IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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TODD WALTON: The News

 

metaphors

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

(a story from Todd’s novel of stories Under the Table Books)

I don’t have much, but there’s one thing I treat myself to every Wednesday, and that’s a newspaper, fresh from the rack. No one else has touched it. The news is absolutely fresh. You can smell its freshness. The folds of the pages are sharp and clean. This is my greatest luxury, my last strong link to civilization. It may not seem like much to you, but for me buying the Wednesday news is absolutely, without question, the zenith of my week.

Furthermore, it is absolutely essential that I pay for it. If someone gave the newspaper to me, it would have no importance whatsoever. I must get my news through ritual.

Every Wednesday I wake up early, wherever I happen to be, and I take a bath. Sometimes I bathe in the river. Sometimes I use a garden hose, if there’s no one around to tell me not to. Sometimes I am somewhere with a shower, and now and then I find myself in a house with a bathtub. That, of course, is the ultimate luxury, to soak for a while in a tub full of truly hot water.

Then, once my body is washed, I put on my cleanest clothes and set forth to find a newspaper rack. I do not buy my papers from vendors or in stores. I want my news direct, no middlemen. When I have located a rack I like the look of, I approach it slowly, with solemnity. I do not allow myself to read the headlines. To know anything at this point would destroy the purity of the experience.

I take three quarters from my pocket. Seventy-five cents still buys the news in this town, thank God. I will have had these quarters since the day before, at least. I will not beg on Wednesdays. No, the day I buy my paper is a day of dignity for me. On this day I am as good as any other man, even the President, even the Pope.

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Day in the Life of Joe Six-Pack Republican…

 

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good, because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take, because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents, because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan, because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat, because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Freethinker: Richard Dawkins

 

From FFRF

On this date in 1941, evolutionary biologist and freethought champion Richard Dawkins was born in Nairobi. His father had moved to Kenya from England during the Second World War to join the Allied Forces and the family returned to England in 1949. Dawkins graduated from Oxford in 1962, earned his doctorate, became assistant professor of zoology at the University of California at Berkeley 1967-1969 and a fellow of New College in 1970.

The Selfish Gene, his first book, published in 1976, became an international bestseller. It and the award-winning Blind Watchmaker were translated into all major languages. His other books include The Extended Phenotype (1982), River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998) and A Devil’s Chaplain (2003). His 2006 iconoclastic book, The God Delusion, which he wrote with the public hope of turning believing readers into atheists, became a bestseller in both the UK and the U.S.

Dawkins has held the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science since 1995, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997. He is married to actress and artist Lalla Ward, who has illustrated several of his books and other works.

Dawkins has advanced the concept of cultural inheritance or “memes,” also described as “viruses of the mind,” a category into which he places religious belief. He has also advanced the “replicator concept” of evolution.

A passionate atheist, Dawkins has coined the memorable term “faith-heads” to describe certain religionists. Since his remarks in The Guardian (Feb, 6, 1999): “I’m like a pit bull terrier being released into the ring, as a spectator sport, to attack religious people . . .,” Dawkins is now affectionately known as “Darwin’s pit bull.”

Dawkins, a vice president of the British Humanist Association, was named Humanist of the Year in 1999. He is the 1997 winner of the International Cosmos Prize, and received an Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2001. His column for The Observer (“Children Must Choose Their own Beliefs,” Dec. 30, 2001) pointed out: “We deliberately set up, and massively subsidise, segregated faith schools. As if it were not enough that we fasten belief-labels on babies at birth, those badges of mental apartheid are now reinforced and refreshed. In their separate schools, children are separately taught mutually incompatible beliefs.”

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he eloquently warned in a Guardian column, “Religion’s Misguided Missiles” (Sept. 15, 2001): “To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used.”
~
See also https://www.wired.com/2017/03/evolution-slower-looks-faster-think/
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Ingersoll, the sceptic who scandalized Victorian America…

 

a
KATHERINE MANGU-WARD
The Weekly Standard
Repost

Robert Ingersoll was fat. The Great Agnostic, as he was known in his day, was so portly that critics sighed over the “spectacular auto da fé” he would have made if set alight for heresy—as he surely would have been in an earlier era.

