The filibuster is in jeopardy


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As luck would have it, one of my family members is in ICU and I have a series of comprehensive medical tests today myself, so I may be scarce for a day or two. In the meantime please consider a small donation to your humble atheist blogger this week. I really need it and no amount is too small. Thanks to those of you who pitched in already!

Back in the darkest days of the Bush administration and Tom DeLay’s house of horrors, Republicans threatened to nuke the Senate filibuster. I’m proud to say my colleagues at Daily Kos and I responded with, go for it. It’s a dumb arcane artifact of Senate rules that obstructs ledge and gives individual and small groups of senators the ability to legally shake down industries and star in their own dramatic CSPAN grandstand. Since 2008 the GOP has used it a record number of times to thwart progressive policies and block everything in sight. It appears Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has finally had enough: [Read more…]

George Zimmerman back in jail


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I’m begging for change in readers’ Paypal accounts and this clown is free to cash in on tragedy. I guess life isn’t fair and that’s saying it mildly.

I didn’t cover the Trayvon Martin story, much, because it was covered really well all over the place and there wasn’t much to add. Only one eyewitness survived. But since skating on those charges charges, the creep that killed Trayvon has been in all kinds of trouble involving guns and allaged threats. . This weekend George Zimmerman was arrested again in a pattern that’s become all too familiar: [Read more…]

Damn meddling script kiddies


Without your contributions this year — to Paypal email address DarkSydoThemoon-at/aol-com — this site and would cease to exist. The moment I don’t have to do this anymore I’ll be thrilled to yell it from the mountain tops. I’ll have a snail-mail set up later this week for those who despise or do not use Paypal. On a bright note, I was able to afford some Bengal Gold, an insecticide that’s very effective. So, thanks to those who donated, I had a satisfying morning of sorts killing and sterilizing all the little bastards who moved in to keep me company …

On the weird spamming dealio that a reader reported, it’s a persistent trickssy little bug, but fortunately all it does is hyperlink a few random words and its even kind enough to feature on off page arrow to warn you. My scans picked up the usual garbage and I killed them all, after which it seemed to go away. But just this morning there were signs it had gotten back. This particular spammer appears to work with a file or files many people have, but not everyone has them, so the links show for some people and not for others. BTW, If you’re a little low on bucks to blow on sec software, MalwareBytes has a decent free version that’s better than nothing and doesn’t seem to cause many conflicts. I’ll be working on getting rid of the last shreds of it today, meaning new posts will be light as my PCs will be undergoing maintenance.

Election day all over again


Time is definitely going by faster as I age. It seems like only a couple of months ago that we were electing a President and now it’s that time of year again. There are a number of interesting races worth following, starting the VA governor’s race between Terry McAuliffe and the Cooch. This should be a no brainer, Cooch is running against both all kinds of reproductive rights and oral sex just to name a couple of nutty and dangerous positions the man holds. But it’s closer than it should be: [Read more…]

Last call & closing time


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Thanks for the donations folks. This is my last bleg for now, unless something lucky happens, I’m sure it will be right back for the Holidays. For those who’ve asked, I’ve secured a physical address and posted it in the first comment below that is safe to send written checks or money orders to. Address envelope to Stephen Andrew, the bank tells me it’s fine to leave the payee blank. Thanks!

A sad sign of the anti-science times


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My parents were thoughtful. They dutifully stimulated my interest in reading and especially science and math, as a youngster. One of those gifts was a subscription to Popular Science magazine when I was barely ten-years-old. I can still smell the fresh glossy pages and feel the excitement of a future they implied; even the ads were fun for me to read. But at the same time I was learning about planets and atoms, down the hall from my bedroom an older sibling was being quietly indoctrinated by one of many seemingly innocent evangelical Christian outreach efforts aimed at young people, this one was called Young Life, but it was just one among many.

This latest announcement by Popular Science online is an indicator that science and reason still remain locked in an ancient battle with superstition and propaganda, and it’s by no means clear which will prevail: [Read more…]

The bin Laden scheme

As we dutifully remember the events of Sep 11, 2001, it’s useful to tell the short story of Osama bin Laden and why he orchestrated the attack. That terrible day may seem fresh in our minds, but in the next Presidential election there will be people voting who don’t remember it. There’s a lot of young people now coming of age who were just kids, millions more not yet born, on that terrible day. And the story is as short and easy to follow as it it is tragic.

We begin with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and a young, idealistic heir to a vast family fortune named Osama bin Laden. [Read more…]

No aliens in Area 51


SR-71 Blackbird spyplane refueling from a mid-air KC-135 strato-tanker. You’d need a lot of space in the middle of nowhere to test stuff like this and go unnoticed.


What X-phile wouldn’t have wanted it to be true? A massive government plot to conceal hard proof of extraterrestrials, including advanced alien technology and by some accounts even the preserved bodies of same. Where grays meant something far less mundane than Civil War reenactment uniforms. Alas, a new a release does not confirm Agent Mulder’s suspicions.

But it sounds like there were some real cool things going on in Area 51: [Read more…]