News From Around The Blogosphere 5.25.10

May 26, 2010

1. Florida teacher attacked by co-workers with holy water – This caused the atheist teacher to instantly renounce her heathen ways, get down on her knees, and suck Jesus’ cock. Okay, actually it had no effect on her whatsoever other than making her all wet. Praise Jesus!

2. Everybody Draw Mohammed Day cause Muslim radicals to retaliate…against the Jews…and against history – Radical Muslims already hated the Jews and already hated history. But now they’re so outraged about EDMD that they’ve decided to conflate atheism with Judaism and respond by denying the Holocaust:

Much of the injustice that takes place in our world stems from ignorance. We reject being emotionally blackmailed by Hollywood tales and holocaust museums which legitimize the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the extremist Atheist regime of Tel-Aviv.

Good job, guys. That’ll show us.

3. Acupuncturist pricks hole in rape conviction – Okay, this is one of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. Three men who spent a decade in jail on a rape conviction were freed because an acupuncturist claimed to know they were virgins. How you might ask?

She said examination of a pressure point beneath the convict’s ear showed a small capillary was unbroken, which Vietnamese traditional medicine holds to mean that he was a virgin. Hong then examined the other two men.

“I recognised these three men had never had sex with women,” Hong said.

Ohhhhh! That makes sense [rolling eyes] But this managed to be enough to reopen the case, which in turn led to the discovery that the initial investigators had made some mistakes. Wow, so maybe acupuncture has finally succeeded in doing something after thousands of years of doing absolutely nothing.

4. Now it’s Copernicus’ turn – The Catholic Church has pardoned Galileo. It’s pardoned Darwin. And now, after only 450 years, Nicolaus Copernicus was given a hero’s burial. So I guess it’ll be at least that long before the Catholic Church embraces the iPad and Steve Jobs…unless he goes out and starts raping kids. Then they’re likely to make him a saint or something.

Speaking of which:

Child rape you can believe in

5. Obama Administration supports child rapists. Wish he’d mentioned that in the campaign -

In a strongly worded brief for the United States Supreme Court, the Obama administration has sided with the Vatican in an Oregon lawsuit that names the Holy See as a defendant for its role in the sexual abuse crisis.

In effect, the brief asserts that the standards for an exception to the immunity that foreign governments enjoy under American law have not been met in the Oregon case.

This is completely unacceptable and I urge everyone to contact the White House to express outrage over this decision.

6. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on the verge of repeal:


News From Around The Blogosphere 3.30.10

March 30, 2010

1. Single unvaccinated kid source of 2008 California measles outbreak -

The family’s 7-year-old boy, who was intentionally unvaccinated against measles, was exposed to the virus while traveling in Europe. When he returned home to San Diego, he unknowingly exposed a total of 839 people, and an additional 11 unvaccinated children contracted the disease.

Three of those infected were babies, too young to have yet received the measles vaccines, and one of the babies was hospitalized for three days with a 106-degree fever, according to a report to be published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

Wow, that’s one hell of a path of destruction caused by a single anti-vax family. Thanks Jenny McCarthy.

2. Magnets can almost instantly change a person’s moral judgment – This would seem to pretty definitively debunk the notion of dualism and fairly conclusively show that the mind is, contrary to Deepak Chopra’s claims,  purely a localized phenomenon. It also further illustrates how absurd the evangelical notion of “objective morality” from “God” is.

3. Critical thinking and skepticism begins at childhood – Here’s a great story of a kid scientifically investigating the Tooth Fairy and successfully debunking it

But not all kids are brought up to be such critical thinkers.

4. New Harris poll confirms most Americans are dummies -

The poll involved 2,320 adults responding to true or false questions. Among many other disturbing facts, 14% of respondents said they believed Obama could be the Antichrist.

. . .

When broken into partisan results, it seems 24% of all Republican respondents hold this view, while only 6% of Democrats are that batshit crazy. But taken as a whole, the numbers in this poll are depressing. 32% think Obama is a Muslim. 23% think Obama is a racist. And 20% say Obama is “doing many of the things Hitler did.”

But I’m pretty sure Hitler didn’t hold a Passover seder in the White House…or cut out the middleman in student loans…or sleep with Michelle Obama.

5. Bill Donohue continues shameless campaign defending child rapists – Now he’s taken out an ad in the NY Times defending the man most responsible for ensuring the child rapists could continue to prey on more children, The Pope. Oh, and he’s moved on from blaming the families of the victims to blaming the gays. It won’t be long now before he blames everyone on Earth except for The Pope.

