Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unintelligent Design

Despite numerous states striking down similar laws, Louisiana has passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, a new bill that "would allow local school boards to approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories." I'll give you one guess as to what theory they want to "critique" - Evolution, of course. Oh Christ, here we go again.

Make no mistake, this new bill is nothing but Trojan Horse legislation, designed for fundamentalist teachers, parents and school officials to get around creationism being laughed out of most science classrooms. Once again, giving us the tired excuse that evolution is a "theory," not a fact. Of course, if any of these nutjobs understood science at all, they would know that the word "theory" in science does not mean "guess." Gravity is a theory, I don't see Louisiana objecting to that one, do you? Hopefully there will be enough parents in Louisiana who get involved and hand out "supplemental classroom materials" that offer the critique that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - it's pseudoscience that can never be proven.

Sorry kids, in a science classroom, an invisible man in the clouds creating oceans, mountains, trees and people just doesn't hold up. You cannot conduct experiments to judge whether or not there's some divine creator; you can however conduct experiments on evolution. I don't even understand why religious folk are even trying to fight this battle on a scientific front with things like the Creation Museum - you can't prove the existence of God. In all fairness, you shouldn't have to, that's why you have faith, and good for you - but faith is not science.

Creationism or The Flintstones? You decide.

Is evolution 100% fact? No, of course not. It's always good to question theories and conduct different experiments, but if the only opposing theory right now is the invisible man that is all powerful and can create a world, then I'm going to be more inclined to providing money to research evolution, which is backed up by mountains of facts and evidence.

But my whole purpose for writing this was not to get into the controversies of evolution, it's more to raise awareness of the lunacy that religious fundamentalists are trying to push into the public classroom - which we all have to pay for through our taxes.

In May, substitute teacher Jim Piculas, was fired because he performed "wizardry" in front of his middle school classroom. The spell? The man made a toothpick disappear and reappear - sleight of hand... like when your goofy uncle made the quarter appear from behind your ear when you were a kid. This is how pathetic and stupid we've become as a society that a silly magic trick is considered wizardry and gets someone fired from their job - this would make sense if it were 1682, but we're living in the year 2008. If we keep up with this kind of lunacy, don't be surprised when science teachers get burned at the stake for witchcraft when they mix Diet Coke and Mentos.

I can guarantee that story came from some kid going home and telling his or her mom or dad that the teacher did a magic trick in class and then their crazy, fundamentalist parents called the school and complained. These are the kind of people that claim Harry Potter promotes Satanic worship and we allow these kinds of lunatics to raise children. They'll believe anything they hear on Sunday without any sort of evidence, but will challenge one of the most widely-accepted scientific theories out there?

I'm sorry to call religion brainwashing, but it is. No rational-thinking adult would sit down and read the evidence supporting evolution and then the ideas of creationism and be inclined to believe the latter. The only way organized religion works is because people get hooked when they're young - just like with cigarettes. Children hear about Santa Claus and then watch cartoons filled with talking animals, mythical creatures and people with superpowers, of course they're going to believe you if you tell them there's an invisible man living in the clouds who watches everything you do and knows everything you think. It's just like Santa!

Religion stops people from thinking - it's very much "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," a lot of smoke and mirrors to control people's behavior. Religion operates under the guise of morality, but when it comes to religious people shaping public policy, it has nothing to do with morals - just the world they want to create for themselves. And that gets to be very dangerous when these people get into public office because we see things like this ruling in Louisiana or guys like Mike Huckabee who say crazy shit like, "I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

Look, I don't care what you believe - Jesus, Allah, G-d, Vishnu, Buddha, Xenu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever gets you through the day, just keep it out of our government, because while you believe in a book with talking snakes, I don't. We all share this country together - this fine country with that nice little separation of church and state that means you are allowed to believe anything you want and the government won't interfere with it - but it would be really nice if some of you fundamentalists would return the favor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


In case you haven't heard by now, McCain adviser Charlie Black recently said that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was a "positive event" for resurrecting John McCain's presidential bid and that another terrorist attack would be a "big advantage" to him.

