Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thrice Raped

This post is outright political. I've tried my best to keep things at least related to skepticism in some way, like with my energy post debunking the lies about Obama's stance on energy, but this is just something that everyone needs to know.

We already know that, if Sarah Palin has her way, rape victims would be forced to carry the child of rape to term. One could certainly argue that this is like a second rape, one that continues for at least nine months and culminates in a supremely painful experience.

Now, this news story from the year 2000 shows that she continues to be a maverick in her attitude toward rape victims. In 2000, the Democratic governor of Alaska signed a bill ensuring that victims of rape would not be charged for the rape kit procedure. Most cities in Alaska already agreed with this, providing the service for free. One little hamlet was vocal in opposition to this.

I think you know where I'm going.

Yes, Wasilla, while Sarah Palin was mayor was the one town to object.

Imagine living in Sarah Palin's world. You can be raped, forced to pay over a thousand dollars for a chance to catch the offender, and then forced to carry the child to term. Maverick indeed.

Well Done

See if this rings a bell:

The theory of childhood, also known as child origin, is a damnable, loathsome and indefensible lie. How can any thinking person suppose all humans used to be babies once? There is no development path from babies to adults, no transitional forms between these two species. Show me even one baby with the head of a grown man on his body. Can you? No? Not even a bearded toddler? No adults with unfused skullbones, outside unfortunate disorders? Not even a tiny little newborn girl suddenly sprouting a respectable bosom? You can't find them, because they don't exist. There isn't a single transitional form between children and adults, and you will never find one because the theory simply is an unscientific lie.

The development of children has been well-researched in our six-month study following a sample of one thousand children and adults of various ages. We have conclusively proven that while there are minor changes in features like height and body fat, and replacement of deciduous teeth with permanent teeth, incontravertibly still every creature in the study that started out as a child had only slightly more adult features at the end of the observation period than at its beginning. Children and adults are separate kinds and there will never be sufficient changes to change one into the other. We reject any evidence from longer-term studies as we believe the laws of physics have changed within the last year.

To claim people come from children is demeaning and morally degrading. We have observed how children behave. If we acted like small children we'd all be demanding and impatient, and we'd be cheating, lying, and stealing from each other all the time. If the theory of childhood were true there would be no morality, and with no morality to build one on, no society. Childhood is a wicked lie used by charlatans to justify evils such as public schools.

There is no consensus on the theory of childhood in the scientific community. We should teach the controversy. Our children will be served well to learn that the prospect of them becoming adults is merely a theoretical idea. Many children come from families that do not subscribe to the theory of childhood, and they could be disturbed if the theory were taught as fact.


The harnessing of energy is one of the key problems facing the next administration, and there's been a lot of debate about it.

McCain says, for instance, that he'll allow domestic drilling for oil, encourage use of our natural gas supplies (insert joke about Republican party here), challenge automotive companies to make more efficient vehicles, all the while investing in clean coal, nuclear power, wind, solar, and hydro energy.

He's blasted Obama's policies on this, accusing the Democrat of relying on technologies that are years out of our reach and offering no solutions for now.

And that's true, as long as you base your opinion on Obama's energy plans entirely on assumption and ignore what he's said on it. He does accept some offshore drilling may be necessary to carry us through until we have sufficient technology to support ourselves.

Another complaint leveled towards Obama is the suggestion that he lacks specific plans. Science Debate 2008 was initially intended to be a live debate between the two candidates, but that never materialized. Instead, 14 questions were sent to the candidates. Both said they would answer them. The link above contains Obama's answers, but McCain has yet to send his in.

Here's his answer regarding energy:

America's challenges in providing secure, affordable energy while addressing climate change mean that we must make much more efficient use of energy and begin to rely on new energy sources that eliminate or greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My programs focus both on a greatly expanded program of federally funded energy research and development and on policies designed to speed the adoption of innovative energy technologies and stimulate private innovation.

First, I have proposed programs that, taken together, will increase federal investment in the clean energy research, development, and deployment by $150 billion over ten years. This research will cover:

• Basic research to develop alternative fuels and chemicals;

• Equipment and designs that can greatly reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings – both new and existing;

• New vehicle technologies capable of significantly reducing our oil consumption;

• Advanced energy storage and transmission that would greatly help the economics of new electric-generating technologies and plug-in hybrids;

• Technologies for capturing and sequestering greenhouse gases produced by coal plants; and

• A new generation of nuclear electric technologies that address cost, safety, waste disposal, and proliferation risks.

I will also work closely with utilities to introduce a digital smart grid that can optimize the overall efficiency of the nation's electric utility system, by managing demand and making effective use of renewable energy and energy storage.

Second, it is essential that we create a strong, predictable market for energy innovations with concrete goals that speed introduction of innovative products and provide a strong incentive for private R&D investment in energy technologies. These concrete goals include:

• Increasing new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade, and taking other steps that will reduce the energy intensity of our economy 50 percent by 2030;

• Increasing fuel economy standards 4 percent per year and providing loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers to build new fuel- efficient cars domestically;

• Extending the Production Tax Credit for five years and creating a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard that will require that 10 percent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025; and

• Ensuring that regulations and incentives in all federal agencies support the national energy and environmental goals in ways that encourage innovation and ingenuity.

I will also encourage communities around the nation to design and build sustainable communities that cut energy use with walkable community designs and expanded investment in mass transit.

How much more specific does he have to get?

The fact is, Obama has time after time shown that he understands current scientific issues. Whenever confronted with these questions, he always gives the right answer. He is remarkably informed on the matter in a time when most politicians aren't.

As for McCain, he still hasn't answered. It's hard to gauge his opinion on any of these questions. All we do know is that his VP thinks we should teach the Adam and Eve theory of life in schools.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Good Point

McCain's VP pick answered a questionnaire during her gubernatorial campaign in Alaska. You can find the whole thing here.

One of her answers was of particular interest to me.

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Interesting that she chose to phrase it that way.

The founding fathers didn't have a Pledge of Allegiance. It was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who was a Baptist minister. Incredibly enough, it didn't say anything about God in its first draft. The "under God" bit was added in 1954 after several failed attempts to get it in earlier.

God, in fact, is very specifically not mentioned in the Constitution and it's very unlikely that, had the founding fathers been around when the Pledge was created, that they would have added "under God" on their own.

So I suppose the question to ask her, when she mentions the founding fathers in defense of our altered Pledge of Allegiance, is what, exactly, she's talking about. The fact is, they really have nothing to do with anything.

The entire argument is simple enough. Would it be acceptable to these people to have "under no God" in the Pledge if the majority of the nation was composed of atheists? An answer in the negative is bigoted, an answer in the affirmative shows a very strange interpretation of truth and the role of the majority government.