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Top 5 GOP Fails for June 2014

Posted on 29 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

In this new top 5 segment, each month we will list the fails/fallacies of the GOP party backing it up with evidence at the time, along with any fallacies they commit and the definition of said fallacy. We will not state opinion, but the irony here is the fact that we are rather biased. This is “nothing but the facts”, so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster.

 

5. Jordan Haskins running for office with felonies involving masterbation

A convicted felon running for a Michigan House of Representatives seat this November isn’t getting support, or opposition, from the Saginaw County Republican Party he has filed to represent.

Jordan Haskins’ record of criminal offenses dating back to his teenage years are mainly tied to a sexual fetish the candidate says he has since left behind him.

Haskins admitted to police that he scaled fences and trespassed on both public and private property in order to take vehicles for joyrides and to facilitate a fetish he referred to as “cranking.” Police reports state he disconnected the spark plugs on a vehicle and then masturbated while attempting to turn over the engine. – [Source MLive] [Alternate Source The Raw Story]

Saginaw resident Jordan Haskins is the lone Republican candidate who is running for the 95th State House District seat in November 2014. Neil Barris | MLive.com

Saginaw resident Jordan Haskins is the lone Republican candidate who is running for the 95th State House District seat in November 2014.
Neil Barris | MLive.com

The Secular Nerd:

This speaks for itself.

 

 

 

4. Suing the President for using executive orders granted to him for being the President

President Barack Obama on Friday slammed Republicans for a forthcoming lawsuit against him over alleged abuse of executive power, saying such actions were only necessary because the GOP has been unwilling to compromise on even the most basic issues.

“Now Republicans are mad at me for taking these actions. They’re not doing anything, and now they’re mad that I’m doing something,” Obama said during a speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, then why don’t you join me and we’ll do it together,” he added. – [Source NBCNews] [Alternate Source NPR]

 

House Republicans argue the illegality of executive action signings, like one in April 2014 in which President Obama acted to close the gender compensation gap among federal contractors.

House Republicans argue the illegality of executive action signings, like one in April 2014 in which President Obama acted to close the gender compensation gap among federal contractors.

The Secular Nerd:

Article 2, Clause 1, Section 1 of the Constitution states [Source Cornell University Law School]: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected….”

United States Presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. Executive orders have the full force of law when they take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution, or are made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress that explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation).” – [Source Wikipedia] [Alternate Source USA.Gov]

Congress may attempt to overturn an executive order by passing legislation (a bill) that opposes the order. However, the President can veto that bill, and Congress would then need to override that veto to pass the bill. Also, the Supreme Court can declare an executive order to be unconstitutional.” – [Source USA.Gov]

Total count of President Obama’s Executive Orders (As of 6/20/2014): 182.     George W. Bush: 291.    Bill Clinton: 364.     George Bush: 166     Ronald Reagan: 381  – [Source The American Presidency Project]

 

 

3. Rush Limbaugh’s book denied shelf access at a bookstore, and he loses it

…This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be.  And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being.  They claim that they’re tolerant. They claim they’re open-minded. They claim that they are colorblind and all that.  They are the most bigoted, racist people. They exclude here and exclude there and then they don’t make any money and they can’t figure out why.

My two books are in the top five on the New York Times best-seller list, and here’s a woman at a bookstore who wants to sell books, is begging people to buy ’em, proudly says that two of the books in the top five are not even available at her store, and she wants accolades for that. These people are loony. They simply are dumb.  They don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing.  And they happen to be running the country.  And I don’t just mean in Washington. People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care.  People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers.

Limbaugh’s mention of the store was prompted by Teaching for Change Executive Director Deborah Menkart‘s remarks at a C-SPAN-taped event at Busboys and Poets for an unrelated book, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil, which aired Sunday. Menkart gave the opening speech and said 90 percent of children’s books that Teaching for Change sells at the bookstore are by or about people of color, specifically noting that the shop does not sell Limbaugh’s best-selling children’s book. She said the bookstore proves there is a market for these books by or about minority people, but then added that the bookstore isn’t breaking even and asked the audience for support through donations.” – [Source Washington City Paper] [Alternate Source Daily Kos]

 

rush limbaugh
 

The Secular Nerd:

Fallacy List time:

  • confirmation bias: This refers to a form of selective thinking that focuses on evidence that supports what believers already believe while ignoring evidence that refutes their beliefs. Confirmation bias plays a stronger role when people base their beliefs upon faith, tradition and prejudice. (“This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be.  And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being.”) The rebuttal is:  “Menkart gave the opening speech and said 90 percent of children’s books that Teaching for Change sells at the bookstore are by or about people of color, specifically noting that the shop does not sell Limbaugh’s best-selling children’s book. ” The bookstore “proves there is a market for these books by or about minority people, but then added that the bookstore isn’t breaking even and asked the audience for support through donations.” (It’s a bookstore focused on minorities, by minorities and/or for minorities)
  • ad hominem:  An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). (Practically everything in confirmation bias)
  • appeal to fear: When fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary motivator to get others to accept an idea, proposition, or conclusion. (“People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care.  People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers.”)
  • The list can go on, but I believe I made my case.

