December, 2014

7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2...

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-31

Gonna have some close friends over for the new year and have a gay old time!

Starting to get annoyed with the loan company's bend-over-and-try-to-relax approach to my financial history.

Sarcastic state mottos.

There were a lot of unexpected tech stories in 2014.

Fox "News" tries to be cool by telling people to use a hashtag on Twitter, as expected, it backfires.

Another late holiday video: the origin of holiday traditions

Aron Ra talks about the various theories around abiogenesis.

Why Atoms bond with each other.

Why it's harder to drive a car backward.

Person on speaker at drive-through: Would you like to up-size your order for 75 cents?
Me: Negative.
Confused person: Um, please answer "yes" or "no."
Me sheepishly: No.


Inching closer... ever closer

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-30

There were some amazing pictures taken in 2014 in outer space.

United and Orbitz are suing Aktarer Zaman for using their web site to get cheaper plane tickets. Isn't that the point of their web sites? According to United and Orbitz... no.

Dance next to the police? Expect to be thrown to the ground.

Egypt has banned the showing of the film Exodus because they say it isn't historically accurate. I completely agree with them. It's not historically accurate, because the Exodus never happened.

A little late for Christmas, but the Angry Videogame Nerd did the 12 days of shitsmas.

Roy Zimmerman sing a lovely Christma-Hanu-Rama-Ka-Dona-Kwanzaa song and a fun Bob Dylan inspired Christmas Is Pain.

I will totally watch Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Eric Idle sings Fuck Christmas live!


On our way to the New Year!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-29

Quake on an oscilloscope?

Christians get pissed off at Neil deGrasse Tyson for reminding them not everyone celebrates Christmas, that Isaac Newton was born on December 25th, and that Christmas is a commercial holiday.

The terrible science in their Christian "science" video isn't the most insulting aspect. Apparently, the TRUTH group doesn't understand that dressing a white man up as a minority race with ridiculous clothing, painted skin, and terrible accents is incredibly racist.

While Muslims will continue to claim that Islam is a peace-loving religion, and that it's only a few bad eggs that make it look bad, this is sadly not true. Take the situation for the two Saudi Arabian women who were arrested for driving while female. It has gone from bad to worse as they are no longer just being tried as rule-breakers, but as terrorists. Also, Mauritania continues to execute people for the crime of insulting Islam. This isn't a few bad eggs, but the rules for entire nations worth of people. If the vast majority of Muslims in Saudi Arabia wanted women to be allowed to drive, a few extremists wouldn't stop them for passing reform. If the vast majority of Mauritanian Muslims were tolerant religious criticism, the country wouldn't have laws executing anyone who spoke out against Islam. It is not a few bad eggs, it is rampant deeply ingrained bigotry.

Some of the more compassionate students from the Hamilton Wenham Regional school district in Massachusetts would prefer not to have their graduation ceremony held at a venue that discriminates against homosexuals.

2014 sure had some messed up nature discoveries.

A year ago, Christian pastor Ryan Bell decided he would try a social experiment in the same vein as those who tried to live for a year according to the bible. Only, Bell tried living a year as an atheist. He did this not just to learn more about atheism, but also to see what kind of discrimination atheists faced. Well, his Christian employers were happy to oblige, and fired him a couple days after he made the announcement. Well, it's been a year now, and after reading a lot of books critical of theology Bell has come to a conclusion. He has decided that atheism is the preferred choice. The irony is, now, rather than working for some self indulgent Christian school, Bell now works at a Humanist homeless shelter!

A recent Pew poll shows that over half of American's don't understand the point of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as it pertains to displays of religion by the government.

Josh Duggar has been trying to show how much he cares about homosexuals and transgendered people by removing anti-discrimination laws that protect them. In these attempts, Duggar was quoted saying that homosexuals live, "sad lonely," lives and that their sexuality is a, "cruel joke played on them by the Devil," and that they don't deserve, "love and respect." Josh's mother, Michelle Duggar, compares transgendered people to sexual predators. The family is the star of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, and TLC will continue to air his bigotry because they're a lot more interested in making money than ridding the world of hate.


