Thursday, November 29, 2012

Palestine in the UN

So, who were the nine countries that voted in the UN against recognizing Palestine as a non-member state with observer status? 138 countries voted in favor, 41 abstained. The U.S., Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia voted against.

The U.S., a handful of tiny puppet governments---I don't know what Canada's excuse is, and next time those snotty Czechs start whining about how they were "oppressed" by the Soviets who died by the tens of millions to liberate them from the Nazis, they can go screw themselves.

I was just looking at the comments on the New York Times website on their article on the UN vote. One or two Zionists commented, but there were hundreds of others condemning the Obama administration for completely isolating the U.S. in the world, all for the benefit of a nasty, vile little apartheid state known mainly for stealing land and murdering children.

Americans are tired of Israel. The world is sick of them. All they have to do is act human, but that seems beyond them.

This Island Earth

I saw the movie on video tape years ago. I sat there with a friend watching it. The box in the video store talked about how many years it took them to produce. It was a big budget science fiction epic in its day. Rex Reason said he was pleased that it was the subject of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. It inspired the Coneheads on Saturday Night Live. Aliens walk around with big heads and no one notices, or at least no one has the bad taste to mention it.

But it wasn't quite as entertaining as you'd think.

Rex Reason plays a scientist who goes to secret lab in Georgia where other scientists are working for the aliens. The day he arrives, the aliens are ordered to blow up their lab and return to their home planet. Reason and his scientist ex-girlfriend are taken aboard the flying saucer. They fly to their home planet which takes very little time. They're only there a few minutes. The planet is about to be destroyed so they jump back on the flying saucer and head back to Earth.

Reason is the main character, but he's simply dragged from place to place. Hell, I could do that. He watches helplessly as his girlfriend is attacked by a giant insect-like mutant. When he's finally able to run to her rescue, the mutant has died on his own.

Someone noted that it was pro-nuclear.

Rex Reason should have beaten up a few aliens.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Angus T Jones' recent conversion: The kid has a point

The boy won't end up like Charlie Sheen, but will he repeat Kirk Cameron's mistakes?

Angus recently became a Seventh Day Adventist. He wasn't sure if he wanted to continue on Two and a Half Men anyway. It's been eleven years, he's nineteen and has been accepted by some colleges. He put out a video. He smiles and laughs slightly as he asks people not to watch the show because he doesn't want to be on it anymore. 

Two and a Half Men is rather filthy. I'm not saying I don't watch it, but it's filthy.

I read that they used to have to keep cutting away from Angus while filming because he would always laugh at the jokes. He understood them even when he was eight or nine. At the beginning, the actors would apologize to his mother for all the stuff they had to say in front of her child, but she didn't care.

I watched an interesting video of Angus being interviewed on a show for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He said he attended Christian schools all these years. When he was accepted by colleges, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do, if he wanted to go back to Three and a Half Men. He was talking to a friend, a poor kid, strangely, who told him that because of the money involved, he would definitely do the show.

In the interview, he sounded quite normal. There are people on the internet talking about it as if he's joined a cult.

Angus says he's a virgin. I don't know why I care, but good for him. But he shouldn't have said this publicly. Now the hyenas in the press will keep asking him if he's still a virgin, and when he gets tired of answering, they'll take it as a "no".

It was silly for Kirk Cameron to get whatever religious undergarment he wore into a twist over the immorality of Growing Pains. Alan Thicke told him that if it was "too blue" for him, he should get a show on a Christian cable network. But Angus has a point about Two and a Half Men.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

50 Years of James Bond

Ian Flemming

A long article on James Bond, going into the political and psychological elements of the series, by the late Alexander Cockburn:

Talks as much about the novels and Ian Fleming as the movies.

There were Fleming's psychological issues, all the father figures that appear in the books. There was the fact that the women in the books are basically men in disguise:
Of course there was dutiful mention of Vesper’s “fine” breasts but Fleming does not seem to have been too interested in them. Four years later in From Russia With Love, Fleming scurries past Tatiana Romanova’s breasts with a mumbled “faultless” before assuming a hotly didactic tone on the matter of her ass: “A purist would have disapproved of her behind. Its muscles were so hardened with exercise that it had lost the smooth downward feminine sweep, and now, round at the back and flat and hard at the sides, it jutted like a man’s". A year later, after publication of Dr No, Noel Coward wrote to Fleming, saying that he was slightly shocked by the lascivious announcement that Honeychile’s bottom was like a boy’s. “I know that we are all becoming progressively more broadminded nowadays but really, old chap, what could you have been thinking of?”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hitchcock's earliest known surviving work on line

  Recognize this nice young man?

