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It Dances Around Timidly

May 14, 2019

SB 276 in California would attempt to put the kibosh on doctors handing out medically unnecessary vaccination exemptions to patients whose objections are purely (and this is a generous use of the term) philosophical, so of course, the propaganda pushback is intense. The San Jose Mercury News reports in its lede that opponents are “spreading misinformation and sharing referrals to doctors who support their cause.”

In Maine, the repugnant Right To Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Act gets scaled back somewhat after a push from the Maine Nurse Practitioners Association who testified that it “provides no recourse or protection to the public and undermines the basic idea of why licenses are required.”

For some reason, the leaders of Australia’s two big political parties have made clear that they do not think that gays will suffer eternal damnation in Hell. That’s…good? That they think that? I think? I just feel like if this is what they’re trying to pin each other down on less than a week before their election, something must have gone off the rails quite some time ago.

Meanwhile, the Mormon leadership opposes the Equality Act, but it’s okay, you see, because they are in favor of “fairness for all.” Mormon elder Napolean the pig was unavailable for comment.

New video from CSICon 2018: Dr. Jen Gunter’s presentation on Goop, pseudoscience, and “vaginal misinformation.”

Religious studies professor Candy Gunther Brown says that yoga and mindfulness as practiced in some public schools crosses the boundary to being a religious practice, introducing me to the term “stealth Buddhism” (I thought Buddhism was pretty stealthy to begin with).

There are plenty of nonbelievers among the ranks of the Unitarian Universalists, but as James Haught says, they don’t like to admit it:

In the past, Unitarians led efforts to create humanist organizations and write humanist manifestos. Today, UU skeptics like me sometimes feel frustrated because our organization seems hesitant to fully acknowledge its disbelievers. It dances around timidly, mostly avoiding “the elephant in the room.”

Google has been giving tens of thousands of dollars in advertising grants to a “crisis pregnancy center,” one of those places that pretends to be a clinic that offers abortion services, but is actually an outpost of anti-abortion zealotry.

This is unexpected. A financial advice site (I think that’s what it is) called CardRates.com does a profile of Quackwatch, the skeptic site that was recently brought under the CFI umbrella. The author of the profile is Adam West, but not the Batman one.

Cory Booker, though overtly religious, does not seem to think that we can count on divine intervention to solve the gun problem:

When I’m President of the United States, I’m taking a fight to this issue like folks have never seen before, because we’re better than this is a country. It’s a uniquely American problem. No other country has this kind of carnage. … We are not going to give thoughts and prayers, which to me is just bullshit. And I’m sorry to say it as a man of faith, but I was taught that faith without works is dead.

Ireland bans American Christian fundamentalist hate-preacher Steven Anderson from entering their country, following the lead of the Netherlands. And South Africa. And the UK. And the Visa-free zone of the Schengen Area.

And Jamaica.

And Botswana.

Hey let’s all go to a former tuberculosis hospital that is maybe haunted. Or, also, let’s not.

The Moon is shrinking. It’s lost about 50 meters since Apollo 17 in 1972. As it shrinks, it wrinkles and shakes. That sounds like me as I age.

Quote of the Day

Bill Nye, on John Oliver’s show, is sick of explaining climate change to you:

By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I’m saying is the planet’s on f***ing fire. There are a lot of things we could do to put it out — are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing’s free, you idiots. Grow the f**k up. You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12. But you’re adults now, and this is an actually crisis, got it? Safety glasses off, motherf***ers.

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