Like a girl …

After the Supreme Court ruling on whether women can control their bodies (the five old Catholic guys on the court say no), it’s time to think about the perception of women as weaklings who need a man to tell them what to do.

Which means it’s time to really reassess what people think when someone says, “You do that like a girl.”

 

Happy birthday Jean-Paul Sartre … or nothingness

Jean-Paul Sartre was born 109 years ago today.

Whatever.

If you studied French or philosophy in college, chances are you got hit with the rot of moral decay in “Les Mouches/The Flies” or the “Hell is other people” in “Huis Clos/No Exit.” Sartre was one of the major voices of existentialism, which in historical context could have been just a passing moral philosophy. But then the Nazis came along and concepts of morality, religion and life’s meaning were shattered by the physical and mental destruction they unleashed on humanity. And people wondered: Where do you find meaning in a meaningless world?

Sartre said:

I must be without remorse or regrets as I am without excuse; for from the instant of my upsurge into being, I carry the weight of the world by myself alone without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.

He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1964. According to the prize committee:

[T]he existentialism Sartre formulated and popularized is profoundly original. Its popularity and that of its author reached a climax in the forties, and Sartre’s theoretical writings as well as his novels and plays constitute one of the main inspirational sources of modern literature. In his philosophical view atheism is taken for granted; the “loss of God” is not mourned. Man is condemned to freedom, a freedom from all authority, which he may seek to evade, distort, and deny but which he will have to face if he is to become a moral being. The meaning of man’s life is not established before his existence. Once the terrible freedom is acknowledged, man has to make this meaning himself, has to commit himself to a role in this world, has to commit his freedom. And this attempt to make oneself is futile without the “solidarity” of others.

But we’re in another age now. How would Sartre be received in a world of social media and Internet access?

Philosophie.fr Bulletin Board - 1936
Sartre died in 1980. Now, you have to carry the weight of the world by yourself alone without help.

I’m busy.

The bible says the Earth is flat …

… And in 1893, a South Dakota man put a map together to prove it (click to enlarge):

Orlando-Ferguson-flat-earth-map_editAccording to a 2011 Live Science article:

In 1893, Orlando Ferguson, a real estate developer based in South Dakota, drew a map of the Earth that combined biblical and scientific knowledge in a unique way. The map accompanied a 92-page lecture that Ferguson — referring to himself as a “professor” — delivered in town after town, traveling far and wide to share his theory of geography, highlighted by his belief that the Earth was flat.

Ferguson’s map represents the Earth as a giant, rectangular slab with a dimpled upper surface. Don Homuth of Salem, Ore., just donated one of two intact copies of the map to the Library of Congress. …

… “Ferguson was trying to make an updated version of the flat Earth theory to fit the biblical description of the Earth with known facts,” Bingham said. Typical of flat Earths, Ferguson’s Earth is a rectangular slab, the four corners of which are each guarded by an angel. “What makes his flat Earth different from other theories is his theory holds that the Earth is imprinted with an ‘inverse toroid.’” If you were to take a donut and press it into wet cement and then remove the donut, Bingham explained, the rounded impression it left in the cement would be what is known in mathematics as an inverse toroid.

“It’s pretty clever because it explains the Columbus phenomenon, where you see ships coming in over the horizon and gradually the mast gets taller and taller until you can see the ship,” Bingham said. “By 1893, most people knew about horizons so he had to come up with some way to explain that.”

There are plenty of people today who rely on the Bible as the basis of scientific fact. That’s why we have a 70,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Kentucky and people pushing intelligent design in schools. It was wrong then. It’s still wrong today.

A racist NBA team owner hits the jackpot

BmZJSRQIYAADSwCYou know about Donald Sterling, right? The Los Angeles Clippers owner who chastised his mistress … (Can we call her a mistress? I mean, she wasn’t his wife. He’s ancient and she’s definitely old enough to be his great granddaughter. And every major media outlet describes her as “his girlfriend.”) … sorry, I got distracted. Who chastised his mistress … who’s half black and half hispanic … for taking pictures with black men and bringing black people to basketball games.

Because if you don’t want to be seen with black people, the first place you want to be at is a basketball game.

The tape, of course, is a tour de force on how to claim you’re not racist as you say the most racist things you can think of. Then when your mistress (girlfriend?) says you’re being racist, call her a racist.

Wow!

So the NBA today did this:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday, because of an audio recording in which he made racially charged comments to his girlfriend.

Silver said he would urge the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team and fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum Silver can levy under the NBA constitution and bylaws. The money, the league announced, will be donated to anti-discrimination and tolerance organizations that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.

Now let’s consider the real impact of this ruling.

Donald Sterling has to sell his team. He bought the team in 1981 for $12.5 million. The team is currently in the NBA playoffs.

Now, a bad NBA team was sold just a few days ago (via ESPN.com).

Longtime Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement to sell the team to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.

In January, Forbes valued the Bucks at $405 million, last among the league’s 30 franchises.

Kohl, a longtime U.S. senator who bought the team for $18 million in 1985, made keeping it in Milwaukee a condition of the sale. It’s also believed Kohl, while relinquishing majority control, will retain a significant percentage of the team.

Los Angeles isn’t Milwaukee. It’s a major media market. And the Bucks aren’t in the playoffs. The Clippers are.

So current estimates are that the Clippers will sell for more than $1 billion. And that money goes to …

Donald Sterling.

He owns the team. He gets the paycheck.

I’m sure he’s in agony right now because the NBA won’t let him be involved in a sport that features a race of people he doesn’t want to associate with.

