children they are taught to shun the “feminist” message of self-actualization and instead, in the words of the Botkin sisters, to recognize that “we have no selves that are worth being loyal to.”  Girls are the property of their fathers until their fathers pass them to their husbands, sometimes even with a bridal price involved.

In my opinion, this is exemplary of the inherent problems of the obtuse and anachronistic religion called Christianity. It stimulates what I term a ‘servant culture’ – everyone’s a servant of some invisible patriarch, and being a hierarchy, and seeing as there are no instructions forthcoming from said mythological hierarch, it falls to whoever is viewed to be next in line. And usually it’s male, and whoever shouts the loudest, the most coherently (subjectively speaking), and the most enthusiastic, usually gets the vote. Let’s not forget the mob rule.

And the scariest point? Is that they intend to outnumber us – because in war, it’s hard to beat interlocked mass waves of infantry. Harder still when they’re loaded to the gills with endorphins.

The better question is, how to fight this? Education, of course. But then, there are some folks who refuse to learn different.

Scary thought, that.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Funny – 30 Rock

If you haven’t been watching this show, you’re missing out big time. The writing’s crisp, the characters are interesting (even if they are incredibly self-involved), and well….the show itself is drop dead funny. Here’s a few of clips:


Kenny, of course, is utterly funny:



Monday, October 12, 2009

Platitudinal Retreat – Invoking The Void For Victory

As of yesterday, I called out a religious person on his view on atheistic morality. Sadly, it’s as I’ve stated prior: the claim doesn’t withstand actual scrutiny. But wait! His response is as follows:

And, for the atheist, what, after that? Nothing. No consciousness, no nothing. No seeing what has happened to your descendants. No caring about anything. No existence. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada. In an atheistic universe, the dead cannot care. Therefore, any caring they may do must be done in this life, the only life they have.

Newsflash: Yep, the dead don’t care. Yes, the caring needs to be done in the here and now, seeing as there’s no afterlife.

And why might they care? About anything? To whom do their lives matter? And for how long? Does the cold, atheistic universe into which they arrived by complete accident care? Does that same universe have a purpose for them? The very thought provokes laughter. Even if someone misses them once they're gone, that will matter for less than a hundred years, too, probably less than fifty, since those people will die and not care about anything, either. And eventually, their country will pass away, then the planet, then everything, and none of it will have mattered, none of it at all. Their morality, such as it is, will have served no purpose other than to perpetuate the species before the planet is scorched when the sun turns red, and that, for no reason at all, it simply being what happened by sheer accident.

I’m not too crazy about an uncaring universe either, to be honest. That weird evolutionary mechanism makes me care about me a little too much for comfort, and it makes us all way too introverted. But the fact remains, that the religious have this incredible hubris about existence. They think the whole of reality was put here as a tribute to their own existence, and Dog forbid you should take that special fuzzy wuzzy feeling from them – because as miserably as we are designed, we not only think the universe revolves around us, but that anything that makes us happy is to be defended to the death against the ravages of reality.

Atheists have a limited, very limited window of opportunity, a very short time in which to enjoy the accidentally-animated sack of protoplasm they walk around in, and absolutely no reason whatever not to do whatever they please, as long as they can get away with it.

As opposed to a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card that any serial killer, child molester, or any other slavering sub-human can employ at the last minute? “Oh, I feel genuine remorse, lemmee in heaven!” One might note that atheists tend to be better behaved than the religious lot, regardless of the old tired canard “Just seek sybaritic pleasure!” As if somehow, those of us not invested or entrenched enough in the supernatural seem to find less value in others. No, actual reality shows us that we obviously imbue others with more intrinsic value, not less.

And what do they choose to do with that limited period of time? An astonishing number seem to have arrived at the absurd conclusion that the best, most enjoyable (apparently) use of their limited time is to try convincing theists that they're wrong. That's right: their mission in life seems to have become convincing people about whom they will shortly cease to care, people who will, in turn, shortly cease to care about anything themselves, that there is no God.

Well, it is a fun diversion, but it’s hardly something I lose sleep over, or wrestle with regularly. I am more concerned that there are Dominionists who want to turn the USA into UST (the United States of Theocracy), and that End-Timers are trying to jumpstart what they view as Armageddon because of their book of fables (that’s all three ‘people of the book’ not just Christians), the religious are trying to tell adults what adults they can and cannot marry, and the intrusion of non-science into our already beleaguered and financially strapped public schools. So, no, I’ve got no problem with people and their fantasies. I’d be more than happy to leave them to their own devices. But the actual enforcement of their religious beliefs in my life? Yeah, I don’t think so. Time to be vocal. Time to let them know they can’t just shove their way to the front of the line for consideration.

Good luck with that one, atheists. Last time I checked, though they disagreed on much about God, you have a couple of billion people, at least, to convince of His non-existence. And for what? So that they will have--you think--better lives in the short period of time remaining to them on this miserable mudball? In the most literal sense possible, why care? It will matter to any particular individual for a maximum of 115 years, and then--poof.

