Hypocrisy Today Report!

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And in ‘I thought that the rhythm method was reliable,’ news. Abstinence advocate and complete hypocrite Bristol Palin went in again, balls deep, to announce yet another out-of-wedlock pregnancy that will most likely end with the birth of a child with a name like Tarp or Slap or Trank, or some other redneck moniker along those lines. We atheists don’t really give a rat’s ass what this climate change denying throwback does with her vagina, we only care that she is a fucking bigot and that she has received over $300,000 heading up a ‘Charity’ that promotes abstinence as the only effective birth control method and flying in the face of the fact that fucking is a drive more powerful than eating!

This ‘Charity’ has raked in over a million bucks of which only $30,000 of that has actually been donated, while the rest went to pay the huge paychecks of Bristol Palin and the bogus board that heads up this obvious comical farce. This, of course, has demonstrated what a load of shit the whole abstinence deal is and what an effective tool birth control is. Palin, who is best known for her slope-browed bigoted opinions and her bar fighting skills, demanded from people that she not be lectured for being a fucking hypocrite and down right liar who has profited of of the persecution of others.

I really don’t care about this poor excuse of a human being who was able to fleece so many out of hard earned money for her tours and book deals. The fact that so many vapid ignorant sheeple made her ridiculous ‘reality show’ successful only serves to demonstrate how some people deserve to be conned. One can only imagine the mindset of a person who could actually take that family serious or follow anything that they do. They are all embarrassments to the human race and bigoted, myth-following Neanderthals. Hopefully these Cro-Magnon fucks will crawl back into the cave from whence they came and leave the modern world alone with their trailer-trash antics and fucked up politics.

Load of shit takes shape in Kentucky-Big surprise!

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  • Noahs Ark Park-1.jpg

    A wooden rib that is part of a ship based on the story of Noah’s ark is raised into place in Williamstown, Ky., on Thursday, June 25, 2015. The Ark Encounter will be a religious tourist attraction when it opens next year. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan) (The Associated Press)

In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up.

For now, there’s only a foundation, some concrete pillars and the ribs. But the Christian ministry building the ark says the public will be awe-struck by the size of the 510-foot-long ship when it’s finished next year.

“This is going to be huge attraction just for the structure itself,” said Ken Ham, founder of the Kentucky-based group, Answers in Genesis.

On Thursday, journalists were allowed to tour the site for the first time — following a hard rainfall, as it turned out.

The religious theme park project that was announced nearly five years ago is still afloat, after hitting a stretch of rough waters. The ministry had to break the project into phases after private funding stalled a few years ago due to a soft economy. The ark is the first phase, and plans for other attractions at the site were put on hold.

Answers in Genesis says it will pour nearly $90 million of private donations and bond funding into the attraction, which will be called the Ark Encounter. So far, Ham said, about $70 million has been raised.

The Christian group says it has researched the Noah story to determine the size of the boat. In the Bible account, the ark was built by Noah to carry pairs of all the earth’s animals as the world was destroyed by a flood.

“Most people don’t really understand the size of the ark, and we’re going to answer questions like, how could he fit all the animals on board,” Ham said at the construction site Thursday.

Ham’s ministry opened the Creation Museum in 2007 a few miles from here. It has drawn criticism from science educators for exhibits that challenge evolution and promote a view that the earth is about 6,000 years old.

TV star and educator Bill Nye, who suggests the tourist-friendly ark could divert young people away from science, debated Ham on evolution at a widely-seen event at the Creation Museum last year. Nye said if Noah’s ark had actually been built, it would have been destroyed by the sea.

The big boat project took another hit last year when the state of Kentucky withdrew a tourism sales tax incentive that would have meant about $18 million for the attraction after it is up and running.

State officials said in December that tax incentives shouldn’t be used to “fund religious indoctrination.” Answers in Genesis disagreed and filed a federal lawsuit to get back into the incentive program, saying they should not be excluded because of their religious beliefs. The state has asked a judge to dismiss the suit, and a hearing is scheduled for next week.

