Thursday, 29 November 2007

Censorship and Conspiracy Theorists

It's rather funny when you think about it. You hear about censorship in countries like China or in crazy closed cults or in the past when Fascism and Communism were more prevalent.

You don't have to travel to these places or back in time to see this in action however all you have to do is go onto a conspiracy board, or even just a website.

They rely on censorship and the hope that you are too lazy to bother double checking their quotes, facts, claims, random crazy stuff.

Now if you go to a forum with debunkers on it and watch the endless battle that we fight with these people you will see that there are many, many insults thrown at the debunkers. We are treated like Goldstein's agents.

The require censorship to thrive, because the less of the facts their audience knows the more likely they are to believe what is in front of them.

This is one thing that makes groups like the 9/11 CTs far more hypocritical then normal. They claim "the government controls and censors the media" while censoring their own work. I fail to see how they can claim to be "patriots" while they so willingly do what they claim the government is doing.

It makes them look like two sides of the same coin.

Except that they aren't really.

Saturday, 24 November 2007


Well today I just avoided a fine.

I went and voted.

I know that the people who I voted for probably won't win, but who knows. All I will say is that I voted for 'S' (Nick Xenophon) in the Senate, and in the House of Representatives I put the racists (One Nation) before Footballers Wife (Labor, Nicole Cornes).

I won't really know the result because I will be at a party, but I have the feeling that our new leader will be called Kevin.

Friday, 23 November 2007

The Cost Of War

The BABlog wrote two days ago that Americans seem to think that NASA gets 25% of the US Budget, when in fact it is only 0.58%.

More importantly (for this post) he mentioned that the US spends US$11 million per hour (And here is a source) on the Iraq war.

Hastily I calculated that ever 13.64 hours the US spends the same amount of money on Iraq that could be spent on a $150 million probe to explore space.

In 2005 it was said that about $22 billion would be needed to fight AIDS. This is the same as spending 2.7 months in Iraq.

In one hour the US spends enough money to buy and ship 18003.27 tonnes of food aid for developing nations (based on statistics here).

As I write this the US has spent over US$471 billion on Iraq. This could buy 3140 probes, help to fight AIDS for 21.4 years assuming that the price remains constant, or 770867430.44 tonnes of food aid.

Or if you know anything about the US state of health, some of the money that could be saved could have been placed in the SCHIP program and help those that cannot get health insurance.

I wonder what the Australians spend?

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Technorati Made Me Do This

Apparently I have to post this thingy for Technorati, so I will hide a link somewhere.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Why I Argue

I spend some of my time on the net arguing with CT's and Creationists. I do like a good argument though, but I think that I have come across the same revelation that pretty much all skeptics come across (actually I figured this out a while ago, but I want to write about it now).

We argue and debunk not to convert the person making the claim, but to prevent other people from falling into stupid beliefs.

We are the ones who present the counter arguments to stupid claims.

We are the ones who are labelled by those that we oppose.
  • We are government shills to CTs that involve any government
  • We are soulless Atheists to the creationists
  • We have "closed minds" for alternative theories and medicine.
  • We are generally attacked when we present the "other" view, or disprove theirs.
And yet we persevere and continue to argue. We wade through the never-ending layer of shit that people consider to be rational and we don't know how well our efforts are doing. All we know is that we are helping to keep these people in check, and to lessen the damage that they cause.

I think that deep down we all know that for many of these people we can never defeat them in an argument, but we certainly can show others that they are the thieves, liars and charlatans that they truly are.

Monday, 19 November 2007


The Blog Readability Test says that this blog has a reading level of junior high school, whatever the hell that is.

I wonder if I was to add more technical words if it would change the rating? Maybe I should just learn to write better...

Saturday, 17 November 2007

More on Stupid Stupid Hypocrsy

If you read the last post you should have noticed that I am a bit divided over this whole thing, namely because I have no idea when exactly the crime that she is being punished for occurred.

And now I have found many, many different articles all of which give different details.

The BBC articles that I posted yesterday just say that she was found in the car of a "strange man"

Other news sources say:

Fox News

This article is from March, and says that she was basically blackmailed twice, once by her former boyfriend and then by one of the rapists. She was abducted while in the car when it was stopped by two other cars. Basically she had broken the law before she was raped by the men, at least according to this article.

Knowing the well known criticism that Fox News has it may have been made up and attributed to The Scotsman (have to look).

The Telegraph

Doesn't mention blackmail. Says that she asked him to return photos because she was getting married.

Also says that she was in the car before the rape.

CBC News

Once again mentions her in the car before the abduction.

There is one common aspect to these other articles. They say that they were both raped. Now this may sound a bit wrong, but would it not have been better for the courts to say that the rapes were some form of divine punishment for the two of them breaking the law?

There is one thing that annoys me just a little, and that is that she broke the law beforehand. It doesn't really nullify the fact that she was raped, but it does somewhat damage the idea that her being in the car had something to do with her being raped.

