It seems the New Atheism is not on the rise

Contra the assertions of various factually- and logically-challenged individuals, the evangelical efforts of Richard Dawkins and his Scarlet-A campaign would appear to have fizzled:

A national UK survey out Monday found no traces of an “autism epidemic,” despite earlier reports that the developmental disorder has been rising quickly in recent decades. Researchers found nearly one percent of Britons older than 16 years have autism, a rate that is similar to that seen in children. Younger people were no more likely to be affected than older ones, however, which would have been expected if the condition were truly on the increase.

“It was surprising to all of us,” said Dr. Traolach Brugha, a psychiatrist at the University of Leicester, who worked on the study. “If this study is correct, it does put a big question mark over the autism epidemic.”

On a related note, I was more than a little amused to encounter John Keegan’s assertion of the way in which most people naturally “flee the company” of “the compulsively argumentative” while reading The Face of Battle today. But if it is not a mild form of autism that renders so many atheists completely incapable of recognizing it is their behavior that people despise and not their lack of belief, what else may serve to explain this compulsively argumentative truculence?

The ritual Republican self-castration

And so begins the familiar process of manipulating the Republican grass roots and saddling them with a status quo Republican approved by the red faction of the ruling party:

Who does best against Obama? Paul. The congressman from Texas, who also ran as a libertarian candidate for president in 1988 and who is well liked by many in the tea party movement, trails the president by only seven points (52 to 45 percent) in a hypothetical general election showdown. Huckabee trails by eight points, with Romney down 11 points to Obama. The poll indicates the president leading Gingrich by 17 points, Palin by 19, and Trump by 22 points.

As one commenter at National Review noted, “So Pawlenty is the “top-tier” candidate at 5%, and Ron Paul is the “non-major” candidate at 8%. Nope, can’t see where charges of bias might come from.”

It not remarkable how a powerful congressman who performs well in the polls, raises more money than the other candidates, is more intellectually formidable than any of them, and was proven to be correct about both the endless nature of the foreign interventionism of the last decade and the fragility of the banking system is automatically deemed “unelectable” and a “minor candidate”. What is remarkable is the large number of mindless, thoughtless Republicans who, despite their feigned disdain for it, blithely accept the mainstream media’s assertions and obey the stage management of the party elders.

And so we’ll see all the faux conservatives pushing the ludicrous likes of Captain Underoos, Newt Gingrich, and the feckless Tim Pawlenty. For those non-Minnesotans not familiar with Pawlenty, all you need to know is that he is a spineless wet noodle of a politician with the moral principle of a Clinton.

What is worse than federal "help"?

“Help” from the United Nations:

Five thousand dead, 300,000 ill, and a medical emergency that has already lasted six months; now the people of Haiti have someone to blame for the cholera outbreak which has swept through their earthquake-ravaged country: the blue-helmeted peacekeepers of the United Nations.

An official report into the ongoing epidemic, which began last October, has concluded that it was almost certainly caused by a poorly constructed sanitation system installed at a rural camp used by several hundred UN troops from Nepal.

The virulent strain of cholera bacteria began infecting locals after faecal matter from their base seeped from badly designed septic pits into the Meye River, a tributary of the Artibonite River in the country’s central region.

The United Nations is far worse than the joke many people believe it to be. If it ever obtains the genuine global power it seeks, the 5,000 Haitians it killed in the last six months will look like the smallest of rounding errors.