Happy Boxing Day!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-26

Christmas was nice. Spent Eve at Emily's parents, and Day at my sister's. Had great food that I didn't need to pay for or make, it's a Christmas miracle!

Where are the most radioactive places on Earth?

It won't go anywhere, but it's nice to see someone accuse the Bush administration for their war crimes.

For a religion that teaches, "turn the other cheek," Christians are awfully violent.

North Carolina's bill to force women to hear a long description of a fetus before being allowed to get an abortion has been struck down.

Wandering the galaxy.

Want several reasons to abandon your Twitter account? You can get countless rape threats and death threats, and Twitter will do nothing to stop them.

Being caught swindling people out of millions only strengthens the appeal of a televangelist.

Susan Hemeryck, a 54-year-old Tea Party activist sporting a "Catholic Warrior" T-shirt, was arrested in Florida after vandalizing a Satanic display at the Florida State Capitol.

Yet another Christian pastor was arrested for molesting boys left in his care.

Don't you hate it when your lake explodes?

The NSA's internal documents show that it's probably been violating US privacy laws unchecked for the past 12 years.


Harpy Thistlemas

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-23

In order to allow same-sex couples the right to "marriage," the UK allowed them to have civil unions. However, one couple doesn't think that civil unions should be just for same-sex couples, and would like to be recognized as a couple by the government without having to go through all that silly religious stuff of the UK. Their only demand is that they be treated equally under the law.

Argentina rules that Orangutans are non-human people, and therefore cannot be held by zoos. I wonder what they'll say about dolphins?

Memebase reveals their top videogame music of 2014, and here is a retrospective on the videogames of 2014.

Christian pastor Gaylard Williams has been speaking out about the evils of homosexuals for years now, so it isn't any surprise that he was recently arrested for sexually assaulting young men.

The movie trailer that should have been made for The Notebook.


Stuff, things, gadgets, greed, avarice... I love it!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-22

Have to arrive at 7:00 AM to work each morning this week to cover for people who are on vacation. Thankfully, this week is two days shorter. And happy belated solstice to everyone!

2014 had been a pretty impressive year or science, but there were some let-downs as well.

Of the various religious groups in American, the only one where the majority is against torture was the non-religious.

During Sakeena Majeed's 60-day jail sentence, the corrections officers in charge forced her to attend church, which in itself is illegal, but as Majeed is a Muslim, it means that, not only was the jail forcing the woman to attend church, but they were also trying to convert her away from her religion to their own! As you can expect, there is now a lawsuit against the jail.

14-year-old Lizzie Lowe committed suicide due to the growing fear that her devout Christian parents would hate her after learning that she was a lesbian. Sadly, when her parents learned about it, they explained they would have loved her and accepted her regardless. This is why it's so important to make sure your friends and family all know that you will love them no matter what!

According to a study by the British Medical Journal, over half of the medical advice made by Dr. Oz doesn't have any evidence to support it, and a fair amount of it has evidence to show that it's flat out wrong!

Bud Williams, member of the city council at Springfield, MA, attended a Jewish Hanukkah festival and reminded all the Jews in attendance that, "Jesus is the reason for the season." As expected, they didn't really care much for his words. Williams, being totally oblivious to the views of Jews, later explained, "I thought I was being positive," and, "I thought it added something to the service."

The Vatican has lost billions or dollars and millions of worshipers in their attempt to squelch their long history of protecting child-rapists among their ranks, and now we learn that same will probably happen for Zen Buddhists.

A demonstration is being held by people wearing "I CAN BREATHE" shirts. However, rather than look like a counter-protest, it looks more like people bragging that they're still alive and don't have to worry about being choked to death by the police because they're privileged white men. Also, Comic Sans.


What is the deal?

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-19

A&E reaches a new low with an upcoming show where a Christian preacher named Kevin Brown hires prostitutes and films them as they enter his hotel room to find that they aren't there to have sex, but to be preached at in hopes that they'll quit their job and become a Christian. Brown thinks he's doing good by getting the women to stop having sex for money because he thinks it's both evil and dangerous. Of course, it's not even the slightest bit evil, and the only reason it's any more dangerous than any other service industry, is because people like Brown have made it illegal, thus preventing the workers from being allowed to prosecute their assailants.

