Project Malarkey

July 29, 2016


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

Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party last night, and as Hemant Mehta points out, this Bible-quoting methodist chose “e pluribus unum” as the American motto to emphasize (over that other one), and declared “I believe in science,” followed by a wry giggle that read, to me, as “I can’t believe I actually have to say that.”

Also, you need to see Muslim American Khizr Khan, an immigrant from the United Arab Emirates, whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in action in 2004. His short speech brought tears to the eyes of people across the political spectrum:

If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country. 

Raina Lipsitz at Bustle looks at the Democratic Party’s relationship to its atheist constituency in light of the DNC emails, and she asked me how I personally felt about the crappy anti-atheist smear suggested by the DNC’s CFO:

Paul Fidalgo, communications director of the Center for Inquiry, which is dedicated to fostering a secular society, tells Bustle in an email he found it “deeply dispiriting” to read Marshall’s email. Fidalgo says the nonreligious have worked very hard “to be seen as equals, to fight off the absurd and baseless prejudice that atheists somehow lack morals or are untrustworthy.” Fidalgo is particularly distressed that none of Marshall’s colleagues appear to have rejected his suggestion via email.

Oh, I’m also really famous now, because my friend Ryan Koronowski and I had some fun on Twitter with Joe Biden’s speech (and use of the word “malarkey”) Wednesday night, and David Wheeler at CNN thought it was worth telling the world:

On Twitter, Ryan Koronowski, editor of Climate Progress, tweeted, “JOE BIDEN HAS UNLEASHED PROJECT MALARKEY.”

In response, podcaster Paul Fidalgo tweeted, “THE CODE WORD HAS BEEN SPOKEN. ENGAGE.” …

Joe Biden has shown us the way. 

Oh, and I’m “podcaster Paul Fidalgo.” I mean I have a podcast that no one listens to (except, ironically, Ryan Koronowski), but you know. Anyway. Whee!

David Gibson looks at the Democrats from the other side, in terms of the spiritualism they make a show of embracing, and the secularists they don’t talk about:

Another challenge for Democratic believers is the cold political reality that there are more religiously unaffiliated voters than ever — at 21 percent of the electorate, the so-called nones now constitute a larger voting bloc than any single religious group. And those voters are increasingly leaning Democratic, which means the party can’t afford to ignore or offend them. 

Friend of CFI Kylie Sturgess is the first mention in this Sydney Morning Herald article on the efforts to get atheist Australians to check “no religion” on their census, as opposed to being smartasses and picking something like Jedi…which is a big deal for Kylie, who is a true supergeek for sci-fi (though she wisely agrees with me that Star Trek > Star Wars):

“People shouldn’t waste their answer,” she said. “Answering the religion question thoughtfully and honestly matters because it benefits all Australians when decisions on how to spend taxpayer dollars are made on sound data that accurately reflects modern-day Australia.” 

Nina Burleigh at Newsweek interviews Ensaf Haidar, tirless activist and wife of Raif Badawi. 

One Hindu man is arrested in Pakistan Tuesday on blasphemy charges for allegedly desecrating a Quran (it’s like there’s a Quran desecration epidemic there or something), and the next day two young men are shot over the same allegation. One of them, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, died.

Snopes seeks to clarify that there’s no evidence that Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is anti-vax. My beef was not that she was herself anti-vax, but that she pandered to anti-vaxxers, thus exacerbating the problem and legitimizing their position.

Pope Francis visits Auschwitz, and writes, “Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty.” 

There may be a way to fight “superbugs,” and the key is found in some people’s snot.  

Netflix binging can kill you. I assume because your brain shuts down after lengthy exposure to Fuller House.

Ben McLeay at SBS declares, “It’s about time we finally had a President with the supernatural ability to speak to a
nimals using their mind.”

Quote of the Day

The CSICon Las Vegas website has another great interview to get you jazzed about the big event, this time with master of ceremonies, the hilarious George Hrab:

This year I think I’ll be using a combination of alpenhorn and Moroccan Schikhatt dance, in conjunction with Morse code performed on the shells of Galapogean tortoises. Just to have a “theme.”  

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Photo credit: marcn via / CC BY

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