Ham said the ark attraction is meant to reach more people “with God’s word.”

“But we’re not forcing people to come here, they come of their own free will,” Ham said. “And when they come here and go through, we’re not going to be forcing them to believe our message, we don’t do that. They’re going to have a great experience regardless of whether they agree with us or not.”

-Ken Ham, the complete idiot who believes that Tinkerbell really CAN fly, said the the exhibit, based on the complete bullshit myth that all of the fucking animals in the world came to a wooden ship of their own free will, will inspire single-celled organisms to further believe in misogynistic assholish bigotry and will, in the future, completely crush the Supreme Court and those meddlesome gays once and for all. Ham was also witnessed talking to his own dick and shoving flowers into his own pee hole…..

The gospel of lies

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Joel Osteen’s church theft opens can of worms: Jaws drop as folks do the math

Joel Osteen recently reported the theft of $600,000 from the safe in his church, but the theft wasn’t the only information of interest revealed. After finding out that this large chunk of money was from just one weekend of Osteen’s collected church donations, jaws dropped around the nation.

Joel Osteen's church robbery opens a can of worms!

According to News Max on March 18, it didn’t take long for folks on the outside to do the math. Based on Osteen’s reported amount of money in this theft, it appears his Lakewood Church takes in an estimated $32 million a year, but some say that is a very low estimate. Calculator keys were punched around the nation taking the $600,000 for Olsteen’s weekend donation collection and multiplying this by the 52 weeks in a year.

Many consider this a conservative estimate of donations this church receives, as March is just an average month with no holidays for the church. The spirit of giving around the Christmas holidays has to net this church more than the average week. Then there’s Easter and other holidays, not to mention the weekdays. The amount reported taken from the church was only for their take over a weekend.

Osteen’s church released a statement at the time of the theft last week saying:

“It is important to note this was not an electronic data breach, but was instead limited to donations made in the services on March 8 and 9, 2014. You were not affected if you put your offering in a drop box, you gave online or through other electronic means, or you made a bookstore purchase.”

If you combine the stolen money with what Osteen’s church rakes in from “other electronic means” and from the folks who give “online,” this amount must be astronomical. The “electronic” and “online” donations were an undisclosed amount of money that wasn’t included in the money stolen. Putting all this together you are more than likely talking about a substantial amount of money, much more than the estimate of $32 million each year.

With Osteen’s best selling books, his TV work and the tours around the world, Osteen and his church are more than likely reaping rewards that are unimaginable.

If you think about it, this heist got the sum of money that you’d expect to hear was raked in from a casino heist! It seems that the reported theft of the money in Osteen’s church last week opened a new can of worms. It’s the church’s astronomical donations that should really be the headlines here. What happened to the days of the poor boxes filled with change?

-Funny how stupid people can be huh? 99.99% of these people are taking an 84 Billion dollar a year tax break on their backs and have been for some time!

Bigoted asshole!

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Wells Fargo’s gay couple ad sparks evangelist protest
By Jackie Wattles @jackiewattles

In April, Wells Fargo became the first American bank to feature an LGBT relationship in its ads
Christian Evangelist Franklin Graham has sparked an angry Facebook debate about gay rights when he announced he is pulling all of his organization’s millions out of Wells Fargo accounts in response to the bank’s recent ad campaign featuring a lesbian couple.
“Have you ever asked yourself–how can we fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community?” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on June 5. “At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.”