Okay, so let's just ignore how fucking horrible that is to say and let's move onto the fact that a terrorist attack would be good for John McCain. As much as I hate to admit it, whenever your average voter worries about terrorism, they go running to the Republicans. For fuck's sake, they almost nominated Rudy Giuliani for president despite the fact that he's never done anything besides have a corrupt police department get rid of sex shops in Times Square and look like he was doing something while standing on a pile of rubble.

Actually, while I'm talking about Rudy, do you mind if I rant for a second? It'll seem a bit off-topic, but I'll bring it all around, trust me. It's okay with you? Cool.

Okay, so you remember the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, right? Well a few years after that, Rudy decided to build a command center for his Office of Emergency Management to be ready in the event of another terrorist attack. The funny part is, everybody involved told him to put it underground in Brooklyn - where does Rudy put it? The 23rd floor of World Trade Center 7, which collapsed on 9/11. All that parading around in the rubble on 9/11, yeah, that was because Giuliani's Emergency Management Office was destroyed and he had nowhere to coordinate any sort of plan. So while he came out looking like the hero, photographed "in the thick of it," it was because he was too stupid to put himself in a position where he actually could have put together a relief effort. And where is this Office of Emergency Management now? Underground in Brooklyn. Remember friends, this man was largely considered to be the next president of the United States about a year ago.

So what does this have to do with McCain's adviser talking about terrorist attacks being a "big advantage?" Because I don't have a fucking clue how anyone in their right mind could ever think that after the last seven years, the Republicans are the ones to go to when it comes to terrorism. Giuliani is just one example and he's not even a real politician - take a look at Bush. Okay, let's remember - 9/11 happened on Bush's watch after his administration received a memo titled "Osama bin Laden determined to attack within the United States." Now, I'm not some idiot conspiracy theorist that says it was an "inside job" or anything stupid like that, but what I am saying is that they were just really lazy.

"Oh but Razor, 9/11 happened just a few months after Bush took office, it was Clinton's fault!" Oh, so we want to play that game? Okay then, the first WTC attack in 93 happened right after Clinton took office, so that was George HW Bush's fault. And we know Daddy Bush was Reagan's Vice President and I know you conservatives won't ever admit Reagan made a mistake, so we probably don't want to go down that road.

"Oh, but Razor, we haven't been attacked since 9/11!" You're right! And you know what else? I wear the same pair of underwear everyday and I've never been mugged by a group of Bisexual Hookers with meth problems, it's clearly my lucky underwear keeping that from happening. Pardon the sarcasm, and while I'm trying to illustrate that correlation does not imply causation, we seem to forget that we are being attacked every single day in Iraq by terrorists we helped put there after demolishing the country's entire infrastructure.

Regardless of all that, just look at the last seven years of Bush rule and really think for a second, are these the people you want protecting you in the event of another terrorist attack? If you answered yes... really? These assclowns? I hate to pile on Bush because it's such a cliché these days, but he truly is the worst president in modern history. I wouldn't trust this guy to water my fucking plants when I go on vacation, let alone try to keep me secure from the threat of "the evil-doers" and "the freedom-haters."

Really, George W. Bush and John "The Sequel" McCain are the guys you would want to trust your safety to? Just run the gauntlet of fuck-ups and then ask yourself one more time: the complete bungling of helping those in need after Hurricane Katrina, outing a CIA agent, declaring "mission accomplished" in Iraq five years ago, the politicization of the Justice Department, Abu Graihb, the Walter Reed scandal, the suspension of habeas corpus, practically forgetting Osama bin Laden exists, using fear for political gain and claiming "God" told him to invade Iraq.

These are the policies you want to continue for another four years? These are the guys that you think can stop terrorism? These are the guys voters would be more inclined to go with in the event of another attack? I'm sorry folks, but if this is the way your mind works, then there is no hope for you. You have been brainwashed into voting against your own self-preservation by the people that have made you less safe in the last seven years. If you vote against your own self-interests out of fear, then you have truly let the terrorists win. I'm not saying that for a cute spin on Bush's words - you have allowed these people to achieve political goals through fear, the very definition of terrorism.

