Hey Discoveroids — Here’s Real Intelligent Design

The Los Angeles Times brings us tonight’s headline: Chinese media pooh-pooh shoppers’ embrace of Japanese toilet seats.

Yes, we know — you’re wondering: Why is the Curmudgeon writing about Japanese toilet seats? To answer that, we’ll have to jump into the middle of the news article, which quotes a Chinese editorial:

[T]he popularity of Japanese toilet seats can be explained by the fact that “they explicitly show the human touch, intelligent design and sophistication of Japanese goods.”

That’s your answer. But we’re getting ahead of things. Let’s start at the beginning of the article. The bold font was added by us:

For hundreds of thousands of Chinese travelers visiting Japan during the Chinese New Year holiday, the top item on their souvenir lists was headed straight for their bottoms. Chinese tourists flooded Japan last week, spending an estimated $959 million in Japan’s shopping malls and department stores, according to Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times. While many splurged on luxury goods, the hot item this season was Japanese toilet seats.

What’s so special about those toilet seats? Let’s read on:

The electric seats, known for being dizzyingly complicated, feature add-ons such as automatic disinfection, bidet services, warmers, perfumes and “masking noises” that can cover up any indiscreet sounds while one is using the loo.

Wowie — that’s intelligent design! The Los Angeles Times continues:

While the interest of Chinese consumers was a boon for Japanese businesses, the state-run Chinese media was a bit disturbed by the phenomenon. The Global Times even found it necessary to pen an editorial on the trend, chiding Chinese buyers.

What? They’re against intelligent design? They must be a bunch of Darwinists! Here’s more:

“That Chinese tourists swamp Japanese stores at a time when [China] is facing a sluggish domestic demand is certainly not something to be proud of,” the paper opined.

That editorial was written by fools! As the Discoveroids are always telling us, people know intelligent design when they see it. And they want it!

Then the editorial acknowledges the intelligent design of the product. That’s what we quoted at the start of this post. But the anti-intelligent design propaganda appears in other Chines newspapers too. We’re told:

The Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily even chimed in, urging Chinese to buy local, and asking, “Do Japanese toilet seats really smell better?”

That’s a question we can’t answer. Anyway, the rest of the article is about chilly relations between China and Japan. But none of that matters. People want intelligent design, and they’re going to get it.

What we don’t understand is why the Discovery Institute isn’t jumping on this issue. It fits their theory. Well, maybe not. If the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — were really as good as they say he is, then no one would need a Japanese toilet seat. The features it provides should already be part of our anatomy.

(Yeah, you guessed it — there’s no news tonight, so we’re doing the best we can.)

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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WorldNetDaily Rewrites American History

Buffoon Award

We’ve previously written about the non-religious nature of the American Revolution, and we’ve also discussed the entirely secular contents of Articles of Confederation and the Constitution — see Is America a “Christian Nation”? But creationists insist on not only their peculiar fantasy version of science, they also imagine a fantasy version of history — one in which people like them, with their theocratic ideas, founded America.

A good example of this was brought to our attention by the blaring sirens and flashing lights of the Drool-o-tron™. The blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). As you know, WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo displayed above this post.

The Drool-o-tron™ had locked our computer onto this article at WND’s website: Faith infused Articles of Confederation. There’s a comment section at the end.

WND’s headline is hysterical. Faith infused? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As we’ve said before:

The Articles of Confederation — our first constitution — was drafted by another committee of the Continental Congress [different from the one that drafted the Declaration of Independence], and was presented to Congress for approval the same month as the Declaration — July of 1776. But it was voted down (it created “too strong” a government) and sent back to committee for re-drafting. It was finally ratified by the smallest of the thirteen states in 1781, but only after New York and Virginia gave up their Western land claims — which is where the Northwest Territory came from. Despite the ratification delay, we pretty much operated under the Articles from 1776 until the new Constitution was ratified and went into effect in 1789.

There’s no mention of religion — Christian or otherwise — in the Articles. Well, there is a vague (probably Deist) phrase in the signature section, which says, with bold font added by us:

And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify …

Despite the pleasure of the “Great Governor of the World,” the document was signed pursuant to the authority granted by the state legislatures, and in the name of the signers’ constituents. So where is the “infusion” of faith? It’s nowhere to be seen in the document.

But WND’s headline says that faith infused the Articles of Confederation. Let’s take a look at their argument. They begin with some basic history about the Articles, which we’ll skip, and then they start jumping all over the place. The bold font was added by us:

In his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861, Lincoln cited the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to justify his opinion not let southern states leave the Union: “The Union is much older than the Constitution. … The faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778.”