That new bank will be BB&T, the association confirmed. But social media users were quick to point out the North Carolina-based bank is a sponsor for Miami Beach Gay Pride, an annual festival celebrating the LGBT community.
In response to Graham’s decision, BB&T’s chief corporate communications officer, Cythina Williams, issued a statement saying the bank “embraces diversity and inclusion for our associates and in all aspects of our business” — but the company declined to take a formal position on gay rights, saying its sponsorship of the gay pride event does not imply an endorsement.
Graham’s association is moving forward either way. A spokesperson confirmed the organization has begun the 30-day process of moving its accounts, which could total more than $100 million. According to the most recent financial disclosure forms available for the nonprofit, BGEA was worth $128 million in 2013.
Graham is the 62-year-old son of famed televangelist Billy Graham, who became internationally known in the 1950s for his large religious rallies and radio/TV sermons. The younger Graham now heads the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — which continues to broadcast sermons, coordinate community service and offers a $99 online school of Evangelism.
In addition to closing his accounts with Wells Fargo, Graham wrote that he plans to boycott Tiffany & Co. (TIF) in response to an ad the jeweler released in January that shows two men getting engaged.
franklin graham
Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Graham’s Facebook (FB, Tech30) post received more 95,000 likes and 42,600 shares, but not all responses were positive. Its 11,000-plus comments contain a slew of angered users that disagree with Graham’s stance.
“It is so hypocritical of him and so many others to pick just the one rule from a plethora of rules that allows them to discriminate against a group of people that they consider less than,” one user, Betty Miliano, wrote in a recent comment. “They know that they have lost this battle and are on the wrong side of history.”
Related: Bogus gay marriage study sends news outlets scrambling
Wells Fargo (CBEAX) stood behind its ad campaign and issued a statement saying its support of the LGBT community “reflects our company’s values.”
“We were not naive to think that there would be no negative responses,” Wells Fargo spokesperson Valerie Williams said. She added that the vast majority of reactions to the ad were not in line with Graham’s, and overall the response was “overwhelmingly positive.”
Tiffany & Co. also responded to Graham’s post. Spokesperson Carson Glover said, “We want everyone who shops with us to feel welcome and appreciated.” He also pointed to a February press release from the company saying the nontraditional couples depicted in the ad “represent the spectrum of people who visit Tiffany every day.”
Graham is also the president and CEO of the $200 million humanitarian aid nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, though a spokesperson for the organization said its finances are handled by a different bank.

-How about you take your assets and stuff them up your myth-believing, hate speech riddled asshole, you tent revival, bible-beating bigot!! Fuck you and fuck your church of the poisoned mind you Chik-Fil-A gobbling jackass!

Goddamn Duggars!

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exodus amid scandal
By Frank Pallotta @frankpallotta

TLC pulls ’19 Kids and Counting’ over Duggar scandal
TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” has lost more than a dozen sponsors since one of the show’s stars, Josh Duggar, admitted last week that he had molested several girls when he was a teenager.
Companies including Ace Hardware, ConAgra foods, Party City, BEHR Paint, Pure Leaf Ice Tea, Ricola, Firehouse Subs, Pizza Hut, Sherwin-Williams paint, Crayola, Allstate Insurance, and King’s Hawaiian have pulled their sponsorship from the reality TV show, which has run on the network since 2008.

Those companies join Walgreens, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource, and Choice Hotels who have previously said they were yanking their ads from the show.
Each of these companies took to social media to explain to fans and consumers that they were ending sponsorship of the show.
“We share your concern for the safety of children and have no plans to air Crayola commercials during future episodes,” Crayola tweeted Wednesday.
Duggar, who is now 27, apologized last week following an In Touch Magazine report about the molesations.
Related: ’19 Kids and Counting’ episodes yanked over scandal
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar wrote on Facebook last week. “I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
In response, on Friday TLC pulled all episodes of “19 Kids” from the air saying, “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
The network and parent company Discovery Communications have not yet indicated if the show will return.
With so many sponsors pulling away from the show, the channel finds itself on the defensive dealing with an advertising exodus.
TLC did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

-Does anyone actually wonder why, in 2015, that this show about a bunch of science-denying, hate-speech spewing fucks had become such a hit? People are fucking cattle who love pablum that puts the mind to sleep! Fuck these Duggars and their repulsive attempts to bolster ancient mythology in modern times and fuck the ignorant bullshit channels that broadcast this drivel! Of course the sponsors are out, they are going to lose money by continuing to back these throwback fanatics! They only care about the money, not the damage that the Duggars do teaching their incredible host of lies!

