athelind: (Default)
The only place I've seen this is in a locked post, so I'm gonna put it right out here in the open:

If you're on Twitter, set your location to Tehran & your time zone to GMT +3.30. Iranian security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut down Iranians' access to the internet. Cut & paste & pass it on.

I'm not on Twitter, but I know a bunch of you out there who read this are -- so help throw a wrench in the Fundamentalist machine. There's not a lot we can do from here, but this one little thing could have a disproportional impact.

athelind: (Default)

The Florida legislature has approved religious-themed specialty license plates.

They didn't get to see them before the vote, but here's a pic:

Tasteful, aren't they?

That big gap in the middle makes coming up with appropriate personalized plates a challenge that we rose to meet.

Cut for tasty, tasteless sacrilege! )
And now it's your turn!

That's what Comments are for!

athelind: (Default)
This has been making the rounds tonight, and it should.

Edit: Embed fixed. Thanx, Cargo.

athelind: (Default) is planning a Parade to Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition on 05 December, and they're looking for a Bay Area resident turning 75 and another turning 21 on December 5th to act as Grand Marshalls.

...if they could find someone turning 96, they'd have someone who actually was legally allowed to drink on that day!

Yes, this one gets the "politics" tag, among others. The Repeal of Prohibition marked the end of the last Big Wave Of Moralizing Religious Stupidity that screwed up this country.
athelind: (Default)
There's a move to revoke the LDS Church's tax-exempt status for violating the section of the Federal code that limits the use of such organizations to influence legislation.

This seems entirely appropriate to me.

Do As Thou Wilt.

athelind: (Default)

GenCon 2008 raised over $17,000 for the Christian Children's Fund -- you know, "pennies a day can feed these photogenic waifs".

That was Gary Gygax's favorite charity, and the CCF was chosen as a memorial to him.

They turned it down, because the money came in part from the sales of Dungeons & Dragons.

athelind: (Default)
It infuriates me that, while almost every prime-time show we watch regularly has at least one ad supporting the reprehensible Proposition 8, I have yet to see a single ad opposing it. What happened to "equal time"?

Or is this a situation where those foul "pro" ads work just as well to stoke up the fury of any thinking person against this?

From the bile these people spew, you'd think that they believe that if their proposition to Eliminate Rights* doesn't pass, same-sex marriage will become mandatory for everyone.

*Bless you, Jerry Brown, for renaming this Act to accurately describe what it means.
athelind: (Default)
I've been trying to compose a response to this story all day: a Ramadan prayer service in Dayton, Ohio was interrupted on Friday when local thugs sprayed a chemical irritant into the mosque, specifically targeting the room where children and infant were being cared for while their parents were praying.

The DailyKos points out that this occurred shortly after a fear-mongering anti-Muslim propaganda DVD was distributed in newspapers and free mailings across several swing states, including Ohio.

I cannot consider that a coincidence.

There are those saying that comparisons to Kristallnacht are alarmist and exaggerated. Perhaps comparisons to Birmingham are more appropriate?

No, no one was killed in this cowardly assault on innocents. This is certainly a step beyond cross-burning and graffiti, however. Does someone actually have to die before Dayton police will recognize it as a hate crime?

[ profile] scarfman provided this:

*<*div align="center"*>**<*a href=""*>**<*img src=""*>**<*/a*>**<*/div*>*

Copy the code above and remove all the asterisks to link to the image.

athelind: (Default)

I know posting something like this on my blog is largely preaching to the choir, but I wanted to pass it on anyway.

athelind: (Default)
My daily perusal of BoingBoing exposes me to a wide range of "wonderful things" -- and, occasionally, the horrific as well. On a rare occasion, something I find there will drive me to delight and elation -- and others, to tears of indignant outrage.

This is not an example of the former.

This evening, the monotone maw of Ben Stein, star of stage, screen, and Nixon speechwriting, graced us with the following:

When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Mr. Stein, I will not attempt a rebuttal. I have no need to do so. Thirty-five years ago, Jacob Bronowski said everything that need be said in his magnum opus, The Ascent of Man, in a scene filmed on the site of those very atrocities you evoke so wryly, as the ashy remains of his own family members and yours flowed through his fingers:

It is said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. This is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashed of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: 'I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.'

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died at Auschwitz, to stand here by the pond as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.

Which of us, Mr. Stein, claims to know the Mind of God?
athelind: (Default)
In a comment thread in another journal, someone asked just what version of their holy texts Christian Fundamentalists considered... "fundamental".

To understand Fundamentalism, one must first understand the meaning and the etymology of the word "fundament":

fun·da·ment: n.

    1. The buttocks.
    2. The anus.

      [Middle English foundement, from Old French fondement, from Latin fundamentum, from fundare, to lay the foundation, from fundus, bottom.]

In other words, a "Fundamentalist" is one who pulls their religious beliefs out of their ass.

And now you know.

And knowing is half the battle.

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