Chambers’ Ad Hominem

Dean Chambers, the man behind Unskewed Polls, demonstrates perfectly how to execute an ad hominem attack. Contrary to popular misconception, an ad hominem is not merely an insult; it’s a logical fallacy wherein one argues against the truth of someone’s claims by referring to some irrelevant personal trait that they disapprove of. Chambers aims this ad hominem at Nate Silver: (more…) Read more

Axelrod Gets It Right

As a general rule, one should never believe anything said by a campaign insider about the state of an election. Even if it’s obvious that their candidate is going to lose, they will pretend that it’s going exactly how they want it to go. And no matter how obvious it is that they will win, they will pretend that it’s really a dogfight. But I think David Axelrod gets it spot on here: (more…) Read more

Michigan Pastor Files Suit Over Speech Restrictions

An interesting new lawsuit has been filed by Levon Yuille, pastor of The Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan against a state law that forbids ministers from threatening to excommunicate members of their church if they don’t vote for a particular candidate. You can read the complaint here. (more…) Read more

Nonexistent ‘Bible Code’ Predicts Romney Win

Leave it to the Worldnutdaily to promote this bullshit from some crackpot rabbi who still buys the long-discredited and, frankly, moronic idea that the Bible contains “codes” that predict current events. And that rabbi says the Bible codes predict a Romney win. (more…) Read more

Ooh, an Inauguration Conspiracy

The Worldnutdaily has this breathless and vague article about the inauguration of the next president, oddly suggesting some shenanigans because the actual swearing in of the president will be on January 21 instead of January 20, which has been the date since the passage of the 20th amendment: (more…) Read more

Religious Exemptions Allow Abuse in Florida

The Tampa Bay Times has a very disturbing report about how religious exemptions allow Christian academies and homes to commit the most horrible abuse against teenagers in the name of God. They begin with the story of one young man who nearly died at the Gateway Christian Military Academy after several days of abuse, then look at the laws that allow this to go on with impunity: (more…) Read more

Scalzi Writes a Letter to Anti-Choice Politicians

The brilliant John Scalzi writes an open letter to Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Paul Ryan and every other conservative politician who wants to force women to bear the child of the man who rapes them. The letter comes from the perspective of the rapist, so consider this a strong trigger warning. Here’s the start: (more…) Read more

Florida Keeps World Safe From Poker Players

Here’s yet another story about a police raid on a poker game, but it’s even worse than most such stories. This game didn’t even have a buy-in. It was a free tournament at a restaurant, where the winners get prizes and the restaurant gets the extra business. Clearly a threat to public safety, so they had to send in heavily armed cops to break it up and arrest people. (more…) Read more

Americans Oppose Religious Restrictions on Contraception

Catholics for Choice and the ACLU commissioned a new poll that shows that large majorities of Americans — and Catholics specifically — oppose policies that allow religious businesses, organizations and individuals to deny contraception coverage to their employees or customers. The key findings: (more…) Read more

Why Political Lies Work

Douglas LaBier writes in Psychology Today to explain why voters are so susceptible to political lies. The answer seems rather obvious to me: Because people tend to think tribally and generally don’t think critically, preferring cognitive shortcuts because they take less effort. (more…) Read more

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