Right-Wing Christianity IS about hate speech!

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Rubio: Gay marriage proponents pose ‘danger’ to Christianity

Marco Rubio respects courts on gay marriage in Florida

Subway Talk With Sen. Rubio_00001904

Marco Rubio respects courts on gay marriage in Florida 02:59

Washington (CNN)Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took a decidedly conservative turn on same-sex marriage in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, warning that “there’s a real and present danger” that gay marriage proponents will cast the teachings of mainstream Christianity as “hate speech.”

“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

RELATED: Rubio: ‘We’re going to abide’ by gay marriage rulings

Marco Rubio on immigration, economics, same-sex marriage

Marco Rubio on immigration, economics, same-sex marriage02:39
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Rubio defends experience, legislative record

Rubio defends experience, legislative record 08:29
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“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger,” Rubio warned.

Rubio has always been personally opposed to same-sex marriage and has argued the issue should be left up to the states.

But his comments to CBN Tuesday mark a notable shift in tone for a candidate who told CNN earlier this year that if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, “that would be the law of the land that we would have to follow until it’s somehow reversed.”

His choice to sound the alarm on a possible attack on Christianity aligns him more closely with the evangelicals he’ll be courting in the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina. But Rubio’s statement comes at a time that Republicans increasingly see themselves losing the battle for public opinion over gay marriage.

In a sign of how fraught the issue has become, a prominent Christian conservative group just announcedthat it’s eliminating its “marriage pledge,” a 14-point credo the Family Leader circulated to candidates in 2012 that required them to pledge to back the definition of traditional marriage as between one man and one woman, among other things.

-Hey Marco, Hitchens67 here! What you spew from your myth-believing pie hole IS hate speech and not in line with what most logical people call, “Reality.” In 2015, in the U.S, we STILL have a large amount of people that believe an imaginary figure guides their lives, that, I find, is disturbing indeed!

Wake up and take control of your own lives! If you need a sky fairy to keep you on the straight and narrow then you just lack a REAL conscience to guide you! I just do good things because it’s the right thing to do, not because of the threat of some mythological Hell in the afterlife! Get fucking real and ditch the fairy tales Marco!

Famous Hitchens quotes.

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 RIP Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

The 20 Best Christopher Hitchens Quotes
December 16, 2011 by Daniel Florien 246 Comments
Christopher Hitchens has a lot of quote-worthy material, but here are 20 of my personal favorites:
“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
The Portable Atheist
By trying to adjust to the findings that it once tried so viciously to ban and repress, religion has only succeeded in restating the same questions that undermined it in earlier epochs. What kind of designer or creator is so wasteful and capricious and approximate? What kind of designer or creator is so cruel and indifferent? And—most of all—what kind of designer or creator only chooses to “reveal” himself to semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions?
The Portable Atheist
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.
God Is Not Great
What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.
God Is Not Great
Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world…. Perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.
God Is Not Great
Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.
God Is Not Great
The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
God Is Not Great
If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species.
God Is Not Great
Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly “in context” to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?
God Is Not Great
Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important. Where once it used to be able, by its total command of a worldview, to prevent the emergence of rivals, it can now only impede and retard—or try to turn back—the measurable advances that we have made.
Sometimes, true, it will artfully concede them. But this is to offer itself the choice between irrelevance and obstruction, impotence or outright reaction, and, given this choice, it is programmed to select the worse of the two.
Meanwhile, confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our own evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of god, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be “saved.”
God Is Not Great
Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
God Is Not Great
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
God Is Not Great
Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.
God Is Not Great
If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.
God Is Not Great
I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.
Hitch-22
Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.
Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.