We've been down this road before with McCarthyism. The Neo-Cons don't have to actually combat terrorism, they just have to paint their opponents as weak, sympathizers, appeasers, or even terrorist themselves. Manufacture outrage, muzzle dissent, play on people's fears - these are the very methods used by Senator McCarthy sixty years ago and here we are, falling for it yet again. The Republicans somehow have the populace convinced that they are the party to combat the commies
terrorists, but this time, we don't have an Edward R. Murrow to call them out on their bullshit, most reporters today just accept it as fact - "terrorist attack? Oh yeah, totally beneficial to McCain."

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.
Good night and good luck.

-Edward R. Murrow

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin - Farewell to the Greatest of All Time

My idol, George Carlin, has died.

George Carlin has been a huge influence on me ever since I was a little kid, something you're going to hear a lot in the coming days from various entertainers. A lot of people will talk about staying up past their bedtime when they were a kid and sneaking on a George Carlin or Richard Pryor record with the volume turned down low so their parents wouldn't hear them listening to something so filthy. I was lucky enough to have parents that never imposed such limitations on me and I thank them for it because I got to experience Carlin at a very young age and have continued to do so for the last fifteen years.

Carlin is simply the greatest comedian to ever stand on a stage and will never be surpassed; his obsession with language, the little things we all do, and how this country has turned into a giant shopping mall all blended together to make a brilliant show. His world observations are what I will always remember him for and nobody could do it like George Carlin - there's no comedian on the planet who can make a fart joke and a political commentary in the same bit and make it seem like high-brow humor. The man saw life through a pair of eyes that I wish I could have for one day just so I could have a fraction of the man's wit.

When I first started putting my ideas down in blogs, all I wanted to be was like George Carlin, but that's like picking up a golf club and trying to be Tiger Woods. But the man exemplified the kind of commentator/comedian that I wish I could be. He's a champion of free speech and seemingly one of the few voices of reason in a world that just can't understand that no matter what you say, they're only words, context is what counts. Of course, we can't talk about George Carlin and free speech without these seven infamous words:

shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

Those seven iconic words set the standard for what is considered "indecent" in radio and television broadcasts - a decision that the First Amendment is still reeling from today.

Without people like George Carlin, I worry that we'll continue to just keep giving away various liberties in exchange for the feeling and illusion of safety and security. That's why I do what I do and say what I say, even if I'm less than a fraction of what George Carlin was, I just hope to carry on his ideas, even if they're to an audience of three people. We need more George Carlins in this world to commentate on all the bullshit going on, especially with the condition our society is in.

It would be nice to think that right now George Carlin is performing in front of an audience full of greats like Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, Mitch Hedberg, Lenny Bruce, and Bill Hicks and commenting on the nuances of Heaven, but claiming such would be an insult to the man. George was never afraid to just come out and say, "there is no God," but when it came to comedy, he was God. I will sincerely miss George Carlin.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flip Off

The Republicans are in full attack mode now, using the same methods that worked on John Kerry in 2004, the flip-flop. Yes, Barack Obama has changed his position on campaign financing, opting out for public funds after he promised to publicly finance his campaign last year.

Well wait... not exactly, Obama was open to the idea and said he would try to work out some agreement with the Republican candidate. However, as recently as June 5th, McCain claimed he was not sure if he would accept the public funds or decide to opt out. Of course, we now know McCain is not opting out, and he is using the opportunity to say Obama went back on his word. Of course, the part the "liberal" media isn't reporting is that McCain can't opt out of public finance without approval from the Federal Election Commission due to a loan McCain took out late last year after his campaign went broke. It all gets quite muddy from there, and it could be leading to news coming out that McCain has broken election laws.

You can read all about that here:

But okay, the bottom line is, Obama said something and decided against it. I'm not going to argue that of course Obama is opting out of the public financing because he's generating a ridiculous amount of money from small donors. He's built up the biggest grassroots campaign of any politician in history and has shattered all fundraising records. So obviously he wants to keep that money and momentum coming for the general election and he's going to need it to fight off the Republican Smear Machine that is just waiting to start playing those Reverend Wright clips on an hourly loop. So admittedly, this is all about Obama doing what is best for the Obama campaign, no argument here.

