Photo Sunday: Texture

Next week there will be photos from my trip to St. Louis, once I've had time to do the normal cropping and processing. Until then, there's this: I'm fascinated by the way the camera reveals unfamiliar-seeming details of familiar surfaces.Fallen timber, Hudson Highlands Nature Center, November 2009. Photo by the author. Camera details: Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS. Click for larger version. … [Read more...]

Blood Transfusion Foe Defies Party on Health Care Bill

By Sarah BraaschThe following is a parody of a recent New York Times interview with Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, which may be read here:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/us/politics/07stupak.htmlThis parody constitutes a 'fair use' of this copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C. § 107Representative Sarah Braasch often endures things others find unbearable. She crisscrosses a Congressional district so vast that some … [Read more...]

When Fanatics Attack, Blame the Victim

So, there's an outside chance you've heard about a certain column by Nancy Graham Holm, who gifted the world with her thoughts on the ax attack on Kurt Westergaard earlier this month. Although we got a bit sidetracked, I still want to write a direct response to what she said, because I think there are some lessons to be drawn from it.Muslims failed to see Westergaard's cartoon as satire. Instead, they saw in it a defamatory and humiliating message: Muslims are terrorists. Humiliation is a … [Read more...]

An Appeal for Haiti

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled flame war for this important announcement.As everyone has no doubt heard, Haiti was hit by a colossal earthquake last night; the city of Port-au-Prince is in ruins, and tens of thousands of people may be dead. If you're able to help, please consider making a donation to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. And if simple human compassion doesn't move you, consider it doing it to spite that wicked, heartless old fraud Pat Robertson, who said that … [Read more...]

Representative Theocracy

By Sarah BraaschRepresentative Bart Stupak from Michigan was paraphrased in a recent New York Times interview as saying that his resolve to defeat the healthcare reform bill, unless the bill includes his anti-abortion amendment language, is a straightforward matter of Roman Catholic faith. The article states that Representative Stupak said that he actually urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to toughen its stance on the legislation. Representative Stupak is also quoted as … [Read more...]

On Sexism and Consciousness-Raising

I've written in the past about religion's harm to women, and the way modern sexism is aided and abetted by ancient religious prejudices that still survive today. Every major holy book has sexist verses, but some of the most misogynistic and the most virulent can be found in the books referred to by Christians as the Old Testament. Since this text is the foundation for religions that comprise over half the population of the world, it's small wonder that oppressive, sexist ideas still have so much … [Read more...]

Reminder: Daylight Atheism St. Louis Meetup

In case anyone missed the earlier announcement, a reminder: I'll be in St. Louis, Missouri this coming weekend, January 16th and 17th. We've already made plans for a meetup of area atheists/skeptics on Saturday night. If you're in the area and are interested, it's not too late to attend - leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll forward you the details. … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Bird Rock

Monterey Bay, California, June 17, 2006. Photo credit: Peter Nothnagle. Click for larger version. … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

A couple of noteworthy articles from this week that I didn't have time to write more about:• To begin with, there's this excellent and in-depth profile of the FFRF's Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, from a local alternative paper in Madison.• Archaeologists have discovered a genuine burial shroud from the first century CE. Unlike the Shroud of Turin, its radiocarbon date fixes it to the correct time period; it also has a very different weave than the more famous Turin … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: A Universe Not Made For Us

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7The final section of this chapter concerns Gonzalez's argument that the Earth is uniquely designed to make scientific discovery possible. His argument is that our planet is fine-tuned not just to allow the existence of life, but to allow us to find out important facts about the nature of the universe that wouldn't be possible to discover if we lived anywhere else. (As an aside, it's asinine for Strobel and his interviewees to celebrate how perfectly designed … [Read more...]


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