What the Boss Likes – White House petition calling for investigation and prosecution of those who lied about the Iraq War

petition copyA small break for some politics by holding people accountable.  Please sign the petition here.  Sorry, my international friends, you unfortunately can’t.

“In that all evidence so far revealed supports that the Bush/Cheney administration intentionally lied to involve the US into the Iraq War, there should be an investgation into who was responsible for the useless deaths of thousands of Americans, Iraqis and citizens of other nations. Such actions are at best illegal and at worst, treasonous. People died because of these lies and those perpetrators should not be allowed to go unquestioned.”

Here in the States, Rachel Maddow has done a documentary based on the book “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War”  Links for the documentary here with a good review and more of the video here if you can’t see the first.

I can remember protesting this nonsense and being considered less than an American for questioning the drumbeat to war.  Hindsight is always 20/20 but if we refuse to look then we’ll screw up again.

Now if we can just get those damned drones under control.  War by remote control may feel like war without repercussions but it sure as hell isn’t.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 8 – #19 the first half, geology, misapprehensions about evolution, carbon dating and more quote-mining

one of my favorite movies
one of my favorite movies

We’re on the home stretch now, though the section numbered 19 is probably the longest one.  It’s also probably the best for someone like me who wishes to show how creationists are just so silly.  The pdf of the text of the last part (sections 19-23) of our TrueChristiantm’s post is here: truechristian post 19-23.  

The geologic column ( I’m guessing, he uses “coulomb” repeatedly) would be very thick *if* people were ignorant enough to assume that every geological formation were formed everywhere.  This goes back to our Christian’s ignorance of what the geologic column is.  In some places we have a sandstone formation and in others we have a shale; both formed at the same time and both are represented as having been formed at that time on the GC.  It was indeed initially formed in the early 1800s and alas for our Christian, no radioactive dating was needed for it at that time; it was a relative scale.  

Our Christian claims that the evolution of the horse is “backward in South America”.  I have yet to find evidence for this claim. Like miracles, a lot of creationist “evidence” is to be found in “deepest, darkest X”.  Also, to claim that evolution has a “backwards” or “forewards” demonstrates an ignorance of what evolutionary theory claims.  Evolution says that populations will show a change of attributes due to environmental pressures that select for those attributes that are more favorable for survival. So, if we had our “horse A” and it was adapted for a forested land, then there was a drought, it would evolve to fit that better. And if the drought lifted, and went back to forest, the “horse A” would keep evolving. (Addition: video that shows how a creationist has come to accept evolution from first not.  The creationist? Kent Hovind, he just calls it “variation” but he accepts every point of how species form. Ah, recordable media, nothing better for showing hypocrisy 🙂 )    Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 8 – #19 the first half, geology, misapprehensions about evolution, carbon dating and more quote-mining”

From the Back Room – Belgian Golden Ale

Belgian  Golden Ale
Belgian Golden Ale

Looking for a lighter color ale, if not lighter in taste and alcohol, we recently brewed up a Brewer’s Best Belgian Golden Ale kit. The kit ran about $32 and made a case of 16 oz returnable Genny bottles plus another dozen or so 16 oz flip tops and 12 oz bottles.

The beer is an amber in color with a silky white head that leaves a lace along the side of the mug. The scent is sweet and spicy and the taste is  a bit funky like most Belgian ales.  The alcohol percent is around 9.6%, a little stronger than the reported level from BB.

I think our ale matches well with this NYT article reviewing a bunch of the style.  Now, if I just had my own fryolator so I could make some Belgian frites to go with this.  A Le Creuset full of hot oil just doesn’t quite cut it, as much as I love those crazy heavy pots.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 7 – more geology and creationist “credentials”

If you’ve haven’t been reading along in the original post, you won’t know that the name of the book “_” is verbatim from his text of part 16. One would hope the poster would correct that but it is unintentionally funny and demonstrative on how much real evidence bible literalists and young earth creationists have.  