And that's how you make a human!

The Church of England takes a step into the 19th century and ordains its first female bishop.

There has been some pretty cool stuff on YouTube recently. Here's a mashup, and here's another.

Bill Nye explains evolution with emoji.

The story of Samson continues, and it's just as believable as before.

What causes air turbulence?

The story behind the cryptography of the Enigma machine and how it was cracked.


Does anyone even like Christmas music?

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-18

New York wisely passes a bill banning fracking.

Republican Rick Brattin is trying to make a law that would require women to get written and legally notarized consent from a man before she can get an abortion.

An Arizona school board decided to remove a page from their honors biology textbook because it said that contraception can help prevent pregnancy. They finally decided to keep the page, not because the school board thinks it's important for people to know about sex, but because it would just be a lot of work to remove it.

Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights (they have one?) is claiming that the Muslim group ISIS has recently executed over 150 women for refusing to adhere to the group's brutal marriage regulations.

Remember the zany 90s?

Can an atheist celebrate Christmas? Oh course, nearly everything about it is a secular holiday anyway.

Grrr! I hate dumb videogames!

Joe Nickell talks about the importance of investigating paranormal claims rather than debunking them.

Someone created a voxel version of Wolfenstein 3D!

Back in 2011, this story was seen in the news. Police were called to the home of Chad Chadwick on a domestic dispute after he got into a fight with his wife and a friend admitted he may do something violent. After hours of refusing to let the police in, the police called in the local SWAT team claiming there were hostages involved. They smashed down Chadwick's door, detonated stun grenades, shot him at close range with a non-lethal bullet, tased him in the back of the head, tackled him to the ground, and severely beat him. As it turned out, Chadwick did not have hostages, and in fact, hadn't done anything illegal at all. However, the District Attorney John Healy needed something to justify the destruction of Chadwick's house and his permanent hearing loss, so they prosecuted him on charges of attacking the SWAT team. Three years of court proceedings, and thousands of dollars later, Chadwick was cleared of all charges but, DA Healy says he still thinks Chadwick is a criminal.


Oh no! Street sharks!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-17

There is a Satan, and he created the Comic Papyrus font.

Michigan Reverend Timothy Kane was found guilty of stealing about $131,000 from charity funds, but the judge went easy on him, undoubtedly because he was a priest, and only gave him one year in jail. Meanwhile, possession of a mere 50 grams of cocaine (about half a cup) means you will be fined up to $250,000 and sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

Republicans couldn't find a single black woman to agree to be part of their ad campaign, so they had to resort to stock photos, and boy did they pick a popular one!

The majority of Americans, including Bush, Cheney, and even Obama, endorse the use of torture, claiming that it has been very helpful in apprehending other terrorists. However, when the same questions was asked to the nation's counter-terrorist officials, they all said that not a single terrorist was ever caught based to the cries of any American torture victim, and the only thing the torture caused was more torture and false confessions that wasted time, money, and lives.

Want to live dangerously? Work with some of these terrifying chemicals!

Hair.

Elizabeth Warren says the right things.

How your computer stores volatile memory.


Things are happening!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-16

Home owners agreed to add a radon mitigation system, so the house buying continues! Filled out the paper work for the loan today.

A federal court agrees that several weeks of video-recording a person's house without a warrant is a violation of their 4th amendment rights. Duh!

Sarah had an abortion and she wasn't scarred for life, she was relieved and happy.

Michigan's State Capitol will showcase a Satanic display this holiday season!

Behold the power of God! And then read the comments.

In an effort to show that nobody is born gay, Christian hate-group PFOX put up a billboard with identical twin brothers; one is gay, the other is not. Despite a sample size of one, the Christian hate-group uses this as proof that nobody is born gay, because if it were part of our genetics, both twins would be gay. Then the male model from the billboard recognized his photo and pointed out that, not only is he not a twin (the Christians used two different photos of the same man), he's also a homosexual! Oops! The reality is that identical twins are twice as likely to share the same sexuality compared to fraternal twins, indicating that there is indeed a genetic component to a person's sexuality.

A simple cartoon which explains vaccinations.