 


 

 

2. Ann Coulter calls soccer a liberal conspiracy

“Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys,” Coulter wrote. “No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.”

They’re doing an incredible job of hiding all those girls on the field this week.

The 52-year-old also ripped the lack of scoring in soccer (“No other ‘sport’ ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer”) and how they don’t let players use their hands.

“What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs,” she wrote. “Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!” – [Source San Jose Mercury News] [Alternate Source The Kansas City Star]

 

ann coulter
 

The Secular Nerd:

This speaks for itself. The biggest fallacy is Appeal to Tradition, at least what she feels is tradition, which are contact sports.

 


 

1. Timothy Ray Murray believes he won because the candidate who did win is an android

Murray claimed that Rep. Lucas was “executed by The World Court on or about Jan. 11, 2011 in Southern Ukraine. On television they were depicted as being executed by the hanging about the neck until death on a white stage and in front of witnesses.”

 He stated that while “it is possible to use look alike artificial or man-made replacements,” such “replacements” are not human, and therefore ineligible to serve in office. He also assured the board that he “will NEVER use Artificial Intelligence look alike to voice what The Representative’s Office is doing nor own a robot look alike.” – [Source The Raw Story] [Alternate Source New York Daily News]

timothy ray murray

The Secular Nerd:

All I can say is, this speaks very loudly for itself.

 

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Teaser Trailer for Next Season of Doctor Who with personal expectations

Posted on 28 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

They have announced the date for the next season of Doctor Who! Are you as excited as I am? The next season starts August 23rd at 8/7 Central Time. Have you asked yourself yet, what you expect out of this season? I have and gave it a lot of thought (I know, I have no life) and I’ve come to the conclusion that Peter Capaldi is a necessity for the reboot at this point in time.

My reasoning? I believe he’s needed after what happened during the 50th Anniversary. The Doctor (Warning: spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen it!) matured so to speak. He did something incredible, and brought forth all the Doctors to correct (kind of, it’s that whole timey wimey thing that complicates this) what he felt was a mistake from The War Doctor time. Hints were given anyway during the 50th that The Doctor has lost his way, got younger in appearance because he became immature and reckless and he needed to do something that was incredibly difficult.

 

doctor who on set
 

What is in store for The Doctor this next season? Well, a transformation of sorts, and a lot of questioning. I fully support what I have seen and heard of this next season (what little there is) and I love and hate this trailer below because of how little it shows, yet shows so much at the same time. – The Secular Nerd

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First Anniversary of DOMA ruling but where was the excitement?

Posted on 27 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

As I was spending quite a lot of time on Facebook as I usually do, scouring for things I miss in my custom news listings on Google, I saw little hype or excitement for the ruling one year ago Thursday (June 26th) of the strikedown of a key part of DOMA that paved the way for states one after another to strike down laws against same-sex marriage. Why was this? Why was there very little hype or excitement?

I made sure to remind people with a quick meme on The Secular Nerd’s Facebook page, but very few people were excited about it. I saw almost no news postings on Facebook. The trending topics were Ann Coulter’s rantings about soccer [Source] (it’s Salon, you know, the site that hates Atheists) and how un american you were if you were a fan of it, but that was about it! This got me thinking. Is it because it’s taken a year to only have 19 states that legalized it [Source]? Progress has never happened overnight. 19 states is a BIG fucking deal in one year. It took YEARS for women’s suffrage to end (end is debatable) [Source] and took YEARS to end discrimination (legally) against African Americans [Source]. So are we becoming complacent in our fight for marriage equality?

doma one year
I don’t think so. But I’m an online activist. I push information out as quickly as I get it, and this anniversary was a HUGE THING that went almost completely unnoticed. I found a few sites [Source, Source, Source, etc] discussing it, but by no means was it a “In your face, this was a great victory we are all cheering for, even one year afterwards” kind of day. We did have another Supreme Court ruling that may have taken the thunder out of this anniversary with a pretty awful strike-down of protection of people seeking abortions or simply entering an abortion clinic [Source]. The vote was unanimous to rule about a Massachusetts law that created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics, striking it down. 

