Friday, October 20, 2006

Religion, Free Speech, Hypocrisy

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Thanks to my Reddit.com hotlist feed, I came upon a great essay from the "Comment is Free..." section of the Guardian entitled Religions Don'T Deserve Special Treatment. I could go into detail about it, but I'd rather re-post the entire essay in its entirety.

It is timse to reverse the prevailing notion that religious commitment is intrinsically deserving of respect, and that it should be handled with kid gloves and protected by custom and in some cases law against criticism and ridicule.

It is time to refuse to tip-toe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, or any other kind of immunity, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege-endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. It is neither. Faith is a commitment to belief contrary to evidence and reason, as between them Kierkegaard and the tale of Doubting Thomas are at pains to show; their example should lay to rest the endeavours of some (from the Pope to the Southern Baptists) who try to argue that faith is other than at least non-rational, given that for Kierkegaard its virtue precisely lies in its irrationality.

On the contrary: to believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something by faith - is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect. It is time to say so.

Edit:shortened to preview

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Happens When We Think the Law is Ours

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If you're wonderying why conservative/far-right/Christian attacks on judicial jurisprudence are not just a legal problem, just take a look at this story from Parents Behaving Badly.

I hate to say "I told you so". When father Jonathan Edington was arrested for killing neighbor Barry James after Edingto's daughter alleged that James had molested her, I admonished vigilante parents who ignore due process and take the law into their own hands. When you encourage that kind of behavior, you make it that much more likely that someone is going to murder an innocent man. And that's exactly what has happened in the Edington case. New Haven, Connecticut police announced today that Barry James never touched Edington's 2-year-old daughter. According to police, James had none of the pornographic material in his house that's typical of child molesters, and had zero prior history of sexual assault.

So what now? Edington will stand trial for losing his shit and murdering an innocent man. The James family will sue the pants off of Edington and his kin. And police and prosecutors are still determining whether Edington's wife needs to be charged for misleading authorities. From what I can tell, it sounds like the mother took some words spoken by the little girl - who said that James came to her "in the starry night" and put his penis on her belly - and let her own fear as a parent weave a story around them. Which is not surprising: kids often put words together in pseudo-intelligent ways, and express their fears through fantastic imagery.That's why you never kill another person based solely on the testimony of a child. That's why we have courts and juries and judges.

What a fucking mess. An innocent man dead, and a man whom everybody describes as a devoted father headed to jail for at least a decade or two. Jonathan Edington's family is ruined. And sadly, it's Jonathan Edington - and possibly his wife - who has ruined it.

( bold in original )

When people stop respecting judges and eventually the law, and take the law into their own hands - wether it be people acting 'in the name of god' or a man looking for revenge on behalf of his daughter, innocent people start getting killed awfully fast.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

South Dakota: Where Judges Go to Die

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As if all the hooplah from conservatives and IDolators screaming "Activist Judge!" whenever a judge makes a decision based on law instead of what the GOP would use as a marketing device, I get this news from Ed Brayton:

While conservatives are busy saying, "Attacks on judicial independence? What attacks on judicial independence?", South Dakota has an amendment on the ballot this year allowing people to sue judges for making decisions they don't like. And that's not the half of it. The LA Times reports:

South Dakota's Amendment E would have the most sweeping effect; it has drawn opposition from conservatives and liberals -- including, in a rare show of unanimity, every member of the state Legislature.

Under the amendment judges in the state could lose their jobs or assets if citizens disliked how they sentenced a criminal, resolved a business dispute or settled a divorce. "We want to give power back to the people," said Jake Hanes, a spokesman for the measure.

A special grand jury would evaluate citizen complaints against judges -- and judges would not be presumed innocent. Amendment E explicitly instructs jurors to "liberally" tilt in favor of any citizen with a grievance, and "not to be swayed by artful presentation by the judge."

Gee, what attacks on judicial independence.

(Cite attributes are my own)

Sorry that you need a subscription to read the article in the context of its page.

So far, Sean is the star commenter.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Myspace = Marketing? Yes. And I Told You So.

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And now for some Kansas news -- sort of. It's really in the crime category, but the latest victims were from Kansas City. Close enough.

Teen Using MySpace to Lure Bands to Los Angeles (Edit, 2pm - broken link)

Los Angeles, CA – A thirteen-year-old girl posing as a record executive on MySpace has lured several bands to Los Angeles with promises of a record contract.

