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

 

8 Historic Symbols That Mean The Opposite of What You Think

If you want to motivate people, you don’t rely on logic and reasoning. No, what people need is a symbol. A slogan, a flag, the face of a hero to stick on a T-shirt.

So what do you do if the real world doesn’t provide you with something people can rally around? You just make that shit up.

8 Historic Symbols That Mean The Opposite of What You Think

If you want to motivate people, you don’t rely on logic and reasoning. No, what people need is a symbol. A slogan, a flag, the face of a hero to stick on a T-shirt.

So what do you do if the real world doesn’t provide you with something people can rally around? You just make that shit up.

mediamattersforamerica:

Fox News uses these two graphics to suggest that the media is getting it wrong on global warming. One problem: they’re not measuring the same thing. 
The map on the right is the absolute minimum temperature from March 20, 2013. The map on the left is measuring which temperatures were above average or below average in that month and is NOT a temperature chart.
If the map on the left was measuring temperature, the average temperature in Minnesota in March of 2012 would have been over 100 degrees. 

mediamattersforamerica:

Fox News uses these two graphics to suggest that the media is getting it wrong on global warming. One problem: they’re not measuring the same thing. 

The map on the right is the absolute minimum temperature from March 20, 2013. The map on the left is measuring which temperatures were above average or below average in that month and is NOT a temperature chart.

If the map on the left was measuring temperature, the average temperature in Minnesota in March of 2012 would have been over 100 degrees

Fact-checking the RNC

FactCheck.org has been very busy wading through the distortions at the Republican National Convention.

Want To See Fox News Lose All Its Credibility In 93 Seconds?

What 3-word phrase does Fox News make a fortune from? Hint: It’s not “fair and balanced.”

"Some people say" that Fox News is actual news.

ryking:

Fox’s Anti-Obama Attack Ad Is Nearly $100,000 In Free Advertising For GOP

The four minute anti-Obama attack ad aired by Fox News this morning was the equivalent of $96,000 of free advertising for the Republican Party. Sources confirm to Media Matters that at the current rate of $6,000 for a 30-second ad on Fox and Friends, the cost of airing two four-minute attack ads would cost an outside group $96,000*. Fox News aired their ad at 6:45 a.m. and 8:07 a.m. during that program.

Fox is also promoting the ad at the top of their Fox Nation website as “Must-See Fox Video.”

Please, right-wingers, tell me again how Faux News is completely unbiased.

How in the fuck is this legal? Keith Olbermann made a modest contribution to a political campaign and lost his job yet the whole fox network is unabashedly electioneering.

ryking:

Fox’s Anti-Obama Attack Ad Is Nearly $100,000 In Free Advertising For GOP

The four minute anti-Obama attack ad aired by Fox News this morning was the equivalent of $96,000 of free advertising for the Republican Party. Sources confirm to Media Matters that at the current rate of $6,000 for a 30-second ad on Fox and Friends, the cost of airing two four-minute attack ads would cost an outside group $96,000*. Fox News aired their ad at 6:45 a.m. and 8:07 a.m. during that program.

Fox is also promoting the ad at the top of their Fox Nation website as “Must-See Fox Video.”

Please, right-wingers, tell me again how Faux News is completely unbiased.

How in the fuck is this legal? Keith Olbermann made a modest contribution to a political campaign and lost his job yet the whole fox network is unabashedly electioneering.

Obama spending binge never happened: Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

(Read the article for all the details.)

Obama spending binge never happened: Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

(Read the article for all the details.)

cognitivedissonance:

squashed:

theheritagefoundation:

— Abraham Lincoln. Wise man.

Abraham Lincoln was a wise man—which is probably why he never spouted that sort of propaganda. These words were actually written by William John Henry Boetcker, who served as director of the anti-union Citizens’ Industrial Alliance.

Heritage, you really need to do your research on these things. (You really are from The Heritage Foundation, right? You’re not just trolling me?) Surely that must have struck you as a bit too convenient? It would be like me being able to attribute a quote about the importance of allowing the top-brackets of the Bush tax cuts to expire to either Ghandi or Reagan.

In the interest of either not further duping your more gullible readers or playing this prank out to its fullest, could you modify the image to attribute the quote to “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”?

Edit: Rather than editing the image as I suggested, The Heritage Foundation has quietly taken it down. However, the image has since been reblogged by a whole lot of conservatives, so I’m going to leave this correction here.

BURN! Don’t you hate when facts get in the way of a good story?

cognitivedissonance:

squashed:

theheritagefoundation:

— Abraham Lincoln. Wise man.

Abraham Lincoln was a wise man—which is probably why he never spouted that sort of propaganda. These words were actually written by William John Henry Boetcker, who served as director of the anti-union Citizens’ Industrial Alliance.

Heritage, you really need to do your research on these things. (You really are from The Heritage Foundation, right? You’re not just trolling me?) Surely that must have struck you as a bit too convenient? It would be like me being able to attribute a quote about the importance of allowing the top-brackets of the Bush tax cuts to expire to either Ghandi or Reagan.

In the interest of either not further duping your more gullible readers or playing this prank out to its fullest, could you modify the image to attribute the quote to “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”?

Edit: Rather than editing the image as I suggested, The Heritage Foundation has quietly taken it down. However, the image has since been reblogged by a whole lot of conservatives, so I’m going to leave this correction here.

