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Paging Dr. Bananas

October 16, 2020

The most important religious group to the 2020 presidential election is not really a religious group at all,” says Ryan Burge. He means the nothing-in-particulars, which make up about 20 percent of the electorate (a subset of “nones” which are even more numerous). “Persuading nothing in particulars … may not just be the key to the 2020 election, but for electoral politics at the federal, state and local levels for the next several decades.”


Let’s talk about this “Great Barrington Declaration,” in which “thousands” of “scientists” champion herd immunity through purposeful spreading of the virus as the way to control the pandemic. Fauci says, “We just gotta look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense.” BUT WAIT THIS IS THE BEST PART, via BuzzFeed:

So far, the letter has been signed by more than 35,000 self-identified scientists and clinicians — although some signatories, such as “Dr. Johnny Bananas” and “Professor Cominic Dummings,” were identified as clearly fake. All of the signatures were later made private.

Dr. Bananas notwithstanding, there is another major voice in opposition to the Great Barrington Declaration: The town of Great Barrington. The Hill reports:

“We are a Covid safe community, we are not tossing off our masks,” Mark Pruhenski, Great Barrington’s town manager, said in a statement. … Town leaders “believe herd immunity is a dangerous Covid-19 strategy. … Anyone who might avoid Great Barrington, due to confusion over the Declaration, is invited to visit and see how Covid-safe works in a small New England town.”

The Indian Medical Association blasts the Indian government’s push to use Ayurveda (traditional alternative medicine) to treat COVID-19, saying the health minister is “inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs.”

Tom Keane at the Boston Globe on an eventual legitimate vaccine: “Should the government force citizens to take it? The answer is yes.” He adds, “Maybe a few diehard anti-vaxxers will resist and simply stay forever in their homes. Fine by me.” I don’t think they’ll stay in their homes, Tom.

Putin, of course, already has a vaccine! They tested it on 100 people! They say!

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters drops the mic on a COVID-denier: “We’ve got someone who obviously got an education in America … And here is someone who gets up and says: ‘the Earth is flat.’ Sorry sunshine, wrong place.”

Ammon Bundy has a COVID-19 protest network, which Matt Shuham at TPM describes as a combination of “anti-vaxxers, sovereign citizens, Second Amendment die-hards and online edgelords obsessed with ‘Zionist Banksters’.”

NRP profiles COVID-19 survivors who are working to push back against misinformation.


Our own Nick Little will join folks from American Atheists and FFRF to talk about what we can expect from the next session of the Supreme Court in a live video event October 21.

Kate Sosin at The 19th looks at why Amy Coney Barrett’s coziness with the Alliance Defending Freedom is so deeply problematic. FOR EXAMPLE: “In 2015, ADF argued in favor of the forced sterilization of transgender people before the European Court of Human Rights. In Jamaica, the group battled to keep anti-sodomy laws on the books, despite human rights reports that LGBTQ+ people in the country faced extraordinary violence and even death.”

John Stoehr on why Barrett won’t be surprising anyone with her spin on Christian judicial ethics: “Fact is, for lots of Christians, especially the anarchic sort with whom Barrett has chosen to associate, loving God isn’t the point so much as fearing Him.”

Barrett’s characterization of climate science as “controversial” is not going over well with people existing in this reality.

HuffPost: That pocket edition of the Constitution that Sen. Mike “Who-Needs-Democracy” Lee keeps waving around is published by a group founded by a conspiracy theorist and “annotated in such a way as to make it seem like the founders envisioned a solely Christian nation.”


The Rationable Podcast interviews CFI Board Member Leonard Tramiel: “Why Skepticism Matters.”

David Frankfurter connects QAnon’s mania over imaginary child sacrifice to the “Satanic panic” of previous decades.

Donald Trump still seems uninterested in saying anything to distance himself from QAnon.

A federal judge knocks down Tennessee’s mandated 48-hour waiting period for an abortion, calling it “gratuitously demeaning.” Judge Bernard Friedman:

Defendants’ suggestion that women are overly emotional and must be required to cool off or calm down before having a medical procedure they have decided they want to have, and that they are constitutionally entitled to have, is highly insulting and paternalistic.

Trump says he’s more famous than Jesus, but really, he’d need to be more famous than the Beatles, which I will not allow to happen. The Rutles, of course, are more famous than God, so they win.


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.