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Behind the Footnotes, Jamestown Satanic Panic Founded in a Deluded Evangelical Zeal

Satanic Panic by Jeffrey S. Victor is a great book for its empirical thoroughness, tracking the spread of rumors about Satanic cults across the United States in the 1980s, documenting a complete lack of evidence for actual cult activity, and working to explain how an utterly fictitious threat could have aroused a vivid campaign of [...]

As Fundamentalists Fume, Remember America’s First Faith-Based Initiative

The current symbolic aim of America’s Christian fundamentalists is to declare Islam and Muslims the enemy of America to be defeated. The current fundamentalist Christian rallying cry is “no mosques in America!” If the fundamentalists succeed, those who are members of the right religion will get to keep on building their houses of worship in [...]

New York Times Exclusive News Flash on Times Square:

NEWSPAPER EMPLOYS PANICKY REPORTER

On visiting Times Square for a movie with his daughter:

As a parent, I confronted a new calculation. Asymmetric warfare had advanced from downtown to Midtown, from 2001 to the present moment.

As a reporter I had covered the aftermath of 9/11 and now found myself revisiting long-buried worries. I decided [...]

North Korea Is The New Swine Flu

We must not go to war. For one thing, we can’t go to war. Thanks to Barack Obama’s decision to keep Americans in Iraq with a slow withdrawal, and to add new American soldiers to the fighting in Afghanistan, we don’t have the sufficient military force for an invasion and occupation of North Korea. [...]

Maybe It's Better To Get The Swine Flu Now

If you’re worried about swine flu killing you, then the rational thing to do seems to be to keep your face mask off, and get sick with this virus as soon as you can, before it has the chance to mutate into something nastier. [...]

The Pollution of Swine Flu

If we really care about preventing people from dying of respiratory illness, and we’re not just getting a sick thrill out of the feeling that we’re in a crisis, then we’ll start cutting back on activities that lead to the unhealthy air pollution that blankets most of our country. [...]

News Flash: Swine Flu Could Kill Half a Million This Year, Experts Say

… if it is like the regular old garden variety flu. [...]

Americans Not Freaking Out About Swine Flu

Perhaps this virus will visit plague upon us, as some Rapture Ready Americans are hoping. My guess is that we’re mostly going to be just fine. [...]

Crisis! Stocks Up 200 Points! Run for the Hills! Augh!

This morning, the crisis rages on! Stocks are up 200 points! It looks like there’s a crisis for the crisis. [...]

The 79 Point Crisis

It is your patriotic duty to stampede in a panicked herd, just like you did with the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Don’t stop to think! Give Wall Street all your money right now or you are doomed! [...]

War On Halloween from Consumer Product Safety Commission

Stories were invented back in the 1980s by fanatical right wing Christian groups who hated Halloween because of their religious belief that Halloween is a satanic holiday. These groups tried to get parents to fear trick or treating by spreading false rumors about mysterious, un-named neighbors all across America who used Halloween to attack children. These Christian groups got local TV news and newspapers to spread their warnings that all candy should be checked, just in case a neighbor had pumped cyanide into a Reese’s peanut butter cup. [...]