Speaking to sold-out crowds around the nation at the turn of the 19th century, Ingersoll argued against belief in God, poked fun at religious authority, and gently introduced a skeptical American public to the idea that humans might be related to apes. Along the way, the jurist and Republican party kingmaker revived the reputation of another great doubter, Thomas Paine, restoring him to his rightful place in the Founders’ pantheon.

Now largely forgotten himself, Ingersoll once rivaled Mark Twain in popularity on the lecture circuit during the Golden Age of Freethought. A small but surprisingly influential cluster of fans and followers have kept Ingersoll’s memory alive, ranging from Clarence Darrow to Eugene Debs to Penn Jillette, the magician. But in her light, readable new biography

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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If Jesus had been electrocuted…

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Christian Crock: False reasons evangelicals are leaving churches in a tidal wave…

 

From Roll To Disbelieve

Sometimes we’re surrounded by something before we realize just how much of it there is. That happened to me today: I suddenly noticed just how many Christians there are who have firm ideas about why people–especially younger people–are leaving their churches. Those ideas tend to run along one of two lines, and both of those lines are totally wrong.

We’ve talked about this hemorrhage of Christians from churches off and on over the years; “evangelical churn” is even one of the popular tags around here. Just the other day in comments, Lambchop was sharing some links about exactly this topic. Christians are flailing around trying to work out why it is that so many people don’t want to play with them anymore. Their ideas typically don’t make that much sense to people who aren’t motivated to accept specious arguments in lieu of actual good reasons for anything, but oh, there are a lot of Christians who are supremely motivated to do exactly that. And oh, they all have their guesses about why it’s happening. The problem is, as you can likely guess, those ideas are all wrong.

You probably saw that recent story Hemant ran about MormonLeaks.com’s squabblewith the Mormon church over their attempt to suppress a document about their own churn problem. The document is interesting because they accept that people who are both more liberal and more conservative are leaving–and for different reasons. Despite that pleasant change of pace, however, their reaction in the end is predictable.

The Mormons’ Guesses

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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TODD WALTON: Inside Moves Miracles

 

inside moves cover

Inside Moves Pharos Edition 

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

I began writing the novel that would become Inside Moves in 1974, when the United States was on the verge of withdrawing from Vietnam. I was twenty-five and living in a garage in Eugene, Oregon, buoyed by my first ever sale of a short story. My rent was thirty dollars a month, so nine hundred dollars from Cosmopolitan magazine for a fanciful tale about a female boxer was a vast fortune and gave me time to write two novels and several short stories before the cosmic largesse ran out.

The voice that spoke Inside Moves to me was that of a young American man wounded and disabled in Vietnam. My literary agent, the late great Dorothy Pittman, showed the manuscript to thirteen publishers over the course of two years. Several of the first twelve editors who read the book declared Inside Moves a narrative tour de force, yet felt the story was “an impossible sell.” Cripples and Vietnam were not considered commercially viable in those days.

Miracle #1: In 1977, Sherry Knox, a young editor at Doubleday, bought Inside Moves. My advance, minus Dorothy’s commission, was thirteen hundred and fifty dollars, which money lifted me out of dire poverty into functional poverty.

When I had rewritten the book to Sherry’s satisfaction, and my brother Steve came up with the stellar title to replace my original title, The Gimp, Doubleday decided to kill Inside Moves before publication—common practice for large publishers when the Sales Department decides not to support a book.

However, to minimally fulfill their contractual obligations, Doubleday listed the book at the back of their Spring catalogue with this briefest of descriptors: “Inside Moves: story of friendship between two men in San Francisco bar, basketball sub-plot.”

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Freethinker: ‘The Most Hated Woman in America’ — Melissa Leo on the Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair…

 

Madalyn Murray O’Hair took on the Supreme Court to get prayer out of schools, started a culture war, and was violently murdered for it. A new Netflix film finally tells her story.

In 1964, Madalyn Murray O’Hair appeared in Life magazine, her infamy warranting a headline branding her “The Most Hated Woman in America.” Five decades later, America seems to have moved on. Murray O’Hair, despite her notoriety and celebrity status during the culture wars, is no longer a household name—something a new Netflix film about the controversial activist and, ultimately, murder victim hopes to remedy.

Oscar-winner Melissa Leo stars as Murray O’Hair in the story so wild—and yet, so true—that it’s astounding that it hasn’t been turned into a film before.