Members of Fonix Cat, a neopunk-country band from Kansas City, were the latest victims. They packed up their gear and headed west hoping for a record contract; instead they left with shattered dreams.

Ashley Morgan, 13, has used her 'sonymusicexec' MySpace profile to lure several bands to her Los Angeles home. Ashley was grounded so she couldn't talk to us on the phone for this report.

Fonix Cat bassist, Davin McLeod said, "Her profile was called 'sonymusicexec', how were we supposed to know it wasn't legit. I guess we should've realized she was a fake when she promised us free studio time and said she loved our music."

On arriving at Ashley's house, band members were lured inside with free pizza and Crystal Light. "How could we resist?" said McLeod. "She locked us in the basement and told us we had to play for her free. It wasn't that bad, so we stuck around for a while. Her mom eventually kicked us out."

Online band predators are such a big concern that the RIAA has created a website warning bands about the problem. The site gives a few warning signals that bands should watch out for:

  • If you think the record executive is a "nice person" then you aren't dealing with a real executive. It's common knowledge that all record executives are assholes.
  • If the contract you're being offered seems "fair" then you're dealing with an online band predator.

One record executive who wished to remain anonymous said, "I'm not surprised. Most of these bands are as dumb as dirt. They'll fall for anything. Anyway, most record executives I know are posing as thirteen year old girls on MySpace. Ironic don't you think?"

This isn't quite relevant to science, but I think the message is clear: good critical thinking skills would have gone a long way to keep this kind of hilarious fraud from happening. I agree with that executive - most of these bands are as dumb as dirt. Amen.

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O'Reilly Lies about Pregnancy and Abortion

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It seems that the blithering scumbag known as Bill O'Reilly is at it again. I can't wait to be linked to Keith Olbermann taking on O'Reilly's latest monstrous expulsion of lies. Apparently, O'Reilly thinks pregnant women are invulnerable?

Summary: On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that it is never the case that a mother's life is in danger during pregnancy because you can always have a C-section and do those kinds of things. In fact, several potential pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy, which is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the first trimester or preeclampsia, which affect[s] up to one in seven pregnant women can threaten the life of a pregnant woman.

Emphasis Mine

At first, before reading the article, you may believe that O'Reilly is just ignorant. This is not the case. O'Reilly set up his tirade against the female sex, abortion, and privacy in his now nightly Culture War segmant, which says alot about how fair and balanced the show really is:

...South Dakota, as you know, has voted to outlaw abortions unless the mother's life is in danger, which is never the case, because you can always have a C-section and do those kinds of things.
*Snip*

...Forty-five percent of Americans, according to a new CNN poll -- 45 percent say all abortions should be outlawed unless the mother's going to die -- or catastrophic health consequences, which again, is never the case -- never.

This is truly a disgusting man. And to think, he is a symbol for many evangelical Christians, Republican party members. Says alot about the sat state of scientific literacy in the United States.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Boy Scouts Can Eat My Grits

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Ah, sweet justice.

WASHINGTON — A Boy Scouts sailing group that lost free use of a public boat slip because of the Scouts' discriminatory policies failed to persuade the Supreme Court to take its case.

The justices on Monday let stand a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling that the city of Berkeley may treat the Berkeley Sea Scouts differently from other nonprofits because the Scouts bar atheists and gays.

The leader of the Sea Scouts argued that forcing the group to pay for a berth at the marina violated the group's free speech and freedom of association rights.

The U.S. high court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts have the right to ban openly homosexual scout leaders, a decision that rested on the Scouts' First Amendment rights.

Even so, the California Supreme Court said in March, local governments are under no obligation to extend benefits to organizations that discriminate.

Berkeley, home of free speech protests since the 1960s, adopted a nondiscrimination policy on the use of its marina in 1997 and revoked the Sea Scouts' subsidy a year later.

The Sea Scouts are a branch of the Boy Scouts that teaches sailing, carpentry and plumbing. City officials had told the group that it could retain its berthing subsidy if it broke ties with the Boy Scouts or disavowed the policy against gays and atheists, but the Sea Scouts refused.

Eugene Evans, who leads the Sea Scouts, has been paying $500 a month out of his own pocket to berth one boat at the Berkeley Marina; the group removed two other boats because it could not afford the rent. The group has about 40 members, down from as many as 100 before the subsidy was removed.

Berkeley had allowed the Scouts free use of the marina since the 1930s, according to Evans.

