07 August 2011

Link round-up for 7 August 2011

Funny thing about imaginary friends.....

Murr Brewster looks at slipping vocabulary.

Wouldn't it be cool if God was rational.

Here's why you don't have a girlfriend.....er, maybe.

God has copyrights? Who knew?

Carnivorous plant eats bird! -- but the BBC headline is better (found via Mendip).

An unimportant ball of ice and dirt becomes a focus of various superstitions.

The History Channel has degenerated into dreck, apparently.

We Tea Party. We not smarty.

Atheists get the last laugh in Columbus, Ohio.

There's a difference between morality and religion.

I think Ramses looks in better condition than Keith.

Yep, something is definitely wrong here.

In politics, lies work better than truth because they're easier to digest.

Atheists can find common ground to organize against religion.

Vin Ienco looks at Islam's twisted sexuality laws.

The thug who brutalized Chrissy Polis has pleaded guilty to the attack.

Teabaggers have their say on local issues.

How has the gay-rights movement won so much public support so fast? It's the work of Satan.

After a Missouri high school orders Slaughterhouse Five pulled from its shelves, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library offers free copies to students.

Will Texas, now straining under unprecedented heat and drought, finally get it?

Creationists in Florida fight science with vandalism.

Richard Carrier reviews John Loftus's The End of Christianity.

The teabaggers' destructiveness in the House was thoroughly predictable.

Republic of Gilead has detailed coverage of Perry's prayer-fest in Houston, with links to commentary by others: part 1, part 2, part 3. Clearly this man could never be a President for all Americans, but only for Christians -- and perhaps only for fundamentalists. Several other events were held in Texas in response to the rally. TPM has more. Stonekettle Station suggests an honest prayer.

Update: Much more on Perry's allies here.

Fox continues to lose viewers, especially younger ones, and the Tea Party continues to lose popular support.

NOM underestimates the power of blogs.

There's clear evidence that the recession was caused by slumping demand, not supply.

Some religionists can't keep their bigotry to themselves, even at a funeral.

44% of Americans blame Bush for the recession (that figure being the highest in two years), while only 15% blame Obama.

Sorry, teabaggers, you are terrorists.

Bachmann's preacher pal Bradlee Dean exemplifies the evils of modern fundamentalism.

Obama has a solid record of achievement for us. And would any Republican President have done these things?

Next election day, remember the Supreme Court. (This new blog looks like a very promising voice for sanity on the left -- be sure to check it out!)

Seems Democrats are finally learning to campaign aggressively.

Showing the level of competence we've come to expect from rating agencies, S&P made a $2 trillion calculation error in its downgrade of US credit.

Romney joins the Nutties in signing an NOM pledge which, while meaningless in practical terms, is still an endorsement of bigotry.

An Andrew Sullivan reader takes an interesting view of the teabagger mentality.

Politics Plus looks at the Wisconsin recalls.

The American Psychological Association's policy-making body votes 157-to-0 to support gay marriage.

The Obama administration acts to make reproductive health services more accessible, and the right wing predictably goes apeshit.

There are a million ticking Breiviks out there.

Facing a backlash for blatant efforts to disenfranchise voters, Walker backs down on plans to close DMV offices.

There's a secular case for tolerating plural marriage.

David Frum has reality-based suggestions on unemployment.

Germantown, Maryland is this summer's epicenter of the struggle to preserve abortion rights.

The big debt deal: Democrats like it, Republicans hate it. Look at the details. It's not great, but not terrible either. Pundits are wrong that Obama has "lost the base". Conservative reactions are very revealing. Compare who won what (be sure to read the "end note"). Boehner doesn't want it known, but tax increases are coming. And the really bad cuts probably aren't.

Obama-haters left and right need to get a grip.

It's time to end the dangerous idiocy of the debt ceiling.

The S&P downgrade was utterly foreseeable.

Conservative Andrew Pavelyev laments the dismal governing performance of the House Republicans.

Christianity is crumbling to nothing in the Netherlands, where even many clergy are atheists.

