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Ben Carson: Episcopalians are Worse than ISIS

Ben Carson: Episcopalians are Worse than ISIS

Ben Carson has recently made another epic Godwin fail. But who has had the dire misfortune of incurring his wrath this time?

Fifa & ISIS.

Uh, sorry!

Episcopalians & ISIS. One is a thuggish gang of jackbooted religious sectarians who want to undermine and destabilize our culture so the whole world can be exactly like them.

The other is a flamboyant gang of well-groomed cloak-swishing effeminates who are having a scandalous impact on the spiritual wellbeing of this world!

Well, I’ll let you all try and guess which is which.

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Posted in Politics, Religionism0 Comments

My Plan to Donate My Powerball Jackpot Winnings to the Kids in Africa

Powerball jackpot - Tim with kidsI was really bummed to learn that I did not win the recent $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. I was so close to winning it all. I was only off by four or five numbers. Drat! It took me a while to overcome the shock and disappointment of my razor thin loss.But after a week of eating nothing but cookie dough ice cream and Double Stuff Oreos by the sleeve, I was able to get out of bed and face the reality that my near term future would not include a castle surrounded by an alligator-filled moat after all.

My deep despair got me to thinking: What would I do if I actually won the billion dollar jackpot? I reflected on this question for what seemed like hours but was actually the duration of a TV commercial about hemorrhoid cream. I wrote down a list of things that I would do with the money if I were lucky enough to win.

I’m not hinting that my incredible list of philanthropic plans makes me a better person than you. I’m not hinting anything at all. Let me spell it out for you. I’m a way better person than you – at least I will be, once I get my hands on that money.

As someone who is profoundly deep and constantly reflects on the meaning of life whenever I’m not hungry, I realize I have been given a great amount over the course of my life – starting with two (occasionally) wonderful daughters. But there are so many others who have been given far less. So, if I were to win the Powerball jackpot, it would be my heartfelt desire to travel to Africa to provide food and clothing to all the starving children of that great nation. (I’m pretty sure Africa is a nation). And I would build them a modern school with clean, safe running water, and give each child their very own iPad, pre-loaded with both Minecraft and Candy Crush – for educational purposes only. I would do this because, let’s face it, it’s all about the kids. And I already have everything I need…

Powerball jackpot - CarsExcept for a private jet. Yeah, I would love to get me one of those babies – um, so that I could transport food and clothing to the starving kids in Africa, of course. And my jet would come with a scantily clad female flight attendant with a sexy British accent, and she’d serve me Martinis. I don’t even like Martinis, but who cares? And just as soon as I got my private jet, I would immediately get to work on helping those starving, shabbily dressed kids in Africa…

Right after I bought myself one of those solid platinum smart phones like the type the bad guy has in a Bond film – right before Bond kisses the bad guy’s girlfriend and leaps into the bad guy’s stainless steel Lamborghini – which just happens to have the keys in it. And as soon as I got my platinum smart phone, I would conference call a team of helpers to fly over to Africa in advance of my arrival, to start feeding and clothing those needy, half-naked kids.

With a billion dollars, just think about how many disadvantaged kids in Africa I could help. And I would rush to their rescue on my sweet new 100-foot luxury yacht, complete with its own surfing pool – oh, and a helipad – so that my new celebrity friends could drop in as my yacht is cruising the Pacific Ocean, somewhere between Vanuatu and Tonga – which, now that I think of it, probably have a lot of kids who could use some food and clothing, too.

You see, if I win the next Powerball jackpot, I believe in giving back to those who are far needier than I – so long as they give this post a Like on Facebook, otherwise they’re dead to me. Those starving, stark naked kids are my Number One priority, absolutely… once I get my first billion dollars…

Number one, that is, right after I buy myself a couple of masterpiece paintings. I’m thinking perhaps an original Picasso. I’m really not all that particular as to which one – so long as it has a woman with at least three eyes and four breasts. It would go nicely in my man cave next to my Seahawks lava lamp.

