Thanks For Nothing, Jupiter

March 24, 2015


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

We’ve got an awesome Point of Inquiry this week, where Josh Zepps talks to Johann Hari about the century-old war on drugs, and how (according to Hari) so much of what we assume to be true about addiction and prevention are simply wrong.

Ted Cruz officially enters the GOP primaries, and makes no bones about who he is trying to appeal to. At Liberty University the Senator for Texas said:

Imagine millions of courageous conservatives all across america rising up together to say in unison, ‘We demand our liberty.’ Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across america coming out to the polls and voting our values.

Farkhunda, the Afghan woman beaten and killed by a mob for allegedly burning pages of a Quran may have actually been arguing with a street huckster selling “magic charms” to women. In other words, she was being a skeptic. In a breaking of tradition, women carry her casket at her burial.

I assume Saudi Arabia is not trying to be funny (their official website looks like it’s a 1995 Geocities site — don’t they have money for a designer?), as they call upon the rest of the world “to confirm a law against the phenomenon of insulting religions.” Then they say, I assume with a straight face, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working hard to be at the forefront of supporting international mechanisms for protection and promotion of human rights.” Work harder, guys.

Meanwhile, Sweden does its part to stand up to Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, despite the economic impact, and the Saudis make it not about human rights, but about an alleged ‘attack on Islam.’ 

A bill in Nevada would more tightly regulate alternative medicine practitioners and “make surgeries illegal under the hands of an unlicensed professional.” I’m thinking, this is not already illegal??  

In Skeptical Inquirer, Ben Radford writes of the ethical struggle for investigators between demolishing beliefs about the supernatural and simply helping people who are scared. 

India’s supreme court strikes down a “cyber law” that allows for the arrest of folks who post “offensive” content to websites. 

Russia is trying to get benefits stripped from same-sex partners of UN employees, because I don’t know why. It might actually pass. 

Indiana’s House easily passes its right-to-discriminate “religious freedom” bill, which means it will almost certainly become law. 

Gary Scott Smith at WaPo on atheists’ presidential prospects: “Given [the] increase in ‘nones’…could an atheist perhaps be elected president? Probably not.” Okay, moving on.

Bob Jones III apologizes for that whole ‘gays should be stoned to death’ thing. 

In Utah, firing squads are back.

There might have been more planets between Mercury and the Sun if it weren’t for Jupiter screwing it all up. Way to go, gas-bag! 

Good news and bad news

Quote of the Day:

John Urschel, offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens (which I understand is a professional American-football team), is also a mathematician. He tells Bloomberg:

I have a bright career ahead of me in mathematics. Beyond that, I have the means to make a good living and provide for my family, without playing football. I have no desire to try to accumulate $10 million in the bank; I already have more money in my bank account than I know what to do with. I drive a used hatchback Nissan Versa and live on less than $25k a year. It’s not because I’m frugal or trying to save for some big purchase, it’s because the things I love the most in this world (reading math, doing research, playing chess) are very, very inexpensive.

Oh, and:
I love hitting people.  
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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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