What bugs me is that all I see on the news today is "FLIP-FLOP, FLIP-FLOP!!!" We've been down this road before and it's just stunning to me that Obama gets called out on this while John McCain has seemingly flip-flopped in the last two years on every issue that made me respect him so much when he ran in 2000. Let's go down the list, shall we?

  • The Associated Press reported in 1999 that while McCain was campaigning in New Hampshire as a pro-life candidate, he assured reporters that he would not support repealing Roe vs. Wade. Saying that doing so would force women into dangerous and illegal operations like back alley abortions. So while McCain was against it, he seemed to be more in tune with the Bill Clinton idea of abortion, keeping them "safe, legal and rare." However, as John McCain locked up the Republican nomination, his stance has change - he's flip-flopped. Saying in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, "I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states"
  • In 2002, McCain called Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance" and spoke out against radical nutjobs like "Pat Robertson on the Right or Al Sharpton on the Left." In 2006, John McCain gave the commencement speech at Falwell's university.
  • During his 2000 run for the Republican nomination, McCain filed a complaint against two Texas businessmen - Sam and Charles Wyly - saying they violated campaign finance laws and used "dirty money" to support George W. Bush. The Wylys are now on McCain's campaign.
  • McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts twice and now wants to make them permanent.
  • McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam who was tortured by the enemy and staunchly opposed the practice for years, now thinks it's okay.
  • Bush was blasted by McCain in 2000 for campaigning at Bob Jones University, the Christian fundamentalist school that banned interracial dating and called Catholicism a "Satanic cult" - in 2006, McCain said he wasn't opposed to speaking there, claiming they've made progress. Progress? After the 2004 election, Bob Jones sent George W. Bush a letter saying quote, "God has graciously granted America — though she doesn’t deserve it — a reprieve from the agenda of paganism." Oh... it gets even crazier, "You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you."
  • And to tie it all together; McCain, longtime supporter of campaign finance reform, suddenly no longer supported it in 2006 when he was gearing up for the campaign. You know, so he could opt out of public funds if he were legally able to do so.
  • If you'd like more information on John McCain the flip-flopper, click here.
My point in all this? Obama gets called out on a kinda flip-floppy thing he said a year ago while McCain gets a reprieve for switching his stance on almost every major issue he's discussed in the last eight years. Fucking liberal media!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Straight Shootin'

Let's talk about guns. I'm not against guns, I'm not against owning a gun, I'm not against people shooting each other. I know it's kinda crazy for a wacky liberal like myself to be supportive of guns, but I am; I am also scared shitless of them. I personally would never own a gun, I don't even like being in the same room with a gun, but I'm not against a person's right to own one.

But Razor, you support Barack Obama and he's trying to take away my gun! He's the most radical liberal in the senate! More on that radical liberalism in a future blog, but for now, let's just stick to the gun issue. Admittedly, Barack Obama does have quite a liberal stance on gun control, he is in favor of letting the states decide their gun laws. Is that unconstitutional? I suppose that's up for debate, but let's take a look at the constitution for a moment:

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech. Oh, but what about obscenity laws? Those are determined by state and local governments and they limit free speech all while the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Many states have also upheld laws restricting when and where a protest can be assembled, is that not also a violation of the First Amendment?

Or how about the Fourth Amendment which guards citizens from unreasonable search and seizure? Well what exactly is "unreasonable?" Each state has its own laws on warrants and searches, who is to say one of those isn't in violation of the Fourth Amendment? Same goes for the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments dealing with Due Process, Speedy Trials and Excessive Bail. Most of these things all deal with state courts setting trial dates and bail, if it's in the Constitution, shouldn't there be strict federal guidelines imposed on what constitutes "excessive" bail or a "speedy" trial?

Of course, I'm just playing devil's advocate here and trying to make a point - why is the Second Amendment clung to with so much intensity? The National Rifle Association states that any attempt to regulate guns is in direct conflict with the right to keep and bear arms. Where is this kind of fervor over the things I listed above? Obscenity laws are in direct conflict with the right to free speech, but for some reason I can't say "fuck" on the radio because it goes against supposed "community standards."

