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An Absurd Way to Correct Inaccuracies

December 4, 2019

We’re being ever-so-amicable once again as we take part in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on a deja vu kind of case, June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, which looks a lot like the already-correctly-decided Whole Woman’s Health case from Texas. Our statement:

“Having lost just a few years ago at the Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit is once again endorsing a false narrative that abortion is an unsafe procedure and that women need protection from those who practice it. This is categorically a lie,” said Nick Little, CFI’s Vice President and General Counsel. “Abortion is one of the safest procedures performed in the United States, and everyone involved in this case on either side knows this. What politicians in states like Louisiana want, as they have admitted, is not safe abortions, but NO abortions whatsoever.”

Aysha Khan at RNS talks to Obama’s director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Melissa Rogers, about her new book Faith in American Public Life and the current terrible state of things:

Rogers said she is … deeply concerned by appearances of favoring certain religious communities in the White House faith-based partnerships today.

“There can’t be a complacency about just having members of one religious tradition, or indeed a subset of a subset of a religious tradition, included in meetings at the White House,” she said. “There has to be a very broad discipline of reaching out to people of all faiths. And it’s not clear to me that that has been happening the way that it should be.”

Google says its efforts to curb conspiracy theory videos on YouTube are working, with a 70 percent reduction in viewership for them. The Post, however, notes, “in a blog post Tuesday, the company didn’t release the underlying figures, such as how much time viewers still spend watching the videos. It didn’t say whether it had reduced the times the videos are clicked on in the first place or provide global figures.” I guess we can just trust them.

At The Verge, Adi Robertson offers some common-sense guidance on how to tell truth from fiction on social media, which boils down to this: “the general technique is almost stupidly simple: if a story grabs your attention for any reason, slow down and look closer.”

Susan Matthews at Slate tries to explain the Scientific American/Jennifer Block/Jen Gunter/Goop argument from the past few days, and I dunno, seems to think Block has a point about “inclusion of more subjectivity in the medical sphere.” Meh. Further:

Over email, I asked Gunter why she felt it was preferable that the piece be retracted instead of corrected. She replied, “The piece is poorly researched and so full of inaccuracies that it didn’t deserve a rebuttal, it deserved a retraction. This is Scientific American, not a tabloid.” (I understand why Gunter wouldn’t want to write a rebuttal to the piece, which, per her Twitter, SciAm offered her; that’s an absurd way to correct inaccuracies.) …

… I think Block and Gunter have a few important things in common: I think they both want to help women better understand and care for their bodies. I think they both want women to feel empowered to make choices that work for them. I think they both do understand problems with the medical hierarchy, and I think they both are working on those problems, albeit from different sides.

So, Washington Post, um, how we doing on that whole reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions thing?

Instead of beginning a long-awaited decline, global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to grow slightly during 2019, reaching another record high.

Sorry I asked.

At TVOvermind, Tom Foster cites Skeptical Inquirer as he wonders at the popularity and ticket pricing for psychic readings by Theresa Caputo:

Why my cynicism when it comes to mediums? It could have something to do with a lot of them being full of crap.

Only “a lot”?

Former DC archbishop Theodore McCarrick is accused of the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy in the 1990s:

“For a very long time I have lived with the humiliation and degradation that he heaped upon me at that time,” [alleged victim John] Bellocchio said in an interview Tuesday. “For me, this means being able to be a part of the Catholic Church coming to terms with what it has long denied. It’s time for the Catholic Church to confront all of its sins and make amends.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo resigns over the protection he gave to abusive priests, and as NYT reports, “leaked recordings showed that he was reluctant to remove a parish priest whom he called a ‘sick puppy.'”

Phil Zuckerman has a cool little trailer for his book, What it Means to Be Moral, which espouses a secular approach to morality (naturally).

Hey did you make it down to Comox Valley’s Christmas Parade on Sunday? They had “Pictures with Satan.”

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