April 29, 2007

Stupid Pet Tricks By Daisy & Laugh With Pat Condell

This is very short. The cookie trick is pretty cool:

There are quite a few good Atheist comics. Pat Condell, from the UK, is probably the best. Logical and extremely witty. Here are a couple of his best Youtube videos:

You can't argue with, but you sure as heck can smile and laugh a lot with him.

Here is his newest video:

For all of his videos, and I suggest you watch them all if you liked the above two: go here.

Check out his website too.

And here is a cause he is helping to promote: The World's Greatest Lawsuit

April 28, 2007

Reddit and Digg Buttons For The New Blogger

You may ask, what does this post have to do with being an Atheist Jew? The answer is nothing. I just wanted to share a few blogging ideas to my readers.
If you look at the top right hand corner of this post, you will see a Digg Button. If you are using the new blogger (or blogger beta format) and you want this button, click "template", then "edit html," check the "expand widget box," and follow these instructions:

Find this code in your template:


and replace with this code:

<!-- DIGG -->
<div style='float:right; margin-left:10px;'>
<script type='text/javascript'>
digg_url = '<data:post.url/>';
<script src='http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js' type='text/javascript'/>


Now, if you want the Reddit, Digg, and Del.icio.us buttons you see at the bottom of all my posts:
Enter Dashboard, select "Template" or "Layout" and "Edit HTML". Select checkbox "Expand Widget Templates". Follow these instructions:

Find the following code in your template:

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/>

And replace it with the following code and save:

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'>
<a expr:href='"http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&amp;url=" + data:post.url + "&amp;title=" + data:post.title'>
<img src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1785/2897/1600/digg.gif" /> digg</a>
<a expr:href='"http://reddit.com/submit?url=" + data:post.url + "&amp;title=" + data:post.title'>
<img src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1785/2897/1600/reddit.png" /> reddit</a>
<a expr:href='"http://del.icio.us/post?url=" + data:post.url + "&amp;title=" + data:post.title'>
<img src="http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1785/2897/1600/delicious.gif" /> del.icio.us</a>

Taw's Blog

Note: If you have something in the "p class....line-3'" part of your template, then do what I did, and make a new "line-4" which I pasted right after the "/p" for line-3.

Now you may ask, why bother? Well, you want your blog to be read by as many people as possible, don't you? I do. If you have an appealing enough title for your post, and then you submit your story to Reddit or Digg, you will be amazed at how many new hits your blog gets.


Another useful free blog tool I use is coComment.
CoComment allows you to automatically follow any posts in the blogosphere that you commented on. I have an add-on for it from Mozilla, but I'm not sure if it is needed or not, because I'm really just winging it. I'm not sure how coComment works with other browsers.

Who says atheists, don't help out their fellow man (bloggers)?

Finally, I don't usually participate in internet related "things to do" that are emailed to me, but I couldn't resist this one:

Seven year old Shane Bernier is a brave cancer patient at CHEO and he is asking people to send him a card for his birthday on May 30th. Shane wants to set a world record for the most number of cards received!

I bought the card yesterday and I will mail it on Monday. Here is a link to get Shane's address: http://shanebernier.ca/

Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I had to check out if his story was true or not. Snopes says it is real. If Snopes says it is real, then it must be true.

April 26, 2007

Saudi Arabia's Modesty Buses Draw Fire

Saudi Arabia's 'modesty buses' draw fire
By Katia Abdul
BBC News, Riyadh

The other day I was waiting for a bus in downtown Riyadh. I was in the bustling extreme Islamic neighbourhood of Olaya and the bus stop was extremely crowded.

When the Number 40 bus arrived, the most curious thing happened. Husbands left heavily pregnant wives or spouses struggling with prams and pushchairs to fend for themselves as they and all other male passengers got on at the front of the bus.

Women moved towards the rear door to get on at the back.

When on the bus, I tried to buck the system, moving my way towards the driver but was pushed back towards the other women.

These are what extreme Muslims call "modesty buses".

The separation system operates on 30 public bus routes across Saudi Arabia.

The authorities here say the arrangement is voluntary, but in practice, as I found out, there is not much choice involved.

'Abuse and threats'

Fatime Rahma is one of a group of women now taking the separation bus system to court. She is a deeply religious Muslim herself.

"I wasn't trying to start a revolution, all I wanted to do was get home," she tells me.

"I was in downtown Riyadh and I saw a bus going straight to my neighbourhood and I got on and sat down, in a single seat behind the driver.

