Canada? Do we need to remind you about how screwed up the US is?

You seem to be going down a similar path — expertise is downplayed, any fool can do the job of government, irrationality is promoted to equal footing with reason. It’s worrisome. Didn’t your mother ever ask you whether you’d follow if your friends jumped off a cliff? Well, we’re clinging desperately to the edge of that cliff, and you seem awfully anxious to join us.

Take the case of Gary Goodyear. He’s a chiropractor and a certified acupuncturist. He’s a quack, in other words. And you’ve gone and appointed him to be your science and technology minister! Don’t you have any people up there who actually do Science and Technology? What’s David Suzuki up to?

Come on, fix this. It would really be embarrassing if the United States had to stage an intervention — it would be like having Rush Limbaugh show up at your door to chastise you for your substance abuse habits. Besides, you can’t count on us, since America is probably lying on a floor somewhere, shaking and spasming and shouting “flooba lalla maka wana taka doopa” while a minister is rifling through our wallet. We’re Sarah Palin driving an SUV with a big gun rack while watching the 700 Club on the ceiling-mounted video system, bound and determined to prove our superiority by crashing into anyone who cuts into our lane. We are not a good role model.

Please, Canada. You’ve always been like the sensible, moderate brother who at least sets a good example for us. We can’t afford to see you join us in irresponsible lunacy.

Buses are sprouting messages of reason everywhere…except Australia

Bold atheists have been buying ad space on buses in London and Washington DC—it’s been a successful tactic for raising the profile of godless groups, and has also been somewhat controversial. The Atheist Foundation of Australia sought to emulate those successes, and met an obstacle: the ad company simply refused to allow them to buy ad space, without giving a reason, and you can tell it was simply religious bigotry behind the decision.

It’s not as if they were trying to put up abusive or profane messages. Here are some of the slogans they suggested.

We started off with “Atheism – because there is no credible evidence”, we put that to the bus companies, they didn’t like that and they said the wording wasn’t to their acceptance. And then we changed that to “Celebrate reason” and thought we’d make it a bit comical “Sleep in on Sunday mornings”, but they refused that also.

This refusal is coming from the same company, APN Outdoor, that previously ran Bible verses on buses — it’s clearly simple bias that is behind their decision. I hope someone is considering legal action, since this kind of asymmetry that closes channels of communication to one side of a public issue means the ad company is arbitrarily imposing their faith-based beliefs on others.

Let’s put the cartoonists in charge!

The US is too dependent on cars and oil, and the automobile companies have been total failures at addressing the needs of the country…which is why they’re now looking for bailouts. So I have to say I thought Keith Knight’s solution is very appealing. After pointing out the incompetence of our automakers, he suggests…


Yes! Rebuild the railroads and put together a national mass transit system! Now there’s a public works project that would put people to work and improve our infrastructure. I’d also really like to be able to climb onto a train at the local station when I have to travel.



I have many things to be thankful for. One is that I’m not the brain-damaged idiot who wrote this appalling editorial in the Newnan Times-Herald.

Thanksgiving must be a terrible time for atheists. They have no God to thank.

They do not have the privilege of gathering with family and friends to express gratitude by saying: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” An atheist on his deathbed faces serious uncertainties. Gazing upward, he pleads: “Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul — if I have one.”

I’m also thankful that atheists are not sitting down and taking this nonsense anymore. If you read the comments on the column, you will discover that readers simply eviscerated this clown. Where the column is depressingly stupid, the replies are wonderful and heartwarming.

Oh, yes — I’m also thankful that on Thanksgiving I will be getting together with my family to express gratitude to the real people who count, rather than some imaginary thug in the sky.

Uh-oh. Will mysterious helicopters start following me around?

I’m normally a fan of the United Nations — I think more international cooperation is important — but they’ve just made a bad decision, voting in favor of a measure to condemn “defamation of religions”. It’s another example of the way religion tries to preserve its inanities by restricting criticism since, after all, it cannot survive any kind of critical thinking. And then there’s this comment:

And don’t forget that no less an authority than Canada’s own Louise Arbour, former UN high comissioner of human rights, wrote in response to a complaint about the publication of those famous Danish cartoons “I find alarming any behaviours that disregard the beliefs of others. This kind of thing is unacceptable.”

We have to respect the beliefs of others? Well, I think my belief that Canada needs to send me one million dollars is far more deserving of respect than the idea that torturing and killing incarnations of a god somehow exempts me from punishment for something my many times great grandmother did while frolicking naked in a garden. SO WHERE’S MY CASH, LOUISE?

What’s wrong with those Canadians?

There is a site promoting some Canadian blog awards, which says they are “celebrating the best in the Canadian blogosphere.” Good premise, especially since they have a sci/tech section — maybe I can find some more worthy Canadian science blogs. What do I find? No Sandwalk. No Recursivity. No Genomicron. The best Canadian science blogs that I read are unrepresented there, and instead, they’ve got Climate Audit, a climate change denialist blog, and three blogs from Denyse O’Leary’s link farm.

I don’t think these guys have a clue about good science. Don’t bother to vote on this one.

(via Canadian Cynic, who is Canadian, but got screwed too because there is no “most cynical” category.)

The rewards of stupidity

Harun Yahya is soliciting entries in an essay contest to disprove evolution. The prize is 100,000 Turkish lira, about $63,000 or 50,000 euros. All you have to do is write a 30-60 page essay parroting creationist nonsense, and maybe you could win!

They have a list of suggested topics that make it clear that this is going to be judged by the ignorant in favor of the stupid — it’s like a series of entries from the index of creationist claims that, as is common, simply ignore the evidence against them, or worse, make up ‘facts’ that are wrong.