Georgia City of Racists

Hoschton Georgia appears to be competing for the title of most racist town in the USA. Multiple elected officials are quoted clearly spouting racist thoughts and asking the other politicians to cover it all up to hide their racism. If these elected bigots keep their jobs it means the majority of the population of that place are extreme racists.

Unfortunately the man who was discriminated against seems to accept the situation partly because he got a better job elsewhere so it’s unlikely the city will face any legal repercussions.

Source: Georgia mayor under fire for alleged remarks about black job candidate

Happy MLK Jr. Day

Today we celebrate the life and work of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Take some time to check out the posts written by bloggers I regularly read:

I also recommend reading more of his words at the The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute website or this old post of mine from a couple years ago.

Televangelist in Training

Lying to the public, breaking copyright laws, keeping money intended for charities, lying to his parents to get more money, bigotry against Jews and the disabled, raising lots of money. Yep he’s well on the way to becoming a televangelist. If a religious professional is accumulating money, THEY’RE DOING IT WRONG. Every good, honest religious professional I’ve known (including my Dad) gave up huge income potential to serve those less fortunate than themselves.

Watch the four part video documenting the bad behavior of televangelist in training Shawn aka VenomFangX starting here.

Catholic League Announces Plan for Large Scale Copyright Infringement

The announcement is here:

We are now getting copies made for a mass mailing later this week. We will send a copy of this episode to 414 bishops, and to hundreds of influential Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Mormon religious leaders across the United States. We will also send a copy to hundreds of activists and members of the media.

Not only are they promising to break the law in their statement, they are already violating the law by posting the Penn & Teller video here. This blatant disregard for copyright law from a religious organization is despicable. With the enormous wealth of their organization and church they should obey the law and buy the right to distribute the video.

I support copyright law, I believe it currently lasts too long hurting the public domain but, it is important that creators have control over their creative works. Large scale piracy always makes me mad and when an organized group such as the Catholic League publicly announces their intention to violate copyright law I hope that they are prosecuted. Of course I doubt Showtime or their parent company CBS will file an infringement suit. The negative publicity is probably not worth it and, after all it is their intellectual property and only they can decide how to handle the situation.

If the Catholic Church wants to show they have some morals left, they will immediately make a public announcement condemning this action by the Catholic League. I won’t hold my breath for it. While I am incredibly tolerant of religious beliefs, as Roger Williams taught, over the past few decades the actions of Catholics and particularly their leadership has forced me to believe that the Catholic Church is no longer an institution worthy of any respect or tolerance. If they really cared about people they would have insisted that Cardinal Bernard Law be put on trial for his alleged actions in helping hush up so much child sexual abuse. Instead they sent him to the Vatican where he is protected from the legal consequences of his past actions.

Hat tip to the Friendly Atheist for pointing me towards this story via the J-Walk Blog.

Martin Luther King Day

Today we honor one of the greatest men of the 20th century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I feel the best way to celebrate this day is to read some of his writings and listen to some of his speeches. Visit The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute to read some papers or see my previous post with selected quotes from the King papers, MLK Jr., Science, Darwin & Intelligent Design. GrrlScientist has posted two excellent MLK videos in honor of this holiday.

Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted): The Reason for this Holiday

Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted): I Have A Dream

EE #4, The Good the Bad and the Crazy

First we have The Good, a very rational tolerant engineer, the kind that makes me proud of my profession rather than embarrassed to admit it.

Some people believe that at the end of the ride it’s, whew, that was fun, can’t wait to get in line and do it all again.

Some people believe that our little fun park is a frivolous waste of time and that the real good stuff happens after the amusement park closes.  I would say, what a waste, but it’s their choice to make.

Here I tread lightly, but I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.  We could debate in a friendly way how each of us has decided to make our lives better, and learn some things along the way.  That’s a Good Thing(tm).  No, it is the other stuff that worries me.  And not in a paranoid way, but in a very real and “fear for my life” way.  This one wants to cut off my head because I don’t believe in flying horses, and that one wants to beat me to death over a disagreement about a cracker.

I would like to believe that no one on this list would wish me harm for anything I’ve said, and if someone did, they wouldn’t dare say it publicly.

On the other hand, there are too many places in this world (including the southern state where I grew up) where if I said, “Sorry, I don’t happen to believe your fairy tales to be literally true”, then I would fear for my safety and my life.