"It was a completely empty bus, and all of a sudden, some men started getting on, Muslim extremist men. They told me I was not allowed to sit there, I had to go to the back of the bus."

Not only is the segregation system discriminatory, says Ms Rahma, but it can also be dangerous, she says, for those like her who ignore it.

"I said to him look, if you bring me a code of Islamic law and show me where it's written that I have to sit at the back of the bus I'll move.

"And he tried to gain support from the rest of the passengers and I underwent a half-hour of pure hell - abuse, humiliation, threats, even physical intimidation."

'Positive discrimination'

Supporters of the separation system say the buses involved serve mainly extreme fundamental Muslim neighbourhoods - but not exclusively.

Many passengers are not happy. You will hear complaints at bus stops all over town.

One man told me that if some people wanted segregation buses they should pay a private company to provide them.

Another told me that in a society that is democratic and where the buses are subsidised by the government, a minority's concerns should not override those of the majority.

But Achmed Farouk disagrees. He is a city councillor in Riyadh where a large proportion of Saudi Arabia's segregation lines operate.

"This really is about positive discrimination, in women's favour. Our religion says there should be no public contact between men and women, this modesty barrier must not be broken."

Uphill struggle

Opponents of the separation buses face an uphill struggle. Radical Muslim leaders are a powerful minority in Saudi Arabia.

Fatima Regen says the buses are just part of a wider menacing pattern of behaviour towards women in parts of the extremist Muslim community.

"They've already cancelled higher education in the radical Islamic world for women. They have packed the religious courts with extreme Muslim judges.

"In some places there are separate sides of the street women have to walk on."

She says that there are signs all over some religious neighbourhoods demanding that women dress modestly.

"They throw paint and bleach at women who aren't dressed modestly and if we don't draw a line in the sand here with this seat on a bus, then I don't know what this country and this religion is going to look like in 20 years," Ms Rahma said.

Petitioners like Fatima Rahma have asked Saudi Arabia's High Court to either ban the segregation buses altogether or to force bus companies to provide parallel bus routes for passengers wanting to sit where they like.
Alright, for those who don't know, this happened in Israel, not Saudi Arabia. The names and religious references were changed to get my following point across.

First, I realize that this post may jeopardize my chances at winning the JIB Award for best Jewish and Israeli Skepticism Blog. DON'T FORGET TO VOTE

Aside from that, most of the point, I hope is obvious. If this was in fact, a story that was from about Arab country (sure, this would have no chance of being debated within nor would it be considered newsworthy), many bloggers I know would be eating it up.
And I'm not just talking about Atheists, but I'm mostly directing this to my anti-Jihadist/pro-Israel friends as well.
And yes, it is easy to find these types of stories in most Arab and/or Muslim countries. They are hourly occurrences. Just check out Eye on the World, Elder of Ziyon, or The Muslim Question, just to name a few.

But I can't be hypocritical at this stage. Especially after opening up my new blog, Judeophobe Watch.

The behavior of Ultra-Orthodox Jews with regard to modestly dressed women and the 'modesty buses' is wrong. Plain and simple. I realize some of the comments at the end of the BBC article are very good, but they don't offer enough justification.

Here is the thing: Everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want. As long as they don't interfere with anyone else's right to believe, or not believe in whatever anyone wants to believe, everything is fine.

But imposing ones extreme beliefs or even moderate beliefs on other people, is just plain wrong. There are facts in the world, and there are beliefs. Beliefs do not take precedence in MY WORLD.

The fact is that these buses are NOT PRIVATE. If the Ultra Orthodox Jewish community want them to be exclusive, by their rules, they should buy them and run them themselves.

As far as their treatment of modestly dressed women on the streets; that is a shame, and no better than how we perceive the Muslim world's attitude towards women in many countries.

The Ultra Orthodox Jews should grow up, and be accepting. Whether they like it or they don't. If they want or need TOTAL exclusivity, they can move to Antarctica. The streets are not an Ultra Orthodox temple. They really don't have the right to be disgusted. Live and let live, unless you are being attacked. It is impossible for me to be tolerant of a religious person who is intolerant of others, especially in a public setting.

Tommy from Exercise in Futility is also outraged by the 'modesty bus,' and he isn't even a Jooooo:) Oh, and I can't believe how friggin stupid I am. For a couple of years I had him in my sidebar as ExCercise in Futility. I just noticed the mistake tonight for the first time and corrected it. And nobody said squat to me about it either.

One more plug, even though he probably will hate this article. Vote Elder of Ziyon for Best Pro-Israeli Advocacy Blog.