Meet Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, the heroes who saved over forty teenagers' lives during the Utøya massacre.

The anti-austerity protests sweeping Europe reach another Western nation -- Israel.

SlutWalk, in toned-down form, reaches New Delhi.

Robert the Skeptic looks at dowsing in the modern world.

Fox (!) has ordered a successor series to Carl Saga's Cosmos. Let's hope they don't screw it up (well, the involvement of Ann Druyan and real scientists is encouraging).

Here's one gigabyte, then and now -- and read the comments -- the picture is out-of-date.

[Image at top from Politics Plus]


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Mornin Infodell ... So much to get into here, but a few I want to comment on of course now.

Jack's Saturday Afternoon Post piece on the History Channel is a good piece that many are wondering I would imagine. I'm not much of a movie Guy, and my tele viewing is basically History, Science, National Geographic, Animal Planet, PBS, channel's ... that sort of thing ... but I have been outraged in a sense (of course if I didnt pay for my cable tele, I frankly wouldnt give a shit, but when I'm spending it mean's more) on some of the nonsensical crap that has been being shown on the History Channel .. no goddamn historical validity whatsoever, and wondering how many children watch these bloody show's actually buy it?!! ... not to mention adult's! And these goddamn Jesus in UFO stories has gotten insane too! They got a goddamn cult here in Texas of Space Cadet Jesus adventure's even, which is fine ... but this channel should change their bloody name. It has gotten insane on there, I watched a few of them and know first hand.

Republic of Gilead on the Gov. Perry prayer show ... frankly I couldnt even get past the PT.1 on this, my tolerance for religion is very limited as you may know, especially for this slacking jack off Rick Perry, which is nothing but raking in money and publicity ... being President? ... geeezz ... this SOB would have a nervous breakdown if he had to face a job like President Obama in these time's or lose it and just go plum beserk, if he had a real job like that ... he's a waste period of tax money, forget the religious shit, he cant do shit, or even milk a cow right for that matter! About a week ago when he was in this prayer crap or whatever ... Dallas news was reporting that the majority of christian minister's even in the Houston area were outraged, saying he should be working in bloody Austin on our budget issue's, instead of praying in a damn football stadium!

As for Progressive Eruptions on Teabag's being terrorist's ... well I have to disagree ... I just think that their someone who frankly lacked a good down home ass whipping in their childhood, and one day will meet their match on the street's of course with their shit talking ... a good fist fight in the street's would do them some good, maybe a few baseball bat's on their asses as well.

07 August, 2011 06:41  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

One more thing if I may ... I was "shocked" reading on Andrew Sullivan's piece (The Dish) about 44% of American's blaming Bush for this crap ... shocked that it wasnt 88%! I talk to alot of folk's for instance in not just the neighborhood and such but even in rural area's of Texas, low to moderate income folk's like myself, and cant recall one person recently that hasnt been pissed at what Bush done to this country! I shit you not ... yesterday for instance I was about 125 miles south of Dallas, pulled off the Interstate to grab some lunch from a lil greasy spoon place in the middle of nowhere's ... there was 5 ole boyz (all younger than me though) sharing the booth next to me, all conractor's for road construction ... talking about the economy and such ... I happened to jump in on it ... and they all blamed Bush and him letting Wall St have open season on the market's for the bloody mess were in today!

07 August, 2011 06:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Not having watched TV for years, I had no idea about the History Channel. Sounds very disappointing. I can't imagine what UFOs and ghosts have to do with history.

I keep hearing that Perry isn't well respected in Texas at all. That really needs to come out more A lot of Republicans in the other 49 states seem to think he's their "man on a white horse" who can beat Obama for them. I see nothing to suggest that.

07 August, 2011 07:10  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I take it your serious ... as far as many Republican's in other state's beside's Texas thinking Perry is some guy on a white horse stuff(?) ... I havent kept up with his campaign stuff or support much at all, and would find that generally hard to buy, being if you look at him and his work for "year's" what in Hell could they see in him?

