Happy Monday. In order to save the Earth, we must all poop less. Don’t look at me! That’s what the President of Freaking Brazil said! From the BBC:
Mr. Bolsonaro’s comment came after the journalist quoted reports saying deforestation and agriculture were responsible for a quarter of the planet’s greenhouse effect.
“It’s enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It’s enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world,” he said.
Something-something God’s ear.
As you know, Jeffrey Epstein is dead, and here come the conspiracy theories about why and how. And of course who is the loudest and most dangerous conspiracy theorist of them all? Orange you glad you asked?
Today, President Donald Trump accused his predecessor Bill Clinton—or possibly his 2016 campaign opponent, the former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—of complicity in the death of the accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug. What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter.
Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever more widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States, and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon; a conspiratorial, racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people.
… So even though Trump just retweeted the comedian Terrence K. Williams accusing the Clinton family of murder, the people who work for Trump may ignore that, too. They know that the president punching the retweet button like an addled retiree playing the slots through a fog of painkillers means nothing.
McCay Coppins at The Atlantic says the utter lack of trust in the media and government means that people aren’t going to be convinced out of these conspiracy theories. “Finger-wagging feels inadequate at this moment,” he writes.
Also in conspiracy dim-wittery: It is apparently necessary to inform the public that Lyme disease is not the result of a biological warfare experiment. Weaponized ticks, y’all.
And! And! The FCC would like it if people stopped believing the conspiracy theories about the imagined health effects of 5G wireless.
We found something Trump’s supporters don’t like about him: when he takes the LORD’s name in vain:
For evangelicals, however, Trump’s indelicate language has frustrated religious fans who have otherwise been true blue supporters of his agenda. They agree with his social policies, praise his appointment of conservative judges and extol his commitment to Israel — often tolerating Trump’s character flaws for the continued advancement of all three. But when it comes to “using the Lord’s name in vain,” as [West Virginia State Senator Paul] Hardesty put it, “the president’s evangelical base might be far less forgiving.”
Interesting question: Are Trump’s White House “spiritual advisers” constitutional? Wyatt Masset at the Times Free Press answers:
Congress or the courts can step in during a perceived threat to religious liberty only if the president does something that violates religious freedoms, said Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law professor of law and religious studies. To put it more plainly, the president’s outputs are subject to constitutional scrutiny, not the president’s inputs.
Trump has “written” a proposed order to stop Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from alleged anti-conservative bias. “We’re going to be very tough with them. They’re treating conservatives very unfairly.”
At Skeptical Inquirer, Susan Gerbic interviews brings her latest CSICon interview: Jonathan Jarry of the McGill Office for Science & Society:
Gerbic: The Halloween party theme this year is the 1950s. Are you going to grease back your hair and practice your West Side Story dance moves?
Jarry: I’m skeptical that this event is happening, Susan. I saw it online and I learned you can’t trust anything you find on the internet. Didn’t you see that video about the moss curing cancer?
Gerbic: Well I read about it on Wikipedia so it must be true.
It will not surprise you to know that Democrats overwhelmingly support scientists getting involved in policy debates, while Republicans mostly don’t. According to Pew, Republicans distrust scientists and science to a troubling degree.
Meanwhile, the good people of New Zealand trust Buddhists a lot, don’t trust Evangelicals much, and atheists are right smack dab in the middle.
The Washington Post reports that a climate science denier is in charge of AccuWeather, which provides weather services to the Washington Post. Awkward!
Quillette gets tricked by an anonymous hoaxer, publishing an essay he wrote under a fake identity, “Archie Carter,” who is supposed to be a manly construction worker who was bugged by all the social justice at a fictional Democratic Socialists meeting. Guess where he got the idea. The Daily Beast reports:
The hoaxer said he was inspired to trick Quillette by 2018’s “Sokal Squared” hoax, in which academics placed fake, obviously ridiculous research papers in journals in an attempt to prove that the humanities had been overrun by identity politics. The hoax had been well-received at Quillette, with Lehmann declaring that the Sokal Squared hoax was proof that the fooled academic disciplines aren’t legitimate fields. …
…The writer who posed as the blue-collar New York construction worker said he wanted to turn the Sokal Squared hoax back on Quillette.
“I wanted to prove the point of the Sokal experiment, which is that they’re ideological actors finding a conclusion regardless of the evidence,” he said. “Because if they actually looked at the evidence, they would’ve rejected what I was fucking saying. So they burned themselves, you know?”
The guy who launched himself on a little rocket last year to prove the Earth is flat, and nearly got himself killed, is supposed to have tried again yesterday, but I haven’t seen anything about whether he made it.
Anderson County High School in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky has decided that actually those “Bible literacy” courses aren’t such a great idea after all.
Meet the Angel Gary, warehouse manager for the Department of Thoughts and Prayers.
John Gehring of Faith in Public Life looks at the paradox Trump presents to faithful Catholic voters:
Voting requires prudence and well-formed consciences. Neither political party has a monopoly on Catholic values. But faced with an administration that doubles down on racism at every turn and that has a politically expedient understanding of what it means to be pro-life, Catholics who check a box for Donald Trump will do so while ignoring core justice teachings at the heart of our faith.
Meanwhile, the Evangelical Lutheran Church has voted to label patriarchy and sexism as sins.
Philosopher Preston Greene warns in the Times that we better not ask pesky questions about whether or not we’re living in a computer simulation, lest we anger our Programmer Overlords:
…if our universe has been created by an advanced civilization for research purposes, then it is reasonable to assume that it is crucial to the researchers that we don’t find out that we’re in a simulation. If we were to prove that we live inside a simulation, this could cause our creators to terminate the simulation — to destroy our world.
Yeah, this doesn’t sound like a religion at all.
Quote of the Day
Jesus: I can turn water into wine.
Professor X: Sounds great for parties but not sure we need th-
Security Guard: [drops dead]
Jesus: Humans are 60% water.
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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.