What I’m Reading, May 9, 2014

Philipp Clüver [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsBarbarians in Oklahoma, Charles Pierce, Esquire, April 30, 2014 (h/t PZ Myers)

I am saying this quite deliberately. The state of Oklahoma committed an act of fucking barbarism last night. It did so under the color of law, which makes every citizen of that benighted state complicit in the act of fucking barbarism. The governor of that state, a pink balloon named Mary Fallin, is a fucking barbarian. A state legislator named Mike Christian is a fucking barbarian, for reasons we will get to in a moment. Every politician in that benighted state belongs in a fucking cage this morning.

(Emphasis in original.)

Andrew Wakefield: Attracting antivaccine cranks like moths to a flame since 1998, Orac, Respectful Insolence, May 7, 2014

Andrew Wakefield, like many antivaccinationists, doesn’t like being called an “antivaccinationist” or “antivaccine.” This becomes evident in a part of the interview where Billy D [Billy DeMoss] asks Wakefield if there are any vaccines that are effective; i.e., if there are any vacines that “work.” It’s clear that Billy D wants Wakefield to say that vaccines don’t work. He doesn’t say that—exactly. He does, however, equivocate. Instead of saying whether vaccines work or not, he does say that vaccines result in the production of antibodies against the organisms for which they are designed, after which he questions whether antibodies actually lead to immunity and pulls out the antivaccine trope of questioning how long the immunity from vaccines lasts. He even goes so far as to claim that the mumps vaccine is not needed, that it doesn’t work, and that mumps is a “trivial disease,” which it is not. (If you develop deafness from mumps, to you it’s not a trivial disease.”

Rick Santorum: Georgia Law ‘Creates An Opportunity’ For Gun Owners To Police Airports, David, Crooks and Liars, April 27, 2014

[CBS host Bob] Schieffer wondered if Santorum would support law-abiding gun owners bringing military assault-style rifles into airports.

The former Pennsylvania senator argued that law-abiding gun owners would want to bring a concealed handgun into an airport instead of an AK-47.

“I don’t think this is going to encourage some bad guy to cause harm in an airport, but it’s going to create an opportunity that if something bad does happen at an airport, that maybe someone will be there to be able to stop it,” Santorum opined.

Down With Runway Food, Drew Magary, The Concourse, May 2, 2014

These chefs (seriously, could not one of them apply his or her genius to building a cleaner oil rig or something?) drone on and on about how their food will open hearts and minds, all the while ignoring the fact that the people CONSUMING their shit are mostly rich assholes and/or hipsters emptying out the last of the trust fund. Those diners are not there to open their minds. They’re there to brag, or to impress fellow diners. And if they do have a transcendent dining experience, it doesn’t inspire them to go out and change the world. It inspires them to have a glass of brandy, fart, and then go to sleep. It’s an exercise in pleasure, no matter how high-minded its presentation may be.

Photo credit: Philipp Clüver [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


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