07 August, 2011 07:23  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I know it's hard to believe. I think most people outside Texas don't know much about him. Political commentators say he could unite the two main wings of the Republican party (big business and religious nuts), and he seems less crazy than Bachmann. It sounds like a winning combination. I hope people will come to see him more realistically as they learn more about him during the campaign.

07 August, 2011 08:06  
Blogger Ahab said...

(1) Jack IS right about the History Channel -- too many of its shows appeal to the lowest common denominator instead of teaching actual history. They occassionally air a winner, but those are becoming fewer and farther between.

(2) Kudos to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library!

(3) By the way, thank you for drawing attention to my Germantown post at Crooks and Liars.

07 August, 2011 09:41  
Blogger mendip said...

Very nice list - thanks for posting. In regards to the so-called Tea Party. I would somewhat disagree with Mr. Sullivan. Although they are certainly supported by the old confederate aristocracy, and its progeny, (and could be argues to be fronts for them), I think the movement is much better understood as a simple continuation of the Populist movement that started up shortly after the Civil War, (and which in turn could be seen germinating in earlier forms, such as the "Know Nothings" of the 1840's). It was/is not just a Southern phenomena - but popular throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Populism was considered quite mainstream, particularly in the hinterland, well into the 1930's and evolved further (and sometimes underground) into the "citizens councils" and various right wing and reactionary movements of the 50's and beyond, (a variety of kkk's, pose comitatus, the minutemen, the American Independence Party, the George Wallace candidacies, etc.). There are variations based upon time and place, but in general we are talking about 140+ years of a strain in American politics based around nativism, racism, sexism, social conservatism, evangelicalism, anti-urban, and oriented towards rural and small town society. All mixed with a large dollop of hypocrisy, self righteousness and whininess. For a while, these folks were content to be represented by the "country club" Republicans, (Nixon's 'Southern Strategy', Reagan's common man rhetoric, etc.); but no more. I'd strongly suggest checking out the writings of the famous commentator H.L. Mencken to get an idea of how close the past is to the present. His attacks on populism, (from the 1920's!), read as if they could have been written this morning. I particularly recommend his articles on the Scopes Monkey Trial and William Jennings Bryan (America's greatest Populist leader) - brilliant and entertaining stuff!

07 August, 2011 12:39  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

Great job on the assemblage of links regarding the aftermath of the Great Debt Crisis Debate. I am much more relieved after reading the more of the details within the compromise. And it re-affirms for me that we have a very bright man in the Oval Office at the moment. If what I am reading is correct, it looks like Obama had made Boehner look like a chump.

07 August, 2011 15:42  
Anonymous Blurber said...

On the History Channel post. It's a pity there's no law against calling what's on the History Channel "History." I bet lot of impressionable children watch it and they probably find it more interesting than the stuff they learn at school. The vast majority of what they show it truly trash.

07 August, 2011 16:58  
Blogger John Myste said...

I read Jack's article at RoundTree where it was cross posted and I agree that it was good there also.

Infidel, I know this is a person question that i have no right to ask, but what do you do for a living?

07 August, 2011 16:58  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: You have a great blog, always glad to call attention to it.

Mendip: There's nothing aristocratic about the teabaggers, that's for sure. In general I agree with your analysis, though it's a startlingly naïve form of populism that gets so easily co-opted to de facto support of the agenda of the Wall Street kleptocracy over their own self-interest. But most likely their ancestors absorbed their values from the Southern slave-owning planter class that dominated their society, even if it had little in common with those ancestors, the poorer white masses.

RtS: Obama is a very intelligent guy, and we mustn't forget that. The more I read about the debt deal, the more reassured I feel that it's not as bad as he had to make it look to sell it to the Republicans. Now, he's got more than a year before the election to focus on the country's real problems.

Blurber/JM/Ahab: I had no idea that the History Channel had gotten so bad. It sounds like they've drifted into von Däniken / National Enquirer territory. If they're presenting the rubbish Jack Jodell describes as "history", then that verges on fraud.

07 August, 2011 18:36  

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