In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

I was gonna let this slide …

jtotheizzoe:

… but I just can’t.

If you aren’t in punching vicinity of a kitten or baby, read this CNN LightYears blog entry/article on the Curiosity landing. Except that it isn’t really about the landing. It’s about inventing dangerous drama instead of embracing inspiration. And I’m not gonna let that happen on my watch.

(click through for full rant, so as to not fill your whole dashboard)

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Never say Republicans aren’t Very Serious about creating jobs…

underthemountainbunker:

… and looking out for the little guy. Because that had to be said.

“I’m on a quest to seek and destroy unnecessary burdens on the freedom and liberties of people. This is an example of Big Brother government. All that it does is prevent some dwarfs from getting jobs they would be happy to get. In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?” Rep. Ritch Workman, a REPUBLICAN wants FLORIDA to reinstate dwarf tossing

It’s Florida, so. Duh. But how comatose or mentally ill do you have to be to actually vote for some guy named “Ritch” who thinks gainful employment is being born small enough to be tossed around by drunk adults? That right there is some 100% preemo, Teaparty American Exceptionalism.

Teabagger base, we are still not laughing ‘with’ you all.

Alabama Town Gives Criminals a Choice: Church or Jail?

hatefulatheist:

Seriously Alabama? Now I know that being stuck in church every Sunday morning for many feels like jail but how can they really be allowed to do something like this? What’s the alternative for anyone of no faith or with a religion that doesn’t use a traditional church or one that you can’t find in a small town in Alabama? This makes absolutely no sense to me, but that’s probably because I’m trying to look at it from the logical, reasonable, realistic side of things.

The city judge in Bay Minette (AL) will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders select church, they’ll be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and police.

If the one-year church attendance program is completed, the offender’s case will be dismissed.

Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path. So far, 56 churches are participating.

What if I want to send those Sunday’s at a Masque, or a temple??

Liberals Are Cool: Republican FAIL

liberalsarecool:

What the what?

Talk about absconding responsibility.  The GOP does not want to make tough choices, so they kick all the power to the Executive Branch.  The same branch they say is a socialist/Marxist/Kenyan and wants-to-destroy our country/economy. 

How do the Tea Baggers feel now that they have been taken for a ride? The deficits never mattered because the Chamber of Commerce and Wall St give the Republicans their marching orders.

Funny how no one saw how the default would have crushed the very same corporations the GOP depend on. Their financial backers were telling them that if they block the debt limit being raised, the campaign checks will stop.

Yet, it was always framed how Obama was weak. Well guess what? They got outmaneuvered again! The Republicans will get nothing from this stand-off but pissed off Tea Klanners, pissed off seniors, pissed off Independents, and pissed-off fake deficit hawks.

They made promises they said they would keep. That they’d never give in on.

Cowards. The lot of them.

(Source: liberalsarecool)

This is truly a tragedy: the great progressive hope (well, I did warn people) is falling all over himself to endorse right-wing economic fallacies.

An unyielding track record of failure

In 1982, Reagan raised taxes and the right assured Americans this would be a disaster. The right was wrong, and the economy boomed.

In 1993, Clinton raised taxes and the right was even more certain this would be a disaster. The right was wrong again, and we instead saw the longest and strongest sustained recovery in recent memory.

In 2001, Bush slashed taxes and the right swore up and down this would work wonders. The right was wrong again, and the Bush policy failed spectacularly in every possible way.

In 2009, Obama spent heavily to turn the economy around and the right predicted a disaster. The right was wrong, and conditions improved almost immediately. The economy that had been in a tailspin, hemorrhaging jobs, began growing and creating jobs.

doubtingmarcus:

Why the New Atheists Failed and How to Defeat All Religious Argument in One Easy Step

A talk by the creator of Common Sense Atheism blogger Luke Muehlhauser about where the “new atheists” went wrong by failing to provide good philosophical arguments for atheism. A rough transcript along with all the pieces of this lecture and the Q&A that followed can be found on his site here.

Also his slides are difficult to see but are available here.

I must remember to follow up on this..