But as soon as that painting is in place and my indoor bowling alley is built, I’ll be on the phone lickety-split, making sure nothing gets in the way of my helping those poor starving kids wherever the heck they are…

Powerball jackpot - hover cartOh, and my own wild animal park. Nothing too fancy. Just big enough for all my elephants, giraffes, zebras and lions to roam around in – oh and one of those cool safari lodges where your bed is under the stars, and you have Tiki torches – with armed guards to make sure no rhinos attack while you’re sleeping. Maybe I could hire some of those starving kids to guard the perimeter.

And once I have bought all of these necessities, nothing will keep me from placing a few calls to see if someone can airlift a couple crates of corn or millet or maybe some Huggies to those kids in Peru or Cambodia or West Virginia or wherever they are.

My point is, I care about the kids. Not sure which country’s kids at the moment, but it will come to me later. I just hope I win the next billion-dollar Powerball jackpot. Because I have some great ideas for how to use all that dough to buy some incredibly awesome toys – um, for the kids. It’s all about the kids.

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Posted in Human Interest, Society0 Comments

Conspiracy Theories #4 – Enough To Write A Book About

Conspiracy Theories #4 – Enough To Write A Book About

Conspiracy Theories #4 – Enough To Write A Book About

Conspiracy Theories is the hard hitting website that isn’t afraid to investigate and expose the dark forces that seek to prey in so many devious ways upon the general publicum. We are here because you need us! We are ever vigilant against those evil people, organizations, nations and cultures that are out to handicap and repress our great American lifestyle.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The following are the dark, sinister plots we have uncovered this week:

Conspiracy Theory #9204 – You expect threats from enemies overseas. You expect them from drug gangs, from international racketeering outfits, from hate groups and religious fanatics. But you don’t expect them from your nearest neighbor, someone you trusted for years and built a relationship with. But you should.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that nearest and dearest neighbor of ours has turned out to be a Brutus, stabbing us in the back even as it smiles in our face. Dear readers, it is with the most extreme of difficulty and regret that we here at Conspiracy Theories must inform you that Canada, our brother to the north, has been running a threat to our well being that has gone on for some time now.
And what, pray tell, could those soft spoken, seemingly well balanced and happy Kanucks possibly have done to us, you ask?
Movable borders.

 

Yes, movable borders.

Something the Mexicans never thought of.

For decades our so-called neighbors to the north have been going out at night an digging deep at the foundations of the minimal fence we have separating us and, once free of its base, moving it a few feet further south every night.
Ingenious!
So far our bastardly border bandit has managed to gain three miles of true blue American soil that can now be called true red Canadian. Several farm owners have awakened one morning to find themselves the citizens of another country and been forced to give allegiance to them. The Kanucks are even so under handed as to uproot the U.S. sentry posts with the sentries sleeping inside and move them imperceptibly a few meters south (we must use meters here as that is the only measurement that the Kanucks understand).
American officials finally got wise to this outrageous scam when the Bargemont, Idaho post office suddenly found itself in Alberta.
Tense negotiations have gone on in the days since the discovery of this fiasco between Canadian and U.S. border authorities, but have come to nothing. The Canadians just say “the borders have always been there” while glancing wistfully up into the air and start humming the Canadian anthem to themselves. Americans who find themselves trapped on the other side often do not protest their plight as the men are bribed with having any slender, well rounded Canadian damsel they want and the Yank women with having any hunky Canadian male they want with a case of domestic Scotch thrown in.
More on this as it develops.

Conspiracy Theory #6583 – A number of Mexican food manufacturers have conspired to infiltrate the very bodies we live in here in America and make our lives thereby miserable.
The beans used in many popular Mexican dishes has long been know to create gaseous disturbances once on the road to digestion in our innards. ‘Tooting’ is a well known companion at Mexican food festivities. Truly evil Mexican burrito creators are purposely using new hybrid beans with a higher gas content that would wreck havoc with American intestinal systems.
Besides the bowel distress there is also the intense embarrassment suffered by taco quaffers around the country. Many gourmets have been experiencing loud gaseous eruptions in such noise sensitive areas as church, board meetings, school classes, being in a crowded hot tub, and while giving birth. The new beans are so potent that even the popular anti-gas pill Beano does little to deter the tooting that triumphantly announces itself.

