The Watering Hole: March 23 — The Importance of Unbelief

Stephen Fry is awesome, and you should do whatever he says.

This is our daily open thread — How about that Stephen Fry?

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88 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: March 23 — The Importance of Unbelief

    • The irony is dripping… Shouldn’t Mittens be running for el Presidente of Mexico?

  1. Frye makes the comment that philosophy is hard work, always questioning and seeking rational answers.
    Belief systems are easy and comfortable, hence the attraction.
    Mystery is essential, and can also be scary; in the sense that one does not know what to expect.
    Religions attempt to explain everything in simple terms, preying on the fears of the adherents.

    • I was told long ago that the universe is driven by fear and religion is the engine.

    • I thought that the point of serving time was to pay off the debt and that returning to society you were given the rights of civic society back again. While in prison you lose those rights (the voting bit).

  2. Bill Press and Stephanie Miller start being on Current TV this coming Monday.

    If you go to the main page http://current.com/, you can enter your ZIP code and find the channel # for Current on your local cable and satellite systems.

    • I wish their shows could be repeated in the time slot before Cenk. I’m getting tired of the DEA and the truck drivers in undeveloped countries.

  3. Here’s a tidbit from an interview of Fry…
    “You know if we empower ourselves with responsibility over our actions, responsibility over our destinies and responsibility for directing and maintaining and creating our own ethical and moral frameworks, which is the most important thing really isn’t it because perhaps the greatest insult to humanism is this idea that mankind needs a god in order to have a moral framework.”

    As opposed to McDonald’s, I’m loving this.

    • From the link, Rmoney’s response:

      “I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America’s promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

      So much for nation over party, huh? Not to mention the “record of failure.” Bwahaha!

      How did Massachusetts do when you were governor, Mittens? Oh, really. That bad?

  4. Here’s an amazing find on FDL this AM!!!

    Dallas Fed Proclaims: “Break Up the Banks”
    By: David Dayen Friday March 23, 2012 6:01 am
    The first couple of paragraphs…
    “The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank released a report calling for the end of “Too Big To Fail” and the breakup of the largest and most systemically important banks.
    In a letter signed by Richard Fisher, the conservative president of the bank, he endorses the research report, and he says that the Dodd-Frank law did not do nearly enough to end the dynamic of Too Big to Fail, and that more must be done immediately to reach this outcome”

    Wow. Took the words right offa my tongue.

    • It’s too late for the most infectious bacteria to be stopped. Antibiotic resistant staph is now problematic in hospitals. This has been the case for more then ten years. It’s like evolution and global warming – no science allowed. This is a sad item to endure in a nation that once led in the frontiers of science frontiers.

  5. Speaking of Stephen Fry…

    “Stephen Fry has confirmed he and Sir Ian McKellen will pay a copyright licence fee so a Southampton pub can carry on trading as The Hobbit.

    The pub was threatened with legal action by Hollywood film firm the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) which accused it of copyright infringement.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-17433036

    • Hmm, pub has been in business with that name for 20 years. Curious that the Tolkien estate didn’t seem to mind at all. Why would Lionsgate think this was damaging to them? “Oh, fuck, free publicity. We can’t have that.”

  6. Fry makes such a good a cogent case…..

    1. Philosophy is hard work
    2. If you believe in an afterlife, then you’ll not pull your weight in the real one
    3. God is so far back in the gaps now that She is Irrelevant *or* She gets a kick out of killing kids and lambs with horrible diseases *or* maybe non-existent.

  7. And the W G Grace impersonator afterwards – he’s just strange….. the Clash were never *just a band* !!

  8. Gas hits a record high in the UK. Will FAUX”News” blame President Obama for that too? Will they even mention that gas prices are high everywhere?

    Nope. They’ll just keep repeating the myth that our gas prices are high because “Obama is standing in the way of domestic drilling” despite the fact that we are drilling more new wells than the rest of the world combined.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17490088

  9. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said, underscoring how the issue affected him on a personal, and not just a political or legal, level.

    Sigh, I really wish he would steer clear of these types of public comments.

    • If I were in Obama’s shoes, I would have said “That if I had a son, I would hope that he would be as intelligent, tolerant and forthcoming as Trayvon! His loss is a tragedy for us and of our nation’s identity as a free society.”.

