Sunday, August 1, 2010

Letters to the Editor 8/1/10

Reader’s Editor Doug Fields here. After the hostile reception we received at TAM 8, I’m pleased to announce that our webmaster will be speaking at GenCon on Saturday, August 7in Indianapolis. The Skeptical Gamers have scheduled two events at the same time in counter-protest. Don’t let them win! Go to the GenCon site and look up our event under code SEM1012376. You can also use the GenCon site to find the skeptical events and report on them for us.

Now to respond to a challenge:

To the Babbler:

Why haven’t you replied to Dr. Paranormal’s questions about The James Randi Educational Foundation? Are you guys really stooges for this evil anti-paranormal organization? If so, then you should admit it right now! Until then, I will follow the great Doc Paranormal and do my best to fight James Randi and his anti-psychic powers.

Xi Young
Pahrump, NV

Stooges for the JREF? That is a new one. Apparently Dr. Paranormal asked us some questions on the Internet. Since we were too busy to answer, Young has jumped to conclusions.

So here you go Dr. Paranormal and Mr. Young:

What percentage of contributions to the James Randi Educational Foundation goes to “education?” What percentage goes to administration, including staff salaries?

As the JREF is a nonprofit organization, this is publicly available information, and has already been covered by the mainstream media. While we have looked at this information, we think it would be of more benefit to your Poe Community College students to have them look it up themselves. We will continue to focus on the JREF’s efforts to eradicate ghosts in Chicago, and their more disturbing “skeptical” activities.

Look at the JREF Join The Foundation page. Why do the increasingly expensive membership options include a $25,000 “Champion” step featuring a personal sit-down with the Great Man? Is JREF concerned that this appears similar to the graduated fee structure of Scientology? Or that it reeks of “personality cult?”

Many groups use differently named membership options, and the JREF is no different. I suppose you could say any religion is like Scientology because they both have holy books and elaborate rituals.

We can also say that you don’t need to pay that amount of money to get a reply from Randi. He’s replied to our unsolicited e-mails, and there is a good chance he will respond to your e-mail.

This doesn’t absolve the JREF. They are working to exterminate the paranormal and impose a scientific gay-friendly libertarian dictatorship, and we will oppose them. We will just oppose them for what they are.

Besides, if someone donated $25,000 to your college, wouldn’t you want to meet them in person?

Does James Randi donate his services to JREF? If not, what is he paid?

This is available on Wikipedia. Even the most amateur, brainwashed skeptic knows how to read Wikipedia.

Would JREF be willing to open its books to your reporters?

Their books are already public record.

Before 2009, the JREF maintained a library, sent speakers around the world, sponsored The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, maintained an Internet forum, and organized the largest skeptical conference in the world, The Amazing Meeting. Then James Randi turned over the leadership of his group. Under the leadership of Phil Plait, and DJ Grothe, there are now three Amazing Meetings around the world, and fourth to be added next year. This year, Grothe allied the JREF with Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and The Skeptics Society to put on TAM 8. He also promised more such alliances in the future. The JREF is now testing regional workshops as part of an effort to help out local skeptical organizations.

What may or may not have started off as a fan club for James Randi, is morphing in an organization trying to spread skepticism while taunting psychics with their million dollar prize. If we’re not careful, people will accept their “rational” alternatives to the paranormal, and people like us will go the way of the priests of Athena. We cannot let this stand!

Is it possible for intelligent people to be treated as marks?

Before our reporter passed out at the last Chicago Drinking Skeptically event, he heard Jeff Wagg of the JREF say that it is easier to trick smart people than to trick dumb people. In the immortal words of Mayor Roger Claar, make of it what you will.

Finally, we’ll end with this upbeat letter.

To the Editor:

The reporters at the Brook Report like to trash Adventist Hospital in Bolingbrook. But I got some great service today!

Last night, some aliens put anal probes in me. I asked my doctor to remove them, but he said he couldn’t see them. So I went to the Adventist emergency room. Sure reception did a double take when I explained my problem. When I told her I had insurance, she lightened and said the doctor would see me.

The doctor was so nice to me. He asked me if I was an avid Babbler reader. I said I was. He looked around and whispered that he wasn’t supposed to remove probes, but he would make an exception in my case.

So a few minutes later, the probes were removed. He wouldn’t let me see them, because they were putting up a fight, and he needed to dispose of them right away.

So if they can handle my probe problem, they can handle anything. Thanks Adventist!

Oh, I think some men wearing blue clothes want to see me. I’ll have to e-mail you later!

(Name Withheld)
Bolingbrook, IL


Also in The Babbler

Skeptical dowsers find booze in Chicago
Real robots trash Michigan Avenue
Will County Tea Party denies membership to space alien
God to smite Bolingbrook on 8/9/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

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