April 24, 2007

Bill O'Reilly's Advice To Richard Dawkins: "You Should Run"

Here is Bill O'Reilly making sense. He actually dug himself a big hole that, lucky for him, his audience didn't get it. I think he got it though, right after he tried to work it in his analogy.

He basically said run from anyone talks about God or religion, including himself. I'm not sure if he knew from the onset what he was thinking when he started his reply. But one thing is for sure, he temporarily clued in about proof, evidence and the wilfully ignorant.

Looks like he forgot that whole conversation though. Here is his conversation last night with Richard Dawkins:

"Jesus was a real guy" "I know what he did"
Bill, there is no evidence that a historical Jesus ever existed. The only thing you know is that a story exists about what a most likely mythological figure supposedly did.

"I'm not positive Jesus is God, but I'm throwing in with Jesus"...'because Atheist can't yet conclusively explain how the universe began.'
Lets see Bill, you are saying that you believe because you want to believe. In other words: Run Richard, run.

'Catholicism helps me as a person'
Jew haters who can't pay the rent are helped if they believe Jews are somehow to blame. It doesn't mean there is anything rational about it, and remember you said to "RUN."

Obviously Bill didn't read Dawkins' The God Delusion (either have I, but I intend to). It is painfully obvious knowing what I know about the contents of the book. The debate was over when O'Reilly sluffed off the inability anyone has in proving Zeus is not God.

Atheism a bane to civilization?
Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all confirmed atheists? Not Hitler. Show me one shred of evidence Hitler was an atheist. That is just a lie. There is no way of telling what anyone believes, but Hitler quoted Jesus and Christ hundreds of times. He was a creationist as well, believing that Aryans were specially created by God.
OK, I know he wasn't a good Catholic, but Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot weren't good atheists.

On the rest:

Yes, religion can be a moderating influence. It keeps morons who think they need fear of God to keep themselves from murdering, raping and stealing. Religion is also a way to control the masses, if the masses share the same religion. The Founding Fathers, were as secular as they come, and they had no knowledge of an ancient earth or evolution. Without knowledge of an ancient earth and evolution, one is almost compelled to have to believe in creation stories of some sort.

I would have argued about Atheism being a bane on civilization a bit more, but Dawkins didn't have very much time at all.

It was an atheist, Boris Yeltsin who eliminated Communism in Russia. When O'Reilly earlier brought up Sweden and Japan as being atheist majority countries, Dawkins should have flung it back in his face and ask, what exactly is wrong with those countries? Which country does he feel is better all around, Saudi Arabia or Japan?

April 23, 2007

Judeophobe Watch

As some of you have already found out, I just started a new blog called Judeophobe Watch.

The purpose of it as stated in the blog header: This site gives normal human beings a chance to debunk, refute, chastise, and debate anti-semitic postings from various Judeophobic web sites, like Crescent and Cross, for example. The cowards who spew their anti-semitic bull do not normally allow normal human beings to comment on their drivel.

When a blog search is made for those on the lunatic fringe like David Duke and Mark Glenn, I want my new site to be one of the search results. And hopefully the posts will have some intelligent comments on them, so that people doing searches can see that the premises of Joooo haters are seriously flawed, as is most the revisionist history and unsubstantiated rhetoric that goes hand in hand with the anti-semite's spewings.

Another reason to open for the Judeophobe Watch site, is that I think that my personal email exchanges with these idiots will become completely unnecessary, in that I now have forum to invite any Joooo hater to.

I also believe that by exposing Judeophobes in this way, it will show how ridiculous their ideas are. For those who think Judeophobes should be ignored and that I'm only giving them a platform, my reply is: should Hitler have been ignored in the 1920's?

Finally, another reason I am doing this is to keep the Atheist Jew blog on track: Fighting with individual anti-semites here, is just a little too out there I think, and probably many of my readers agree.

I want this blog focused on four things: Atheism, separation of church and state, layman's science, and the War on Terror (which includes of course the insanity of the Palestinian "cause" and their actions).

If you aren't on the Judeophobe Watch blogroll and want to be, please let me know, and I will blogroll you (providing you aren't a Judeophobe).

Right now, comments on that blog are not being moderated. I will only delete comments that are off topic and/or include baseless insults, are genuine spam, or comments that include very long copy and paste material. If I find myself having to delete a lot of comments, I will turn moderation on.

One more thing. I was nominated for a JIB (Jewish and Israeli Blog) Award in the category of "Best Jewish Skepticism Blog"

If you feel like voting for me, GO HERE.