Limbaugh: “I am a very bad person.”

In a shocking turnabout, Rush Limbaugh reneges on almost everything he’s ever said, in an article published in America’s most reliable news organization, The Onion:

I know there are a lot of people out there who are upset about some of the things I’ve been saying on my radio program lately. My comments about the situation in Haiti have hurt and angered many Americans who genuinely care about the plight of the Haitian people, and that hurt and anger will likely never go away. Many of you are probably wondering, “What would compel a human being to say things like that?” Well, here’s your answer: I am a very bad person. And, to tell you the truth, I don’t really want to be alive anymore.

Some of his revelations are rather disturbing — I hope for his sake he’s on a suicide watch.

RCimT: Sunday Atheism Roundup (on Monday)

Oh how late I am with this post! The fact that I’ve taken so long in posting my traditional Sunday link roundup obviously must mean I’ve run out of things to blog about and the blog will shortly close down! Well, I won’t let that stop me from carrying on blogging like our evangelical blog-stalker’s prognostications are as much bunkum as his religion or his conspiracy-theories.

[Read more...]

A moderated comment by Zdenny

I just had to share it because it’s hilarious. Our favorite evangelical blog-stalker posted it on How to remain human on the internet, doubling the LOL factor, since such a message as this can only be described as “being an asshole”.

I can see you are running out of things to blog on…I give your blog another four week max…

I have noticed a huge drop off in blog postings by atheists in general. PZ has cranked it up while everyone else is dropping off. I think the Bush effect is pretty much over.

I am going to miss your blog though. I have enjoyed following it.

God Bless..

I won’t miss you. You’re going from perma-modded to outright spammed. I’ll never see another of your messages, you asshole. And I don’t feel at all bad doing it, since you were an asshole to me first. (And multiple times.)

How to remain human on the internet

In case you’ve forgotten? There are real people out there. People just as real as you are. And real people in the real world don’t act like assholes everywhere they go.

Okay, some do. But those people tend not to have very many friends, and also tend to be bitter and angry about that fact. I guess they can’t see that they’re assholes.

It’s pretty easy not to be an asshole. In fact, a lot of times you have to go out of your way to accomplish the state of assholeness. You have to really strive to put people off, especially when you’re dealing with them face to face. People are pretty willing to look for the good when they have a real person – even one with flaws – standing in front of them.

But on the internet? That just isn’t true.

Lori explains…

Atheists ain’t got soul

Noelplum99 makes an excellent argument against the very notion of an immaterial soul.

It doesn’t matter what the nuances of your belief in an immaterial and immortal soul happen to be — the concept itself is flawed, regardless of your particular stance on who or what gets souls and under what circumstances. You have a BRAIN, though. Just like every other mammal, and most other macroscopic creatures on the planet.

Hat tip to @_7654_ for tweeting this.

Blondes have more fun aggression?

Aaron Sell, a researcher at the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, recently published a paper on human anger and the proclivity toward using anger to get one’s way, finding that attractive women and physically strong men tend toward aggression moreso than others to get their way.

As Scicurious puts it, in her post on the media coverage of this study, this is an interesting result in itself. It’s even newsworthy, and challenges some pre-conceived notions that such people get their way so often because they are willingly deferred-to by others, rather than because their temper tantrums cause people to defer to them.

But the BBC posted an article about the study, claiming “Blonde Women are Born to be Warrior Princesses”. They’ve since scrubbed this article, but the headline and content was picked up by Gawker and Times Online, both of which making explicit claims that the study found that blondes considered themselves more attractive, and therefore were the “more aggressive” ones in the results. The Gawker article even goes so far as to suggest Sell might have been recently dumped by a blonde woman.

The trouble with this is, Sell’s paper produced no evidence of these claims whatsoever. There was some mention that the expectation going into the study was that blondes would be in a position of privilege, since the study was done in southern California, “the natural habitat of the privileged blonde”. However, TrueSlant was smart enough to actually contact Sell prior to publishing a story on the tarted-up-by-the-media version of study, and discovered that when Sell broke out hair color which the original study did not do, he found:

based on our data:

Blonde women do _not_ feel more entitled.
Blonde women are _not_ more prone to anger
Blonde women do _not_ feel more attractive than other women.
Blonde women are _not_ more militaristic.

This is a big blow to my confidence in BBC’s reporting. They’re still a far cry from FOX “News”, mind you, but until now I have had no reason to suspect their coverage of science-related news items. Serves me right for giving them the benefit of the doubt, I guess.

Slightly related: an open letter to the media, from science.

Update on Jan. 24th: Dr. Sell has corrected me on the fact that the incorrect, tarted-up version of this story started in the Times and was picked up by the BBC, rather than the other way around. The fact that the BBC has corrected the record but the Times has not, is good for my opinion of the BBC, if only marginally so, in that they uncritically re-ran the Times’ newsbite. This update also totally scuttles any trust I had in the Times on matters of science.

Further reading on The Nexus of Skepticism and Boobies

There is a great deal more worthwhile discussion (and excoriation of those damnable harlot Skepchicks in the comments) at Greg Laden’s, where the whole powderkeg was originally set ablaze by Skeptifem the other day.

Also a fascinating read: Skeptic Catfight: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Update: Hell, I was totally going to include Carr2d2′s latest post on the topic, [un]Becoming the Borg but somehow completely forgot before posting.

The whole mess comes down to a purity movement within the feminist community, which is neither helpful nor appropriate. Fractious in-fighting between feminists who want to be who they are, and feminists who think those other women are damaging the cause of feminism by having fun and/or being sexy, amounts to little better than a train wreck that I can’t help following.

Non-Believers Giving Aid – donate now!

Jodi and I just dipped into our wedding donations and gave $50 to the Non-Believers Giving Aid fund, wherein Richard Dawkins is covering all Paypal charges for donors to either the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) or the International Red Cross in support of those working to mitigate Haiti’s devastation. You should do so as well.

I stipulated MSF as the recipient of our money, but there’s no real reason to choose one over the other, other than that I am a big fan of MSF.