And he’s not the only one defending child rapists. . .

6. The Vatican has selflessly thought up 3 reasons why they feel The Vatican is not liable – The first is that the Pope, as head of state, is immune from prosecution (aka Joey Ratz does whatever Joey Ratz wants and if you get in the way, he’ll whack you or have your children horribly raped). The second excuse is that the American priests were not Vatican employees  (This should go over really well with the American Catholics). And the third excuse is that they’ve declared by fiat that the smoking gun evidence that has been confirmed by high ranking church officials is really not smoking gun evidence at all (I call this the Jedi Mind Trick defense – these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Now move along):

McMurry insisted Tuesday that Crimen is a smoking gun.

“The fact is, this document and its predecessors make it an excommunicable offense to reveal any knowledge of allegations that a priest has sexually abused,” he said in an e-mail.

The existence of Crimen did not become publicly known until 2003, when a lawyer noticed a reference to the document while reading a 2001 letter written by Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. McMurry is seeking to subpoena Ratzinger’s letter, which instructed all bishops to send cases of clerical sex abuse to him and to keep the proceedings secret.

As for that first excuse that a head of state can’t be sued, fine, let’s call it an act of war then. I hope the Vatican has a strong military.


Health care plan passes in the House!

March 22, 2010

Okay, it’s far from perfect and by the time we analyze all the fixes, it probably won’t amount to all that much progress. But it will definitely improve the lives of some people, so for now I’m taking tonight to naively celebrate the fact that it’s gotten this far. It only passed passed by 220 to 211, but it passed. So now we can finally start the real work. But I don’t want to let the politics of this issue distract from what this all means objectively. So here’s PalMD’s take on health care reform from before it passed.

The other disappointment regarding this victory though is that Rush Limbaugh isn’t leaving the country as he promised:

Speaking on his radio show, the conservative host clarified his earlier statement by saying that he will just travel to Costa Rica to receive private medical treatment if reform is passed, not move there permanently

There you go. Undeniable proof that Rush is a lying blowhard who lacks the courage to stand behind his own empty rhetoric and bravado.


News From Around The Blogosphere 3.19.10

March 19, 2010

1. Regenerating limbs may be simply a matter of switching off a single gene – I wouldn’t take this story too seriously just yet but the research certainly sounds like it’s worth following. I just hope it doesn’t turn us into The Lizard:

But new research suggests the ability to regenerate isn’t based on something newts and flatworms have that we don’t; rather, it’s something we do have that’s keeping us from regenerating tissues. Researchers think a gene called p21 may control regenerative healing, and that by switching it off, humans could perform our own regeneration.

2. Skeptics to storm Parliament on Tuesday – It’s exciting to see the skeptical movement building a potentially powerful lobby to effect changes in public policy towards a more science and reason-based position. On Tuesday, skeptics in the UK will test the power of this lobby by organizing at the House of Commons to demand libel reform. Of course this is an issue that is not only serious for residents of the UK but everyone who criticizes advocates of bad ideas on the internet because from what some have told me, they too are potential targets of libel suits.

3. Student challenges unconstitutional policy in Alexandria High School in Alabama – The school performs daily Christian prayers over the schools P.A. system. He left a voicemail with the superintendent and contacted the ACLU. . .and it worked. The school is no longer performing the prayers. A job well done.

4. Ellen gives Constance McMillen $30,000 scholarship – I love this story. It shows that those who stand up against adversity can benefit from having the courage of their convictions and standing up for their principles.

5. California Bar now investigating queen Birther Orly Taitz – Another happy story. Taitz, who refuses to budge on her irrational belief that Obama is not a natural born citizen despite undeniable evidence to the contrary, continues to fight the $20,000 fine issued on her for making frivolous filings. And now she runs the risk of actually being disbarred. We can hope right. Of course it’s pretty silly that she even gets to call herself a lawyer given her pathetic credentials. Of course her lawyer is pushing the conspiracy angle and calling this a “witch hunt” but really, if she was an actual threat to the evil president’s position and they’d gone this far to cover up his origins, don’t you think they’d find a far more efficient way of getting Taitz out of the way. And you just know that whatever the outcome, she’ll just insist that the Bar Association is in on the evil conspiracy. So since she’ll attack them no matter what they might as well throw the book at her and make sure she’s never allowed to practice law again.

Not really the BSA

6. Catholics not the only ones covering up abuse - The Mormon dominated Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are facing a lawsuit claiming they too covered up child abuse.

