What I’m Reading, August 28, 2014

Georgia man shoots self in hand outside bar, bullet kills nearby woman, Robyn Pennacchia, Death and Taxes, August 18, 2014

The man will be charged with “involuntary manslaughter.” Though if you ask me, taking a gun to a bar makes it pretty voluntary. I mean, if you get drunk and you have a gun on you, you assume the risk that you may fuck up and shoot yourself in the hand or “accidentally” shoot another person. You weigh the risks and you decide which is more important to you, and if you err on the side of “I’d rather have my gun with me, I will assume that risk” then you need to take responsibility for your choices.

Scarborough: ‘Who Would Put An Uzi In The Hands Of A Nine Year Old Girl?’ Susie Madrak, Crooks & Liars, August 27, 2014

Even Joe Scarborough is freaking out over the story about shooting instructor Charles Vacca, killed by the out-of-control Uzi wielded by a nine-year-old tourist from New Jersey.

“A nine-year-old girl?” he kept repeating. As if her being a girl had anything to do with it. Would this story be less horrific if it was a boy?


See, here’s the problem with media babblers like Joe Scarborough: They never think through the logical consequences of their actions. He does everything in his power to push mindless conservative power, and then he’s surprised at the ripple effects of extremism.


When you’re a happy little cog in the conservative machine, don’t act so surprised when human beings get caught in the wheel. You have some moral cognitive dissonance there, Joe.

Kevin Sorbo is an idiot, part Umpty-Eleven, PZ Myers, Pharyngula, August 27, 2014

You know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about this God question, because people around me keep insisting that it’s an important part of their life, and I have to say…no, he’s wrong, I really don’t have even the slightest, niggling, abstract doubt about any gods. You could change my mind with some real evidence, but right now, nope, no way. My confidence in the non-existence of gods and the power of natural processes is pretty much absolute.

So when these loons make all this effort to tell me what I really believe, I wonder how they’d respond if I declared that they were all secretly atheists themselves, that in their hearts they were positive that this god they declaim never was, that Jesus was a deluded fanatic, that prayer is a complete waste of time. It’s a rather dishonest argument, don’t you think? I’m right, but everyone who disagrees is lying about their true opinion, therefore my support is unanimous?

I’d also have to question whether that approach can ever be truly effective. If I’m arguing against someone’s belief, it’s not going to win them over if I deny them their beliefs and try to pretend that I know better than they do what is going on in their heads.


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