Microsoft clip art again
Microsoft clip art again

 Our TrueChristiantm tries to claim that the biblical literalist and young earth creationist does not depend on the claim that every geologist must believe in uniformitarianism.  That’s unfortunately nonsense that is shown to be false throughout the original post. He tries to say that those like him only mean “the evidence is merely in opposition to such a belief” (a belief that is a strawman argument since our Christian has no idea what uniformitarianism is).  That’s hilarious, trying to claim that you are only taking a stand against a belief that you don’t think that geologists hold. Soooo, why are you basing your whole claim on this? Evidence for the flood has yet to be demonstrated by our poster so it is very hard to critically evaluate anything that hasn’t been presented.  I have seen plenty of hypotheses of how the flood happened but no evidence to support these at all.  I may as well be critically evaluating claims of the Tooth Fairy and coming up with an economic model to explain her nightly flights and exchange rate.  

He does finally admit that “modern” geologists do accept that catastrophes do occur.  He wants me to find two geologists (two again? are we filling the ark?) in the 1800s that believed that volcanoes never erupted and earthquakes didn’t happen because he doesn’t think I can find his strawmen.  This is due to his ignorance of what uniformitarianism and catastrophism entail.  Always good to get the willful ignorance once again.   Especially in the 1800s, those interested in geology thought that we knew every mechanism of geology. And that included volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami, etc. Uniformitarians assumed that everything was uniform in those mechanisms, from past to present. Catastrophists thought that there had to be huge intense events like the Flood since they were using a presuppositional argument that said the Flood *had* to happen.  They could not conceive of otherwise.   

We end up back again at this mysterious “Father of Geology” but as I stated before, if this is James Hutton, he didn’t believe in the bible flood nor in a young earth.  The TrueChristian does go on to mention a “magical uniform lake” in a swipe at abiogenesis but that’s for another time.  Curious about it though? Here and here should get you started. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 7 – more geology and creationist “credentials””

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 6 – Geology and the burden of proof

Problems not only geology but animals.  Happy Lent!
Problems not only geology but animals. Happy Lent!

In 14 (of the original post here), our Christian reveals that river floods aren’t worldwide. Great shock to all of you, I know.  After finding this bit of the glaringly obvious, he then declares that while ancient people knew this kind of flood, they certainly wouldn’t mistake it for a global flood “even after the compounded interpolation of the centuries”.  I will guess that he is trying to say that the people wouldn’t have claimed a local flood to be a global one even after time has passed and the event becomes badly remembered.  

He asks for two instances where an event was exaggerated out of proportion and became a myth.  Along with floods, tidal waves are caused by the Midgard Serpent and will cover the world in water during Ragnarok (hey, a flood myth that’s also a end times myth!).  Winter is invoked as a apocalyptic force that covers the earth killing all humans in a Fimbulvetr. A great wind was the culprit in Aztec world destruction, not suprising since hurricanes are common in the Yucatan area; fire was also another cause of the world/human kind being destroyed in Aztec mythology since they postulate various incarnations of the world. What is highly amusing is that he excepts his Bible from this for this reason: *I* (me, Vel) don’t believe in it.  Well, I don’t believe in the other myths either, Suprise!  He also uses his own word “fraudulated”.

We still have the same baseless claims that the bible is literally to believed and he now asks for: “list two events in the Bible which have evidence that actually proves them not to have happened not just raising vague doubts like you tried to do this time” Back again to our Christian trying his best to shift the burden of proof, how cute. Of course, we do still have the biblical flood, the supposedly vanishing of Tyre from history and the events of Exodus. No vague doubts here, direct positive evidence that these did not happen.  

To explain burden of proof a bit further, we have our Christian insisting that I show that something doesn’t exist.  He wishes to declare that the absence of evidence isn’t the evidence of absence, aka “”You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does.”  Alas, he forgets, again, that positive evidence that precludes a claimed event or item is all the evidence you need to demonstrate that something doesn’t exist. The claim of a catastrophic physical event can be shown to be untrue if physical laws do not allow for it and our Christian said much the same himself. Since he is claiming extraordinary events have happened, he has essentially claimed that he has evidence for said events and is beholden to produce it.   

