Saturday, March 31, 2012


   Yeah, I shaved Bailey. Note to self: 1/4 inch is probably too short. I could probably go at least 3/4 inch. Oh, and thanks to my wife for allowing me to trim her.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh, gotta love those FOX News fallacies!

   Or not. Someone named Larry Alex Taunton put together a doozie of an opinion piece on the Reason Rally. Let's break the worst of it down!
But there is something not quite right about all of this. Christianity, whatever the faults of its adherents, has a rich intellectual tradition that has a comprehensive view of life.
   It does? It would be great if he could give us something definitive, but all he makes are assertions as follows.
It has given rise to the West as we know it. Our laws, arts, governments, and the very framework of our thought find their meaning in Christianity. Take for example the central premise of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal."
   Sure, I cannot argue against the fact that Christianity has had, and still does, have a large impact on western society and that there has been much art influenced by it. Yes, western governments and laws have as well, but what Mr. Taunton likely wants you to picture is the United States of America's government and laws. I will grant him that some of the theocracies that existed in European past have had a Christian influence, but not the USA government! I'd really like Mr. Taunton to connect the dots for me. Where, for instance, is this idea from the Declaration of Independence that he gives found in Christianity??? Is he grabbing at the creation story of Adam? Since, according to the Biblical story, God created just one man, Adam, then all of humankind is a descendant of Adam. (Never mind where Cain's wife came from. And what about Seth? Did he even have a wife?) Does this therefore mean every human is equal? Is that how he is deriving this notion? It feels like a non sequitur to me. But, let's assume for a moment that Mr. Taunton is correct. It is quite amazing, then, how the good, Christianity-inspired founders of this country then failed to abolish slavery or give women equal rights to men and displaced the native population. It would seem to me the people who wrote that either didn't really believe what they said or when they said "men," they specifically meant white males (and perhaps even more specifically those who owned property). It's one thing to say "all men are created equal;" it is another to mean it and act by it.

   Mr. Taunton attempts to give us some evidence to back up his claim. But his evidence is horrible. All it amounts to is "look at how much worse non-western societies are in comparison to us." He then asserts that this must be so because of western nations being predominantly Christian as opposed to thos other non-western nations. This is an error of assuming that correlation implies causation. It does not. Unsurprisingly, this will not be the last time Mr. Taunton makes this mistake.
Atheism, by contrast, has no creed, no principles, no philosophy, and can give no guidance.
   This is true! The only problem is that two paragraphs ago he said pretty much the opposite: "Paradoxically, it has become a kind of religion, a Church of Unbelief complete with a saint (Christopher Hitchens), a high priest (Richard Dawkins), and holy writ (anything Dawkins writes). And now, with the political nature of this rally, Dawkins is set to become the Pat Robertson of atheism." So which one is it?
By conservative estimates, the twentieth century, an experiment in secular governance, witnessed the deaths of more than 100 million people. That is more than all the religious wars in all previous centuries combined.
   First of all, thanks to the industrial revolution and whatnot, the world population in the previous century was much larger than it had been in previous centuries. Add in the unfortunate fact that we have weapons that are more effective at killing large groups of people, and you have a recipe for this sort of thing. Second, what is getting counted as "secular government" in this? What about World War II? Hitler seemed a bit of a religious fanatic, so how are we counting those deaths? (And, no, Hitler was not an atheist! He doesn't sound like an orthodox Christian by any accounts, either, but that does neither make him not religious nor does it mean he wasn't influenced in part by Christianity.) Third, once more Mr. Taunton is really pushing toward the error of thinking correlation implies causation. It's even worse than that because he likely is not counting the USA as a secular government. Or maybe he is! Then those that the USA kills in war would count toward secular deaths, right? (My guess is he considers the USA to be a Christian nation per earlier remarks.)
If, for instance, you do not believe in God, you are likely to conclude that man is a temporal being meant to serve the state, an eternal institution. This is the view of the communist world. Sacrificing a few million people for the sake of building socialist paradise was always deemed an acceptable price to pay.
   There are two problems here. First, why is an atheist likely to conclude that the state is "eternal"? I totally get the idea that human is a temporal being, but isn't a state the product of human as well as a product that needs the existence of human to exist itself? Then how can a thing such as state that depends on a temporal being be eternal? I'm beginning to feel like Mr. Taunton needs to take some classes on logical reasoning. Second, he conflates communism with atheism. As I've said in prior postings, "Communism is more anti-church, especially toward church involvement in the State, than [atheistic]." I realize this idea is well over 90 years old, but it's well past time for it to die. You don't have to be an atheist to be a communist. In fact, there are such people as Christian communists. What I think people need to do a better job of, and this includes myself per the quote above from only one month ago, is to distinguish between the economic philosophy of communism and the...oh, let's call it the "world view" of Marxism. Let's cut this shit out of presuming that all communists have to be Marxists or likewise that all communists have to be atheists and vice versa.

