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Human Rights Subscription Bundle

September 18, 2020

At Skeptical Inquirer: Susan Gerbic—the woman who did such a great job exposing fake-psychic Thomas John that the New York Times covered itreviews John’s new show.

Benjamin Radford looks back on the exploratory work of naturalist George Cherrie and his reflections on “various bizarre topics including ghost beliefs and superstitions.”

Hey, make sure you’re following us on all the socials. Here we are on the Twitters, on the Book of Faces, and the YouTubes.

This is bad. NYT: The CDC guidance that said folks without symptoms shouldn’t get tested, even if they think they were exposed to COVID-19, “was not written by CDC scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections.”

STAT: Witness as the CDC “stumbles” with its COVID messaging. That’s one way to put it.

Paul Offit reminds us that even after a COVID-19 vaccine comes around, we’re still going to need masks and social distancing.

Clay Jones on the ZShield face-shield marketed as protection for kids: “The unique design of upgoing ZShield face shields is bad. It’s comically bad.”

JAMA interviews Dominique Brossard of the Societal Experts Action Network about how to use persuasion to get people to do the right thing during the pandemic. “Mask wearing and physically distancing are new habits we’re creating from scratch.”

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

This is also bad: The head of the FEC, James E. Trainor III, says the separation of church and state is a “fallacy” and that this election is a “spiritual war.”

Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky in The Atlantic: SCOTUS is turning the Establishment Clause “into a sword that politically powerful Christian conservatives can use to strike down hard-fought advances in civil rights, especially for LGBTQ individuals and women.”

It’s not just the courts: Secretary of State Pompeo’s “unalienable rights” pet project is being called out for downgrading women’s and LGBTQ rights to an “optional” tier, while elevating values based on “national traditions,” all of which pleases authoritarians.

So human rights are like that new Apple One subscription bundle. If you just get an individual plan, you get total rule by a particular sect of Christians. If you get the Premier Plan, you can add on extras like the freedom of thought, but it’s way more expensive, and who can afford lavish luxuries like equal rights in this economy?

Hemant Mehta says Democrats should make the calculation to be “more overt about the importance of non-religious support” because “it could even drive more of us to vote.”

Sens. Peters, Klobuchar, and Reed introduce a bill to create a “Misinformation & Disinformation Task Force.” That would be against misinformation, not, like, to help it along. Just to be clear.

The Trump National Doral Miami resort will host a COVID-be-damned pro-Trump “AMPFest” conference with antivaxxers like RFK Jr. and Del Bigtree, as well as a bunch of QAnon types. And Dinesh D’Souza, of course.

Wired reports on YouTube’s efforts to tamp down on conspiracy theory recommendations: “You will never see flat-earth videos recommended to you, basically ever.” Not that it matters anymore. One Google engineer says, “The time to do this was years ago.” Shyeah, it was.

Cosmonaut Ivan Vagner wants Flat-Earthers to stop claiming his pictures from the ISS are actually taken from an airplane, feels compelled to explain how photography works.

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.