I’m procrastinating from my posts about the Big Bang (which is growing pretty enormous itself), and an attempt to take apart a link sent to me a while back by a theist in a proper and appropriate manner, by putting together another edition of Random Crap in my Tabs. CyberLizard linked this page on Twitter which seems strangely appropriate.
The FTC is implementing new rules in the States today that will impose heavy penalties on robocalls — whether political, spam-related or otherwise. Hopefully this should put a stop to disingenuous smear campaigns perpetrated by both sides in unequal measure (weighing heavily on the Republicans’ side, of course). Hooray, right? As always, I’m worried this’ll be abused to nefarious ends, but I’m a bit of a pessimist sometimes.
Here’s how to rename a domain controller under a Windows ActiveDirectory domain. Note that it includes a lot of command line work. Funny, that.
Glenn Greenwald is one of the few reporters still dogging Dick Cheney on the fact that he’s a torturer. He takes The Washington Post to task for their uncritical, laudatory reviews on how torture is totally a-okay and probably prevented terrorists from exploding a shelter full of kittens or something.
Another instance of religious faith-healing nonsense took the life of a 17-year-old who had a ruptured appendix. The most galling part of this one is that it happened in Washington State, where there are laws about this kind of thing:
Washington’s child-abuse law has a religious exemption for parents. It specifies that a person treated through faith healing “by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.” Other religions are not mentioned.
That’s right, laws against the parents being held responsible if they’re Christians and they have a “duly accredited” faith-healer do the praying.
Atheists won a small victory in Kentucky against religious nutters insistent on establishing laws with respect to the Abrahamic god to the exclusion of all other religions or lacks thereof. The law was proposed to totally steep the Homeland Security offices in Christianity specifically: it was to declare that the country could not be defended without reliance upon “Almighty God”, to include statements of such in the educational and promotional materials, and that a permanent plaque was to be displayed with the text of the law at the Emergency Operations Center in Kentucky. Thankfully the judge ruled this to be a gross violation of the separation of church and state. Fine if you personally want to pray, but don’t force others to pray to your god if they don’t believe in it. Assholes.
And finally, Pope Ratzy blames atheists for environmental destruction, never mind all those people in the States who nix environmental protection laws because “the Bible says we’re to have dominion over all the Earth so drill baby drill! Mountaintop removal and uranium mines for everyone!” PZ Myers is rightly pissed. Mike Dunford mostly agrees, but is a bit put off by a few claims of PZ’s. I don’t see what the big deal is, figuring that Ratzy is an extreme right-winger and has been politicizing Rome and the entire Catholic faith since taking up the pointy hat, as PZ’s claims fit in with other issues that Ratzinger has brought up that directly contradict his claims to being an environmental crusader.