Radon, get your radon here! Delicious, cancer-causing, child-mutating radon!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-15

Home inspection was pretty good except for unusually high radon levels in the basement. We'll see what the owners want to do about it. Hopefully, we won't have to shut it all down.

Teens of today try to play the original Mega Man... and get destroyed.

CIA agent Matthew Zirbel was not allowed to view classified documents due to CIA file which says he has a "lack of honesty, judgment, and maturity," but those minor faults didn't stop the CIA from putting him in charge of one of their torture centers. There, Zirbel was responsible for at least one man's death after he had him chained to a cement floor in a freezing room with little clothing. As to be expected, the man froze to death and the CIA tried to cover it up. In the end, the CIA director of the time exonerated Zirbel of all charges, and Zirbel is now living in the states as a freeman and as a millionaire.

Things haven't changed much since 1876.

The Australian diocese admits that the forced-celibacy of priests probably contributed to the child-raping scandal, but they still won't get rid of it.

Ohio governor John Kasich put together a tax-payer-funded $10 million mentoring program that would help disadvantaged youths. But he's a Republican, so even though there wasn't anything sinister on the face of his program, you just know it would turn out evil somehow. Sure enough, right after the program became official, Kasich changed it so that anyone who would benefit from the program must now be partnered with a religious institution, or they won't receive public money! Just like missionaries who want to "help" the destitute, you first have to go to church and pledge your eternal devotion to their god before they'll help you.

Father Bernard McGarty wrote a wonderful editorial about how winter would be dull and dismal with all the wonderful Christmas festivities that Christians perform in order to honor their god, completely ignorant to the fact that nearly every Christmas festivity (decorated trees, gift giving, holly, mistletoe, wreathes, caroling, etc.) are derived from Pagan rituals. Never the less, McGarty's editorial was published, and plenty of equally ignorant Christians cheered him on. But today, Christians have a reason to distance themselves from McGarty after he was fined for trying to solicit sex from his physical therapist.

Ever since 1996, Congress awards $50 million to any state whose public school lies to their children about sexual education (also known as abstinence only), in addition to teaching them real sexual education. Despite the fact that states that teach abstinence only have the highest levels of unwanted teen pregnancies, the highest level or repeated unwanted teen pregnancies, and the highest level of teens with STIs, Republicans want to award an additional $15 million to states that eliminate their sexual education program entirely, and just tell children to stop having sex.


One step closer to 30-years of debt!

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-12

Going to the home inspection of my probable house this afternoon. If everything goes well, I'll be a home-owner in a week!

Congratulations to the women who made a difference in 2014.

America, the beautiful...ly corrupt and desolate.

Baltimore, Maryland police assaulted and tased a woman for recording them (which is perfectly legal), and then tried to cover it up by accusing her of trying to run over a police officer and arresting her. Once in their custody, the police took her phone and deleted the video of them attacking her. Unfortunately for the police, the video was backed up online. Naturally, the police dropped their phony charges and hoped that the victim would just forget about the abuse, but victim is filing a lawsuit. And this is not the first time Baltimore police have tried destroying evidence against them.

Atheists can't be elected to public office because it's the job of governors to protect God-given rights! Checkmate atheists!


We love protecting our faulty beliefs

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-11

Why is it that even if you convince people that vaccines are safe and effective, they're less likely to get them? Well, it's not just vaccines. We do this for all sorts of things.

Well, it took several years, but Kentucky finally realized that an "amusement" park called the Ark Encounter would be nothing more than a religious indoctrination center and pulled the plug on their $18 million in tax breaks.

Is the Earth flat? Well, no, but it's easy to think about it in such a way.

Police officers in Pitman, New Jersey were unable to catch the arsonists who tried to burn down a billboard because it read, "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia." And now, billboard owner, Clear Channel, refuses to put up any new billboards with similar messages for fear of damage to their signs, which I understand, but I wonder if they would have the same attitude of banning all religious messages if a church-themed billboard were vandalized? I also wonder if the police would try a little harder to catch arsonists destroying church signs? This, unfortunately, seems to be part of a worldwide trend of discrimination against non-believers. The USA is relatively accepting of rational-minded thinkers, but there are a growing number of countries where being an atheist is a death sentence.