We do get to some geology in 15. Our Christian is again aghast that if something he doesn’t like is true, the Bible is wrong! That is a problem but only for him. There is repetition of prior arguments here.  Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 6 – Geology and the burden of proof”

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 5 – Not so much geology but dueling myths

quote-rowan-atkinsonWe are now at section 13.  One can see the desperation rise noticeably.  I’ve posted the typed text of his post at the end of this paragraph, rather than put it into the body of the blog post.   It’s a pdf of sections 13-18 (so I’ll be referring to it in subsequent posts). Be warned, it is ridiculous. PDF of text from original illegible post   

(An aside: our Christian did indeed tell me that I needed to talk to my husband about the things I’ve written about, just like JZ predicted.  TrueChristianstm, all about the bits in 1 Timothy, where women are supposed to know our place by sitting down and shutting up.  🙂  ). 

In this section, despite starting with claims of geology, we have our Christian claiming that flood myths support his claim that the biblical flood happened just as described.  Immediately, our Christian claims that we should only be interested in those flood accounts that are from “civilizations with ancient roots” which has yet to be defined. 

However, we still get back to the problem where we have had continuous civilizations in some areas that go back longer than the date that the Christian gives.  We have no sudden breaks in the archaeological or geological record.  Sumer and Egypt may have flood myths but they have been around earlier than the biblical flood’s supposed occurrence. 

And, to address the tangential claims of “Babel”, we also don’t have any linguistic markers that show that languages suddenly stopped and then completely restarted with everyone talking a different language.  Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Part 5 – Not so much geology but dueling myths”

From the Bar and Kitchen – Pizza break

PizzaA pizza break to get away from the stultifying theist nonsense and give my poor eyes a rest.  

This weekend’s meal and a movie is homemade pizza and “The Spirit”. 

The movie, “The Spirit” is from 2008.  It was a riff on what made Sin City popular, stylized graphics, hyperviolence and a distinctly noir feel.  My husband loves Sin City, I find it just a little too damn depressing. I will admit that I do love the SC storyline with Dwight and the hookers in “The Big Fat Kill”.  

The Spirit is played much more tongue in cheek, with Samuel L. Jackson having a grand time chewing the scenery as a supervillian counter to the superhero, Gabriel Macht, a nice looking fellow who can play the noir tough guy who can’t die.  Stana Katic, as Morgenstern the smart rookie cop with the BFG, is grand fun.  And it has a very sweet cat in it (who perishes, alas), so of course I like it. The hero does do a good job in avenging the kitty.

On the menu is homemade pizza.  I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour. It was good, crunchy, but more Chef Boyardee pizza kit and not so much foldable slice (the next recipe I’m going to try) as I like. I may have to get some bread (high-gluten) flour so I can get the appropriate stretch and windowpane.  I so do want a wood fired brick oven out in my garden.

The sauce is canned, I must admit.  Both the husband and I like Don Pepinos. It’s simple and basic.  And I like the rather retro can design.  I’m a gal who likes a lot of sauce, so about 2/3 of the can goes on the ‘za. 

For an approximately 14” pizza (as big as my wood peel would handle – get a cheap one at a restaurant supply place), I used two cups of shredded mozzarella.  On top of this, I shook some grated parmesan, about a half cup finely chopped parcooked (nuked for 20 seconds) onions, and sliced pepperoni. 

Everything was constructed on the wood peel and popped into a 475 degree F oven on my pizza stone.  About 20 minutes later, time to eat!

With this, we had a very nice bottle of Bogle 2010 cabernet sauvignon. Well, we had at least half the bottle.  I managed to spill half of it and made a dramatic mess.  The very dark but clear wine (a candle shines with a crimson hue through it) has a very strong blackberry / black raspberry scent and taste, reminding me intensely of my grandmother’s pies that she made from the many quarts of berries my grandfather picked on the hill behind their house.  The tannins are well-behaved and balanced by the acid.  Definitely one for us to get again.

 We also picked up an odd port wine this time, Croft Pink Port (website annoyingly launches with sound, kill it with the speaker icon lower right). It is truly *pink*.  The flavor is very reminiscent of grenadine and cotton candy with a hint of cassis overlying the classic port taste. I think it would be a good ingredient in a summer sangria. 

Finally, we found some homemade red wine that we made about 8 months ago and bottled.  It’s from the recipe here, and this is not quite so “fresh”. It’s actually pretty good, tasting like a Chianti but still smelling like the concord grapes it came from.

Eat well!