In 1960, in the midst of a career as a social worker and civil rights activist, Murray O’Hair filed a landmark lawsuit against the Baltimore City Public School System on behalf of her older son, William, arguing that it was unconstitutional to force him to participate in Bible readings while attending public school. The lawsuit eventually reached the Supreme Court in 1963, with an 8-1 ruling in her favor.

She would later move to Austin, Texas, where her on-screen portrayer, Leo, is sitting down with The Daily Beast after the film’s SXSW festival premiere.

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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On Betrayal by the Left: Talking with Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider…

 

From Quilette

In twenty-first-century America, what happens to a young woman who has wised up and quit a faith-based ideology that ordains the second-class status of women, the submissiveness of wives to husbands (even violent husbands), the partial disinheritance of female heirs in favor of their male counterparts, the stoning of adulterers (and especially adulteresses, given the misogynistic vagaries of evidentiary law associated with said ideology), the taking of captive women as sex slaves, the adherence to a cumbersome dress code, and that also sanctions the savagery of female genital mutilation? Does she win plaudits for standing up her for rights as a woman? Do progressives recite panegyrics that sing her courage and praise her clear-sightedness? Is she inundated with offers of support?

Does she feel, perhaps for the first time in her life, that the United States, her adopted country – the only country on Earth established, at least according to its foundational documents, on the rights to free speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – wholly and unreservedly welcomes her as one of its own?

Not necessarily! If the ideology is Islam (and it is) and the woman is a former Muslim (and she is), she must steel herself to face threats against her life from her onetime coreligionists and a hail of invective from, and insidious betrayals by, those posing as progressives. Moreover, she must prepare to fend off attempts to silence her viewpoint as “inconvenient” given our current political morass. Even more egregiously, if the woman is trying to help (as she is) others also striving after the gloriously secular freedom she has achieved for herself, she becomes a danger to the entire edifice of hypocrisy, cowardice, and fact-deficient balderdash forming the mainstream left’s view of Islam as a “religion of peace” distorted by a few deranged miscreants. In short, in the America of today, such a brave woman will find no haven extended to her, but, rather, confront wielders of figurative pitchforks eager to skewer her for both abandoning her religion and traducing her kind. And with Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, her position becomes more precarious than ever.

WILLIAM EDELEN: Ancient Prophecy, Modern Ignorance

 

From Our Archives
WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister

Well, here we go again. We lived through the superstition of the Millennium and Armageddon, staggered by the onslaught of superstition and ignorance, masquerading under the phony and scary heading of “prophecy.” This virus of illiteracy even affected the Oval office. Then President Reagan’s weird and stupid speculations about an “imminent arrival of Amageddon in the Middle East” left intelligent people gasping.

Today we are playing that tape again with the gullibility of the American public. We are being smothered by radio, books, television and movies by those out to make a buck, about the disaster and world destruction waiting for us on Dec 21, 2012, when the Mayan calendar predicts an apocalypse for the end of the year, end of the world (they say). It will be open season on reason, rationality, normal intelligence and religious literacy. “Survival kits” are now being sold by the con men and fast buck operators. Sandra Noble, the Executive director of Mesoamerican Research Foundation, says: “portrayal of that date as doomsday is a total fabrication and a chance for a lot of slick people to cash in.”

But to refresh your memory about the “millenniumn, armageddon” circus for the gullible clowns that set the stage for the circus being replayed today under a different heading, what seemed to be missing from the brain/mind (I use the words loosely) is the fact that time is fiction. Time is man-made. A history of man-made calendars would enlighten many.

You have two lives…

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Christian Crock: Pastor Charged in Death of His Own 2-Year-old Granddaughter…

 

[This happened to me. I survived. At 10 years of age, I came down with pneumonia, and unfortunately, my father was a faith-based fundamentalist pentecostal preacher. They believed in faith healing. Near death, barely able to breathe, with family and parishioners praying, I yelled out “call an ambulance, I need oxygen.” That shook them out of their stupidity, an ambulance was called, I went to the hospital, and survived. This blog is one response to the death worship of  Christian supremacists. -ds]

From NBC10

A pastor in a fundamentalist Christian sect that rejects doctors and drugs has been charged in the death of a child — his own granddaughter — from medical neglect. The novel prosecution is raising hopes among some advocates that it might spur change in a church that has resisted it.

