Archives for May 2012

Why Would Anyone Think This is Appropriate?

There's been a lot of talk in the atheist/skeptical community lately about the need for harassment policies at conferences, led by some of the bloggers here at FTB. And then this happens and just leaves my jaw on the floor wondering what planet these people are from. Elyse at SkepChick tells the appalling story: … [Read more...]

The Irrational Tribalism of Partisan Politics

NPR demonstrates perfectly how a simplistic psychological tribalism is at work when most people think about politics. And the polls show this on nearly every issue, changing our answers to questions depending on whether it helps or hurts the party we identify with: … [Read more...]

How To Attract Attention from DHS

The vast network of agencies that collectively form what Glenn Greenwald calls the National Surveillance State, in its Big Brother wisdom, has come up with a list of keywords that they look for while monitoring postings on social media sites. The list is broad enough to make virtually everyone trigger a hit at some point. … [Read more...]

Michigan Considering SWAT Transparency Bill

Rep. Tom McMillin, a very conservative Republican, has submitted a bill that would bring greater transparency to the use of SWAT teams in the state of Michigan. The bill would force law enforcement agencies to detail how and why they have used SWAT teams in every instance: … [Read more...]

2,000 People Protest Bigoted NC Pastor

Remember Charles Worley, the demented North Carolina pastor who told his congregation that gay people should be rounded up and put into concentration camps? There was a huge protest outside his church this weekend, with 2,000 people showing up to condemn him. … [Read more...]

Awww. Chris Staab Doesn’t Like Me

I wrote a couple weeks ago about Olivet College student Chris Staab and his amusingly idiotic videos about my friend Jeremiah Bannister's radio show. That prompted him to make a video about me that is exactly as juvenile as one might expect given his previous efforts. … [Read more...]

Mugabe: Equality Violates Women’s Rights

Robert Mugabe, the insane leader of Zimbabwe, spoke recently at a conference on AIDS and delivered a bizarre, rambling diatribe. It's hard to make out exactly what he's saying, but he clearly thinks that homosexuality violates the rights of women by robbing them of the ability to have children. … [Read more...]

Newt: Romney Will Get 40% of Latino Vote

I'm not sure why NBC is inviting Newt Gingrich to appear on Meet the Press at this point. Has any politician made themselves more irrelevant than Gingrich at this point? But he's stumping for Romney now, despite calling him a liar during the primary. And he's offering up some koolaid: … [Read more...]

Breitbart Site Engages in Absurd ‘Vetting’

One of the features at these days is something they call "the vetting." It's a series of articles purporting to show the real Obama by digging up obscure pictures and statements from decades ago that show that he's really a Muslim, communist, socialist, atheist or whatever bugaboo they're going for this week. … [Read more...]

Sanchez v Douhat on Religious Ethics

Julian Sanchez, who works for the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation, and Russ Douthat, conservative columnist for the New York Times, have been having an exchange, preceded by one between Douthat and Slate's Will Saletan, about the validity of religious ethics. And Sanchez is absolutely pummeling him at this point. It began with this statement from Douthat: … [Read more...]

Science in the Service of Absurdity

A couple of geologists are now claiming that they may have nailed down the year that Jesus was crucified by looking at varve data to determine the year that an earthquake occurred, because the Bible says that when Jesus was resurrected, the earth shook. Yes, I'm serious. … [Read more...]

Equality Doesn’t Undermine Marriage a Bit

We are forever hearing the bigots declare that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry will destroy the institution of marriage, or even civilization itself. But as more and more states and other countries have legalized it and -- surprise, surprise -- straight people are still getting married. Slate looks at the numbers: … [Read more...]