ONTD Political

In a condemnatory speech last week against the Obama administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission regulations, Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R) claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature.

Smith, the owner of a mining company called Mohawk Energy, argued that despite the fact that the red planet doesn’t have any coal mines, Mars and Earth share a temperature. Therefore, Smith reasoned, coal companies on Earth should be exempt from emission regulations.

During a Natural Resources and Environment Committee meeting Thursday, Smith, the Senate majority whip, said:

"As you [Energy & Environment Cabinet official] sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of."

According to NASA, the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit -- 138 degrees above Mars' average of -81 degrees.

Although the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has stated that the new EPA rules will not cause Kentucky to shut down any additional coal-fired power plants, state lawmakers Thursday blamed federal environmental regulations for shuttering the state’s coal mines.

Thursday’s committee meeting was dominated by a slew of outlandish scientific claims from both Republican and Democratic climate change deniers.

State Rep. Kevin Sinnette (D) dismissed the threat of man-made global warming by pointing out that dinosaurs survived climate change.

“The dinosaurs died, and we don’t know why, but the world adjusted,” Sinnette said. “And to say that this is what’s going to cause detriment to people, I just don’t think it’s out there.”

State Rep. Stan Lee (R) claimed that climate-warming trends caused by human activities -- a phenomenon backed by 97 percent of climate scientists -- are nothing more than calculated scare tactics.

“All this stems, this carbon capture, all this other stuff, it stems back to a scare, generated years ago about global warming,” the Fayette County lawmaker said on Thursday. “Finally it turned out there hasn’t been global warming in 15 or 20 years, then they changed the name to climate change.”

Even the committee's chairman, state Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. (D), is one of the state’s leading opponents of federal environmental regulations, going as far as to suggest in 2011 that Kentucky would secede from the union to avoid the EPA’s crackdown on mining pollution.

By Shadee Ashtari. Posted: 07/08/2014 6:25 pm EDT.

The second-highest ranking Republican in the North Carolina House of Representatives believes that being gay is the same as pedophilia, prostitution, voyeurism, and other sexual disorders. Speaker Pro Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam made the claim in a hand-out printed on his office’s letterhead, claiming that “no one can define sexual orientation,” according to Rep. Tricia Cotham (D), who relayed the flier to Qnotes.

Stam’s flier asks, “What is a ‘sexual orientation’?” and attempts to conflate a wide variety of terms, most of which are not actually sexual orientations. In particular, it is populated with a variety of concepts that describe arousal, not orientation, such as asphyxophilia (gratification from oxygen deprivation), coprophilia (arousal from feces), urophilia (arousal from urine), and zoophilia/bestiality. Psychiatrists refer to these terms as “paraphilia,” and homosexuality was declassified as a paraphilia back in 1974.

The list also includes gender identity terms, including “gender identity disorder,” “transgenderism,” and “transsexual,” which also do not describe sexual orientation. In fact, “gender identity disorder” no longer describes anything, because the American Psychiatric Association (APA) stopped using that classification in the new fifth edition of its Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM), released last year.

But Stam didn’t use the new edition. He cited the DSM-IV, which was published back in 2000. And though all of the terms he listed do appear in the outdated book, the conflation that they are “sexual orientations” is his own. The APA itself describes sexual orientation as “a person’s romantic, emotional, or sexual attraction to another person.” And in the DSM-V, paraphilias are not even considered disorders unless individuals feel “personal distress about their interest” or have a desire or behavior that violates another person’s legal consent or involves “another person’s psychological distress, injury, or death.”

Stam has previously suggested that allowing same-sex couples to marry would lead to the “legalization of polygamy and adult incest.” He distributed the new flier in objection to a one-sentence amendment that would have prohibited charter schools from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The flier claims that the amendment would “codify into law behaviors that are considered criminal.” See his full list of “orientations.” (Full page views can be seen here and here.)



The War Nerd: Here’s everything you need to know about “too extreme for Al Qaeda” I.S.I.S.

