Dear Moderate Christian

Pink Rose, by Lou FCD @ Flickr

Pink Rose, by Lou FCD @ Flickr

Dear Moderate Christian,

I’d like to take a moment to address some of your remarks about how the tactics of “New Atheists” are just too uncivil. I appreciate that you’d like to have a quiet, intellectual conversation regarding the current state of  religion in America, and the marginalization of those of us who don’t believe there is an invisible zombie who lives in the sky. I understand that you’d like me to respect your beliefs, and not shine too much light on their ridiculousness. I applaud your geniality in this matter. It’s refreshing, after so many years of listening to your representatives demeaning and demonizing pretty much everyone who doesn’t bend their neck and genuflect to them. A polite, intellectual conversation about religion in America sounds perfectly lovely.

But at this point in time, I have to say

(What I have to say continues below the fold)

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Buh Bye, Fluff Fluff

Mark Dybul, the man the Bush administration has relied on to spread its fundamentalist sectarian dogma of disinformation and ignorance, has been unceremoniously dismissed.

Sworn in as Secretary of State just yesterday, Hillary Clinton wasted no time cleaning house at the vast department she runs. Today, we have heard, Mark Dybul was asked to submit his resignation as US Global AIDS Coordinator, head of the office in charge of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

This is a huge first step to ensuring the health and rights of all people at risk of HIV and AIDS: Dybul oversaw the last several years of abstinence-only programs funded by PEPFAR, hob-knobbed a bit too closely with the far right, and never saw a law or policy restriction he could not make even more restrictive. Curious for a self-identified Democrat? Not so curious, I guess, if your career is dependent on pleasing the far right, and if your desire to be Global AIDS Coordinator outweighs your desire to stand up for what is right.

Given the fact that this kind of propaganda is known to have led to the deaths of untold numbers of people, I only wonder why there were no handcuffs involved.

h/t Elizabeth Wood

White House Witch Hunters Watch While We Wank

My Grade on my second English 111 essay

My Grade on my second English 111 essay

I got my second essay back this morning in English Class. I missed one comma, but managed an A+. I’m pretty happy about that as I was concerned about length as well as flow. I didn’t think it flowed as well as it could have.

Mr. Beverage disagreed, apparently.

When I showed him the title, he got a great big grin, and gave me specific permission to break the “No Slang” rule.

The prompt was a definition using illustration.

The essay, in its uncorrected form, lies below the fold.

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Underneath The Blue Skirt

Underneath Her Skirt

Her skirts may be a deep, rich azure, but her petticoats are as scarlet as the blood in Cheney’s veins.

Sadly, it appears that asking a candidate how she will vote on a piece of legislation is verboten. It’s more of the same, “Shut up and sit down over in the closet until after the election – then we’ll talk” nonsense. One needn’t be gay to be mortally offended by such an attitude. I sure as hell am.

It was such a pretty blog, too.

From whence came the art:

That visual commentary on the BlueNC blog is my own work on their logo, and would fall under fair use.

Teach Both Sides

Expelled Tanking Quickly

Dr. Dr. NeinStein, by QuidamCurrently floating around 8% 7% 6% 5% and nose diving at RottenTomatoes, critical reviews are beginning to come in for Ben Stein’s “documentary” Expelled.  (ETA – back up to 9%, on the strength of a review by Christianity Today.  Yep, All Science So Far!)

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “Typical of all propaganda, it also distorts language.

The New York Times: “One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.”

Salt Lake Tribune: “a slick but intellectually dishonest documentary

E! Online: “A flunkout of a documentary, this features Ben Stein….Stein’s credibility is blown on this poorly constructed diatribe, and you’d be smart to save your bucks.

Seattle Times: “A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda”

Kalamazoo Gazette: ” ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ (PG) — Ben Stein stars in a controversial satirical documentary asserting that ‘intelligent design’ (creationism) advocates are being persecuted. Rave Cityplace 14, Kalamazoo 10, Lakeview Square Cinema in Battle Creek. Grade: F”

Orlando Sentinel (my personal favorite so far): “…a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they’re losing the ‘intelligent design’ debate because of academic ‘prejudice.‘ ”

Further down:

Shockingly, the ‘experts’ Stein hurls against evolution are disgruntled, under-credentialed academics dismissed from lesser colleges, they say because they say they wanted to teach creation rather than science. Other ‘experts’ in the film come from anti-evolution ‘think tank’ cranks.

Actually, it’s only shocking if you haven’t been following the shenanigans of The Intelligent Design Creationism Hoax for more than five minutes.

One more little bit from the Sentinel:

Expelled relies on the viewer’s inability or unwillingness to wrestle with a complex corner of science, double-talking its way toward a ‘must be a miracle’ solution to anything that science may not claim to have an answer for. Dismiss that for having no basis in fact, and you’re infringing on ‘academic freedom.’

Edit to add my new favorite review, from FlickFilosopher:

It’s apeshit crazy nuttiness right from the opening moments of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, as imagery of Nazi atrocities and the terrors of life behind the Berlin War are smugly deployed in a demented attempt to editorialize away basic scientific fact. And in a saner universe than the one in which we live, you could scoff at Stein and dismiss him and not give this propagandistic nonsense another thought.

Even their target audience is panning it outright.

Nell Minow, the Movie Mom at beliefnet: “he should understand that freedom of speech also guarantees the freedom not to have to listen to mangled, manipulative, and disingenuous rhetoric like this.”

Ouch.

For the actual lowdown on this piece of third rate garbage, pop over to the National Center for Science Education’s website at ExpelledExposed.com.

HT – Carlsonjok and Rich Hughes at AtBC

That image of Dr. Dr. NeinStein is titled Dr. Dr. EvilStein and is used with permission, courtesy of Quidam at AtBC. (I even have the latest version before the boys at AtBC do.)

Expelled Exposed

What Ben Stein isn't telling you about Intelligent Design

There are few things in the world that annoy me more than liars and propagandists.

Expelled Exposed