MonthFebruary 2015

Friday Quote – Margaret Thatcher

From my experience let me say this: in today’s world it is no bad thing for a politician to have had the benefit of a scientific background. And not only politicians. Those who work in industry, in commerce, in investment. Indeed, so important has it become that I believe we are right to make science a compulsory subject for all schoolchildren.

Margaret Thatcher

Maybe That Explains My Confusion

The John Locke Foundation has ranked Florida as the freest state in the Union.

It certainly explains my confusion when people from other states explain the hassles they have to go through during their daily lives.

Now if we can just get this open carry thing sorted out.

This Would Be Interesting to Watch

Epic trailer is epic:

Update: Apparently the video’s been pulled. As soon as I find it again, I’ll update the link.

HBO Has A New Documentary Coming…

On Scientology.

I am looking forward to this.

Metal Tuesday- Eluveitie – Inis Mona

Why is this song on Metal Tuesday?

Is it because it’s Larry Corriea’s “Song of Victory?” No. It’s because they’re using a herdy-gurdy.


Welcome to the land of questions
Welcome to the isle of lore
Where the veil came crumbling down

There it all began,
The germination
Unveiling a cryptic door
There it was revealed
Hopes and aspirations
Unclosing an enthralled door

Escalate the sense
Enhancing to join the dawn

I close my eyes, Inis Mona
And reminisce of those palmy days
I moon o’er you, Inis Mona
As long as I breathe
I’ll call you my home

20 years I have walked your barrows
Years of emulous youth
I followed the path of the wise

There it all was sown
The inspiration
Removing the seven seals
There it was revealed
Enigma of freedom
Unclosing an unseen door

H/t David

Top 10 Astroturfers According to One Reporter

My fellow gunnies are ecstatic over Sheryl Attkinson’s list of top astroturfers because the Demanding Mommies topped the list.

Here’s the problem. Scrolling down Attkinson decides to include several science blogs because they are – horror of horrors – pro-vaccine.

I’m sorry, but while I don’t agree with them politically, the skeptical blogs Attkinson mentions are hardly astroturfers. If anything, most of them are just as grassroots as the gunny blogs.

So, I’m sorry Ms. Attkinson, your list is garbage. Your reporting on “Fast and Furious” has been excellent, but your stance on vaccines is coloring your judgement. Worse, you’ve succumbed to the lies and propaganda of the anti-vaxxers who have caused as much death and destruction as the politicians behind “Fast and Furious.”

Avalon – Chapter 11


Anne looked up at Arem as the elf pointed at one of the robed cultists. In the shining armor, Arem truly looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. Except the whole being aligned with the forces of evil. The biggest of the ten orcs nodded at Arem’s unspoken command and grunted. The eight-foot tall creature pulled drew a spear and hurtled it at the cultist. The man stumbled out of the way as the heavy spear thunked into the earth next to him. Anne cursed, but then she noticed that the pressure on her mind was gone. She could feel the streams of wild magic dancing around her. Anne looked over to the black-eyes and saw that they were all looking around dumbfounded. Even better, Sam and Jason were standing back up.

Anne felt her resevoir of power and tugged at it hard to force the streams of earth, air, heat, and dark into the binding she’d seen Veronica draw once during their lessons. It wasn’t delicate, but Anne drew even more power to brute force the binding. Satisfied, she slung the spell at the black-eyes. The dust particles in the air around the black-eyes were suddenly bound together into small pea-sized pellets that glowed with intense heat before raining down on the black-eyes. They screamed in pain as the super-heated pellets punched through them. Whatever had been holding them together broke. Maybe half of them ran into the woods screaming in pain. The rest were laying on the grass, dead or badly injured. Anne fell to her knees gasping for breath. She felt Veronica’s hand on her arm.

“Should have warned you that the link between us was two-way,” Veronica said weakly. The small woman looked like she had just ran a full marathon. Anne started to apologize, but Veronica just shook her head. “Give me a minute, and I’ll be functional. Especially without those bastards in my head.”

“That was a very interesting binding,” Arem said, standing over them. “I didn’t think anyone could do that on this side of the gate.” Arem looked like he wanted to say more, but Jason appeared out of nowhere and fired a burst into the elf. Arem grunted as the bullets tore through his armor, but he didn’t go down. Instead, he moved with an unbearably fluid grace and slapped Jason’s head with the flat of his blade. The agent went down in a heap.

“You’d best see to your menfolk,” Arem said, through gritted teeth. “One of them is badly injured, and I’m not talking about this one.” He pointed his sword at Jason’s unconscious form. Arem whipped his hand up and a gate appeared. The orcs quickly bundled through the gate before Arem strode through. Anne blinked away as the gate shut.

“Help me,” Samantha said to Anne, lifting up Veronica. The sorceress looked annoyed she needed the assistance. “I can’t hear Joseph’s thoughts. We need to go find him.” As the three women started hobbling over, the darkness was broken by the shining light from Erik’s sword. Samantha swore and pushed the trio faster.


The sudden appearance of the orcs gave Erik and Kurt a chance to pull their injured comrade away from the monstrosity trying to kill Joseph. Erik had seen enough combat to know Joseph’s injuries were far beyond his meager skills. Maybe if Veronica were here, she could sling a spell that might save the young man’s life.

Erik rocked another magazine into his ACE. If Arem’s orcs could keep those monsters busy, then Erik could finish the cultists. Those people were why Erik was in this park. He motioned for Kurt to stay with Joseph before creeping forward. Ten to one odds weren’t that great, especially considering whatever the cultists were throwing around was still screwing up his telekinetic abilities. It helped that most of them were looking at one of their number that now sprouted an orc spear out of his chest. Erik chose one of the cultists that still gripped a small machine-pistol in her hand. He brought up his rifle and placed the floating reticle on the woman’s head.