As the Scriptures remind us, “Do not believe the hype.” The hype of the moment is ISIS, the Sunni militia that just drove the so-called Iraqi Army out of Mosul, Tikrit, and other Iraqi cities.

This is one of those dramatic military reverses that mean a lot less than meets the eye. The “Iraqi Army” routed by ISIS wasn’t really a national army, and ISIS isn’t really a dominant military force. It was able to occupy those cities because they were vacuums, abandoned by a weak, sectarian force. Moving into vacuums like this is what ISIS is good at. And that’s the only thing ISIS is good at.

ISIS is a sectarian Sunni militia—that’s all. A big one, as militias go, with something like 10,000 fighters. Most of them are Iraqi, a few are Syrian, and a few hundred are those famous “European jihadis” who draw press attention out of all relation to their negligible combat value. The real strength of ISIS comes from its Chechen fighters, up to a thousand of them. A thousand Chechens is a serious force, and a terrifying one if they’re bearing down on your neighborhood. Chechens are the scariest fighters, pound-for-pound, in the world.

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I suppose there are bat shit crazy Republicans everywhere across this country, but still...

Susanne Atanus, Who Blames Gay Rights For Tornadoes, Wins GOP Nomination For Congress

A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District.

Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III.

"I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus told the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, in January.

She blamed natural disasters and mental disorders on recent advances in LGBT equality and legal abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus also reached out to the Windy City Times, an LGBT publication, in an attempt to explain her views.

"Everybody knows that God controls weather," she told the news site in January. "God is super angry," she added. "Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn't look right, and it breeds AIDS."

Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, and Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, both condemned Atanus' comments and distanced the party from her candidacy.


I'm actually posting this partly for laughs (this is a very blue district, in which someone with Atanus's views has approximately a snowball in hell's chance of winning--if that), but also as an example of just how batshit things have gotten when someone like this can actually win a GOP nomination.
Freedumb: Let the Ignorant Masses Decide How Are We Going to Get Infected and Die.

Measles outbreak! Vaccine trutherism now officially a public health crisis
It's never been more important to take the infectious disease seriously

It’s back. Three years after public health officials realized that they had been preemptive in declaring that measles was eliminated in the U.S., new outbreaks of the highly infectious disease are once again cropping up in cities across the country. And it wold be a mistake, epidemiologists warn, not to take this extremely seriously.

As expected, the outbreaks have caused plenty of outrage directed against Jenny McCarthy and the crowd of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Writing in the Daily Beast, a pediatrician using the pseudonym Russell Saunders calls it “sheer lunacy”: “Just over a dozen years ago this illness was considered eliminated in our country,” he writes, “and this year people are being hospitalized for it. All due to the hysteria about a safe, effective vaccine. All based on nothing.”

But for the most part, the outbreaks are also being treated as a cautionary tale – an opportunity to chide anti-vaxxers while reminding parents to make sure that their children are up-to-date on their shots, as KJ Dell’Antonia does at the New York Times’ Motherlode blog:
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Popular vampire novel author Anne Rice has signed on to a petition demanding that Amazon disable anonymous book reviews after Internet trolls began ganging up on her in a section of the website normally reserved for critical but comparatively mild commentary

Correction appended, March 10, 2014

The creature with which Anne Rice is most commonly associated is the vampire, but that doesn’t mean she’s a stranger to trolls — at least of the online variety.


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OP: "The creature with which Anne Rice is most commonly associated is the vampire, but that doesn’t mean she’s a stranger to trolls — at least of the online variety." Actually, Anne Rice is herself a troll.

One thing that I find really unfortunate about all this is that there seems to be little discussion of READERS being harassed for daring to post negative reviews of a book. Which has happened (link is to my personal blog -not because I think I'm awesome or the last word on this subject, LOL, but simply because I have listed some examples there).

(PS: I found this article through a link posted to a petition (which is a reply to the petition Rice discusses above, posted by idemandjustice.)
February 27, 2014

Right-wingers in media, politics and so-called "think-tanks" wasted no time in becoming apoplectic about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's reluctant decision to veto her state's blatantly discriminatory law which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay customers.