   As for most atheists in this country, especially those who attended the rally, we do not have visions of a "socialist paradise." However, we do believe it would be easier to make the world a better place (not necessarily a paradise) if people ditched unfounded beliefs.
Proponents of a society free from religious influence can point to no nation or civilization that was founded upon atheism that we might call even remotely good.
   Well, of course not! Mr. Taunton keeps forgetting what he says just paragraphs earlier. Remember when he said, "Atheism, by contrast, has no creed, no principles, no philosophy, and can give no guidance"? Because of this, it is impossible to found a civilization "upon atheism" because no foundation exists. But you can have nations that are built outside of religious institutions. Which is how our country was built. Yet, Mr. Taunton would most likely deny this.

   And on that, what else can I say? It would probably be pointless to have a discussion with someone like Mr. Taunton because it would appear that he has it in his head that anything good must be due to Christianity and anything bad is due to a lack thereof. I can't give him an example of a decent secular nation because he'll look, just like he does with the USA, for any links to Christianity and do the whole "correlation implies causation" routine when convenient. Which he makes pretty clear when he says, "What they can point to are secular societies that are still running off of their accumulated Christian capital." What about Japan? Or would he point to WWII and try to claim that the Japan then, one he would label as murderous, is somehow the same as the Japan of today?

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: Adam Lee of Daylight Atheism has given a much more brief response to this opinion piece.

So as people prepare to gather on the National Mall to celebrate their belief in nothingness, we might reasonably wonder what they want.

That would, indeed, be a reasonable question - except that Taunton is clearly uninterested in it, since the remainder of his article completely ignores the eight hours' worth of speakers discussing what it is that atheists want, and instead veers off into a rambling tangent about how Christians and Christians alone deserve the credit for the existence of democracy and human rights. Interestingly, he does say that criticizing the violent abuses in the name of religion is "low hanging fruit", yet somehow still manages to imply that we're in the wrong for pointing these out.

   Indeed! Much of Mr. Taunton's piece is disingenuous, which was fairly obvious when he began contradicting himself as I pointed out above.

The JetBlue pilot and a reason why I am an outspoken atheist

   People often spread these silly notions that we should just let people believe what they want to believe. (Alternatively: Live and let live.) It turns out this JetBlue incident may be an example of why those people are wrong. Here are videos from ABC's Good Morning America. Below the videos and the fold are my comments.

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   In the first video, it is revealed that this pilot started "delivering 'a sermon' about 'sins in Las Vegas.'" Later he talked about "150 souls on board." Early on, he is reported to have mumbled something about "being evaluated by someone." At this point, I have a suspicion as to who he thought was evaluating him. JESUS CHRIST! This first video also reports that friends said he "showed no signs of mental illness." This is where we begin to get into the problem of not only allowing people to believe what they want to believe, but making it socially acceptable to believe in fantasy. Perhaps he had been showing signs of mental illness, but no one noticed. This is, of course, all speculation at this point, but I'm really curious to know more about his church involvement. Was he, for example, speaking about Jesus more in the weeks leading up to this? If so, that could have been a bad sign. However, our culture would not recognize such a sign because that is actually viewed as a positive thing. He would have been viewed as a "good Christian" or a "strong man of faith" if this were the case. And those views are often regarded as positives instead of the negatives they should be.

