From the Webmaster: Trav Mamone ask a good question about skeptical communities (Mixed)

Fellow Freethought Blogger Trav Mamone asks a good question over at The Establishment: Why are Secular Skeptic Communities Failing to Address Sexual Crime?

What is most troubling about the Krauss story is how many in the atheist movement knew about his reputation before the BuzzFeed article came out, including this writer. If secular communities want to provide a better alternative to religious institutions, why didn’t anyone confront Krauss sooner? Why are Shermer and Carrier still given a platform despite having similar accusations to those levied against Krauss?

We’re wondering about this as well. Trav has some good ideas, but we have a feeling they wouldn’t agree with some of our thoughts on the matter.

Steven Pinker fails to inspire the New World Order (Fiction)

Professor Steven Pinker failed to inspire attendees at a New World Order symposium that was held at the Sheraton Lisle.

“We’re not going to win the war with the Illuminati if our leaders think Steven Pinker is an inspirational leader,” said Thomas Xavier, NWO Administrator for Illinois.

During his speech, Pinker decried the “negativism” within the New World Order.  “Whenever I talk to people, I always hear negative anecdotes. Those stories, circulated by social justice warriors, are hurting morale.  Let’s look at what science and statistics say.”

As an example, Pinker said that the New World Order controlled zero percent of the UFO Bases in 1928.  Today, the New World order controls 40 percent of the UFO bases around the world.

A member of the audience protested that from 1986 to 2016, the New World Order controlled all the UFO bases in the world.

“You’re looking at the wrong time frame,” Pinker replied.  “We didn’t control any UFO bases in 1928 and today we control UFO bases.  That’s progress, and we should celebrate that instead of worrying about the UFO bases we no longer have.”

“But we’re still losing UFO bases!”

“But the general trend is an increase in UFO bases from 1928 until the present.”

“But the New World Order wasn’t formally organized until 1971, and we only became independent from the Illuminati in 1986. We had nothing to do with the first human managed UFO bases.”

“My point still stands,” Pinker concluded.

Pinker also noted the decline in the mortality rate during the war with the Illuminati.  “You are now less likely to die fighting the Illuminati than you were just two years ago.”

“But we’re still fighting,” another audience member protested.  “And our casualty rates are still high.”

“But the mortality rate is decreasing, and we should be celebrating that instead of focusing on negative statistics.”

“But before 2016, there was no fighting at all.”

“My point still stands.  Incidentally, I’m not going to let our minor conflict or all the wars the United States is involved in, stop me from saying that we are living in an era of long peace!  Why aren’t the hippies celebrating?”

While many were disappointed in Pinker’s speech, morale did improve later in the symposium.  During a cover band’s performance of Ministry’s “New World Order,” noted skeptic Cara Santa Maria danced onto the stage then started speaking.  “Let’s be honest.  This is a dark time for the NWO.  We’re losing ground, and the beautiful world we were creating now looks like a mosh pit.  A mosh pit filled with Illuminati drones.  They look scary, but do you know what is even scarier?  A world without the NWO, that’s what.  A world without vaccines.  A world without peace and stability.  A world without science and reason.  A world overrun with religion and woo.  Do you want that world?  Because I don’t want to live in that world.  Now when I look out at the global mosh pit, I don’t see the scary Illuminati.  I see a pit filled with frat boys.  Frat boys who think they’re tough, but have never been in a real mosh pit.  They look tall and strong but give them one good hit, and they’ll crumble.  Look at me.  I’m not strong.  I’m not tough, but I’m willing to dive into the pit because I believe in the NWO, and science has taught me the best places to hit them.  If I’m willing to jump into the pit, there’s no excuse not to join me.  If we all jump into the global mosh pit, we will drive out the Illuminati because they are corporate rock, and we are alternative rock.  Novus ordo seclorum!”

Maria dove off the stage and into the crowd.  Hundreds of NWO operatives started moshing and throwing chairs.  There were no serious injuries, but several suffered minor cuts and bruises.  No one could provide an estimate for the damages caused to the convention room.

After the symposium, Bob Novella, co-host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, offered his thoughts:  “Steven’s speech was a letdown, but that performance by Cara got me fired up.  I’m ready to go back to the SGU and fight even harder for the New World Order.”

Also in the Babbler:

Village official purges Facebook page
RationalWiki: We will never mention the Babbler!
Residents report zombie skunk sightings
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/11/18

Illuminati honors Qanon at the Bolingbrook Golf Club (Fiction)

The Illuminati honored Qanon for her controversial conspiracy theory Internet posts.  The secret ceremony was held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club:.

