Pro-choice IS Pro-life

June 22, 2018

About a decade ago, I wrote a post Why Pro-Choice is Pro-Life. It wasn’t very detailed. Though, some good stuff came up in the comments.

Given the extremism in the U.S. today, I think this topic requires a much more detailed and well-thought out post. This post contains information that may be relevant anywhere, but is deliberately U.S. focused. I am a U.S. citizen. I am seeing increasing extremism in my country. I am appalled by the treatment of women in the U.S. today. Increasingly, we are passing legislation that turns women into incubators. I only wish that The Handmaid’s Tale were more far-fetched than it actually is.

These days, I’m even seeing people on the reddit sub /r/atheism arguing from a non-religious standpoint about why they think the anti-choice stance makes sense. I can’t understand that and want to have an answer on hand ready to explain all of the very many reasons why the so-called pro-life but really pro-fetus, anti-choice, and anti-woman stance is horrifically cruel and cannot be supported rationally.

Read the rest of this entry »


Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

April 1, 2017

Watch the 2017 Asimov Debate from the American Museum of Natural History. It was a great one. I did not expect the answer to the question of whether we can do this. No spoiler from me. Settle down for a couple of hours with a good drink for this one.

This debate discusses a wide variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms, agriculture, environmentalism, extinction, quality of DNA from preserved extinct animals, morality, animal welfare, legal issues, etc.

For a sample, just consider the question, if we brought back a mammoth (or mammophant) from extinction, is it automatically an endangered species? What is its “natural range”? What are its natural habitat and food? Is it moral to bring back a species adapted to the arctic in an age of climate change?

P.S. Neil is a bit out of his element on this first Asimov Debate that is NOT related to cosmology, astronomy, or astrophysics in any way. But, as he points out Isaac Asimov wrote about a variety of sciences, some of which did not even really exist at the time he wrote about them, such as robotics. So, de-extinction is perfectly within lines to honor the late Isaac Asimov who spent many hours at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Enjoy.


What’s Missing From This Photo of Politicians Deciding the Future of Women’s Health?

March 24, 2017

What’s Missing From This Photo of Politicians Deciding the Future of Women’s Health?

Go ahead … guess.

Nevermind, I’ll just say it. Sausagefest!


Remembering 9/11, with a twist

September 11, 2016

On this day 15 years ago, the United States experienced the largest terror attack in our history. It is a day that we will long remember. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

On this day, I would also like for us to remember that Osama bin Laden who orchestrated the attack was of the house of Saud. 16 of the 19 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. In response to our attack by Saudis, we attacked Iraq in what is now considered to be an enormous blunder of epic proportions.

We still treat Saudi Arabia as a friendly nation in that region. I don’t know why. We still talk about selling arms to Saudi Arabia. I don’t know why. We still buy oil from Saudi Arabia. I don’t know why.

Further, if we assume that every 3,000 lives lost prematurely is “one 9/11” then we have ten 9/11s on our highways every year. We have another ten 9/11s every year as a result of lax gun laws and a nationwide obsession with the damn things (should we consider the NRA a terrorist organization? perhaps). We have sixty-five 9/11s every year as a result of air pollution which we might have reduced tremendously if we took action on climate change (is ExxonMobil a terrorist organization? perhaps).

So, will we do anything for safer roads, stricter gun regulations, and strong regulation of pollution to actually prevent some or all of these 9/11s going forward?

I am not hopeful.

I grieve not only for the 3,000 victims 15 years ago, but also for the 3.9 million lives lost prematurely just from these causes and from many other causes as well since then. And, I grieve for the 260,000 we will lose in 2016.

Perhaps I should subtract out the highway deaths? We do, last I heard, have the safest roads in the world. Maybe we are already doing as much as we can about that. But, the other 230,000 every year can certainly be reduced by at least several 9/11s, if we were to pretend to care.


IUCN Misses One Critically Endangered Species … Us

May 12, 2016

Some of my formerly radical views seem to be becoming more mainstream. Click this first link to read the main topic of this post.

ALERT: Critically Endangered Species: Homo sapiens

Read the rest of this entry »


New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

September 30, 2015

Since, to my knowledge, the buildup of the amyloids is also an issue in Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Chorea, I would hope that this treatment might also help with those conditions as well.

