Mike's Home Page

Equality
Nov 19, 201404:38AM

Category: Politics

Dear femorrhoid cunts:

The women on Dr Matt Taylor's shirt can dress as they wish. You have no right to dictate their clothing choices.

Dr Matt Taylor can dress as he wishes.  Just because you don't like the shirt doesn't mean he's "asking for it."

Likewise, cosplay is not consent.

Attacking him is slut shaming, and also attacks the artisanal abilities of the female friend who made the shirt for him.

If you think I'm mansplaining to you, you're wrong.  I'm smartsplaining.  Also, if you thought that, you're a sexist cunt as well as a retarded one.  My sex is not relevant to the validity of my statement.

Instead of being bossy cunts and attacking your intellectual betters out of jealousy, why don't you go learn something useful, like how to make a sandwich?

Can't figure out why this is entitled "Equality"?  Because a retarded dick male would get the exact same treatment. So suck it, bitches.

Everyone else, donate here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/matt-taylor-rosetta-project-scientist

Oscar-winning scientist Al Gore now wants "A national food policy."  He refers to this "brilliant article" (Actually, it's an op-ed):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-a-national-food-policy-could-save-millions-of-american-lives/2014/11/07/89c55e16-637f-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html?hpid=z2

First of all, nothing in a newspaper is ever "brilliant." They're aimed at someone with a 4th grade education.

Here are the pallid suggestions:

~~~

All Americans have access to healthful food;

~~~

Well, gee, who doesn't want that?  But you know, I've been helping a couple of recently homeless friends, and the food banks give away food.  Now, a lot of it is starch, because we produce so much of it. But, it's food. Almost no other nation on the planet can do that. This is the typical statist bullshit of creating a panic over something that doesn't exist, making it mandatory, making you pay for it, then providing less than you had before, but at least it's "Fair."

~~~

● Farm policies are designed to support our public health and environmental objectives;

~~~

Translation:  "Let a bureaucrat decide what you can eat." Because that's worked so well with health care, education and drilling for oil.  Oh, and the US Postal Service.

~~~

● Our food supply is free of toxic bacteria, chemicals and drugs;

~~~

It pretty much is.  And if it's not, you can sue or file criminal charges. Why, I remember just last week that 47,000 school children got gastroenteritis from bad school food and sued…oh, wait, no, they all ate perfectly safe stuff (other than being loaded with government mandated starch).

This is probably more anti-GMOtardery.  Fun fact: Without GMO food, we can't feed 7 billion people.  I propose everyone opposed to GMO stop eating.  That will eliminate GMO, and provide enough food for everyone else, mostly poor people in Africa and Asia.  Unless, of course, the anti-GMO crowd are mostly privileged "liberal" racists who hate brown people. Which they are.

~~~

● Production and marketing of our food are done transparently;

~~~
Because the government excels at transparency.  Seriously, did these idiots actually say that?  Why don't they ask for rainbow-colored unicorn jizz while they're at it?

~~~

● The food industry pays a fair wage to those it employs;

~~~

Ah, the "living wage" that destroyed Detroit.  "Liberals" will never learn, because they are not capable of learning.  What we really need is a national policy to declare "liberalism" (as opposed to actual Liberalism) a psychiatric disorder and put them in facilities where they can mumble to the walls and other inmates and not hurt anyone who matters.

~~~

● Food marketing sets children up for healthful lives by instilling in them a habit of eating real food;

~~~

Ah, "Real food." Which the USDA, which is run by...let me check my notes…ah, here:  The US Government.  It endorses eating gobs of starch that cause metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes. I even saw one recent report from this "US Government" that diabetics should get 70% of their calories from starch.  The article concurs with this problem, but suggests MOAR GOVERNMENT will make it better.

Hint for the scientifically illiterate:  Starch metabolizes as sugar. That's what it is.

What some of these tofu-munching pussies are hoping for is a law against meat, to stop those ebil, gun-toting, god-worshipping teahadis and make them comply.

Except California famously outlawed Caesar Salad a few years back, leading to literal bootlegging of salad.  Once you put a bureautard in charge, it's hard to get anything rational to happen.

~~~

● Animals are treated with compassion and attention to their well-being;

~~~
Most farmers do this, because maltreated animals don't taste good.  What this will turn into is more "animals are people too!" bullshit from the bunnyfuckers, and retards who try to feed their carnivorous pets weeds.

~~~

● The food system’s carbon footprint is reduced, and the amount of carbon sequestered on farmland is increased;

~~~

Wait, didn't you say you wanted the food to be cheap and plentiful?  So: We will regulate the food and the farmers, require them to spend more money on wages, demand they comply with "Carbon sequestration," and it will magically be cheaper, just like health care.

Actually, though, this is potentially achievable—we just reduce the carbon footprint of everyone in favor of this to zero, process them through a logchipper, then through a lime pit. We'll sequester their carbon and they won't produce any more. And, we won't have to listen to them. Win-win-win.

~~~

● The food system is sufficiently resilient to withstand the effects of climate change.

~~~

According to my research, the food system has withstood climate change for a half billion years. What we need to be concerned about is if it can withstand Al Gore, his private jets, his mansions all over the coasts (wait, isn't he afraid of sea level rise? Why would he have mansions on the coasts?) and his considerable bulk that is probably fed by cheeseburgers, not salad.  The carbon footprint of his houses exceeds my entire block.  The calorie footprint of his girth exceeds the local football team, and his bullshit quotient exceeds that of every cow in Kansas.

Even on an ephemeral basis, first we have to actually conclude what specific effects of climate change we are concerned about.  If we lose a week of frost-free days in Canada, their wheat crop fails.  If we lose rainfall, much of the corn belt suffers.  If we lose a couple of degrees in another Little Ice Age or Younger Dryas, there goes the citrus crop.  Then there's hurricanes, El Niño, etc.  "Make it more resilient" sounds cute, but doesn't actually say much.  And of course, doing so will cost money, which will magically make food more affordable.

