The Easter War: I didn’t do it.

Really…I was only joking about the war on Easter. The wingnuts didn’t have to take it seriously.

What’s worse is that Minnesota may be Ground Zero: this is a real fake sign, so I’m a little concerned that someone is going to find a reason to blame me. While a little plagiarism gets one fired, I’m not sure what the penalty is for starting a culture war.


In related news, property values in St. Paul have just shot upwards.


Ben Domenech has imploded.

That didn’t take long.

Domenech has posted his excuses. Basically, he’s claiming that the plagiarism didn’t count because it happened when he was younger, that the WaPo editors “are convinced by my arguments on many of these issues”, and that he’s only resigning because of the “firestorm”. As is typical, he’s making rationalizations to avoid simply taking responsibility. And then there’s this nonsense:

But all these specifics are beside the point. Considering that all of this happened almost eight years ago, and that there are no files or notes that I’ve kept from that brief stint, it is simply my word against the liberal blogosphere on these examples. It becomes a matter of who you believe.

But for a really gagworthy comment, try this:

To my enemies: I take enormous solace in the fact that you spent this week bashing me, instead of America.

Oh, yeah. He took a bullet…for America!


Hey, now he’s got something else (besides exhibiting excessive hubris that gets him fired from a job he acquired through Rethuglican connections) in common with George Deutsch: he never graduated from his college. Isn’t it symptomatic of a movement in trouble that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, grabbing young, unseasoned incompetents and stuffing them into positions for which they are unsuited and unprepared, except perhaps by their ideological leanings?

I worry that these are just the ones who are getting caught. How many young wingnut incompetents are settling into positions of power right now?

Maybe it’s just OK to torture sinners

Hey, who thinks torture is never justified?

Catholics 26%
White Protestant 31%
White evangelical 31%
Secular 41%
Total 32%

I won’t chew out all the Christians this time (because I take it for granted that religion, especially a death cult, is not a moralizing influence). Instead, I want to know what the hell is wrong with the 59% of my fellow non-religious people who think torture is sometimes acceptable!

I was also mildly amused by this quote at the National Catholic Reporter article:

During Lent especially, he [David Robinson of Pax Christi] says, the image of Jesus, who was tortured to death, should be powerful for Catholics, reminding them that “Christ is being crucified today through the practice of torture.”

After all, if it was good enough for Jesus…

(I was pointed to a post on this survey at Andrew Sullivan, who also has some pithy comments on it.)

Wilkins on dKos

Darksyde interviews one of those people who convinced me that philosophy actually has something to contribute to our understanding of science (you know, it’s sadly true, but science education often belittles the value of trying to puzzle out how we know what we know)—that guy with extremely poor spelling skills, John Willikins Wilkins*. It’s a good read.

*Rumors that he bears a familial or temperamental affiliation with a certain mayor of Sunnydale are entirely scurrilous, and therefore well worth spreading.

I really didn’t need to see that

Childbirth is a beautiful thing, I know…but a statue of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug is just weird, and this one combines a couple of other strange conceptions.

The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva’s pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear’s ears with “water-retentive” hands.

Labor is not seductive. Putting a “pop-diva” in a rather sexual pose is not a celebration of birth and motherhood, I don’t think. Furthermore, it’s supposed to be a monument: a monument to the anti-choice movement. I’m sure there’s nothing Phyllis Schlafly and James Dobson would think represents their beliefs better than an anatomically explicit statue of the woman who sang “Baby one more time” naked and in a gynecologically revealing pose.

I’m thinking some New York artist is venting excess irony here.

(via Blog of the Moderaate Left)

Dembski’s cover is blown

There was a “debate” between Michael Shermer and William Dembski at the University of Kentucky. I’m not a fan of these pseudo-debates—they’re really just a pair of presentations, where the creationist can leech off the other guy’s reputation—and I don’t think Shermer is the best guy to defend biology, but this one seems to have had an interesting result.

Then came the question and answer session. The most striking thing was that every single question was for Dembski. People came prepared. They brought typed-up questions, asking him why he had been dismissed as an expert witness from Dover, why the Discovery Institute would not let Eugenie C. Scott use long excerpts of their material, why ID proponents don%u2019t publish or provide data, how the Discovery Institute can be taken seriously as an objective research organization when it had published a document in 1999 stating that it wanted to combat secularism (to which Demski pointed out the many pro-atheist comments made by people like Gould and Dawkins). Although Demski handled himself well, he seemed somewhat nonplussed. Meanwhile Shermer made a few rebuttals mixed with jokes.

Don’t knock the idea of getting the public informed. This is what we need: more intelligent, prepared citizens who are willing to confront these frauds and make them uncomfortable. Dembski is going to find himself increasingly isolated, I hope, and is going to find himself giving his lectures solely to sympathetic church-group audiences.