Here are some of the most ridiculous immediate reactions. Expect plenty more idiocy and hate in the coming days: Read more...Collapse )Source

Unhinged is right. These incoherent spewings are so stupid and full of fail that I find them to be more pathetic than rage-inducing. Ymmv, of course, but my reaction is mainly to point and laugh--which is why I'm sharing this.

In closing, here's a little (nsfw) something to take your mind off all this raging butthurt:

[Penis cakes]
WATCH: Arizona’s Senate Passes Bill To Appease ‘Christians’ And Discriminate Against Gays

Kansas got the memo. Indiana got the memo. Arizona refuses to read the memo. The state Senate just passed SB 1062 which allows anyone to discriminate against gays at any time if they are doing so out of ‘religious conviction’.

Arizona Democrats did their most unexceptional to stop the bill.

Senate Democrats in Arizona attempted to derail the law with eight amendments, which were quickly disposed of by the Republican majority. The Democrats also warned that Arizona is in for another round of being shunned by businesses, conventions, and tourists who don’t appreciate the continual hanging of a “NOT Welcome” sign. That would echo what happened in 1993 when Arizona lost $500 million and the Super Bowl over its refusal to approve the Martin Luther King holiday. Or in 2010, when companies avoided Arizona en masse over the outrageous anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070.
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Update regarding the state of anti-gay bills in other states.
(OP: These two stories are a follow-up to the Blue Rhino plant explosion i posted about last year.)

OSHA report on Blue Rhino propane plant paints troubling picture

Is this 2014, or is it really 1914?

The question sprang to mind after reading reports last week about what caused the July explosion at the Blue Rhino propane plant that nearly obliterated a chunk of south Tavares from the map.

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The disregard for even basic caution by a company with many years of experience running propane plants could be the subject of more clever derision if it weren't for the workers who were injured seriously. One man reported being engulfed in an explosion and waking up a month later in a hospital room. Another spent months recovering from second- and third-degree burns.

Ferrellgas owes the community of Tavares an explanation, but so far, its officials have failed to respond to the newspaper's questions.

Tavares must take steps to regulate propane business

Second of two parts.

Despite a July explosion that sent seriously burned workers to the hospital, caused hundreds to evacuate their homes and damaged nearby businesses, the Blue Rhino propane plant has reopened and is operating again — having escaped nearly all scrutiny.

Oh, the plant had to pass an inspection by the Tavares Fire Department before reopening, but that's limited to requirements such as having a working fire extinguisher mounted in the right spot. The state Bureau of LP Gas had its own narrowly focused inspection — for bulk tanks and associated piping.

It seems that each agency has the authority to either regulate some sliver of Blue Rhino's operation or investigate some aspect of the blast that turned 53,000 propane canisters into flying missiles. Apparently, it's not anyone's job to examine the totality of the plant's operations.

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Part 1 Source // Part 2 Source

so...we'll see how this goes. i'm glad to see blue rhino getting their shit dragged into the sunlight - both of these articles corroborate what my husband told me about his single six-hour shift, and why he just left - and i hope the city does the right thing by the residents and the workers to keep this from happening again.
In interviews with entertainment news websites Collider and ComingSoon, director Jaume Collet-Serra, who was previously in talks to work on Warner Brothers' stalled live-action Akira film project, mentioned that he's still working on the film, and that he hopes it will be his next one.

Variety reported last August that Collet-Serra was possibly rejoining the project, stating that, if he returned, he would direct the project in Spring 2014. Warner stalled the project in 2012 to revise the script so it would be less costly. Akira manga creator and anime director Katsuhiro Otomo was reportedly going to oversee the project as executive producer.

Of the adaptation, Collet-Serra told ComingSoon that he will have to be "respectful of the source material" and that he hopes to "take the spirit of it and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga." Of the changes he hopes to make he said:

"I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don't think the main characters are the protagonists... That's part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They're used as a way to move the other philosophy forward."

Collet-Serra has worked on two movies since his talks in August, the second of which, Non-Stop, will be out in theaters on February 28.

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