The White Shadow (1924), Alfred Hitchcock's earliest known surviving work, is available for viewing online at the U.S. National Film Preservation Foundation's website:

A copy of the film was recently discovered in a film archive in New Zealand. Alfred Hitchcock was credited as writer, assistant director, art director and editor.

Hitchcock wanted to be an artist, but his parents pressured him into getting a degree in engineering. He took his portfolio to the movie studio trying to get a job drawing pictures to go on the title cards.

He was only 24 when this film was made.
The White Shadow was the first film on which he worked with his then-future wife, Alma Reville.

You can watch other silent films on the website.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Grizzly Man, Elephant in the Living Room

There was a horrible case about twenty-five years ago. Three eleven-year-old boys broke into the Prosepect Park zoo in Brooklyn to go wading in the shallow mote around the Polar Bear enclosure. One kid changed his mind and didn't go in. One scaled the fence and the other squeezed through the bars. One was killed and partially eaten while the other escaped.

The kids may have thought the bears would sleep through it. I don't know if they imagined themselves swimming with the polar bears.

It's possible that children's books with all the anthropomorphized animals played a role in it. If they did, kids aren't the only ones who've fallen for it.

There are two vaguely related documentaries about men and the extremely dangerous animals they love. One is Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man about Timothy Treadwell, a former junkie and failed actor who spent thirteen summers in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska communing with the Grizzlies--he had cute names for them, he would touch them, play with their cubs. The other is Elephant in the Living Room, about people who keep dangerous exotic animals as pets.

Grizzly Man

Much of Grizzly Man was footage shot by Treadwell himself. He was out there alone, or he tried to make it appear he was alone. He would mount the camera on a tripod and kneel in front of it with the bears in the background. One of the first shots was his explaining that if he showed any fear at all, the bears would kill him for sure. But all he had to do was face them down and show he wasn't afraid and the bears would respect him.

I don't know where he got that idea. Did someone tell him that, or did he make it up?

Treadwell claimed that he was protecting the bears from poachers. Park Rangers said that there were no poachers, that there hadn't been even a single case of poaching at the park and they considered his actions to be wildlife harassment.

An Indian they interviewed who ran a museum thought it was terrible. For thousands of years, they had kept their distance. They avoided bears and the bears avoided them.

Now Treadwell was getting them accustomed to human contact. They wouldn't know to run away if they did encounter poachers, and they might approach humans looking for food which could result in their having to be killed.

I'm not giving anything away when I tell you that Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were eventually killed and eaten by a grizzly bear .

Herzog says in the narration:
"...what haunts me is that in all the faces of all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed, I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the bears. In this blank stare speaks only of a half bored interest in food. But for Timothy Treadwell, this bear was a friend, a savior."
Treadwell had gone to Hollywood to become an actor. Appeared on Love Connection. He auditioned for the role Woody Harrelson got on Cheers but came in second, whatever that means. Instead of taking heart that he had come so close, it sent him into a downward spiral of alcoholism and drug addiction.

At one point, he told people he was an Australian orphan, but his phony accent was very bad. He had bangs to conceal his receding hairline. He often has a bandana around his head.

Before he leaves at the end of the summer, he speaks to the camera. He stops to fix his hair. Then starts again. He does multiple takes on his videos:
"...I came here and protected the animals as best as I could. In fact, I'm the ONLY protection for these animals out here. The government flying over for a grand total of two times in two months. How DARE they! How DARE they challenge me! How dare they smear me with their campaigns! How dare they when they do not look after these animals and I come here in peace and in love, neutral, in respect.