Faith Tabernacle Congregation has long told adherents to place their trust in God alone for healing. As a result, dozens of children, mostly in Pennsylvania, have died of preventable and treatable illnesses. Church members reject modern medicine as a bedrock tenet of their faith, even as some have faced manslaughter charges in child deaths dating back 35 years.

Until now, though, no leader in the sect has ever faced charges.

“It could be a new tool to save the lives of these children,” said Rita Swan, one of the nation’s top experts on faith-based medical neglect. She leads the group Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, which works to eliminate religious exemptions in state laws requiring parents to provide appropriate medical care.

With a routine course of antibiotics, 2-year-old Ella Foster would have almost certainly beaten the pneumonia that took her life in November. But her parents refused medical care, and she succumbed shortly after they asked the Rev. Rowland Foster to anoint her.

IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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Chris Hedges Delivers the Ultimate Trump Takedown…

 

 

The Enemy Is Not Donald Trump or Steve Bannon—It Is Corporate Power

In a recent speech titled “After Trump and Pussy Hats” delivered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges tells the audience that “resistance must also be accompanied by an alternative vision of a socialist, anti-capitalist society.”

After a fierce indictment of what he calls the kleptocracy that rules the United States, Hedges urges organizing “with lightning speed” because this is our “last chance” to do so.

“This resistance must also be accompanied by an alternative vision of a socialist, anti-capitalist society. Because the enemy in the end is not Trump or Bannon—it is corporate power,” Hedges says. “And if we do not stop corporate power, we will never dismantle fascism’s seduction of the white working class and unemployed.”

“Hope comes from the numerous protests that have been mounted in the streets, in town halls,” he continues. “We must engage in these battles on a local and on a national level … we will have to build new radical movements and most importantly, new parallel institutions that challenge the hegemony of corporate power. It will not be easy; it will take time.”
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IMPEACH TRUMP!

 


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TODD WALTON: The Beggar

 

The Beggar

Buddha Statue photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

a story from Buddha In A Teacup

Each morning on her way from the subway to her office in the pyramid building, Cheryl passes hundreds of beggars. And each evening on her way home, she passes most of the same beggars again. And there are beggars in the subway station, too.

Every few weeks, moved by a compulsion she has no explanation for, she empties the kitchen change jar into a paper bag and carries these hundreds of coins with her to work. On her way home at the end of the day, she gives this change to the only beggar she has ever admired. She has never told her husband or children what she does with the money, nor have they ever inquired about its repeated disappearance.

The man she gives this money to is tall and handsome, olive-skinned, with short brown hair and a well-trimmed beard. He is, she believes, close to her own age—forty-nine—and he wears the saffron robe of a Buddhist monk. He sits cross-legged on the sidewalk in front of the Costa Rican consulate, a stone’s throw from the subway entrance. His back is perfectly straight, his head unbowed, and he sits absolutely still. He is not there in the mornings, but he is there every evening of Cheryl’s workweek, except Wednesday evenings.

His large brass bowl sits on the ground directly in front of him. When money is dropped into the bowl he does not alter his pose in the slightest, nor does he make any outward gesture of thanks.

Impeach Trump!

 


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Dawkins’ fabled cooperative gene discovered in microbes…

 

 

From phys.org

Geneticists from the Universities of Manchester and Bath are celebrating the discovery of the elusive ‘greenbeard gene’ that helps explain why organisms are more likely to cooperate with some individuals than others

The renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term “greenbeard gene” in his 1976 best seller The Selfish Gene.

The greenbeard is a special type of gene that, said Dawkins, could solve the conundrum of how organisms identify and direct selfless behaviour to towards other selfless individuals.

The existence of greenbeard  once seemed improbable, but work published in Nature Communicationsby the team of geneticists has identified a gene that causes a whole range of ‘beard colours’ in a social microbe.

The microbes – ‘slime moulds’ – live as , but clump together to form a slug like creature when they run out of food. The newly formed slug can move to help them find new sources of food, but this depends on successful cooperation.

Impeach!