Let me get this straight - it's perfectly okay for local governments to regulate words that literally cannot harm someone, but it's not okay for a local government to regulate something that can kill you instantly? Let me ask you, would you rather someone scream "fuck" in a crowded room or start firing a gun?

Gun control laws are put in place in certain cities because certain cities have huge gun problems. Senator Obama is from Chicago, I can guarantee their gun problems are a little different than those in Talladega, Alabama. Whether it be limiting gun purchases to one a month, enforcing background checks or banning assault rifles, local governments will never have the ability to fully eliminate guns in their area because of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court barely upheld the Constitution last week in regards to the restoration of habeas corpus. Again, the only outrage from Conservatives on this one is that we didn't continue to suspend the writ that has been in use since 1305. Conservatives love to cling to their Second Amendment rights, and maybe if they clung to the others, we'd see eye to eye a little more often.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome - Lay Back and Enjoy

So welcome to my new blog, I'm actually moving up in the blogging world from relying on a laughable myspace blog that maybe ten people will read to this... where I may get up to twelve. My name's Razor and I titled my blog "American Razor" because it seems that in our divided country, we seem to forget that we're all Americans. The Bush Administration has managed to somehow convince people that they're the "real" Americans and anyone with a dissenting opinion is just part of the "blame America first" crowd. Bullshit. This is my country too, and I'm going to exercise my right to free speech in the most vulgar, offensive way possible, because that's what the First Amendment is all about.

So let's talk politics, shall we? I will make it no secret that I'm all about Barack Obama in the 2008 election - yes, I got a mean case of Obamania. Despite that, I try to remain as objective as possible, I really do, although the opposing side just makes it so damn hard sometimes. Take for instance, the current story about Clayton Williams, the man who recently raised $300,000 for John McCain. The problem? Mr. Williams once made this joke about rape:

"If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it"

Wow. One more time, this is him talking about someone being sexually assaulted in the most heinous way possible:

"If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it"

So, there was a fundraising event set up between McCain and Williams which was canceled due to this remark resurfacing in the media. McCain still took the $300,00 but he just didn't want to be seen in public with Mr. Williams.

Now, as for the remark, it's horrible and just utterly stupid to say, but if you look through Clayton Williams library of hilariously moronic quotes, you'll see it's par for the course for this particular idiot. I do not think that this guy's views reflect on the opinions of John McCain, but I can't help but still be outraged; if Mr. Williams supported Obama, there would be a firestorm from the right-wing media. The story is hurting McCain a little bit, but if the tables were turned, we'd be talking about this for the next month and a half, just like we did to the Reverend Wright issue.

Oh I know, that was Obama's PASTOR! Shock and horror, a religious man saying crazy shit, I'm stunned! So that gets made into a huge issue while McCain seeking out the endorsement from John Hagee, the crazy pastor who called Catholicism "the great whore," makes minor waves in the media. The corrupt Tony Rezko raises money for Obama, it becomes a huge deal, Obama gives the money to charity; meanwhile, McCain gets $300,000 from a guy who thinks women should just lay back and enjoy their rape and keeps the cash. Are we seeing the picture I'm painting here?

I'll hand it to the Republicans, they do know how to do one thing right - campaign. Even when they have a lame duck president, a weak candidate and are the minority in congress, they can still make the liberals out to be "out of touch" with the rest of America. McCain can still look like the experienced candidate, even while admitting to being in agreement with the worst president in history most of the time. Of course, it doesn't hurt when you have an entire news organization in your party's back pocket to divert attention from your problems while making up ones for your rivals, so I can't say I'm shocked that this story has played out like this.

So while I'm not condemning McCain for Clayton Williams' remarks that were made 18 years ago, I'm not going to cut him any slack over it either. This is merely a message to the Republican Smear Machine - it certainly must suck when those tables are turned. We're in the age of the internet, everything you've ever said in public can be accessed in a quick trip to YouTube, maybe the Right should keep that in mind when they decide to get really dirty this Fall. The internet is a place where a lot of people have a lot of free time on their hands and I bet a lot of them might just be liberals who are still bitter about the one-sided slime-fest that was the 2004 presidential election.

I'm just one of them.