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

P.S. Do remember that until this treatment exists for humans, and possibly even after, studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee does dramatically reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Prevention may still win, even with a 75% effective treatment.


M*A*S*H Lyrics – Written by a 14 Year Old … In 5 Minutes!

June 9, 2015

First, here’s the suicide scene from the movie with a partial song, only 3 stanzas.

Alternately, here’s the complete song with lyrics.

Now here’s my take on the song. The lyrics make it one of my favorites of all time. I know all of the lyrics by heart. Though, I often get the verses out of order. I find the song hugely uplifting in the sense of knowing that when life is no longer better than the alternative, I always have a way out.

The song makes a great sales pitch for death with dignity.

Read the rest of this entry »


Secular Jews: Time to Speak Out Against Haredi Practices (the Ultra-Orthodox Jews)

February 11, 2015

We secular Jews do know that Jews have a long history of persecution. As such, we as a group are hypersensitive to the merest hint of antisemitism, regardless of how religious we are. This is why this message must come from Jews, so there can be no hint of antisemitism.

As an side, I also prefer when criticism of the Westboro Batshit Crazies and other Christian extremists comes from within Christianity. Though, clearly I’ll do my part criticizing them as well.

I should state that I fully believe that everyone, including Haredi Jews, is entitled to their own mishigas. I do not hate Haredi Jews. I hate what they are doing. There is a difference. This is about their actions, not about their right to believe, not about hatred for any human beings.

It’s about being moral and decent human beings in a modern world.

What I believe Haredis are not entitled to do is to be bad neighbors. When they leave their homes, they need to be members of modern society in the modern world. They must not expect others to give them special privileges. Nor can they require that others dress according to their standards. Nor can they take over public land. Nor can they vandalize public or private property.

What many of today’s Haredi Jews are doing in the modern world is unconscionable.

I hope that some Haredi Jews will read this and will not hate me for these opinions. I do not hate them for their opinions. I do not hate Haredi Jews at all. I do hate a lot of the actions of the Haredi community, especially the ones that make the news. These actions make me embarrassed to be a Jew.

I also hope that if non-Jews read this, that this will not be a cause of antisemitism. Remember as you read this, even if you find some of these actions as abhorrent as I do that not only are the people committing these actions Jewish, so is the author of this article. There are also many other actions taken by these same people that may be quite beautiful. I am merely criticizing a subset of the Jewish community for a particular type of interaction with the outside world.

Read the rest of this entry »


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vaginas — from IFLS

December 4, 2014

It’s actually true that I did not know a single one of these before. Interesting. Well, of course, some of the 10 are more interesting than others. For the last, the word is sheath or scabbard. Why sword holder? Are we really no longer expected to know what a sheath or a scabbard is?

It is vaguely appropriate for this to be posted on I Fucking Love Science. Or, would this be I Love Fucking Science? Or, I Love the Science of Fucking?

Anyway, enjoy.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-vaginas

P.S. A much tastier source of good bacteria, IMHO. And, I like yogurt or even yoghurt.


Why Does God Kill So Many Children in Idaho?

November 17, 2014

As someone with type 1 diabetes, I can assure anyone who thinks otherwise that the effects of undiagnosed and untreated type 1 diabetes are beyond unpleasant. I ripped a hole in a lung and a hole in my esophagus from extreme vomiting.

These have healed, though my doctor still checks carefully 26 years later.

Once diagnosed, it took some time to get under control. I was on nothing by mouth for 2 more days after vomiting my guts out for a day or two prior to the hospital. I got motion sickness in a wheel chair on my way to radiology. I passed out quite thoroughly on a cold, hard, metal x-ray table.

26 years later, I am a healthy diabetic in tight control with no complications.

Children of the Followers of Christ, Christian Scientists, and other psychotic morons who believe they should prey on pray for their children rather than actually doing something to help them regularly allow children (yes children) to suffer far more than I did at age 25. It makes me physically ill to think that such people exist and worse, reproduce.

https://www.vocativ.com/culture/religion/faith-healing-deaths/?page=all

Read the rest of this entry »


No One Should Have The Right To Die Until God Is Done Toying With Them

November 11, 2014

A new classic from The Onion. Yes. I know I said new classic.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-should-have-the-right-to-die-until-god-is-d,37418/


Bible has Recipe for Abortion

October 19, 2014

For years, I’ve been saying that the Bible says nothing about abortion. Since abortion predates the Bible by centuries and was commonplace in the area where the Bible was written, I used this as an argument that there is no Biblical foundation for any religious objection to abortion.

