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Skepchick Quickies 10.30

And if you come across any good Halloweeny skeptical links, please feel free to send them in so I can feature them in tomorrow’s quickies!

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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36 Comments

  1. Tennant was good and I will miss him but it isn’t the end of the show. I still like Tom Baker the best. I love the god hates signs photo, I would love to engage in a counter westboro protest. I think it is a great way to counter their hate.

  2. @mxracer652: I didn’t really take it that way, though I see PZ agrees with you.

    Dole didn’t just say “you canoodle with atheists!” she said “you canoodle with atheists AND THEREFORE you’re a terrible person!” And it is low, despicable, and objectionable to question someone’s abilities as a politician just because they hang with the cool kids atheists.

    Also, it sucks to be called something you’re not. If Hagan isn’t godless, then why shouldn’t she react negatively to that, even if she has no personal problem with us godless heathens? Especially when she’s running in a place like North Carolina where her Sunday School teaching and church involvement could have such an effect on the voters.

  3. I live in North Carolina, and everything about the ad is ridiculous. Hagan apparently may take Dole to court over it, as defamation of character or something along those lines.

    Hagan, for the record, is not an athiest, and has never given money to or taken money from the Godless Americans.

    althought, in a perfect world, it wouldn’t MATTER if she were an athiest, what with freedom of religion and seperation of church and state and all that good stuff. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we elected people based only on their ability to lead and make good decisions for us?

  4. Yeah, as for the Hagan thing I come down on the side of the fence where I think it’s regretable and sad that asserting someone is or works with atheists is a bad thing. I understand her being upset at being called something she clearly isn’t, but I think that it’s unfortunate that in her denials she is legitimizing the marginalization and vilification of the godless world view.

    The whole sordid affair is depressing, really. It makes me remember how much of the country still sees “atheist” as a pejorative, and how little real progress has been made. So much PR work still to do :(

  5. Sometimes I think PZ can’t see the forest for the trees. There was a much more reasoned summary of this over at the Friendly Atheist blog. I would tend to agree with FA on this one. Hagan is put between a rock and hard place here. She has demonstrated that she is a reasonable person, but she’s going to lose votes now if she puts up with Dole’s crap. Obviously calling someone an atheist or a Muslim (i.e., Obama) shouldn’t be defamatory, but that’s not the world we live in. Hagan knows that. And besides, the intent was to defame her character. Dole is trying to say she’s a bad person and/or shouldn’t be elected because of her associations, and trying to cost Hagan votes. At this point does it really matter what Hagan *must* say now to keep the votes she has? She still sounds better than Dole.

  6. It’ll be the end of an era when David Tennant hands over the Tardis keys, but he’ll have been the second longest running Doctor when he does. No one is going to match Tom Baker’s eight year run.

    I heard a rumour back when Tennant signed up to play DrWho that Adrian Lester was the second choice if it fell through and he’s in the frame to replace him.

    Tennant has been Brilliant in the role, but having seen Lester in ‘Hustle’ I think he’d make a great Doctor.

    Or they could bring back Paul McGann, or Richard E Grant both of whom would do a solid ‘Colin Baker’ job until someone of exceptional talent could be found.

  7. I really liked Eccleston too and was disappointed that he did only one series. My favorite bit was from his first episode:

    Rose: If you’re an alien how come you sound like you’re from the North?
    Doctor: Lots of planets have a North.

    My all-time favorite episode, though, is a David Tennant one. I’d gone off Doctor Who after that awful movie. Seeing “Blink” convinced me to start watching again.

  8. @russellsugden: Don’t forget that the next Christmas special they are planning is called “The Next Doctor,” featuring David Morrissey as someone at least CLAIMING to be the real “Next Doctor”… it is probably a bit of misdirection, but the confirmation of Tennant’s departure at least means that David Morrissey can’t be written off yet.

  9. Re: God hates signs

    ROTFLMAO! Especially when the Westboro “Church” and Co. are carrying them. (I think it would be definitive proof of God’s existance if Westboro church and its contents were to be totally immolated by heavenly fire and lightning some fine day.)

    On another note: I agree with Amanda, et. al. I found Dole’s commercial to be in poor taste and typical of her terrible judgment. I have detested her ever since she was Secretary of the DOT under Ronnie RayGun. She was an idiot even then (on professional grounds, not theological. Though it would not surprise me if she thinks that airplanes fly because little angels wrapped in American flags hold them up). As usual, anyone not toeing the line on the tribal myth is demonized.

    Now, wait a minute. How can I be ‘demonized’ if I don’t believe in demons?

  10. Here’s a fun exercise: Take the following passage and insert the name of just about any faith, philosophy or ethnicity. Imagine the uproar…

    “Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan angrily demanded Wednesday that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole stop airing a new ad that questions Hagan’s ties to a _____ political group, calling the spot a slanderous and pathetic attempt to maintain political power.”

  11. The only reason people are surprised by the Hagan response is because they labor under the bizarre impression the the Democratic Party is somehow on their side. The Democratic Party is the proper place for religious fundamentalism. It is only an accident of history that that the two major political parties in the US got jumbled up in the 60s and 70s. They both seem oddly inconsistent, now. If the fundamentalists went back to the Democrats, everything would make sense. There would be a single party representing the “top-down” position (the Democrats) and a single party representing the “bottom-up” position (the Republicans).

    I am a Hedge

  12. @writerdd: That would be cool, if they got the right actress. I look forward to whoever gets it. I can’t think of a doctor that I dislike it is just a difference if levels of liking. I really enjoyed both tennant and eccelston. I loved the man kiss between doctor and captain jack. It would be nice if they started to make longer multiepisode stories though. Blink would have been great as a four or five parter same with the family of blood story.

  13. There is some speculation on the BBC website about the next doctor:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7699513.stm

    I love the idea of Sean Pertwee! Love it. It’s perfect, even. Paterson Joseph would be my second choice, he’s a superb actor and has the exact sort of timbre and authority a doctor needs, whilst being extremely likeable at the same time. Not too fussed about the inevitable ‘a black doctor!!!’ debate that would follow, skin colour is irrelevant. I’d believe both him and Pertwee as the doctor, and that’s all that should matter (believability, not Tracy King’s opinion, I mean).

  14. @Amanda: Damn near every negative political ad is aimed at connecting a politician to a negative group. Obama/Ayers, McCain/Keating, etc. Same thing here with Dole/Kagan.

    I have yet to see anyone get off kilter enough to file a cease and desist order, until one ad involved atheism.

    She had the chance to “man up” but didn’t. Fail.

  15. @Amanda: I am still creeped out every time I see an angel statue after watching “Blink”.

    Steven Moffat certainly has a talent. I just finished watching “Jekyll”, which he also wrote. I’ll be interested in seeing what happens when he takes over as executive producer of “Doctor Who”.

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