Trumps, All the Way Down

December 8, 2015

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

I'm still sick, and if I can't whine about it to you, my devoted fellow heretics, well, then...I guess I probably shouldn't do it in the first place. But still.

Speaking of sick! Donald Trump, you might have heard, called for a ban on Muslims coming into the country. No, he really did! Other GOP candidates condemned him, even though, you know, they advocated barring Muslim (and all other non-Christian) refugees from coming into the country, so someone will have to explain to them that they're condemning themselves. I'll wait. As Hemant put it, it's Trumps, all the way down.

Russell Moore doesn't like Trump's Muslim ban because "a government that can close the borders to all Muslims simply on the basis of their religious belief can do the same thing for evangelical Christians," which would never happen, ever, but I take his point.

Jeff Bezos offers Trump a trip into space, free with Prime I assume.

We have a really fun new Point of Inquiry this week, where Lindsay Beyerstein talks to David Kyle Johnson about the retconning of Christmas from a winter festival to something Kirk Cameron for some reason needs to save. 

Oh hey, remember I have a podcast? I do! It's called Thinkery, and this week, Brian and I have as our special guest Dr. Kiki (aka Kiki Sanford) of This Week in Science, and we talk about aliens, science in politics, dinosaurs, and, well, podcasts! OMG guys she is so great and charming and you'll love it.

CFI's Davod Koepsell to the eager Transhumanist: Not so fast with the gene-editing, guys

Ben Radford looks at why mass shootings so quickly spark nutty conspiracy theories, and the most depressing reason is that it's simply become normal and acceptable to spout this kind of nonsense. 

Ben also talks to Russia's The Question about what's going on in the Bermuda Triangle. You're gonna wanna run this one through the ol' Google Translate. 

Stephen Law hammers home the point that while science can't answer all questions, many religious claims can be answered definitively, usually as "nuh-uh" (my wording).  

Germany's vice-chancellor points the finger at Saudi Arabia for its funding of extremist Wahhabi Islam.

ISIS really, really, really wants the West to invade it, in order to fulfill its prophecy. It also wants to recruit in China

I missed this story when I was out: Hawaii's Supreme Court blocks the construction of a telescope on Mauna Kea in order to "respect the host culture" and its traditions and beliefs. 

Former governor and sometime-cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't care a fig if you believe in the reality of climate change, because there's money to be made and oil running out. 

A group you never heard of wants you to believe it is putting on a legitimate trial of Monsanto for "crimes against humanity." 

Microsoft why do you hate God? (Answer: unanswered prayers for the Zune.)

Sometimes it seems as though headphone cords are alive, like they intentionally tangle themselves in ways that physics can't explain. Well now we know what intelligence drives them

Quote of the Day:

Cumberbatch writes to Santa:

You are for the children. Children who need some magic in a world where the borders between innocence and responsibility, playful imagination and cold, adult obstacles are continually shrinking.

This is what I'd like to ask you to help with. A little more time for children to be children. Stretch the moment of magic and playfulness. Distract them from the realities of a world gone mad so that they can laugh with their breath rather than sob with their tears. Especially those caring for family members, or suffering illness, hunger or poverty. Especially those hiding in buildings as bombs rain down, or being handed shaking with fear or cold into a boat to escape environmental disaster or war. Please help to light up their worlds with a moment of joy and hope.
 
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Original images by Shutterstock and Don MacHold

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Comments:

#1 Randy on Thursday December 10, 2015 at 11:07pm

“ISIS really, really, really wants the West to invade it”

They seem unaware that they should be careful what they wish for.  It’s not gonna turn out at all like they think.

By the way, if we take their land now, the problem ends sooner, with fewer lives lost.  But whatever.

#2 Randy on Thursday December 10, 2015 at 11:32pm

“close the borders”

It’s worth noting that as a gay person, even though none of us ever tried to blow up a skyscraper, or massacre a building-full of people to promote our cause, I was banned from entering the US legally, until 1990.  Before 2013, I could enter legally on my own merit, but not as a spouse. 

Just putting that out there.

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