“Qanon’s work is inspiring Trump’s supporters around the world,” said Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar.  “Instead of believing Trump is helping the Illuminati create global chaos, many now believe Trump is the mastermind behind an elaborate plan to bring down the deep state.  Instead of believing that Robert Mueller is investigating our President, many Internet thought leaders now believe Robert is really working for Trump.  Join me in welcoming and honoring Qanon. Ford!”

After Claar finished performing the glowing orb ceremony, Claar presented Qanon with the Adam Weishaupt Award for Excellence.  Qanon wiped away her tears before starting her acceptance speech: “Before I shoved my father into the HARP chamber, he said I would never amount to anything.  Dad, if you can see me from Hell, I want to say this: You suck!”

Qanon described her assent from the Illuminati scribe pool to a low-level Internet seer.  She admitted that she wasn’t satisfied with her career, but then her mentor gave her a special assignment:  “He tasked me with creating a post that would fool Trump supporters into thinking Donald was a political mastermind.  He explained that his high seers couldn’t get very far without suffering from uncontrollable laughing fits.  I figured I had nothing to lose, so I agreed to help.”

She then explained how she created the first few posts: “I decided to use one of the oldest tricks in the book.  I just took pieces of various conspiracy theories, padded a few random facts, and threw in a photo every so often.  I hinted that Trump was a mastermind, and I implied that the truth would be revealed to the world any minute now.  Then, I let their imaginations run wild.  It worked better than I thought.”

According to Qanon, her posts on 4chan have spread to Reddit and Twitter.  She claims that there are over 92,000 YouTube videos about her work, PZ Myers hates her, and InfoWars editor Jerome Corsi writes about her posts. She stated:

“When Roseanne featured my work in one of her tweets, I knew that I had made it.”

Qanon does not expect her Internet notoriety to end any time soon.  “No one wants to think of themselves as an average Internet user.  They want to see themselves as geniuses.  They think they see the Matrix.  They think they’re special.  The Illuminati can and will use that to their advantage.  We can make a transgender allegory seem like an affirmation of ridged gender identity.  We can make administrative entropy seem normal, and we can make Donald Trump look like a competent President. Together we will tear down the New World Order, destroy International cooperation, and conquer the human race.  Fnord!”

After leading the audience in a chant of “Fnord,” Claar asked if Qanon could help with his political troubles.  She replied that she could and asked Claar for a list of nouns and adjectives.  After typing for a few seconds, she read a draft of a post:

What do they really mean by ‘Toters?’ Who is RJ working for?  JT?  467.  Is there only one Bob?  Where is Bonnie?  Learn Monopoly.  You are not stupid. RC fighting CCD.  Victory is near.  Guns will be coming back to Bolingbrook.  Line not secure.  Must go.  Think Raiders.  The Legend of Billie Jean.  Roger means business.  Business is good.

“Interesting,” replied Claar.

Also in the Babbler:

Mayor Claar accused of planting anti-toter aliens at garbage forum
Aliens praised for shooting down rouge Chinese space station
Gay aliens demand Bolingbrook host a pride parade
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/5/18

From the Webmaster: Help make the Secular Women Work conference a reality (Mixed)

By Wendy Onofrey
Webmaster for the Bolingbrook Babbler

Secular Women Work conference organizers need your help to make their 2018 conference a reality:

The Secular Women Work conference is a celebration of the work of female activists who create and run projects and communities in the secular movement. And there is no better way to honor their work than by using their expertise to help us all become better activists.

At Secular Women Work, you will find workshops: both hands-on exercises to develop your skills and facilitated group discussions where you can share challenges and solutions with other activists. You will find panels on specialist topics, with panelists who can help you broaden the horizons of your activism. And when you’re ready for a rest, you’ll find speakers who will entertain and inspire you with stories and lessons from their own work. In between it all, you’ll find a conference full of other activists who want to make a difference in the world.

They have five days left to reach their goal of $13,000, and they’re over halfway there.  If they reach their goal, the conference will be held August 24 through August 26 in Minneapolis.

I’ve already donated, and I encourage others to join me.