We have a system in the US that feeds not only us, but most of the world, and so well we actually pay farmers not to grow food.  But what this proposes is to raise the prices, reduce the output, and somehow, magically, cheaper!  And as for all those poor people in Asia and Africa, who cares?  Because at heart, "liberals" are racist, narcissistic, greedy fucks who only care about themselves.

And Al Gore is their spokesJabba.

So, we have an op-ed that's shallow, panders to the wrong market, does so poorly, and is endorsed by a fat albatross.  Ultimately, though, the proposal comes down to, "Government stupidity got us into this mess. We need more government stupidity to get us out."

Or, you could stop "helping" and figure that since people have been eating food for 3 million years, they'll figure it out.

Coming next: A national policy on masturbation and heavy breathing.

The Internet Is For Trolls...
Nov 08, 201407:51PM

Category: Politics

http://laurajmixon.com/2014/11/a-report-on-damage-done-by-one-individual-under-several-names/

So, I'm reading this about someone being an utter shitbag of a troll. 

I'm glad they're being outed, and I'm glad people are responding.

I know how attention like that can be painful, or at least aggravating.

I wonder how many of these people realize how common this type of behavior is.

In fact, just recently, I've been called:

a "child abusing fucktard" because I taught my kids to shoot, even though I'm a qualified instructor with decades of military experience.

"Ultraconservative," by someone who's certainly never read a word I've put in print, who then publicly demanded a publisher stop carrying my books based on that.

During the Iraq War, while deployed, and while endorsing some of our strategy, the "support the troops" meme suddenly turned to "Well, fuck you, you Koch-whore.  I hope you get your balls blown off."  The pun is at least amusing, but really, what they meant was they supported the troops who agreed with their political position. They wished me a violent death.

I get actual death threats every month or so. They're usually not credible.

I finally had to block fantasy author Tad Williams from my Facebook wall after two years of driveby comments where he'd call everyone racists and accuse others and myself of privilege because he thinks I'm as straight white male as he is, with no evidence to support his belief.  It even came down to, "I'm not even sure what this post was about, but you're all a bunch of racists" (paraphrased).  I try not to block people, but if they add literally nothing to the discussion, and merely troll, I do.

Racist, racist, racist, white middle class fuck, white male (and my opinion is invalid based on my gender and apparent race).  I get this all the time.

So I'm glad to see this is an issue that these people want to address.

Oh, wait:

~~~

As a lesbian Thai woman, she identifies as a member of a highly marginalized community, and there has been quite a bit of excitement in progressive circles around her rise in popularity as a short story writer. She has been publishing SFF since 2012 and is a John W. Campbell nominee for 2014.

~~~

There's excitement about her being a writer. But there's MORE excitement about her race and orientation.

Perhaps someday "liberals" will judge a writer on the content of the work, not on the color of their skin.

~~~

  • She and her supporters argue that she punches up, but the truth is that she punches in all directions. The bulk of her targets—despite her progressively-slanted rhetoric—have been women, people of color, and other marginalized or vulnerable people.

~~~

So, "punching up." That's "liberal" code for "attacks white males."  Well, that's okay.  It's only when she attacks certain minorities or "marginalized or vulnerable people" that it's a problem.

So, either they're claiming that my alleged "privilege" (Assuming I'm as SWM as they think I am based on my appearance) makes me immune or less vulnerable to such attacks.  In other words, they believe in white supremacy. (Or any other writer who's allegedly white, whether they are or not.)

Or, they're perfectly okay with attacks on certain demographic groups. That makes them bigots.

~~~

  • She has single-handedly destroyed several online SFF, fanfic, and videogaming communities with her negative, hostile comments and attacks.

~~~

 

Again, this happens all the time to conservatives and libertarians.

Most of these people supported the vitriolic attack on Uncle Timmy (Tim Bolgeo), based on something he copied and pasted, to the point where the ignorati wondered "what a racist blog has to do with SF," when he publishes neither a blog nor a racist one. He got uninvited from a convention.

Then the privileged white male who started that twitstorm publicly and repeatedly called me a "racist piece of shit" at a convention (which did step in and stop him).

Remember mega-nerd Jonathan Ross got uninvited from LonCon because someone was sure he would definitely make personal comments about her, with no evidence that he'd ever done so or intended to.

~~~

  • “If I see *** being beaten in the street I’ll stop to cheer on the attackers and pour some gasoline on him” – “*** is an ignorant, appropriative bag of feces.”
  • “Spread the word that *** is a raging racist fuck. Let him be hurt, let him bleed, pound him into the fucking ground. No mercy.”
  • “Stupid fuck” – “homophobe” – “without any talent whatsoever”. To a reader defending her: “Your liking for this pile of verbal diarrhea proves what morons fantasy fans are.”
  • “rape apologist!”  – “her hands should be cut off so she can never write another Asian character.”
  • “ah, if only I could actually do it in person. with scalpels, not words.”

Stupid fuck” “homophobe” “without any talent whatsoever”. ”MAYDAY, MAYDAY. BIOCHEMICAL WEAPON TO CINDY PON’S COORDINATES AND MAKE THAT DOUBLE TIME” To reader defending her: insults along the lines of “Your liking for this pile of verbal diarrhea proves what morons fantasy fans are.”

~~~

"Biochemical weapon"—does that sound like a real threat?  That sounds herpaderp.  But if you think it might be legit, call the FBI. They do investigate threats of terrorism.

And a reader has the right to publicly say your book is "complete racist shit."  It's an opinion. It needs no proof.  It needs no license.  You cannot stop it and have no recourse. Again, downvote it and move on.

