Extinction in Memory As Well As Being

February 22, 2017

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

Here comes the Trump deportation force, which aims to:

... publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations. 

NYT's editorial board isn't having it:

[DHS Secretary Kelly] plans to publish data on crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants, and to identify state and local jurisdictions that release immigrants from custody. Why? To promote the false idea, as Mr. Trump has shamefully done, that immigrants pose particular safety risks and to punish so-called sanctuary cities that, for reasons of public order and decency, are trying to disconnect themselves from ICE.

This is how Mr. Trump’s rantings about “bad hombres” and alien rapist terrorists have now been weaponized, in cold bureaucratic language. 

A federal judge says the state of Texas is not allowed to withhold Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood

South Dakota's House of Representatives is considering a new "strengths and weaknesses" anti-evolution education bill.

Rev. Johnnie Moore argues in favor of prioritizing Christian refugees for entry into the U.S. because of the threats of genocide. (CFI agrees that the ISIS attacks on Christians and other groups constitute a genocide, but we reject religious tests.) 

The contemptible Yiannopoulos resigns from the execrable Breitbart, even though they were so good together.

Bill Maher takes credit for the Yiannopoulos collapse:

What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage. And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome. 

Here's a thing that's real: A panel at CPAC called "If Heaven Has a Gate, a Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can't America?" Really! 

Legislative efforts are underway in states that include Iowa and North Carolina to purge university faculty of Democrats and liberals, and begin quotas for conservative professors. 

On Sunday, hundreds of scientists and their allies demonstrated in Boston against the Trump rejection of science. "Objective Reality Exists," read one sign. Can you believe you need a protest to make that case?

Wow, this is kind of moving. 325 years after the fact, the women burned as witches in Salem during the 17th-century hysteria will finally get a memorial

Susan Gerbic interviews CSICon presenter Bob Knaier, who discussed expert testimony in trials, using a case about homeopathy as an example. Of the conference itself, he said:

I think of these conferences as an intellectual vacation—not a vacation from deep thought, but rather a vacation to deep thought. Many of us may not get a great deal of intellectual stimulation in our everyday lives, or at least may not regularly be among others who share a commitment to skepticism, reason, and free inquiry. These conferences offer a brief opportunity to experience that. They can be a real oasis in that regard—particularly when held in the Las Vegas desert! 

This is a good thing. 1500 Muslims raise $40,000 to help repair a Jewish Community Center cemetery that was wrecked by anti-Semites. 

Shelia M. Poole at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiles Atlanta-area nonbelievers about their journeys and lives. 

An article from the University of Arizona's journalism school is essentially an ad for homeopathy. Here's an example of its badness:

A homeopathic remedy is an alternative medicine practice that uses natural remedies such as plants, animals and minerals. In many cases, remedies are similar to what pharmaceutical companies use.

And a practitioner quoted in the piece says, "These homeopathic remedies only play 80 percent of being healthy in your daily life. The other 20 percent is resting your mind and trying to refrain from stress or negative energy." The claims are never questioned or challenged. Wonder what they're teaching at that journalism school.

This is reporting: Shiela Kaplan at STAT and Scientific American digs through the FDA's records via a FOIA request, and finds more than 370 cases of children made sick or killed by Hyland's homeopathic teething products. 

Amanda Scott writes at AL.com how she feels connected to her native Alabama, but as a bisexual atheist, the culture and politics of the state have pushed her out

Sally Morgan, who pretends to be psychic for money, presses charges against a young woman who made money by pretending to be Sally Morgan pretending to be psychic. 

First South Korea has way better Internet speeds than we do, and now they're leaving us in the dust in life expectancy. I'm moving.  

Quote of the Day:

Laurie Penny at The Baffler has an excellent and deep piece on the way our civilization is handling its slow demise:

We are the first to really have to wrestle with ultimate species death, extinction in memory as well as being. Of course we are afraid. We were afraid of the Bomb. We’re afraid now, even though many people’s understanding of climate change hasn’t moved past the denial stage. It is there, however, that the similarities between the two types of apocalypse end.

Climate change is a different prospect of calamity—not just elementally but morally different from nuclear exchange in a manner which has not been properly dealt with. The first difference is that it’s definitely happening. The second is that it’s not happening to everyone.  

* * * 

Photo credit: Leatherheart ✂ via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.

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The Morning Heresy: "I actually read it." - Hemant Mehta


#1 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 10:22am

Yes, it’s genocide, BUT…

And this, folks, is what some call “humanism.”  God help us.

#2 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 10:48am

And what on earth does CFI (or do you?) think the “religious test” principle refers to???  I’ll give you a hint: it means a religious test FOR OFFICE.  It hasn’t a damned thing to do with giving Christians refugee priority—it’s an issue of humanity.  (Humanity, “humanism.”  Hmmm.)

