Max Boot at The Washington Post says it’s time for an unapologetic atheist President of the United States, to which I say, Hallelujah! Boot writes:
We’ve had closeted freethinkers as president but never one who was out and proud. Thomas Jefferson, a deist who rejected the divinity of Christ, bridled when he was called an atheist by his opponents. Given how many taboos we have already shattered — making it easy to imagine a female president who is of Jamaican and Indian descent — I look forward to the day when we will finally have an unapologetic atheist in the Oval Office. But probably not in 2021.
Oh, and when discussing Bernie Sanders’ weird nonreligious-but-not-nonreligious waffling, Boot links to a 2016 CNN piece in which a slightly-less-old Paul Fidalgo is generously quoted.
Texas is in a tough battle with Oklahoma and maybe Florida for the title of Worst State Legislators Evvvvaaaar, and I think they now take the lead with State Rep. Jonathan Strickland who is just dripping with disgust over those scientists and their vaccines. Berating pro-vaccine advocate Dr. Peter Hotez on Twitter, this genius says:
You are bought and paid for by the biggest special interest in politics. Do our state a favor and mind your own business. Parental rights mean more to us than your self enriching ‘science.’ … Make the case for your sorcery to consumers on your own dime. Like every other business. Quit using the heavy hand of government to make your business profitable through mandates and immunity. It’s disgusting.
That’s right. He called vaccines “sorcery.” I told you it was time to give up.
Still, 77 percent of Americans think kids should get vaccinated regardless of the objections of parents.
While you’re giving up, and hiding in some bunker somewhere, away from the madness, maybe take with you some of Jim Bakker’s $3000 food buckets. It’s so funny it’s tragic.
Free Inquiry has the exclusive court documents from the case of Job v. God, as provided by Burt Siemens:
It is Job’s further contention that Yahweh, by confiscating and/or destroying all of Job’s worldly goods, and by giving Satan sanction to inflict upon Job loathsome boils and scabs that he abjectly scraped with potsherds while sitting alone and forlorn on a heap of ashes, and by making him repulsive to his wife and thereby denying to him the pleasures of the marital bed, that by so doing all of the aforesaid He has failed to sustain and protect him as promised and therefore is in breach of the letter as well as the spirit of His Covenant with the Hebrew tribe; he is, ipso facto, also in breach with Job as a member of the class of people composing that tribe.
Trump loves to brag that he “got rid of the Johnson Amendment.” He didn’t. He’s trying really hard, but he hasn’t. Yet.
A high school student newspaper in Minnesota, The South High Southerner, profiles a substitute teacher, Brent Harring, who they call “Subsquatch” for his obsession with the creature he claims to have encountered:
“He really likes ‘Bigfoot,’ like a lot,” said sophomore Kevin Powers.
Pennsylvania is rated as the third-best state to get a glimpse of Bigfoot, which, for some reason, PennLive.com sees fit to boast about.
The Motion Picture Association of America is going to “monitor developments” in Georgia in the wake of the anti-abortion “heartbeat bill” just signed into law. TV and film production is a huge business in Georgia, and the MPAA says:
It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process.
David Simon (The Wire, Homicide, etc.) is among those calling for an industry boycott of the state:
I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this.
Alabama sees what Georgia is up to and says, “hold my moonshine,” as the state legislature considers a bill that effectively bans abortions and makes criminals out of doctors who perform them.
Never one to half-ass anything, ProPublica has a big exposé on the unregulated stem cell therapy industry, reporting that “unscientific methods, deceptive marketing, price gouging and disregard for patients’ well-being [are] rampant across the amniotic stem cell therapy industry.”
The International Business Times (yeah, yeah) reports that some guy found evidence of the existence of the aliens from the 90s movie Fire in the Sky, but at least has the wisdom to also cite Skeptical Inquirer…except that it just references polygraph tests, and you know how we feel about those.
Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead: I stumbled upon this interesting Twitter thread by @malihaness on how the entire arc of Tony Stark’s story, and the saving of the Universe itself, all started with one man, Ho Yinsen, the Muslim man who helped save Stark’s life in the first Iron Man film:
Yinsen might not have gotten to know the Tony we know BUT he believed in him, and it resonated with Tony. This strange man probably saw more in him than his ever dad did so he took it upon himself to change. He committed to using his power and privilege responsibly. … So not only is this an amazing portrayal of a Muslim that isn’t simply wearing a tasbeeh or reading the Quran but rather a real Muslim who was an embodiment of the Quran.
Quote of the Day
Michael Harriot at The Root shows how the anti-vaccination movement is of a piece with one of the other great curses of our age:
As America struggles to overcome the re-emergence of disturbing trends like Nazis, Watergate-style presidential scandals and—worst of all—fanny packs, white people have once again proven their resurrection powers by bringing back something even the most cynical among us could never have imagined.
The measles. …
… It’s a perfect analogy for racism.
Like the measles, we like to pretend that we don’t know what prompted the rise in hate crimes, anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia. It’s simple: We allowed a dim-witted, reality star with no particular economic or political expertise to inspire his uneducated white base. The public fell for it in the same way white women fell for Jenny McCarthy—a charismatic reality star with no particular medical expertise—and her beliefs about vaccines causing autism. …
… Both white supremacy and racism are communicable diseases that can “linger like a ghost,” and the symptoms aren’t always readily apparent. People who might not show any signs of being infected with the measles can still act as carriers, much like the people who insist they aren’t racist but spread their subconscious bigotry when they come in contact with others.
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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.