Posts Tagged ‘liberal’
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 4, 2012
In a recent post I wrote about the stupidity of the U.S. Republican Party attempting to kowtow to the religious ideology of the Catholic Church on the issue of women’s reproductive rights and contraception. Since the whole fracas started, a number of polls have been released which show that not only have most (~98%) U.S. Catholic women used birth control, but most Catholics disagree with their own Church on this matter!
And that brings me to this blog post and a really bold move on the part of the Freedom From Religion Foundation: the FFRF’s Open Letter to “Liberal” Catholics to Quit the Church. I think the letter makes a very powerful argument, and I reproduce it for you in full below… if you agree with this letter, please consider making a donation to get it published in the New York Times.
Posted in politics, religion | Tagged: abortion, ad, advertisement, atheist, birth control, Bishops, Catholic, church, conscience, contraception, contraceptives, Council on Catholic Bishops, donation, FFRF, Freedom From Religion Foundation, GOP, leave quit, letter, liberal, liberty, men, New York Times, NYT, NYTimes, politics, privacy, RCC, religion, religious, Republican, Roman Catholic Church, separation of chruch and state, sex, sexuality, United States, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 31, 2011
Wow. I’m pretty stunned by this development. Many of you know that in the past I have been highly critical of the Huffington Post (a.k.a. the HuffPo) for their tacit acceptance and promotion of various kinds of medically-related nonsense, especially the fact they provide a big platform for anti-vaccination kooks.
However, in an interesting twist, one of their prominent writers – science correspondent Cara Santa Maria – has written a very solid and in-your-face pro-vaccine article. Not only that, but she also gives a big shout out to the WTFF’s Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated campaign!
Perhaps there’s hope yet for the HuffPo…
Yesterday I got a flu vaccine at work. The coughs and sneezes are beginning to sound like bad muzak around the office, so I figured it was time to give flu season the finger. I’ve actually never had a flu vaccine before. It just never occurred to me to do so. But now that I work in a corporate office environment, the handwashing signs over the bathroom sink and little pumps of antibacterial hand sanitizer glistening on individual desks are beginning to make sense to me. I don’t want these people making me sick. I don’t want to make them sick either. I like my coworkers a lot, but I wish we lived in a country that understood the value of a sturdy facemask. I live in Hollywood, a city so image-obsessed that the only time you see somebody wearing one of those is if they’ve just gotten their nose done.
But I digress. I noticed when I proudly bore the sticker proclaiming to the office masses today that I got my vaccination, a lot of people responded that they “don’t do that” or they “don’t believe in it.” That struck me as funny. It made me wonder why, if a free flu vaccination is offered to you only steps from your desk, you would opt not to partake. …
… The truth is, even though a new meta-analysis published in The Lancet only two days ago showed an overall efficacy for influenza vaccination hovering around 59% (in adults age 18-65, spread over the last 44 years), I’ll take 59% over 0% any day. And not getting a vaccine is 0% effective against the spread of influenza. By the way, if you are one of those people who opt out of prophylaxis, please do your part by washing your damn hands. And sneeze into your sleeve, not all over your disease-laden paws. Of course, I’m now a lot less worried about your germs making me sick. So, hug me! I’m vaccinated.
Posted in media woo, medical woo | Tagged: alternative medicine, anti-vaccination, anti-vax, antibiotics, Big Pharma, CAM, Cara Santa Maria, flu, health, Huffington Post, HuffPo, Hug Me, Hug Me I'm Vaccinated, influenza, liberal, medical community, medical intuitives, medicine, pharmaceuticals, politics, progressive, sCAM, science-based medicine, scientific community, swine flu, vaccines, Women Thinking Free Foundation, WTF, WTFF | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 21, 2011
Some of you may recall that I wrote a scathing post a couple of years ago, when The Skeptical Teacher was still young (in Internet time), about the progressive online newspaper called The Huffington Post (or, the HuffPo, as I call it). In it, I essentially accused the HuffPo of becoming a front for left-leaning woo, such as various forms of New Age nonsense, “alternative” medical quackery, and vaccine denial. Well, the good news is it seems that the number of science-oriented bloggers criticizing the HuffPo is growing, as evidenced by this post over at the Red State Progressive blog…
Many progressives get their news, at least in part, from The Huffington Post. I think this is unfortunate, and I side with a growing number of bloggers who will not promote them with links or retweets. As I have explained previously, they promote a dangerous sort of quackery, including creationism, homeopathy, antivaccination propaganda, and pseudoscience. It seems that Ms. Huffington has a soft spot for this sort of drivel, and HuffPo has become notorious for it.