The Sea Scouts said they were singled out because Berkeley elected officials disapprove of the Boy Scouts' membership policies.

The case is Evans v. City of Berkeley, 06-40.

I'm making this post while going through all my feeds in Google Reader, which says there's 48 new items at Scienceblogs.com. No doubt Ed Brayton has something to say on this in his Dispatches, but I don't have the time to go quote him, too.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

-Biting Beaver: a Call to Arms-

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A while ago (but not too long), I read a blog post via Bitch, PhD (I think?) about the author's struggle with a broken condom and not getting emergency contraceptives from her local religiously bigoted pharmacists and hospital. That sucks, I thought. And I didn't check up on her. I didn't even bookmark her blog. Well now thanks to Plucky Duck at Daylight Atheism, I now know how her misadventure is going.

.She had had an operation a year before that pretty much destroyed her cervix (what kind of surgery? why? I don't know), so a diaphragm was out of the question. Without condoms and spermacide, it was open business in there. Her story starts when she got sick of the escalating side-effects of her birth control and had quit them for two months before disaster struck: a condom broke.

Visit Plucky Punk to find out what you can do to help BB and defend reproductive freedom for all.

BB's first entry: Morality Clauses, EC, and Broken Condoms

Friday night the condom broke. But I didn't panic, I thought to myself, with a huge sigh of relief, Wow, thank goodness it's over the counter now! and I fell asleep (since there are absolutely NO 24 hour pharmacies within 100 miles of me). Saturday morning I awoke and phoned the pharmacy. I asked them about EC and was told that they won't be stocking it until January 1st, until then it was still by prescription only.

*snip* So far, so good, right? Next she had to play phone tag with her doctor's office until the tired and grumpy secretary bounced her attention to the emergency room. I suggest you read the whole entry yourself. In a nutshell, the hospital refused to provide EC because she was not raped, and the pharmacy has a 'moral stance' against it. It's total bullshit.

I was told by every urgent care I called and every emergency room that I was shit out of luck. I was asked my age. My marital status. How many children I had. If I had been raped and when I became uncomfortable with the questions I was told, Well Ma'am, try to understand that you will be interviewed and the doctor has 'criteria' that you need to meet before he will prescribe it for you.

And nowadays... Incoherent Ramblings and Stream of consciousness thoughts

Well, the pregnancy test came back positive. You know, I put on a brave face for my readers and many of them keep saying that I’m courageous and brave. But they’re wrong. I’m scared. I’m fucking terrified. I’ve never been in this situation before and, truth be told, I never quite ‘got it’ before now. I guess it’s something that you just can’t understand until you’ve actually been there, as I am now. But the fact of the matter is that I’m blogging about it and I’m getting the shitty comments and I’m getting the helpful comments as well. More kind comments than unkind and that, at least, is something.

*SNIP* -- She's getting an abortion, if you don't understand the next upcoming paragaph's opening. I've turned her feelings and questions inside into a list. It's the kind of thing you should put up on your bulletin board or on your wall so you can have something to look at when you wonder what's going on in women's heads at abortion clinics. Dubhe is her guy that is the other party involved in the conception that started this whole mess, by the way.

  • What will the clinic be like?

  • How many protesters will there be?

  • Will I be strong enough to wade past them or will I crumble and be shamed as they so wish me to be?

  • What will the doctors be like?

  • Will they be kind?

  • Or will they try to guilt trip me?

  • Should I tell my friends and family or should I be quiet?

  • How can I keep pretending to be happy and brave when I’m actually terrified on the inside?

  • Will it hurt?

  • How will I get over my phobia of gynecologists?

  • Oh gods, I’m scared. I’m so scared!

  • Will I be able to get over the fear of the speculum?

  • Will I get that thing where everything clamps down from terror and they have to tell me to ‘relax’ over and over again?

  • Will the doctor be a male or a female?

  • Am I stupid to be afraid of all of it?

  • How can I deal with the resentment I feel at Dubhe for not getting any of this backlash?

  • Is it horrible that I feel resentment in the first place that he hasn’t been the target of hatred?

  • Will this affect our relationship for a long while to come?

  • Is it horrible of me that I’ve refused to have penetrative sex since this began?

  • If I have to have a surgical abortion will it be worse since my cervix is fucked?

  • When they start talking about hormonal birth control should I speak up and tell them that I can’t take it or just take a shot and deal with it?

