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Tuesday, 01 December, 2009

No Toys For Illegal Children

A sign of the times: Some toy drives check immigration status.

They don't claim to know who's been naughty or nice, but some Houston charities are asking whether children are in the country legally before giving them toys.

In a year when more families than ever have asked for help, several programs providing Christmas gifts for needy children require at least one member of the household to be a U.S. citizen. Others ask for proof of income or rely on churches and schools to suggest recipients.

The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

The point isn't to punish the children but to ensure that their parents are either citizens, legal immigrants or working to become legal residents, said Lorugene Young, whose Outreach Program Inc. is one of three groups that distribute toys collected by firefighters.

"It's not our desire to turn anyone down," she said. "Those kids are not responsible if they are here illegally. It is the parents' responsibility."

The little girl shown here gets no toys because she forgot to bring her long-form birth certificate.

Permalink | Posted in General @2:27pm | Comments (32)

Green Football Guy Jumps Ship

Charles Johnson, who runs a very popular conservative blog called Little Green Footballs, has bailed out: Why I Parted Ways With The Right.

  1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
  2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
  3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
  4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
  5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
  6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
  7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
  8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
  9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
  10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)

And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.

I won't be going over the cliff with them.

He forgot to mention Pat Boone and Dr. Orly Taitz, Esquire. But other than that, it's a good post.

Permalink | Posted in Politics @4:33pm | Comments (30)

Cactus Banjo Bridge

Richard Brown lives in Texas, and makes banjos from local wood. He also makes a cool cactus bridge.

Made of select quarter sawn mesquite with Texas ebony cap, an innovative and artful design with five points of contact to the head providing superior balance and tone. A study by Texas A&M determined that mesquite is possibly the most stable wood on earth.

That would go nicely on my Romero.

Permalink | Posted in Banjo @4:37pm | Comments (11)

Presidents And Wars

I'm starting to think that when someone is elected president of the U.S., they get to read some secret documents that convince him that the U.S. must always be at war. Excerpts from Obama speech on Afghanistan.

"The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 - the fastest pace possible - so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans."

I think we've heard that one before, Barry.

"Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011."

So that's when we begin the transfer. In other words, we have at least three more years of the war in Afghanistan.

Permalink | Posted in General @5:35pm | Comments (96)

Wednesday, 02 December, 2009

Buy House, Get Free Beans

This is an ad for Clayton Homes.

30 days to go.

Permalink | Posted in Food & Drink @7:49am | Comments (6)

Advances In Dentistry

A brave little girl: Girl's tooth is pulled out with remote control car.

Removing a loose tooth by tying a piece of string to a door handle and then pulling it shut used to be common practice. However, it seems the method has moved on with the times.

As this video shows, one American family - who are not identifiable - have swapped the door for a remote control car to help remove their daughter's wobbly milk tooth.

Permalink | Posted in General @7:51am | Comments (6)

Christmas Friendly Stores

Doing their part to fight the War On Christmas: Stand For Christmas.

Millions upon millions in our nation deeply value the great truths of Christmas and the holiday's inspiring place in American life and culture. We hope you will take a moment to "Stand for Christmas" by sharing feedback about your Christmas shopping experiences.

We're asking YOU to decide which retailers are "Christmas-friendly." They want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars, but do they openly recognize Christmas?

Here are a few comments:

THE GAP: First thing I notice is that they are only playing non-Christian Christmas songs (Jingle Bells, etc.). Unacceptable. I ask a clerk, "What is the reason for the season?" and I get back "What?". I buy a shirt and when they ask me what kind of wrapping paper, I reply that I want nativity paper or something showing the baby Jesus. They say they only have snowflakes and snowmen and green/red paper. What does green and red have to do with JESUS?

BORDERS: they had "holiday" cards and many "holiday" specials. didnt see any mention of Christmas. upon checkout, they were soliciting donating a book from a pile they had sitting on the counter to give to needy children, but none of them were Christ-centered or Christmas related stories (not even secular christmas!).

AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS: They gave me a King James Bible after I wished them Merry Christmas. I'm going back again tomorrow.

OLD NAVY: I absolutely hate the tv ad that lumps the wiccan holiday of solstice and an agnostic holiday Kwanzaa into the mix of Christmas and Hanukkah. They have lost my business forever. There are too many choices of where to purchase and I will only support business that support our country's founding ideals of Judea Christian values and holidays.

(via Cynical-C Blog)

Permalink | Posted in General @8:01am | Comments (18)

Banjo Wafer Bars

An old ad for Banjo candy.

Sadly, that was the only movie that featured both O'Late and Flavor.

That candy is no longer available, but it has a Wikipedia entry.

Banjo is a chocolate bar once available in the UK. Introduced with a substantial television advertising campaign in 1976, Banjo was a twin bar (similar in shape and size to Twix) and based upon a wafer with a chopped peanut layer and the whole covered in milk chocolate. It was packaged in distinctive navy blue - with the brand name prominently displayed in yellow block text - and was one of the first British snack bars to have a heat-sealed wrapper closure instead of the reverse-side fold common to most domestically-produced chocolate bars at that time. It was available into the 1980s.

