Reason Not to Rest

I'm reading the book American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, by Nancy K. Bristow.It's pretty good by the way, well worth a read. It's amazing reading about how many people were dying, and how the public reception, including media coverage, was so casual for so long. And really, how the thing mostly vanished from the public mind after it was all over, despite its impact.Wikipedia says "Between 50 and 130 million died, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters … [Read more...]

Kuwait Votes to Murder Blasphemers

This would qualify as a Monty Python skit if it wasn't real. (Warning: Fairly shocking pic below the fold.) Kuwait’s parliament approved a law that calls for the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, his wives and relatives, in a sign of the growing sway of Islamists who triumphed in elections this year. Amnesty International describes the thing as “a massive step backwards” for Kuwait.  Jeez, you think? Under the law, any Muslim who, through any form of expression, insults God, his p … [Read more...]

God Without Spellcheck

I love/hate this kind of thing. Either way, it's often worth a laugh.I'm sure you have your own unfavorite misspelled signs, posters, etc., from the goddy demographic. Send me some links! Let's start a collection. … [Read more...]

Stilling the Jerk of My Liberal Knees

Look at this picture (click to embiggen) of a woman arrested in France for refusing to remove her veil. A tiny, defenseless woman, a plucky warrior for the rights of a minority to live and breathe free, is manhandled by racist government thugs.It came up on my Facebook wall recently, from a group called the Muslim Defense League (MDL) United We Stand, Divided We Fall (“Fighting against racism, fascism and oppression”).The photo caption was “A Muslima is arrested in France for refusing to remo … [Read more...]

The Great Debate

I went to the “great debate” – Does God Exist? – last night at Binghamton University in Upstate New York. The event was double-hosted by the Campus Bible Fellowship and the Secular Student Alliance.Ex-Mormon Erin M. and I caught a ride with Michael McElroy, all members of the local atheist Meet-Up group, Capital Region Atheists and Agnostics. Nice trip, the both of you. I enjoyed the wide-ranging conversation immensely. Sorry I fell asleep on the late-night return trip; hey, I’m old. —Oh, yeah, … [Read more...]

Dear Friends, Bloody on the Highway

As I've said here in the past, I still get emails from old friends in Texas. Some of those people have gotten so goddy over the years that we seem to have nothing at all in common anymore.Every time I get one of these things, it's like waking up in a cold cabin with the fire gone out. I remember how warm it used to be, and some part of me hopes there's still an ember in the coals. Thinks that if I go back to Texas someday and feed it new fuel, the flame of our friendship will burn again. … [Read more...]