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Great Mind, Mighty Fists

December 19, 2018

The New York Times has a major feature on how climate change is screwing with the Galápagos Islands:

As climate change warms the world’s oceans, these islands are a crucible. And scientists are worried. Not only do the Galápagos sit at the intersection of three ocean currents, they are in the cross hairs of one of the world’s most destructive weather patterns, El Niño, which causes rapid, extreme ocean heating across the Eastern Pacific tropics.

Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar of Los Angeles resigns without saying why. His diocese does, though. Via the Post:

…a separate statement from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said that Salazar’s alleged misconduct occurred in the 1990s and that a board reviewing the case determined that Salazar “should not have faculties to minister.”

A bill in the Senate aims to punish U.S. companies that decide to protest Israeli settlement policy through boycotts, which seems like a pretty obvious (to me) violation of free speech. NYT’s editorial board more or less says as much:

Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.

The same is true of Palestinians. They are criticized when they resort to violence, and rightly so. Should they be deprived of nonviolent economic protest as well?

The University of Minnesota highlights the work of Jacqui Frost, who is researching the nonreligious in America, focusing on Sunday Assemblies:

“Traditionally,” explains Frost, “the nonreligious are seen as socially isolated individuals who don’t volunteer and don’t care about other people. My research is pushing back against these stereotypes and saying we don’t actually know a lot about these people.”

Two brothers in Pakistan, Qaiser and Amoon Ayub, have been sentenced to death for blasphemy over the alleged posting of material derogatory of Islam to their website.

1944 saw the introduction of a comic book hero who punched Nazis and was not Captain America, Algerian (and Muslim) superhero Kismet. Via RNS:

“The conquered people of Europe carry on their ceaseless struggle against the forces of tyranny,” reads the introduction to one of his adventures from Elliot Publications. “And fighting by their side, lending the power of his great mind and the force of his mighty fists, is Kismet, Man of Fate.”

Kismet disappeared after four issues, but is about to be rebooted in a new graphic novel.

A lawsuit against a Virginia school district over its Bible in the Schools program was dismissed last year, but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the dismissal.

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko looks like he’s going to get to run for reelection on an accomplishment that is probably pretty rare: the reunification of a church.

The Satanic Temple is given the go-ahead to piggyback on a lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol, specifically so they can get their own statue placed there. Presumably a goat of some sort. Hemant notes:

(That motion to intervene also included this amazing line: “Lucien Greaves visited Arkansas during the second installation of the Ten Commandments Monument and was personally offended by its erection.”)

Sean Kane at Business Insider rounds up 10 indentified flying objects that had been misidentified as alien ships. My favorite? Children’s party balloons.

Enjoy Saturn’s rings while you can, because in 300 million years they could be gone. I mean, so will you, but still.

This blurry, pointy-ish thing in the water is obviously the Loch Ness Monster.

What’s the harm in belief in Bigfoot? McClatchy reports on this incident in Montana:

“I thought you were Bigfoot,” the shooter told the victim in the victim’s telling of the story, according to [Sheriff] Dutton. “I don’t target practice — but if I see something that looks like Bigfoot, I just shoot at it.”

Quote of the Day

I am utterly sick of stories about Christmas displays, but this is fantastic. A woman has an awesome dragon display on her front yard, and gets angry, vaguely harassing notes from her neighbors about how inappropriate they are for Christmas. So she adds MORE dragons AND gives them HALOS:

In the spirit of neighborhood harmony, I have placed halos on the dragons. They are now angels. Ezekiel 1:1-28. I’ll fight anyone who says different.

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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.