Atlas Shrugged: Gasland

OilDerricks

Atlas Shrugged, part I, chapter VIIIAfter Dagny and Hank's train rolls in triumph into Wyatt Junction, Ellis Wyatt invites the two of them to his house for a celebratory dinner. While they eat, he encourages Hank Rearden to move to Colorado ("This is the capital of the Renaissance") and lets them in on his own future plans:He pointed west. "The Buena Esperanza Pass. Five miles from here. Everybody's wondering what I'm doing with it. Oil shale. How many years ago was it that they gave … [Read more...]

The Richard Dawkins Facepalm Watch, Vol. II

So, Richard Dawkins has once again become an unintentional social media star with a sequence of tweets:Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 3, 2013And when he received some mockery for this, he got grumpy:Of course I know the airport security rules. My point is those rules are stupid advertising displays of dundridge zeal. Bin … [Read more...]

Attacking Half the Electorate Surprisingly Not a Winning Strategy

Next Tuesday, voters in Virginia will choose their state's next governor. After months of hard-fought campaigning, the race is clearly tilting in favor of the Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, and against Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli. As recently as May, Cuccinelli was ahead in the polls, but the most recent poll shows that McAuliffe has taken a double-digit lead - almost entirely because of an astonishing 24-point gap that's opened up among women.And why is there such a yawning … [Read more...]

Repost: The Guardians of Tone

[Author's Note: I'm reposting some old favorites while I'm away on vacation this week. This post was originally from January 2011.]I was tipped off to this excellent essay by a reader (thanks, bbk, even if it was unintentional!) and since it got buried in the comments on the other thread, I wanted to call special attention to it. It's about the virtues of anger, specifically with reference to the feminist movement, but it contains some valuable lessons that are applicable to atheism … [Read more...]

Repost: Fossilized Opinions

Ammonite

[Author's Note: I'm reposting some old favorites while I'm away on vacation this week. This post was originally from March 2010.]Sam Harris is famous for the argument that religion, even moderate religion, does harm by teaching that faith is a virtue that should not be questioned, which encourages militant and violent strains of fundamentalism. Today, I want to talk about another way, subtle but unmistakable, that religion causes harm to human beings.Because of its tendency to treat … [Read more...]

The Dreamy Hormones of Matrimony

AntiWomanSuffrage

Last week on Twitter, I saw a link to a Catholic site calling itself Fix the Family, which had posted an essay titled 6 Reasons to NOT Send Your Daughter to College. It was so hilariously over-the-top that I wondered at first if it was a parody. But after perusing the site for a while, I'm persuaded that it's for real.At the beginning of the essay, the author responds to what he sees as the obvious objections:"You believe in taking away opportunities for women and trapping them into a … [Read more...]

The Richard Dawkins Facepalm Watch

Facepalm

When I last wrote about Richard Dawkins, it was to report on the backlash over some clumsy, badly-judged remarks that he made about Islam. I was hoping that, at the very least, he'd learned a lesson from all the criticism he received and would watch his words more carefully in the future. But alas:In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins, 72, he said he was unable to condemn what he called "the mild pedophilia" he experienced at an English school when he was a … [Read more...]

That Was the Wrong Answer, CFI

AlpsUponAlps

So, yesterday I wrote a post about the issue of sexual harassment in the secular community boiling over. I cited a post written by Dr. Karen Stollznow, at Scientific American's Mind blog, detailing her experiences with an employer which she says badly mishandled her complaint of harassment, and which was later reported to be the Center for Inquiry (CFI).Then, yesterday afternoon, I discovered that Stollznow's post was mysteriously gone. Shortly thereafter, Stollznow herself said the … [Read more...]

Disillusionment

Cloudbreak

I've been writing about sexism and feminism in the secular community for several years now, and if you'd asked me this question even a few days ago, I would've said that I thought things were getting better. There's certainly evidence I could point to to support that: in just a short time, anti-harassment policies have become standard at our conferences and gatherings, we've had a parade of male leaders speaking out against sexism, we have whole conventions and organizations specifically … [Read more...]

Ron Lindsay Apologizes: A Small Step in the Right Direction

When I wrote about the CFI board's disappointing non-statement addressing the blowup at Women in Secularism 2, I thought that would be the last thing I'd have to say about this. That statement gave no hint that any further action was being contemplated, so I assumed the board's plan was to hunker down and wait for this all to go away.To my surprise, there's been a new development: Ron Lindsay has apologized for his remarks that touched off the controversy. His statement is short enough for … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X