CNN Runs Story on Live Action Anti-Abortion Group

While eating my late breakfast here I’m watching CNN and they’ve dedicated about 5 minutes (long in the news world) to Live Action, the anti-abortion group. The protest group has released videos of conversations behind closed doors with abortion providers trying to catch them breaking the law or, rather, advocating breaking the law. Policymic.com has a nice article relaying Live Action’s message, factoids on abortion and any rebuttals.

The location is Washington D.C. and the law in question says (and I’m loosely summarizing) that if during an abortion procedure a fetus (or unborn child if you prefer) is born during or before the abortion can complete, the doctor must save it. Live Action is  maintaining that some of their recorded conversations indicate the doctors would not abide by that law.

The law may be well-intentioned as abortion is full of gray areas, but it seems to me that an abortion doctor would be pretty incompetent if a baby was born during an abortion. I believe the idea of the law is if the mother went into labor while waiting for an abortion, then the procedure would have to be called off unless her life was at risk. Otherwise, imagine the issues with delivering a half-aborted fetus? Late term abortions also fall into about 1.4% of all performed abortions and are not done lightly; usually they are due to pregnancy complications or complications with the fetus.

The only reason I’m pointing this CNN story out is that “pro-lifers” feel underrepresented when it comes to the media. Live Action received a good spot on a major news channel. The reporter clearly stated their side, showed the video footage and then simply ended the story with a rundown of any remaining questions on Live Action themselves. Live Action got their airtime by being creative, albeit questionable as it was undercover (though nothing I haven’t seen done on 20/20), instead of the usual whining about the liberal media we hear from protest groups who carry the same old signs.

A majority of atheists and unbelievers are pro-choice and could care less about Live Action, a minority are not such as the late Christopher Hitchens (who I saw in a couple of debates had mentioned he thought abortion to be wrong, but didn’t know what policy or law would make sense). I believe the irony, in relation to pro-life Christians,  is that we will not end abortion by force or “God’s will,”  but eradicate abortion by way of medical technology. Women of the future will have more control than ever over their bodies and when they will conceive. This, unfortunately, is what Christians have been fighting against when they won’t allow for easy access to contraception methods by both teens and adults (as contraception smacks of promoting sex before marriage).  More irony, if you ask me.

SIDENOTE: And when I say women will have more control over their bodies I don’t mean traditional contraception. I mean they could actually, for lack of  better phrasing, flip an internal switch off  when they want to have sex for pleasure or flip a switch on when they want to conceive. Abortions due to pregnancy complications will be minimized to almost nothing due to medical techniques. Concerns over aborting a fetus because they may be mentally retarded or inherit a disease could also be eliminated due to genetic engineering (which scares a lot of people who think everything should be left up to nature). This is the stuff of science fiction right now, but science fiction is quickly becoming reality.

The Bible Illustrated with Legos

By Jeff Swenson

As I’ve mentioned before, I collect pop culture bibles such as The Action Bible or The Picture Bible. Yesterday, I was at Barnes and Noble and in the “value” section I found The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith. A Bible completely illustrated with Legos. There are two volumes, one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament. I was able to grab the Old Testament.

As an artistic accomplishment, The Brick Bible is amazing considering how much work must have gone into it. As a spiritual reference, it’s ridiculous. I was amused by the quote on the inside flap from The Washington Post: “Our evolving forms of religious expression may be unsettling, but it’s hard to find fault with Brendan Smith’s whimsical artwork…” Whimsical doesn’t quite describe it. The facial expressions on the characters are hilarious and got me to thinking it would be like illustrating the Bible with South Park characters.

This isn’t what I would call evolution but a regression to pop culture over fine art. The advantage of  classical art is that it gives Biblical themes (as well as mythological themes) validity, whether you take them literally or for for spiritual truths and moral teachings. Depicting Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac for god with Legos is absurd. I’m actually jealous; this should have been done by an unbeliever as it breaks through the illusion of factual history and holiness which we have come to know by touting  ancient writings, medieval art and “heavenly” choir music. Classical art has fooled us and Legos demonstrates that what we are reading is a bunch of fairytales not to be taken seriously.