I would love to see more excitement, and more drive into this. It’s going to be a long fight, so grab your water bottle, your running shoes, and get ready to keep running. We are far from having real marriage equality in this country, but we’ve come a long way already. And that, is my two cents. – The Secular Nerd

 

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The Secular Nerd’s Opinion on the Iraq conflict

Posted on 25 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

If you aren’t living under a rock, you would know the current conflict in Iraq is a very real and very serious issue. It has left me very conflicted with a lot of things. On one hand, I know that the United States was 100% in the wrong with going in there in the first place. It has almost everything to do with what is happening today. On the other, I can’t see us having anything good come out of trying to fix what we caused.

Over the last month, ISIS has moved across Iraq almost like a game of Risk. I apologize for the analogy, but it’s true. Iraqi soldiers and police have been losing on every front as they slowly work toward the capital, capturing strategic areas one right after the other. It’s a very real issue, and I feel utterly terrible to be an American right now. My country under the Bush Administration ransacked the country under false pretences that there were weapons of mass destruction. It can be a very serious feeling of guilt to be a part of a country that its government did that the people did not want done.

Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji, north of Baghdad (AP) (Click picture for Telegraph article)

Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji, north of Baghdad (AP) (Click picture for Telegraph article)

 

We are faced with even more guilt now, because we don’t want to go back to Iraq to clean up the mess we left, as well as caused. It has led me to believe and come to only one conclusion. This was either completely our doing, or it was inevitable and we only sped up the process. Speaking a lot with the secular community, I have gotten about the same conclusions from others. It’s a very difficult situation and those that seriously want to help those suffering have their hands tied.

A friend of mine on Facebook and very prominent middle-eastern Atheist Faisal Saeed Al Mutar has been describing the feelings he has had watching as his country Iraq is spiralling out of control. I feel sincerely petrified and horrible for him, and his countries innocent people having their home overran by radicals. I also feel extremely guilty that I still don’t want to have our country go back there in full force. We were not welcomed there, and we certainly and rightfully so were wrong in the first place to “free” them.

Saddam Hussein was a  ruthless dictator. We all agree that he did horrific crimes against humanity. He also understood however how his region and neck of the woods worked. He understood what would happen if there were any signs of weakness in the regime and its military force. He knew what was at stake if he flinched, and dealt with uprisings brutally to deter other types of uprisings or rebels. I can’t condone his crimes against humanity, but I can’t help but have that lingering bitter taste in my mouth when I say “He did what he felt was necessary to maintain order”.

Am I a horrible person for believing that? Am I just as guilty as him when it came to the atrocities that he did to maintain order? I don’t believe so, no. The Middle East has always been brutal. From the time that you can hold an AK-47, you understood that at any moment you could die. As this article describes [The Washington Post – The Middle East, explained in one (sort of terrifying) chart] everyone grows up knowing who is the enemy. They acknowledge the fact that at any moment, they could die, and through their religion(s), they accept death and believe that by killing their enemies, they are doing their religion(s) a great justice.

I know that doesn’t hold true for everyone. Especially those in lest hostile cities/areas. But think about it? Schools teach children at an early age how to kill your enemy [Al Qaeda Opens Syrian Jihad School], and if you Google for more information/facts about this, you find even more terrifying things (to us Americans) happening in schools. This is the way of the Middle East. It’s not everyone’s way, but it’s the general overall life and cycle of endless violence and hostility.

 

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Overwhelming Support from GoFundMe – Thank you!

Posted on 25 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Update: Any extra money beyond our goal will go towards day to day expenses and bills. Thank you so much for your support!

 

Last night, I created a GoFundMe funding page to help my wife and I with our cars AC. We live in the south and temperatures are only getting hotter as summer is upon us. Due to our medical conditions it is BRUTAL to go out, let alone drive in a car with no AC. I am a freelance programmer who makes their money contracting out to clients for affordable programming options. Earlier this year I lost my car due to defaulting on my bankruptcy so we had to buy a cheap affordable car to ensure I could still get to clients. We have been struggling the last year to make ends meet.

Well, less than 17 hours after I created it, our funding goal to replace it was met. I cried, no lie. We had overwhelming support to have it fixed. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Those that donated, you are living proof that compassionate people exist in this world. To hold true to the rewards, I have sent each and everyone of you thank you’s and instructions on how to take advantage of what I offered in return for your donation.

These are the following people that have donated, and made our lives a lot easier in the struggles we have endured:

  • Andie W.
  • Betty F.
  • Troy S.
  • Terri H.
  • Christophe E.
  • India C.

Because of those kind and compassionate individuals, we have secured the funds to replace the AC, and ensure that I can keep going this summer getting new clients and fulfilling clients obligations to go on-site.

