News From Around The Blogosphere 2.22.10

February 23, 2010

1. Sign the online petition to support libel reform in the UK – You don’t have to be from the UK to sign it. And you can find out more at the Libel Reform website.

2. Why loved ones of Andrew Wakefield should maybe go on suicide watch – Okay, this article by David Gorski doesn’t actually announce any breaking news about Dr. Evil but it’s an excellent summation of why these have been the worst two months of his life as well as the worst two months of the whole anti-vaccine movement since the initial publishing of Wakefield’s now retracted Lancet paper twelve years ago.

Now that even Wakefield’s own Thoughtful House has told him to leave, there’s really not much of a chance that he’ll ever work in anything resembling the medical field again. At best, he’ll have to make his leaving going on speaking tours where he’ll just be speaking to his slowly diminishing echo chamber of followers. This cannot be where he thought his life would end up. Now I’m not saying I’m hoping for him to kill himself. Zeus knows he’d only become a bigger martr to the anti-vax crowd. But it’s really looking bleak for him so I can’t say I’d be surprised if it happened.

And in other good news in the fight against bogus medical quackery. . .

3. UK’s NHS is expected to stop funding homeopathy with tax dollars – 2010 is already shaping up to be as crippling to homeopathy as 2009 was to $cientology.

4. And guess who’s dismissing the recent Pediatrics study on autism – That’s right, it’s our old friend Jenny McCarthy.

5. Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall apologized for saying people with disabilities are punishments from “God” against women who had abortions

Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall apologized Monday to people with disabilities for remarks suggesting that women who have abortions risk having later children with birth defects as a punishment from God.

Marshall (R-Prince William) made the comment Thursday at a news conference calling for an end to state funding to Planned Parenthood. Calling the nonprofit group “Planned Barrenhood,” Marshall joined the Virginia Christian Alliance, several African American ministers and others who blamed the abortion provider for a host of social ills.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Marshall said.

But don’t worry. I’m sure Sarah Palin, defender of the disabled, will speak out against this Republican any moment now for his insensitivity. Yup, any moment. It’s coming. Just gonna keep waiting for that condemnation from Sarah Palin, the only politician who wouldn’t dream of exploiting sympathy for her Down Syndrome kid. Sarah, we’re waiting! I definitely recommend everyone literally hold their breath because, based on the recent Family Guy incident (which incidentally that episode had an awesome skeptical plot about psychics), that’s how soon we should expect to hear Palin’s moral outrage about insulting the disabled.

Well while we wait, let’s watch Angie the anti-theist, who’s having an abortion. . .right now:


Unhappy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2009

Anti-abortionists were pissed off when Planned Parenthood sent out a letter by Judy Blume on behalf of Planned Parenthood, describing a donation to the group as a “gift any mother will appreciate” to over 200,000 email subscribers as part of a Mother’s Day fundraising campaign. Blume has apparently received 25,000 messages of support and 300 pieces of hate mail. Of the latter:

“A lot of them were harassing and intimidating,” said Tait Sye, a Planned Parenthood spokesman.

And the next item addresses the ill-conceived anti-abortion plan to legally extend the definition of personhood to the unborn and how this will hurt all pregnant women:

And the final story relates to the Lysistrata-like sex ban Kenyan women had adopted that I’d blogged about a few weeks ago:

A Kenyan man has sued activists who urged women to deny their partners sex for a week as a protest against the country’s political impasse.

James Kimondo told reporters outside the Nairobi High Court his wife had observed the boycott and caused him “anxiety and sleepless nights”.

“I have been suffering mental anguish, stress, backaches, lack of concentration,” he said.

Yeah, how dare women use their free will?!

It’s hard to believe a woman wouldn’t want to sleep with this guy, right?

Happy Mother’s Day!


News From Around The Blogosphere 01.22.09

January 23, 2009

creationism-cartoon-i-will-not-teach-horse-shit

Texas teetering on the edge of doom – There’s good news and bad news regarding the status of creationism being taught in Texas schools.

Deranged and Destructive – In St. Paul, an anti-choice nut decided to smash the entrance to Planned Parenthood with his SUV.

monkey-frustratedForget 9/11. Now there’s a conspiracy theory around US Airways Flight 1549 – You can do it with anything. Just pretend nothing can happen by chance or coincidence and make a suspicious-sounding question out of everything like a bad Seinfeld routine: What’s the deal with birds taking out the engines? What’s the deal with the banana served to passenger 57 being slightly brown? Then just make up a ridiculous story like Cloverfield did it and insist that all the lack of evidence proves a sinister cover-up. It’s just that easy.

thank-god-im-an-atheistJay Behar calls atheists “pathetic” on The View – Oddly, the sentiment was meant to be in favor of Obama’s inclusiveness of non-believers but that’s like saying it was so good of Obama to include “pathetic Jews”, “pathetic Muslims”, or “pathetic gays.” Not much of a compliment.

Obama performs the oath of office. . . sans Bible – I didn’t realize this until Stephen Colbert pointed it out. The second time Obama performed the oath of office (you know, the “real” time), he did it without a Bible. Can we call that a victory for secularism?

Ricky Gervais discusses his atheism with James Lipton:

Sex toys of the future today РThe device was invented by a former NASA engineer.  This link is safe but the actual website for the product is very very NSFW.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyFish Out Of Water: New Species of Climbing Fish – “A new species of fish from tropical South America is confirming suspected roots to the loricariid catfish family tree. Lithogenes wahari shares traits with two different families of fish: the bony armor that protects its head and tail, and a grasping pelvic fin that allows it to climb vertical surfaces.”

Humans And Mice Are Attracted By Same Odors – “Humans and mice are attracted by the same odors. This has been revealed for the first time by a team of French researchers in the “Neurosciences sensorielles, comportement, cognition” Unit (CNRS / Universit√© Lyon 1).”