Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Supreme Court to Hear Hobby Lobby Religious Lunacy

The Supreme Court has announced that they will hear the case of Hobby Lobby, which argues that they should have the constitutional "right" to impose their religious beliefs of their employees, by denying them medical coverage, on things like contraception, even if insurers offer it at no additional cost.  By their argument, a company run by a Jehovah's Witness should be able to tell employees that they cannot get blood transfusions.  A company run by Scientologists should be able to tell employees that they can't get psychological counselling.  Does the Supreme Court really want to do something this supremely stup!d and open the door to this boundless kind of superstitious lunacy?  We can only hope that a sane majority prevails on the court, despite the presence of some complete religious nutjobs like Thomas, Scalia, and Alito.

Obama Responsible for Broken Condoms

In a typical piece of broken logic, right-wing cartoonist A.F. Branco has decided that Obama is responsible for broken condoms everywhere.  That's right, in a recent cartoon that apparently is supposed to be "funny" if you're a republican, he actually tries to blame Obamacare for a guy getting an STD on the grounds that all the free birth control is going to make women sleep around more, and therefore contract more STDs.  Of course, if the guys were using condoms in the first place then these women wouldn't be getting STDs or be able to pass it on to men if they did have them.  But let's forget medical science, because it clearly has a "liberal bias". Clearly, Obama must be using the NSA to sabotage condom factories, so that more condoms will break, creating more STDs, so that more people will want to enroll in Obamacare.  Only, the cartoon has already anticipated that, because it complains that the healthcare.gov website doesn't work.  So it is also Obama's fault that this guy has never had government subsidized healthcare, which republicans fought against tooth and nail, but now he needs.  I seem to recall Mitt Romney trying to argue that you can't wait until your house burns down to buy fire insurance.  When even Mitt Romney makes more sense than the current batch of republicans then you know that their political philosophy is in trouble.

By the way, Mr. Branco also complains that the healthcare.gov website is not working, but then how did these women in his cartoon get their free birth control.  Furthermore, why are they complaining about not being able to get on the website when they opposed any kind of government healthcare in the first place.  If you work at a job that already provides healthcare, or if you make more than four times the poverty limit then you can't even qualify for this government healthcare.  So if republicans weren't all a bunch of trailer trash losers, and had real jobs then they wouldn't be worried about buying health care on the exchanges.  If republicans really were rich, as opposed to just always voting to give tax breaks to the rich and ship their own jobs overseas, then they would also be able to afford healthcare themselves without going to any federal website to buy it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Historic Iranian Deal...with the Devil

A short-term deal, brokered by the US and UN, with the Iranian government over their nuclear program has been announced.  This marks the first time in over 30 years, that the US and the Iranian government have successfully engaged in formal diplomatic relations of any substance, and decreases the likelihood of an eminent military showdown.

Of course, a lot depends on whether Iran will be serious about complying. The usual complement of rightwing, chickenhawk, blowhards lined up instantly to condemn the deal before they had even read it, insisting that Iran can't be trusted, no matter what.  Similarly, even more rightwing theocratic blowhards in the Iranian legislature are similarly skeptical about a deal with the "Great Satan".  And, of course, nutty Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, immediately said he wouldn't recognize the agreement.  No kidding, considered that you weren't invited to the negotiations nor asked to sign it.  It seems that religious extremists in the US, Israel, and Iran all prefer conflict to diplomatic solutions, and seem to have vested interests in keeping their little holy wars going.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Student Body Prez at Northwest Christian U Is An Atheist

The Student Body President, Eric Fromm, at Northwestern Christian University admitted in the student newspaper that he is an atheist and has been one for a long time.  Predictably, some of his fellow students have complained, but so far, the school has not forced him to resign his position or to disenroll.  Certainly there are some "christian" universities that would run him out on a rail.  The school leadership doesn't sound happy either, but are expressing a grudging tolerance with condescending remarks like, "If we all had our wishes, we wish Eric would be a strong Christian man". 

Interestingly, Fromm indicates that he has found some support on campus, and that there may be a few closeted atheists like himself on the campus.  I suspect that, in actuality, there are huge numbers of people who don't believe in God, but realize that it is more advantageous to pretend.

In fact, I propose that many rational atheists are living a modified version of  Pascal's Wager, that I will dub Aaron's Wager. In my version, it is a safer bet, if you truly don't believe in God, to pretend publically that you believe at least superficially, because of the advantages that religiosity confers.  There is little or nothing to be gained from a rational Game Theory perspective, by professing your true atheistic views, by and large, unless you are trying to write a book like Richard Dawkins.  But for every Richard Dawkins, there are a ten thousand people who might think like him, but pretend to be religious anyway, because, for them it confers more advantages.  I would venture to say that many televangelists are actually atheists, but, if they admitted that, they would have to get a real job.  Instead, they can live on easy street, exploiting the gullible.  And is it really such a big deal to pretend to believe something that you know is nonsense.  You know what you actually think.  But it makes believers happy for you to pretend that you are one of them.  All kinds of people pretend to be religious in order to keep peace in the family.  And if you actually admitted your beliefs, all it would do is upset people for no reason.  You would not change any minds by admitting your views.  If there really is no afterlife then atheists still benefit more by pretending to be religious, and enjoying the benefits in this one and only physical world.