News From Around The Blogosphere 11.1.09

Oops! Wrong photo.

1. LAPD dissociates from the Boy Scouts – The Los Angeles Police Dept. no longer wishes to continue their Explorer program for youths because the group responsible, Learning for Life is linked to Boy Scouts of America, which bans gays from becoming members:

A department official told the Police Commission Tuesday that the Boy Scouts policy is “inconsistent” with the city’s policy of non-discrimination. He suggested that the department manages the Explorer program itself.

I have a better idea. Tell the Boy Scouts to stop being such bigoted assholes.

2. Asheville, NC city council candidate Cecil Bothwell attacked for his atheism – I know all’s fair in politics, but at the risk of sounding too much like Bill Donohue, would we tolerate this sort of bigotry for other minority groups? I know atheism isn’t a race, nationality, gender, or a sexual orientation. But anyone who resorts to these sorts of shameless hate-mongering tactics belongs nowhere near government. Fortunately though, Bothwell isn’t complaining as the mailer his opponents created that expose his atheism are accurate and are helping his book sales. One of those books is an unauthorized biography of Rev. Billy Graham titled “The Prince of War.” I think I love you, Cecil Bothwell.

3. Scientists put a leash on HIV?

Researchers have shown how an antiviral protein produced by the immune system, dubbed tetherin, tames HIV and other viruses by literally putting them on a leash, to prevent their escape from infected cells. The insights, reported in the October 30th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, allowed the research team to design a completely artificial protein — one that did not resemble native tetherin in its sequence at all — that could nonetheless put a similar stop to the virus.

4. Billy Corgan is a vampire. . .sent to draaain! – After only a week since Star Trek’s Brent Spiner announced his growing interest in anti-vaccine quackery, now it seems the lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins has been turned into an anti-vaxxer vampire too:

“I do not trust those who make the vaccines, or the apparatus behind it all to push it on us thru fear,” Corgan explained in his critique, which can be read in its entirety here. According to him, the virus is not yet an emergency and he believes it’s ridiculous that “our American President Obama” has declared it so.

If that’s not enough, Corgan, struggled with the notion that the government can require people to take the vaccine. He’s also of the opinion that the “virus was created by man” writing that he has “read reports from people who say (as doctors) that there is evidence to suggest this.”

Finally, Corgan stated, “If the virus comes to take me Home, that is between me and the Lord.” But that’s not to say he expects fans to follow his logic.

“I am not a doctor, and I am in no way suggesting that you should follow any medical advice from me,” he wrote early in the essay, adding, “I am willing to question anything: the existence of God, the existence of me or you or Robert Zimmerman [aka Bob Dylan].”

No Billy, you’re clearly not a doctor. And quite frankly, I find it somewhat disingenuous to use your celebrity influence to take such a public anti-scientific stand on this issue and then tack on a little disclaimer at the end saying you’re not necessarily suggesting anyone follow your “medical advice,” of which is based on your ZERO medical training. Seriously, even in 1979, you’d have no excuse to be this bloody ignorant of scientific facts. This whole story is just giving me nothing but melancholy and infinite sadness.

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