That’s the “faith”? Then they quote from the Articles’ signature clause, but only the “Great Governor of the World” part, ignoring the rest that says the delegates signed it by the authority of their states and their constituents, and not by divine mandate. In other words, WND is quote-mining.

What else have they got? If you click over there, you’ll see that the rest of WND’s long article consists of quotes (which we haven’t checked) from the state constitutions as they existed in 1776. Most were older than the Revolution, although WND says that Virginia’s was ratified in that year. Many had religious provisions, a legacy from the colonial period. It took a while for the states to revise them in that respect, and indeed, some had established churches. But the national government didn’t.

Virginia was probably the first state to disestablish its church — see The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. For the rest of them, see Wikipedia’s article on Former state churches in British North America, which indicates that Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its church, in 1834.

Okay, let’s sum it up. Does WND’s article live up to its headline? Did faith “infuse” the Articles of Confederation?” We don’t see it, but maybe you do, dear reader.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Farewell to Leonard Nimoy


Everyone knows that Leonard Nimoy died yesterday.

We couldn’t think of anything to say, so we’re posting NASA’s Image of the Day. The accompanying text says:

International Space Station astronaut Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) tweeted this image of a Vulcan hand salute from orbit as a tribute to actor Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Nimoy played science officer Mr. Spock in the Star Trek series that served as an inspiration to generations of scientists, engineers and sci-fi fans around the world.

That picture says it better than anything we could have done.

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Kent Hovind Trial: Jury Selection Monday

The last time we posted about this bizarre situation was a month ago: A Typical “Free Kent Hovind” Rant. You can read about him at Wikipedia: Kent Hovind (a/k/a “Dr. Dino”), which describes his conviction for tax evasion.

Hovind contested the original tax charges against him, and lost. Then he appealed and lost. He also contested the seizure of his property, and was unsuccessful in that. He had his day in court. Now he’s being charged with fraudulently trying to stop the feds from selling property that the courts have already determined was lawfully taken from him. Here’s a link to the text of the indictment. His behavior pattern is preposterous, but it’s not unknown — see Creationists and Tax Protesters.

Hovind’s supporters have been posting all over the internet that he’s being persecuted by the feds solely because he’s been so effective in his battle against evolution. That’s absurd, because the only person he’s ever impressed is Jack Chick — see Jack Chick Presents Kent Hovind’s Videos.

Anyway, let’s get to the news. In the Pensacola News Journal of Pensacola, Florida — which had been the home of Hovind’s creationist “ministry” and his Dinosaur Adventure Land (now confiscated by the feds to pay back taxes) — we read ‘Dr. Dino’ Hovind trial begins Monday. If you go there, an icon just below the headline will get you to the newspaper’s comment feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:

Jury selection will begin Monday in the trial of Kent Hovind, a polarizing Pensacola evangelist facing federal charges of fraud and contempt. Hovind, known as Doctor Dino for his views on history and creation, could spend more than 20 years in prison if convicted of charges that he filed documents disputing the government’s right to sell his forfeited property.

Gasp! But his supporters say he’s done nothing wrong. Nothing! It’s all an evolutionist conspiracy! Let’s read on:

Hovind is on the tail end of a nearly decade-long prison sentence for failing to withhold payroll taxes and “structuring” bank transactions to evade federal reporting requirements. To pay his tax debts, Hovind was ordered to forfeit 10 properties surrounding his biblical theme park, Dinosaur Adventure Land. The new set of charges stem from allegations that he and his co-defendant, Paul John Hansen, filed motions disputing the government’s right to sell the land despite an injunction.

The newspaper quotes a few of Hovind’s supporters, and then says:

Of course, Reilly [a Forbes columnist] and many of Hovind’s detractors say that if Hovind had simply paid his taxes, there would be no issues. … “If Kent had done like his son, who is now head of the ministry, and paid and reported taxes, there would have been a very minimal amount of taxes paid.”

It’s not just Hovind’s son, Eric, who manages to escape the wrath of the IRS. So do the Discoveroids, Hambo, and all the other creationists with whom we’re familiar. It’s only those who lurch into the alternate universe of tax protestors that run into trouble. For those, it’s not science denial that causes their difficulties, it’s their denial that the law applies to them.

Our advice to creationists — and anyone else who lives in a fantasy world — is this: It’s perfectly legal to run around thinking you’re Donald Duck — as long as you retain enough sanity to realize that even Donald Duck has to obey the law.

There’s not much else in the newspaper article, except some quotes from various people. The fun won’t start until the trial begins. We’ll be watching for it, so stay tuned to this blog.

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