If you are still not convinced, you might consider examining the growing body of evidence:
In keeping with this trend, I encourage you all to NOT promote the HuffPo with links and retweets. The more people who hold them to account for the dangerous pseudoscience they are spreading, the better.
Posted in media woo, medical woo, politics | Tagged: alternative medicine, anti-vaccination, anti-vax, antibiotics, Big Pharma, blog, bloggers, CAM, cancer, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, health, Huff Po, Huffington Post, HuffPo, liberal, medical community, medical intuitives, medicine, New Age, pharmaceuticals, politics, progressive, psychic, quackery, sCAM, science-based medicine, scientific community, vaccines | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 15, 2010
We’ve all heard of Wikipedia, which tends to be a pretty decent source of info – at least most of the time – because it can point a reader to a lot of good primary sources of information. It seems that some time ago, ultra-conservative religious fundamentalist nutbag Andrew Schlafly decided that Wikipedia had a “liberal bias” and started his own wiki called Conservapedia which has a very obvious conservative, right-wing bias.
In a post that is almost so crazy so as to be indistinguishable from parody – a phenomenon known as Poe’s Law – Andrew Schlafly has put an article up on Conservapedia claiming, no kidding, that Einstein’s theory of relativity is a sham & just part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. This recent article from Talking Points Memo Muckraker outlines the stupidity and down-the-rabbit-hole thinking from Schlafly…
Conservapedia: E=mc2 Is A Liberal Conspiracy
Andrew Schlafly and Albert Einstein. One of these is a scientist who revolutionized physics in the 20th century, and the other is a religious fundamentalist douchebag who wants to rewrite history & ignore science in order to fit everything into his twisted little worldview (guess which is which).
To many conservatives, almost everything is a secret liberal plot: from fluoride in the water to medicare reimbursements for end-of-life planning with your doctor to efforts to teach evolution in schools. But Conservapedia founder and Eagle Forum University instructor Andy Schlafly — Phyllis Schlafly’s son — has found one more liberal plot: the theory of relativity.
If you’re behind on your physics, the Theory of Relativity was Albert Einstein’s formulation in the early 20th century that gave rise to the famous theorum that E=mc2, otherwise stated as energy is equal to mass times the square of the speed of light. Why does Andy Schlafly hate the theory of relativity? We’re pretty sure it’s because he’s decided it doesn’t square with the Bible.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in conspiracy theories, physics denial/woo, politics | Tagged: Andrew Schlafly, Bible, Conservapedia, conservative, conspiracy, conspiracy theories, conspiracy theory, E = mc2, Einstein, liberal, moral relatvisim, morality, physics, relativism, relativity, relativity theory, Schlafly, theory of relativity, Wikipedia | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 20, 2010
As a quick follow up to my previous post regarding The Creationist Claims Index, there is a similar iTunes app regarding one of the latest & most venemous science-denial movements: global warming denialism. Whether you are conversing with someone who is merely ignorant of the science of climate change, or if you’re butting heads with a hardcore ideologue, you will no doubt find the Skeptical Science app to be of great use!
Much like its anti-creationist partner, the Skeptical Science app is well laid-out and indexed, making it a handy reference for those on-the-spot conversations that demand an immediate correction or rebuttal. In addition, it’s free
Download it now at iTunes…
As the front page of the website states:
Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to expand their knowledge and improve their understanding. Yet this isn’t what happens in global warming skepticism. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.
So this website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?
Posted in global warming denial, internet | Tagged: AGW, Al Gore, anthropogenic, app, climate change, conservative, denial, denialism, deniers, global cooling, global warming, GW, ideology, iPhone, iPod Touch, iTouch, iTunes, liberal, science, skeptic, skepticism | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 13, 2010
One of the most public scientific topics in recent years has been that of human-influenced global warming, also known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW). As I’ve posted before, for a variety of reasons – ranging from basic ignorance of climate science to the outright promotion of a cynical ideology – some people insist upon claiming that AGW (or even GW in general) is “false”, a “lie”, or a “hoax”. In fact, some of the more extreme folks are claiming – in spite of all data to the contrary – that the Earth is actually in a period of global cooling.