Conspiracy Theory #7483 – An economic conglomerate of chain stores across America have formed an evil alliance of greed that seeks to saturate the shopping sprees of sales seekers at stores and supermarkets across the nation. Being evilly aware of the slow economy and its effect upon the already downtrodden working and middle classes of America, the conglomerate still seeks to squeeze every penny possible out of them by requiring every customer to have credit card sized shopping cards in order to get discounts on sale items.
All chain stores now have these annoying little testaments to selfishness and penny pinching. They are proving detrimental to the shopping public as they add extra stress to the shoppee’s involved. There is the last minute checkout line search through dozens of other cards at the cashier while the other customers in line fume at the time wasted resulting in fistfights and vile words yelled in frustration. The bulging wallet that is the result of having to carry so many different cards also makes an easier target for pickpockets.
Accumulated also is the wealth of information the chain store reps garner with everyone who foolishly signs up for a card. They get your telephone number, your address, your email, how many times a week you do up the wife, how close to the age of consent your most eligible daughter is, where you hide your wallet at night, what nights of the week your son is doing up drugs at the local rave party, and, if they are lucky, your Social Security number.
State representatives throughout America have already attempted to bring about legislation aimed at limiting the number of such cards required at stores, but have been thwarted by the growing numbers of store card lobbyists out to protect the industry and the evil alliance they have formed.

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In Syria Did Cameron: An Ode to a Dynamic Intervention, in the Mode of Coleridge

In Syria Did Cameron: An Ode to a Dynamic Intervention, in the Mode of Coleridge

In Syria did Cameron

A pleasurable jape decree:

Where Euphrates river swells with death

And bodies numberless

Drift far by salted fields.

So ten times he’s wont to quake the earth

As trembling mothers give weeping infants birth Continue Reading

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Posted in Books, Newspapers & Misc, Human Interest0 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Quite frankly, if someone believes that children must be deprived of blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses), or of all medical care (Christian Scientists), or that women are the property of men, or that gay people are sodomites who are all going to eternal hellfire, or that disabled people are suffering the results of our evil and atrocious deeds in the past…

Then that concerns me very deeply.

But on the other hand, if someone personally believes that Jesus literally turned the water into wine, that Muhammad made the moon split in two, or that Sri Krishna performed many wondrous miracles, then in all seriousness, that does not trouble me in the least. There are more important things in life to worry about.

But even so, concerning ‘limits’ to satire, I will affirm that I do reserve the inalienable right to treat religion as not pristine, as not above theoretical critique, or above satirizing, or above ‘blasphemy.’

And I have little to no respect for anyone who makes religion exceptional, in terms of the inalienable right and sovereign prerogative to criticize and satirize; an entitlement and a ‘privilege’ that can and must be shared be all like, without neither cavil nor complaint.

‘Shame on me,’ indeed! Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary0 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

But what, then, are my own limits for religious satire?
I will not provide an exhaustive discussion here.

I will, however, say that I do not believe that religion is either a ‘force for good’ or a ‘force for evil’ in some one-sided sense.

For, superstition and dogmatism are great evils, but I do not think that the history of religion is merely or even primarily a catalogue of backward, primitive errors, as so many of the ‘New Atheists’ seem to imply.

Of course, if it is not the intention of any New Atheists, to imply such, then perhaps there is something very faulty with their rhetorical and communicative strategies. This would not perhaps be so surprising, given that much New Atheist rhetoric is deeply problematic.

For example, I consider the late humanitarian interventionist and former Luxemburgist radical, Christopher Hitchens, to be an intellectual suicide bomber who destroyed himself and the consciences of anyone who stood by and approved of his disingenuous, militaristic sophistries. Continue Reading

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Conspiracy Theories #3 – More Nightmares To Ruin Your Sleep

Conspiracy Theories #3 – More Nightmares To Ruin Your Sleep

Conspiracy Theories #3 – More Nightmares To Ruin Your Sleep

Conspiracy Theories is the hard hitting website that isn’t afraid to investigate and expose the dark forces that seek to prey in so many devious ways upon the general publicum. We are here because you need us! We are ever vigilant against those evil people, organizations, nations and cultures that are out to handicap and repress our great American lifestyle.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The following are the dark, sinister plots we have uncovered this week:

Conspiracy Theory #934- Unscrupulous sleeping pill manufactures have been putting timed release micro-bits of caffeine in their sleeping pills to stimulate their sales. Determined to sell more by waking back up the very people who have been faithfully purchasing their products, these sleazy salesmen of scandalously non-salubrious saturated sleep aids have been wrecking the health of American citizens for months now. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, The Rest0 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (III): Moralists are Killing Satire

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (III): Moralists are Killing Satire

So let no-one think that by appeasing jihadists or by appeasing unaccountable figures in the countries that Orientalizing intellectuals opportunistically market as ‘the (sole and exclusively) Free World’ that they will avert their malice or their wrath.