And with all this going on, BB has been getting threatening, intimidating, harassing comments and emails about her attemps to get EC and her plans to carry through with abortion.

Visit Plucky Punk to find out what you can do to help BB and defend reproductive freedom for all.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Johari

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For anybody that cares, I have begun my own interactive Johari Window. This was something I learned about in an anthropology class I didn't like. Go a head and click the link, and lets see if we all agree (including me) on what I'm like.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

HexClock, Bitches.

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I've just added the Hex Clock to the sidebar. It comes with the following copyright information.

This code was modified to display both the hexclock and normal time by Nick Glover http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~nglover --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This code was adapted from the clock on the netscape javascript page by Mark Vincent Rogers --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hexclock concept is also by Mark Rogers --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This code can be modified in any way as long as credit is given to the original authors, but you can't convert this to use AM or PM, it must be on 16-hexhour time. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blue Valley - Exhbit A.

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If you ever wonder if bumper stickers I see claiming "Kansas: as bigoted as you think" are true, look no further than the Citizens for Literary Standards in Schools of Blue Valley school district, Kansas. Take a look at this bullshit from their front page:

Sadly, most parents have no idea that deviant sex including bestiality and pedophilia, for example, is included in graded reading assignments in their public schools. Rather, schools HIDE adult content from parents and patrons.

Following that link you'll find this review of Song of Solomon.

Types of sex include:
  • - Breast feeding a boy (not a baby, not a toddler) for pleasure
  • - sex with dead people
  • - oral sex
  • - discussions of sexual relations between a daughter and father
  • - descriptions of foreplay and undressing
  • - teen sex at 16 with multiple partners
  • - fantasies of sex between a mother and her son
  • - sex with whores
  • - sex between cousins
  • - anal sex
  • - oral sex between men
  • - sex using objects forced into each other
  • - discussions of sex with various animals and plants

We feel so sorry for the kids that this book is forced on. They are led to believe that...
1) this is how all adults conduct their sex lives and/or
2) this is how real black people conduct their lives and/or
3) all this is considered normal in society, because it has been assigned by an adult of power, who our kids have been taught from the beginning is to be trusted, respected and obeyed -- their teacher.

Their view of how they think kids will or are required to interpret literature is quite warped. So is their idea of how much high school kids listen to, obey, and respect teachers.

  1. Do they think it is also wrong for any breast-feeding mother to derive pleasure from nurturing their child? Such is a common experience. Breast feeding into the toddler years is also common in cultures around the world, and for some in the United States. What these sex-is-evil-and-so-are-our-bodies propagandists seem to think is that the woman they mention derives sexual gratification from breat-feeding the toddler. I doubt it. Apparently, they think that not only is sex dirty, but everything our reproductive organs does is evil.

  2. While necrophilia is indeed an unhealthy vice, I doubt that students are encouraged to indulge. Once again, some idiot parents think that simply talking about something to a teenager means advocating it.

  3. Oral sex is normal, and is healthy. These folks aren't just conservative, they're regressive.

  4. I doubt that they object the bible, even though it depicts a scene where two daughters get their father drunk and then date-rape him. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  5. I should hope so. I'd rather read about people making love than just plain "fucking." And once again, these are perfectly normal and healthy acts.

  6. It happens. Does the book advocate it? Do the teachers advocate it? I doubt it. I wonder though, if Song of Solomon goes into any detail about what is going on in these teenagers' heads, as to get an understanding of why promiscuity is a vice or a virtue? Now that's the kind of healthy discussion teenagers need. It's not enough just to call something bad or even explain why something is a sin if there is no understanding of why it is done in the first place.

  7. This also happens. I always find it fascinating that people who think incest is wrong will often turn around and call something a Freudian Slip, after the man who invented the Oedipus Complex. The only thing wrong with incest is that it abnormally accumulates damaging recessive genes. Reproductive incest is a problem, not the sex itself. As far as I'm concerned, adult incest is perfectly fine, as long as its properly safeguarded against pregnancy.

  8. What the heck? They actually write "whores," and make big talk about these books being vulgrar? I believe the 'PC' word is "prostitute."

  9. Not only is sex between cousins perfectly acceptable, it is a perfectly normal occurence, and in some worldy cultures, par for the course. The incest taboo should only be based upon the consequences of recessive genes, which has to do with reproduction between relatives. The sex itself is harmless. But that's not what these Blue Valley fundies think, is it?