   This gets us into the second video. In that video, it is discussed how what the pilot had may be an "accute psychotic break" where "you have a disconnect from reality" That emphasis is mine. I stress that because that is what Christian belief is (a disconnect from reality). Seriously, I will not go lightly on this. The Christian god concept, particularly that which is generally worshiped in church as opposed to that which is represented in the Bible, has some serious logical flaws that make it basically impossible for it to exist. I don't want to go into all the details here, but the biggest problem this god concept faces is the problem of evil, to which the free will defense seems to be the most popular. However, (1) many Christians don't appear to actually believe in free will and (2) why should they? The whole story about God coming down to earth in the form of a man named Jesus and performing miracles left and right is a violation of free will. By the way, if you want to claim that Christianity is not a disconnect from reality, don't you at least find it interesting that this pilot, if he indeed was having a psychotic break, was preaching during his break? (Yes, I realize that the idea he had a psychotic break is mostly speculation at this point. Entertain me.)

   Getting back to the point, this man has likely had a disconnect from reality for quite some time. Worse, it is a disconnect that is often respected. He could have been borderline psychotic for quite sometime, yet, since we have this society that thinks it should "respect the beliefs of others," there is no way to tell. On that point, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that all Christians are psychotic. That is far from it. Nor am I suggesting that atheists are not capable of having psychotic breakdowns or that this pilot would not have had a similar breakdown if he were not religious. (Though he probably would not have been so concerned with not going to Las Vegas for its relation to sin.) What I am suggesting is that early detection of such mental issues becomes more difficult in a society where some disconnects from reality are celebrated. Might this incident have been prevented if we lived in a society that instead celebrated the discovery of truth and religion? It is hard to know for sure without a time machine, yet I suspect it would help. This is one of many reasons why I have become an outspoken atheist.

UPDATE: I want to make it clear that I referred to the general Christian concept of a god above. Different denominations of Christianity can have different concepts of their god. And not all of these denominations will have a concept that is so flawed as to be absurd. That, though, does not mean that those concepts are acceptable to believe in. One should not believe without evidence. Though some of those Christians may think they have evidence, trusting in their priests or apologists that have told them such evidence exists. In which case, they don't have as strong of a disconnect with reality as those who believe in the contradictory concepts of a god. At the same time, I am still going to be outspoken against even those believers because I believe the world would be a better place the fewer false beliefs people hold.

   If this wasn't enough, JT Eberhard posted a story about a woman who slit her 5-year-old boy's throat. Apparently the woman believed her child was possessed with demons. JT's post is so good, I'm going to paste most of it here.

Beneath the immediate condemnation, there are some facts that will go missed in this story.  This mother was trying to save her son.  She loved her son and was trying to help.  The problem was not malicious intent, it was the belief in demons.  Thus is the corrupting power of bad ideas – they can make love and care irrelevant.

Other believers will say this woman was crazy, implying that she wasn’t a normal believer.  I find that odd.

“Even if you believe in that sort of thing, how can a 5-year-old be possessed or have something like that? It’s inconceivable in my mind,” said Greg Riley, a Magnolia resident.

How can a man rise from the dead?  How can a man walk on water?  Plenty of people who find those things as believable as headaches will say this woman must’ve been out of her mind for believing in demons.

And god may be righteous in ordering Jephtha or Abraham to kill their children, but this woman is just batty.

The crime of dedicated unreason resides on the shoulders of every faithful person whether moderate or fundamentalist.  Irrationality is the problem, and 0ther believers are not rescued by condemning this woman for not being irrational like them.  Other beliefs about god are no more likely to be true than this woman’s belief in demons, and it’s high time that believers are confronted directly with how worrisome it is to endorse any brand of dedicated unreason (i.e. faith).

There are consequences when populations feel comfortable believing absurd things.  The crime of religion is telling people that abandoning reason is acceptable, even necessary if you want to avoid the fires of hell.  This is a crime for which religion should be held accountable.

   So, to the next person who wants to suggest we just let people believe what they want to believe, I have just two words for you. FUCK. YOU.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hi, Mom, I'm on Pharyngula!