"I will continue to do this. I will FIGHT them. I will be an American dissident if need be. There is a patriotic time going on right now, but as far as this fucking government is concerned, FUCK YOU, motherfucking Park Service!" Herzog cut out the audio here as Treadwell attacks Park Service employees by name. "I BEAT YOUR FUCKING ASSES! I PROTECTED THE ANIMALS! FUCK YOU!"
He and his girlfriend go to another campsite, the one where they will finally be killed. Treadwell makes another video a few days before his death:
"...Am I a great person? I don't know. I don't know. We're ALL great people. Everyone has something in them that's wonderful. I'm just different. I love these bears enough to do it right. And I'm edgy enough and I'm tough enough, but mostly I love these bears enough to survive and do it right. And I'm never giving this up. Never giving it up. Never giving up the maze. Never. This is it. This is my life. This is my land!"
The Elephant in the Living Room

The other documentary, The Elephant in the Living Room, about people who collect dangerous, exotic animals. Poisonous snakes, lions, tigers, bears, elephants, mountain lions.

A man's pet lions got free and were running loose near a freeway. Children find an African snake, one of the most deadly in the world, and play with it, hanging it around their necks. Finally, animal control people arrive, realize what it is and are horrified.

The film focuses on an older man, the one who owned the escaped lions. He had been in an accident and suffered extreme depression and chronic pain until he got the lions. This was why he was so attached to them, why animal control officers couldn't convince him to part with them. He does give them up, though, after a terrible accident. Even before that, he says that he wouldn't go through it again, becoming so attached to such huge, dangerous animals that required so much care.

There was an article in the local paper several years ago. A woman traveled to Kenya. She was so happy to be there. It was evening and she started to walk out into the savannah. She walked until a Land Rover appeared. Officers jumped out and arrested her. Walking around out there was extremely dangerous and illegal. She was horrified because she was facing thousands of dollars in fines and she simply didn't have the money.

 The officers decided to drop the charges, they told her, because she was a "stupid white person."

Africans don't befriend lions. Indians don't keep cobras as pets. American Indians don't frolic with bears.

Both films are available for instant viewing on Netflix.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This is the last thing about Justin Bieber

I watched it on You Tube. Justin Bieber at the American Music Awards. He walks up on stage. A forty-year-old matron called Jenny McCarthy kisses him. The male presenter kindly rubs his hand on Bieber's cheek to remove the lipstick. The boy is alarmed by the gesture and steps back toward McCarthy who violently grabs him by the throat. Bieber is grimacing as McCarthy kisses him again. Then she grabs his bottom.

Imagine a couple of middle aged men doing this to, say, Taylor Swift, or to a high school girl waiting for a bus.

Bieber then "joked" that he felt violated. I'm sure he did feel violated.

It's not Justin Bieber's fault he's adorable. He's trying to make himself less so by covering himself in tattoos and wearing unattractive hats.

He unwisely dedicated his award to all the "haters" who said his career would never last. He'll look terribly foolish if his tweenage fans suddenly turn on him. The day will come when he'll be playing in a lounge in Reno, a washed up former star. It happens to all of them if they last long enough.

Frank Sinatra had an embarrassing lull in the middle of his career.

And, by the way, I never understood the Elvis Presley cult. The guy was a sell-out. He quit music and did nothing but a movie theme song every few years, and he did it strictly for the money. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Never wear a hat that's bigger than your head

Justin Bieber needs a smaller hat. Look at how tiny his head looks. The rest of that outfit looks like something an old woman would wear, at least in this picture. I'm sure if the camera were zoomed out more his ensemble would look somewhat more masculine.

Kids used to walk around wearing sailor hats. They were cute:

There are so many better choices:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Number one in Gaza

Anderson Cooper in Israel

There he is, right on schedule. Anderson Cooper, mincing around Israel whining about the suffering of God's Chosen People while children are slaughtered in Gaza.

The picture above is from 2006. He looks only slightly less dignified today.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What the hell is Justin Bieber wearing?

Is this what young people are wearing now? Here is Justin Bieber. What the hell is that thing? The boy is looking weird and sinewy anyway and the tattoos sure aren't helping.

Gaza, Obama

The majority of Israeli Jews hate Obama. Netanyahu openly insulted him and endorsed Romney. The Israel lobby attacked him, although most American Jews still voted for him.

If Obama has any self-respect at all, he'll remember who his enemies are. (He doesn't and he won't.)