Permalink | Posted in Banjo @8:06am | Comments (6)

Puppy Beef

Premium online dog butchery: Puppy Beef.

For the last 9 years Puppy Beef has been the world's leading dog meat distributor. We have established a reputation for having only the highest quality dog meat products and dedicated customer service representatives. Because we only cater to a select group of people, we try to keep a close relationship with all of our customers.

This allows us to help you get the best quality dog meat for your budget, and ship it right to your front door. And after 9 years of business, you can now access our products and services online!

If you can't quite stomach dog meat, try Kitty Beef.

Permalink | Posted in Humor @8:19am | Comments (13)

Microscopic Bible

Turning the word of God into a novelty item: Itty Bitty Bible.

The complete Bible reduced 285 times, from Genesis to Revelation. Can be read word for word using any standard microscope.

I can't find any way to actually buy it.

Permalink | Posted in Religion @8:23am | Comments (7)

Benford’s Law

Kind of interesting: Benford's Law.

Benford's law, also called the first-digit law, states that in lists of numbers from many (but not all) real-life sources of data, the leading digit is distributed in a specific, non-uniform way. According to this law, the first digit is 1 almost one third of the time, and larger digits occur as the leading digit with lower and lower frequency, to the point where 9 as a first digit occurs less than one time in twenty.

This counter-intuitive result has been found to apply to a wide variety of data sets, including electricity bills, street addresses, stock prices, population numbers, death rates, lengths of rivers, physical and mathematical constants, and processes described by power laws (which are very common in nature).

I put it to a test. I found an Excel file with birth and death statistics, by state. It had six columns of data: Births, Deaths, Natural Increase, Net International Migration, Net Internal Migration, and Net Migration. I put all of those numbers into a single column of 306 numbers, and created a frequency distribution for the first digit of each number:

Benford's Law was not violated.

Permalink | Posted in General @9:06am | Comments (24)

JC Not On Jury

In Alabama: Jesus Christ dumped from jury pool for disruption.

Court officials say a Birmingham woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ didn't live up to it when she reported for jury duty this week. The woman, previously named Dorothy Lola Killingworth, was sent to Judge Clyde Jones's courtroom for a criminal case Monday.

Court officials told The Birmingham News Tuesday that the 59-year-old was excused because she was disruptive and kept asking questions instead of answering them.

Efforts to reach Christ for comment were unsuccessful.

Court administrator Sandra Turner said people there were shocked when the woman insisted her name was Jesus Christ and some potential jurors laughed out loud when her name was called.

Shown here is just a random female Savior. It's not the lady in Birmingham.

Permalink | Posted in General @10:15am | Comments (5)

Camaroon Takes The Lead

Domain news: Cameroon revealed as web threat hotspot.

More than one third of websites in the West African country of Cameroon pose a security risk to surfers according to a new report by security expert McAfee.

Web addresses for Cameroon end ".cm" - attracting careless web users who wrongly type ".com". Fraudsters take advantage of spelling mistakes and typing errors to set up false sites that may look similar to those the surfer intended to visit. But they can contain spyware, adware and malicious downloads instead.

Last year's survey put Hong Kong (.hk) at the top of the riskiest domain names. However a clampdown on domain registration has made it safer in 2009...

The safest domains surveyed were Japan (.jp), Ireland (.ie) and Croatia (.hr). 

Here's the top 5 riskiest:

Permalink | Posted in Internet & Computers @11:07am | Comments (2)

Christian Group Lies For Donations

Ninth Commandment news: Family Research Council: Obama plans to ‘impose homosexuality'.

Christian fundamentalist group Family Research Council has a clever idea for raising money: convince supporters that President Barack Obama will take away their Bibles and turn their kids gay.

That's essentially what the group's newest fundraising alert amounts to, with its claim that the president has a "plan" to "impose homosexuality" and "silence Christianity."

The group's four-page letter, available here [PDF link] courtesy of Think Progress, reads like end-of-days fiction, with Godless liberals on the march and only your dollars keeping America from the fires of hell.

Permalink | Posted in Religion @11:19am | Comments (11)

Stitching The Milky Way

Candy bar space image news: World's Largest Milky Way Image Unveiled.

The world's largest picture of the Milky Way, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, is being unveiled today at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

The new image is of galactic proportions, covering an area that is 120 feet (37 meters) long, 3 feet (1 meter) tall at its sides and 6 feet (2 meters) tall in the middle, where our galaxy's central bulge is depicted...

The large image was made from stitching together 800,000 individual pictures taken by Spitzer, for a total of 2.5 billion infrared pixels. It covers an area of the sky about as wide as a pointer finger and as long as the length of arms outstretched, which might sound small, but covers about half of the entire galaxy, says Robert Hurt, of the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech.

Permalink | Posted in General @11:27am | Comments (8)

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