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This Duck Stuff

October 23, 2019

Homeopathy’s place in the health-care retail space is the subject of a big piece at Vox by Stephie Grob Plante, and our lawsuits against Walmart and CVS, as well as our recent survey on consumer attitudes toward homeopathy (finally!), are featured:

Consumers are beginning to feel “scammed and cheated,” the nonprofit Center for Inquiry argued, in a lawsuit filed last month against Walmart and CVS over the sale of what it called “homeopathic fake medicine.” A consumer survey conducted by the nonprofit found that 41 percent of respondents felt negatively about homeopathic remedies “[o]nce [they] were told the essential facts about homeopathy’s pseudoscientific claims.” …

… The Center for Inquiry asked consumers about their knowledge base of Anas barbariae as part of their aforementioned survey; 46 percent of respondents “viewed the product less favorably” once they learned about this duck stuff.

Ben Carson, who thinks this painting was a good idea, leads a prayer at a cabinet meeting and says that the separation of church and state “doesn’t mean that they cannot work together to promote godly principles.” Pretty sure it does, but, again, that painting.

Trump loves pandering to Christians, but there’s one bridge he will not cross. His Washington hotel has given the boot to a Christian organization that planned an event called “A Night of Prayer for the Kurds.”

Frank Bruni opens his NYT column with:

The most recent Democratic debate lasted three hours and, according to one transcript I checked, exceeded 30,000 words.

Almost none of them were about religion.

FASCINATING. Also not mentioned within those 30,000 words:

  • Backgammon.
  • Taxidermy.
  • The songs of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
  • Pants.

Fine, I’ll get to his point I suppose:

Democrats would make it harder for Trump to vilify them as enemies of so-called traditional values if they talked a bit more about spirituality and religion — including, if applicable, their own.

Cool take, bro.

Florida Christian school teacher Monica Toro Lisciandro is fired after someone rats on her for attending a Pride event, Florida Today reports:

Her response? “Well, it’s true.”

Lisciandro, who is gay, says she was forced out of her part-time teaching job because of her sexual orientation. … “I want kids to see me and know that you can be a Christian and you can be gay. You can be gay, you can teach at a Christian school. You don’t have to feel shame about who you love, or who you are, or how you were born to be,” she said.

The Washington Post wastes pixels and ink to get advice on where to go ghost-hunting from a ghost hunter:

For those unconvinced about paranormal activity, [Greg] Newkirk suggests supporting haunted destinations as a way to preserve history.

Nowhere does it mention how I would then preserve my sanity.

Rafe Godfrey, a copyeditor at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, addresses an op-ed the paper recently ran on the need for “independent thought” on climate change, by which the author obviously means “denial.” Anyway, Godfrey cites our work, which is really why I’m showing this to you:

…the media needs to be more careful on the subject. For example, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, in 2014, called on the media to stop using the term “skeptic” to describe climate change deniers. They aptly noted that true skepticism is rooted in scientific inquiry, whilst denial is an a priori rejection of ideas, willfully disregarding or being genuinely ignorant of objective fact.

Steven Novella explains “holotropic breathing,” which is really just hyperventilating on purpose so you can contact the spirit realm or something.

MSCHF, the company behind the Jesus shoes, launches an app that uses your astrological sign to give you stock recommendations.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth get a statue in Central Park.

Google declares it has achieved “quantum supremacy,” which is also the name of my Jason Bourne/James Bond slash-fic.

Quote of the Day

Matt Ford at The New Republic gets to the heart of what’s wrong with Bill Barr’s wholesale dissing of secularists:

Barr’s speech was not a political ploy to defend the president. It’s an honest recitation of his personal beliefs. That’s the problem. The attorney general is the nation’s top law-enforcement officer, not its top theologian. Like any civil servant, Barr is supposed to work on behalf of all Americans and not just some of them. His speech undermined that principle by articulating a vision of state power that favors those who share his particular religious beliefs over those who don’t.

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.