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...]

Atlas Shrugged: Violence Vouchers

PrivateProperty

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VITo finish off this chapter, I want to flash back to an earlier scene. In it, the villains are discussing the one part of Directive 10-289 they're worried they may not have the power to implement: the part about the state taking over all existing patents. Somehow, they have no concerns over whether enslaving people to their jobs, or requiring them to spend the same amount of money every year, will pass legal muster; but they fear that Rearden "is in a … [Read more...]

Book Review: Recovering Agency

RecoveringAgency

(Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)At the American Atheists convention in Salt Lake City this year, I toured the grounds of the Mormon temple with some other attendees. At the time, I thought of it as an exercise in appreciating wacky religious camp. But the goofy theology of the LDS church is a cover for something darker and more troubling, as I found out from author (and ex-Mormon) Luna Lindsey's book Recovering Agency: … [Read more...]

New on the Guardian: The Millennials and the Midterms

VoteButton

My newest column on the Guardian is up!It's titled "Godless millennials could end the political power of the religious right", and it concerns the demographic trends toward a more secular America that I've been covering for some time. In it, I argue that there's evidence these trends are making themselves felt in electoral politics. Here's an excerpt:The 2014 midterm elections are drawing near, and it appears that the Democrats may well lose the Senate, since they're fighting on … [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...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Living Wage

AllSeeingEye

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIAt the end of their conference, the villains agree to put Directive 10-289 into effect. When Dagny reads about it in the morning paper, she bursts into Jim's office, announces that she's quitting, and storms out:The newspaper was twisted into a roll by the time she stood before him. She threw it at his face, it struck his cheek and fell down to the carpet."There's my resignation, Jim," she said. "I won't work as a slave or as a … [Read more...]

Popular Delusions: Sovereign Citizens

CastleTower

This month, an Oregon pastor went on trial to face charges that he, like Kent Hovind before him, hadn't paid income taxes since 1994. On the stand, he offered a peculiar defense:Attorney Mark Weintraub argued that Ronald Joling has a deeply held belief that he is not required to pay federal taxes, which he claims was influenced by his conservative Christian views and teachings he's picked up from the sovereign citizen movement.The local newspaper The Register-Guard reported on … [Read more...]

#Gamergate: The New Face of Misogynist Terrorism

Gargoyle

Last month, in "The Mabus Problem", I mentioned the violent threats against feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. The threat campaign hasn't let up, and as she continues to speak out, it's gotten even worse. Last month, there was a bomb threat against an awards ceremony that planned to honor her. Sarkeesian didn't blink at the threat, and the event went on as planned (with some extra police protection). But now, for the first time, she's had to cancel a talk.The talk in question was going … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Solidarność

Solidarity

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIThe villains are debating the membership of the Unification Board, the new government agency that will control every aspect of America's economy under Directive 10-289. The first proposal is for them to choose a representative of each industry and profession; but then Fred Kinnan, the union leader, steps in."No cross-sections," said Fred Kinnan evenly. "Just representatives of labor. Period.""What the hell!" yelled Orren Boyle. "That's stacking … [Read more...]

Announcing: City of Light

CityOfLightCover

Welcome, and news!Today I'm very pleased to announce the publication of the third book in my Caliel series, CITY OF LIGHT. It's the sequel to BROKEN RING from earlier this year, continuing the epic story of a world where mortals rebelled against the gods and won. Here's the synopsis:The world of Caliel is on the brink of war.In the lands of the god Vraxor, family turns against family and friend turns against friend, as the dark god's priesthood is riven by dissension and schism, … [Read more...]


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