So, now that she, from her alleged (since we don't actually know her race, gender or status) position of more victimhood, is attacking people of less victimhood (which actually IS "punching up"), now it's a problem.

Pardon me for having little sympathy for the culture as a whole. They endorsed this, and still do.  But they can't handle it when they get it.

I guess the lesson here is that publishers, hosters, bloggers and authors shouldn't be apologizing to anonymous internet cowards over allegations of anything.  Block them, move on, and ignore them. Giving them bandwidth only encourages them.

And hopefully, the "liberal" SF community will learn from this and try to be less racist and judgmental.

Had they started fighting this when she was "only" "punching up" white males of privilege, they might have contained the matter.  Now it's turned into a virus.

"Then they came for me…"

~~~

ADDENDUM:

In response to a comment of support:

Honestly, I realize most of them are only internet brave, and I'm pretty sure face to face I can take most of them.

Now, I know female authors who've gotten legitimate threats and had to get bodyguards.

Privilege does exist. But that doesn't make it okay to exploit it, or bandy it about as an epithet.

A Post Election AAR
Nov 05, 201412:04AM

Category: Politics

It seems the GOP can learn eventually, after enough idiots legitimately rape their own party's chances.  Very few of them mentioned abortion, rape or god crap this time around, and they won. Hopefully the lesson sticks.  People don't want to hear about abortion, rape or god crap, and no one really cares if teh gheys marry.

And there's a point here.  With those issues gone, the DNC had very little to offer, and got beaten like a cheap rubber doll at a sadists' convention.

A "Friend" of mine who identifies as "liberal" was bleating all week about the need to beat the "teahadis" and "libertoonians" who wanted to "Destroy America."

Point A:  I doubt she actually knows any Tea Partiers, only what MSDNC has told her about Tea Partiers.  Quite a few of them are pro-choice, support marriage equality (or don’t care either way) and are females who adamantly oppose sexual assault and discrimination.  Attempting to compare them to Muslim terrorists is ridiculous, inaccurate, and racist (using the left's own logic of "racializing" cultures that are different from our own)(while in a weird bipolar disconnect, insisting such cultures are every bit as good as our own)(oh, right, I get it—they're just as good from THEIR POV, but not from OUR POV. This Is Not Racist(when a "liberal" does it)).

Point 2)  I'm not a "libertoonian," but since I doubt she actually knows the difference between an anarcho-capitalist and a libertarian, I'll speak for our collective selves.  It turns out most of us agree with her on pretty much every social issue, if not the approach to said issues.  This Is Not Good Enough.  How dare we not march in the same formation in the parade?

And this is one reason why the left must be exterminated, by actual violence if necessary. They don't actually tolerate anything.  You are free to agree, or be an enemy of the state. In this regard, they are more dangerous to American than idiot Christofascists, almost as dangerous as actual Jihadis.  Projection projects from their every statement.

Point c]  A complete lack of tolerance for dissenting POVs is not in any fashion "liberal."  Liberals are supposed to endorse social support, the exploration of new ideas, and freedom for individuals.  Conversely, conservatives conserve, and hold to existing systems that work. A balance between the two is necessary.

Point IV. If we assume for sake of argument that America works, has worked for a couple of centuries, and does so better than most nations on the planet or in history—readily provable with an examination of GDP, lifespan, and the Bill of Rights—then the people who want to stick with that system are not "destroying" it.  Now, had she specifically referred to Christofascists, I'd agree with her.  But, "not instantly adopting the curious combination of Fascism and Stalinism endorsed by the DNC" is not "destroying America."  The Curious Combination of Fascism and Stalinism endorsed by the DNC is what's destroying America. And we've held the line against it…for now.

And this is why one should not confuse actual liberals, who are a useful, necessary and productive part of any healthy society, with fascists.

So what should we of the evil right wing do tomorrow and moving forward?

Well, first, I'm going to have my driver deliberately detune the engine of the limo to produce as much CO2 as possible.  Then, he's going to drive me to McDonald's, where I hope the cow was waterboarded before being slowly raped to death, to be mixed with worm and soy by someone earning $2/hr and chained to the machine.  On the way there, I may shoot at homeless people with readily available ghost guns from the NRA Store's ice cream trucks.—This seems to be what she expects proper "teahadis" to do.

Sadly for the DNC, with the GOP in control of both houses, they will not be able to repeat their famous acts of putting an entire race of people into concentration camps, sterilizing the "unfit" or keeping black people as slaves.—This is some of what the Democrats actually did when they were in charge.

GOP:  Learn from 2014 for 2016.  Tell the idiot god-nuts to STFU, and deal with the problems people actually care about.

DNC: Try actually being liberal. America needs that.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/05/16/152822762/minority-rules-who-gets-to-claim-status-as-a-person-of-color

From the drivel:

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren isn't backing down from her claim of Native American ancestry, despite the apparent lack of primary documents proving that she's 1/32nd Cherokee.

The controversy surrounding Warren's heritage led us to wonder — how much of a racial or ethnic heritage constitutes minority status? Should percentages of a bloodline matter at all?

...

But many people's self-identification remains limited by their skin color, which influences the perceptions of others.

~~~

If only there were some way to compare people against a background to determine if they're dark enough to be "ethnic."  Maybe a brown paper bag?

~~~

From the comments:

"Gage Hutchens • 2 years ago
As a statement of opinion, I believe the cultural bias to favor certain people for admissions to undergrad and graduate school should be based on parental income, not on ethnicity or "race."

And as a Cherokee, I hope that I am able to add a unique perspective to this conversation. What appears most challenging for White America to grasp, is that concepts of one's relationship to the dominate anglo-germanic-celtic culture are not uniform even within ethnicities. Opinions are shaped both by a complex interaction of how one is perceived, and also how one's family, clan and tribe perceives AND the culture stories within the "minority" or subordinate culture as to their role enveloped by the dominate society."

