The Trump Presidency: A Second Harding Administration?

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 13, 2017

The inauguration of Donald Trump is only a week away and the many who dread the incoming administration are busy bewailing the coming catastrophe. The terms “fascist” and “fascism” feature prominently in their denunciations and historical analogies to Hitler or Mussolini are liberally offered. Just the other day, a full-page ad appeared in the Washington Post courtesy of refusefascism.org. The ad, bearing the signatures of a number of prominent individuals, flatly states that “by any definition, Donald Trump is a fascist.” This claim is not unique. Some respected political commentators have made the same accusation.

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Out of the Comfort Zone

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 13, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

The Washington Post editorial board comes down against Trump and the news of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being maybe-asked to head a "vaccine safety commission," saying, "He will endanger the health of millions of children if he fans doubts about vaccine safety."

Emily Willingham scared the crap out of me, as a recently-diagnosed autistic, with this today: "Of all of the groups out there whom Donald Trump disdains, whom his policies will endanger profoundly, autistic people stand to suffer the most." ... 

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Sincerity-Proof Chamber of Distortion

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 12, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz introduces a "scientific integrity" policy to try and brace against the coming Trump storm. Chris Mooney reports:

The seven-page policy prevents other agency employees, such as political appointees or press officers, from leaning on or torquing scientific findings. “Under no circumstance may anyone, including a public affairs officer, ask or direct any researcher to alter the record of scientific findings or conclusions,” the document states. The document also embraces a strong commitment to whistleblower protection laws and says the agency will install a “scientific integrity official” within the Energy Secretary’s office to head up enforcement of the policy. 

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A Tramp-art Cross

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 11, 2017

In my previous blog, “A Tramp-art Picture Frame,” I focused on a typical work of that folk-art genre. Here is a very different example (see photograph).

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A Stench So Severe

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 11, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Yesterday was crazy. I mean, just ridiculous. The mind reels just trying to recall all the weird, troubling, inspiring, depressing, hilarious, and bizarre things that happened.

So of course you have the Russia thing, and the pee. What's true, what's not, I dunno. So I won't get into that here. Trump's tantrums on Twitter are not inspiring confidence.

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Choose to Avert Your Eyes

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 10, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Donald Trump seems a rather unprecedented figure, but Rick Perlstein sees a lot Nixon in Trump. He talks about this comparison on the latest Point of Inquiry.

The Cleveland Clinic assures us that its anti-vaccine ranting "wellness" chief, Dr. Daniel Neides, will be "appropriately disciplined." I bet they put him in a room and disrupt his chakra.

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Pretty Obviously Cartoons

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 09, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Jeff Sessions, we're not sure you're the right guy to be defending anyone's rights. CFI's Michael De Dora reaches out to the Senate to urge them to press Sessions to explain his seeming preference for injustice over justice:

CFI respectfully requests you to ensure that our next Attorney General is one committed to ensuring civil rights for all, not one who, as Sen. Sessions is reported to have said of civil rights cases as a US Attorney, wishes he “could decline on all of them.

This is maddening: Dr. Daniel Neides, COO of the Cleveland Clinic, espouses anti-vaccine lunacy about autism and neurological diseases. The clinic itself had to tweet, "We fully support vaccines to protect patients & employees. Statements made by our physician do not reflect the position of Cleveland Clinic." 

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CFI Libraries Year in Review

Access Points with Timothy Binga
January 06, 2017

You may have noticed that I do not blog as much as I have in the past. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to post more often and keep people better informed regarding the libraries here at CFI. I have been very busy with a few projects (which is one of the reasons why I do not write here as often), but here are a few of the more interesting ones that I am working on or have worked on this year.

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We Are Born Bad

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 06, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Priorities well established, Paul Ryan is ready to do the people's work...by defunding Planned Parenthood. Take THAT, cancer screenings!

Robert Leonard at NYT has a must-read piece on the fundamental philosophical divide between liberals and conservatives, speaking to rural Iowans...

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The Dead Person Standing Behind You

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 05, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

The big news is that CFI has scored another big win for secular folk and against religious privilege, as a U.S. District Judge rules that our Secular Celebrants are now authorized to solemnize marriages in Illinois!

Ed Brayton makes a good point on the political calculus around this:

For some bizarre reason, the Illinois legislature refused to pass legislation to fix their unconstitutional law, which prompted this lawsuit. Why they decided to fight it when the matter was already settled and they had zero chance of winning is beyond my comprehension. They will now be forced to pay not only their own legal fees but those of the winning side as well. I’d call that political malpractice. 

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