Choose to Avert Your Eyes

January 10, 2017

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

Donald Trump seems a rather unprecedented figure, but Rick Perlstein sees a lot Nixon in Trump. He talks about this comparison on the latest Point of Inquiry.

The Cleveland Clinic assures us that its anti-vaccine ranting “wellness” chief, Dr. Daniel Neides, will be “appropriately disciplined.” I bet they put him in a room and disrupt his chakra.

We were proud of the ol’ District of Columbia when it passed a bill allowing physician-assisted dying, but thanks to the ridiculous way DC is run, a U.S. Representative from Utah, one Jason Chaffetz, is looking to block the new law. (Not for nothin’, but if the whole thing where DC gets an official voting Member of Congress had gone through back in the aughts, part of the deal would have been to give another red state an additional House seat as well. Guess which state. Ding, it’s Utah.)

Da Senate delays DeVos deposition! (Something-something Dinesh D’Souza.) Regardless of the timing, you still need to tell the Senate to grill her on privatization and funding sectarian education.

Ulrich Boser at Newsweek speculates that DeVos will turn public schools into privatized hellscapes, leading to a “Flint-like disaster.”

It was reported that Trump was going to give the boot to the heads of the National Nuclear Security Agency, which, like the name sounds, takes care of the big, giant, world-ending destruct-o bombs. According to Defense News, however, it ain’t so. Who can say.

Franklin Graham (whom Ron Lindsay calls “Graham the Lesser”) says God made Trump president:

[Americans wanted] somebody in the White House that believed in God, and would listen to God’s voice.


Kentucky’s governor signs into law two new anti-abortion measures largely designed, I have to assume, to tell women how much their state hates them. CNN reports, emphasis mine:

The first, House Bill 2, now requires a physician or technician to perform an ultrasound, describe and display the ultrasound images to the mother, and provide audio of the fetal heartbeat to the mother before she may have an abortion. The text of the bill says the pregnant woman may choose to avert her eyes from the images, and request the volume of the heartbeat be turned down or off.

The second measure, Senate Bill 5, prohibits abortions in the state at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would not apply in cases where an abortion is required to save the life of the mother or prevent serious risk of bodily harm to the mother, but it does not contain exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Four Pakistan activists “known on social media for their secular leftist views,” according to Firstposthave disappeared, and their families and colleagues are scared. 

Britt Marie Hermes wants Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to veto S.2335 which gives official licensing, and thus legitimacy, to naturopathic practitioners: 

Naturopaths are not qualified to manage any kind of medical care. As a former licensed naturopathic doctor myself, I have seen first-hand how licensing naturopaths to act as doctors results in harm and needless expenses. I practiced naturopathy for three years. I witnessed harm inflicted on patients in every naturopathic clinic where I worked. In all cases, the naturopaths at fault were practicing just as they had been trained to do. But the treatments were ineffective and costly at best; at worst, they were deadly.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and New York Universities are getting various clergy-types to pop some psilocybin, which is the stuff that makes mushrooms magical. Why? “To see if these ministers can use their spiritual practice and the vocabulary of religious study to provide insight into those sacred psychedelic moments that so often seem to transcend words.” 

A big asteroid came closer to Earth than the Moon. Had it hit, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, but still. 

President Obama is saying goodbye tonight. That’s gonna cause some feelings.

Quote of the Day:

Jacobin tweets a headline that says, “Meryl Streep’s speechifying at the Golden Globes was the worst thing to happen since Trump’s election.” Gary Legum says:

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Photo credit: Diamond Farah via / CC BY-ND 

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