For, none of the promises either of political Islamists and jihadists or of humanitarian interventionist intellectuals and counter-jihadists can be trusted or valued.

Indeed. Realpolitik is realpolitik, which is as much as to say that from ‘high-minded idealism,’ nothing better can be expected than high-minded idealism. And there is nothing that savors more of Realpolitik than high-minded idealism, as the terms are merely two superficially different names for the same thing. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary1 Comment

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (II): Freedom of Speech is Not Idealism

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (II): Freedom of Speech is Not Idealism

So who decides what is blasphemous or hateful?

Whoever has the power to do so.

But of course, this does not mean that all opinions are equal.

For, it is perfectly true to say that women should treated in light of an intrinsic value identical to men, that gay people are not twisted deviants, and that eugenics and eugenicists are an abomination. These ideas are non-negotiable.

However, moral panics about ‘blasphemy’ and ‘hatred’ in the context of satire serve the interests of reactionaries of every stripe.

Hence, curiously enough, freedom of speech is not the ‘idealist’ or ‘fundamentalist’ position.

Rather, it is precisely because idealistic, abstract and fundamentalist models of reality are unworkable in practice, that freedom of speech is required in the first place! Continue Reading

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Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (I): Every Truth is Blasphemy

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (I): Every Truth is Blasphemy

Dedicated to the unforgettable and shining martyrs of Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher.

I am still Charlie.

To start off a series of fake news satire anthologies with a volume on religion seems very appropriate, given the vicious massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and the other vicious murders which were committed on the same day at Hyper Cacher.

Some of these murders have already been conveniently ‘forgotten.’

But despite my allusion to these vile assassinations, I am not unaware of the mobilization of the massacre by cynical opportunists.

In the second edition of this essay, which you now see before you, I must also mention the November massacres in Paris. Continue Reading

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Neurodiversity Bloggers, Autism and Violence

Neurodiversity Bloggers, Autism and Violence

Note from Wallace:

This blog post from October 2015 remains thought-provoking. For my part, I would suggest that beatifying us autistic folks is no more reasonable (or realistic and practical) than demonizing us.

***

The mass shooting in Oregon by Chris Harper Mercer and his mother’s publicly writing about his autism diagnosis have stirred controversy in the autism community as to whether or not his autism was responsible for the mass murder of innocent people.  A facebook page was created implying that numerous autistic people were shooters and that autism is associated with violent crime and murder.  After a plethora of protests and petitions, Facebook removed the page.  In response, there were a flurry of articles published on the internet by a list of authors that reads like a who’s who list of some of the most prominent members of the neurodiversity movement, including Michael John Carley, Emily Willingham and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Matt Carey of the Left Brain Right Brain blog.   The common theme of these articles is that there is no association whatsoever between autism and violence.

Renowned writer Andrew Solomon also weighed in, writing in a new york times article about autism shooters, asking why no one was suggesting diabetes and pattern baldness as causes of mass shootings if they were suggesting autism was one.  See Gadfly’s answer toward the end of the post.

This is nothing new.  The Newgate shootings of Adam Lanza less than three years ago are still fresh in the minds of most people, particularly Lanza’s diagnosis of Asperger’s.  Well-known neurodiversity advocate John Elder Robison was quick to write a response absolving autism for blaming murderous behavior.  The IACC, which has had several members of the neurodiversity movement (and zero pro-cure autistics) serving on it since its inception also wrote an article disputing the association between autism and violence after the Lanza shootings.