~~~

Wow. As an immigrant from the "dominate Anglo-Germanic-Celtic culture" (Please show me the respect of capitalizing my ethnicity), let me inform you that it works both ways. My English ancestors spent centuries trying to exterminate my Celtic ancestors, and both of them created the nation of Belgium just so they'd have a place to settle their differences with the Germans. But I guess all us white people look the same to you.

Once again, "liberals" prove they are the most racist fucks on the planet.

On SWATting.
Oct 28, 201410:48AM

Category: Politics

The anti-gun freaks who promote "SWATting" are stating they intend for people carrying guns to die from their lies and hysteria. To me, this constitutes a legitimate threat. If someone were to pre-emptively kill one of them, I'd regard it as self defense.

Also, it fits the legal definition of conspiracy--discussion of intent to commit an illegal act, followed by at least one overt act (that need not be criminal itself, merely supportive) (BUT, has been felonious, removing all doubt).

So every member of their group who has made a post or statement to that effect is a felon, conspiring to commit murder.

And until they are arrested for such, it would be completely reasonable to kill them on contact.

This is called "escalation." It's also called "Responding to a credible threat."

Dignity: You're Doing It Wrong
Oct 13, 201409:02PM

Category: Politics

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/Chief_Illinwek_Will_Hasnt_Danced_His_Last_Dance.html?fb_action_ids=10203991408218066&fb_action_types=og.comments

A white guy pretending to be an Iroquoisan dressed as a Siouxan doing a Kansa dance? How does anyone think this can possibly have any dignity whatsoever?

Though apparently some chick at U of I who's likely Shoshoni, Comanche or Aztec in background (Uto-Aztecan name) found it so offensive 7 years later she says she feels suicidal:

~~~

In April 2014, an indigenous student, Xochitl Sandoval, sent a letter to the university administration (which she also posted on her Facebook page) describing her thoughts of suicide resulting from the daily insults she felt due to the continued presence of "The Chief" on campus, including other students wearing the old image and name on sweatshirts and the continued "unofficial" performances the current "Chief", Ivan A. Dozier at some events. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Illiniwek#After_retirement

~~~

Man, that's a negative dignity rating there.

That would be like having a Chinese guy put on a kilt and horned helmet, dance a polka, and someone in Spain getting offended.

But hell, we're talking about a school that thinks orange and blue are complementary colors.

So this was an encounter with (If my research is correct) one Matthew J. Carroll-Schmidt, who styles himself MJCS on Facebook.  He's allegedly a lawyer.

I had no idea who he was.  He was at Archon, dressed as Space Ghost, and we conversed cordially for about ten minutes about random stuff until he noticed my badge.

Him: "Hey, are you Michael Williamson, the racist guy?"

Me: "Er, huh?"

Him: "Yeah, I'm MJCS.  Do you know me?"

Me: "I don't think so."  

Him: "I think we talked on Facebook."

Me: "Possibly.  I have 3500 followers on Facebook.  I talk to a lot of people."

Him: "Do you know Tim Bolgeo?"

Me: "Slightly."

Him: "Yeah, it is you, you racist piece of shit."

On visual observation, he appeared to be an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged white male with a small penis (He was dressed as Space Ghost, and the spandex does not lie).

(Try to contain your surprise.)

Which of course perfectly qualifies him as an expert on racism.

This individual is apparently the overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged white male with a small penis who shit his panties on Twitter about an out of context comment from Tim's fanzine, call Tim a racist, and got thousands of other members of the Butthurt Little Bitch Brigade to shit their panties, to a point where the concom was forced to uninvite Tim to avoid the deluge of leftist feces. This greatly annoyed a lot of us, who know Tim well. There were discussions where we presented facts and lefticle panty-shitters called us "racists."  Even those of our side who were black.

There were even leftist ignoranuses (that's a person who's ignorant and an asshole) asking why the con would invite someone who publishes a "racist ezine," thus demonstrating that they had no knowledge of the events whatsoever, but were outraged anyway.  

His e-zine is about science (Tim being a retired nuclear engineer), space, SF, people in the SF community needing help, and a few jokes, some of them tacky.  He'll even take jokes about Italian Catholics, even though he's one himself.  But of course, humor is lost on leftists.

I asked, "Are you aware that [well known black author] made statements supporting Tim Bolgeo?"

"Yes."

"So are you claiming to know more about racism than [well known black author]?"

"Yes. I read his [Tim's] blog." [Actually, it's an ezine.]

Aha!  I think we found the racist in the equation.  Obviously that poor black author doesn't know real racism when he sees it.  He needs an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis to whitesplain it to him.

He continued, "Yeah, so you're a racist piece of shit. A racist piece of shit.  A racist piece of shit."

Clearly, MJCS is a low-Q specimen as well as a low-T specimen.

Now, there are five reasons why it's a really bad idea to loudly and publicly call someone a "racist piece of shit."

First, they might actually be one, and proud of it.  In which case, they'll be pleased with your comment and you accomplish nothing.

Second, they might be one, and not aware of it, in which case, you've negated any possibility of reasonable discussion to persuade them otherwise, and accomplished less than nothing.

Third, it's probably slander, and you might get your ass sued. A competent lawyer would know this.

Fourth, if it's not true, you're pissing someone off needlessly, and they might…

Fifth, beat the living shit out of you and kick your teeth down your throat, especially if you're an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis.  Actually, ANY of them might do it, and given the provocation, quite a few bystanders might cheer them on.

I chose to ignore this and not get violent.  It was clearly what he wanted, so he could file a lawsuit, sort of like a fourth-rate cousin of his fellow Democrat Fred Phelps. Though to be fair, despite his laundry list of flaws, Phelps was not a racist.