  10. “My dog is on the roof”

    (I lost my coffee at about 2:00 or thereabouts)

  11. Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin’s ‘Hoodie Is As Much Responsible For [His] Death As George Zimmerman’

    Gorrendo Revolver, indeed.

  12. Jim Yong Kim is Obama’s choice to head the World Bank.

    TP lists his credentials.

    I’m sure the right will dismiss those credentials as being too elitist and snobish. But it’s his love of life as shown here that will make them go nuttier. They just can’t stand real people having fun and being soooo intelligent at the same time.

  13. Etch-A-Sketch update:

    “I’m very disappointed that the president has not over the last year or two talked about what’s happening in Afghanistan, what progress is being made, describing a time table, or why his timetable makes sense or not,” – Mitt Romney, 2012.

    “Well, there’s no question that the president and Prime Minister al Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement. You don’t want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you’re going to be gone,” – Mitt Romney, 2007

    Shake shake

    • I think there’s maybe some ‘Being Mitt Romney’ thing going on and a different person is at the controls almost every day.

    • TBN directors received about $300,000 to $500,000 in meal expenses and the use of chauffeurs, and oversaw “fraudulent donation and kickback schemes involving third party ‘ministries'” the network controlled, the suit claims.

      Looks like more than $500,000 in meal expenses to me. And all those people sending them money will continue to do so because TBN is doing “good Christian” work. I’m convinced that if TBN wasn’t fleecing them someone else would be.

      • Fools and their money. Seriously, anyone who would send money to a preacher in a $5,000.00 dollar suit deserves to be fleeced.

  14. Bill0 is whining again (still?). Just to belabor the obvious; Lushbo, Bill0, and virtually every Recihwhiner with a platform SLANDERED Sandra Fluke by insisting that she demands that taxpayers pay for her contraception. They simply made it up and attributed it to her despite videos and transcripts of her testimony being available to anyone with an internet connection. That is the very definition of slander. So, by his own criteria, his own slanderous and violent (Remember the late Dr. George Tiller and Bill0’s constant refrain that he must be “stopped”?) statements should not be “allowed”. i really, REALLY, hate these people!

    http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/billo-steps-limbaugh-surrogate

  15. This Trayvon Martin tragedy resonates with me as a white male, illustrated by my sister’s post today on Facebook:

    “I hope my brother {Me} doesn’t mind my posting this, but I’ve been thinking about this since the Trayvon Martin news broke. We are half Italian and half Swedish. I’m fair skinned and blond. {Badmoodman} looks more Italian, very handsome with olive skin and black curly hair. When we were kids and went to the public pool every day in summer, {Badmoodman} tanned. Boy, did he ever tan. After enough sun, he’d turn almost purple. We were at the pool every day. They knew us by sight. Yet one day, they sent {Badmoodman} home. He was too dark. He looked Mexican or black as far as they were concerned. He couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old, and it was devastating. We didn’t know what prejudice was, but this was our introduction to it.

    Enter “{BadmoodmanMom}”, our mother. Hell hath no fury, I’ll tell ya. She went nuclear on the people at the park district. I remember her shrieking into the phone, “He’s half Swedish, ferchrissakes! And even if he were Mexican, you have no right to turn him away!”

    We never had a problem at the pool again. And the {BadmoodmanFamily} kids grew up without a racist bone in their bodies. Thanks, Mom.”

    • Oh, your half Italian! I can’t believe I’ve enjoyed your comments. /snark off

      We had dinner with the neighbours yesterday. He is a dual citizen of US and Canada and was born in Tennessee and grew up near Toronto. He is a high school english teacher and director of athletics (not bad for a youngster). The topic of Trayvon came up. He says it’s amazing how racism in the south is still very much alive and kicking. I commented that here in Calgary we don’t have very much racism and he was quick to say that even among his fellow teachers there is far too much of it. He sites small comments like “that black kid on the football team”. It kind of set me back. He’s right. We all have a long way to go. I hope we get there.

    • Awesome BadmoodmanMom! As a child (Swedish/Scottish and very very white) growing up in Richmond VA it was impossible to not know what prejudice was. Separate facilities were everywhere and even a child could see that the black version was never quite equal.
      Trayvon’s tragedy has bothered me greatly. I love a brown child with every fiber of my being. If he drives when he’s older and is stopped by police I don’t know if he’ll react calmly or make bizarre noises and movements. I dread having the conversation with him that occurs in minority families. I fear I cannot keep him safe.

