07 December 2014

Link round-up for 7 December 2014

Aleister Crowley is to be honored with a line of sauerkraut (found via Mendip).

Don't confuse me with facts!

Here's a post on religious extremism from a blog I just discovered, Dr. Seussilitis, which offers political and religious commentary in poetic form.

Target stores are promoting a book which advocates the torture, mutilation, and sadistic killing of women.

Montana's teabagger-dominated legislature imposes a dress code -- a strikingly stupid one.

Bless the instruments that defend the faith.

Some people get seriously upset at the very existence of anyone different from themselves.

Bill Maher reminds us that the Pope really is nuts.

Lady Atheist updates her list of non-theistic charities -- and has some info on a particularly nasty religious one.

It's not only the Catholic Church -- apparently the Jehovah's Witnesses also shield sexual predators.

A Texas pastor refuses a funeral to a member who didn't keep up her tithing -- while she was comatose.

Religion isn't just wrong in its beliefs, it's wrong in its methods of reaching them.

Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite of Democrats for our party's 2016 Presidential nomination.

And they wonder why they are called haters.

The media are not helping us understand our domestic-terrorism problem.

Here's more police brutality, this time against a 15-year-old in Arizona.

Cool, Republicans are back to bitching each other again (see comments).

An archaeologically-valuable set of caverns in Indiana seems to have been partly commandeered by creationists (found via Lady Atheist).

Today's Republicans are different from the Democrats of 1988 -- they're dumber.

Here's how our country's drug policy became such a mess.

Lotsa luck trying to enforce this kind of bullshit in the internet age.

Apparently, sometime between 1367 and 1452, a queen decided to have a bit of fun on the side.

Norwegian tourism is getting a boost.

70 years after the fact, France gives recognition to a heroine spy (found via Mendip).

In Spain, a new party rises to fight for socialism.

Nice work, Putin -- Russia's currency is collapsing and recession is looming, while in occupied Crimea, opponents are being murdered and minorities persecuted.

Civilization is breaking down in the lands where it was born.

The Middle East needs feminism at every level.

The case of this Sierra Leonean family illustrates why Ebola is so hard to control.

Will we become locusts of the solar system?

The engraving on this shell looks pretty ordinary -- except that it's half a million years old.

As has happened with many disease germs, HIV is evolving into a less lethal form.

Antarctic glaciers are now melting three times faster than they were ten years ago.


Blogger Ahab said...

You know, if Aleister Krautley is successful, they could launch an entire line of Thelema-inspired fermented foods. Scarlet Woman Babalon's ruby kraut, anyone? Or maybe Bahomet beets in brine?

07 December, 2014 09:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: It could work. There's already Devil's Food cake.

07 December, 2014 09:35  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

A very good list today. Thanks for the trouble you go to to find all of this every week.

07 December, 2014 16:08  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

All great links, especially Dr. Seussilitis. Didn't know you were so good at poetry. I may have to post it over at P.E.

Re: Today's dumber Republicans. All one has to do is surf the rightwing blogs to affirm that. But caution is need so that one isn't burned by the Stupid one finds there.

07 December, 2014 17:29  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Green: Thanks! Actually most of what ends up in these is just stuff that I run across in the course of the week's browsing. The internet is full of fascinating material.

Shaw: Glad you liked the verses. I was inspired.

Remember when Dan Quayle was the dumbest Republican around? How long ago those days seem now! Today, intellects like Gohmert, Palin, and Broun make Quayle look like Bertrand Russell by comparison.

07 December, 2014 17:47  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Just found this item this morning. It's the reason I never swoon over any pope, no matter how "liberal" they pretend to be:

"Ten days ago, Pope Francis organized and addressed an interfaith colloquium on the subject of “The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” The use of the doctrinal term “complementarity” signals the conservative underpinnings of Francis' views on marriage. The religious teaching of complementarity holds that men and women have very different roles in life and in marriage, with men outranking women in most areas. Although Francis did acknowledge that complementarity could take “many forms,” he nonetheless insisted that it is an “anthropological fact.”