But, I think I might contact the Bar Assn about this behavior. It certainly lent nothing to the dignity of the profession.

Of course, he was assuming a punch or slap and a bruise for a lawsuit.  What he might get is his face smashed into the table and his teeth kicked down his throat, some broken ribs and fingers.  After all, if you're getting arrested, it may as well be for something worthwhile.  If this ever does happen to him, I hope there's a Youtube video.

He then said, "Yeah, so, I know it's an article of faith among your racist subculture that I wouldn't be here. Well, HERE I AM!"

Wow.  Here you are.  Fighting racism by dressing as a white character at a convention that's 95% white people, attacking people with verbal epithets. You should be so proud.

Honestly, I'd completely forgotten he existed.  Twittards are plentiful and my time is valuable.  I pay them no heed.

I'm not sure how he knows so much about any subculture I might belong to, seeing as he seemed blissfully unaware I'm a relatively well-known author in SF, was a convention Guest this year, a Special Guest last year, and have a substantial body of work. Also, I'm a member of three minority groups myself and have a mixed-race wife. I just don't wave the flag about it and call people names over it. (It's perfectly okay for me to call him names, since as an apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, he's part of the racist culture America fosters, a privileged member of the dominant ethnic group, and fair game by those of us with less privilege.  Also, he had macro-aggressed me.)

I'm not sure how he knows so much about a racist subculture. I know very little about them myself, and even have to ask for help deciphering some of the slang they use, when I read it online.  However, since as best I recall he'd publicly stated he wasn't going to attend, my peer group assumed he wasn't.  We had concluded that if he did show up he'd be an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle age white male with a small penis, and it appears we were right!

Bonus point: I bet that within five exchanges, he'd reveal himself to be a racist, and either suffering guilt or in denial about it, and I appear to have been correct about that, too.

So I reported the harassment to the concom, who called security and had him informed to stop harassing me.

It turned out he'd been at the convention feedback session, loudly decrying it as an "unsafe space" for women, even though none of the women I know report that.  In fact, they reported feeling very safe.  But, I'm sure as an apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle age white male with a small penis, he knows more about sexism than they do, and can mansplain it to them.

Then, he'd claimed to be a lawyer and demanded details of their incorporation documents, presumably to use it for further leverage against them. That would make him a shit lawyer, since such information is publicly available about a non-profit corporation.  Unless he was doing it for purposes of harassing them, in which case he's a piece of shit lawyer.  But then, what other kind would an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis who works for "Activist groups" be?  

One of the groups appears to be the "Nonhuman rights project," securing civil rights for animals, or perhaps for people who think they're animals. Such group appears to have accomplished nothing. Otherwise, a search shows no real papers, no real cases, not much of anything. Exactly what you'd expect of an "activist" who's an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis.

I suggested that they might consider uninviting him for future events, since his presence seems to be disruptive and make quite a few people feel unsafe.  Also, by reducing attendance by one apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, they'd improve the racial and gender diversity slightly. Not to mention the smell.

This, by the way, is why you should NEVER respond to a Twit-shitstorm.  It only validates people who should have none.

In conclusion, MJCS, you apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, take this as my warning not to ever approach my personal space ever again, or I will regard it as assault and respond accordingly.

Oh, by the way, there's no need to apologize—the head of the concom did so on your behalf, since civil behavior is beyond your emotional capability. There was no need of him to do so, but he understands manners and civil behavior.

So, Ted Beale, AKA Vox Day, self-proclaimed genius about everything, has this list of "Questions Atheists Can't Answer."

Either it's a complete troll and he knows better, or he's much less bright than he constantly purports to be.

Below are the questions, and I've provided answers from layman myself (M), a neuroscientist who is also a quite vocal Christian (NEURO), an entomologist whose religious affiliation I do not know (ENT), and a biologist who is an atheist (BIO).

Q1: How do creationists "pose a serious threat to society"?

M: as with any other mythology, they believe things that aren't real, and more importantly, desire to have their myths taught as science with the stated goal of displacing science. Should we also listen to crystal huggers, palm readers, astrologers and UFOers? Also, which creationism? Obviously, Ted and his ilk are hoping for a Christian world, and even state so. But Muslims are working on outnumbering Christians and have their own mythology, anathema to he and his type. With a precedent for teaching myth as science, we would have no ethical standing to stop their "education." And besides, Hindu creation is older, better supported and obviously the correct one. When he agrees to teach it as science, then we can talk.

Of course, since the US courts, composed of judges who are about 80% Christian, based on average demographics, have ruled Creationism is in fact a myth, not science, he can't even claim he's got majority opinion on his side, if the opinion of ignorant non-scientists mattered in this matter, which they do not.

BIO: The threat they pose is dragging us back to the Dark Ages. Most of them deny science in ways far more insidious than “merely” denying evolution. Most of them would happily deny evolution and even the existence of DNA … right up until they needed a paternity test. [This is not hyperbole. I worked with a group of people who did exactly this, until one of their number “had” to fight a paternity suit. He lost. There are reasons I loathed working there.] I’ve gotten to deal with the ones who, even as they work on computers as programmers insist that because “evolution doesn’t exist,” all of our knowledge about chemistry and physics is wrong as well.

NEURO: Response: Creationists pose the exact same threat to society that the IPCC and the AGW crowd does – implying that any scientific inquiry is "closed" and irrefutable. I will be writing an article this summer on "Why Science is Never Settled" in which I look at the historical precedents that the most *certain* scientific (or religious) "fact" is most often found to be wrong.

ENT: And has been mentioned previously, any group that tries to force or establish their dogma as the One True Dogma can be considered a threat to scientific exploration and discovery.