Aside from the fact that all of these writers advocate neurodiversity, another common denominator in all these pieces is the nearly complete neglect to cite any scientific evidence that there is absolutely no association between autism and violent crime.  The trivial exception to that being Carey’s citing a study by  Ghaziuddin and the studies by Mouridsen in Denmark purporting not to show an association between autism and violence.  These were the three publications cited by the IACC’s statement on the Sandyhook shooting.

What does the actual literature show?  One of the problems of Ghaziuddin’s report was that he only did literature reviews of isolated cases and neglected to check court records to ascertain the relationship between autism and violence.  This is an old paper nearly twenty-five years old.  What do other more recent publications have to say? Only the abstract of Mouridsen’s 2012 paper is available online and I have not been able to read the entire paper.  One limitation of his 2008 paper is that it only includes convictions and not arrest data such as cases of people on the spectrum that were thrown out for lack of evidence, let alone killers who committed suicide.

Are these writers correct that there is no general association between autism and violent crime, particularly murder?  The short answer is probably yes, though it is still questionable (at least to Gadfly) how much is known about the prevalence of violence in autism spectrum disorders.

However, even if there is no clear-cut association between autism and violence and the vast majority of autistic persons are not prone to violence, particularly murder, could there be a subset of those on the spectrum who are predisposed to violence and murder as a result of their brain dysfunction, including co-morbid mental conditions that appear in addition to the symptoms of the ASD?  The answer to this question appears to be yes also.

Various case studies have been reported in the literature that gives suggestive evidence (though not specific proof of this).  For example Baron-Cohen reported on a 21-year-old man who would take a knife to his 71-year-old girlfriend.  Psychiatrist Donna Schwartz-Watts cites three case histories of individuals on the spectrum who committed murder.  She concludes their illness was in fact related to their crimes.  Newman and Ghaziuddin(author of the original 1991 study concluding there was no relationship between ASD’s and crime), in the journal of autism and developmental disorders, stated that there was a relationship between some forms of autism with premorbid psychiatric conditions and certain violent crimes (I have not read this article, but the reports on it).

Psychologist Matt Lerner writes about how theory of mind, impulsivity and other problems may in fact be related to violent crime in some (emphasis added) autistic individuals.

Though the research in this area may have its limitations and not come to any definite conclusions, it would suggest that there is a small subset of persons on the autism spectrum who are predisposed to violent acts, including mass murder.  Part of the reason for this may be comorbid psychiatric conditions such as schizoaffective disorder, depression, bipolar, and other things that accompany some of the many forms of autism.

To answer Andrew Solomon’s question.  Diabetes and pattern baldness are not brain conditions that affect behavior, autism is.  There is no comorbidity with mental disorders documented in diabetes and pattern baldness the way there has been in autism.  It’s another neurodiversity comparison between apples and hurricanes.

The neurodiversity movement often try to separate comorbidity from autism, saying that the seizure disorders that accompany autism are separate from the autism itself.  We should just regard this as epilepsy and not part of the individual’s autism.  Even if the research proves that some mass murderers have a form of autism with comorbidities, they will state that it is these comorbidities that are the culprit and not the autism per se.  However, I believe when epilepsy and comorbidities exist they are all a part of one brain disorder with the autism being one symptom.  I don’t believe you can separate one from another.  They are all part and parcel for the course.  Therefore, I suspect it is likely that in a small number of cases (though not the vast majority) there is an association between murder and autism.  I concede that further research may have to be done to completely validate that conclusion.  However, I don’t think it is helpful for members of the ND movement and others to claim there is no association whatsoever between autism and murder when at least some scientific evidence would seem to contradict them.

 

 

 

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Posted in Crime, Health0 Comments

Putin’s Taking the Piss over Human Rights, but Let’s not Be Too Smug

Putin’s Taking the Piss over Human Rights, but Let’s not Be Too Smug

It turns out that the authoritarian Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has signed a law allowing Russia (or rather, the Russian state!) to avoid following rulings from international human rights courts…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russia-human-rights-law_566fc6bbe4b011b83a6c7040

Making such rulings subject to the authority of the Constitutional Court of Russia.

In fairness, I’m sure the latter institution won’t be making any arbitrary decisions. I have no doubt the Russian judiciary is every bit as independent and impartial as it was under Brezhnev, or indeed some of the earlier leading lights of 20th century Russian constitutional democracy. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, World News0 Comments

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