News From Around The Blogosphere 5.11.11

May 11, 2011

1. Indians pissed that Hindu goddess appears on skimpy swimsuit – And while I do enjoy me a good blasphemy story, the only real reason I’m posting this is for an excuse to post the pictures of the sexy model in the swimsuit. Now I know what their gods need with all those hands.

2. T-Minus ten shopping days till the Rapture! – Richard Dawkins has perhaps given the best public response in the news media yet to the completely idiotic Harold Camping prediction that the Rapture will occur on May 21, chastising the Washington Post within its own pages for even having the audacity to report on it as if it were real news. And perhaps on a related note, May is Zombie Awareness Month!

3. Simpsons’ actress Nancy Cartwright brings Scientology program to Springfield schools – Cartwright is the voice of Bart Simpson. She’s also a crazy as fuck Scientologist who’s now pushing a learning program based on the unsupported ideas of non-educator L. Ron Hubbard on the students of Springfield, Illinois.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 12.21.09

December 22, 2009

Silence is the Enemy campaign image

1. South African lesbians being dragged off the street and  raped – The worst part of all is that in the video found in the link above, citizens are happily admitting their support of rape in order to “correct” these women and “teach them a lesson.” The police and government are not taking this seriously.

One man roared with laughter as he said lesbians should be “whipped”. “There is no mention of lesbians in the bible,” he said.

. . .

They said “women should behave like women” and this was a way of “teaching” them that.

Why is it that whenever there is repulsive female oppression, a reference to the bible isn’t far behind?

2. The Pope (TM) – The Vatican has literally copywritten the Pope. So apparently the likeness and image of Joey Ratz is no longer in the public domain:

The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.

. . .

Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that “it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church.”

So I guess mentioning the fact that it’s a matter of public record that the current Pope conspired to cover-up countless instances of child rape, allowing the rapists to continue to rape and escape prosecution to this very day is a big no-no.

3. Garrison Keillor’s anti-semitic rant – Ironically, he accuses those non-Christians who embrace Christmas of “spiritual piracy and cultural elitism,” apparently oblivious to the holiday’s pagan origins and, you know, the fact that this very rant promotes “cultural elitism.” This just further hits home the point that there’s no such thing as a “War on Christmas,” only a war by fanatical Christians against everyone else’s cultural or religious traditions in order to reinforce their own religious dominance. And the guy seems really, really worked up over this. Dude, there are REAL problems in the world. Non-Christians enjoying the season isn’t a problem; it can hardly even be described as a pet peeve. But I’m not a heartless guy, so I’ll just wish Mr. Keillor a Happy Atheistmas!

4. Mexico City legalizes same-sex marriage – And apparently Uruguay already has legalized civil unions throughout the country, along with several South America nations. Who knew?

5. Clive Thompson of the Washington Post calls anti-vaccination one of the “Worst Ideas of the Decade” – Thompson hits it out of the park, but of course he’s just become the newest target of vitriolic attacks by the anti-vaccine movement. In fact, it’s already started. And by tomorrow, I’m sure Age of Autism will have found some reason to insist he’s a Big Pharma Shill, such as him once living next door to someone who knows someone who works at Merck. And on a related note, the anti-vacine Australian Vaccination Network (or AVN – not to be confused with any other AVN that may hold annual conventions in Las Vegas) and its leader Meryl Dorey are under investigation for misleading the public.


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.21.09

October 22, 2009

1. Anti-vacciners now in the same camp as Louis Farrakhan

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan told an audience in Memphis he believes the H1N1 flu vaccine was developed to kill people, a witness said.

You’d think that when you find yourself aligned with Farrakhan on science, you’d start to seriously reconsider your position, but I suspect the anti-vacciners will, like every other crank, embrace any famous person they can find that agrees with them no matter how batshit insane they are.

2. In an attempt to regain some of that journalistic integrity the Washington Post lost when posting Child Rapist Apologist Bill Donohue’s incoherent tyrade the other day, they’ve now printed a response. Sure, I would have loved a printed response from someone like Chris Hitchens, but at least they made the effort.

3. God can’t heal amputees. . .but science will –

4. Hugh Hewitt interviews Richard Dawkins (who I just saw live today) – The full transcript is there but one particularly telling excerpt is here:

RD: Okay, do you believe Jesus turned water into wine?

HH: Yes.

RD: You seriously do?

HH: Yes.

RD: You actually think that Jesus got water, and made all those molecules turn into wine?

HH: Yes.