To quote Terry Pratchett, "People think that progress is made by everybody pulling in the same direction. They are wrong. Progress is made by everybody pulling in every direction at once". Trying to channel/fund science that only looks r agrees with the One True Dogma is not going to find as much as if the scientists had been allowed to explore and wander a bit.

Q2: There are an estimated 1,263,186 animal species and 326,175 plant species in the world. Assuming the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years, what is the average rate of speciation?

M: I don't know whose ass he pulled that number out of, but it's both ludicrously precise and ridiculously low. If he's not even going to pose worthwhile questions or use cites, I don't see much point in responding, but here goes:

Asking the "average rate of speciation" is like asking "how deep is a hole?" The question is meaningless and irrelevant. Beale either knows this (Troll), or has not done his research in the subject to ask a rational question (not as bright as he'd like to hope to think we believe he is).

BIO: Average rates of speciation vary widely between types of creatures – animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses. It’s partly due to generational turn-over – the faster the organism reaches sexual maturity and reproduces (and generally dies) the faster mutation rates accumulate. That’s why there isn’t a single unified DNA “clock” between all organisms. Also, in plants? It’s a lot easier to speciate than it is in animals. Every time a plant’s germ cell fails to perform meiosis correctly, there’s a chance for speciation due to chromosome number changes, particularly in plants that are self-fertile. Bacteria and viruses have it even easier.

NEURO: Response: Average rate of speciation is, as Bio mentioned elsewhere, so variable as to make *this* question the equivalent of "How deep is a hole?" Bio's explanation works very well, and from what we are now learning about epigenetics, it doesn't take much isolation to generate new "sub-species." Keep in mind that the classical Linnaean definition of a species is ability (or lack) to interbreed. Thus all humans are single species (and subspecies are strictly defined by commonly inherited "phenotypes" or visible traits).

ENT: There is no "average rate of speciation". In fact, recent studies suggest that the entire idea of a "molecular clock" is unsupported by genetic evidence. The rate of change at the genetic level is not constant, there will be times of seeming stagnation, and times of rapid speciation.

Also, the number quoted for animals is pathetically low. Insects alone have 900,000 described species.

Which then brings up the headache inducing topic of what a species is.

The old definition of a species, where two individuals can mate and produce fertile offspring has somewhat fallen by the wayside with indications from genetic work that there can be two species that can mate and have fertile hybrids. This happens in plants all the time.

In animals, the difference in eastern and western coyotes is thought to come from eastern coyotes interbreeding with eastern wolf populations.

A Beefalo, a cross between a cow and an American Bison is fertile. And delicious.

Q3: How many mutations, on average, are required per speciation?

M: Again, "How deep is a hole?" This is an attempt to force a respondent to agree with the query. Definite game designer strategy. Unless it's complete ignorance.

BIO: There isn’t a set number of mutations that would trigger speciation, or even an “average.” Reproductive isolation is one of the major “hallmarks” of speciation, and even that threshold can be debatable. If a single gene mutated such that a fly reproduced either twice as fast or twice as long as others of its egg-mates, it has the opportunity to found a new species. It’d be a derivative species, and the first generations would be crosses with the primary species, but the resulting offspring who mated later (and later, and later) would be more likely to reproduce with each other, while the ones who reproduced sooner would generally reach sexual maturity at roughly the same time and breed with each other.

NEURO: Response: As above – it's not the number of mutations... unless that mutation results in the formation of additional/fewer chromosomes. But that's a "Whole' Nother Thang" that will take a lot more time to discuss than this single [comment].

ENT: Mutation is not the only way to speciate. Behaviour is one. Adaptation (via upregulation or down regulation as influence by environment) is another. So is geographic isolation.

And what type of mutations? SNPs? Gene duplication? Gene loss? Gene birth? Horizontal gene transfer?

To be honest, this question doesn't make a lot of sense to me.[It's not supposed to. It's supposed to sound cool for ignorati who want to think your confused look is some kind of moral score—Mike]

Q4: What scientifically significant predictive model relies primarily upon evolution by natural selection?

BIO: I’m afraid, to me, that question doesn’t make sense. Those who have academic experience may be better suited to answering it, because my response is “Er, evolution as we understand it today.” Evolution, by the way, is a description of a process we know exists. We just may not have all the answers and reasons about how/why it works the way it does. To make that assumption – when we clearly are still acquiring knowledge and information – would be a special kind of hubris. Say, the sort reserved for “climate scientists” and “politicians” (but I repeat myself).

We’ve also (recently) discovered that environmental stress can bring change to how the DNA-assisted protein expression works. In essence, the mutations build up “in the background” because they’re in noncritical areas. Environmental stress causes those parts of the DNA to be expressed, resulting in the potential for rapid, multi-variable mutation expression in just a single generation. The new generation’s members which survive to reproductive age set the stage for the potential speciation.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206142014.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24337296 (HSP90 as a capacitor for loss of eyes in cavefish; 2013 Dec 13)

Article with a large number of linked/cited articles https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140115-under-pressure-does-evolution-evolve/

NEURO: Response: Again, Bio has a great response regarding scientific theories, but I'll go one step further and state that *I* think the scientific model(s) most dependent on evolution and natural selection is the study of epidemiology and disease. There is clear evidence of rapid mutation and "selection" or viruses and bacteria. Human health is highly dependent on inherited traits. BTW, the only difference between natural selection and GMOs is that someone has manipulated the environment to speed up evolutionary process.

Minirant #1: Creationism is damaging to science and society, but Conservative Christians don't have a lock on the principle. Anti-GMO, anti-vaccination liberals are even *more* damaging because they are *directly* affecting human societal health. You can overcome Creationism in time with education. You just don't have *time* to overcome a previously eradicated childhood disease which resurges to kill millions.

