Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"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

 

Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism

When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth. These are all lies.

The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were “pagans in various levels of civilization.” They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a “surrogate husband.”

Responsive Ed has a secular veneer and is funded by public money, but it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state….

Continue

assholeofday:

Asshole of the Day, October 28, 2013: Ted Cruz
by TeaPartyCat (Follow @TeaPartyCat)
The Texas GOP assholes are back out in force today, and why wouldn’t they be— a federal judge blocked part of their abortion law, the one they tried to ram through in a special session in June which made Wendy Davis a national figure. You remember that one. They were such assholes that it led to SIX Assholes of the Day.
Gov. Rick Perry, who won twice during the passing of this law—for claiming it was about the health of the mother, even though there is no exception to save the life of the mother AND for saying Wendy Davis should support the law because she was a single mother —, spoke out first:

Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.

Did you catch how he says “laws that reflect the will and values of Texans”. Sorry, Gov. Perry, the Constitution supersedes the will and values of Texans, and you know that. You mention it all the time when the values of Americans to want gun control is trumped by the Constitution, or did you only read up to the Second Amendment?
But today’s top spot goes to Sen. Ted Cruz, who is praised throughout the Tea Party for so eloquently explaining the conservative position where so many others often fail:

Texas passed commonsense legislation to protect the health of women and their unborn children. This law is constitutional and consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent protecting the life and health of the mother and child. I hope the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Texas’ reasonable law.

There are 3 sentences in this statement, and in two of them he mentions protecting the health and life of the mother. It sounds nice, but it’s not true. If the Texas GOP cared about the health and life of the mother, there would be an exception to the abortion ban to save the life of the mother, but there isn’t. So time for you assholes to stop pretending you care about women. You don’t. It’d be nice if just once you lying assholes would admit that you don’t care about the mother at all.
It is Ted Cruz’s 6th time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
claiming victory in the government shutdown because he built a fundraising list
protesting the consequences of the shutdown HE orchestrated
claiming the shutdown he orchestrated will leave America vulnerable to a terrorist attack
comparing Obamacare to the Nazis gassing 6 million Jews
creating condescending memes to address the President like some i-can-haz teenager
Full story: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/10/28/5284828/reaction-to-federal-ruling-on.html
For a satirical look at the attempts of the Texas GOP to control female sexuality, check out my post over at WinkProgress: Texas Bans Gynecology

assholeofday:

Asshole of the Day, October 28, 2013: Ted Cruz

by TeaPartyCat ()

The Texas GOP assholes are back out in force today, and why wouldn’t they be— a federal judge blocked part of their abortion law, the one they tried to ram through in a special session in June which made Wendy Davis a national figure. You remember that one. They were such assholes that it led to SIX Assholes of the Day.

Gov. Rick Perry, who won twice during the passing of this law—for claiming it was about the health of the mother, even though there is no exception to save the life of the mother AND for saying Wendy Davis should support the law because she was a single mother —, spoke out first:

Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.

Did you catch how he says “laws that reflect the will and values of Texans”. Sorry, Gov. Perry, the Constitution supersedes the will and values of Texans, and you know that. You mention it all the time when the values of Americans to want gun control is trumped by the Constitution, or did you only read up to the Second Amendment?

But today’s top spot goes to Sen. Ted Cruz, who is praised throughout the Tea Party for so eloquently explaining the conservative position where so many others often fail:

Texas passed commonsense legislation to protect the health of women and their unborn children. This law is constitutional and consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent protecting the life and health of the mother and child. I hope the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Texas’ reasonable law.

There are 3 sentences in this statement, and in two of them he mentions protecting the health and life of the mother. It sounds nice, but it’s not true. If the Texas GOP cared about the health and life of the mother, there would be an exception to the abortion ban to save the life of the mother, but there isn’t. So time for you assholes to stop pretending you care about women. You don’t. It’d be nice if just once you lying assholes would admit that you don’t care about the mother at all.

It is Ted Cruz’s 6th time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for

Full story: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/10/28/5284828/reaction-to-federal-ruling-on.html

For a satirical look at the attempts of the Texas GOP to control female sexuality, check out my post over at WinkProgress: Texas Bans Gynecology

Again! Tell Texas: Creationism doesn't belong in a science textbook

Religious Right leaders in Texas have been waging war against science and history for the past few decades. A primary target and battleground has been the state’s public schools, and in particular the statewide approval process for textbooks.

And unless we take action now, they may well succeed in removing science from science textbooks:

Students in Texas will soon be reading biology textbooks that teach creationism if some of the state’s textbook review panelists have their way.

Documents recently obtained by the nonprofit civil liberties group Texas Freedom Network (TFN) show that several members of the state’s biology textbook review panel recommended that textbook publishers add sections about creationism, and remove information about climate change and evolution. Whether or not the publishers choose to make said recommendations could help determine if those textbooks are on a list of “approved” books for school districts.