 

heart-06

 

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Secular Sunday Matinee #1 – Paul

Posted on 01 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Our first Secular Sunday Matinée is Paul. When I first saw this movie, I thought it was going to be completely ridiculous but I’m a huge fan of almost the entire cast  and decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed at all. From IMDB:

Two sci-fi geeks take a pilgrimage to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he’s been taken prisoner, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town – a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes. Written by Universal Pictures

 

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Breaking: Reading Rainbow Kickstarter gets funded in one day

Posted on 29 May 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Screenshot right when it hit 1 million at 6:58pm Central Time

 Screenshot right when it hit 1 million at 6:58pm Central Time

 

 

Well folks, LeVar freakin Burton did it. In one day, he managed to get “One Million Dollars” for a web based Reading Rainbow expansion. As A kid, I grew up with Star Trek and of course Reading Rainbow. His Kickstarter barely even had a chance to exist on the internet, and he got backing. That whooshing sound you heard, were the thousands of netizens opening up their wallets.

This speaks volumes for the impact Reading Rainbow had on all our lives, and to have it continue to new generations gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside.

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SecularNerd.com Returning

Posted on 27 May 2014 by The Secular Nerd

The Secular Nerd is returning to its roots at secularnerd.com to bring a more streamlined approach to knowledge and dropping the science. We don’t want to say we are copycatting a lot of popular sites (Like Buzzfeed or Cracked) but really we are, but for purely science and secular life topics.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you are interested in participating/syndicating/co-writing/etc. We want to kick this up a notch. Here’s to another exciting adventure into the Nerdy Secular frontier!

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Twinkie Gate, Engagements, and Lollipops

Posted on 17 November 2012 by The Secular Nerd

It’s been an exciting, sad, and creepy week for us. That Heathen Girl and I got engaged (Same weekend two other awesome people I know got engaged), Twinkies will be no more (from Hostess) and an awesome discovery of something so insanely creepy.

Let’s first look at this very informative image about Hostess:

 

That really says a lot. This company has had nothing but failures, greedy CEO’s, and complete lack of caring for their employees. I’d love to see all the behind-the-scene plays that was done in board rooms. Sure their food wasn’t very healthy for the body, but man oh man did a twinkie make you feel good mentally. They were good stuff. A lot of memes are floating around the interwebs like this one:

Of course America had nothing to do with it, but the coincidence of timing is pretty humorous.

Now onto awesomeness. That Heathen Girl and I got engaged on the 8th of November! We spent three days in a secluded cabin in Upstate Arkansas to consummate our engagement. We were going to go to Skepticon 5 that weekend, but you know what? Love is more important than a secular convention. JT Eberhard got the best of both worlds when he proposed on-stage. Way to go JT and Michaelyn!

That’s us enjoying our Cabin (ironically titled “Morning Star”) at Silver Run Cabins. If you ever think about a log cabin getaway… this place has cabins of all shapes and sizes. I would highly recommend booking your next getaway with them!

Last, but not least… Take this Lollipop! I won’t spoil it for you, but it is the creepiest thing you have ever seen. Brilliant, just brilliant.

-The Secular Nerd

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Obama’s Victory for the Future

Posted on 07 November 2012 by The Secular Nerd

It has been such a very long and hard campaign. Facebook ablaze every day with Romney’s antics, fact checks, and some good old fashioned poking fun pictures. Thank the flying spaghetti monster it’s all over. There were quite a few victories on the 6th, for a country divided in two. What does this mean though, for the red states?

My opinion on this, based on being in a red state (Arkansas), is that it’s time to either get with the program, or be left in the dark ages. Marijuana became legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington last night, while medical Marijuana was blocked in the south (Arkansas) by people with pitch forks. Yes it’s an exaggeration, but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t have anything in their hand (the bible) while they made that choice to block medical marijuana from people who could greatly benefit from its uses.

A good friend and co-worker of mine has a daughter, who is going through the harsh lifestyle of treating cancer. The synthetic cannabis that she uses has been helping her get through it, in the ways that it can. If Marijuana was legal for medical purposes, it could of helped thousands of people dealing with glaucoma, cancer, and more. I wonder sometimes, if these people who are so greatly against it, are so blinded by their faith, that they forget about everyone else around them. I think a lot has to do with experience.

My good friend is religious, yet he strongly supports medical marijuana. Why? Because he’s compassionate. Because he’s living with the worry every night, for his daughters recovery. That’s just one man, and one person, out of thousands upon thousands of others every day, worried for their loved ones or friends. It’s almost in comparison to preventing people from getting flu shots, because X god will take care of those people. If it’s “his” will to take that person to heaven, then people accept that. Instead of preventing that person from getting sick in the first place, or treating the illness, people commit legal murder every day.

I stayed away from Facebook until Obama’s victory speech, because I was sick of the politics, sick of the bashing, sick of the worrying. It’s over now. We have four more years to stick with the plan, rebuild America, move it forward, and make red states realize that child abuse, legal murder, and bigotry has to go. I’m going back to my secular humanism side now, and dumping my militant tendencies since the election is over, and rational people got what the country needed. Now it’s time to focus locally.

-The Secular Nerd

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