The truth is that Israeli Jews feel very little attachment to Israel. Even the one who were born there. 70% of them either hold, have applied for, or plan to apply for a foreign passport. They're all ready to flee the country. They're no different from other colonialists. The French and the Brits were in Africa and Asia far longer than the Jews have been in Palestine. There were white Europeans who insisted they were Africans and would never leave! But they cleared out the instant colonial rule ended. The same will happen in Palestine.

We'll see how many Zionists die in their new attacks on Gaza. 1,400 Palestinians died in "Operation Cast Lead", around 400 of them children. When it was over, Israeli soldiers put out commemorative tee-shirts for the "war". One had a picture of a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of a telescopic rifle sight. The caption read "The smaller, the harder". Another showed a pregnant woman in the crosshairs with the caption, "One shot, two kills" and another showed a woman crying over a dead baby lying in a pool of blood. The caption read "Better use Durex", the slogan used in condom ads.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gaza, Kim Kardashian

I thought it was rather big of Armenian reality star Kim Kardashian to tweet that she was praying for the people of Israel. Israel has spent the last sixty-four years claiming that the Armenian genocide was a hoax. When Bob Dole introduced legislation to make the 75th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian genocide a national day of remembrance, the Israeli embassy called on Jewish groups to oppose it, and oppose it they did.

Some claim that Zionists deny the Armenian Holocaust only because the Israelis were allies with Turkey. In fact, Zionist denial predates their alliance with Turkey.

People responded to Kardashian's tweet by informing her rather forcefully that it was Palestinians who were being murdered by the Israelis. So Kardashian tweeted that she was praying for the people of Palestine and all the other people in the world. The Chosen People got their yarmulkes in a bunch at the thought of anyone praying for goyim they intend to massacre, so Kardashian removed both tweets.

I'm surprised Kardashian is so religious. I have no strong feelings one way or the other about other people's religiosity, as long as they aren't Scientologists.

The Soviet Union always told their allies not to start wars because the consequences were always unpredictable. The U.S. launched it's bombing campaign against Libya, and here is the result. Fighters and weapons from Libya have been smuggled into Gaza. We'll see how well-armed Gazans are if the Zionists try to invade.

The U.S. has reportedly handed stinger missiles to "rebels" in Syria. Not all are rebels, strictly speaking, but are foreign terrorists. The U.S. is arming them without knowing who exactly they are and who they're apt to target next.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bernie, Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, (2011)

Watched a pretty good movie called Bernie. From last year. Jack Black in the title role as a funeral director who befriends and wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine) and kills her. I don't think I'm giving anything away.

It says it's based on a true story, and it seems like I saw the same thing on an episode of City Confidential.

Bernie starts out seeming like an exceptionally smarmy, vaguely effeminate funeral director. But as it progresses, it seems he was quite sincere. A very nice man who befriended an elderly widow who nobody liked. People had excellent reason to dislike her, and if Bernie hadn't been such a nice guy, he would have walked away from her. But, instead, he stayed around until she drove him off the deep end.

The movie seemed like a wholesome antidote to all the lurid murder documentaries they have on TV.

I'm as much against murder as the next guy, of course, but there is such a thing as voluntary manslaughter.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

September Morn, 9/11 truther movie

There was a movie called Communion, a UFO movie based on Whitley Strieber's bestselling "memoir" about how space aliens keep abducting him.

The book was a huge bestseller, but the movie bombed. Stuff that sounded creepy and vaguely plausible on paper was laughable on film.

There's been other stuff like that. I watched the movie Sleepers, a supposedly true story. I didn't read the book and I held off watching it because I knew I would be upset by it, a true story of kids subjected to horrible abuse in reform school. But when I finally saw it, I didn't buy it for a second. Again, things that seemed plausible on paper looked absurd under the glare of the Kleig lights.

There was a fairly recent Russian World War Two movie, based on a book which claimed to be true. A group of Soviet middle school boys, juvenile delinquents incarcerated somewhere, are trained as commandos and sent on a suicide mission to destroy a Nazi installation in the mountains. It was anti-Communist. People were supposed to watch the movie and think, "What kind of monsters would use innocent children as commandos!" But on the big screen, it looked ridiculous. The movie was too grim to work as an adventure story for boys but too idiotic to be taken seriously.

