The End of an Injustice

Folks of a certain age may remember the case of Frances and Dan Keller, a couple that operated a day care center in Texas until they ran afoul of the Satanic Panic. From Slate:Among the atrocities that Frances and Dan Keller were supposed to have committed while running a day care center out of their Texas home: drowning and dismembering babies in front of the children; killing dogs and cats in front of the children; transporting the children to Mexico to be sexually abused by soldiers in … [Read more...]

The Atlantic Jumps the Shark

Oy. So The Atlantic decided it was a good idea to run an advertisement for the Church of Scientology masquerading as an news article about explosive growth in the church:Note the yellow "sponsor content" label. That, and a blurb at the bottom, are your only clues that this was essentially written by the PR department at the CoS. But probably worse than the article are the obsequious comments:The article lasted less than 24 hours before being pulled. There's a … [Read more...]

Trouble with Trolls

Via Chris Mooney at Mother Jones, a study on the effects of derogatory comments on the perception of issues:In a recent study, a team of researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and several other institutions employed a survey of 1,183 Americans to get at the negative consequences of vituperative online comments for the public understanding of science. Participants were asked to read a blog post containing a balanced discussion of the risks and … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting by an Aurora Atheist

Ten days ago. 1:00am. I'm sitting alone in bed reading The Best American Essays of 2010 while Hobbes, my orange cat, purrs beside me.I hear sirens outside, but that's not unusual since I live near a major intersection in Aurora and ambulances often race to accidents on I-225. As the sirens go by, I read that Tolstoy made fun of tennis until he was given a racquet at age 68, then became an "instant tennis addict," playing 3 hours every day. He exhausted his friends and family with his … [Read more...]

Pushing Hard and to the Right

Jane Mayer has a new article out in The New Yorker in which she profiles the current mouth piece for the American Family Association, Bryan Fisher. This is, I think, the first in-depth coverage of Fisher in the mainstream media.Mayer's focus is on the flap over Richard Grenell, an openly gay and committed man who was appointed to a high position in Mitt Romney's campaign staff. Fisher was one of the first and most vocal attackers who turned on Romney and eventually caused the campaign to … [Read more...]