Rick Wiles: Idiot

I wouldn’t expect the host of a radio program called End Times to be possessed of an overabundance of intelligence, but a man as old as Rick Wiles really should by now understand how viral infection works. But, it would seem, he does not.

“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming,” he said. “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”
I guess the 800 or so people Ebola has killed this year were all either gay, atheists, sluts, or abortionists. Who knew?

Why is this Ebola outbreak so bad?

CNN unwittingly hit the nail on the head in this article.

“I think that the government and the ministry of health here in Sierra Leone is not able to deal with this outbreak. We need much more help from international organizations — as WHO, as CDC, as other organizations — to come to support the government,” Wolz said.

“Still we have unsafe burials; people who are doing the burial without disinfection of the body; still we have patients who are hiding themselves; still we have patients or contacts of patients who are running away because they are afraid.”

The duration and impact of the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak — or rather, the attention it has been receiving from our mainstream media outlets — has prompted the less-inquisitive elements of our society to completely ignore what science has taught us about how Ebola is transmitted in favor of their own imaginative speculations. The stupids wonder aloud: “How could the disease have spread so far and infected so many, of whom a fair portion are medical professionals, if it were not airborne?” But in the fashion typical of cranks, the question is posed only as a lead-in to their predetermined conclusion… that scientists are wrong, that Ebola is indeed airborne. (more…)

Brian Dunning is going to prison

I haven’t listened to Skeptoid in over a year, and, honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. Aside from Brian Dunning’s nauseating libertarian platitudes, I found myself increasingly turned off by his shameless pleas for cash. Dunning obviously put a lot of work into that show, but for the amount of product plugging, commercializing, and pan-handling per five-to-ten-minute episode, you’d think he was trying to finance TAM for the next ten years.

But he wasn’t. He was trying to finance himself… to the tune of a million dollars or so.

Now he’s going to prison. Deservedly. (more…)

Tony Dungy Should Probably Shut the Fuck Up

ESPN’s Dan Graziano put it in kinder terms than I, but the point still stands: Tony Dungy would do well to keep his opinions on openly-gay NFL player Michael Sam to himself.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy said of Sam, the openly gay linebacker the St. Louis Rams selected in the seventh round of May’s NFL draft, at some point in the past two months. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”

“I do not believe Michael’s sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization,” Dungy said in a statement released Tuesday. “I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately, we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction.”

Hollow words. Rhetorical slight of hand. Paradigmatic Christian bigot bullshit. (more…)

New York’s “Finest”, indeed…

The NYPD is up to its old hijinks again. This time, they choked to death a 43-year-old asthmatic father of six on a Staten Island sidewalk for — allegedly — selling untaxed cigarettes. The entire exchange, of course, was caught on a cell phone camera.

It’s the same thing we’ve seen dozens of times before, both in New York and elsewhere. The police show up and bully a guy for no fucking reason at all, slam him to the ground when he understandably becomes indignant, and then stand around with their thumbs up their asses while he slowly dies handcuffed on the sidewalk. They know they’re assholes. They know they’re on camera. They simply do not give a shit.

If there’s a silver lining to this particular case, it is that the City of New York is taking a serious look at the “standing around with their thumbs up their asses” phase of this procedure. Somewhat perturbed by the lack of action taken by EMTs as Eric Garner lay unresponsive — to the point where bystanders were pleading with them to give Garner CPR — they have decided to toss four of these turdwads on desk duty pending an investigation.

Meanwhile, the officer who actually deployed the chokehold — a maneuver banned by the NYPD for reasons that should now be obvious — has been stripped of his badge and gun.

All of these are positive steps taken by the De Blasio administration, but they will prove wholly inadequate in the long run if preventing police killings is the City’s ultimate goal. The problem runs deeper than choke holds or the inaction of officers. The problem is societal. If the public is of the opinion that criminals who resist arrest — for whatever crime, for whatever reason — deserve whatever ill fate befalls them, then we should expect to see shit like this with marked regularity, and we do.

Just last year the Albuquerque Police Department, subject to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, was found to be engaged “in a pattern or practice violating residents’ Fourth Amendment rights” and of deploying deadly force in an “unconstitutional manner”. In the four years prior to the USDOJ investigation, APD had killed 23 people and wounded 14… an officer violence rate outstripping both New York and Chicago.

But what do the people of Albuquerque do? Protest, of course… in support of officers who shoot and kill their neighbors. And they sang the same refrain we’ve heard a thousand times before:

“They’re a group of highly trained professionals who do a great job,” said Janet Mitchell from Albuquerque. “They do a wonderful job. They don’t get the luxury of second guessing everything they do like the public does.”

“I’m here to support the police. I think they have a hard job and the community needs to stand behind them,” said Lou Devens from Albuquerque.

Policing is a hard job. Police are oftentimes required to make split-second decisions. So fucking what? They get to kill people with impunity? Really?

Imagine the world we’d live in if people showed the Postal Service the same deference they showed their police officers.


The only person who can stop a bad guy with a howitzer is a good guy with a howitzer

Unless said bad guy steals your howitzer and shoots at you from twenty miles away.

Which is, more or less, what ISIS intends to do.

The group is now firmly entrenched in their holdings and the Iraqi military, as before, is reluctant (or unable) to launch an offensive against them. The 52 American-made and supplied M198 155mm howitzers they captured ought to come in handy; they can park them up to 25 miles away from Baghdad and shell the city with pinpoint accuracy, thanks to the M982 Excalibur GPS-guided 155mm artillery shells they also happened upon in the pillaging. (more…)