I am reminded every day of why I have such high regards for the late great Christopher Hitchens. He was one to shun foolish PC crap, yet champion the rights of everyone as long as they were trying to play well with others. In this day and age, we are constantly reminded of why we need in-your-face, unafraid intellectuals such as Hitchens to bring people back to their senses. I will never abandon his wariness of anything religious due to it’s ability to take believing in mythology too far and create false morality around it! I LOVE Hitch and his honesty, even though there are areas in which he and I would have most likely strongly disagreed. He might have well told me to piss of as he did some of his best friends due to political differences. I actually LIKE a person who is not afraid to tell a close friend that he thinks that he is fucked up in thinking a certain way! THAT is a person in which you can invest trust! That is a man who will not sell you out, an honest man. GAWD bless you hitch, and may Jeebus keep you in the eternal cheese pit of the Christentatious!

Thank GOD no one else was killed!

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

A small plane crashed minutes after takeoff in DeKalb County, smashing into the interstate and killing four people.

The plane crashed onto Interstate 285 eastbound at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard just after 10 a.m. Friday.

Traffic reopened on westbound lanes three hours later, but eastbound lanes remain closed until just before 3:30 p.m. Friday.

DeKalb County Public Safety director Dr. Cedric Alexander said there were three men, a woman and a pet on board the plane.

The victims were identified as Christopher, Phillip, and Greg Byrd, and Jackie Kulzer.

The pilot, Greg Byrd, was a retired Buncombe County, North Carolina deputy, and father to Phillip and Christopher.

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office say, “This is a tremendous loss for his family, the Sheriff’s Office and the community.”

Christopher and Jackie were engaged. Jackie is a graduate of St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta.

The school said, “Jackie is remembered as a wonderful young lady, very popular, very energetic, out-going individual that was always concerned about others.”

Christopher Byrd worked as a property manager in midtown Atlanta.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne say a source told him Greg Byrd “calmly” reported an issue “climbing out” and said, “Hey, we’re going down.”

Winne’s source told him that the pilot mentioned he was headed to Oxford, Mississippi, to graduation then after he was airborne, a controller asked if he was flying the heading he had been given and the pilot replied, “Yes,” but he was having a problem climbing.

The source said the pilot’s next transmission was to the PDK tower saying they were going down.

Witnesses say they felt the impact of the plane crash on the interstate, but somehow the pilot avoided hitting any vehicles.

“The impact was large, like a bomb being dropped,” said witness Don McGee.

Gerald Smith told Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes that he was driving his tractor-trailer along I-285 when he saw the plane flying lower than usual, and that it was coming straight him.

Smith said he was able to stop the big rig before crashing into the plane, but not before it clipped the front of his truck.

“I guess it was just God telling me to slam on brakes to see whether it would go on in front of me, but by the time I hit the brakes I heard the impact hit the front of my truck and not knowing what to expect, I looked at the front of my truck and the only thing I seen was the mirror laying down, I looked back to my left, once I stopped the truck and that plane was just against the wall burning,” Smith said.

Witness Blake Green told Fernandes that the plane propeller flew off on impact. He said the impact sounded like a bomb going off.

Green said he tried to run over and help get the people out of the plane but it was too late.

“As soon as it hit, it burst into flames, there wasn’t anything you could do,” Green said.

The FAA tells Channel 2 Action News it was a Piper PA-32 aircraft that went down after departing from Runway 3 Left. It was flying to Oxford, Mississippi.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant searched for records on the plane and learned it was licensed to an LLC in Asheville, North Carolina, belonging to Greg Byrd.

Channel 2’s Richard Elliot was the scene Friday afternoon as investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board removed the wreckage from the expressway and took it to their facility in Griffin to reconstruct the incident and try to figure out why the plane went down.

