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Jul 23 2014

Amid Drought, CA Couple Faces Fine for Not Using Enough Water

California is in the middle of a historic drought that is straining water supplies so much that the state has now ordered mandatory restrictions on unnecessary water usage. At the same time, cities are fining people for not using enough water to keep their lawn green.
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Jul 23 2014

Ken Ham’s Idiotic Bleatings About SETI

It seems that there is nothing that Ken Ham’s cartoonishly simplistic ideas about what his enemies believe can’t explain. Charles Darwin has invaded everything, according to Ham, even forcing us to look for evidence of extra-terrestrial life.
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Jul 23 2014

Ramtha the Racist Cult Leader

Susy Buchanan has a story at Alternet about JZ Knight, the ridiculous con artist who has become very wealthy telling people that she’s channeling the voice of a 35,000 year old warrior named Ramtha. It seems some video leaked of a drunken Knight going on a bigoted rant about Jews, Mexicans and gay people.
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Jul 22 2014

Farah’s High Opinion of Himself

Joseph Farah, amusingly, actually thinks he’s a journalist. And not just a journalist, but a groundbreaking, innovate thinker in the field of journalism. And he’d like to tell you all about it in his latest column that pretends to give you the “shocking truth about the big media.”
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Jul 22 2014

No Religious Exemption in Obama Anti-Discrimination Order

President Obama is set to release a new executive order forbidding discrimination against LGBT people for companies that get federal contracts and the White House announced that it will not contain any exemptions for religious beliefs by the company’s owners.
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Jul 22 2014

Chuck Norris: Anti-Vaxxer

Chuck Norris believes so many astonishingly stupid things that it certainly should come as no surprise that he’s apparently also an anti-vaxxer. In his latest Worldnetdaily column, he claims that vaccines are the cause of allergies and says some seriously dumb things along the way.
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Jul 22 2014

Man Threatens to Kill Miami-Dade Councilmembers

An obviously disturbed extremist wearing a t-shirt opposing infamous right wing bugaboo Agenda 21 appeared before the Miami-Dade County Commission and threatened to kill every one of the members, saying the Constitution gives him the right to do so if they sell his home after he failed to pay fines for environmental damage.
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Jul 22 2014

Jesus Took the Wheel; You’ll Totally Believe What Happened Next

A woman in Ft. Wayne is in jail after running over a motorcyclist because, she said, God told her out of the blue that he would take over the driving. I think she may be taking that “God is my co-pilot” bumper sticker just a little bit too literally.
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Jul 22 2014

Education: The Process of Disillusionment

On Saturday, I had lunch at the Humanism at Work conference with Greta Christina and her brother and I mentioned my recent reunion with my old French teacher and that he had told me, when I went off to college, that “education is the process of disillusionment.”

When I brought that up, Greta made a really interesting comment that had never occurred to me, which is that we use the word “disillusionment” or “disillusioned” as a negative thing. When people use it, it’s usually in the context of terrible disappointment — “I was an activist on issue X, but then I just became so disillusioned.” But as skeptics and rationalists, shouldn’t disillusionment be a positive thing? Losing one’s illusions about the world is one of our primary goals, isn’t it?

Jul 22 2014

Farah Just Can’t Understand a Civil Rights Movement

Joseph Farah is confused. Pointing to a recent CDC survey that found about 3% of Americans identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual, he demands to know why gay people get so much attention these days because he simply doesn’t understand why they don’t only get 3% of the attention.
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Jul 22 2014

The Illuminati and the Malaysian Jet

A Malaysian jetliner was shot down over the Ukraine on Thursday. Alex Jones, of course, immediately declared it to be a false flag operation. The Boston Globe has a rundown of some of the whackier conspiracy theories. My favorite is that the Illuminati shot it down.
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Jul 22 2014

Apparently, a Female Thor Will Ruin Everything

I’m not a comic book guy and couldn’t care less about superhero movies, but apparently Thor is now going to be a female character. Naturally, that has the MRAs losing their minds. Apparently, a female Thor is proof of misandry and is going to turn men into slaves for women. Or something. David Futrelle has the screenshots. This is my favorite:
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Jul 22 2014

Palumbo: Not In My Backyard

Remember Peter Palumbo, the Rhode Island state representative who famously called Jessica Ahlquist an “evil little thing”? Well he just wrote a letter to the governor of that state saying that while he has sympathy for those 52,000 child refugees, he doesn’t think we should do anything to help them — at least not in his state.
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Jul 22 2014

Legalization Isn’t Enough

This piece at Salon.com is a few months old but it makes an important point that I hadn’t discussed before. With Colorado and Washington legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana, there’s a jarring disconnect between those now making lots of money selling it and the huge number of people in prison for doing the same thing before those laws were passed.
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Jul 22 2014

Akin: Some of My Staff Were Conceived by Rape

Todd Akin has a new book out and he’s been on a publicity tour for it. And the more he opens his mouth to defend and double down on his claim that a woman’s body can shut down during a “legitimate rape” so she won’t get pregnant, the more ridiculous he sounds. Now he’s contradicting himself by claiming that some of his former staffers were conceived by rape.
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