  I made it onto PZ Myers' blog, and I just feel like gloating a little. That, and I want to share the picture that was taken. I'm in the middle and the one Jesus with fake hair. :(  To the right (my left) is vlogger Thunderf00t (a.k.a. Phil Mason) and to the left (my right) is the American Atheists' Arizona state director, Don Lacey (OK, maybe his head hair is fake...I can't remember what he looked like out of costume). In case you don't get it, we're doing "Speak no evil; see no evil; hear no evil."

UPDATE: Mr. Lacey has confirmed that is his real hair.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reason Rally Ahead!!!

   Soooooo busy lately with warm weather (product of global warming? probably at least in part) bringing about an early gardening season and preparation for the Reason Rally! As a result, I have not had a lot of time to blog, though I have much to blog about!

   Speaking of the Reason Rally, if you found this blog site via the QR code on my T-shirt, welcome fellow freethinker! Here on The Midwest Atheist, I blog quite a bit about general religious topics. I try to comment on the latest political news when I have the time and I also have goals to blog on feminist issues, though I have not gotten around to those much. Additionally, I have been posting my responses to the book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist."

   I hope you will consider subscribing to my blog and I will try to pick up on posting come April. In the meantime, I am posting the 7 finalist videos from the Ten Point Vision challenge. The videos are below the fold.

   The following video, I must say, is my favorite...probably because I am jealous of the man's musical talents. Oh, there's a part near the end where the video producer discusses Jesus being a "brilliant moral philosopher," but based on earlier parts of the video, particularly the part about commandments vs. modern ideas, I don't get the impression that the producer agrees with this notion—at least to the extent that Jesus would not be one for this day and age.

   I like much of the message of the next video. I do have a slight disagreement in that I would not say we are seeing the erosion of the wall that separates church and state—or at least this isn't some recent phenomena. I have been reading Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers and it would seem there has always been a struggle to keep the wall up. There have been periods where the wall stood tall and firm and other times where it has been banged up. I actually think the wall is in pretty good shape right now. That's not to say it couldn't be better or that there aren't politicians, especially in the Republican party, aggressively attacking the wall.

   I think the following video is pretty good, too. I am annoyed by the number of people calling themselves "agnostic." I don't really like that term because it feels too accommodationist to me. Which is probably because of the accommodationists I have encountered that use that term that make it sound like belief is just a simple matter of choice because they claim there is evidence for both sides, or some relativist bullshit like that. Now, I don't mind so much if these people have honestly not taken a hard look at the evidence, as I was once a person who called myself an agnostic. Unfortunately, too many idiots have tainted the word that it has, in some ways, become a meaningless term. (Or, rather, you must ask one what they mean by the term to understand their position. And that is impossible to do in the case of the people in this video.)

   The following is a simple video promoting equality, freedom, and respect. These are ideas I hope we can all get long as it is respect for the person and not for the belief (or lack thereof).

   This next video uses part of a presentation from Sean Faircloth as the audio. It adds in some pictures of its own and is a message about children and how religion can harm children. It is a reminder of why respecting beliefs (see comments on video immediately preceding) is not a wise idea.

   We're now getting into the videos that I found to be less impressive. I'm not even going to bother commenting more.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bizarre Right-Wing Christian Logic

(via Biodork)

   Below is a video featuring Kalley Yanta, who, apparently, was a TV news anchor up in Minnesota and is still a media presence. She is railing against birth control in the video and makes some interesting arguments, which I will go over below the video and the break.

