Flail Uselessly through Something Like Vapor

October 12, 2018

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Rights activist Gulalai Ismail, who has spoken at CFI’s Women in Secularism conference, was detained by Pakistan authorities at Islamabad International Airport, and later released on bail. She’s apparently on the government’s “Exit Control List.”

CFI’s own Barry Karr is a guest on the Phil Ferguson Show to talk about CSICon 2018 WHICH OMG IS NEXT WEEK AAAAUGH.

CBS19 in Charlottesville gets wisdom from toxicologist Christopher Holstege on the detox fad and alt-med in general:

To say we’re going to do a natural unproven product as opposed to doing what we know based on science, I’ve seen some decimating events where people could have been cured of their breast cancer, but decided not to, went through another treatment and the next thing you know your cancer spreads.

Matthew Shepard, whose grave has been the target of vandalism by bigots for two decades, will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral.

Only a handful of countries are meeting their obligations according to the Paris climate agreement, with Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Philippines, and India(!!) within the 2-degree “compatible” range. Among those countries who are “critically insufficient” are Russia, Saudi Arabia, and a small republic known as the United States of America.

At the UN, 13 countries vote against a resolution condemning the death penalty as a punishment for gay sex. Among those backwards, dark-age countries are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and this little territory called the United States of America.

Jim Underdown gives the atheist response to the first five of the Ten Commandments. Take the first commandment for example, about having “no other gods”:

Am I reading this wrong, or is this a tacit acknowledgement that there are other gods? This suggests that monotheism is more a devotion (submission, maybe) to a single god rather than a belief that there is only one god.

A city councilman in West Virginia, Eric Barber, made himself internet famous by telling the LIBS to ““get you’re [sic] coathangers ready” for when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Classy! Then he accuses a psychologist of being a pedophile when said psychologist said that allowing a boy to dress in girls’ clothes is not child abuse.

This monstrously depraved guy in Australia pressured his wife to kill herself for months so he could use the life insurance to fund the building of a church for awaiting the Rapture. He was convicted by a jury, but his sentence could be rather light.

FFRF makes a gamble: If churches don’t have to disclose their financials to the IRS, their charity arm shouldn’t have to either. The IRS at the moment disagrees and has revoked their “Nonbelief Relief” program’s tax exempt status.

Happily, the U.S. Tax Court rules that $200,000 in “gift” donations to a pastor do count as taxable income.

The publisher of The Christian Post is indicted for financial fraud to the tune of $10,000,000.

The GOP’s candidate for governor in Georgia, Brian Kemp, fights for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ folks, but that apparently doesn’t stop his campaign from advertising on gay dating app Grindr. (The campaign says it could be due to the ad tracking in a Grindr user’s browser, so who knows.)

Quote of the Day

Jeb Lund reacts to the Reagan Presidential Library’s weird apotheosis-hologram of the 40th president:

For the faithful, the hologram’s shortcomings are manifold. Ask it, “What would Reagan do?” and it won’t interrupt the playback to answer. If you tell it where you plan to travel after Simi Valley, it will not reply, “There you go again.” Any attempt at a hug will see your arms flail uselessly through something like vapor. …

… the Reagan hologram appears nearly perfect: A cultish presentation of a stage-managed mundanity as insubstantial as dust and light, valueless to actual history and 100 percent a projection.

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