#3 dmbierlein on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 11:39am

“Bill Maher takes credit for the Yiannopoulos collapse:”
What a fortuitous moment of circumstance. But I don’t remember Bill playing the tape where Milo justifies pedophilia, all under the auspices of “I’m the victim here”

#4 dmbierlein on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 11:44am

” It hasn’t a damned thing to do with giving Christians refugee priority—it’s an issue of humanity.  (Humanity, “humanism.”  Hmmm.)”
Hmmm indeed. So, Christians are more human than Muslims? Seems I’ve heard something similar in other times. I don’t think this administration has the ability, much less the intent, to understand the difference between victims of terrorism and just being a member of a particular religion.

#5 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 12:05pm

“So, Christians are more human than Muslims?”

I won’t dignify that with a response.  Your vicious response is precisely what I expect when I come to a sewage ditch like this place, so I guess I get what I deserve.  Jesus f’ing Christ—you can’t even refrain from suggesting I’m a Trumpie.  I voted for Hillary, pal.  You?

This is why sane people shy away from these hate forums.  I’m not sane, I guess.

If you read the piece, you saw this part: “Yet, despite this widespread acknowledgement of the genocidal threat faced by Christians, only 77 Syrian Christians were admitted into the United States between January and November 2016, compared to 13,210 Muslims.”

If true, we need to rectify this.  Calling it favoritism and citing a constitutional clause utterly unrelated to humanitarian actions toward refugees is sheer, pure stupidity.  And it’s colder than a sorceress’ mammary.

You want a discussion, I’ll have one.  Up to you.

#6 dmbierlein on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 2:37pm

“I won’t dignify that with a response.” So the rest was what? A reasoned self rumination?
I suggested you were a Trumpie? Where, just where. I was talking about “this administration”, read it again.
Right, read “the piece” again. “only 77 Syrian Christians were admitted into the United States between January and November 2016, compared to 13,210 Muslims.” Where did that come from? As far as I can tell, from an FoxNews editorial from Rev. Johnnie Moore, with no attribution. According to Pew Research “From fiscal years 2002 to 2016, the U.S. admitted 399,677 Christian refugees and 279,339 Muslim refugees, meaning that 46% of all refugees who have entered the U.S. during this time have been Christian while 32% have been Muslim.” http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/30/key-facts-about-refugees-to-the-u-s/
So, I’ll question the truthfullness of Rev. Moore’s comment.
I have no problem complaining about the term “religious test” as inappropriate but I think a case can be made that selecting Christian refugees over Muslims simply because they are Christian would violate the establishment clause.

#7 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 6:13pm

Not dignifying with a response means not responding as if a charge had merit.  Yours has no merit—I simply called it out as rude.

Then, after I had declared your charge false, you repeated it at the end of your second post.  How do YOU spell “class”?

“If true…,” I wrote.  Which word confused you?  If or true?  I hadn’t had time to fact-check the piece (“the piece”=standard English).  Knowing this, you charged in and challenged the piece’s figures by way of suggesting I hadn’t read it.  Childish in the extreme.

Re establishment clause, you guys rely on such an irrationally broad reading of same, I won’t attempt to disagree.  Now, please, show us how many ways you can manage to misread this post.

#8 dmbierlein on Wednesday February 22, 2017 at 8:47pm

I’m sorry you must put this on personal terms since I’m not seeing any rebuttal to my comments other than “yours has not merit”, “rude”, “class”, “childish”, so on and so on.
Frankly, if you don’t like coming to the sewage ditch, don’t throw your shit in it.

#9 Anne Chislett (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 7:29am

The women of Salem were hanged, not burned.  Careful that little mistakes don’t undermine this site.

#10 Randy (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 10:25pm

“I’m moving”

You might want to see who the neighbors are, first…

#11 Randy (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 10:30pm

“‘Objective Reality Exists,’ read one sign. Can you believe you need a protest to make that case?”

Apparently you’ve never taken philosophy.  And you should.  Without philosophy, science has no foundation.

#12 Randy (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 10:35pm

“Bill Maher takes credit for the Yiannopoulos collapse”

What a fool.  He failed to notice that he’s next in the crosshairs.

If anything, Milo’s appearance on his show placed him in a position to become a recurring guest.  He was funny, personable, and was good enough to generate some heat around the table, which the show desperately needs.

What happened to Milo, based on things he said over a year ago (and which MANY other people have also said, without penalty—George Takei, Eve Ensler, Camille Paglia, Germaine Greer… honestly the list goes on forever) was clearly a coordinated campaign, as Milo correctly noted in his press conference, to whip up hysteria to do maximum damage to him.  Bill had nothing to do with it.

#13 Randy (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 10:38pm

“quotas for conservative professors”

Well, the left has been telling everyone that when a location lacks diversity, you have to install a quota, no matter how blatantly sexist or racist it is.

So here’s a quota based on political viewpoint.  I think there should be no quota at all, but if there are going to be ANY, then this should be one of them.

#14 Randy (Guest) on Thursday February 23, 2017 at 10:41pm

I lived by the rules in the US as a temporary worker.  I have ZERO sympathy for anyone who came in illegally or over-stayed their welcome. 

If the citizens of the US don’t like their immigration laws, they can change them.  But as long as they are on the books, they MUST be enforced.

I can’t believe this is even controversial.  Do we not have the rule of law?

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