Why Can’t I Just Not Care?

January 17, 2017

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

The theater where I direct a show with University of New England students every year (we're doing Into the Woods this year because we're crazy) is apparently haunted. As long as the ghost doesn't screw up the performances, then fine.

Peter Boyer at Esquire reports that the Trump communications team may evict the press corps from the White House altogether

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Out of the Comfort Zone

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

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 Stench So Severe

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

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

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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We Are Born Bad

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

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

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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Again and Again and Again

January 03, 2017

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

Welp, back at it.

Over the weekend we announced that after much crossing of T's and dotting of I's, CFI and the Dawkins Foundation are finally, actually, formally legally, and officially merged. And we got a spiffy new logo, which you'll gradually see more of as we start improving our web presence. 

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