BURN! Don’t you hate when facts get in the way of a good story?

tinfoilandtea:

Alternate Headlines: Fox Nation

President Obama and the First Lady spoke to soldiers at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast today in order to tout an executive order the President would be signing, cracking down on scams used to bilk veterans out of their federal education benefits.
Towards the end of the President’s speech, the tune shifted towards a hyper partisan tirade hailing big government spending.
The President’s inflection rose to stump speech level as he talking about a country that was “willing to invest in things” like “community colleges”, “scientific research”, “medicine” and “VFW halls”
The speech invoked much of same rhetoric the President had employed during his recent “official” campaign-like stump speeches.
Once the speech had ended, the crowd of Marines cautiously clapped to what they had just heard.


WTF?

I swear the way Fox Nation covers the President is the dictionary definition of propaganda.

tinfoilandtea:

Alternate Headlines: Fox Nation

President Obama and the First Lady spoke to soldiers at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast today in order to tout an executive order the President would be signing, cracking down on scams used to bilk veterans out of their federal education benefits.
Towards the end of the President’s speech, the tune shifted towards a hyper partisan tirade hailing big government spending.
The President’s inflection rose to stump speech level as he talking about a country that was “willing to invest in things” like “community colleges”, “scientific research”, “medicine” and “VFW halls”
The speech invoked much of same rhetoric the President had employed during his recent “official” campaign-like stump speeches.
Once the speech had ended, the crowd of Marines cautiously clapped to what they had just heard.
WTF?

I swear the way Fox Nation covers the President is the dictionary definition of propaganda.

Today’s Edition of Actual Headlines vs. Fox News Headlines (3/20/12)

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Below is your daily reminder of how Fox News is a propaganda machine for the Republican Party and the Tea Party Movement.

They will twist words around to suit their own agenda, even twisting headlines to their own liking.

Actual Headline:

The original article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/dozens-killed-in-attacks-across-iraq-ahead-of-arab-league-summit/2012/03/20/gIQA2aaxOS_story.html?hpid=z3

What Fox Nation turned it into:

Their article: http://nation.foxnews.com/al-qaeda/2012/03/20/obama-revives-al-qaeda-iraq

Actual Article:

The original article: http://hamilton-wenham.patch.com/articles/kerry-brings-message-of-christian-tolerance-to-gordon-college

What Fox Nation turned it into:

Their article: http://nation.foxnews.com/john-kerry/2012/03/20/kerry-tells-students-jesus-was-liberal

Starting to see the ways Fox News and News Corporation spin any news story to fit their demented frame of mind and lack of logic.

(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow)

jtotheizzoe:

Valentine’s Day Climate Denial Bombshell
In documents leaked yesterday, The Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded at various times by the Koch family, ExxonMobil and and R.J. Reynolds, detailed plans to create a K-12 curriculum designed to dissuade teachers from teaching science in order to support climate change denial.
A key passage:

We are pursuing a proposal…to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools…[this] effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.

A coal industry consultant named David Wojick (who has a Ph.D. in something called “Philosophy of Science”) was to be paid $100,000 to design these classroom materials. Heartland also targeted publications like Forbes as new mouthpieces, since

“Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as [Peter] Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

The documents were released by an anonymous leak, and have thus far been verified by budget comparisons, tax documents and metadata in the documents that were released. Ironically, Heartland was one of the cheerleaders for the manufactured email-leak controversy known as “ClimateGate” in 2009-2010.
This is some of the most damning proof I’ve ever seen of the depth of organization, money and conspiracy that goes into today’s science denialism movement. 
Rundown of good coverage:
DeSmogBlog has released the full documents and has more background
Bad Astronomy for comparisons with ClimateGate
Shawn Otto details the denialist machine at HuffPo Science
Chris Mooney at Science Progress’ Intersection blog


What in the ever loving fuck?! Let’s not only sabotage our chances to correct or slow climate change, let’s sacrifice the future of American science literacy to do it. 
.

jtotheizzoe:

Valentine’s Day Climate Denial Bombshell

In documents leaked yesterday, The Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded at various times by the Koch family, ExxonMobil and and R.J. Reynolds, detailed plans to create a K-12 curriculum designed to dissuade teachers from teaching science in order to support climate change denial.

A key passage:

We are pursuing a proposal…to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools…[this] effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.

A coal industry consultant named David Wojick (who has a Ph.D. in something called “Philosophy of Science”) was to be paid $100,000 to design these classroom materials. Heartland also targeted publications like Forbes as new mouthpieces, since

Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as [Peter] Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

The documents were released by an anonymous leak, and have thus far been verified by budget comparisons, tax documents and metadata in the documents that were released. Ironically, Heartland was one of the cheerleaders for the manufactured email-leak controversy known as “ClimateGate” in 2009-2010.

This is some of the most damning proof I’ve ever seen of the depth of organization, money and conspiracy that goes into today’s science denialism movement. 

Rundown of good coverage:

What in the ever loving fuck?! Let’s not only sabotage our chances to correct or slow climate change, let’s sacrifice the future of American science literacy to do it.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos.

The willingness of people like Coulter to casually pass along lies and self-serving victim narratives to the conservative base is one reason why its candidates this cycle are so self-defeating and absurd.

Extreme Right Propaganda Images (warning: there is some gore in there)

nonplussedbyreligion:

religiousragings:

abaldwin360:

These images are so over the top it almost seems like they’re trolling.

These are just…there are no words…it’s like a pornography of insanity, violence, and paranoid hatred.

This reminds me of an insane religious tract I got handed once as a kid — random images and words that made no sense and have no basis whatsoever in reality.

Is it possible for a sane person to really think this way?

These people are despicable.  Am I the only one who wonders why they never use images from the KKK in their propaganda?  Are they afraid of upsetting their supporters or just unwilling to talk bad about themselves?