It's an "anthropological fact" that men outrank women? Did the Germans under Merkel get that memo?

08 December, 2014 05:29  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The Catholic Church normally uses the term "natural law" to describe its arbitrary taboos and prejudices. Maybe Francis thought "anthropological fact" sounded less medieval, but it's basically the same idea.

A "liberal Pope" is about as close to a contradiction in terms as one can get.

08 December, 2014 06:14  
Anonymous Ahab said...

Shaw -- Thanks! Here's the link for anyone who wants to read the full piece.


08 December, 2014 07:27  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think that secular liberals have Pope Francis all wrong. He is liberal in the sense that he is liberalizing the church. But this has mostly to do with fighting corruption and the covering up for child rape. In his lifetime we might see the church reform its stance on divorce. But we won't see it change on birth control, much less abortion. We won't see it change on the acceptability of homosexual relations. We won't see female priests or even married priests. This is the Catholic Church -- it moves slower than glaciers in a world without humans.

Just the same, I think it is a huge mistake to just lump all religious people into one group as Maher does. As Hemant Mehta points out, it really is a lot better for someone to be a ridiculously open New Age believer (in everything and nothing) than to be some dogmatic Christian.

The question is not whether Pope Francis is perfect. The question is whether he is better than Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. And he is -- by miles. The church slowly makes progress, which is better than regressing. And there are other less concrete things to celebrate about Francis. I don't expect to see him running around AIDS ravaged Africa pontificated (Literally!) about the evils of condoms. Emphasis does matter.

(BTW: It isn't just Pope Francis who accepts evolution. It has been church doctrine since Pope Pius XII in 1950. It has similarly adopted the big bang theory. Catholics are not literalists. This is not to say that there isn't a whole lot to hate about the church.)

08 December, 2014 19:17  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: I'm well aware that the Catholic Church has long accepted evolution and have posted about it before. So Francis gets no credit for that.

He's still the leader of an incredibly bigoted and dangerous global criminal organization. The Catholic Church is still shielding child molesters and still refuses to adopt an ironclad official policy of turning over all molesting priests to the civil authorities for prosecution, which is the only reform that would be meaningful.

Saying he's better than earlier, even more bigoted reactionaries is a bit like saying Idi Amin wasn't as bad as Stalin. It's true, but he's still a monster.

Maher's thinking is a lot more sophisticated than his opponents give him credit for. I've never heard him "lump all religious people into one group" in any meaningful way, and I've heard him explicitly say that less-intense and thus less-violent religious belief is not as bad as real fanaticism. As for the belief, sorry, but all religious belief are nuts, even if some of them are harmless.

08 December, 2014 19:38  
Blogger uzza said...

That poem you wrote for Dr. Suesilitis kicks some serious ass. Props.

09 December, 2014 15:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks! The subject matter was inspirational.

09 December, 2014 18:55  
Blogger MrsSmeej said...

'though this warning comes too late to save poor Infidel,
Exercise discretion lest his fate be yours as well.
Dr. Seussilitis is contagious, I'm afraid...
Spare yourselves the error your friend infidel has made.

Rhyming may appear to be all clean and wholesome fun
Yet, if you should feel the urge, don't walk away just run
Before you become a victim of the rhyming bug.
Thank you very much, however, for the recent plug.

10 December, 2014 12:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I never thought that Mrs. Smeej would hold a simple rhyme
To equal an affliction, or a torment, or a crime.
I don't believe poetic rants are such a dreadful curse.
But.....help! I cannot seem to stop declaiming this in verse!

10 December, 2014 17:40  
Blogger MrsSmeej said...

Sorry that someone as nice as you appear to be
Caught the dreaded Seussilitis rhyming bug from me.
I'm afraid there is no cure; but don't abandon hope...
I find a good Cabernet can help you learn to cope.

12 December, 2014 12:22  

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