Worse yet, this isn’t just about Texas, it has national implications. School districts in Texas have to buy books from a state-approved list, and Texas is such an enormous market that textbook publishers will generally do whatever they can to get on that list. Textbooks written and edited to meet Texas standards end up being used all over the country. So Religious Right leaders in Texas can doom millions of American students to stunted, scientifically dubious science books and ideologically slanted history and social studies books.

Don’t let this happen.

Take action now, sign the petition and send a message to the Texas State Board of Education: Creationism doesn’t belong in a science textbook – science does.

Former TX GOP Leader on TruNews: "Immigration Reform Will Lead To A Biometric Mark Of The Beast" (audio)

cognitivedissonance:

justinspoliticalcorner:

holygoddamnshitballs:

Yesterday, End Times radio host Rick Wiles interviewed Cathie Adams, the former head of the Texas Republican Party and current president of the Texas Eagle Forum, in a wide-ranging discussion which included a warning that immigration reform would lead to biometric scanning which, as everyone knows, is a tool of Satan.

Adams warned that the problem is not just that Hispanics are crossing the border illegally, but so are people from Muslim nations and so if immigration reform passes, we’ll be giving amnesty “to people who are not here with the best intentions for America.”

After Adams said that the Department for Homeland Security is unable to account for more than a million foreigners who have overstayed their visas, Wiles predicted that immigration reform advocates would call for biometric scanning as a solution to this problem, which Adams declared would be an unmistakable sign of the End Times.

Then, for good measure, Adams returned to the issue of all those sneaky Muslims who are entering the United States as refugees “from Moozlum, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures [who] are not here because they love America but because they are fleeing countries, and yet, what kind of culture are they bringing here? They want sharia law, just like what they left that was causing them to be persecuted.”

Because that makes perfect sense.

Audio Link: https://soundcloud.com/rightwingwatch/cathie-adams-immigration

Kill me.

Here We Go Again: Creationists Get Influential Positions in Texas Science Textbook Review

It looks like the Lone Star State’s reputation as a hotbed of anti-science fanaticism is about to be reinforced. At least six creationists/”intelligent design” proponents succeeded in getting invited to review high school biology textbooks that publishers have submitted for adoption in Texas this year. The State Board of Education (SBOE) will decide in November which textbooks to approve. Those textbooks could be in the state’s public school science classrooms for nearly a decade.

Among the six creationist reviewers are some of the nation’s leading opponents of teaching students that evolution is established, mainstream science and is overwhelmingly supported by well over a century of research. Creationists on the SBOE nominated those six plus five others also invited by the Texas Education Agency to serve on the biology review teams. We have been unable to determine what those other five reviewers think about evolution.

Although 28 individuals got invites to review the proposed new biology textbooks this year, only about a dozen have shown up in Austin this week for the critical final phase of that review. That relatively small overall number of reviewers could give creationists even stronger influence over textbook content. In fact, publishers are making changes to their textbooks based on objections they hear from the review panelists. And that’s happening essentially behind closed doors because the public isn’t able to monitor discussions among the review panelists themselves or between panelists and publishers. The public won’t know about publishers’ changes (or the names of all the review panelists who are in Austin this week) until probably September. Alarm bells are ringing…

whenthereckoningarrives:

of-praxis:

princehandsome:

thenizu:

of-praxis:

Gay Texas judge won’t marry straight couples
Tonya Parker, an African-American lesbian judge in Texas, refuses to marry straight couples until everyone in the state has the right to marry.
Turning away would-be newlyweds is “my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state,” Parker told a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas earlier this week.
She said it’s “oxymoronic” for her to perform a ceremony that can’t be performed for her.
Instead, she refers couples to other judges in the courthouse with an explanation along the lines of “I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” she told the meeting.

#perfecthumanbeing

No. Wrong. When you’re being treated unfairly you don’t treat other people unfairly. That’s just a vicious cycle, because then when this judge treats those straight people unfairly, they’ll feel justified in treating gay people unfairly, and then gay people will feel justified in treating straight people unfairly, etc etc.
This is not how you get your way. You don’t act like a brat and say “Well if I can’t get married, NOBODY CAN!!!!!!!!!”

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
she controls all the marriage licenses in the WORLD
STRAIGHT PEOPLE CANT GET MARRIED
REVERSE RACISM! but you know with gay people

This is mad rad. I love it.

whenthereckoningarrives:

of-praxis:

princehandsome:

thenizu:

of-praxis:

Gay Texas judge won’t marry straight couples

Tonya Parker, an African-American lesbian judge in Texas, refuses to marry straight couples until everyone in the state has the right to marry.

Turning away would-be newlyweds is “my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state,” Parker told a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas earlier this week.

She said it’s “oxymoronic” for her to perform a ceremony that can’t be performed for her.

Instead, she refers couples to other judges in the courthouse with an explanation along the lines of “I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” she told the meeting.