“It’s not going to be difficult. The airplane is somewhat complex, but it shouldn’t be a problem. Once it gets to Griffin, we’ll be able to reconstruct it and figure out what happened,” said NTSB investigator Eric Alleyne.

The NTSB told Elliot that the reconstruction of the entire aircraft which will take about two weeks. A final crash report will take six months to a year.

We have several reporters working to learn more about the tragic crash. Refresh this page and watch the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 for updates.

– 4 people were killed in this plane crash yet some idiot actually has the fucking GALL to “Thank God” that more people weren’t killed, only the pilot and his family including one of his son’s fiance! This total ignorance demonstrates the cognitive dissonance demonstrated by the faithful on a minutely basis! This is a goddammed tragedy that killed 4 fucking people, PERIOD!

Friday Fallacy

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Friday Fallacy 4-10-15

It’s Friday and you know what that means… It’s time once again for your #FridayFallacy!

As always, we will begin with an example to give you a chance to guess the fallacy, and then we’ll name it and explain how it works and how to counter it for the next time you come across it.

This week’s fallacy is visual! See the picture, then scroll down the the explanation.

straw-man
Ready?

This week’s fallacy is the Straw Man fallacy. This fallacy is committed when “a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position” (The Nizkor Project). It looks like this:

1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
3. Person B attacks position Y.
4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

Here’s an everyday example:

Bill and Ted are arguing about dinner plans:
Ted: “Let’s go out to dinner. I don’t want to cook tonight.”
Bill: “We just went out the other day. Do we have to go out every night?”
Ted: “That was last weekend, and I never said anything about going out every night.”

The easiest way to catch a straw-man fallacy is simply to listen very carefully for the exact argument being asserted. Sometimes it helps to restate it for the person and check in with them: “To make sure I understand your position, you are saying that ____. Is that right?” To counter one, just be frank and correct the misstatement, and make sure to offer that you believe your claim is not only accurate but reasonable. Sarcasm and beating around the bush tend not to work well to counter this fallacy, although they can be effective in the right situation. But, because it depends on the fallacious party marking an outrageous claim, you already have the high ground, and all you have to do is keep it by showing that what you’re saying is, in fact, reasonable.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s fallacy! Have a great weekend!

Thanks to our very own Alexa Blumenstock for this “fixed” version of the graphic:

straw-man-fixed

Death to the Jokhar!

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In Tsarnaev trial: The middle finger seen ’round the world

Boston (CNN)It’s the image we’ll always remember: the Boston Marathon bomber flipping the bird.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, already well on his way to being the most hated man in Boston, raised his middle finger to a surveillance camera in his cell at the federal courthouse on July 10, 2013. Later that day, he was arraigned on the 30 counts he now stands convicted of — setting off the weapons of mass destruction that killed three people at the marathon’s finish line and fatally shooting a campus cop between the eyes.

Prosecutors presented this image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an unremorseful jihadist.

For prosecutors, the image of a defiant defendant, middle finger raised in profane insult, was pure gold. It made it so much easier to demonize Tsarnaev, to argue that he should pay for his crimes with his life.

The battle over the control of images and their spin has always been essential to this case. When Tsarnaev’s tousle-haired, softly lit selfie appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, a retired cop was so incensed that he leaked some far less glamorous photos of the defendant. In those, Tsarnaev was bloodied and a laser targeted his forehead as he surrendered in a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts.

There are so many other images, almost too many to count, and they can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked. They show the people who are no longer here, and the others who lost part of themselves in the blasts of April 15, 2013.

They’re what this trial is really all about.

The 13th Juror

No cameras are allowed at the Tsarnaev trial. But CNN’s Ann O’Neill will be there every day. Think of her as The 13th Juror, bringing insights here weekly. And follow @AnnoCNN on Twitter daily.

Federal prosecutors rested their case Thursday after presenting three days of powerful victim impact evidence. One image that sticks with me is a candid photo of Chinese grad student Lingzi Lu grinning and wearing Minnie Mouse ears. Living in the United States was her big adventure, and it lasted just seven months.