RD: My God.

HH: Yes. My God, actually, not yours. But let me…

RD: I’ve realized the kind of person I’m dealing with now.


Bill Donohue is grumpy. It must be Tuesday.

October 20, 2009

Child Rapist Apologist Bill Donohue is offended again. And this time his psychotic rant was published as a guest column in the Washington Post. Apparently, they gave up their journalistic integrity. In the article, he complains about all the evil liberals and their evil agenda to eliminate Donohue’s all-powerful God who is apparently powerless to stop mere mortals. Donohue sees villany everywhere, especially Hollywood, even though he himself brings up the undeniable success of The Passion of the Christ. But in perhaps the funniest line in his little diatribe, Donohue attempts to discount this film as a clear exception to his argument:

Were it not for Mel Gibson, there would have been no “Passion of the Christ.”

Well DUH! He co-wrote, co-produced, and financed the bloody thing! But what Donohue and other wacko conspiracists don’t understand is that while Hollywood definitely is filled with lots of creative types, a class of folk that tend to be more liberal, Hollywood’s only real agenda is making money. That’s it. Do you think the people being the new film 2012 give a shit about how their promotion of this doomsday superstition affects their audience? No. All they care about is that it’s another disaster film by the dude who brought them the incredibly profitable Independence Day. They didn’t pay the project much interest originally because there was every reason in the world to think that an entirely subtitled film that was nothing but blood & guts the whole way through would not be financially successful. But even liberal Hollywood was happy to eventually embrace Mel’s little torture porn flick once it proved profitable. And I’m sure numerous similar film ideas have been floating around in Hollywood ever since. I personally would like to see The Passion of Adam, a five-hour film in real-time showing the agony of the first man after having his rib literally ripped out of his chest without any anesthetic at all.

But I think Donohue’s real agenda in writing this piece is contained in one paragraph where he proposes all the religions join forces against their common liberal enemies:

The only way secular saboteurs can be stopped is by an alliance of religious conservatives across faith lines. The good news is that this is already happening. In the fight over gay marriage, the scorecard is 30-0: traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Mormons, along with a big contribution from the Latino and African American communities, have succeeded in throwing a roadblock at this crazy idea.

Yeah, good luck with that one. In fact, Bill, I’ll even pay for the plane ticket so you can travel to the Middle East to meet with Al Qaeda personally to discuss this “holy alliance” of yours. I hear they’re quite rasonable and accomodating people, those Muslim conservatives.

Oh, but the absolute best part of Donohue’s article is the very last paragraph:

The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

Am I wrong in thinking that Donohue is telling the religious to continue fucking their brains out and applauding secular abortion? Also, bathhouses? What?! But since in reality, church membership in the U.S. is way down, churches are closing like crazy, Christian organizations of laying off hundreds of employees, many evangelicals are moarning their dying movement, and every study has shown a rise in the number of people not affiliated with any religion, I’m glad Bill’s happy with his women-as-breeding-tools, fuck-your-way-to-salvation approach. Good luck with that one, buddy!

PZ Myers also does a good job of responding this this big bowl of crazy here.

Oh, but speaking of Donohue, he’s also pissed off at The Simpsons over a line in their latest “Treehouse of Horrors XX” episode. In one of the segments titled, “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind,” Bart becomes the “Chosen One” who’s immuned to zombie infection. When they get him to the Safe Zone where they can use him to create an antidote, the following exchange takes place:

Guard: “Welcome, son. To survive, all we must do is eat your flesh.”

Marge: “Hold it right there, Bub! What kind of civilized people eat the body and blood of their savior?”

Rev. Lovejoy: [Groans nervously]

And Donohue’s over-the-top response?

What kind of uncivilized people work at Fox? Last year, when they poked some gentle fun at the Apostle’s Creed on the Halloween episode, we said nothing. That’s because it didn’t cross the line. This year is different: mocking the heart of any religion always crosses the line, and mocking the Eucharist does it for Catholics. They know this at Fox, which is precisely why they did it.