    • BadmoodmanMom did a great job. I like the description handsome olive skin curly hair, too ;)

    • As a kid fully all of my racial prejudice was learned from my environment. That was cancelled by the realities of my post parent environment.

      As is said, experience is the best teacher.

      Those who use race to discredit Obama are working against their own best interests.

  16. Louisiana Oil Companies Decry ‘abusive’ Rash Of Lawsuits, Say Industry Hurting | Fox News

    The lawsuits started to explode several years before the BP disaster and have shown no sign of abating . The oil industry is trying to draw attention to their charge that trial lawyers are running rampant through the state courts in a bid to milk energy producers regardless of whether the producers did anything wrong. 

    “This is what I call legalized extortion,” Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, told FoxNews.com. 

    Fox is there to champion the cause of the little (er, mega) people (er, corporations). Those poor oil companies.

  17. What’s the “silver bullet” to lowering gas prices? | You Decide | Politics | Fox News

    What’s the “silver bullet” to lowering gas prices? There is no silver bullet, just like Obama says  8.83%  (4,642 votes)     More domestic oil drilling  67.32%  (35,370 votes)     More refineries  18.81%  (9,882 votes)     Increased alternative fuel investment  3.46%  (1,816 votes)     Pressure foreign nations to release more  1.58%  (832 votes)      

    Funny that they don’t give credit for Obama in the 2nd option. It could have been worded “More domestic drilling, like has been done under the Obama administration.” (Of course that would deny the talking point that more drilling actually helps.)

    • Ooops, sorry the formatting is messed up… here we go.

      There is no silver bullet, just like Obama says 8.83% (4,642 votes)
      More domestic oil drilling 67.32% (35,370 votes)
      More refineries 18.81% (9,882 votes)
      Increased alternative fuel investment 3.46% (1,816 votes)
      Pressure foreign nations to release more 1.58% (832 votes)

      • More domestic oil drilling – er if the stuff isn’t there, then why drill? Its as if I could just dig a hole in the ground and that alone would give me the right ot behave like Old Jed…. the ignorance perpetuated by those in the media who either know nothing or have an agenda instead.

        Fully 86% of Fox News watchers have absolutely no f***ing clue.

    • We just have to keep hammering the point because the “librul media” refuses to do so. We currently have more oil and gas drilling rigs in operation than the rest of the world combined!

    • Its supply v demand on a worldwide scale – end of story.

      “In September 2011, the United States exported 430,000 more barrels of gasoline a day than it imported, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is about twice what it exported at the start of the year, and “experts and industry insiders say the trend is here to stay,”

      That’s right – the United States is *exporting* more gasoline and diesel than ever before. This is a long read from Counterpunch, but a good one. Hey dycker – what’s the view from Alberta on this stuff?

      • So that Counterpunch article kicks serious butt – if you need to understand this issue, they’ve got the angles all covered in readable form. For a dinner table discussion with the Teabagger in your family :)

      • We have a shitload of oil in tarsands. Enough that billions of dollars are being spent on getting the oil out of it. Enough to make us a top producer for years to come. Enough to ruin many square miles of boreal forest. But hey, it’s so far north that it only affect native Canadians!

        We are exporters of raw crude and I have no idea why we don’t process more of it ourselves. Perhaps because we don’t use as much as others (smaller population). Perhaps we process enough for ourselves.

        We pay more at the pump than you pay. Partly because of taxes, partly because it’s a global resource, partly because we have long ways to transport it after it’s processed and partly because, well, that just what it costs!.

        There is a small war of facts that has been going on for a while. Mostly the war is being waged by industry and government and only when high profile actors show up do the anti-tarsands groups get their view even remotely shown in the papers or on TV.

        In my view, the oil is there and the people with money will make more money out of it no matter what the cost to the environment is.

    • Of course domestic drilling will help, right after we go all Hugo Chavez on our oil industry. All these folks promoting the free market and they don’t seem to understand how it works.

        • Keep repeating this, repeat it to others over and over:
          Oil goes to market based on grade.
          There is no such thing as “foreign” or “domestic” oil.
          The “foreign oil” meme needs to be exposed for the rip off that it is.
          There is no sticker on the barrel that says “Made in Iraq”
          or “Made in the Gulf of Mexico”
          The money boys don’t care where it comes from.
          It’s a commodity.

    • The Silver bullet is an electric Tesla or Leaf in every garage, and solar shingles on every roof and wall of every house in America. That’ll drop your price down.