ENT: As was mentioned by Neuro, humans and their diseases is an excellent example. The "sickle cell" mutation to help humans survive a malarial infection is one that comes to mind.

Q5: Which of the various human sub- species is the most evolved; i.e. modified by mutation and natural selection from the most recent common human ancestor? Which is the least evolved?

M: Define "evolved." There is no more or less. Andean natives are evolved to survive at altitudes that would kill Hawaiians. Tierre Del Fuegans can survive naked at temperatures that would kill Arabs, and vice versa.

If the question is a timeline one regarding modern humans, then I believe the San Bushmen are closest to our Paleolithic Cro-Magnon forebears, and blond Northern Europeans are the most recent of gross appearance genotypes. But, Northern Europeans incorporate Neanderthal DNA, Asians and Pacific peoples Denisovan DNA, and Sub Saharan Africans do not.

The answer to question as phrased (Because it's a really bad question) is, "Modern humans are the most evolved human species from our most recent ancestor." Denisovans, Neanderthals, and arguably Heidelbergensis and Habilis were all human. Neanderthals certainly displayed considerable behavioral modernity.

Really, is there some point to this? I recall some conspiracy nut trying to prove the existence of a banking conspiracy insisting, "Ask your mortgage holder to sign a statement that the bank doesn't use the same bookkeeping method as if they stole your house and sold it back to you." Naturally, he claimed that refusal to sign it proved his point, and naturally, no one with any brains in the finance sector is going to sign anything not written in legalese and vetted by the legal department.

This question is crap.

BIO: Snark answer: What, is someone needing their superiority complex fluffed up again?

Of the human subspecies we know about, we only have some DNA evidence. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24603-mystery-human-species-emerges-from-denisovan-genome.html#.UzvvTqzD9hE indicates we split off from the Denisovans and Neanderthals approximately 400 thousand years ago, and they split sometime after that. The Denisovans then appear to have interbred with an even more archaic population, picking up trace signals from that. Now it appears that some of the African hunter-gatherer groups (who have long been held to be the ‘purest’) interbred about 35 thousand years ago with a different archaic group, which split off from our lineage 700 thousand years ago. (Unfortunately, the papers involved seem to be paywalled, and I can’t get to them directly.) So, how can we even begin to suggest one group is more “evolved” than the other? We’re still figuring out about our own DNA, let alone any other archaic group’s.

NEURO: Response: The most recent common ancestors were omnivorous sub-tropical hunter-gatherers. Based on deviation from the likely *direct* lineage (Fertile Crescent and sub-Saharan Africa), that would make the Inuit and Scandinavians the most "evolved" – The environmental adaptations to cold, lack of sunlight, and a much more heavily carnivorous diet are the most obvious adaptations, but remember, so much of that "selection" and "evolution" is Lamarckian theory which is largely discarded (and I say "largely" instead of "entirely" only because of recent evidence that epigenetic changes can be inherited). In point of fact, the sedentary, obese, urban metrosexual cubicle dweller is the most divergent from human evolutionary paths.

ENT: Again, as mentioned it would be those human populations that have been relatively isolated and become adapted to their environments.

Also, "sub-species"? No one in taxonomy, biogeography, etc., uses that term anymore. It's archaic.

"Which is the least evolved?"

I am assuming that this poorly worded question is asking which of the human populations could be considered the most robust and least modified. The answer is typically the populations from sub-Saharan Africa. As more people get their genome sequenced, this answer may become more precise.

6: Is the theory of evolution by natural selection strengthened or weakened by the claim that most DNA is devoid of purpose?

M: The existence of said DNA has no effect on the theory. Only the utilization of it in mutations would have an effect. IIRC, it was initially understood to be random leftovers, but quickly determined to be a pool of available material to utilize as needed, sort of a garage full of "junk" that includes a motorcycle, tools, cleaning solvent, blowtorches and springs. It's junk when you live in the suburbs with a healthy income. When civilization collapses, it suddenly becomes worth more than gold.

Seriously, when was the last time this guy read a basic science book? 8th grade?

BIO: It’s a claim that DNA has “junk” space in it. Some of it does not appear to code for genes – as far as we can tell. However, see above for the previously-suppressed mutations being expressed under environmental stress. From what we can tell, parts of the DNA that previously seemed to be “junk” may in fact be coding protein structure not just protein molecules.

See: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/250006.php Quote: “A staggering batch of over 30 papers published in Nature, Science, and other journals this month, firmly rejects the idea that, apart from the 1% of the human genome that codes for proteins, most of our DNA is "junk" that has accumulated over time like some evolutionary flotsam and jetsam.

The papers, representing 10 years of work of the ENCODE ("Encyclopedia of DNA Elements") project, completed by hundreds of scientists from dozens of labs around the world, reveal that 80% of the human genome serves some purpose and is biochemically active, for example, in regulating the expression of genes situated nearby.”

So, based on our most recent and available research, that is a debunked claim (and as far as I know, it was always debated that we just didn’t know the purposes yet). It is meaningless for “strengthening or weakening” the theory of evolution. However, because at least 80% of DNA has some functional ability (and perhaps more), I’d say that means evolutionary theory is pretty robust. If we kept ALL archaic DNA that ever showed up in the genome, the percentage of active processing would be far lower. That’d mean at least most of those viral remnants have been kept … because they were useful.

NEURO: Counter question: Well, is the astronomical theory of a heliocentric solar system strengthened or weakened by the fact that Pluto is not a planet or that the Moon should be?

