When Rationalists Attack!

I’ll tell you now, I love swearing for its own sake. But what I love even more is when someone as cool and rational as DanJ goes completely off. It’s something akin to watching a perfectly played chess match end when one player shoots the opposing king at checkmate with a rocket-propelled grenade. It’s glorious in its overkill.

It seems his recent encounters with religious folks, and the greater thread on the interwebs about civility when discussing religion vis-a-vis science, has finally come to a head and Dan, understandably, snaps, having been told he’s going to hell and is evil and sinful just once too many. And what a thing of beauty this rant is! Not only is it pure, unvarnished truth, but it is as cathartic to read as I’m sure it was to write.

AronRa on Ida

This is absolutely genius. A new challenger stepped up to claim the “Posterboy for Creationist Stupidity” throne now that VenomFangX has abdicated, he starts out by taking on the announcement of Ida (Darwinius masillae — as covered previously), and AronRa eviscerates the newbie’s claims mercilessly.

Sir, your ideas are intriguing to me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Well, one problem solved at least.

I just got off the phone with my dad half an hour ago (after-writing edit — well, like an hour and a half ago now). Or, more like, he got off the phone, I just ranted into dead air for a while, as he had hung up on me mid-sentence. It sort of solves a problem Jodi and I have with the wedding, but not the one I was expecting, and not in any way that I’m at all satisfied about.

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Oklahoma: hey, let’s make a law with respect to the establishment of religion

I know Congress can’t do it, since they have that pesky Establishment Clause in the US’ Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

But that’s not stopping Sally Kern from issuing a proclamation containing historical revisionism and an outright cuff across the face of anyone who happens to be a non-Christian, or worse, a non-believer:

WHEREAS, the people of Oklahoma have a strong tradition of reliance upon the Creator of the Universe; and

WHEREAS, we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis; and

WHEREAS, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery; and

WHEREAS, alarmed that the Government of the United States of America is forsaking the rich Christian heritage upon which this nation was built; and

WHEREAS, grieved that the Office of the president of these United States has refused to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer; and

WHEREAS, deeply disturbed that the Office of the president of these United States disregards the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the undersigned elected officials of the people of Oklahoma, religious leaders and citizens of the State of Oklahoma, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, solemnly declare that the HOPE of the great State of Oklahoma and of these United States, rests upon the Principles of Religion and Morality as put forth in the HOLY BIBLE

Fer fuck’s sake. Really. You can’t legislate away the reality that the country was founded on secular grounds to allow people to worship however they wanted, because the pilgrims wanted to get the hell away from oppressive single-religion rule. Hello Church of England? How much more pushback will we keep getting in the US from the theocrats who want to establish a fascist religious government? For the last fucking time, politics and religion don’t mix, and your Founding Fathers knew that and wrote your Constitution specifically to keep you from fucking everyone’s nice new country up with their crazy beliefs!

Video by News9.com, hat tip to Right Wing Watch:

More conversation at Pharyngula.

Thanks for bringing to my attention, Mr. Pickles!

FreeDOS turns 15; James Hall steps down

It’s amazing what a little do-it-yourself attitude and a stubborn unwillingness to let go of your old DOS apps can get you. Fifteen years ago today, FreeDOS was born (site), though it has gone through a few name changes since its PD-DOS days (Public Domain is so gauche now! OSS FTW).



Originally intended as a safe harbour for DOS application users for when Windows 95 finally did away with the underyling DOS on which Windows ran, it has grown and evolved and easily has become the most compatible, featureful and widely used DOS-compatible operating system available today, being preinstalled on pretty well every laptop and desktop whenever you ask to skip having to pay the Microsoft Tax. It’s compatible with just about every piece of software out there today, has its own TCP stack and USB (legacy) support, and you’ll frequently find it (packed in DosEMU) on classic “abandonware” gamers’ lists of must-have software. It is installed on every single rig I ever build for personal use, and it’s even installed on my work laptop presently. I swear by it, and as a classic gamer, it is one of my most-used apps. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please, if you haven’t already given it a spin, do so now.

Sadly, however, this silver lining comes with some dark cloud, as Greg Laden puts it, its “benevolent dictator” James Hall is stepping down from the project.

I was originally going to let my farewell at Greg’s stand, but Stephanie Zvan prodded me into posting about her friend’s accomplishment, and rightly so — this deserves whatever weight I can throw behind the Google trending. James, your steady hand will be missed, but hopefully will be emulated by the next person to ascend to stewardship of your brilliant project. Cheers to fifteen years of awesomeness!

Don’t look at it! Close your eyes and keep them closed!

Ed Brayton has the blow-by-blow on World Nut Daily’s claim to having found, and preparing to present, the Ark of the Covenant. Their supposed unveiling was a total wash, unfortunately.

Despite promising to reveal the genuine, real, authentic Ark of the Covenant, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church did not produce the artifact in Italy.

Harder to disprove something as fraudulent that doesn’t exist, I guess.

Oh COME ON, Elections Canada!

POST #300! Didn’t even notice until after I posted it! This is like a geek version of a car odometer rollover.

After the results of their latest election post-mortem, in an effort to ramp up the amount of participation in our electoral process, Elections Canada wants to set up voting over the internet. Boy howdy will that ever increase participation. Probably get well over 100% turnout, in fact!
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The ring, my precioussss!

Click to macro-embiggen

Click to macro-embiggen

It fits all her criteria — no big flashy diamonds, had to be a gemstone (and she loves sapphire), had to be on white gold, and it had to be… budget conscious, let’s say. 50% off should count for that.

Plus Stephanie put together a compendium of all the links in this crazy chain, including where all the well-wishers said their piece.

And DuWayne weighs in on his losing the possibility of getting health care by marrying me. Poor heartbroken guy.

This is just so overwhelming. Seriously, I’m having trouble staying whelmed. Jodi too, she’s jumping from blog to blog going “*squee*”.

Party tonight for a friend’s graduation, must go get ready (and prepare food). Will probably be awake in time to stream / attempt to call in to Atheists Talk tomorrow morning. Hopefully!

Thanks everyone!