In Pitiless Succession

May 17, 2017

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

Of course you know the big news already. HTC made a phone you can SQUEEZE.

Oh, also: Trump asked Comey to end his investigation of Michael “Good Guy” Flynn. Plus, he suggested to Comey that they jail journalists who publish leaked information. 

Lawrence Lessig writes a “citizen’s guide to impeachment,” which is relevant here because of this passage:

Partisanship motivates reasoning, and motivated reasoners can see the same facts in radically different ways. Give a conservative more science about global warming, and s/he will be even more convinced that global warming science is fake. And not because s/he’s stupid. Indeed, the most terrifying truth about motivated reasoning is that the more intelligent you are, the more capable you are at bending the facts to fit your story.

We are all vulnerable to this bias. The argument of some on my side that only the Right is trapped by motivated reasoning has been debunked. Humans see what humans need to see, to stay connected with their tribe.  

As the rest of civilization was fixated on Trump/Comey, Fox News and other right-wing outlets decided the real story was the cockamamie conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Rich’s family says “there is a special place in hell” for those who spread these false claims.

Maybe Pope Fluffy can make everything okay for Trump. I know he can afford the indulgences. I mean, I assume he can, without seeing his tax returns. 

MEANWHILE, protests led by Kurdish-Americans outside the Turkish embassy in DC were met with violence at the hands of Turkish supporters of Twitter-eradicator President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.   

MEANWHILE MEANWHILE, Chelsea Manning is released from prison

Gallup says a record-low 24% of Americans consider the Bible to be the literal word of God, while 26% say it’s “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.” 47% consider it the “inspired word” of God, more like The Art of the Deal, in that someone else wrote it based on the ethos of the purported author. 

In Montreal, churches that aren’t churching are getting taxed

Getting bullied by the GOP Congress over climate change, scientists are lawyering up.

At National Geographic, Laura Parker and Craig Welch explain why Trump can’t do as much damage to climate progress as we fear:

Less than two years after 195 countries agreed in Paris to curb emissions to avoid a two-degree Celsius rise in temperature, the switch to clean energy is happening far faster than anyone expected, according to a new analysis unveiled this week in Europe. Dramatic change is taking shape in the three countries that need it most—the United States and the expanding economies of China and India. It’s even happening in the face of Trump administration rollbacks of Obama-era climate regulations. 

Deutsche Welle tells the story of Bangladeshi blogger Arnab Goswami, who CFI’s Secular Rescue helped relocate to Germany when his life was threatened.

Pravda says NASA found UFOs. But it didn’t. But Barry Gibb DID

Steven Novella rebuts the claims of John Rosemond that ADHD is a “fiction.” 

Let’s make babies. Ew, not like that. From skin cells! 

Quote of the Day:

Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush’s lede for their story on the chaos in the White House, it’s just poetry:

The bad-news stories slammed into the White House in pitiless succession on Tuesday, leaving President Trump’s battle-scarred West Wing aides staring at their flat screens in glassy-eyed shock. 

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