“If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” – Anatole France. Really? An argument from numbers? How numb. Because the here and now do matter, and despite the void that swallows us all, I was constructed (no, not designed in the religious sense, it’s obvious to anyone with a critical eye that we’re very poorly put together) to give a flying damn about others in my species.

And that’s not a bad thing. That there’s no afterlife? Why should the lack of such a thing make me any less of a decent person? The answer is no…it doesn’t.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Christian Currency And Moral Borrowing

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!jesusandmomorality

"Nothing is rarer among moralists and saints than integrity; perhaps they say the opposite, perhaps they even believe it. For when faith is more useful, effective, convincing than conscious hypocrisy, hypocrisy instinctively and forthwith becomes innocent. . ."- Nietzsche.

One of the more irritating of aspects of cutting the Gordian Knot of religious belief, is that atheists get bombarded with all sorts of sophistic noise. As if the divorce from the supernatural entails a complete atavism, and a materialistic viewpoint reduces one to become nothing more than a dribbling reduction of nerve-endings.

Case in point: this fellow regurgitates that hoariest of old chestnuts, the ‘borrowed morality’ which he loosely bases on this specific bit of rubbish  - and really, there’s all sorts of wrong on multiple levels. Let’s itemize:

A. Christianity doesn’t have exclusive ‘rights’ to morality. Morality developed independently of it thousands of years a priori. In fact, if we were to explore that simile, it would be that that particular belief system ‘borrowed’ copiously from various sources. One need only scan historical events to see that this brand of religion took an incredibly long time to develop anything vaguely resembling morals in the first place.

B. You can’t ‘borrow’ morals (which is why I use sarcastic quotes) – these set of rules are learned, primarily from the environment and interaction with other human beings. You can’t ‘return’ morals, they aren’t some kind of coin one can charge interest on in lieu of the ‘loan’. And in the case of definition number 2, which states 2.a = ‘to appropriate for one’s own use” and 2.b “Derive; adopt” – it’s what humans do. Either way, this is some sort of reification. You can’t store up a metaphysical abstract. Shoring up “moral capital” is the mistake of a philosophical amateur.

C. This is one of those weak efforts to defenestrate the opposition: “You can’t use our rules to criticize our system – they’re OUR rules, you can’t have ‘em!”

D. I call contextomy. In the link provided above, it quotes Nietzsche as saying:

When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. This morality is by no means self-evident: this point has to be exhibited again and again, despite the English flatheads. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands. Christianity presupposes that man does not know, cannot know, what is good for him, what evil: he believes in God, who alone knows it. Christian morality is a command; its origin is transcendent; it is beyond all criticism, all right to criticism; it has truth only if God has truth—it stands or falls with faith in God.

Which appears to be quite damning. However, if you read it in its entirety you find that Nietzsche is first quoting G. Eliot:

G. Eliot. — They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality. That is an English consistency; we do not wish to hold it against little moralistic females à la Eliot. In England one must rehabilitate oneself after every little emancipation from theology by showing in a veritably awe-inspiring manner what a moral fanatic one is. That is the penance they pay there.

So with the inserted forward, it changes this entire paragraph’s meaning.

When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet. This morality is by no means self-evident: this point has to be exhibited again and again, despite the English flatheads. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one's hands. Christianity presupposes that man does not know, cannot know, what is good for him, what evil: he believes in God, who alone knows it. Christian morality is a command; its origin is transcendent; it is beyond all criticism, all right to criticism; it has truth only if God is the truth — it stands and falls with faith in God.

And with the following, the entire paragraph is obviously a criticism of England and the handling of materialism by the English philosophers, not a sweeping incrimination of atheist morality at all:

When the English actually believe that they know "intuitively" what is good and evil, when they therefore suppose that they no longer require Christianity as the guarantee of morality, we merely witness the effects of the dominion of the Christian value judgment and an expression of the strength and depth of this dominion: such that the origin of English morality has been forgotten, such that the very conditional character of its right to existence is no longer felt. For the English, morality is not yet a problem.

A gentle reminder for those of you who haven’t been keeping up: Nietzsche was German. If you read the numbered sequences of SKIRMISHES OF AN UNTIMELY MAN in the link provided, you’ll find numbered criticisms of George Sand, Renan, etc.

E. This is a strawman caricature employing a broad generalization and simplistic reductionism. The strawman (which I’ve exposed as such) relies on reducing Nietzsche’s complex philosophical outlook to something quite simple, and then applying it across the entire spectrum of atheistic thought. We are not all moral relativists, there’s metaphysical materialism, atheistic existentialism, non-reductionist materialism, materialistic determinism – the isms go on almost interminably.

F. In the link that started it all, the other author resorts to the childish tactic of simulation what he might think Freddy’s attitude towards Richard Dawkins might be, by providing a non-quote.

So, in a nutshell: since this nonsense isn’t representative of good old Freddy at all, and Freddy wasn’t even representing atheists in toto, both of these philosophical puff pieces have no intellectual legs whatsoever.