September Morn

Now? Now we have a movie called September Morn which is set to star Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen and Ed Asner. They're still raising money. It looks like it will be a 9/11 "truther" movie, based somehow on the theories that the September 11th attacks were an inside job. It's not clear how they're going to approach it. The production company's website says it will be in the "vein of Twelve Angry Men."

If the movie shows scores of men in coveralls pushing hand trucks, placing explosives in busy office buildings without anyone noticing and without any of these guys ever saying a word about it, it will make a lot of the Truther claims look silly. 

But it's something to think about. They're going for a niche audience. Like Kirk Cameron making Christian dramas, or Glen Pitre in Louisiana who made Cajun-dialect historical dramas. Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi for the Spanish language video market.

It doesn't always work that well. Audiences that are ignored by Hollywood still watch TV and still watch movies. Kirk Cameron's movies still cost a relative fortune. In the late '70s, when Hollywood produced next to nothing for black audiences, independent filmmakers tried to fill the void, but they attempted it on very low budgets. They often used the approaches of Third World Cinema for a first world audience and they generally failed.

You have to find a niche audience that will accept really cheap movies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day of the Jackal, 1973

The Day of the Jackal was a big 1973 UK-French co-production about a fictional attempt to assassinate Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s. Sort of a combination of James Bond and Dragnet. The movie was a procedural. It goes through the procedures used by the assassin as well as by French security services, and it was a bit of a travelogue. We see the Jackal driving through France in his sports car, catching a train, staying in hotels.

It turns out that the French in the 1960s were worse than Americans. There's an execution, police torture, warrantless wiretaps. Police walk around with submachine guns, members of the armed forced try to murder the president. It would have been a nice place except for all that stuff.

It was set in '63 but they they freely used cars made after that which was probably just as well.

You can be pretty sure that a movie made two years after Charles de Gaulle died of natural causes isn't going to end with him being assassinated ten tears earlier. The director took it as a challenge to hold the audience's attention when they knew full well how the movie would end.

Available now for instant viewing on Netflix.

Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez.

I guess everyone's heard the news by now. Eighteen-year-old Justin Bieber has split up with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Selena Gomez. I would comment on it, but I don't know who Selena Gomez is.

Bieber's Canadian. He started getting tattoos while in high school (if he went to high school). Apparently this is normal in Canada. He played laser tag one time and the other kids recognized him and kept shooting him, so he socked a 12-year-old. The RCMP investigated but nothing came of it.

He played a juvenile delinquent on a TV show and his character was gunned down at the end of the episode. One of the regulars on the show later regretted telling interviewers that Justin was a "brat" and added that he was a pretty good actor.

And I'm sure he's a very nice boy. If he's not, then I'm sure he would be if he weren't writhing under the scourge of stardom. Or maybe he would be even worse if he weren't a celebrity.

I don't really know if he's a very nice boy or not. Forget I said it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama wins

Well, the election was quick and painless. Ralph Nader was right---the networks had a conflict of interest. The more they maintained the illusion that Romney had a chance, the more people would watch the news and the more advertising they could sell.

I went to bed early and I just got up. Any word yet? Did Obama lose the popular vote? If he did, he should do what George Bush did. He should explain everything he does with the refrain, "That's what the American People elected me to do!"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Minute Warning

There was an old disaster movie called Two-Minute Warning, about a sniper in a football stadium. My next door neighbor had gone to Hollywood to become a star and played a gunshot victim. I watched it again recently---the recent unpleasantness involving Ray Carney made me want to watch John Cassavetes movies, and Cassavetes played a SWAT team commander in it. Gene Rowlands is in the crowd arguing with her boyfriend, David Janssen.

I thought it was a pretty good movie at the time. Directed by Larry Peerce who had a varied career, directing Goodbye, Columbus early in his career. It had looked like he'd be a major director, but he found himself making made-for-TV movies for a time. He directed the 1960s pilot to The Hardy Boys.

Two-Minute Warning was terribly violent. It had to be heavily edited when it was shown on TV, which might explain the weird thing they did.

I watched it long ago when they showed it on network TV.

"I don't remember this happening," I thought.