What birth control did for me was it enabled and prolonged my promiscuous lifestyle. It caused a loss of self-respect as I felt used over and over again, and sometimes I was the one doing the using. It resulted in the end of my first marriage due to my pervasive selfishness. I made some rather, shall we say, unhealthy choices during that "fun" time I was having—choices that had permanent and negative consequences.
   Emphasis mine. I see this as nothing but indirect scapegoating. It seems like she acknowledges that she had some personal issues, but then blames birth control for being a tool that she could use to avoid addressing those issues. Hey, it's not the fault of birth control that you had those issues in the first place! By the way, I don't think her personal issues had anything to do with "selfishness" or "promiscuity," but more likely with whatever led her to make "unhealthy decisions," as I highlighted in the transcript. My guess: it's the fault of a lack of critical thinking skills. If she's going to blame birth control, what else could she blame? Perhaps she could blame it on the alcohol? Maybe she had some shitty friends at the time, too. Later in the video, though, she seems to be more honest when she says that "[birth control] wasn't for me." That's fine, but then please don't advocate against birth control because it might be for some people.

   The more disappointing part here is that she is bringing focus to all the negatives she sees as a consequence and brings no focus to the positives. She briefly alluded to her career briefly before the section I quoted above. What about that career, Yanta? As Biodork puts it:
The fact is that one of the reasons that Yanta got to where she's at is because she had access to birth control. She is a media presence, had a career as a TV anchor on KSTP-TV, and she now – at the time of her choosing – has a family of six children that she can afford to support because she was able to forgo early motherhood. This kind of appeal drives me batshit crazy. "Hey – it worked for me, but now I feel really, really guilty about my success and happiness."

   Continuing, she then goes into how birth control is like abortion. I don't find it worth the effort arguing about that. The bigger idea revolves around the idea that a fetus has a soul. Not only that, she seems to think that these aborted souls go to heaven. Then what's the big deal? She then claims she'll have to apologize if and when she goes to heaven and meets all the fetuses she aborted (who she likely believes will be in the appearance of a young adult—more on the reason for this in a bit). Apologize for what? They're in heaven; isn't that a good thing? This is actually an inconsistency I see a lot with Christians. They claim that heaven is this wonderful place, but then still behave as though this life has significant value. If one were to compare this life to eternity in terms of mathematics, this life would have zero value. Even if someone were to live a long life, let's say 120 years, on earth, that 120 is insignificant to eternity. Just ask yourself what eternity (infinity) minus 120 is. The result is infinity. That number could be one million instead of 120 and the result would be the same. Yet, for the few Christians I have asked about this, the answer for why this life would be valuable seems to boil down to "It just is!" I get the impression that many Christians don't actually believe what they claim to believe (or they suck at logical reasoning...or both). Getting back to Ms. Yanta, I would ask her (and any Christian that agrees with her), "Isn't it better to abort a fetus knowing they'll certainly get into heaven than let them live out their lives which would risk them getting into hell?"

   As for her "proof" that fetuses get into heaven? Well, that comes from this book Heaven Is For Real. This almost deserves a post in itself. I have not read the book, but I have seen part of an interview with the boy, who supposedly had an experience in heaven, and his father on FOX News. Some of the great "proof" offered there was that the boy, while under surgery, supposedly saw his father talking to God (praying, I assume) in one room and his mother in another talking on her phone and with a friend. And there was no way the boy could have known this! *head desk* Because obviously it is rare for parents to pray or talk to friends when their children are in surgery (sarcasm). Another great "proof" was the boy supposedly meeting his grandfather, who had died 30-some years prior. And he knew things about his grandfather he shouldn't have known. Because obviously children never hear stories about their deceased grandfathers (more sarcasm). The one "proof" that I will admit I was slightly more curious about was how he supposedly met his sister that was miscarried (which is where Ms. Yanta gets her idea from). Once again, it couldn't be that the boy overheard his parents or other relatives speak of this. No, the explanation that he met his sister in heaven is obviously the more reasonable explanation (yet more sarcasm—and the boy probably could have said he had a brother and it would have yielded the same result as I doubt the family knew the sex of the miscarried fetus).

   Much of the second half of the video includes a bunch of religious babble where she asserts things that she believes as being absolutely true. I see no need to point out that I find it all to be bullshit. Though, I could maybe add that some of her claims are not even supported by her Bible, such as Satan being a murderer. Do you know how many people Satan killed in the Bible? 10 — Job's children (or is it 11 with Job's wife?). And Satan had God's permission to do it! God's kill count? I've heard it's in the millions. You can't really get an accurate count, though, because many stories just say that a bunch of people die, such as in the Noah's Ark story.

