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Archive for October, 2008

What the world needs now…

Posted by Eye4Cards on October 30, 2008

Wonder how the election would go if the entire world could vote?  Well, you should have guessed there is a website for just such a thing.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Is the Maranatha Chapel of Harlan, IN violating the tax code because they are certainly liars

Posted by Skeptigator on October 28, 2008

via acdpblog

A sign of the time perhaps? Apparently the Maranatha Chapel in Harlan, Indiana is carrying the following message on their church sign.

“Do You Want a Muslim For Your President?”

Whoever (or is that whomever) could they be talking about? In all seriousness, many religious, non-profit and tax-exempt organizations have a lot of political activities. And we can argue whether or not they should have *any* but seriously if you take a liberal view of churches (like me) and see them as performing certain civil functions (like being polling places) I honestly don’t really have a problem with political organizing in and of itself within certain limits. But when such tax-exempt organizations cross a clear line. A very clear and bright line, mind you, there should be some repercussions.  Possibly IRS repercussions. This church is actively lying about one of the candidates in this election. They can probably slither out of this by saying they are not actively endorsing any one candidate but come on who are they kidding. So am I to conclude that Christians are liars or only the folks at Maranatha Chapel. Perhaps only the person (likely under the direction of the pastor) who put the sign up. Just for fun, let’s say that Obama is an actual muslim and he’s running for President. This sign still crosses the line, period, because the intent is clear. But to put a cherry on top of this crap sundae, it’s a lie to begin with. I have not seen this sign in person. I originally heard about this from here. A website I don’t visit regularly since partisan politics often pisses me off. I plan on driving by Tuesday evening to get a picture myself after my workout, hopefully it’s not taken down by then. UPDATE: Here’s the link to the local news media: http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=9253612&nav=menu32_2

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Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Dobson’s Fib Factory

Posted by dystressed on October 25, 2008

I found this column on 365gay.com. I know Andy has blogged about this blithering idiot before, so I thought I would point this out. Dobson is getting inducted into the radio hall of fame.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I need to declare a media moratorium…

Posted by Andy Welfle on October 24, 2008

…Because if I don’t, I sometimes accidentally see lackwits like this woman:

After I watched it, I really, really hoped it was some kind of parody. This idiot woman was so santimonious, so stupid, so unwilling to take any sort of personal responsibility for her actions, that she would judge her husband for voting for someone whose politics would benefit his livelihood — and hers, too.

This is the kind of person I was talking about earlier. She gave this little shudder when she talked about how Obama’s mother was an atheist, equating it in her small mind to Satanism or pedophilia. I bet she has a closet full of Chick Tracts.

I’ve been becoming increasingly stressed out, and I think that it is because I’ve been following this election and watching the media more than ever before. And when I do that, I’m exposed to this kind of thinking. It makes me lose hope for any chance this country will adopt any sort of enlightened thinking, and I realize that my cause and the cause of this organization can never succeed unless we can find a way to counter irrational thinking like this. And how can rational thinking trump the irrational?

Sorry about the rant. Can anyone here talk me down, á la Rachel Maddow? Sound off in the comments.

Posted in Humor, Politics, Video | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Bumblin’ ‘n stumblin’

Posted by Eye4Cards on October 23, 2008

I’ve always considered myself an agile surfer, or at least a blind man in the dark.  You should have seen me find any book you wanted in the library back in the good ol’ days when you had to use the card catalog and shuffle intuitively through cards and shelves for your holiest of grails.  I could locate most anything with sprinter speed; like a bloodhound with the hands of a magician.  And that was after I walked uphill, naked, in a blizzard on the way there.

Sadly those days are gone and my facile hands had to adapt to playing-cards and keyboards to remain relevant.  Well, once again my ambidextrousness is in jeopardy.

I recently added the StumbleUpon feature on my firefox browser and have been addicted to it ever since.

I thought I’d share a few of the cool sites I’ve already stumbled upon.

Here’s a few of the religious, atheist, and quote sites I’ve found.  There’s also the mathematical proof for why girls are evil.  I’ve been looking for that one for a while!  And then there’s just the cute and bizarre, not to mention the poetically agonizing.

And then there’s stuff like this which suits my sense of humor nicely:

It’s so much faster and easier to “randomly” search now that I guess from now on, my hands will have to settle for videogames and masturbation to remain vital.  Because, you know, idle hands are the Devil’s playground!

Posted in FreeThought | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

“No God” slogan to run on UK buses

Posted by Andy Welfle on October 23, 2008

London buses will soon be running an ad on the side that says “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

This is probably the best advice anyone can get, ever. See the article, here.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is sponsoring the campaign, which was only intending to raised £5,500, with another £5,500 to be donated by Richard Dawkins. But through their own efforts, they’ve raised over £36,000 by themselves!

Sez Professor Dawkins:

“Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride — Automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children. Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think — and thinking is anathema to religion.”

Do you ever think we could get away with this here across the pond?  I bet there isn’t a bus company out there that would accept this sort of contract.

Posted in FreeThought, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

FreeThought Fort Wayne’s November Meeting

Posted by Skeptigator on October 22, 2008

SPECIAL NOTE: This is not the Second Wednesday of November, this is the First Wednesday.  We’ll call it our special post election meeting

What: FreeThought Fort Wayne November Meeting
When: November 5th, 2008 7PM-9PM
Where: Main Branch, Allen County Public Library, 2nd Floor, Business and Technology Meeting Room
Desc: If you have any ideas or questions please feel free to shoot me an email below or post a topic in the forums. As usual the discussion will be moved to a local pub. Public is always welcome

For more information, contact@freethoughtfortwayne.org

Posted in Events | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

A Change is Gonna Come

Posted by Andy D. on October 21, 2008

Seal released a timely new video cover of the 60’s civil rights theme of Sam Cooke’s, “A Change is Gonna Come.”