 


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Christian Crock: Fundamentalism is Authoritarianism… Fascism is essentially Fundamentalism in power…

 

From Christopher Stroop

Educated Evangelicals, Academic Achievement, and Trumpism: On the Tensions in Valuing Education in an Anti-Intellectual Subculture

Authority First: The Enclave Strikes Back

“I sat in the waiting room wasting my time, and waiting for Judgment Day. I praise liberty, the freedom to obey.” – Green Day, “21st Century Breakdown,” 21st Century Breakdown (2009)

Fundamentalists force an inhumane choice on reflective, empathetic individuals who grow up in their enclave communities: assent that 2 + 2 = 5, or, if you can’t, shut up about it or leave. Conservative Evangelicalism is a variety of Christian fundamentalism, and, make no mistake, the data tells us with overwhelming clarity that (apart from the “special demographic” of Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and James Comey), white Evangelicals are the one demographic most responsible for electing the most patently unqualified and dangerously demagogic president in modern American history. I am often asked how they could vote for someone so impious, which is a question I’ve addressed multiple times, generally referring to white Evangelical subculture’s pervasive authoritarianism and its politics of Providentialism (which can lead them to conclude that God can use Trump as a “vessel” despite his imperfections).

Perhaps a more interesting, or at least less frequently addressed, question, is how Evangelicals could vote for a candidate so manifestly, indeed flamboyantly, incompetent. But the two questions are very much of a piece, and the answers will take us down similar paths. Authoritarianism in power is always accompanied by anti-intellectualism, pseudo-intellectualism, and post-truth conditions. Fundamentalism is authoritarian by definition–it accepts a vision of “the Truth” that is sacrosanct, unquestionable, and, when found to be incompatible with reality, protected through the generation of “alternative facts,” which themselves become unassailable truths within the enclave community that is built up to sustain the fundamentalism in question.

Why go to such extreme lengths to maintain false “truths” instead of simply accepting new information?  Because, thanks to abusive socialization and indoctrination, one’s entire identity is tied up with being right about these particular truths, making it so painful to face (actual) facts that for most fundamentalists doing so is simply impossible, leading to deflection, whataboutism, and extreme manifestations of psychological defense mechanisms such as  projection and defensive fetishes.

The Wonder of it All: A Conversation with Bart Campolo…

 


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Freethinker: Douglas Adams

 

From FFRF

On this date in 1952, science fiction/comedy writer Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge, England. He was educated at Brentwood School, Essex, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a BA in 1974, and later earned his Master’s in English literature.

Adams worked as a writer and producer in radio and television. In 1978, “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” ran as a series on BBC Radio, and was published as a novel in 1979. Fourteen million copies of the cult scifi novel have sold worldwide, followed by sequels. The satiric novel chronicles the adventures of an alien, Ford Prefect, and his human companion, Arthur Dent, as they travel the universe looking for the meaning of life after the earth’s destruction. Adams became the youngest author to be awarded the Golden Pan in 1984.

Adams was also an Internet pioneer. He married Jane Belson in 1991 and they had a daughter, Polly, in 1994. He was at work on a screenplay for Hitch Hiker when he died unexpectedly at age 49 of a heart attack. Adams called himself a “committed Christian” as a teenager, who began to rethink his beliefs at age 18 after listening to the nonsense of a street preacher. He credited books by his friend, Richard Dawkins, including The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker, for helping to cement his views on religion.

In one of his speeches, Dawkins quotes Adams, who said: “Now, the invention of the scientific method is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked. If it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that. It has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever.” (“Emperor Has No Clothes” Award acceptance speech, reprinted in Freethought Today, October 2001.)

In The Salmon of Doubt, a compilation of Adams’ writings published posthumously in 2002, Adams wrote of religion: “But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.” D. 2001.

“If you describe yourself as ‘Atheist,’ some people will say, ‘Don’t you mean “Agnostic’?” ‘ I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god—in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly. In England we seem to have drifted from vague wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague wishy-washy Agnosticism—both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much.”

—Douglas Adams, interview, American Atheist (Winter 1998-99)

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Evolution Is Finally Winning Out Over Creationism…

 

From Science

A majority of young people endorse the scientific explanation of how humans evolved.