Still, 200 lashes for telling her tale is still too harsh a punishment. And up to between 2 and 10 years for rape is too lenient. If Fox is right at least. then I would have to say good on the prosecution asking for death, I still think that the rapists deserve to meet the sword in a very intimate way.

Stupidly Stupid Hypocrisy

An article from Thursday it is about a punishment for a crime.

The location is Saudi Arabia.

The punishment is 200 lashes and 6 months in prison.

The crime, breach of sexual segregation laws.

The offender, a 19 year old gang rape victim.

She was found in the car of a man who wasn't related to her. Now not knowing the full story it is a bit hard to determine why she was in this car.

Was it the car of someone who stopped to help her? Or was it the car of one of the people who raped her 14 times?

Either way she was sentenced to 90 lashes, and then when she tried to appeal it was increased to the punishment I mentioned above.

So you know, the seven men who raped her initially received a punishment of between 1-5 years, which was doubled, so I guess that would be a range of 2-10 years.

Her lawyer claims that the sentence is unjust and violates Islamic law.

He is facing a disciplinary hearing now for being a lawyer.

The view that the BBC presents is that the courts stepped outside their boundaries in sentencing her, and should not have treated her as the culprit.

There are a few things that have pissed me off about all this.

Firstly, why is it that the rapists seem to get off so lightly for such a terrible crime? Rape is probably far worse then murder, because a rape victim is still able to relive the horrible event while a murder victim cannot for obvious reasons. Why is it that the courts don't sentence them to death (although personally I would think up far more cruel punishments for them).

Secondly why is it that the courts seem to be treating her far worse then her rapists? The courts seem to be saying that even if you are raped you can still be punished for breaking the segregation law. I'm certain that works wonders right? A real boost for women standing up and confronting their rapist.

Finally why is it that for some reason the various discussion boards seem to be portraying this whole thing as a rape victim being punished for being raped? It wasn't, she broke a different law.

And in what could be seen as hypocrisy on my part I have to say that I can see where the courts were going with this. *Technically* she did break the law, and most likely has to face the consequences (again, please note that this is based on what I have gleaned here, not knowing all the facts means that I can't form a firm opinion on the matter), however it is as clear as day that the courts have failed in this case.

They have failed to take into consideration her circumstances. If this was almost immediately after the rape then they should have taken that into consideration, of course she would have been in an unrelated person's car, because she wasn't raped by her family.

Then to increase the punishment because they believe that she was using the media to influence the courts? I honestly think that says more about the court system then the girl. Perhaps it did work a bit better now, because they did double the sentences of the rapists. Although maybe the executioner should have sharpened up his sword/axe/beheading instrument for these men...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Ape Fossil Found

Physorg had a report on an ape fossil that might change the idea of how we evolved forever.

It's about 10 million years old, which is near the time where our last common ancestor with the great apes (although this fossil is about 2 million years older then the current point in time when we diverged though).

Annoyingly the article was titled: "Rare great ape fossil challenges evolutionary theory: study" which means that it will probably be quote mined (ugh, right now I'm getting myself dirty by looking on uncommon descent to see... unclean, unclean, it's not coming off...), and used as an example of the supposed "imminent demise of evolutionism".

I can't think of any ways that they might quote mine the article, but I guess when I can find the paper and read it myself I might find something in there for them to quote mine.

It isn't though.

It seems that what they have found might contradict an idea that involves apes migrating from Africa to Europe and Asia, the African population dying out or something like that, and then evolved forms of the European and Asian populations returning to Africa.

All that we see here is science being scientific. An existing idea that was supported by the evidence may now become obsolete and a new idea will take it's place. It is this method of finding ways to explain the world based on the evidence is what separates scientists from creationists (and also a certain 9/11 CT that I have been arguing with).

We may also see in the future more fossils of as yet unknown ancestors to the great apes being found.

Now playing: Beck - Nausea
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 5 November 2007


I don't know about many people but I will usually associate songs that I listen to to a particular event/game/TV show/etc.

Which has given me many odd combinations.

Take "The Enchanted Lake" (aka "Swan Lake") by Tchaikovsky, from Swan Lake. When I hear this song I don't think of swans or lakes or whatever it is that I am supposed to think of when I hear that song.

I think of Jeremy Clarkson in a Range Rover Sport being chased by some guys in a Challenger 2 tank.

Same goes for the theme from A Fistful of Dollars, not Clint Eastwood being a cowboy but Top Gear once again. This time when Richard Hammond stopped that factory when they were building the road ("Men of the D5481, this is our darkest hour, we will not let Adolf Hammond ruin our plans for this great, this wonderful...")

"Invocation" by Killing Joke makes me think of James May racing those Parkour guys in a Peugeot 207 not whatever the song is about.

"House of the Rising Sun", specifically the cover by The Animals reminds me of GTA:VC because it was on a custom radio station that someone gave me.

For some reason out of all the songs on the game Battlefield: Vietnam only the song "Psychotic Reaction" (Count Five) reminds me most of the game.

A few songs will remind me of events in my own life but people don't want to hear about things that actually happened to me.

Now playing: UNKLE - When Things Explode (feat. Ian Astbury)
via FoxyTunes