Hey, I see a Pharyngula great cracker incident ’08 reference in there, an engineer who reads PZ is always a good sign. Of course one of the embarrassing engineers had to reply with The Bad:

But if that is so, why would you say something like that? I guess I see the point (or a point): it should be possible to say what you want, to disagree how much you want, without fear. But that’s one of the conditions here: nothing is perfect 🙂  So we have to accept that things we say have consequences, and they are not always easy to predict.

Wow, he thinks it’s to be expected that people will hurt or kill you over ideas and that’s acceptable. I know he is not from the US but I think even in Germany and Brazil it’s against the law to cause physical harm to others and killing over words is murder. He does not grasp the concept of freedom of conscience but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. His previous posts have shown me he doesn’t grasp the fundamentals of science or critical thinking either.

Next I bring you The Crazy:

Can’t help on sci journals, but I did wire plants up to bio-feedback circuitry & got some fascinating experimental results…

The device was a wheatstone bridge detecting changes of resistance from electrodes attached to stems of Foxgloves & houseplants.  Output created a rising needle & rising audio pitch if resistance rose, & the converse if resistance reduced..

With Foxglove, once the needle stabilised I tried talking to it, no difference or a small fall.  Tried torturing a leaf, slight rise.  Then a motor cycle passed by noisily, & the needle & pitch shot up, then slowly went down again. Then a gust of wind blew, & the needle fell.

With a houseplant wired, I tried talking to it, small fall.  I tried torturing a leaf, barely discernable rise that quickly fell.  Then I asked a colleague to have a go.  He wasn’t interested but with cajoling he turned & looked at the plant -from 15 feet distance the plant screamed!  Needle & pitch went off the scale & I had to turn down sensitivity & readjust.  He thought I was taking the piss.

I gave it a few minutes, there was a small fall, stabilised, then I stepped away & asked Phil again to try.  Once again from several yards away he simply looked at the plant, & the plant’s resistance shot up & a scream came from the loudspeaker.  This time there was no fakery possible from me – I too was several yards away.

I make no attempt to publish ‘findings’, & instead invite that others also experiment…

Typical pseudo-scientist, won’t document or publish any of his alleged results so that others can try and replicate his experiment. Instead he simply insists it works and tries to get others to start from scratch. When you see this crap you just have to call it for what it is, Bulls Hit!

A Good reply to some more Crazy:

And sometimes we progress by going back to old ways.
Medicine comes to mind.  We used to think using leeches was crazy stuff from older times.
Now we’ve found them quite useful.

That’s true, but not quite.

Why they were using them in the middles ages is different to why they’re used now.  You could say we found a new use for something that was supposed to be useful but wasn’t.  (You might need to take a deep breathe first.)

An engineer who has appeared here before, showing a Bad grasp of reality (emphasis mine):

It comes as no surprise that the majority of people will trust CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News, NPR, NY Times and Washington Post as though they publish truth.  But they all publish the same story, the same way from the same source and it is always flavored with a left political bias.

Wow what planet is he living on, I have lots of problems with FOX News but a liberal/left bias sure as heck isn’t one of them. In the past year this guy, as far as I can recall, hasn’t gotten one technical detail correct and evades owning up to the errors when called on them. Thankfully the list is inhabited by many excellent engineers so, his technical mistakes are always corrected. I thought this guy was just a classic BS artist, you know the type who pretends to be knowledgeable and can talk his way out of trouble when he’s caught having no knowledge. Now that I’ve seen his utter failure to grasp reality twice I’m beginning to think he’s just nuts.

From Around The Net

I’m too busy for regular blogging so here’s some stuff that caught my eye in blogs I regularly read.

UN doesn’t believe there should be freedom of speech, and all this time I thought they were advocates for human rights. I like much of what the UN has done over the decades but this is ridiculous. Hyphoid Logic: “Blaspheme” While You Still Can & The Bronze Blog: F@#* This S*#@!

Nisbet’s political correctness is outrageous, denialism blog : Cranks cry persecution, Nisbet listens.

NCCAM should be abolished, why are we wasting money on this crap? denialism blog : NCCAM: the not-even-wrong agency

The 100th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle, Respectful Insolence: The trouble with Orac