Link round-up for 4 September 2011
A trip to the Alaska state fair explains why there is no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Check out Latvia's milk carton regatta (found via Mendip).
From Benjamin Franklin to the present day, Americans have cherished the right to fart.
PETA makes a splash in Dallas.
Sophie Hirschfeld addresses some criticisms of the Slutwalks.
Hey, the police work hard and deserve some break time (but this is serious).
Oregon: Our bigots are weirder than your bigots.
If God is talking to us, why do we need Bachmann to interpret the message?
A father celebrates a thirteen-year-old girl's courage.
Here's a transparent-winged butterfly, the Sylphina angel.
The latest bleat from the right-wing noise machine is fake Paul Krugman quotes.
Whatever Obama's jobs plan is, his opponents will go on the attack.
Must-read: Martin Luther King's real achievement was to end a reign of terror.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out the blog The Reaction, which has excellent taste in guest bloggers.
Gut feeling is no basis for absolute truth.
Religious trouble-makers don't want to go along with the rules that apply to everyone else.
50% don't pay taxes? Not true.
Bigots won't be happy until everyone different from themselves is invisible (or ceases to exist).
Sam Harris challenges the Randroids and gets bombarded with clichés.
Yes, these people are serious: Ron Baity believes the fight for gay marriage is being led by Satan, and Bryan Fischer wants to make homosexuality illegal again. More weirdness here.
Even among evangelicals, younger people are more open-minded.
Milt Shook dissects the Obama-bashing hard left.
Liberal Lamp Post compares Obama with great liberal Presidents of the past.
Traditional values manifest themselves in Salt Lake City. And here's some Christian love in North Carolina.
Don't give too much credence to that "thirteen keys" thing that supposedly guarantees Obama's re-election.
For now, the Christian Right has chosen Perry as its champion, but Bachmann is still fighting him for that role, and Palin may not have given up yet. His surge of popularity among the far right may not last, especially as his record becomes better known. But all these candidates represent something genuinely new.
A new atheist video campaign is launched.
Justice has not been served in the Lawrence King case.
Kay Dennison contemplates her fate if the Republicans succeed in getting rid of Social Security.
Pastor Mike Stahl of Florida wants to put all atheists on a watch list.
The ACLU and NOW fight back against the right's onslaught on abortion rights; victories are won in Texas and Kansas.
The attack on the National Weather Service highlights the idiocy of libertarianism.
As Walker's brutal union-busting takes effect, teachers flee into early retirement.
Some Republican Governors oppose Cantor on disaster relief.
Bigots harass a gay-pride festival in North Carolina.
Here's the whole Obama-vs-Bush track record in three charts.
In economic hard times, older people suffer more.
The latest manifestation of teabaggerdom is school censorship (found via What Would Jack Do).
Ron Paul pines for the good old days; Ta-Nehisi Coates calls him to account. Dissenting Justice explains why Paul shouldn't become President, while a libertarian laments his status as the face of the movement.
Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel condemns the modern party's extremism.
Judge Obama as Obama, not as a generic black politician.
Racism crops up in surprising places these days.
Here's a popular idea the government won't listen to.
Anti-intellectualism is an old tradition, but modern Republicans are taking it to new depths.
The Republican party in Gabrielle Giffords's district raffles off a Glock handgun -- the same kind of gun that was used to shoot Giffords (and kill several others).
Don't forget those home-grown American religious terrorists, the Hutaree.
Santorum is a bigot, but if you point this out, he'll call you a bigot.
Under Obama, the Justice Department has gotten tougher on the vicious thugs who harass abortion clinics.
Libertarianism's heroes opposed democracy and sympathized with fascism.
What would Dominionism do with gays? Here are Dominionists in their own words (found via Republic of Gilead), a history of the movement, the diversity of its branches, some blunt talk from one of its proponents, and a historical precedent for the anti-gay obsession.
Michael Behe's son Leo has gone over to the good guys.
Advocates try to win a public option for California.
Identifying criminals by line-up is fraught with problems.
The Ground Zero mosque will probably never be built, for reasons unrelated to the protests.
I guess LBJ was an optimist.
Wikileaks crosses the line, now unambiguously endangering innocent people.
Denmark finds a ready market for an unusual export.
Reykjavik has the coolest mayor.
Britain's Conservative government abandons a plan to discourage abortion.
Germany, too, has patriotic rich people.
Want to improve education? Look at Finland.
The Irish government continues its battle for justice against the evil Catholic Church.
German historian Hans-Joachim Voth says the euro can't survive. Merkel is still struggling to save it, while the Bundestag demands a say. David Frum warns America to prepare for the inevitable.
Germany takes steps to ensure fair taxation of entrepreneurs (found via Mendip).
Nothing important has ever come out of Hungary.
In Russia, there's a night club with a difference.
European leaders of the 1930s couldn't cope with Hitler because they couldn't quite believe he meant what he said (there's a lesson there for us today).
Most of western Europe has embraced austerity and budget cuts, and is locked in a spiral of economic decline: Argentina has taken the opposite course, and is thriving. Which example should we follow?
In Israel, nearly half a million march for a more just economy.
The US apologizes for a horrific medical experiment in Guatemala.
Even if an authoritarian regime can turn off the internet, it's not a good idea.
The President celebrates his victory in Libya.
Far left and right converge: Kucinich and a former Bush official both tried to help Qaddhafi. More here.
Libyan women celebrate the fall of Qaddhafi, who may have fled south.
What role will Islam play in the new Libya? It's debatable.
Religious fanatics subject Pakistan to a barbaric reign of terror.
Ai Weiwei speaks out about tyranny and oppression in China.
No, that new study does not show that cosmic rays rather than human activity are causing global warming.
Dolphins seem to have a sophisticated understanding of death. More on animal feelings about death here.
Languages make a trade-off between speed and information density.
There's garbage in the sky.
Texas scientists confirm that stem cells can safely be used to treat acute stroke in humans.
A man of integrity: The editor of a science journal resigns after publishing a flawed paper (found via His Vorpal Sword).
Exercise can counteract some of the effects of aging.
Michigan researchers develop remote-controlled cyborg beetles.
ZJ explains transhumanism.