There was no explanation for the sniper's actions in the movie. So the network shot some additional material and added a plot. Art thieves planning a heist decide to cover their escape by having a sniper open fire at a football game. The art gallery is somehow located next door to the stadium.

But the thieves find they can't flee in their van because of the crowd pouring out the stadium.

"Hey! They robbing the art gallery!" someone yells. "Let's stop them!"

The crowd climbs all over the van and stops them from fleeing.

Man, that was stupid!

Watching it again, John Cassavetes' character seemed like less of a jerk than I remembered. The SWAT guys seemed to like the idea of shooting people, but you had to hand it to them----they climbed really high ladders. 

USS Enterprise heads for the scrap heap

The aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise is on its way back to the US. It's 50 years old, isn't terribly safe and is nuclear powered. It was sent to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran leading to speculation that the US was hoping it would spontaneously sink or blow up so that the US could blame Iran and start a war, or, if Israel attacked, Iran would easily sink the Enterprise and the US would have an excuse for joining in.

That much is over.

The US hasn't won a war since 1945 and it's not going to start now. The Zionists comfort themselves by bombing refugee camps and murdering children, but they haven't won a war in nearly 40 years.

Ray Carney petition delivered

Still nothing from Ray Carney. What's that guy doing?

If he were smart, he would have spent the last couple of months copying the tapes and photocopying the papers. He could have Mark Rappaport's cake and return it, too, and everyone would be relatively happy.

Daniel Levine posted on Jon Jost's Cinemaelectronica blog that he's delivered Jost's on-line petition to Boston University faculty. They were aware of the situation and were already consulting their attorneys to figure out what to do.

When does Winter term start? That's when Carney will be back teaching, trying to explain to his students why he did what he did. Hard to imagine what he could say.

Horace Vernet, "Invalid handing a petition to Napoleon at the Parade
in the Court of the Tuileries Palace"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Atheism, skepticism, Rebecca Watson, Richard Dawkins

"If you get on an elevator with Dawkins and you refuse to have sex with him, his first thoughts are about slicing up genitals." 
---Stephen Colbert's Wikiality, the Turthiness encyclopedia

One day many years ago, I was driving out to the coast. I got behind a line of Citroens, mostly 2CVs and Traction Avants. It was the local Citroen Club out for a drive.

I told a guy about it. As a joke, I suggested he start his own club for Chevy Corsica owners. (Not much of a joke, I know.) He said he didn't want to hang around with fellow Corsica owners.

Perhaps it was ironic that owning a car like a Citroen that nobody else has would be an opportunity for social interaction while having a Corsica, owned by millions, a favorite fleet and rental car, would leave you socially isolated.

Or maybe that's the way it should be.

Look at the atheists and skeptics. They don't believe in mind reading, ghosts or religion, which, by itself, doesn't seem like much basis for the community they've managed to form.

Now vast numbers of them have launched attacks on one of their own, Rebecca Watson, for daring to advise against hitting on women in elevators. Even Richard Dawkins joined in the attacks.

First Dawkins wrote some sarcastic crap, which was stupid. Sarcasm is a tool of teenagers arguing with their parents, not intellectuals making thoughtful public statements. Then he defended his statement by saying that the guy hit on Watson using words, and she turned him down using words. What's so terrible about people using words? Unless it's Rebecca Watson using words to explain that she doesn't like being hit on in elevators.

Apparently for a large number of atheist and skeptic men, rape threats are the preferred mode of discourse.

Even when they don't disagree with women they make rape threats. Not just against women but against young girls. Watson wrote about a 15-year-old girl who posted a picture of herself holding her birthday present, a copy of a book by Carl Sagan, on an atheist bulletin board. The girl was instantly subject to a barrage of obscene and perverse messages. They clearly understood that this was a 15-year-old. One said, I don't call it kidnapping, I call it instant adoption. Another quipped that blood was a sexual lubricant.

This movement, if you can call it a movement, is full of scum. Next time Christians want to debate atheists, they can just read messages from atheist bulletin boards. If they debate Dawkins, he'll probably defend it. "Those are words!"

It could be that simply not believing in mind-reading or astrology is scant basis for social interaction. The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal was able to narrow their focus---they don't believe in it and they want scientific investigation.

But if you have too big a tent, you're going to get a lot human garbage in there.