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


Steve Benen- GOP declares intellectual bankruptcy


The good news is, House Republicans unveiled a plan yesterday that’s intended to create jobs. The bad news is, the plan can charitably be described as a bad joke.

As we discussed yesterday, the jobs agenda, such as it is, is practically a conservative cliche: the GOP wants massive tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, more coastal oil drilling, and huge cuts to public investment. Republicans are confident this will work wonders, just as they were equally confident about the identical agenda in the last decade, and the decade before that, and the decade before that.

Indeed, the most glaring problem with the GOP jobs agenda is that it won’t work, but nearly as painful is the realization that it’s already been tried, over and over again, to no avail. They either haven’t heard the famous axiom about trying failure repeatedly and expecting a different result, or they don’t care.

The agenda is the agenda: tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, cut public investments. Good times and bad, deficit or surplus, war or peace, it just doesn’t matter.

There is no circumstance in which the GOP will advocate higher taxes or more regulation, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it’s a necessity. Take Big Oil- Deepwater Horizon proved the need for more regulation and Exxon paying no income taxes in 2009 proved that our tax system was broken. The GOP’s response? More deregulation and lowering taxes- refusing to remove the nonsensically generous tax breaks from oil companies and expanding the area we allow drilling. They are devoted to ideology above pragmatism, and that’s why their candidates are all so pathetic- the moment they set their feet on the ground and start addressing reality, they’re ostracized and ridiculed (see: Newt Gingrich on the Ryan budget).

Much as the Democratic Party is now defined by Obama’s agenda, the Republican Party is now defined by opposition to his agenda. That must be a real bummer for the GOP senators who entered public life to actually do things


From the youtube video: CitizenLink [a Focus on the Family affiliate] Education Analyst Candi Cushman offers tips on what to look for and tools to help parents push back against the gay agenda in local schools.

Quote: “There’s a lot of talk about tolerance: We need to be accepting and embracing and tolerant. But there’s not a whole lot of tolerance or embracing or accepting of Christian values and the families that want their children raised with Christian values.”

So now we must tolerate prejudice and bigotry? We need to embrace “values” that shame other human beings for their most precious and core traits? Maybe I’m unable to tolerate their “values” as valid ideas because I see them as fundamentally unacceptable and harmful to others.

(via Beware teh gay! Protect your children! | Godless Girl)

STFU, any group with “family” in the title! “Family” has become a disgusting euphemism for bigotry and imaginary purity. Get over yourselves!