News From Around The Blogosphere 3.22.11

1. New BBC report shows further decline in religion – In the past few years, a number of polls have shown religion is declining as increasingly more people identify themselves as not belonging to any religion. And now yet another poll shows this trend based on the census data of nine countries.

2. 70-year-old Philadelphia man stoned to death for Jesus – The killer has directly stated that the act was inspired by the Bible:

According to this report, John Thomas, 28, of Upper Darby, a Philadelphia suburb, told police he killed Murray Seidman of nearby Lansdowne because the Bible refers to stoning homosexuals.

3. Piggyback virus could thwart HIV

Rather than destroying HIV, a proposed treatment would embrace its infectious abilities, sending the virus into competition with a harmless, stripped-down version of itself.

Dubbed therapeutic interfering particles, or TIPs, these engineered viral scraps would ride with HIV as it spreads from person to person. By out-competing HIV for cellular resources, the TIPs might slow its progression and lower infection rates.

4. Nine cases of measles in Minneapolis

The likely source is an infant who traveled to Kenya and returned in the beginning of February. Cases have ranged in age from 4 months to 4 years. Four of the cases were too young to receive vaccine, four were of age but were not vaccinated, and one has unknown vaccine status. There have been five hospitalizations and no deaths.

On a related note, if you happen to run into Andrew Wakefield or Jenny McCarthy, please punch them in the face for me.

5. 60 Minutes turns Catholic child rape scandal into a fluff piece – This week’s 60 Minutes featured an embarrassingly piece on New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whose making it his mission to restore the Church’s reputation after that pesky mass child rape conspiracy thing. In the piece, Dolan expressed little interest in helping to bring child rapists and their accomplices to justice or declaring specific changes to ensure it never happens again, and showed that his primary purpose is spin control. And 60 Minutes, like all the mainstream media, found that entirely satisfactory. I wonder if Scott Pelley would still be satisfied if his own child were raped by priests and committed suicide because of the psychological scars while the perpetrators were given full immunity from justice because instead of working for Starbucks, the organization they happen to work for is named the Catholic Church. Though I am happy to see that the commenters on 60 Minutes webpage are really letting them have it. And here’s a great piece on how out of touch with reality the Catholic Church is.

6. Nantucket child killed in exorcism

The woman accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter earlier this week believed God had instructed her to stick a rose in the young girl’s throat to ward off the devil, according to documents filed in Nantucket District Court.

So next time someone suggests religion is harmless, remind them of 3-year-old Nicole Garcia Pleitez.

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4 Responses to News From Around The Blogosphere 3.22.11

  1. Anonymous says:

    I understand 5 of those measles cases are Somali children. Funny how that happened.

    “Wakefield said that there are no known cases of autism in Somalia, an anecdotal observation many Somalis confirm.”

    • mjr256 says:

      Which Somalis confirm this assertion? Actual experts or just random people he was able to manipulate?
      “Dr. Steven Miles with the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota is no fan of Wakefield’s and believes Wakefield is exploiting the Somali community.
      ‘His license wasn’t just suspended, it was ripped away permanently,’ Dr. Miles said. ‘This is not the kind of charlatan we want responsible for conducting research in Minnesota.’
      Yet, the Somali parents are just like any others who have children with autism, struggling to find answers and willing to listen to anyone who has a new approach.
      Dr. Miles disputes the fact that there is no autism in Somalia. He says the health care system there, if you can call it that, wasn’t able to diagnose it. Yet the cluster of cases in the Somali community is enough for the CDC and the NIH to launch a study of Somali children in the Twin Cities to see if it is a real outbreak or a statistical fluke.”

  2. mjr256 says:

    Then of course they’ve been saying the same about the Amish even though all they needed to do was call the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, PA to confirm that the Amish have the same rate of autism as everyone else.

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