The truth is, truth serums don't work.

Simon's Cat loves the nip.

Oprah and Ellen get into an epic rap battle.


We love torture

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-10

Nearly every expert on torture would say that torturing people is a bad way of obtaining information. It's rarely reliable because people will say anything to get you to stop, regardless of whether they know anything. And yet, somehow, American leaders from both sides of the political spectrum, Barack Obama and Dick Cheney, can't bring themselves to say torture should be banned.

Simon's Cat doesn't like scary Santa toys.

An ex-police officer talks about the systematic racism and unaccountability in the police force.

Our dogs really listen, and puffer fish really puff. Also, zero G and zero gravity are different!

If you ever want to learn how to lie with graphs, you should just study those made by climate change deniers.

Jack the Ripper meets Hannibal Lecter in Epic Rap Battles of History.

Aron Ra discusses the nature of science.

A love song, that accurately depicts science.


Broken people can get better if they really want to

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-09

Finally beat Borderlands. Rather anti-climatic ending. 145 games down, ten million to go.

Turns out, trying to convince a country's government to execute people based on who they have sex with will get you tried for crimes against humanity.

Off-duty police strangle a man with down syndrome to death because he didn't want to leave a movie theater. No charges.

Italian law grants all women access to abortion within 90 days of becoming pregnant, but the Vatican is using its political muscle to put Catholics into as many obstetrician and gynecologist positions as possible where they have legal right to refuse to perform the abortions. This is the same type of law that Michigan Republicans are trying to pass, and in Italy, we see the results. Women are forced to give birth to children so malformed that they die almost immediately after the painful process, just like Jesus intended.

The joys of being a white male gamer.

This probably won't revolutionize education.


Turns out Hakuna Matata really was a passing craze

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-08

Talked down the seller $10,000 on the house, and the contracts are being signed. Now we need to get an inspection, assessment, and then, move on in!

After making threats against Muslims, this Christian terrorist finally made good on them and murdered a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy.

In an effort to make Michigan more like Springfield, Republicans decide that burning tires would be a good source of renewable energy.

Reverse racism you say? I don't think you understand the depth of it.

Ever since 1961, it's been illegal to deny a person a governmental job if they are an atheist. This was a federal ruling, so no state can restrict an atheist from office, even those that still have laws in place that bar atheists from government. Why are these laws still in place? Because the states -still- try to enforce them!

Republican Alabama mayor Bill Baker thinks the FFRF plan "backfired" when the city had to remove a parade's preference of religion and instead, the local citizens took it up, demonstrating that he doesn't understand the point of the first amendment to the US Constitution or what the FFRF wanted to do. The whole point was to not let the government decide which religion the citizens should be celebrating, but letting them decide for themselves.

Surly Amy shows how you can turn years of systematic online harassment and death threats into art.


I can has turduckin?

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-05

Michigan Republicans want you to know that, if your religion requires you to be a bigoted asshole to homosexuals, atheists, and women, then by golly, you'll have governmental protection to be a bigoted asshole to homosexuals, atheists, and women! Yes, Republicans Jase Bolger and Rick Snyder want to remove the legal protections against discrimination in Michigan, but only if you're religious! Being racist or prejudice for secular reasons would still be illegal. As if that weren't enough, Michigan is on track to begin the same drug testing of welfare recipients program that failed the Republicans in Florida.

NPR has a wonderful article about the self-proclaimed "Food Babe" Vani Hari and her crusade to get food companies to stop using ingredients she thinks are dangerous, but science says are perfectly healthy. Hari has no scientific background which is pretty obvious by the claims she makes confusing the innocuous ingredients in food with harmful ingredients with similar sounding names. The article quotes several doctors and scientists who all point out her ignorance and failures, but Hari is undaunted by their education and wisdom, and prefers the money she makes from her speaking gigs and product promotions. Once again, America prefers the advice of an ignorant celebrity over an entire generation of scientists.

There is a new hashtag going around the Internet called #CrimingWhileWhite. It showcases anecdotes of police officers being incredibly lenient to criminals who are white.