Like most of her generation from China, Lingzi was an only child. Her parents, who had expected her to care for them in their old age, encouraged her to pursue her advanced studies in Boston. When she died, they did not take her back to China. They said she was a part of Boston, now, and buried her here in a pink bridal dress and a tiara. Her mother placed a gold hope bracelet on her wrist, and a matching one on her own, before heading back to China.

Lingzi, her aunt said, “was a beautiful nerd.”

Two memorable photos tell us who Krystle Campbell was. In one, she wears a frilly red costume and tap shoes. As she got older, her father said, she chose tomboy pursuits. She was always his “Princess,” but he seemed proudest of the photo of her in a baseball uniform. She played hardball as a kid, holding her own against the boys. “She had a pretty good arm,” he said. And she could hit.

She also had a wide grin and can-do spirit that won friends easily. She was the glue in her family, the one who rounded up all the aunts, uncles and cousins for big gatherings. And, she was the one person her brother felt understood him.

The MIT officer who was killed, Sean Collier, wanted to be a cop his whole life. He came from what his stepfather called a “Brady Bunch family” — six kids from two marriages. He had two sisters named Jennifer — “dark-haired Jennifer” and “redhead Jennifer,” the family called them.

Collier wouldn’t kill bugs, always setting them free outside, his brother said. And when they played cops and robbers, he was always the cop.

Who were the victims?

His essence was forever captured in a photo showing his mom pinning a badge on his chest at his police academy graduation. His face shines with pride.

“That was probably the happiest day of his life,” said his stepfather, Joe, who works for the state attorney general.

And then there is Martin Richard, who was 8 when he died the most horrific death imaginable. A writer friend of mine once pondered after a school shooting how one writes an obituary for a child. If it was a good life, he observed, there wouldn’t be much to say because it would be uneventful and filled with simple, ordinary pleasures.

And so we are left with images of Martin and his gap-toothed smile, big ears and sprinkling of freckles, wearing a Red Sox uniform or a string of green St. Patrick’s Day beads. But the photo nobody can forget is the peace sign on a poster Martin made for a school project and its message: “No more hurting people.”

I’ve seen the other, more disturbing images — the ones too graphic to show here. Krystle Campbell’s mouth opened in a scream, even as her friend, Karen McWatters, pressed their faces together. She held Campbell’s hand while the blood drained from her body. “My legs hurt,” Campbell said, and then her hand went limp.

Lingzi Lu, her delicate musician’s hands covering her eyes, screamed and tried to blot out the horror as she, too, bled to death in the street. A police officer, who stood by her side even after she died, recalled how she couldn’t stop vomiting.

We are haunted by the pool of blood in the seat of Collier’s squad car, and how it seems almost too red. In the autopsy photo, the bullet hole in his head seems too tidy, considering the damage it did.

Unforgettable, too, is what we saw of Martin, a tiny lump through the smoke as his mother, Denise, kneeled over him and begged him to live. “Please, Martin, please,” she cried over and over.

Jurors and spectators heard the blasts and the screams for the first time during the penalty phase of the trial. A high school senior’s panicked wailing still rings in our ears; she survived but nearly lost her leg.

In another clip, the first bomb is heard. Somebody says, “What the hell is that? Oh, my God. Something blew up. Oh, my God! Holy s—!” And then a second, louder blast goes off. For a moment, there is only silence, followed by bloodcurdling screams.

Two more images from this trial will haunt everyone who saw them. The first shows Tsarnaev, wearing a white, turned-around ball cap, standing by a tree behind about a dozen children, including Martin Richard. The kids are lined up along a barricade and there’s a metal grate around the tree. That’s where Tsarnaev dropped his backpack containing a four-quart pressure cooker packed with gunpowder, nails and BBs. It was less than 4 feet away from Martin, who caught the full force of the blast.