Something snapped. That was the best word Erik had to describe the feeling as psychic energies whipsawed through the air. He could hear screams from where Sam and the others had been. They must have done something. All Erik knew was that he could suddenly feel again. His empathic and telepathic senses roared back into him. Erik stood up and let his assault rifle fall on its sling. His hand fell on the hilt of Far’ling. The darkness retreated as the elven sword glowed with ferocious blue-white light. The cultists all spun at the sudden light. Most of them recoiled in horror as they saw Erik walking towards them with the sword. A few stared back defiantly and started to cast their own spells. He gave them a predatory smile. It had been quite a while since he’d truly let loose.

With a boost of power, Erik was five meters in the air. Far’ling whistled through the air before scything down two casters. The blade was already arching back to meet Erik as the Avalonian slammed down boot-first on his original target. The woman’s bones crunched satisfactorily under Erik’s mass. Erik sent his sword at a fourth cultist who was trying to gather Outsider magic. Two small mundane knives lanced out at two more trying to bring up their machine pistols with the force of crossbow bolts. Erik rolled and threw up a slanted telekinetic shield as the seventh cultist fired his machine pistol. Erik was probably one of the strongest telekinetics in the Emprire, but his shields couldn’t stop bullets. They could redirect them. The woman he’d landed on stopped groaning as a half-dozen bullets laced her back. Far’ling was barely in his hand again before Erik launched the elven blade at the shooter. Two more cultists were sprinting towards the trees. Two more knives shot out and felled both of them.

Erik caught Far’ling as the sword sailed back into his hands. He reached out with his empathic senses. Where was the tenth one? Nothing. There was no living emotions anywhere around him. Just the ghosts of the dead. Erik looked down at the design the cultists were carving into the ground and barely kept himself from vomiting. He drew up all of his remaining power and blasted the ground around him. Bodies flew and dirt and blood covered Erik as he found himself in the middle of a three meter hole. Satisfied, Erik fished the burner cell phone from one of his pouches and hit the speed dial.

“Good evening Lady Maritza,” Erik said, “I’m afraid we’re going to need a clean-up at Hope Park.”

Friday Quote- Richard Dawkins

Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up.

Richard Dawkins

Why do you do what you do?

Metal Tuesday – Five Finger Death Punch- Cradle to Grave

This song was my intro to Five Finger Death Punch and still one of my favorites.


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Play “Cradle To The Grave”
“Cradle To The Grave”

The blood that runs within my veins
(the blood that runs within my veins)
Keeps me from ever ending up the same
(ending up the same)

The fire that’s pushing me on and on and on
(on and on and on)
To me it’s everything and it makes me fucking strong

Love me or hate me
I walk alone

Been called a monster, called a demon, called a fake
(called a fake)
I’m not an idol, not an angel, not a saint
(I’m not a saint)

I walk alone, I always have, I’m not ashamed
(not ashamed)
A living nightmare from the cradle to the grave

The soul that lives within my chest
(the soul that lives within my chest)
Just won’t allow me to turn out like the rest
(turn out like the rest)
This heart that’s driving me on and on and on
(on and on and on)
Has the same vision and it keeps me fucking strong

Love me or hate me
I walk alone

Been called a monster, called a demon, called a fake
(called a fake)
I’m not an idol, not an angel, not a saint
(I’m not a saint)

I walk alone, I always have, I’m not ashamed
(not ashamed)
I’ve always been a living nightmare from the cradle to the grave

I walk alone

Been called a monster, called a demon, called a fake
(called a fake)
I’m not an idol, not an angel, not a saint
(I’m not a saint)

I walk alone, I always have, I’m not ashamed
(not ashamed)
A living nightmare from the cradle to the grave
(I walk alone)

Been called a monster, called a demon, called a fake
(called a fake)
I’m not an idol, not an angel, not a saint
(I’m not a saint)

I walk alone, I always have, I’m not ashamed
(not ashamed)
I’ll always be a living nightmare from the cradle to the grave

Sweet FSM, I’m Defending a CNN Anchor

One of the “Outrages of the Day” that has been bombarding my various news feeds is a debate between CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court. More to the point, when the judge says that our rights come from God, Cuomo disagreed.

Transcript borrowed from Breitbart:

MOORE: I believe that’s a matter of law because our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God. It’s clearly stated –

CUOMO: Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.

MOORE: Let me ask you one question. Let me ask you one question, Chris. Is the Declaration of Independence law?

CUOMO: You would call it organic law as a basis for future laws off of it?

MOORE: I would call it the organic law because the United States code calls it organic law. It is organic law because the law of this country calls it the organic law of the country means where our rights come from. And if they come from there, men can’t take it away.

CUOMO: Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but not our country. Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.

MOORE: It’s not a matter of faith, sir. It’s a matter of organic law, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be held equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the only role of government is stated in the next sentence is to secure those rights for us. The government starts taking those rights away from us, then it’s not securing and it is defiling the whole purpose of government.

In this instance, I’m going to say Cuomo is correct. Our rights come to us from being humans. From being a sentient species.

Most of the people believe that God created Man, and therefore human rights come from God. If that’s what gets you through the day, fine. When you then use that idea to decide who does and who doesn’t get rights based on your particular writings of God, we’re going to have a problem. Just as it’s wrong when other members of CNN have advocated the restriction of rights based on political ideology.

We have rights because we are a sentient species. That wouldn’t change if there is or is not a deity or deities responsible for our creation.

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