So…the old Shakespeare quote “Neither a lender nor a borrower be”  applies here – atheism is still a simple matter of non-belief, and morals are a communal value, not a capitalist value to be collected on.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What Do Jefferson, Hitler, And Conservapædia All Have In Common?

And no, there’s no punch line here. The fact is, that Jefferson edited a specific book, cutting out the entire (bulky) first half, and selectively edited the second half.

Hitler took that same book, and censored all references to Jews.

And now Conservapædia has decided to ‘eliminate all liberal bias’ (christlation: “Make it say what we want it to say.”).

All this hullaballoo over a work of fiction?


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday Funny – Terminator: How It Should Have Ended

This hybrid is extremely funny. Check it out.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Tai Chi And Qigong – Telling The Difference

As an avid Tai Chi practitioner, I run into a lot of misconceptions and confusion. Hope this helps.

I’ve been directed to parks by people who say, “Yeah, there are Tai Chi players there,” but when I arrive, all the folks there are doing Qigong. So let’s dispel a few misconceptions, and some myths while we’re at it.

1. Tai Chi is a form of qigong, but is also separate.
2. Tai Chi is a martial art – if you see elderly Chinese people walking slowly, or standing still for long amounts of time, it’s likely Qigong. If they’re just waving their arms about – probably the latter. If it looks like they’re doing a martial art move in slo-mo – probably Tai Chi.
3. Not every Chinese person is good at Tai Chi, so you probably shouldn’t make a snap judgment as to whether or not it’s any damn good.

Number 3 is an understandable one. I’ve been playing in plenty of parks, and some ancient Asian will come up, and start doing a Tai Chi form. Currently I see this little old man where I practice. He’s…well, he’s bloody awful is what. It looks more like some sorry calisthenics than Tai Chi.

Conversely, I was practicing in a park in Fremont a few years back, and this pretty Chinese gal came over when I finished, and chatted me up. She told me, “I just moved here from Beijing a few months ago, and you’re better than the old men I saw in the parks over there.”

Funny story: so this happens a lot. Elderly Chinese folk come up to me after practice, and begin to talk to me in Mandarin. I usually tell them (in Mandarin) that my Chinese is terrible. They figure, ‘Hey, look at this guy! He’s gotta speak the lingo!” So usually I hear a string of words + sentences, and I shrug and smile.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Frauds Who Walk Amongst Us – Cold Readers And Ambulance Chasers

Cross posted @ God is 4 suckers!

Avoiding this is like avoiding a plague
We can't understand the advances we made
We've tried to resist but it's so hard to say no
We're pretending to see what the future will hold
We appear to be in control of our fate
– OMD, Pretending To See The Future

Of all the hocus pocus, voodoo, and superstitious tripe, the occult hucksters that thrive from the grief and need of the bereaved are perhaps among the most wretched. They are the ambulance chasers, the vultures who turn a dollar from the pain of others, and hide behind the anachronisms of yesteryear, rather than work an actual job.

I speak of ghouls like Alison Dubois, who, despite her claims of aiding police investigations, has failed miserably. Sylvia Browne (featured in the video provided) who has proven time and again that she is indisputably a lying crock of shit. Oh, and she bailed on the JREF million dollar challenge (she claims she doesn’t need the money, but charges 700 USD for 20 minutes on a phone – wow!). And that incredible douche, John Edwards.

And despite the continuous claim on TV and movies that psychics provide police with powerfully incriminating evidence that helps capture killers and rapists, well, that too is a lie.

But none of these frauds are ever held accountable for their nonsense. We can sue tire companies, doctors, dentists, for shoddy merchandise or breach of promise or malpractice, but these sleazebags hide behind labels such as ‘for entertainment purposes only’, suckling at the lifeblood of the gullible like some cheap monster in a B-grade movie, except that they look like normal folks. And of course, this is one of the many side-effects of our culture’s constant enabling of religious beliefs, that indulgent horseshit of ‘truth is subjective and different for everyone’, the warm fuzzy-wuzzy feeling of woo that those lacking in any critical thinking skills hold close to their heart, and spit fire at anyone who tries to use reason and rationality to disabuse them of their cherished illusions.

One fellow actually sued a New Jersey psychic for the $250,000 she bilked from him. What a grand idea. It is unfortunate that the victims of these vultures can’t just do a blanket class-action suit naming a list of these unconscionable pricks as defendants, and bankrupt the lot of them.

It’s a sorry, sorry state of affairs when the frauds hide under the umbrella of belief without repercussions.

Till the next post, then.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

♪♫Spinnin’ Wheel Got To Go ‘Round♪♫ – More Woo-Chi Mindpower Games

Came across this recently – for only $9.95 you can actually purchase a Chi-Spinner from this website. Wow! Lemme buy a dozen, the holidays are coming up! (Yeah, right.)


For the actual debunking of this (and other games and tricks) go here. But read the WHOLE POST – it starts out with what sounds like a testimonial, but actually flips to the scientific explanations. Pretty funny.