From the webmaster: The first OrbitCon is April 13-15 (Mixed)

By Wendy Onofrey
Webmaster for the Bolingbrook Babbler

Banner for OrbitConOur friends at The Orbit are hosting their first online convention, OrbitCon on April 13-15.  It will be accessible on YouTube and free to watch.  It’s like a secular convention that you can watch from the comfort of your own home.  From their first post:

Panels should broadly fit The Orbit’s themes of atheism, activism, and culture and our identity as a social justice network. That doesn’t mean they have to be super serious, solemn discussions. We’re anticipating a music “panel” that includes performance, and we’ll be shocked if we don’t have panels on Steven Universe and Black Panther.

They’re currently looking for panel and speech proposals.  There’s more information on their main page.

We’re currently thinking of our panel proposals.  What panels do you think we should propose?  Alien religions?  The cryptids of Bolingbrook?  Will future Bolingbrook residents worship Mayor Roger Claar?  Is it safe to punch space Nazis?  Bolingbrook: The most important village in the galaxy?

No matter what panel we propose, this is promises to be a fun and thoughtful event hosted by our sister network.

Center for Inquiry responds to harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss by firing its feline fellows (Fiction)

The Center for Inquiry fired its feline fellows for helping a BuzzFeed reporter write a story about sexual harassment allegations against Lawrence Krauss.

File photo of former feline fellow Cassie.

“We realize that talking cats are a marvel of science,” said John Z. Miller, Executive Director of CFI Chicago, which used to care for the cats.  “However, Lawrence Krauss is an honorary member of the CFI board, and we have to protect our members and allies.  We can’t have fellows helping the media to run negative articles about us.”  Miller added that the cats had previous warnings for making “statements uncritical of social justice.”  “I’d love to keep them around, but this decision was made much higher up.”  He coughed and made a noise that sounded like, “Richard Dawkins.”

According to CFI documents obtained by the Babbler, the cats, genetically engineered to have a human level of intelligence, admitted to forwarding emails between CFI’s business and finance manager Patricia Beauchamp and then CFI president Ronald Lindsay. The emails were regarding an incident on a cruise.

A questioner, listed as “RD,” asked CFI feline fellow Cassie, “Are you aware that by forwarding these emails, you could have damaged the reputation of a great man of atheism?”

Cassie replied, “There was a claim the reporter was investigating.  We provided evidence for the reporter to consider.”

RD followed up with, “Are you willing to consider the possibility that more than 50 people, two institutions, and possibly the Koch Brothers, are trying to destroy Lawrence Krauss to promote fundamentalist Christianity, militant Islam, and radical feminism?”

“That sounds like a conspiracy theory,” said Cassie.  “Do I need to report you to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry?”

“I trust that they will value the word of an esteemed atheist scientist over the word of two furry feminists.”

“That’s the problem.”

Further, in the document, CFI feline fellow Andy says, “We helped expose a very bad man.  Do we get a treat?”

The felines were fired after BuzzFeed published the article.

Various sources confirmed that the American Humanist Association immediately hired the felines, and will house them at an undisclosed location.  The sources confirm that they will serve as consultants to the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland.  The secular Jewish congregations Beth Chaverim and Kol Hadash will also contribute to their upkeep.  Cassie may be a guest speaker at Secular Social Justice.  Both Andy and Cassie will also be guest bloggers at Freethought Blogs and The Orbit.

CFI refused to comment for this article.

A man who claimed to be a spokesperson for Krauss said, “Lawrence Krauss cannot comment at this time because Arizona State University is reviewing the allegations against him.  We hope once the hysteria has passed, we can obliterate his enemies and marvel at the universes their nothingness will create.”

Andy and Cassie released the following statement:  “We quit the James Randi Educational Foundation.  We were fired from the Center for Inquiry.  We hope the American Humanist Association will be our forever secular organization.”

Also in the Babbler:

Rep. Bill Foster denied access to Clow UFO Base
Prairie shark spotted swimming over Royce Road
Mayor Claar: We are not buying a hydrogen bomb!
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/1/18

From the Webmaster: Do psychology and evolution mix?

By Wendy Onofrey
Webmaster for the Bolingbrook Babbler 

Our neighbors here at Freethought Blogs love to blog about Evolutionary Psychology.  HJ Hornbeck has the latest on a new EvoPsych paper.

I’m not a fan of EvoPsych. It manages the feat of misunderstanding both evolution and psychology, its researchers are prone to wild misrepresentation of fields they clearly don’t understand, and it has all the trappings of a pseudo-science. Nonetheless, I’ve always thought they had enough sense to avoid promoting scientific racism, at least openly.