#perfecthumanbeing

No. Wrong. When you’re being treated unfairly you don’t treat other people unfairly. That’s just a vicious cycle, because then when this judge treats those straight people unfairly, they’ll feel justified in treating gay people unfairly, and then gay people will feel justified in treating straight people unfairly, etc etc.

This is not how you get your way. You don’t act like a brat and say “Well if I can’t get married, NOBODY CAN!!!!!!!!!”

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

she controls all the marriage licenses in the WORLD

STRAIGHT PEOPLE CANT GET MARRIED

REVERSE RACISM! but you know with gay people

This is mad rad. I love it.

Texas loses Medicaid funding in effort to spite Planned Parenthood

cognitivedissonance:

Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that they would be informing the State of Texas that the state would lose basic health and family planning services funding from Medicaid because it is in violation of federal law. The state wrote Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Women’s Health Program, a Medicaid-waiver program. As of today, Texas has been officially informed that the funding is lost, via this letter from HHS official Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO)…

An HHS official told reporters today:

“Medicaid law is very clear; a state may not restrict patients” choice of providers of services like mammograms and other cancer screenings, if those providers are qualified to deliver care covered by Medicaid. Patients, not state government officials, should be able to choose the doctors and other health care providers that are best for them and their families. In 2005, Texas requested this same authority to restrict patients’ choices, and the Bush Administration did not grant it to them either.”

The war on women’s health just resulted in 130,000 casualties in Texas.

Yep. This guy, who STILL jokes about his inability to count to three, thinks he knows best for Texas women. 

You know, I was thinking about Texas for law school… 

So, they’re losing that funding from our socialized medical system for doing EXACTLY what they think say socialized medicine wants to do- namely, restricting patient’s choice in their own healthcare. Seems pretty obvious that the only people in our government who want to make patients’ decisions for them are republicans. Texas just shot a big hole in the conservative argument against single payer healthcare, if you ask me.

The Attack On Planned Parenthood: Texas Edition

religiousragings:

liberalsarecool:

More than a dozen Texas Planned Parenthood clinics have closed “after financing for women’s health was slashed by two-thirds by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The cuts, which left many low-income women with inconvenient or costly options, grew out of the effort to eliminate state support for Planned Parenthood. Although the cuts also forced clinics that were not affiliated with the agency to close — and none of them, even the ones run by Planned Parenthood, performed abortions — supporters of the cutbacks said they were motivated by the fight against abortion. Now, the same sentiment is likely to lead to a shutdown next week of another significant source of reproductive health care: the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which serves 130,000 women with grants to many clinics….

Gov. Rick Perry and Republican lawmakers have said they would forgo the $35 million in federal money that finances the women’s health program in order to keep Planned Parenthood from getting any of it.” Several other states are trying similar stunts. “Nationally, the newest target is Title X, the main federal family planning program. All four Republican presidential candidates support eliminating Title X, which was created in 1970 with Republican support from President Nixon and the elder George Bush, then a congressman.”

The conservative campaign against women is absolutely heartless and targets the most vulnerable and in need. Clinics closing is beyond comprehension. You’re pro-life and you go this far out of your way to hurt mothers and young children?

I’m too disgusted to even comment. :(

The Douchebaggery know no bounds. NO bounds!

TransCanada to Build Texas Segment of Keystone XL Pipeline

imall4frogs:

TransCanada Corp. will proceed with building a $2.3 billion segment of its Keystone XL oil pipeline from Oklahoma to the Texas coast so that it isn’t delayed by U.S. approval for the rest of the line.

The company, based in Calgary, expects the segment to begin carrying crude from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast as soon as mid-year 2013, according to a statement today. TransCanada is separating the Cushing line from its application to President Barack Obama for approval of a Keystone expansion that will bring crude into the U.S. from Canada’s oil sands.

“We remain committed to building this overall project in a timely and efficient manner and to meet demand of shippers,” said TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling in an interview today. Shippers are making multi billion dollar commitments spanning decades and “they haven’t wavered from Keystone,” he said.

Texas Landowner Group Forms To Fight Keystone Pipeline

“President Obama’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone tar sands pipeline has not stopped plans for segment passing through East Texas. And KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports a group of landowners has organized to fight back.”

Texas landowners thwarted the ambitious Trans-Texas Corridor, and Texas landowners just might be able to stop the construction of the last leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. […]

So, the oil industry plans on laying its pipe, with or without our consent. TransCanada: “They say no, but I know they mean yes.”

(Source: kileyrae)

stfuhypocrisy:

Why is this happening? Why is he allowed to execute 234 people? And why is that the thing that gets the most applause?

I hate the world.

It shouldn’t be surprising how much Christians LOVE executions, the whole religion is based on one.

Here’s why I find it impossible to be a Republican: any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join.

Andrew Sullivan on the debate crowd’s positive response to the large number of executions that Perry resided over while governor of Texas. (via liberal-life)

Never talk politics and religion. I don’t have a political blog but, we are talking about republicans, so this is about religion.

(via thereisnogod)