I do recommend picking up The Brick Bible, it is fascinating and humorous to look at. It’s nice to see an artist show Adam and Eve nude as described in the Bible except I guess there is no such thing as Lego genitalia or even Lego boobs (although, after “the fall,” I see Lego cleavage).

 

Google Labels Freethunk as ‘May Be Compromised’

I don’t know how many webmasters have had to deal with this but Google just started listing Freethunk.net as “may be compromised” in its search listings. I’m up at 2 AM trying to figure out why?

I went through Google’s webmaster tools, per their instructions, and found no malware or other issues.  No reports on why I was suspected in the first place.

Spam is covered by Askimet and those users that do get through are quickly deleted (comments have to be relevant to the site).  I’ve reported the concern to my hosting company which has a good reputation (Hostgator) and a scan of my folders looks good.

Then I checked all my other sites and I believe I know what happened. Per this article on WordPress I may have triggered Google to notice changes I was making in order to prevent bot attacks:

http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/19621/wordpress-botnet-attack-could-pave-way-larger-site-takedowns

After reading this article earlier in the week, I decided to delete my old default administrator account to get rid of the username “Admin” and replace it with a new administrator account with a new username. The reason you have to do this is because WordPress doesn’t allow you to change your admin username once your WordPress site/blog is set up. You literally have to delete the existing administrator account unless you want to play with the database (which I saw instructions on through another site, but wanted to avoid that headache and possibly that would have still caused Google problems).

I did this to two of my sites and ironically those sites are now flagged as being possibly compromised while the rest of my sites using WordPress defaults or no WordPress at all are considered clean. Is it possible that Google detected me deleting  my admin user account and starting a new one in order to avoid the problem they now think is going on? That my site has been hacked or taken over?

I don’t know if this is a bug in Google’s detection system, but I wouldn’t be surprised. While it’s good of Google to warn users about hacked sites, apparently now it will take me several weeks to get off their list even if my site is fine. I’m finding, as someone who just likes to run a couple of sites for expressing my opinions and posting my artwork, that it is increasingly hard to deal with all of Google’s rules. They’re well intended, but…

UPDATE: It took approximately 5 days, but the “may be compromised” labeling was removed after submitting a request. I believe I was right in that changing my administrator username is what triggered Google to label me. It’s a shame that has to be the case because, while I understand Google has good intentions, it means for any changes to my WordPress setup I have to keep them in mind and how they’ll interpret what I do–and be concerned about WordPress attacks. Ultimately, the blame lays with the bastards who have nothing better to do then hijack websites and create malevolent bots. It’s easier to destroy than create.

UPDATE 5/17/2013: And now the “site may be compromised” label is back, apparently due to procedure? There’s an update that simply says to allow for several weeks to review the request. What a bunch of crap. On this site, while it’s nice to be indexed, I’ve stopped caring about Google. For the other site I have in the same boat, I just got an urgent request to remove some sold ads. Hmm, I wonder why. Thanks Google. How “several weeks” is acceptable in any situation involving a fast-paced Internet is beyond me? I can imagine the nightmare this must cost for business sites.

The Atheist Experience on YouTube

I haven’t caught up with The Atheist Experience in quite awhile, but I used to love listening to their radio show when I was freelancing full time and had projects go well into the wee hours of the morning. I figured I’d post a clip from one of their episodes here as they have multiple videos on YouTube. Listening to the debates with the callers can be amusing, but unfortunately you find that the callers will go into circles such as this video here. The common refrain “The Bible is proof” is a pointless statement for investigation–as you will see–because all it is proof of is that someone believed in things that don’t have any basis in reality. It’s like saying Zeus existed because someone wrote it down.

Check out more of their selections by doing a search. These guys have been at it a looooong time. Congrats for persistence.