Manipulating Nothingness

January 27, 2017

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

Well shit. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moves the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, two and a half minutes to The End, the closest its ever been since 1953. Why? Trump and nukes and climate change. Lawrence Krauss and David Titley explain:

Mr. Trump’s statements and actions have been unsettling. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding and even deploying the American nuclear arsenal. He has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and the Budget have disputed or questioned climate change. 

Steve Bannon, aka Bannondorf, tells the New York Times that the press is the "opposition party," that they "have no power" and "were humiliated." Oh, and says that the press should "keep its mouth shut."   

Gail Collins says Mike Pence is the puppet master of Trump, since Trump is acting so quickly and severely on things he never really cared about, like abortion. Pence will today address the antiabortion March for Life event, along with Kellyanne Conway.

Steve Schmidt, who ran McCain's 2008 campaign, says investigating Trump's claims of mass voter fraud are a "unicorn hunt."

So wait, now the EPA does NOT have to take down climate change stuff? What's going on? 

Bill Nye's piece for Skeptical Inquirer's 40th anniversary issue is now online, urging us to "git 'er done" to prevent the end times. 

The CDC cancels an event exploring the impact of climate change on health, probably because the Trump team told them to. Al Gore steps up to hold the event himself, Feb. 16. 

Alexander Aciman at Quartz says the FDA is putting Americans at risk by not regulating homeopathic junk:

The freedom that the homeopathic industry has sounds almost apocalyptic, especially because homeopathic medicine is rarely a single vitamin or plant extract, but a cocktail of substances that can occasionally kill people. 

When you die, you're not all dead. Just mostly dead.

Pakistan TV host Aamir Liaquat Hussain is banned from the air after making blasphemy allegations against liberal activists. I'm guessing the Pakistani government was mad because that kind of thing is their job. 

Stuart Vyse presents an "unlearning report," where we find empathy is not so useful, you're not all that racist, and superstition doesn't actually make you a better golfer. 

There's a Twitter account claiming to be a White House whistleblower. I'm skeptical. 

Hey Gizmodogood headline: "Amazon Sells Out of 1984 as America Decides to Read a Goddamn Book for Once" 

The ACLU is looking into the Portland, Oregon police's allegedly brutal response to peaceful protestors on January 20. 

We have Secular Celebrant trainings coming up! April 22 in Illinois (where you can now solemnize marriages thanks to, who was it again, OH YEAH US) and May 13 in Michigan

A pro-discrimination "religious freedom" bill fails in the Colorado House. 

Trump does a presidential proclamation for National School Choice Week, which is of course all about promoting garbage voucher schemes. 

Following a popular outcry, a movie theater in London pulls Andrew Wakefield's crapumentary "Vaxxed" after 48 hours 

Dog Slenderman! Er, Slenderdog! 

Try and grasp this: Physicists in Germany have figured out how to "manipulate nothingness." Sounds like hope for our republic.

Quote of the Day:

Jake Tapper's response to Steve Bannon's directive that the press keep its mouth shut:

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Photo credit: Leo Reynolds via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA 

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Comments:

#1 Randy (Guest) on Friday January 27, 2017 at 1:40pm

“America Decides to Read a Goddamn Book for Once”

And boy, are they going to be surprised who it describes…

I’m predicting tears and bonfires in February…

#2 Randy (Guest) on Friday January 27, 2017 at 1:45pm

“you’re not all that racist”

Indeed, the IAT actually shows that we GO OUT OF OUR WAY not to be racist.  And this is part of intelligence in general… we work to overcome our innate biases and assumptions.

Countless people, entire groups, have been shamed by this test, for no good reason other than to prop up genuine bigotries.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Friday January 27, 2017 at 1:48pm

“Just mostly dead”

This is the opening line to a really scary story.

#4 Mario (Guest) on Saturday January 28, 2017 at 11:35am

Bad things continue to happen under Trump.  Hm.

I’m sensing a pattern here.

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