   Otherwise, she downs women who would get an abortion to save their livelihood, but I've already addressed the hypocrisy of this. Moreover, she really hasn't changed her attitude all that greatly. I claim she's still selfish. She's there acknowledging the fact that pregnancy can ruin a woman's career and financial future and also acknowledges the fact that could have been her. If she was truly such a changed woman, then she should serve her punishment! She should be selling all her stuff, giving up her career, and living in poverty. She should be living as though she had gotten pregnant at a young age. But no. Instead she's going to live her life of luxury that wouldn't have been possible without birth control and demonize those women who continue to use it. I'm sorry for being redundant, but Christians with "holier than thou" attitudes piss me off.

   There's also a real kicker in there when she says, "When the contraception fails, which often happens..." Emphasis mine. Interesting. Earlier she had been telling us about how she had been living a promiscuous lifestyle, no thanks to birth control. How many times did this contraception, which often fails, fail for her? It sounds like it failed exactly zero times. I guess she must be the exception to the rule (sarcasm). That's not to say that contraception can't fail, but she's outright lying, and does this before claiming it is Richards who is "under the direction" of the "Father of Lies."

   Also in that section, she now claims that birth control promotes selfishness and promiscuity (not her exact words). Recall that before she said it was an enabler. Not only has she lied about birth control, she has also changed her story about its impact on people's lifestyles.

   I'm also disappointed that she has to use this unrealistic imagery of describing abortion as "ripping apart" the baby. On top of that, she uses anecdotes from her friends who supposedly had abortions, and all these friends have deep regrets. This wouldn't surprise me because I'd care to bet that many of her friends are also right-wing Christians that now believe that abortion is horrible. In other words, her source of information comes from people who agree with her and is not representative of the norm.

* I know I've used the word "supposedly" a lot in this post. I probably shouldn't do that, but I often feel I need to be clear that I'm not assuming what these people claim is fact, nor do I want to be reporting these claims as fact. I only have their word to go off of. I'm not trying to suggest that they are indeed lying, either; rather the issue is that I have no way to confirm one way or another the factual bases of their stories.


Monday, March 12, 2012

IDHEF - Chapter 2: Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All?

This is part of my breakdown of the book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist." Related posts can be found by clicking here.

   Chapter 2 starts out discussing a seminar presented by James Sire that shares the title of this chapter. They say that Sire has four categories for why people believe what they do: sociological, psychological, religious, and philosophical reason. Before continuing, I'd like to point out that, first, the sociological category seems to be more specifically social psychology. Second, the religious reasons could be rephrased as "Obedience to Authority," but these points are trivial.

   The authors go through a hypothetical dialogue between Sire and the students of some college Sire may have presented at. This following part bothers me a little, though my objections are not related to the objectives of the book:
Sire: Okay, what about cultural influences? Do you think people ought to believe something just because it's accepted culturally?
Students: No, not necessarily. The Nazis had a culture that accepted the murder of all Jews. That sure didn't make it right! (p52)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can we recognize Bill Maher as both a red herring AND a problem?

   For those of you who may be living under a rock for the last week, conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh has been under a lot of heat for sexist comments he has made. Well, now conservatives have been going after Bill Maher, who has a history of making sexist comments. Unfortunately, it sounds like some liberals have been defending Maher under the guise that Maher is a comedian. I can see this as being a valid excuse to an extent...that extent being to the point that comedians will often play off of stereotypes to make their jokes. The problem is that Maher way oversteps this boundary. One can tell from some of the things he's said that he is seriously sexist. I've embedded a video below if you'd like to judge for yourself. (Also on an interesting note, while the right is now attacking Maher, Maher actually suggested that liberals accept Limbaugh's notpology.

   There are two things I want to say to liberals. First, I'm sure you realize as much as I do that this attack on Maher is just a red herring to both distract away from Limbaugh's comments as well as a way to play the "They do it, too!" blame game. Call them out on it! But, second, you must admit that Maher is a sexist pig as well. Their game is to make us out to be hypocrites and it appears that some liberals are going to allow conservatives to win that point.