Response: Frankly, this is a diversion – first it isn't true that most DNA is devoid of purpose. Think of it as not just a computer program, but a complete Operating System, including boot sequence, interrupt vectors and machine-code subroutines. True, a *lot* of DNA is legacy code, but a lot is also structural. In order to "curl" and compact the DNA strands into the structure we call "chromosomes", there have to be specific molecular structures at specific distances along the strand. Hence there are specific structural components and spacing to form the 3-D structure. There's also instructional code necessary for growth and development (analogous to the boot-up sequence) which guides development, then shuts off. There's "subroutines" for immune functions which are only needed to create the specific immune reaction to a disease, there's duplicates of code utilized to repair random errors, there's stop and start codes for transcriptions. Frankly, like any good programming language, there's structural elements that do nothing more than to establish sequence and timing. We now know that there's a lot of old viral code stored in our DNA, it *had* a function at one time, but like MicroSoft, our DNA never throws out legacy code no matter how out of date – after all, our bodies still (mostly) have an appendix, tonsils and redundant gonads.

I'll close this with...

Minirant #2: Actually – new-age mysticism, "crystal power", Occupy Wall Street, the various forms of environmental luddites, Greenies, people who distrust 'materialist science', race-baiters, Dept. of Education bureaucrats, IPCC, and antivaxxers are THE NUMBER ONE threat to scientific progress. Considering that prior to the 20th century, "scientists" were quite often monks doing isolated work on their own, religion doesn't come anywhere close. Yes, there are abuses today, but frankly, it's largely an excuse and a diversion from the *real* problem.

ENT: Introns are not devoid of purpose.

The 'Junk DNA' seems to have a number of semi-dismantled viruses that are kept around. Some bits seem to be duplicated genes that act as an open lab for evolution to tinker with without having deleterious effects. Other parts could be genes that we've lost the promoter regions to, so they aren't turned on (expressed).

~~~~

Beale admits he couldn’t do the college math for real science, yet arrogates to himself the authority to tell real scientists he knows more than they, because God.

He might want to try pot instead. He'll come up with more rational questions.

These questions are akin to the ones 2nd Amendment activists get regarding, "But 'well-regulated!'" and "assault weapons of mass murder!" and other emotion-begging crap that has no support, but sounds impressive.

Beale is a decent musician (he co-founded Psykosonik), probably a decent game designer (I don't play most games), but as a scientist, he's a pretty good musician and game designer.

I'm going to assume he's just trolling and knows better. If so, he makes a valid point that your typical layperson really doesn't understand science.

On the other hand, he also seems to be stuck in a religious perspective that "science" is like a church and is concerned with comfort and safety and keeping out the infidel. Certainly there are people practicing science who act that way—human beings are flawed. But in contemporary vernacular, the battle cry of a scientist is supposed to be, "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" to disprove everything put into the arena. Only that which survives battle is accepted into the category of knowledge known as "theory," which includes thermodynamics, evolution, and gravity.

Using an example where I agree with his statements but for rational, rather than emotional reasons, look at the climate science pages on Wikipedia, then look at the geology pages regarding the future of the Earth. The geologists, thinking in much longer time spans, generally regard the climate scientists as gadflies. There's money in climate science for political ends, as there is in ag science (both ways in each). What there isn't money in is human origin (or geology, unless it's for mineral development, that cursed capitalism). Sure, you can choose to believe in some huge Satanic conspiracy to destroy Christianity, but organized religion seems to be doing the job itself just fine.

But given that Beale's blog has people who believe in mystical crop circles, 9-11 conspiracies, magical auras, and…aw, hell, here's a quote from a few days ago, challenging my "belief" in evolution:

~~~

PhillipGeorge(c)2014 August 13, 2014 8:20 AM

Michael Z. Williamson: just run the abiogenesis experiments and get back to us. Or statistically refute Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields. Or in the middle of the night without assistance or detection make a crop circle - of the complexity and beauty of those actually occurring in the real world - or neurologically explain memory, etc etc etc. It actually isn't going to happen.

because, well, mantra me well, scientist.

~~~

I'm sure it feels great to lord intellect over a crowd like that, but it really doesn't take much.

If Beale wants a debate with actual scientists, however, I can arrange it. He obviously hasn't so far. I would speculate that bluster aside, he's terrified that his mythological beliefs are rapidly becoming so quaint they compare to Just So stories and the moon myths of coastal East Africans.

Or he could just be a troll.

I see no indication of any supergenius level intellect, merely an attempt to throw crap against a wall and see what sticks.

Glad we could bring a pressure washer.

In counter, I'd like an answer to the following questions:

The Bible clearly states pi = 3, that rabbits chew a cud, that bats are birds and whales are fish, locusts walk on four legs, and heaven is held up by four pillars and has storehouses of hailstones.

Are these metaphorical or literal statements?

If literal, the Bible is a load of crap from a scientific perspective. If metaphorical, isn't it apparent the entire document is intended to be a guiding principle, not an astrophysics text?

Where in the Bible is DNA mentioned and defined?

Why is the Christian variation of the Jewish creation myth, derived from the Mesopotamian and Zoroastrian creation myths worthy of note as "science"? Why isn't the much more supportable Hindu creation myth preferred?

Feedback to Inevitable comment
Jun 20, 201408:58PM

Category: Politics

Denise Beucler ‏@dmbeucler 4h @scalzi @mzmadmike I'd really love to go a day without men telling me how not to get raped. Details Reply Retweet Favorite

 

I'd really love to go a day without being assumed to be some sort of predatory monster, based on my gender.

I'd really love to go a day without my informed opinion being dismissed because of my gender. 

I'd really love to go a day where facts weren't presumed to have a gender.

I'd really love to go a day where it wasn't assumed that the collators of said facts were entirely male.

I'd really love to go a day without some female chicksplaining to me how I'm wrong, regardless of my training and experience.

I'd really love to go a day where as a male survivor of sexual assault, I wasn’t assumed to be irrelevant to the discussion.

 

So I guess we're both disappointed.