I think the Northwestern and Princeton professors in the news recently will agree that there is merit to living in an oligarchy. If you’re an oligarch.

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Adultery)

What a wholesome politician:

Oh, yeah. What was it he did a couple of days ago?

Anything else we need to know?

Aides to McAllister confirmed to The Post that the staff member, who had recently joined the staff at the time of the romantic encounter, has been dropped from the congressman’s payroll.

According to Legistorm, a congressional staff salary database, the staffer in the video worked part-time and earned less than $22,000 a year. She is one of the only members of McAllister’s staff who is not a holdover from the staff hired by former congressman Rodney Alexander (R), who resigned last year and now serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn smooches with a staffer who is not Mrs. family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn. The said non-Mrs. loses her job. The horny family-values guy will keep his.

And the Republicans don’t understand why they have a problem with women voters?

Anyone want to add anything else? Hit Girl?

 

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Another family values Republican caught in the act

From Talking Points Memo:

The video was published online Monday by The Ouachita Citizen, a conservative-leaning newspaper that endorsed McAllister’s opponent in last November’s special election to fill Louisiana’s 5th District seat in the House. The newspaper, which has a paid circulation of 5,200, credited an “anonymous source” with providing the surveillance video of what it described as an “extramarital encounter.” …

McAllister issued a statement Monday afternoon saying that he was asking for forgiveness “from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.” The statement did not directly address the content of the video itself, or the identity of the woman in it.

Because?? Freedom!!

 

Bill Nye (the creationists’ guy)

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Bill Nye, a creationists’ best friend, at a Feb. 4 debate on evolution at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

Remember a few weeks ago when Bill Nye “The Science Guy” went to the Creation Museum in Kentucky to hold a debate on evolution. In my non-blogging real life, I was telling anyone who would listen that he was a complete idiot for doing that.

Why?

Because there is no debate. Creationism is religion. Evolution is science. The only thing Nye would end up doing would be to draw more attention to the Creation Museum. And in the real world, publicity goes a lot further than “book learnin’.”

But Nye went and did it anyway. And the result was a disaster.

Why?

Because this was the state of things for the Creation Museum in 2012 (Via Yahoo News):

The people behind this museum are looking to erect something much bigger: a 160-acre park with a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark built to stand 500 feet long and 80 feet high. …

The group initially announced that it expected to break ground on the park in 2011, before eventually pushing that date back to 2014. But in June, in an interview in the Creation Museum’s “Noah’s Cafe,” Ark Encounter vice president Michael Zovath told Yahoo News that the group no longer has a date in mind for the construction to begin. It has been unable to raise sufficient amounts of money, despite pleas to the Creation Museum’s visitors to donate to the project.

“Fundraising is really tough,” Zovath said, blaming the recession. “It’s not moving so fast as we hoped.” The private LLC that is building the park would need to raise another $20 million before it can break ground, he said. So far, it’s taken in $5.6 million in donations and $17 million in private investments.

To add to the bad news, the Creation Museum is having its lowest attendance year yet. Last fiscal year, 280,000 people visited, compared to 404,000 the first year it opened in 2007.

And what happened after the Bill Nye debate? (Via NPR)

Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum who last month debated TV personality Bill Nye “The Science Guy” pitting his Biblical literalism against Darwinian evolution, says the highly publicized showdown has been like manna from heaven for a foundering $73 million Noah’s Ark theme park. …

Nye is widely viewed as having won that debate, but Ham may have gotten the last word: On [Feb. 27] he announced that his Creation Museum’s proposed Noah’s Ark theme park, including a 510-foot replica of the Biblical vessel, had against all odds secured a last-minute $62 million municipal bond offering. The miracle was God’s, he said, but Nye also had something to do with it:

“The date of my debate with Bill Nye had been on our calendar several months before we knew the final delivery date of the Ark bonds. But in God’s timing, not ours—and although the bond registration had already closed before February 4 and no more bonds could be purchased— the high-profile debate prompted some people who had registered for the bonds to make sure they followed through with submitting the necessary and sometimes complicated paperwork.”

And that’s why Bill Nye can now take full responsibility for ratcheting up the dumbing down of America. He owes us all an apology.

As I’ve said before, there is more legitimate science in the theme song of “The Big Bang Theory” than there is in the entire Creation Museum.

God, guns and goobers

Barack Obama in 2008:

“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Paduca, Kentucky, in 2014:

In an effort its spokesman has described as “outreach to rednecks,” the Kentucky Baptist Convention is leading “Second Amendment Celebrations,” where churches around the state give away guns as door prizes to lure in nonbelievers in hopes of converting them to Christ.

As many as 1,000 people are expected at the next one, on Thursday at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah, where they will be given a free steak dinner and the chance to win one of 25 handguns, long guns and shotguns.

The goal is to “point people to Christ,” the church says in a flier. Chuck McAlister, an ex-pastor, master storyteller and former Outdoor Channel hunting show host who presides at the events as the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s team leader for evangelism, said 1,678 men made “professions of faith” at about 50 such events last year, most of them in Kentucky.

My wife read the above news story to me from the Courier-Journal on Sunday as I sat on the couch in our living room in Louisville. I thought she was kidding. I mean, what kind of sick mind could come up with Jesus and guns in the same coherent thought?

OK, I was mistaken. Jesus and guns are perfectly normal. As He said in Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers.”

How was I to know he was talking about this?

SAA_P1870

The Colt Peacemaker (Single Action Army) is a single action revolver. It was designed for the U.S. cavalry by Colt and adopted in 1873, and it was perhaps the most prolific pistol in the Wild West.