[CONTENT WARNING: Some of them don’t.]

It’s a great post, though it probably means that if he ever visits Bolingbrook, we’ll have to keep him away from the EvoPsych house.

We get letters: HJ Hornbeck and other matters (Fiction)

By Doug Fields
The Reader’s Editor

Hello! While the rest of the staff is enjoying a vacation, I’ve decided to publish some of the letters we’ve received recently.  I am known for being a harsh editor, but it is possible to get a letter published by me.  I will give you a hint, death threats or links to pornographic fan fiction about Mayor Roger Claar will be filed in my round drawer.

Our first letter probably was sent to us by mistake, but it’s worth a read:

Dear Mr. Bolingbrook Babbler:

We at the Skeptic Society can’t believe it! HJ Hornbeck, a protege of the objectively evil PZ Myers, is attacking us.  We can counter his thousands of words but, unlike Hornbeck, we don’t have a mountain of ad revenue to back us up.  Our backs are up against a virtual wall, but we can fight back against the many-headed creature that is Freethought Blogs.

We will need your help, though.  For a small donation of $1 million, we can find writers who can counter Hornbeck’s fake skepticism!  For the cost of a summer home, you can make huge difference in our fight against political correctness.  If you can become a member of our army of small donors, you’ll save secularism and help our founder, Michael Shermer, keep his platform!

If you have any doubts, just remember that we are standing by our positive review of Milo Yiannopoulos’s book, and Rebecca Watson won’t be at any of our events.

Donate today, and you’ll get an advance copy of Michael’s soon to be released book, “The Female Brain.”

The Skeptics Society
Altadena, CA

Pass.

Locally, one reader has a question:

To the Editor:

Why don’t you write about our great high school basketball teams?  Don’t you love our community?  Don’t you love our students?  Are your reporters the kind that hate Bolingbrook High School because we’re diverse?

Get with the program!

Lee X. Pilger
Bolingbrook, IL

Lee, our focus is on the supernatural happenings in Bolingbrook.  Yes, we have great teams, but you can read about them in any suburban publication.  You’ll only be able to read about the Bolingbrook High School Interplanetary Track and Field team on in the Babbler!  They’re favored to win the Triton Invitational Tournament.

Our next reader is concerned:

To the Editor:

Don’t be fooled by the Fake News Media. Most people believe the Earth is a globe.  The Fake News Media wants us to believe that there are hordes of Flat Earth believers out there, so we’ll panic and establish a council of smart people to rule the world.  Sure they say it will be temporary until they’ve rid the world of woo.  But it is impossible to get rid of woo, and they know it.  Instead, the world will be run by this oligarchy.

We can’t let the Fake News Media trick us into letting the skeptical movement run the world!

Name withheld
Schaumburg, IL

No, we can’t let that happen.

Finally, a question many Bolingbrook residents have:

To the Editor:

When will Bolingbrook end its ban on garbage totes?  Sure, banning them was a way to make the village look like it had conservative values.  Today, even Naperville has them, and Naperville isn’t a liberal community.  Roger is just being stubborn, and we’re falling behind in the sanitation race.  It’s time for a change.  Garbage totes today!  Garbage totes tomorrow!  Garbage totes forever!

Jane Z Gilford
Bolingbrook, IL

Viva the garbage tote revolution, I guess.

We’ll be back to our regular schedule next week, and I’ll continue my difficult search for letters worth publishing.

Military investigators question Mayor Claar about UFOs (Fiction)

Sources say military investigators questioned Mayor Roger Claar for about an hour about Clow UFO Base:

Many sources in Village Hall say the investigators were from the successor program to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.  They were investigating a UFO sighting in California.  These sources said the investigators considered Claar a person of interest because he has family in California, and because of the Babbler’s articles about Claar being the administrator of Clow UFO Base.

Clow is an airport,” Claar allegedly replied.  “It is not a UFO Base.  You can’t believe anything you read in the Babbler!”

“That’s interesting,” one investigator allegedly replied.  “PZ Myers says the same thing about the Babbler. But we spoke with military personnel who used to be close to PZ, and they said you cannot believe anything PZ says.  So if PZ is saying—”

“Oh, that’s just great!”  Claar allegedly snapped back.

Sources agree that the investigators showed Claar pictures of every UFO sighting in Illinois and California.

Claar, the sources say, was not happy with the questions:

“Just because something is unidentified, does not mean it is from outer space!  It could be drones, clouds, or hoaxes.  Don’t you guys read the Skeptical Inquirer?”