In a video shown Thursday, Steve Woolfenden enters the frame as Tsarnaev starts to slink away. Woolfenden is pushing his son, Leo, in a three-wheeled stroller. The bomb goes off and he and Martin and Denise Richard are blown to the sidewalk. Leo sits in his stroller, crying, “Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!”

Woolfenden loses his leg — he can see his boot, with the foot still in it, next to him on the sidewalk. Leo has a cut on his head and a skull fracture. Denise Richard has shrapnel in her eye, and Martin is obviously beyond saving.

Tsarnaev vanished into the crowd. For two years, the last known image of him was the leaked photo of his surrender. Until Tuesday, when Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini asked a jury to make Tsarnaev pay for his crimes with his life. She unveiled the finger photo, a screen grab from a cellblock security camera.

In this phase of the trial, prosecutors must show that Tsarnaev’s crimes were especially cruel and heinous, and that his character places him among the worst of the worst criminals.

If Pellegrini was attempting to demonize the defendant, she initially was hugely successful. Spectators gasped in the three courtrooms set aside to accommodate the throngs who attend this trial daily. Even the most jaded members of the media were taken aback.

“Almost three months after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had murdered Krystle Marie Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard and Officer Sean Collier, he was here in this courthouse,” Pellegini said, setting the scene. She reminded jurors of the “manifesto” Tsarnaev had scrawled in a boat while hiding from police:

“He had one more message to send,” she said, ominously.

And there Tsarnaev was, standing on a bench in an orange jumpsuit, his mouth contorted and one eye blackened, raising the third finger salute.

“This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged,” Pellegrini said. “Without remorse, he remains untouched by the grief and the loss that he caused.”

You could almost hear Pellegrini say, “Voila!” as she ended her argument with the stunning visual aid.

The New York Post featured the cellblock photo on its cover, along with the headline: “NO, F*#% YOU! Boston bomber remorseless.”

Boston Marathon bomber flips the bird at camera

Boston Marathon bomber flips the bird at camera 01:55
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The defense tried to soften the blow on Wednesday, showing the video of the holding cell flip off during cross-examination of a federal marshal.

Frozen in time, the still photo makes it appear as if Tsarnaev is defiant. But in the video, he seems more bored than angry, a 19-year-old kid stuck in a holding cell. His raised middle finger passes quickly, just one gesture among several. His actions seem rooted not in jihad, but in teenage selfie culture.

He paces, preens his thick, curly hair, stands on one foot and pushes his face into the camera. He flashes two fingers in a “V” and then leaves the middle one standing. It only takes a second or two. And then he plops back down on the bench in cell No. 4.

His expression seems more like mugging for the camera.

“I’ve seen people looking into the camera, yes,” Deputy U.S Marshal Gary Olivera acknowledged under cross-examination. “A lot of times people do it to get our attention.”

53% say Boston bomber should face death penalty

Defense attorney Miriam Conrad suggested in her questioning that the glass covering the lens may be used by inmates as a mirror, and Olivera reluctantly conceded that was possible.

So, what was spun by federal prosecutors as a defiant gesture by an unremorseful jihadist might just be the adolescent preening of a self-absorbed narcissist. It might have been a bit of an oversell.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether Tsarnaev flipped the bird because he’s a terrorist or because he’s a jerk.

What matters are the images of all those other people, and what he did to them.

The Jokhar is a malignant ooze and should be blown to pieces in the same manner as his victims. We devolve every time that we take a proven murderer and spare him his just dues. False morality will always allow the foolish argument that we are a more advanced people without a death penalty. Wait till we overpopulate to the tune of 12-14 Billion people and THEN see where we are with our ‘morality’ play. 

I would require DNA evidence to execute and pedophiles would be a 100% yes on execution. (of course I would change my mind if the system agreed to work these pieces of garbage 14hrs a day using hard labor, no appeals and no Constitutional Rights).