My Trumpy Sense is Tingling

November 18, 2015

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

We don't take too kindly to religious bigotry or faith-based tests, especially when it comes to people in desperate need. Our official statement on the fearmongering now rampant over the Syrian refugees: "As secular humanists we insist: These refugees are us, and we are them, whatever their religion might be." 

The local Fox affiliate in Springfield, Missouri covers Skepticon, and features our own Stef McGraw and Cody Hashman, plus a lot of our table swag! (The Satanists and Cthulu are there, too.) 

Point of Inquiry explores the changing attitutes toward autism with Wired journalist Steve Silberman

Ohio governor John Kasich, who you probably didn't know was running for president, says if elected (which he won't be) he would create a federal agency with "a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share." I'm pretty sure you can't do that.

And heck, while we're at it, let's just close all the mosques in the U.S. Hey, might as well, right? And while we're at it, let's shut down anything else that doesn't jibe with "Judeo-Christian values," whatever those are. I'm thinking things like seafood restaurants, colleges and universities, and Centers for Inquiry. 

Jeb Bush espouses a version of the only-Christians-allowed position on Syrian refugees, something-something-thoroughly-vetted.

French police raid an apartment near Paris looking for the at-large Belgian man believed to be the lead on the Paris terror attacks. Two people die in the raid, including a woman who blew up an explosive vest. Seven others were arrested.

Donald Trump, it turns out, has spidey-sense for terrorism:

In my book I predicted terrorism because I can feel it. I can feel it like I feel a good location ... I really believe I have an instinct for this kind of thing. 

Boko Haram kills 32 and injures 80 in a bomb explosion in Nigeria. 

Gamergate trolls photoshop a picture of one of their critics to look like a Paris bomber, and people buy it. 

One of the Bangladeshi bloggers badly injured in the attack on publishing houses that killed Faisal Arefin Dipan seeks asylum in Canada

Tamar Wilner at the Skeptical Inquirer website explores why the hell science reporting is so bad so often, and how researchers may have one helpful solution: "Science Surveyor." 

Due to the closing of clinics in Texas, more and more women in the state are inducing their own abortions. Olga Kazan at The Atlantic reports

Adrian Chen at The New Yorker profiles Megan Phelps-Roper, the recent apostate of Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church. 

Pricilla Kelly Delmaro, a fake-psychic, is sentenced to four years probation after admitting to bilking Niall Rice out of half a million dollars

Our On-Campus Affiliate of the Week is the Oregon State University Advocates for Freethought and Skepticism. "OSUAFS"? Anyway, you gotta like this:

We have little bingo cards that we made with logical fallacies and obvious bigotries on them, like “Circular Reasoning” or “Misogynistic Rant”. We gave them out to students, and for bingos, we gave out Jolly Ranchers!  

Bill Nye says that, for now at least, NASCAR is the anti-NASA

Research suggests that hearing and expressing sarcasm could actually increase one's creativity. Great

Ben Spackman, a Mormon himself and opposed to a "religious test" for office (as we are), nonetheless is troubled by Ben Carson:

Ultimately it is not Carson’s religious beliefs per se that prove problematic, but what they and his simplistic biblical interpretations reveal about his breadth of knowledge beyond the realm of medicine. He may be a brain surgeon, but to be president Carson needs critical thinking skills outside the operating room. 

This is amazing. Informational posters about HIV in Indonesia seem to tell folks that the virus can be spread through sneezes, swimming, and mosquitos (it can't). Why?

The printing company dropped the word “not” from the posters and failed to get final approval from officials, meaning the banners reinforced the very beliefs they were meant to challenge. 

Okay, something fun: Batman vs. Darth Vader

Quote of the Day:

Not a quote, again. I know, the rules are becoming meaningless. Anyway, I worked at a Barnes & Noble back in olden times, and the "staff picks" section was always a little embarrassing. One co-worker unironically chose to display the novelization of the Tomb Rader movie ("Great movie, great book!"), so you take them with a grain of salt. This may be why I find this New Yorker cartoon especially delightful:

 

 

 

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Original image by Shutterstock

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Comments:

#1 Richard (Guest) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 at 2:27pm

I believe that hearing and expressing sarcasm can increase someone’s meanness. I wonder if there is a study about that.

#2 Randy on Wednesday November 18, 2015 at 9:46pm

“Gamergate trolls photoshop a picture of one of their critics to look like a Paris bomber, and people buy it.”

Well, if Vice says it, then it must be true. (I’m using sarcasm here, but I really don’t need the added creativity when the article supplies so much of its own). Gamergate is about ethics in journalism.  As an issue, rather than a group, anyone can claim to support it.  As a result, some will be trolls.

It’s worth noting that even as a troll, this person managed to prove one of Gamergate’s points, that the media is generally idiotic and untrustworthy, merely waiting to read the next press release as soon as they receive it.

As for your summary (which is not a quote from the referenced article) it’s weaselly to use the construction “Gamergate trolls”, because while true in this instance, it implies a more general relationship, which is false.

#3 Randy on Wednesday November 18, 2015 at 9:52pm

“let’s just close all”

Just for a brief moment, clear your mind and imagine a USA with no religious buildings in it at all, of any religion.  Maybe they’re now cafes, bars, homes, apartments, restaurants, museums, playhouses, cinemas, science centers, galleries, shops, etc.

I know, it’s hard to imagine.  But try.

Tell me that’s not a beautiful future.

#4 Randy on Wednesday November 18, 2015 at 10:01pm

“These refugees are us”

Well, if that’s the case, then they’re also Egyptian and Turkish and Ethiopian and Saudi.  There’s no reason they need to skip over oceans and continents, to settle down halfway around the world.

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