Few issues have divided the American public as bitterly as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Since On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, it has driven a wedge between those who accept that humans and this planet’s other inhabitants have evolved over time, and those who believe that our species was created in its current form with no alterations. While the majority of people in Europe and in many other parts of the world accept evolution, the United States lags behind. Today, 4 in 10 adults in America believe that humans have existed in our present form since the beginning of time, and in many religious groups, that number is even higher.This is woeful.

Now, at long last, there seems to be hope: National polls show that creationism is beginning to falter, and Americans are finally starting to move in favor of evolution. After decades of legal battles, resistance to science education, and a deeply rooted cultural divide, evolution may be poised to win out once and for all.

The people responsible for this shift are the young. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 73 percent of American adults younger than 30 expressed some sort of belief in evolution, a jump from 61 percent in 2009, the first year in which the question was asked. The number who believed in purely secular evolution (that is, not directed by any divine power) jumped from 40 percent to a majority of 51 percent. In other words, if you ask a younger American how humans arose, you’re likely to get an answer that has nothing to do with God.

Christian Crock: The Radical Conservative Movement and Why Liberals Should be Terrified…

 

From Forward Progressives
and Church and State UK

It’s no secret that the Republican party is actively trying to turn this nation into some form of theocracy. Well, at least socially. The GOP is some kind of hybrid where their economic ideologies are based on the philosophies of Ayn Rand (a devout atheist) while their social ideologies are based on some warped view of Christianity that I call “Republicanity.” You might be saying to yourself, “It doesn’t make any sense for a political party to base their economic ideologies on someone who didn’t believe in religion while supporting social issues based on religion.”

And you would be right. It makes absolutely no sense. Which is another reason why I don’t consider most of these people actual Christians.

But beneath this continued push to turn the United States into a theocracy lies a much deeper, more dangerous movement that most people aren’t aware of. This movement is called the “7 Cultural Mountains,” or is sometimes referred to as the “7 Mountains Dominionism.”

What is this, you ask? Well, it’s an effort to place “Christian” control over seven areas of our lives these radicals have labeled as “pillars of society.”

TODD WALTON: Wrong Ending

 
inside moves covers

Four Editions of Inside Moves photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

“Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.” George Orwell

A few weeks ago I had an inquiry about the movie remake rights to my novel Inside Moves. I replied to the inquiry (I do not own those rights) and then burned some sage and prayed to the gods of cinema to please make a second film from my novel. And though a remake is highly unlikely, just the thought of a new iteration of Inside Moves took me back thirty-eight years to the making of the first movie and the many conflicts I had with the filmmakers about how that movie should be made.

The narrator of the novel Inside Moves, Roary, is disabled from wounds suffered while fighting in Vietnam. For the movie, made in 1979, the screenwriters changed Roary from war veteran to a man who attempts suicide by jumping from a tall building. He miraculously does not die from the fall, but is somewhat disabled due to his injuries. I fiercely opposed this change because I felt it undermined the veracity of the entire story, nor is it ever explained in the movie why Roary wanted to kill himself.

John Savage plays Roary in the movie, and though superb in the role, I didn’t find him credible as someone who wants, or wanted, to kill himself. But the moviemakers were shy of bringing Vietnam into the story and they loved the shock value of showing someone jumping from a tall building. To compound the wrongness of their idea, when they filmed that suicide-attempt scenes they blocked traffic on the streets around the tall building and a huge crowd gathered. That crowd appears in shots of Roary’s jump, though in the movie, Roary sneaks into a building, goes to an upper floor, and quickly jumps, so there would have been no witnesses, no crowd. Oops.

A Woman’s Place…

 

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What Traffic Fumes Do To Our Kids

 

From Monbiot.com

A short, simple factsheet on the impacts of traffic pollution on children’s health

I wrote this short factsheet for a local school suffering high levels of air pollution, that are caused in part by the parents, sometimes driving their children just 100 metres up the road. Part of the problem is that many people are unaware of the link between pollution and health issues.

When I looked for a summary – in clear and simple language, that most parents can quickly understand – of the damage that traffic pollution can do to children, I could not find one. Nor could the transport campaigns I consulted. So I decided to write my own.

Please feel free to reproduce it, adapt it and use it as you wish. Please also let me know whether and how it can be improved.