However, someone just pointed me at a section of the Bible I’ve missed.

Numbers 5:11-31 actually mandates that women who are unfaithful to their husbands undergo abortion and even gives the recipe for making the Biblical version of RU-486. So, the next time some wacko religious freak who thinks that the government has more to say about a woman’s vagina than she does because … Jesus/God/Bible, point them at Numbers chapter 5. Read it for yourself here. It’s quite amusing.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0405.htm

Here’s the New International Version if you prefer.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+5

Read the rest of this entry »


Reversible Male Birth Control Without Condoms by 2017

September 11, 2014

I had to add reversible to my title because I’ve been using condomless male birth control since 2001.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/09/we-ll-have-male-birth-control-by-2017.html

Read the rest of this entry »


5 Million People Per Year Die of Nothing (More Accurately, Doing Nothing)

November 14, 2013

I just felt the need to spread the word … as I sit on my sofa … inactively killing myself.

The best medicine: No pill provides the amazing health benefits that exercise does


Bill Maher Attacks Reagan as the Original Tea Bagger

June 8, 2013

I agree! Reagan was an excellent leader who changed the paradigm. We’ve been following his voodoo economics and deregulation for 32 years with the result of the complete destruction of the American economy. Yes, Ronald Reagan changed everything in the U.S. to the point where a bill like Graham-Leach-Bliley could pass with bipartisan support. That created the current great bank depression that we are still stuck in the middle of. It created the conditions that led to the exploding income inequality in this country. It’s time to recognize Reagan for what he was, the original tea-bagger.

Ronald Reagan is single-handedly responsible for getting the Christian wrong Right to unknowingly worship an atheist named Ayn Rand and to become as patently un-Christian as it is possible to be. The Ayn-Randian Christian Right now believes that Jesus rode into town on a dinosaur wielding an AK-47 to heal the sick who could afford his care and to deport those who did not have citizenship papers.

It would be laughable if not for the utter destruction of America that Reagan has caused over the last 32 years.


Meat, Meet Schmeat

June 8, 2013

I’d give it a try. I’m not a vegan. But, if I can get decent meat without having to kill anyone (or have someone else kill someone on my behalf), I’d go for it. Anyone else?

Meet ‘Schmeat’: Lab-grown meat hits the grill this month

Read the rest of this entry »


Bible is Clear: A Fetus is NOT a Life

March 3, 2013

I came across Exodus 21:22-25 while performing research for my rebuttal to a reply by C_Andy_3. I would like to thank C_Andy_3 for the discussion that led to my discovery of this passage.

Old Testament quote, emphasis mine (thanks to Mechon Mamre for the RaMBaM translation):

22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

This clearly states that the fetus was not a life. In fact, it indicates that a miscarriage could be caused without causing harm. The loss of the fetus can be compensated by mere money. After that, if there is harm, it is life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, ….

Read the rest of this entry »


Abstinence is a Sin!

February 28, 2013

First, let me be clear. I am not joking about this. I am being as serious as an atheist who believes that real sin lies only in harming others can be on the subject. For religious readers, if I have any, I hope this encourages thought and dialog. I welcome all serious responses regardless of whether we agree on the topic.

So, here are my points about why I believe abstinence is sinful from both a biblical standpoint and more importantly to me why abstinence only education and the encouragement of abstinence pledges and the like are inherently sinful.

Read the rest of this entry »


UN Predicts: Global Food Crisis 2013

October 13, 2012

I’m sure many who read my blog have been convinced for a while that I’m somewhat of a fear monger with respect to climate change and overpopulation. Perhaps. Before you make up your mind, read this:

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

The figures come as one of the world’s leading environmentalists issued a warning that the global food supply system could collapse at any point, leaving hundreds of millions more people hungry, sparking widespread riots and bringing down governments. In a shocking new assessment of the prospects of meeting food needs, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken.

Good thing climate change is just a hoax. Dig hole in sand. Insert head. Fill in hole. Ignorance is bliss.

“Armed aggression is no longer the principal threat to our future. The overriding threats to this century are climate change, population growth, spreading water shortages and rising food prices,” Brown says.