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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There Are Two Worlds Out There

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 04, 2017

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

So American Atheists' Nick Fish and I got into a thing over Twitter yesterday, and long story short, he decided to make his own attempts at a new CFI logo, inspired by failed presidential candidacies, and then Hemant Mehta got into it, and, well, I think we'll go with the one we got.

Benjamin Radford takes a deep dive into the "fake news" phenomenon, distinguishing different types, and reminding us that we bear some responsibility...

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A Tramp-art Picture Frame

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 03, 2017

A folk-art phenomenon of yesteryear was so-called “tramp art”— wood items handcrafted from discarded materials, ostensibly by hoboes, either to sell or to barter for food or drink. Pictured here (see photo) is a tramp-art frame with its religious oleograph (which I acquired for my collection in 2002).

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Parsing ‘Fake News’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
January 03, 2017

‘Fake News' has become a social boogeyman over the past few months. Because "fake news" is so commonly encountered (both the phrase itself and variants of the phenomena it purports to describe), it's useful to briefly unpack that concept.

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