Todd Starnes of Fox News isn't a journalist. He isn't even a reporter. He's a reactionary.

It's a little late, but here are some Thanksgiving food facts, and it's a little early, but here are some holiday life hacks.

Not every videogame character makes it into the final game, and why not learn more about the Zelda series?

How to cope with your religious doubts.

The Elf On the Shelf really gets around.


Encounter counter's counter

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-04

It's not just the Catholics who systematically protect child rapists. Jehovah's Witnesses do it too.

Rick Santorum says the first amendment to the US Constitution is a Communist ideal.

WOMBATS!

Are you worried about whether you'll get into heaven or not? Well, you can stop worrying, you won't.

Motor proteins do the grunt work in your cells and why do spicy things taste hot and minty things taste cool?

A choose your own adventure version of Freaks and Geeks played by two actors from the show.

What you need to know about Smash Bros. if you want to become a professional player.


Buying a house is harder than you'd think

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-03

Put down an offer on a house last night! It's a low bid, but it'll at least show them we're interested.

Want to put a Christian church in a strip mall? The City Council of Kennesaw, Georgia unanimously votes yes! An Islamic mosque? No way! A strip mall is no place for a house of worship! And by the way, this has nothing to do with the fact that you're Muslims and we're not catering to the protesters outside holding signs calling to Ban Islam!

A group of conservative Christians calling themselves the Citizens for Objective Public Education tried to sue the Kansas State school board for teaching science in school. Their claim was, teaching science promotes atheism, which is not a religion, and therefore violates the US Constitution's ban on government promoting religion. Despite that iron-clad reasoning, a judge threw out the lawsuit.

New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a choke hold after Garner refused to be cuffed by the officer. Onlookers recorded the incident on camera and watched as Garner gasped that he couldn't breathe. Pantaleo continued his firm choke hold for so long that Garner suffocated to death. Naturally, a grand jury has decided that no charges will be brought against officer Pantaleo because apparently death by strangulation is the expected response to unwillingness to be handcuffed.

Which came first, the rain, or the rainforest?


December 2nd, already?

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-02

It's a bit scary to think that the same people who don't care if their beliefs are an accurate representation of reality, are the ones who demand that their beliefs be taught in public schools!

Police claim that Darrien Hunt was threatening them with a sword just before they shot him in the back six times, but surveillance video that was recently released shows a 22-year-old black man running away from cops who drew their guns on him as he was walking the street dressed as a samurai from a cartoon, minding his own business, carrying a replica sword with a dull edge. Of course, that's not nearly as bad as Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year-old Michigan girl who was shot and killed when Joseph Weekley fired his sub-machine gun while he was blinded from the flash grenade his SWAT team detonated in the little girl's home. All charges to Weekley were dropped even though his fellow officers say he made multiple mistakes during the raid.

So, it worked, right?

In order to prove that online harassment isn't a problem, assholes double their efforts of online harassment.

The Canadian government allow students to be placed in ultra-orthodox religious schools rather than secular schools, which can be problematic for the country when students who graduate knowing absolutely nothing about the real world realize just how woefully inept they are and sue the government for letting them grow up with a useless education. I disagree that the blame should be on the government since the parents were the ones who demanded their child get a useless education, but it does make you question, at what level is it child abuse to prevent a student from getting a useful education?

Because Arlington Heights, Illinois doesn't want to remain secular, atheist displays are going up on public land!

A lot of what you know about history is wrong.

What would make 50 Shades of Grey good? If it starred Ellen DeGeneres.

Aron Ra explains how we know the things that we know.


December already?

Feeling: Happy

2014-12-01

The ultra-Christian family's Kama Sutra.

A collection of last words from innocent people shot by the police!

Despite so many Hindus believing that vegetarianism is the ideal diet, they just finished up the largest animal sacrifice festival in the world, about half a million baby animals were slaughtered in the Gadhimai festival honoring Gadhimai, the goddess of power.

So what's the deal with asparagus making your pee smell funny?

Why is law enforcement so lax when it comes to the crime of online death threats?

Republicans continue to become more wealthy even as same-sex marriage becomes the norm and religious adherence reaches an all-time low. The religious right continues to be used for political and commercial ventures.