If you find it useful, you might like to ask your school to circulate it among the parents by email or on social media, or to print it out and stick it in places (such as classroom doors) where it is likely to be seen.

If we could circulate such materials widely among schools, we could make a material difference to the health of our children (and the rest of the population).

Fight Trump. Work From Home…

 

From Mother Jones

Remote jobs are great for work-life balance—and democracy.

At the dawn of the Donald Trump era, good ideas are being traded on how to fight back, stand up for marginalized people, and defend the planet: Run for the local school board. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Support investigative reporters (ahem).

Here’s one you might not have considered: Ask your boss to let you work from home.

Take climate change. President Trump’s pick for the Environmental Protection Agency is a climate science denier, but you don’t need the EPA to tell you that the hours you spend in traffic are hurting the planet. Transportation accounts for a quarter of all US greenhouse gas emissions each year—the equivalent of 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide—mostly from cars, pickups, and other light trucks. If a chunk of people chugging gas to the office were able to log in from home instead, would it make a difference?

About 135 million Americans commute to work, and according to a 2016 survey by research firm Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), 50 percent of them have jobs they could do remotely at least part time. If all those workers skipped the commute just every other day, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as we would by taking 9 million cars off the road.

Lots of people hear “work from anywhere” and imagine either startup techies in chic coffee shops or bloggers in ratty PJs sitting on worn-out couches. But major employers across a wide range of industries have gotten in on the act; some even help employees set up fully connected home offices. Xerox, Aetna, and American Express came out on top in a 2014 survey of companies with the most flexible remote options for workers. By 2020, Dell hopes that half its workforce will be doing at least some remote work. A report released by the company in June 2016 found that thanks to telecommuting, 35,000 US employees each saved the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide on average every year—even when you consider the extra energy required for heat and lights in a home office.

Freethinker: Ingersoll’s Vow…

 

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From The Archives
ROBERT INGERSOLL (1833 – 1899)
The Great Agnostic

When I became convinced that the Universe is natural – that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.

The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave.

There was for me no master in all the wide world – not even in infinite space. I was free – free to think, to express my thoughts – free to live to my own ideal – free to live for myself and those I loved – free to use all my faculties, all my senses – free to spread imagination’s wings – free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope – free to judge and determine for myself – free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past – free from popes and priests – free from all the “called” and “set apart” – free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies – free from the fear of eternal pain – free from the winged monsters of the night – free from devils, ghosts and gods.

For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought – no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings – no chains for my limbs – no lashes for my back – no fires for my flesh – no master’s frown or threat – no following another’s steps – no need to bow, to cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.

And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain – for the freedom of labor and thought – to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains – to those who proudly mounted scaffold’s stairs – to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn – to those by fire consumed – to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men.

And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
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What Is God’s Problem With Women?

 

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The Genesis of Misogyny

From Church and State, UK

It all started with Eve. Or did it?

The Alphabet Of Ben-Sira, a Judaic document derived from a Talmudic script, asserts that Lilith, not Eve, was Adam’s wife. Since it comes to us through the same mythological lineage as the Bible itself, the historical veracity of The Alphabet of Ben-Sira is not what matters here. What does matter is that this ancient text gives us a female who makes Germaine Greer look like Mother Teresa.

Unlike her successor, Eve, Lilith was not made from Adam’s rib. She was made from clay in exactly the same way as her husband was. Her job description, as given to her by God, was to submit to Adam and be “under him”. But she had no sooner morphed into existence when she told God “I will not be below; I will not lie beneath him – I am as him; made too from clay.” God, not used to being spoken to like this, became angry. Lilith, however, didn’t give a toss; she just flew away and joined a hoard of screaming female demons.

And that’s how we have Feminists.

But Lilith came back for revenge, as you do. She verbally assaulted the angels that God sent to return her to Adam and generally threatened screeching mayhem on any male, or Deity for that matter, who came within screeching distance. She was never incorporated into the bible as a real human being; instead she is listed among abominable animals and evil spirits in the Old Testament. No surprise there, then.

It is said by contemporary scholars that The Alphabet of Ben-Sira was a satirical commentary, all well and good. But what is wonderful about the story of Lilith is the fact that the ancient satirist who wrote her into being did so because he was smart enough to recognise that the secondary/submissive role assigned to women by God was a crock of shit.