  18. As Santorum Fires Gun, Woman Shouts ‘Pretend It’s Obama’ – Yahoo! News

    WEST MONROE, Louisiana – At a campaign stop at a firing range, while Rick Santorum was firing off some rounds, a woman shouted, “pretend it’s Obama.”

    Santorum, who was far from the woman, couldn’t hear the comment as he proceeded with his target practice. Neither could his staffers.

    But the yell – the identity of the yeller is not clear, although the words were clearly audible – was in close proximity to journalists traveling with the candidate. “It’s absurd,” Santorum said of the woman’s outburst when reporters told him about it. “No we’re not pretending it’s anybody but shooting pistols. It’s a very terrible and horrible remark and I’m glad I didn’t hear it.”

    That’s your base Ricky. Keep pandering to them.

  19. WTF? Of the afternoon:

    Newt says the the President should stop acting in a way that makes people think he’s a Muslim. How the Hell is ordering the killing of more Muslim terrorists than his predecessor construed as “acting like a Muslim”? Have I missed him palling around with, and holding hands and kissing, Muslim dictators?

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/03/23/451119/gingrich-why-does-the-president-behave-the-way-that-people-would-think-that-hes-muslim/

    Of course, there’s a very simple answer. President Obama doesn’t act in a way that makes people think he’s a Muslim. The Reich-wing echo chamber merely lies and tells their stupid worshipers that he “acts like a Muslim”. Newt is neither smart nor honest enough to ever realize that simple truth.

    • Why does Gingrich behave in a way that makes people think he’s a delerious loser?

  20. Santorum reiterates vow to support Romney if he’s the nominee | The Ticket – Yahoo! News

    Rick Santorum clarified remarks he made in Texas on Thursday when he said Republicans “might as well stay with what we have”which seemed to imply a Barack Obama presidency would be better than electing Mitt Romney. But the former Pennsylvania senator claimed the media was distorting his comments and also reiterated his pledge of support for the party nominee in November.

    Distorting? It’s pretty clear what the phrase “might as well stay with what we have” means when you’re discussing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. There’s no distorting.

    • They know the game is rigged. They know that anyone who still cares what they say will never hear their statements challenged so they are free to say any damned fool thing that pops into their head and, if someone from the “librul media” makes a comment? They just say they were taken out of context or that said “librul media” is creating controversy. And the sheeple keeps grazing in a field of hate and fear.

  21. I may add this to the post I’m writing, but here is my reply to Geraldo Rivera’s offensive comment.

    • I do get what Rivera is saying, however inarticulate. Clothes can be a statement of values that get communicated instantly to the people around you, especially to those who don’t know you. First impressions, and all that.

      But that doesn’t mean that baggy pants or a hoodie makes you complicit in your own death when someone shoots you for no other reason. That’s a blame-the-victim argument.

    • I would say:

      “Gucking Feraldo is as bigoted as any of the other colossal bigots at FAUX”News”. It’s doubly vile when it comes from someone who, in Arizona, could be jailed because he isn’t carrying his passport.”

    • Trayvon Martin was wearing his hood up because it was friggin’ raining. Isn’t that proper use of a hoodie?

      • Exactly. I always buy hooded sweatshirts and jackets and I’m an old white guy who habitually wears a hat or cap. It’s a practical matter. In fact, my hooded jacket may have saved two lives. The guy I was riding with skidded into a ditch, about two miles from the nearest habitation, one night when the wind chill was about 30 below. He had no hat or hood so I gave him my stocking cap and pulled up the hood. We both came through with no frostbite.

  22. Judge H. Lee Sarokin: Shouldn’t George Zimmerman Be Required to Prove Self-Defense?

    Imagine this scenario: a man shoots and kills someone. He tells the police he was temporarily insane at the time. So they say “OK you can go home and take your gun with you,” because they can’t contradict his claim of insanity at the time of the killing. Ridiculous? Yes, but according to CNN: “Police say they have not charged Zimmerman because they have no evidence to contradict his story that he shot in self-defense.” Am I missing something here? The only evidence of self-defense comes from the person who shot the victim. Doesn’t he have a motive to lie? Isn’t his credibility an issue? Aren’t there surrounding circumstances that place the claim of self-defense in dispute? What is undisputed is that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Whether or not there is a valid defense to that shooting is not a determination to be made by police — particularly when based solely on the word of the shooter.

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