Culmination of the Conspiratorial

November 7, 2016

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

Edge of the abyss. I am ready to jump. Happy Monday.

I, Paul Fidalgo, your Morning Heretic, am quoted in an Associated Press piece on how facts have been beaten to a bloody pulp lately. 

The latest Cause & Effect newsletter will fill you in on a very eventful fortnight for CFI.  

"DC in Detroit" at MotorCityBlog does her full writeup of CSICon.

Here are some great photos of the November 1 Dawkins-Harris event in L.A. 

Dawkins himself posts a charming little essay to UK's Prospect Magazine on his attempts to Deutsch zu lernen.

Duolingo tells me I am now 37 per cent fluent in German, which is obviously nonsense. Quite apart from the implausibility of the alleged precision to two significant figures, if I were anywhere near a third of the way to fluency I wouldn’t need subtitles in order to enjoy the dubbed German version of Jeeves und Wooster, or Das Leben des Brian, whose English dialogues I know almost by heart. 

According to the American Pastors Network, if Clinton wins, tomorrow's election will be the last one we ever have. You know, it's for the best. 

But while Hillary Clinton is threatening democracy by, um, whatever it is she's done, this Trump supporter has an idea about free expression and freedom of the press. Oh, and lynching. It involves lynching.

WikiLeaks reveals Hillary Clinton's links to the occult. Not really. There's an email from John Podesta referencing an event by a performance artist, and Carmen Celestini explains how it connects to the Hillary-is-Satanic line of thinking: "Wikileaks referencing the Spirit Dinners are a culmination of the conspiratorial platform of GOP nominee Donald Trump."

David Gushee marvels at the fact that even in this awful election, there remain millions who feel a sense of reverence: "To find such True Believers now seems especially amazing. After everything we have seen, there are still True Believers as of Election Eve 2016. Ponder that for a moment." 

Speaking of an awful election, guess which pit of awful could become more or less awful? Why, it's the Texas State Board of Education, and the fate of Texas science standards are at stake

50,000 people protested in Jakarta against the "blasphemy" of the city's Christian governor. The Independent reports:

The protest was initially peaceful but deadly clashes erupted after demonstrators broke through police barricades and security barriers in an attempt to enter the presidential palace before they were stopped by officers firing tear gas, police said.  

James Alcock is disappointed by the book Extrasensory Perception: Support, Skepticism, and Science, which he says lacks the scientific rigor its author boasts. 

The Satanic Temple endorses an Arizona State House candidate. And she seems happy about it.  

Dr. Kenneth Woliner is a practitioner of "integrative medicine" in Florida (of course), where he told a college student not to get chemotherapy to treat her cancer. The patient died. The Florida Board of Medicine revoked his license.

Tracy Clark-Flory at Vocativ reports on the enormous efforts women must undertake just to get access to abortion services in Texas. 

The President talks to Bill Maher about atheism. Finally! (Here's the whole interview.) And really he doesn't seem to think there's too much to worry about for the nonbelievers:

You know, I guess — my question would be whether there is active persecution of atheists. I think that there is certain… well, I think for a candidate… I think you’re right, that there are certain occupations — probably, most prominently, politics — where there would be a bias against somebody who’s agnostic or atheist in running for office. I think that’s still true. Outside of that arena, though? You seem to have done alright with your TV show. 

Janet Reno, the first woman Attorney General of the U.S., is dead at 78. She got dealt some bad hands, but man was she tough.

Quote of the Day:

Bill Maher on evangelical hypocrisy over support of Trump:

He is the world’s least godly man. Jesus saw the good in whores and lepers, but if he met Donald Trump, he’d go, “Sorry, man. That’s a pre-existing condition.” 

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Comments:

#1 robincantin on Monday November 07, 2016 at 10:55am

So… that blasphemy protest in Jakarta was absolutely peaceful right up to the point where the broke through police barricades, then it turned violent. Thanks for clearing that up, The Independant.

#2 Mario (Guest) on Monday November 07, 2016 at 6:30pm

David Gushee’s piece—wow.  Then again, I guess something terse and candid—say, “I don’t care for Hillary”—wouldn’t have satisfied RNS’ writing requirements, which have something to do with sticking a cliche in the title and filling space with words.

Maybe sometime Gushee can explain what’s so very wrong with Hillary, and then I can apologize for wholly supporting her.  And I thank him for the “true believer” slur.  When Hillary campaigned against Obama, we fans were termed inbred, illiterate, Bible thumping, not fashionably thin, etc. (and our Republican critics were even meaner!), but I don’t think anyone called us true believers.  (True Believers; whatever.)  So it’s nice to hear a new slur.  I didn’t think there were any left.

Oh, and by the way, we’re a two-party democracy, and standing by one’s candidate is something you do when you want that candidate to win.  I realize that’s infinitely nuanced, but I have faith Mr. Gushee will eventually figure it out.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 09, 2016 at 5:53pm

I was deeply disappointed in Bill Maher’s softball interview of Obama, and Obama’s dismissive attitude toward people who are still banned (perhaps not enforcibly) by consitution from holding certain political offices, people who have the religions of others forced on them at birth and have to work to escape it, people who are entirely absent from the Supreme Court (and I seriously doubt it’s for lack of trying).

#4 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 09, 2016 at 5:58pm

“Oh, and lynching. It involves lynching.”

There is proof that people at CNN and NBC (and likely many more places) acted as parts of the Hillary Clinton campaign, sending information in both directions between the formal campaign, and the “news” organizations.

People are going to get upset about that.  Hopefully it won’t result in a lynching.  But I think it’s obvious that these journalists are playing with fire.  They really should stop.  It would be one thing if they were taking risks for the greater good.  But they’re just corrupt.

#5 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday November 09, 2016 at 6:01pm

“if Clinton wins, tomorrow’s election will be the last one we ever have”

Well, after all, why should the left be the only side to claim the sky is falling…

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