Meanwhile, at Freethought Blogs…

Desperately trying to pack in as much fun as I can while my vacation time is waning. So while the Zvans are working, I’m blogging ahead a bit. And while I’m still posting filler and nearly-meatless linking posts, others at FtB have more than picked up my share of the heavy lifting.
Our lord and master Ed Brayton

Chris Rodda honors Mark Twain’s 176th birthday today with some choice quotes:

“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.”
“The motto stated a lie. If this nation has ever trusted in God, that time has gone by; for nearly half a century almost its entire trust has been in the Republican party and the dollar — mainly the dollar.”

Jen McCreight has been positively ablaze (two links) in demonstrating exactly how little evidence the Burzynski Clinic has for their expensive therapy and their litigious anti-blogger practices in defending said therapy.

Why was I skeptical? Because not all journals are created equal. Lay people know this to an extent. It’s much more prestigious to get into journals like Science and Nature because the peer review process is way more rigorous. Your research not only has to be pretty damn air tight, but it has to make a significant contribution to scientific knowledge. We can measure how good a journal is by a metric known as an “impact factor.” It’s complicated, but generally the higher the impact factor, the better the journal.

So let’s have a look at Burzynski’s research, shall we?

The blogosphere’s poet laureate writes an ode to Burzynski’s quick burnout, fueled in no small part by the very blogosphere it’s trying to sue into silence.

When your data are meager, then there go your grants,
But Burzynski the Bold doubled down, took a chance:
“I’ll charge all my patients exorbitant fees,
And I’ll make up the difference, as quick as you please!”

Maryam Namazie covers the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal’s attempts to encourage Sharia law suits by legal institutions worldwide for local Muslim practitioners.

As I’ve explained countless times, sharia law – or any religious law for that matter – is discriminatory and unfair (at best), and medieval and barbaric (when it’s at its best). Yes, Sharia’s family code is not stonings and amputations (that’s its criminal code) but the denial of women’s and children’s rights in the family are pillars of suppression in countries under Islamic rule.

Justin Griffith is currently knee-deep in a battle against a number of anti-Constitutional religious observances on military property, including the Camp Pendleton Cross. He takes FOX ‘News’ to task for their mendacity regarding why the Camp Pendleton Cross was such a big deal and why it might fail to pass muster — they, of course, were claiming that the issue was that a lone atheist sued, framing it once again as a sole antireligious nutter wanting to suppress Christianity.

The Camp Pendleton cross was simply illegal, and the Marine Corps quickly […] requested a legal review.
Existing and long-standing military regulations specifically ban this. No atheists ‘sued’. A mistake was corrected and nobody was punished. And no atheists were calling for anything more extreme than ‘fix the situation’.

PZ is covering our good friend across the pond Jim Gardner and his compatriot Alex Botten in their fight with Eric Hovind and Sye Tenbruggencaite (there’s a few names for you!) over the copyright and rights assigned by their participating in a discussion with them.

Guess what? Eric Hovind is planning to sell a DVD of the discussion to profit his lying ministry. It isn’t even a complete recording: it is an edited version, with additional commentary slapped on from their sleazy creationist perspective. It’s unethical and dishonest — two words that will always be associated with the Hovind name.

Canadian Foreign Affairs minister John Baird has been cozying up to The Vatican recently while trying to build a “, and Crommunist is all over it.

The bizarre element of this story (which, admittedly, isn’t really news so much as it is political gossip) is the fact that Minister Baird is being coached on how to answer a religious question posed by a priest representing another “country”. This is the kind of debate that doesn’t really loom very large in Canadian domestic life, and yet our Minister of International Affairs is being forced to answer for a stupid call made by a judge in a province that is openly disdainful of not only his government, but the very idea of Canada as a unified nation.

While slightly overshadowed by JT Eberhard’s showing, Greta Christina did an amazing job at Skepticon IV. Though, in at least one Youtube commenter’s eyes, is nothing better than “an uglyass librarian”.

I’m devastated. No, wait. What’s that other thing? Annoyed. Exasperated. Facepalming so hard my eyes are spinning in their sockets.


Stephanie Zvan rightly sneers at the institutionalized inequality that women face when being offered a job — that they’re expected to negotiate up, and that the companies recognize that women do it less frequently than men.

It doesn’t matter that this is policy. In fact, that makes it both worse and a point of legal weakness in the HR policy at your company. A policy that creates gender disparities in pay that isn’t based on job performance is a big flag that says, “Sue me, ladies!” And nothing about negotiating one’s pay is job-related. Nothing about needing to ask for a raise instead of receiving them as part of regularly conducted job reviews is job-related.

Deacon Duncan uses a short Socratic dialogue to cut down the meme of morality derived from religion. You’ll want to click through for the punchline.

“I’ll never understand atheism. I mean, there’s tons of evidence for God.”

“Like what?”

“Like morality, for instance.”

Greg Laden kisses and tells.

When it came time to go home, she drove me to my house in my urban neighborhood and parked on the nearby street. As we were saying our good-byes, she enigmatically unhooked her seat belt. I wondered why. Then, I discovered that she wanted the freedom of movement to lean across the console and give me a kiss. It was a good kiss. It was actually a series of good kisses, and it went on for a while.

With this broad a scope of topics and controversies, it’s good to know that the intertubes are in good hands. I can step back now and again and not have to worry that the dominionists and SIWOTIs will flood out all reason on the digital domain, what I consider my homefront.

Meanwhile, at Freethought Blogs…