  10. What can I say about anal sex other than if you do it safely, it's great? Trust me. I'm sure we can talk to these parents in person and hear the "it'd made for stuff to come out, not go in!" The classic ought-is fallacy. If it's not meant for sexual pleasure, why is the act so pleasurable and so common? And no, "God's testing us" is not an answer.

  11. This is pretty cool, too.

  12. I shoudl probably go read this book. I can't tell if they mean consensual sex using foreign objects (dildos, butt-plugs... vegetables?) as toys, or actual rape with foreign objexts. If it's consensual, well, boo-hoo. Toys are perfectly healthy and common (sorry, Texas).

  13. They just talk about it? Boo-hoo!

Whoa, whoa. I really very much doubt if the students are to think (or if any student has ever thought) that this is how all adults behave. That's clearly a strawman. As for the apparently racist excerpts on the page, I can only guess if this is a representative sample of the content of the book, so I do not know how to respond. As for the final claim, Yes, students should believe all these things listed above are normal in society because, in fact, they do occur and are accepted frequently and regularly! And yes, some black people say nigger all the time, nigger this, nigger that, nigger hit me with a whiffle-ball bat.


On another page, they mention 14 books they are partial to challenging. I've directly quoted the source-code of the list here.

  1. All the Pretty Horses
  2. Animal Dreams
  3. The Awakening
  4. The Bean Trees
  5. Beloved
  6. Black Boy
  7. Fallen Angels
  8. The Hot Zone
  9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  10. Lords of Discipline
  11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo?s Nest
  12. Song of Solomon
  13. Stotan
  14. This Boy?s Life

These are all good books. I have copies of several them, including the Bean Trees, and it's sequel, Pigs in Heaven. The only "controversial" thing in this book is that the main character, "Mattie," is stuck with an abandoned child, and giving the baby girl a bath for the first times, sees extensive bruising and tearing around her vagina, thighs, buttocks, lower back, and stomach - clear signs of sexual abuse. Sad? Yes. Does it happen? Yes, even if rarely. And clearly everybody in the book is shocked to no end to hear about this sexual abuse, so no rational person can interpret this book to advocate sexual abuse or that Cherokee Native Americans are pedophiles. Does the child recover? Yes. Is the child eventually happy? Yes. Does the child eventually get a good family? Yes -- a big one -- a village, in fact. Bad book? NO!! The only other thing I can think of that these parents might object to is when Mattie jokes about wearing a "boob tube," a pink tube-top she is comfortable with but looks hilariously slummy -- and she doesn't even wear it in public. Maybe they just don't like hearing all about them gosh derned Injuns.

Hat-tip to Pat Hayes of RSR for informing us that Blue Valley, Kansas, is jumping on the Harry-Poter-Equals-Satan-Wicca bandwagon.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Scientific Incompetence Does Harm

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Religion and other anti-science mindsets are dangerous to children - physically, mentally, and sexually. Sometimes, people accept scientific facts at face value, but think science as merely a collection of facts instead of a process of inquiry and understanding, harm ensues. A few minutes ago I picked up This link telling something that many people think is just something that might be thought up in a television drama to shock viewers. It seems that ignorant teenage girls are purposely smoking [tobacco] to reduce the birthweight of their children, in order to reduce the pain of labor.

Caroline Flint, the public health minister, said that official warnings about the links between smoking and underweight babies had been understood by prospective teenage mothers.

But instead of perceiving smoking as a health risk, many continued to smoke because they thought a smaller baby would reduce labour pains.

It reminds me of an episode of Judging Amy inspired by a true headline, in which a teenager purposely used dirty needles to contract HIV, so as to get a rent-free apartment, because he was tired of living in shame in the streets. Believe it or not, this shit happens.

These girls are basing their strategy on a sound premise - smoking reduces birthweight, and therefore volume. So labor should be less painful, yes? Isn't the pain of labor proportional to the size of the fetus? Wrong. Regardless of the size of the fetus, the stretching sensation of the vagina and the cervix is the same. No matter the size of the fetus, you are not going to deliver until your cervix is dialated about 10cm and stays that stretched, ladies! And that is what makes labor so painful.

What can we take away from this, if further study proves that this phenomenon is widespread and true? We can realize this: partial literacy is not enough. You can't give people a premise and "let people decide for themselves."

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Road Sign, Schmode Sign

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I've just met my prank hero. Check out this fabulous road-sign hackery done ZUG's "Heyoka".