   I do, of course, realize the trap the conservatives have set up. It's a financial trap. Some conservatives want Obama's Super PAC to return money donated by Maher. My guess is in return they want liberals to ease off on Limbaugh, who has been losing advertisers. The solution, as I see it, is to say, "No, Obama's Super PAC does not have to reject/return Maher's money." There is no rule that a candidate has to vet his donors to make sure they don't do anything controversial. Same goes for the Republican candidates — if Limbaugh donates any money to them, they shouldn't have to reject/return any money just because Limbaugh is a slimeball.

   On a final note, I think the conservatives are also grasping for straws. I'm not sure what to do here except to just call them out on it. I am getting the impression that they are upset that liberals did not criticize Maher with such ferocity for attacks on Palin, others, as we are criticizing Limbaugh. There are three problems here. First and foremost, I don't think Maher is anywhere close to being a voice for liberals as Limbaugh is for conservatives. When Maher says something stupid, many liberals can honestly say, "Well, I don't listen to Maher anyway." I don't see how conservatives can say the same for Limbaugh...not that there aren't conservatives out there who don't care for Limbaugh. I'm sure there are plenty that don't listen to or care for the man. The point is there is an unequal level of popularity between the two. It does not then make sense for the outrage to be equal. Second, conservatives seem to be complaining not about Maher's misogynistic views in general, but specifically his attacks on conservative women. Come on, conservatives! If you want us to think you really care about women, then don't limit your complaint to Maher's treatment of your own. This shows that conservatives just don't get it. It reveals that they honestly think the issue with Limbaugh's comments is his use of the words "slut" and "prostitute." It's not. It's about treatment of women and, for some of us, the double-standards for men and women in regards to sexual health that men like Limbaugh hold. Third, and a much less significant point, the conservatives seem to be upset about Maher insulting women who are political figures (whether politicians or just political pundits). Sandra Fluke, who Limbaugh has criticized, is neither*. Now, this in no way excuses Maher for his behavior, but I don't see a political figure insulting other political figures quite as deserving of the same outrage as a political figure insulting someone who is not. Again, this is not excusing the behavior of political figures insulting one another. The overall point is that the Maher vs. Limbaugh comparisons are not on equal ground, so it is not fair for conservatives to be expecting equal treatment.
* One could claim that Sandra Fluke is an activist for women's rights, but I wouldn't put that in quite the same category. I mean, I consider myself to be somewhat of an activist (even if I'm pretty much limited to just voicing my thoughts on my blog right now).

   In the end, though, I am disappointed that some liberals are being hypocrites. Shame on them, but shame on conservatives for trying to spread the blame instead of dealing with their issues.

I like the message, not the messenger.

   There is an ad sponsored by American Future Fund that I have been noticing on both TV and the internet. For the most part, I like the ad. Obama is very hypocritical when it comes to Wall Street. He's not the reformer he claims to be...and, trust me, being a registered Democrat, I know that both he and Democrats spout how the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill is supposedly some great "change." This video is very good about pointing out how Obama gets a lot of campaign donations from Wall Street and how his administration is made up of a lot of insiders. It is something Democrats don't seem to want to acknowledge. The reason why is what this video targets: it's the idea that if Obama was really out to change Wall Street, Wall Street wouldn't be donating to him, nor would he include those insiders on his staff.

   There is about only one part of the video that I don't support, and that is the idea that Obama was wrong for supporting the bail out. And this gets into who the messenger is. America Future Fund's slogan is "Advocating Conservative, Free Market Ideals." These people are no enemies of Wall Street, either. Sure, maybe they wouldn't have bailed out Wall Street if they had their choice for President, but I have my doubts that they are really concerned about the people like Jack Lew (Obama's latest Chief of Staff) taking big bonuses. No, these are likely the type of people who would have let the economy tank into a depression all the while still allowing the rich bank executives to keep and walk away with their money from the banks they put under. As disappointed as I am in Obama for not restricting these executive bonuses or for not aggressively prosecuting anyone for the economic collapse, these guys have worse philosophies.