For you freethinkers, there is a great agnostic line in the lyrics: “It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die. I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.”

Here is today’s up-to-date polling from a fascinating and fun website intrade. Yes, you may trade the election.

I wouldn’t bet on Sen. McCain and yet I am saddened that we probably won’t be giving Indiana’s 11 electoral votes to Sen. Barack Obama.  I do remember a couple weeks back that Indiana was leaning blue which surprised the heck out of me so maybe it is tighter than this.  Who knows?

What I am certain of is that I will not underestimate the right-wing talk radio for the rest of the election.  I bet it gets very ugly because they are desperate and McCain/Palin are not running a consistent message.  The ad hominem unpatriotic attacks are all around and I think this may be the year that America has had enough of swift boating and voter scandals.  Palin is saying there are pro-America types of states and small towns.  So city people in blue states are not American?  America is smarter than that.  McCain’s choice of Palin is what took my vote off the table.  If McCain had chosen Sen. Joe Lieberman that would have been “mavericky” and impressed me.  Instead he chose Palin’s decisiveness and it is politics as usual.  McCain made a deal with the religous right to give them their judges even though I don’t think he is all that religious. Could you image if it was Thompson or Huckabee running now?  Even McCain would be an improvement over Bush and his anti-science politics.  Yet, could you imagine Palin as President?  Yikes!

One can be pro-business, pro-science, pro-civil liberties and be a moderate Republican.  Science education is the most important tool for innovation and we need to invest in it and fight the Religious Right’s anti-intellectualism campaign.  We need another space race like what happened when Sputnik launched which killed the creation science movement.  It is one thing to be ignorant but it is something much worse to be proud of it.

Fiscal conservatives are great such as Sandra Day O’Connor and Barry Goldwater.   These types need to take the Republican party back from these power hungry religious types who want to legislate their beliefs on everyone if they ever want to get my vote again.  How unpatriotic!  Too many of our young men and women have died for all of us to have freedom of conscience.  We need to deal with the “actual” problems on this material earth.  You know the one we all agree exists!  Let’s send a message to the far right kooks that America is not going to take it anymore.  Even if we cannot win Indiana (which there is still a chance) let’s send a LOUD message through the popular vote to the James Dobsons (who surprise, surprise, flip-flopped  on McCain) that enough is enough.

I will say Barack is an interesting mix between JFK and Barry Goldwater and he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago which is Milton Friedman’s shareholder is everything economics.  He knows how important the market is.  He ran the Harvard Law Review with Federalist Society people (who think the post-Civil War 14th Amendment was a mistake and most decisions should be state’s rights) and he survived.  He didn’t play favorites in that position like others thought he would.  That is 180 degrees different than Bush or Palin and he doesn’t surround himself with yes men.  He has left and right leaning economic policies and here is a great article explaining it.  For you fiscal conservative moderate Republicans, it’s Ok, the water is fine. The economy will be fine under Democrats.  It certainly cannot do as bad as Bush and his failed kingdom presidency.  Please, get out and vote!

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

At least we don’t live in Texas

Posted by Andy Welfle on October 21, 2008

Our “atheist prophet”, PZ Myers, posted a really great video about the Texas State School Board, and where many of the candidates stand on teaching evolution and creationism to children in schools. Needless to say, it’s not looking good. Republican Gail Lowe, running for re-election to the board, says she will never support the adoption of an environmental science book that attributes global warming to human activity.

This is a really succinct rundown of those on the school board and those running for seats. It just all sounds like a political nightmare.

I have to admit that I have a hard time listening to the man in the video. He’s kinda crazy looking, in a conspiracy-theory-the-government-is-putting-flouride-in-the-water-to-control-our-minds type of way. But he has a lot of great points, and this makes me glad I don’t live in Texas.

At least our local school board election isn’t fighting over whether or not we should be teaching evolution or creationism intelligent design.  We stick to actual isues like the Code Yellow vs. Code Blue remonstrance debates. is this a concern we might face in the future, though? I’d love to hear your ideas on the topic in the comments.

Posted in Politics, Science | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Eddie Tabash on the U.S. Presidential election, and secular values voters

Posted by neuralgourmet on October 20, 2008

American Constitutional and Civil Rights Lawyer

American Constitutional and Civil Rights Lawyer

If you missed CFI’s Point of Inquiry podcast this week, you missed a great talk with Eddie Tabash. Eddie Tabash is a constitutional and civil rights lawyer, as well as chair of Americans United For Separation of Church and State‘s National Legal Committee (a position he has held for over a decade). In this podcast, DJ Grothe talks with Eddie about:

“…issues valued by secularists and why they hang in the balance in this U.S. Presidential Election.  He talks about gay marriage and abortion, and how both of these rights depend on a government neutrality in matters of religion. He details ways that pseudoscience and junk science are used to advance religiously derived public policy arguments against gay marriage and abortion. And he talks about global warming skepticism, and the need for scientific integrity in public policy. He emphasizes how the next U.S. President will reshape the Supreme Court, and what that portends for science and secular values. He also explains his role in gay rights victory with the Supreme Court of California earlier in 2008, and why he opposes Proposition 8, a proposed ballot measure in California that would amend the State Constitution to deny marriage rights to homosexuals.”

I had the good fortune of meeting and listening to Eddie Tabash last year at AU’s national meeting. He is truly a singular individual. The whole show is just 30 minutes long, so if you’ve never heard Eddie Tabash before, you should take this small chunk of time to do so now. Download the MP3 here.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »