After Bernie lost and Trump won, I realized the Democrats weren’t going to win my battles for me.
I first heard the word “socialist” in the movie Clue. It’s an early laugh line delivered by Tim Curry as he discusses his deceased wife’s previous indiscretions that led him into this murder mansion mess. You see, she used to hang out with *dramatic pause* socialists. “We all make mistakes,” he confides to the room of murderous Washingtonian shit-heels and the dead body among them.
Like so many others, I was heartened by Bernie Sanders’s campaign—particularly his desire to work on developing free or cheap higher education options, his dedication to “Medicaid for all,” and his continual highlighting of income inequality—but when Sanders inevitably lost to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, there was a sense of air being let out of the balloon. The specter of a potential Trump presidency loomed on the horizon, forcing most Sanders supporters to back away from their hopes of an actually progressive candidate in favor of yet another lesser of the two evils ticket. Sure, maybe Clinton won’t prosecute corrupt bankers or give us the government-backed healthcare system we need, but the alternative would be worse in so many ways.
That all changed on Election Day.
The Democratic Party, however reasonable and adult, clearly was not going to save us.
From Rolling Stone
Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America is way up – now, can the group become a major force against Trump?
“Has anybody been angry before about capitalism?” Hannah Allison, a 29-year-old organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America, asks from the stage of a recent meeting in Los Angeles.
The nearly 100 DSA members who’ve gathered at the Friendship Auditorium in Griffith Park on this Saturday afternoon erupt in cheers and applause, after hours of presentations by speakers at least twice Allison’s age.
Allison, who’s based at DSA’s New York City headquarters, has been visiting the group’s local chapters around the country on a mission to get new members – especially younger and more diverse individuals, including those catalyzed by Bernie Sanders’ campaign – excited about organizing toward so-called democratic socialism. There are signs her efforts are starting to pay off. The group, which officially formed in 1982 but has roots in the early-20th-century socialist movement, has experienced a renaissance of late. The LA gathering is one of the group’s largest in 25 years. And since last March, the DSA’s membership has nearly tripled, to more than 15,000 members, with 90 local groups in 37 states.
Americans are familiar with the language of political and civil rights – one person, one voice, one vote; equal treatment before the law. We are less familiar with the justification for the social rights that have been at the center of our great political and social movements over the last century. For all citizens to flourish in a democratic society, they must be guaranteed such basic human needs as high-quality education, health care and security in old age. These goods are provided to every member of most democratic societies not by purchase on the private market, but through equitably financed, high-quality public goods and social insurance.
Social and economic rights play a critical role in democratic societies because political and civil rights cannot be exercised effectively by citizens who lack jobs, economic security, good health and the opportunity to educate themselves and their children. Today economic inequality – the large and growing gap between high-income and wealthy households and the rest of us – means that too many citizens are denied full participation in our social and political life.
The labor, women’s and civil rights movements have all fought to limit the force of unregulated capitalist markets in order to insure equal social rights for all. Thus, the labor movement fought for unemployment, disability and old-age insurance. The feminist movement fought for parental leave and publicly funded child care. Movements of the poor fought for income security, job training and affordable higher education.
Many Americans devalue the social rights we have because they believe that their security results from personal responsibility and individual initiative. Only in the United States is child support and health care for adults and children means-tested. Until the Obama health care reforms, only the poor received federally funded health care for their children and themselves. Only poor women unable to find jobs in the labor market that provided health insurance and sufficient wages to pay for child care received federal funds to stay at home to care for infants. Hence, citizens who earned just above the poverty line have resented the poorer members of their community who received state-funded health care and child support. Such resentment fueled the vicious politics of welfare reform and the hostility of elements of the American working class toward the poor.
In societies where the publicly funded goods and social insurance are of high-quality, the upper middle-class participates willingly, paying their share of the progressive taxes that fund these social rights. In Germany, France and Scandinavia nearly all health care, child care and education through the university level is provided by and funded through the state. The result is rates of social mobility considerably higher than in the United States. The opportunities to realize one’s full potential are not constrained by the wealth of one’s parents or their position in the labor market.
In this document we detail a series of basic human social and economic rights whose implementation would help to achieve freedom and dignity for all. We also illustrate how these programs could be readily financed if we cut wasteful military expenditure and restore corporate and progressive income tax rates to their 1960s levels (when our growth rates were higher and our society more equitable). The social and economic rights that follow should form the basis of a second bill of rights for the 21st century.
How we can pay for a social and economic bill of rights
Jack London, the socialist author, died one hundred years ago on November 22, 1916. Probably his most well-known book, The Iron Heel, describes an epic struggle against brutal capitalism. Although fictional, contemporary events form the backdrop. The book was published in 1907, two years after the first Russian revolution was defeated. U.S. workers were joining trade unions. Big strikes took place, with the private security company, the Pinkerton Agency, infiltrating unions and recruiting thugs to violently attack picket lines. Rail union organizer Eugene Debs led the Socialist Party, receiving 88,000 votes for president in 1900, dramatically increasing this to 901,000 (6%) in 1912.
The Iron Heel describes the build-up to revolution in the USA and the ruling class’s vicious response to crush it in blood. Its central fictional device is a memoir, the Everhard Manuscript, by Avis, a professor’s daughter who marries The Iron Heel’s key character, the socialist leader Ernest Everhard. In the world of the book, her manuscript (which covers the years 1912 to 1932) was hidden and found centuries later. By way of footnotes, inserted after her manuscript is discovered, London makes clear that socialism eventually triumphed – some three hundred years later.
The book exposes the nature of capitalist society and powerfully argues for socialism. Avis initially believes the myths of capitalist justice and democracy until Ernest suggests she investigates the story of a destitute man, named Jackson. He lost an arm in a mill “accident” while exhausted, trying to save a machine from damage. The mill owners, management, foremen, lawyers and newspapers conspired to hide the truth and deny him compensation. He lost his job, too.
From The Guardian
Sawant, a Socialist Alternative party member of the Seattle city council who drew national attention last year by driving resistant fellow councillors to pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage law, was re-elected this week after an unusually nasty campaign which saw corporate money swing behind her Democratic opponent.
Sawant credited her victory in part to Sanders, for creating “enormous momentum” for change that has helped engage young people and alienated workers in politics.
“When was the last time you heard a presidential candidate say we need a political revolution against the billionaire class?” said Sawant. “That is not Hillary Clinton. That is not Barack Obama. That is clearly somebody who is fundamentally different.
“It’s absolutely true that Bernie Sanders putting these questions on the national agenda has really created, and will continue to create, enormous momentum.
“There were so many people who said: ‘I wasn’t paying that much attention to Seattle politics but I’ve been listening to Bernie Sanders’ politics. I’ve been so excited by his call for a political revolution against the millionaire class and I’m looking around me and thinking I need to get involved at a local level.’”
From Thom Hartmann
Ben Cohen, Editor-The Daily Banter & Ari Rabin-Havt, Host-The Agenda-SiriusXM Progress 127/The Benghazi Hoax talk to Thom about the socialist surge at home and abroad. Also – According to new polls – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is now leading Hillary Clinton in two key early primary states.
From In These Times
Bernie’s socialism isn’t a “charade.” It’s a provocation—and a brilliant one, at that.
Bernie is hardly calling for the dictatorship of the proletariat. But in our current context, his politics come off as downright radical. And it just might be a form of “socialism” that much of the country—more than 47 percent—is ready to embrace once again.
Bernie Sanders’s star is rising. The New York Times published a story last week about his “revolutionary roots” in Vermont, not long after he drew a crowd of nearly 10,000 people to a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. The “Sanders surge,” as it’s been dubbed, is “becoming a bigger problem for Hillary Clinton,” according to The Hill. “Hillary’s Camp Worries Over Sanders’ Surge in Polls,” as a Newsmax headlineput it.
One person not worrying about the Sanders surge, though, is Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a Clinton ally who “unloaded” on Sanders recently, according to Politico, claiming that he’s way too far outside the mainstream to be electable. “I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he’s a socialist,” she said.
Sen. McCaskill rarely reads any coverage of Bernie Sanders, apparently, since the Vermont senator’s self-identification as a socialist regularly comes up in coverage of his campaign. And far from being a liability, as Sen. McCaskill suggests, it’s actually a stroke of political genius.
Trump channels the right’s angry Fox News id. But Sanders speaks to America’s soul — and our values…
Donald Trump is throwing the GOP primary into chaos by channeling the GOP’s id, spinning out wild fantasies of the Mexican government deliberately sending a flood of rapists and murderers across the border. But Bernie Sanders is disrupting Hillary Clinton’s coronation on the Democratic side by channeling the party’s soul, with a specifically issue-based focus.
In a way, both men are vividly illustrating a basic asymmetry that runs through American politics—between left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican—which was first comprehensively described by public opinion researchers Lloyd Free and Hadley Cantril in their landmark 1967 book, “The Political Beliefs of Americans: A Study of Public Opinion,” and which political scientist Matt Grossman discussed in a recent Salon interview. Free and Cantril found that half the population was ideologically conservative, in the sense of preferring a smaller, more limited government, while about two-thirds was operationally liberal, in the sense of wanting to spend more on specifically identified government programs.
Subsequent research has intensified this division. Conservatives win by making broad, sweeping appeals, which can often have little relationship with the facts (Iraq’s WMDs, “voter fraud,” global warming denialism, etc.). Liberals win by focusing on how to fix specific problems. Thus “government spending” in general is seen as a negative, but spending on most specific programs is strongly supported. The pattern is clear: The more practical the question, the more liberal the answers. That’s just how U.S. politics works.
His message will reach millions, helping to reinforce the realization that the rules have been rigged against them.
Sanders is in many ways the mirror image of Hillary Clinton, the favored candidate in the race. She has universal name recognition, unlimited funds, and a campaign operation rife with experienced political pros. He is not widely known, has little money, and has never run a national campaign. But in a populist moment, he is the real deal – a full-throated, unabashed, independent, uncorrupted, straight-talking populist. And that is a big deal.
Sanders will focus his campaign on the great challenges facing the country: a politics corrupted by big money, and an economy where the rules have been rigged by the few to benefit the few. That reality won’t be changed by politics as usual, where the viability of a candidate is measured by how much money he or she can amass in the backroom “money primary,” and the message of a candidate is judged by its poll-tested ability to appeal to voters without alarming donors. It will take an independent political movement to change our course – and Sanders will run as its Tom Paine, summoning Americans to save their democracy.
From Matt Taibbi
Bernie Sanders is more serious than you think…
Many years ago I pitched a magazine editor on a story about Bernie Sanders, then a congressman from Vermont, who’d agreed to something extraordinary – he agreed to let me, a reporter, stick next to him without restrictions over the course of a month in congress.
“People need to know how this place works. It’s absurd,” he’d said. (Bernie often uses the word absurd, his Brooklyn roots coming through in his pronunciation – ob-zert.)
Bernie wasn’t quite so famous at the time and the editor scratched his head. “Bernie Sanders,” he said. “That’s the one who cares, right?”
“Right, that’s the guy,” I said.
From Nation of Change
In agriculture and finance, North Dakota, more than any other state, has proven itself to be a living example of how public ownership benefits far more and is more profitable than other privately-owned entities in those industries. All concerned Americans scratching their heads on how to fight back against Wall Street need only look to North Dakota’s embrace of socialism for a solution.
The word “socialism” is often thrown around by those who least understand it as a way to criticize left-leaning economic reforms. In essence, socialism is simply a collective group of people stepping in to fill a niche and provide goods and services when the only other options are too expensive or too inefficient. In that sense, North Dakota — whose state government leaders and congressional delegation are all right-wing Republicans with the exception of one Democrat U.S. Senator — is ironically the most socialist state in the U.S.
In the early twentieth century, agriculture-dominated North Dakota was swept by a populist agrarian movement borne of farmers sick of watching bankers and railroad bosses take advantage of their work and run amok with their savings. That agrarian movement produced two entities that are still flourishing over 100 years later – a state-owned grain mill, which has become the largest grain mill in the United States, and a public bank that ensured North Dakota would be unaffected by the recession of 2008 that rocked the other 49 states and the rest of the world.
From Chris Hedges
The assault of global capitalism is not only an economic and political assault. It is a cultural and historical assault. Global capitalism seeks to erase our stories and our histories. Its systems of mass communication, which peddle a fake intimacy with manufactured celebrities and a false sense of belonging within a mercenary consumer culture, shut out our voices, hopes and dreams. Salacious gossip about the elites and entertainers, lurid tales of violence and inane trivia replace in national discourse the actual and the real. The goal is a vast historical amnesia.
The traditions, rituals and struggles of the poor and workingmen and workingwomen are replaced with the vapid homogenization of mass culture. Life’s complexities are reduced to simplistic stereotypes. Common experiences center around what we have been fed by television and mass media. We become atomized and alienated. Solidarity and empathy are crushed. The cult of the self becomes paramount. And once the cult of the self is supreme we are captives to the corporate monolith.
As the mass media, now uniformly in the hands of large corporations, turn news into the ridiculous chronicling of pseudo-events and pseudo-controversy we become ever more invisible as individuals. Any reporting of the truth—the truth about what the powerful are doing to us and how we are struggling to endure and retain our dignity and self-respect—would fracture and divide a global population that must be molded into compliant consumers and obedient corporate subjects. This has made journalism, real journalism, subversive. And it has made P. Sainath—who has spent more than two decades making his way from rural Indian village to rural Indian village to make sure the voices of the country’s poor are heard, recorded and honored—one of the most subversive journalists on the subcontinent. He doggedly documented the some 300,000 suicides of desperate Indian farmers—happening for the last 19 years at the rate of one every half hour—in his book “Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories From India’s Poorest Districts.” And in December, after leaving The Hindu newspaper, where he was the rural affairs editor, he created the People’s Archive of Rural India. He works for no pay. He relies on a small army of volunteers. He says his archive deals with “the everyday lives of everyday people.” And, because it is a platform for mixed media, encompassing print, still photographs, audio and film, as well as an online research library, it is a model for those who seek to tell the stories that global capitalism attempts to blot out.
From Chris Hedges
Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the Seattle City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.
The corporate powers, from Seattle’s mayor to the Chamber of Commerce and the area’s Democratic Party, are determined she be defeated, and these local corporate elites have the national elites behind them. This will be one of the most important elections in the country this year. It will pit a socialist, who refuses all corporate donations—not that she would get many—and who has fearlessly championed the rights of workingmen and workingwomen, rights that are being eviscerated by the corporate machine. The elites cannot let the Sawants of the world proliferate. Corporate power is throwing everything at its disposal—including sponsorship of a rival woman candidate of color—into this election in the city’s 3rd District.
Sawant’s fight is our own.
From Humanity’s Test
The creation of what we now call capitalism, with its deification of private property and free (if “free” simply means free of democratic oversight) markets, has been a conscious project spanning a number of centuries. Central to that project has been the eradication, and marginalization, of competing ownership and business models.
The Conversion of the Earth Into Private Property
The Earth as a whole can be viewed as a single commons, shared by myriads of species that vary over time. Only with the advent of settled human populations, around 10,000 years ago, did one species define itself as preeminent and worthy of turning the Earth into its’ own property. Prior to this period, and for the vast majority of human existence, humans lived in small, generally mobile, hunter-gatherer groups that saw themselves as part of nature. Although they could use such things as fire and selective plant removal to alter nature’s path, they mostly reacted to and fitted within whatever it provided. Other sentient creatures were not viewed as either “wild animals” or property, but as non-human persons that deserved respect and could make things difficult for humans if they were not respected. Even inanimate objects, such as a specific place, or rock, could be viewed as being “alive” in some way. Animism, the belief that non-human entities have souls, even inanimate ones, was the basis of spiritual life. Such beliefs are representative of the remaining hunter-gatherer groups that have not been thoroughly acculturated by modern society[i] [ii].
Question from the Audience: Jerry, do you mean my grandfather’s furniture store is killing the world? Is he one of those capitalists? It’s a nice shop. He’s been there forty years, giving work to eight employees, and he pays a nice wage. With benefits. It doesn’t seem bad to me.
Jerry: No, stores like that are really not the problem. We need to make distinctions when we talk about capitalism. The word covers too many different things. One distinction is this: Size matters! Small-scale local or family businesses, or community enterprises that make some money, pay salaries, send kids to college, and save a little, are not the problem, and never have been.
From Albert Einstein
Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.
Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological differences do exist. The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has—as is well known—been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic in nature. For example, most of the major states of history owed their existence to conquest. The conquering peoples established themselves, legally and economically, as the privileged class of the conquered country. They seized for themselves a monopoly of the land ownership and appointed a priesthood from among their own ranks. The priests, in control of education, made the class division of society into a permanent institution and created a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.
An Interview, written by Barbara Bindley, New York Tribune, January 15, 1916
I asked that Miss Keller relate the steps by which she turned into the uncompromising radical she now faces the world as Helen Keller, not the sweet sentimentalist of women’s magazine days.”
I was religious to start with” she began in enthusiastic acquienscence to my request. “I had thought blindness a misfortune.”
“Then I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.
“Then I read HG Wells’ Old Worlds for New, summaries of Karl Marx’s philosophy and his manifestoes. It seemed as if I had been asleep and waked to a new world – a world different from the world I had lived in.
From Live Travel Enjoy
Thanks to Ron
With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia.
Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian village in southern Spain that is prosperous thanks to its farming cooperative.
On the face of it, the Spanish town of Marinaleda is indistinguishable from any other in its region. Nestled in the picturesque Campiña valley, the surrounding countryside is made up of rolling green hills, miles of olive plantations and golden fields of wheat stretching as far as the eye can see. The town is pretty, tranquil and typical of those found in Andalusia, Spain’s poorest and most southerly province.
The Capitalism Papers – Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System by Jerry Mander.
It is well written, and is not a rant or screed. The chapter sections are short and succinct. Mander’s research is thorough and he includes many quotes from the work of others who share his concepts and ideas. The main theme is that capitalism is not working for 99% of the people in both America and the globe, nor for the planet itself.
Here are the major ideas in the book. He first talks about the relationship between corporate capitalism and nature. Due to modern medicine and the abundance of food we now live twice as long as people lived 150 years ago. We now live more comfortably than any people in human history. That’s the good news. The bad news is this. One-fourth of all earth’s mammals are threatened with extinction. Over 17,000 animals and plants are at risk of extinction. More than one in five of all known mammals, over one in four reptiles, and 70% of plants are at risk of extinction. This unravels the fabric of life. We may be the first species capable of effectively eliminating life on earth.
From David Bollier
In an amazingly prescient essay, “The Exit From Capitalism Has Already Begun,” journalist and social philosopher André Gorz in 2007 explained how computerization and networks are causing a profound crisis in capitalism by making knowledge more shareable. He argues that shareable knowledge and culture undercuts capitalist control over the global market system as the exclusive apparatus for production and consumption (and thus our “necessary” roles as wage-earners and consumers).
The essay, translated by Chris Turner, originally appeared in the journal EcoRev in Autumn 2007 and was reprinted in Gorz’s 2008 book Ecologica. It’s worth revisiting this essay because it so succinctly develops a theme that is now playing out, one that Jeremy Rifkin reprises and elaborates upon in his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society.
Let’s start with the conundrum that capital faces as computerization makes it possible to produce more with less labor. Gorz writes:
· No budget cuts to education and social services! Full funding for all community needs. A major increase in taxes on the rich and big business, not working people. The federal government should bail out states to prevent cuts and layoffs.
· Create living-wage union jobs for all the unemployed through public works programs to develop mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure, health care, education, and affordable housing.
· Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/ hour, adjusted annually for cost of living increases, as a step toward a living wage for all.
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There is NO EVIDENCE that the Bible is from or inspired by a God, or that either of these two man-made biblical scriptures -- foundational to Christianism -- is true:
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." NONE.
The Religion of Usefulness
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The Meaning and Value of Freethought
Freethought Keeps On Winning
Lists of Freethinkers/Atheists
The Freethinker and The Improved Man
We are all Stardust...
We're The Lucky Ones
~A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy~
If I were not a Buddhist, I would most likely be a Stoic
Finding Meaning in a Purposeless Universe
Why Won't God Heal Amputees?
~Fundamentalism is the Tragedy of All Religions~
History Of Religion In Three Minutes
The Whole Christian Story in 101 Words
~Christianism: A Relationship Built On Threats~
Exoneration of Jesus Christ
Losing Faith: Yahweh or the Highway
Christianism Disproved Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Psychological Harms of Bible Believing Christianism
Mondragon: The Loving Society That Is Our Inevitable Future
Living From Our Local Landscape and Countryside - Wendell Berry
The Idea of a Local Economy - Wendell Berry
The Work of Local Culture - Wendell Berry
Finding Meaningful Work - Dave Smith
Cesar Chavez: When Your Guru Goes Gaga - Dave Smith
~Embrace the Mystery~
~Mindfulness Without Religion~
Intelligence, Not the Bible, Is The Only Moral Guide
Religion Is The Root Of All Ignorance
An Organized Collection of Irrational Nonsense
Free of the Biblical God
Don't Mess With God
~Guide to all the Gods~
Alphabetical List of all the Gods
Where Is The Graveyard of Dead Gods?
~List of Religions and Spiritual Traditions~
~Guide to Christianist Denominations: Can you, gentle seeker, find the one true way in these 41,000 alternatives that teaches the exact infallible biblical truth and save your soul from the one true god's eternal damnation? Time's a'wasting...~
Guide to the 40 Best Atheist Arguments
God's Killings in the Bible
God Is Imaginary
Religion Is Terrorism
Christian History 101
An Open Letter To Jesus Christ
12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made The World Worse
What Leaving Religion Has Done For Me
Carl Sagan Took My Faith and Gave Me Awe
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Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion
A Christian and a Buddhist Walk Into A Cartoon
The bible has got to go...
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Not Afraid of Burning In Hell
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The Dirty F@#*ing Hippies Were Right!
Summary of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization
What is a fact beyond all doubt is that we share an ancestor with every other species of animal and plant on the planet. We know this because some genes are recognizably the same genes in all living creatures, including animals, plants and bacteria. And, above all, the genetic code itself — the dictionary by which all genes are translated — is the same across all living creatures that have ever been looked at. We are all cousins. Your family tree includes not just obvious cousins like chimpanzees and monkeys but also mice, buffaloes, iguanas, wallabies, snails, dandelions, golden eagles, mushrooms, whales, wombats and bacteria. All are our cousins. Every last one of them. Isn't that a far more wonderful thought than any myth? And the most wonderful thing of all is that we know for certain it is literally true...
The whole world is made of incredibly tiny things, much too small to be visible to the naked eye — and yet none of the myths or so-called holy books that some people, even now, think were given to us by an all-knowing god, mentions them at all! In fact, when you look at those myths and stories, you can see that they don't contain any of the knowledge that science has patiently worked out. They don't tell us how big or how old the universe is; they don't tell us how to treat cancer; they don't explain gravity or the internal combustion engine; they don't tell us about germs, or anesthetics. In fact, unsurprisingly, the stories in holy books don't contain any more information about the world than was known to the primitive peoples who first started telling them! If these 'holy books' really were written, or dictated, or inspired, by all-knowing gods, don't you think it's odd that those gods said nothing about any of these important and useful things? -Richard Dawkins
Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws… It seems to me that organized creeds are collections of words around a wish. I feel no need for such.
I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men? -Zora Neale Hurston
An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated. ~Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Founder
In the history of the world, the number of times a supernatural anything has been proven true is zero. Every god, ghost, spirit, devil, possession, and miracle ever claimed true is a lie. No exceptions. The number of times an atheistic (godless) argument has been proven wrong by a theistic argument is zero... In contrast, every time a theist-versus-atheist argument has been settled, an atheistic argument has won. This does not mean science is antireligion; it just means (or rather, strongly implies) religion is wrong... I challenge anyone to find any scientifically valid testable proof of anything supernatural, ever. If you can prove it, even once, I'll quit my job. I'm not nervous, as it has never been done in history, because it's ALL a lie. ~David Silverman, President
Socialist Alternative is the organization that spearheaded the campaign to elect Kshama Sawant to Seattle City Council, the first independent socialist elected in a major U.S. city in decades. We are a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We are community activists fighting against budget cuts in public services; we are activists campaigning for a $15/hour minimum wage and fighting, democratic unions; we are people of all colors speaking out against racism and attacks on immigrants, students organizing against tuition hikes and war, women and men fighting sexism and homophobia.
We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.
We see the global capitalist system as the root cause of the economic crisis, poverty, discrimination, war, and environmental destruction. As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.
We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about.
We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.
THE SMALL ORGANIC FARM greatly discomforts the corporate/ industrial mind because the small organic farm is one of the most relentlessly subversive forces on the planet. Over centuries both the communist and the capitalist systems have tried to destroy small farms because small farmers are a threat to the consolidation of absolute power.
Are The Heart
Of Free Communities
The only "hallowed halls"
I know of exist in
libraries and bookstores.
They saved my life. ~ ds
If you have a garden
and a library,
you have everything
you need. ~ Cicero