Oh, they didn’t complain that one time, so that entitles them to complain about every other trivial offense against their stupid beliefs. And how much would you want to make a bet that the only reason they didn’t complain that last time was because they didn’t find out about it until it was no longer timely? This is the same guy who called the chocolate Jesus sculpture two Easters ago the worst offense to his religion ever and organized a boycott against ABC because they put on a drama series focusing on the staff of an inner-city church that included an agnostic pastor as well as an atheist. And now he’s going balistic over a two-second joke in The Simpsons, which is actually fairly standard by Simpsons standards. Apparently, Donohue never heard Rev. Lovejoy tell Ned Flanders to consider some of the other religions because they’re all basically the same or the time Rev. Lovejoy asked Marge if she ever actually sat down to read the Bible and then said, “Technically, we’re not allowed to use the bathroom.” The Simpsons mocks religion on a regular basis. You don’t like it, Billy? Don’t watch. If you haven’t figured out that The Simpsons is critical of religion often by now then I’m guessing you never watched it to begin with anyway.

And even though I’m long past the point where I’ve stopped watching new episodes of the show, let me use this opportunity to promote it. Here’s the episode in question that apparently made baby Jesus cry.

The short begins at the 7:50 mark and the excerpt in question begins at the 14:08 mark.


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.21.08

December 22, 2008

atheist-billboardHumanists want community too – Here’s an article in the Washington Post about non-religious parents trying to create their own church-like environment (community, values, rituals) without all that silly god stuff.

Why you should donate – Secular groups explain why they need your

support.

Skeptologist Yau-Man Chan meets his first conspiracy nut in person – And it was a doosy too: a chemtrail believer, which reminds me that no one has yet accepted my Chemtrail Challenge:

Chemtrail or Contrail?

Chemtrail or Contrail?

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyEarliest Proof Of Cave-dwelling Human Ancestors – “A research team led by Professor Michael Chazan, director of the University of Toronto’s Archaeology Centre, has discovered the earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

Stone tools found at the bottom level of the cave — believed to be 2 million years old — show that human ancestors were in the cave earlier than ever thought before. Geological evidence indicates that these tools were left in the cave and not washed into the site from the outside world.” For anyone who’s counting that’s 1,994,000 years before the creation of the whole universe, according to Young Earth Creationists.

‘Meaning’ Within Bird Communication Deciphered – “To many people, bird song can herald the coming of spring, reveal what kind of bird is perched nearby or be merely an unwelcome early morning intrusion. But to Sandra Vehrencamp, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, bird song is a code from which to glean insights into avian behavior.

Birds use song systems to communicate about mating and reproduction, territorial boundaries, age and even overall health. Vehrencamp studies them to decode which elements convey such essential information. With colleagues in the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, she studies birds in such natural habitats as Costa Rica, Colombia and Bonaire.”

Happy Solstice, Everybody! And Happy Holidays, Bill O’Reilly!


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.16.08

December 17, 2008

alternative-medicine-for-dummies38% of adults and nearly 12% of children use alternative medicine – The good news is that the Washington Post retains their journalistic integrity by including quotes from lots of skeptics  including Wallace Sampson:

“Acupuncture is a placebo. Homeopathy is one step above fraud. It goes on and on. The fact that they are so widely used is evidence for how gullible large segments of our society are.”

Speaking of alt. med. bullshit, before reading on, click here and try to figure out which of the 2 excerpts describes a “real” alt. med. modality and which is satirical. Then read on.

Tong Ren – this is a new one for me. I never even heard of Tong Ren before. This is the bizarre treatment being used by Tom Tam in the video below. Now I know what you’re thinking: when I’ve got cancer I want a bullshit treatment that involves literal voodoo dolls. Well look no further:

And here’s even more on Tong Ren.

creationism-cartoon-a-miracle-occursJohn E. Jones III, the judge that brought down the “Intelligent Design” scam speaks about his experiences regarding the Dover Trial


AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency

Decreased level of binding gene affect memory and behavior in autism – “Reducing the activity of a gene called FKBP12 in the brains of mice affected neuron-to-neuron communication (synapse) and increased both fearful memory and obsessive behavior, indicating the gene could provide a target for drugs to treat diseases such as autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disease and others, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.”

Ocean-bearing Planets May Harbor Alien Life – “Scientists are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life — and they’ve set their sights on some very unearthly planets. Cold “Super-Earths” — giant, “snowball” planets that astronomers have spied on the outskirts of faraway solar systems — could potentially support some kind of life, they have found.”

Charting HIV’s rapidly changing journey  in the body – “HIV is so deadly largely because it evolves so rapidly. With a single virus as the origin of an infection, most patients will quickly come to harbor thousands of different versions of HIV, all a little bit different and all competing with one another to most efficiently infect that person’s cells. Its rapid and unique evolution in every patient is what allows HIV to evade the body’s defenses and gives the virus great skill at developing resistance to a pantheon of antiviral drugs.”