Open Thread: Election Chatter

It was an exceptionally ugly night for Democrats. The Republicans winning the Senate is discouraging, though not unexpected. (I had held out hope of a 50-50 tie.) But the Democrats also lost multiple governorships, including several that should have been easy holds or promising pickups. A few scattered thoughts:• If you thought the last few years of obstruction were bad, things are about to get worse. It was already a given that President Obama wouldn't be able to pass any major … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: November 2

Coffee

• After serving most of a ten-year prison sentence for tax evasion, Kent Hovind was due to be released next year... but now the government is pressing new charges, saying that he filed fraudulent liens in an attempt to stop them from seizing his property as part of the punishment for his original conviction.• Virgin Galactic's experimental rocket plane SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert, killing one of its two pilots. It's a tragic setback and a … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: The Dollyrots

It's Friday, and after a week like this one, I'm guessing we could all use something upbeat to ease into the weekend.So here's a blast of pure sonic joy from the Dollyrots, a pop-punk band fronted by the husband-wife duo of Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas. This is one of my favorites off their self-titled, fan-funded 2012 album. Take a listen and tell me it's not catchy:What's been running through your head lately? … [Read more...]

I Get Religious Mail: Help the Jews, Emphasis on Jews

Here's the latest in the list of mistargeted religious solicitations I've gotten in the mail. As you can see, the back of the envelope contains an endorsement from Pat Boone (this Pat Boone), which probably gives you a good idea of what demographic this group was aiming at:Inside was a lengthy letter, which I'll quote some selected passages from:Dear Christian Friend,My name is Yechiel Eckstein. I'm an orthodox rabbi who's been working with thousands of … [Read more...]

Support the Ada Initiative

FWord

If you, like me, are sick and tired of all the bad news that's been coming out of the atheist community lately, here's something you can do to help: support the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit group that seeks to change sexist cultures and increase women's participation and representation.Although their primary focus is on programming and the open-source development community, the Ada Initiative has played a role in fighting sexism in atheism and skepticism, in science fiction/fantasy … [Read more...]

The Wall of Silence Around Michael Shermer

Earlier this month, I wrote about the serious allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault made against skeptic "thought leader" Michael Shermer by three women, who agreed to be named in an article published by Buzzfeed. That article, as you'd expect, has provoked an enormous amount of controversy and outrage.But what I find more surprising is who isn't discussing it. Some prominent individuals in the atheist and skeptical community are either minimizing this story, treating the … [Read more...]

Speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC

SunAssembly

I'm very pleased to announce that next Sunday, October 5, I'll be speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC! This month's topic is mythology: why we create it, what purpose it serves, and what (if anything) it's good for. Do humans still need mythology? If so, how does it fit in the modern world; and if not, what can we put in its place?The Sunday Assembly, as I've written previously, is a global humanist congregation focused on doing good and living a better life without supernatural beliefs. Its New … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: September 25

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins’ Reasonable and Proportionate Response to Criticism

EvilOverlord

As I've mentioned previously, Jerry Coyne of Why Evolution Is True wrote a post this weekend in which he let it be known that he was very upset with me and my article in the Guardian on Richard Dawkins. Well, you'll never guess who showed up to post this unbelievable comment:Thank you, Jerry.I long ago declared that I would not wish to go on living if I found myself in a world dominated by people who no longer care about what's true and express open contempt for factual evidence. … [Read more...]

Dawkins Needs Better Defenders

This week, I published a column in the Guardian arguing that Richard Dawkins' sexism is overshadowing his contributions to the atheist movement. It got, shall we say, a large reaction. But not all negative, I hasten to add! I was very pleased with the amount of praise and compliments it attracted - I heard from a lot of people who told me that I said exactly what they've been thinking (including this piece by Allegra Ringo in Vice, published the same day as mine).As it turns out, the man … [Read more...]


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