“Our superior officer says we shouldn’t read articles by people who don’t believe in UFOs.  They foster doubt about our mission.  If we doubt our mission, then we start doubting our superior officers.  If that happens, then who knows what would happen to the military.”

“I don’t want to know.”

Near the end, Claar pulled out his delegate card from the 2016 Republican Convention:

“See this card. It means I voted for our President at the convention.  I was willing to stick with him no matter how many rounds of votes it took to give him the nomination.  I remained a supporter after he was elected.  I didn’t distance myself from him during my last election.  As long as he doesn’t try to remove me from office, I will remain loyal to him.  Our President rewards loyalty.  So with that in mind, what do you think he would say if I called him right now?”

The investigators thanked him for his time and left.

When this reporter called for a comment, a receptionist answered the phone:

“Roger is preparing for this week’s Village Board meeting and cannot be disturbed.  Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said, “Hello Comcast?  I know our franchise agreement doesn’t expire until 2020, but I was hoping that you would consider creating a Bolingbrook-friendly Internet Tier for our residents.  I’ll send you a list of sites you can exclude that are not Bolingbrook-friendly.  I’m so glad the FCC repealed net neutrality so I can help my residents avoid fake content from my foes!”

Also in the Babbler:

Sources: Trump vows to take down Freethought Blogs
Canada offers to buy Chicagoland from the US
Elf on a shelf arrested for spying on children
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/20/17

Rocket sled crash-lands in Bolingbrook (Fiction)

A rocket sled crash-landed in Bolingbrook after shooting through the air at supersonic speeds.  Miraculously, no one was killed or injured. The crash only resulted in minor damage to a street.

Eyewitnesses as far north as Round Lake Beach claim to have heard a sonic boom as the sled flew through the sky:

“I heard this loud boom,” said an anonymous eyewitness from Lake Zurich.  “My daughter yelled that Santa’s sleigh was on fire.  I looked where she was pointing. I saw this red dot in the sky, with a trail of black smoke behind it.  I was so shocked that I told my daughter Santa wasn’t about to die in a sleigh accident because he isn’t real.  She hasn’t talked to me since.  I hope you’re happy that you ruined my daughter’s Christmas, Mr. Rocket Man.”

Monique, a Lisle resident who asked that we not use her last name, said she saw the rocket sled descending over her home: “At first I thought many in the lying media were wrong about Santa, and he was about to visit me.  Then I realized that his sled was dropping too fast to safely land.  I tried to wave him off, and I think I succeeded because another rocket fired and he gained altitude.  I believe in Santa now, even if he almost destroyed my home.”

Seconds after Monique’s sighting, the sled crashed into Royce RD and tumbled several yards down Concord LN, then came to a stop just short of Clover Lane.

Lenny, a Bolingbrook resident who asked that we not use his last name, saw the crash landing: “That flying sled almost hit my car.  I’m never driving down Royce RD again!”

After police and firefighters surrounded the sled, a man stepped out of a pod inside.  Eyewitnesses agree that he was wearing a charred Santa Suit, the remains of a fake beard, and a crash helmet.  He raised his right fist into the air.

“I just proved that Santa doesn’t exist!”  He said.  “There’s no way he travels at supersonic speed and makes precision stops at every home on Earth!  He’s impossible, just like that old blog post said!

Minutes later, Mayor Roger Claar appeared and scolded the pilot.  Claar told him that it was fortunate that no one died, and that the only damage was a few dents on the road.

“You could have hit the Honey-Jam Cafe or Portillo’s, or the site of the new Andy’s Frozen Custard.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

The pilot reached for his fireproof wallet and pulled out a credit card.

“How much can I legally donate to your campaign fund?”

Police immediately arrested the pilot but released him about an hour later. (Claar said he didn’t want to be known as “The mayor who arrested Santa” ). Some eyewitnesses say Claar told the pilot he was banned from Bolingbrook unless he agreed to do community service in Bolingbrook. “The Girl Scouts and Power Connection don’t count.”

Mayor Claar and the pilot could not be reached for comment.

Also in the Babbler:

Aliens laugh as Trustee Lawler says Bolingbrook will not tolerate drunk UFO pilots
Sources:  Steve Bannon threatens to run candidates in the 2019 Bolingbrook Election
New World Order close to making a decision about building a UFO Base in Peotone
God to smite Bolingbrook on 12/7/17