Nigerian Terrorist Group Boko Haram, Having Driven Out Scores of Farmers, Is on the Hunt for Food

Oh, the irony:

After rampaging across the region for years, forcing more than two million people to flee their homes and farms, Boko Haram appears to be falling victim to a major food crisis of its own creation. Farmers have fled, leaving behind fallow fields. Herdsmen have rerouted cattle drives to avoid the violence. Throughout the region, entire villages have emptied, leaving a string of ghost towns with few people for Boko Haram to dominate — and little for the group to plunder.

That almost seems like good news, especially when you summarize it as the New York Times did today — “Boko Haram Falls Victim to a Food Crisis It Created.”

But, as the paper also points out, tens of thousands of innocents are close to starving, and the Islamic terrorists are now exporting their violent handiwork, making deep excursions into neighboring Cameroon to plunder whatever food supplies they can find.

New_Surge_in_Hunger_as_More_People_Flee_Increasing_Boko_Haram_Violence_in_Lake_Chad_Region__For_the_Media____WFP___United_Nations_World_Food_Programme_-_Fighting_Hunger_Worldwide


[Read more…]

West Virginia Senate Votes Down “Religious Freedom” Bill

Republicans across the country have been heavily invested in passing what they often call “religious freedom” laws. The name might imply something harmless, but as we’ve seen time and time again, they’re usually just an effort to allow business owners to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.

shutterstock_286263857

Such was the case with West Virginia’s HB 4012.

But the bill just got rejected… [Read more…]

The Wearable Bible: Printed on a Silicon Chip, This Good Book Is Intended to Be Used As Jewelry

I’ve always thought of the Bible as big in global impact but small in moral stature. After all, the tome describes how the Almighty drowns all the Earth’s creatures in a fit of pique; and after the planet is repopulated, He kills all of Egypt’s firstborns, has naughty children torn apart by bears, et cetera. That’s some God, and some “Good Book.”

Now there is physical copy of the Bible that metaphorically matches the moral size of this preposterous page-turner.

Jerusalem_Nano_Bible___The_World_s_Smallest_Printed_Bible


[Read more…]

A Bunch of Atheists Told Me Why They Plan to Vote Republican

Yesterday, I asked atheists who planned to vote for one of the Republicans in the race to explain their thinking.

No debate or judgment from me. I just didn’t get how atheists — who take that word seriously — could vote for religious conservatives like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Or Donald Trump, the media spectacle who offers no substance. Or even John Kasich, the so-called moderate, who has shown himself to be awful on social issues most atheists care about. I could understand atheists voting for a third party candidate… but these guys? What was their appeal?

GOPDebateFour

A lot of people responded and I’m listing excerpts (with minor edits) from their emails below.

I’ve broken down the responses by candidate, but let me summarize their main arguments:

1) We think economic concerns and Second Amendment fears are more important than church/state separation issues.

2) Hillary Clinton is just awful.

3) We’re assuming Bernie Sanders will lose the primary. (If he wins, we’d support him.)

With that in mind, here’s a glimpse at why at least some atheists are supporting the various GOP candidates:

[Read more…]

Michael Shermer: I’m Not Endorsing Donald Trump

Yesterday, I posted about how it puzzled me that Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, would support Donald Trump. He seemed to say as much last month during an interview with KCRW, an NPR affiliate in California.

He was introduced as a Trump supporter and said nothing to counter that, and then he gave reasons for why he liked the candidate. It wasn’t quite an endorsement, but that seemed like a distinction without a difference. Other websites certainly ran with it.

But was the characterization accurate?

shutterstock_321867656

I asked Shermer directly and he rejected it, saying this in an on-the-record email:

[Read more…]