Their evidence?… the most recent cold snap that has gripped the United States over the last week or two. No, I’m serious – that is their “evidence”. I’d be laughing my head off if it weren’t so sad that there are actually people who are seriously making this argument, so in true skeptical teacher fashion, I shall explain exactly where this argument falls apart and why it is inaccurate…
The primary flaw in this argument is good ol’ fashioned cherry-picking of data: the “coolers” are choosing to focus only upon data which supports their claims, while ignoring the vast amount of data which points in exactly the opposite direction. By focusing on just the weather reports over the last couple of weeks, or for only a certain part of the planet, they leave out the fact that climate is a phenomenon which is global in nature and that climate science is concerned with long term trends. Essentially, they are confusing weather with climate. Climate experts recently made this point in an Associated Press article which has been widely circulated.
Bottom line: when taking all of the data into account, both concerning the timeline as well as the Earth as a whole, there is a clear warming trend.
Lastly, I should point out that the intellectual vacuity of the “cooler” argument above cuts both ways. Case in point: where I live in the upper Midwest we have, of course, been gripped by the recent cold snap, but weather (not climate) projections show that starting tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 13) through the weekend – at least – there will be an unusual warming trend. In fact, temperatures will be well above freezing throughout the region, and this is in the middle of January! ZOMG!!!
Thus, using the “cooler” method of cherry-picking, I could start going on and on about how this “proves” global cooling is false and “proves” that global warming is true. I could also cherry-pick by stating that very high temperatures in some regions during the summer are “proof” of global warming. But these would be ludicrous assertions, and I only mention them in jest as a way of making fun of the “coolers” and their pseudoscientific tactics.
So, putting such silliness aside, I suggest that we focus on actual climate science in this discussion, as opposed to using methods such as purposefully confusing weather with climate, cherry-picking, and so on. In the long run, a rigorous application of the scientific method will allow us to see what’s really going on, and all else will be revealed as hot air.
Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, anthropogenic global warming, carbon emissions, cherry picking, climate change, conservative, coolers, denial, deniers, global cooling, global warming, GW, hoax, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, liberal, myth, politics, pseudoscience, skeptic, skepticism | 5 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 17, 2009
I’ve blogged here before about various claims made & tactics used by climate science deniers (I refuse to call them “skeptics” because they are not guided by evidence, merely ideology), but what I have to share in this post is truly damning stuff. One of the things which is really interesting is what happens when a group of pseudoscientific ideologues (like global warming deniers) gets caught red-handed playing fast & loose with the facts…
Exhibit A: Statisticians Confirm Reality of Global Warming in Blinded Tests
Recently, one of the claims making the rounds has been that, contrary to the consensus within the climate science community, the Earth is actually entering a period of global cooling – this claim is patently fallacious, and anyone who has a basic understanding of statistics knows it. But what happened recently, as reported in a widely-circulated AP story, really slams the door shut on this bogus claim: the temperature data for the planet was analyzed by a series of independent statisticians, all of whom found a warming (not a cooling) trend in the data. And here’s the kicker: these statisticians didn’t know what the data were – in other words, the examination of the Earth’s temperature data was a blinded test!
Have you heard that the world is now cooling instead of warming? You may have seen some news reports on the Internet or heard about it from a provocative new book. Only one problem: It’s not true, according to an analysis of the numbers done by several independent statisticians for The Associated Press.
The case that the Earth might be cooling partly stems from recent weather. Last year was cooler than previous years. It’s been a while since the super-hot years of 1998 and 2005. So is this a longer climate trend or just weather’s normal ups and downs?
In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time.
“If you look at the data and sort of cherry-pick a micro-trend within a bigger trend, that technique is particularly suspect,” said John Grego, a professor of statistics at the University of South Carolina.
This result puts paid to the oft-repeated claim by GW-deniers that there is a cooling trend in the data. Of course, the only reason why these pseudoscientists were able to get away with their false claims for so long was because they, as professor Grego said, have been cherry-picking the data and presenting it incomplete & out-of-context in order to give the impression that the Earth is cooling. But, as we’ve seen, once the experimenter & statistician bias is removed from the analysis, which is the whole purpose of doing blinded tests, a very real and consistent warming trend is revealed.
But it gets even worse for the GW-deniers…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, Al Gore, American Physical Society, An Inconvenient Truth, anthropogenic global warming, APS, carbon emissions, climate change, conservative, creationists, denial, deniers, global cooling, global warming, GW, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, liberal, myth, petition, physicists, politics, pseudoscience, skeptic, skepticism | 5 Comments »