The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years.The “perversion files,” a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.

The lawyer for a man who was molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began Wednesday. The lawyer says the files show how the Boy Scouts have covered up abuse for decades.

Well what do you expect from a cult who once had a leader named “Brigham Young”? Still the BSA are lightweights compared to the Catholic Church, which is known for having raped at least over a half million kids. And keep in mind that that’s only that we know of and the Church has proven capable of keeping this stuff secret for decades.


News From Around The Blogosphere 3.17.10

March 17, 2010

1. Hawaii considering new law to ignore Obama Birthers - But isn’t that exactly what you’d expect them to do if Obama was really from Kenya/Canada/Mars? Kidding. Yeah, as silly as the Birthers seem they really do waste a lot of public officials’ time that could be better spent actually doing their jobs. And most of those wasting the time of Hawaiian officials aren’t even residents of the state:

But the state still gets between 10 and 20 e-mails seeking verification of Obama’s birth each week, most of them from outside Hawaii, Kim said Tuesday.

A few of these requesters continue to pepper the Health Department with the same letters seeking the same information, even after they’re told state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest. Responding wastes time and money, Kim said.

Both Fukino and the state registrar of vital statistics have verified that the Health Department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.

So considering the public has already seen official legal documents proving Obama’s Hawaiian birth, these people still refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence, and this is a frivolous waste of time, money, and resources I support this bill. Now if only we could pass a bill to get the federal government to ignore creationists, antivaxxers, and 9/11 deniers.

2. Latinos fleeing Catholicism – And the number of Latinos who claim to be unaffiliated with any religion has increased from 6.4% to 12.4% between 1990 and 2008.

3. Atheist ad vandalized – Fortunately, it wasn’t vandalized all that well:

You can tell a real criminal mastermind was at work here.


Why is Fox “News” so scared of “5%” of Americans

February 28, 2010

I do wish Newdow had corrected her false statistics as there 15% of Americans state that they are not affiliated with any organized religion, not “5%.” That means there are more Americans unaffiliated with any religion than there are Jews and blacks combined.

Fox’s other amusing swipe at Newdow and “the atheists” comes from Sean “I never met I fact I couldn’t deny” Hannity:

Of course it wasn’t “the atheists” who met with White House officials but those who promote secular government, some of whom are in fact religious. And I fail to see how agreeing to be “fair and balanced” makes the Obama Administration hostile to religion.

Also of course, it’s also a mystery why Newdow’s name even came up at all in this story as he was not in attendance at this meeting with the Secular Coalition.

But of course Hannity already knew that because as everyone knows, “the most trusted name in news” has the best fact checkers around.

And I’m sure they had good reason to not actually report the story at all but instead merely use it as just a launching pad to criticize the Obamas, who also did not attend the meeting.

Another stellar reporting job by “America’s most trusted name in news.”


Secular Coalition meeting w/ White House goes well

February 27, 2010

Yesterday I blogged that today a meeting would take place between the Secular Coalition and officials in the Obama Administration. And it seems as though the Secular Coalition did a good job of presenting their case and that White House officials were receptive to their message.

But the clearest sign that we’re moving in the right direction is the completely hilarious, over-the-top, doom-saying rhetoric of Bill Donohue, who either doesn’t know anything about the people he’s criticizing or just doesn’t care:

People of faith, especially Christians, have good reason to wonder exactly where their interests lie with the Obama administration. Now we have the definitive answer. In an unprecedented move, leaders of a presidential administration are hosting some of the biggest anti-religious zealots in the nation.

If President Obama does not want to go to church, that is his business. But it is the business of the American people, most all of whom are believers, to know where the president and his administration stand with regards to their concerns. It is not likely that this outreach to anti-religious activists — many of whom would crush Christianity if they could — will do anything to calm the fears of people of faith. Indeed, it will only alienate them even further.

It is important that the public learn of the contents of this meeting. We will do what we can to find out what happened.

This was followed up by In God We Trust’s Chairman Bishop Council Nedd basically just repeating the same talking points about the Secular Coalition being a bigoted hate group.

Of course these accusations have no basis in fact, which should be obvious considering that some of the organizations associated with the Secular Coalition are religious. Funny how there’s a direct inverse correlation between godliness and honesty. But who needs honesty when you can get far more media attention from just saying a bunch of crazy lies? Plus Donohue is in love with his own outrage.

Stay classy, guys!


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