Hat tip to Phil Plait.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Incompetents Know Themselves Not

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Here's another reason why the scientific worldview is the only acceptable one, children. I just picked up this article from reddit. It seems that incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent. Most skeptics are aware of this obvious life fact. But now we have at least one study backing it up.

There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear that he might be one of them.

Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, worries about this because, according to his research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent.

Zing! You see, it is good to be of scientific mind, and understand at all times that true justified knowlege is tentative, hard to come by, and requires lots of verification. Being a skeptic is actually, truly, literally a healthy attitude.

On the contrary. People who do things badly, Dunning has found in studies conducted with a graduate student, Justin Kruger, are usually supremely confident of their abilities -- more confident, in fact, than people who do things well.

You'll find that professor Dunning points out many familiar symptoms of people who are such idiots that they do not realize that they are idiots. Notice that they all apply - yes, they all apply - to creationists and other anti-science mindsets. Take this home with you: a skeptic, scientific mindset is good and good for you - as well as those around you.

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When You're Beaten to the Punch

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A note to anybody -- Thou Shall Not Suck, Josh Rosenau, Judge Jones, etc -- talking about how the Military Commissions Act and the Public Expression of Religion act are the end of America (e.g., the American Dream): a man by the name of Dave Hitt beat you to it.

Dave Hitt runs a website dedicated to his vision of true conservatism with out the religious bullshit, and activism against nannies who want to make decisions for you, especially anti-second-hand-smoke nannies, and also a biweekly (or so) podcast called Quick Hitts. In an episode entitled "Farewell To America," Dave took on the issue of Eminent Domain, and how a law passed to let the government take over your land just because somebody else can make more money off of it was, in fact, the end of America as we thought we knew it. Here a link to download the episode of Quick Hitts from Podcast Pickle. It's not quite a hotlink, but if you just click it, you will begin downloading the file QH_Farewell_America.mp3. It's pretty good, and I suggest you give it a listen.

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Welcome KGB!

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Welcome! to anybody who bothers to come here from the Carnival of the Kansas Guild of Bloggers. I got an email from the general host asking me to submit something for this week. I read said email a couple hours too late for submission. Oops! Luckily I had submitted something when I signed up, and that's made it in to this latest addition.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

PZ Meyers > David Letterman

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Today, PZ Meyers is giving a talk at NDSU, which includes a list worthy of David Letterman. I proudly present to you, the Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography:

Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography
  1. It has been practiced for all of human history, in all cultures

  2. It exploits perfectly natural, even commendable, impulses

  3. Its virtues are debatable, its proponents fanatical

  4. People love it, but can't give a rational reason for it

  5. Objectifies and degrades women even when it worships them

  6. You want to wash up after shaking hands with any of its leaders

  7. The costumes are outrageous, the performances silly, the plots unbelievable

  8. There's nothing wrong with enjoying it, but it's nothing to be proud of, either

  9. It is not a sound basis for public policy, government, or international relations

  10. Its stars are totally fake

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mr

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Ugh. Look at this shit. The following blockquote is taken from GovTrack.us, which is a site dedicated to tracking what our Congressmen do. This tells us what the congressmen of my state, Kansas, just contributed to: the murder of Habaes Corpus.

Kansas

Nay KS-1 Moran, Jerry [R]

Aye KS-2 Ryun, Jim [R]

Aye KS-3 Moore, Dennis [D]

Aye KS-4 Tiahrt, Todd [R]

This is what makes voting so damned hard. The Republican party has corrupted what conservatism really is, and is now just the lapdog of the religious right. Yet it was only a republican congress, here in Kansas, that voted against killing habaes Corpus, which is exactly what H.R. 6166 does. Here's the link to the full text (also courtesy of GovTrack)

It's not possible for me to run out of links on what a travesty this is, and I need not bother. You can simply go to good sites like Crooks and Liars, ScienceBlogs, Bad Astronomy, a google search for blogger articles on h.r. 6116, Pat Hayes and Josh Rosenau in Kansas, etc. etc.

Thanks to RSR, it was easy to vote for moderates who would oust Intelligent Design advocates during the primaries. And now, thanks to this simple vote and one link, I know I can only vote for Jerry Moran for congress.

I can only hope the issue is as alarming and polarizing (in an anti-Bush way) for other Kansans, and other citizens of my country.




By the way, I've joined the Kansas Guild of bloggers and added their BlogRoll.

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