Salon manages to bash atheists while interviewing Ann Druyan about “Cosmos”

Here is an incisive article from one of my favorite blogs. In it the distinguished scientist who writes “Why Evolution is True” takes a religious zealot at Salon to task for using an interview with Ann Druyan, writer of the new “Cosmos” as an excuse to bash atheists. This is another example of how the show, hosted by astrophysicist Neale DeGrassi Tyson, has creationists in a panic.

Why Evolution Is True

I love the smell of atheist-bashing in the morning. Well, not really, but it’s an odor that is all too familiar when I open the morning email.

For a long time Salon has been the main online venue for atheist bashing, and one of their more avid bashers is Andrew O’Hehir, a staff writer. We’ve met him before when I reviewed an earlier Salon piece of his bewailing the “unnecessary” conflict, as he saw it, between science and religion.  All you need to know about that earlier piece are two things: 1) he praises Terry Eagleton, and 2) he wrote this:

Creationists and other Biblical fundamentalists, needless to say, are having none of it: For them, the empirical realm is always and everywhere subservient to the revealed word of God. Meanwhile “New Atheists” like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, along with their pop-culture sock puppet Bill Maher, espouse a similar view from the other direction…

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http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=15037

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=15037. – as this article shows the U.S. secretary of Labor has called for paid family leave. This is essential. The absence of family leave makes if difficult for parents, particularly mothers to hold down jobs. A federal unpaid family leave law was passed and enacted in the ’90s. This legislation has been a resounding success. Despite prediction ps that women who took the leave would never come back, they did and women who would have quit to start a family stayed at their jobs. In other words, right-wing and business fears were refuted.

The problem is that unpaid leave is useless to most parents because the cannot afford to take time off work without being paid. That is why paid family leave is essential. Secretary Perez’s support is bold and encouraging. His is correct in noting that we must ” bring our policies into the 21st century.” Such movement is past due.

Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth!

As the wonderful picture I got on Facebook from a post by my friend Jack Kulas indicates, today is Juneteenth. Juneteenth, which occurs on June 19 every year, celebrates the anniversary the first freeing of slaves under Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation by Gen. Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865. This holiday is as important as Independence Day. The former is the day African-Americans legally began to enjoy the freedom promised in the latter.

BUSH’S FOLLY

BUSH'S FOLLY

Take a good look at this photo. The person pictured is making one of the greatest blunders in recorded history. The troops he ordered in Iraq had taken over the capital, Baghdad, when the dictator, Saddam Hussein, had fled. He and his demented advisors thought that the conquerors would be greater as liberators and the ensuing occupation would be short, so they declared that “mission” had been accomplished. They could not have been more wrong.

The Bush team’s decision to eliminate the stated owned companies that comprised the country’s economy and replace them with American private concerns generated resistance. When the occupying troops conducted brutal dood-door troops the resistance became armed.

General Petreus’s approach to fighting the resistance was to organize the people into militias as the Peruvian government did against the Maoist Sendero Luminosa. This puts rebels in an awkward position. The problem was that no one in the affected villages wanted to fight their own people.

The solution was to enlist Shiites to fight rebels from Sunni villages and vice versa, for which they had many takers. This helped, but it turned the rift between the two Islamic factions into an armed conflict. The chickens from this exacerbation are now coming home to roost.

Elections put a Shiite government in power. Sunni rebels continued to fight. The president, Maliki, responded. The result is that a an Islamic faction, ISIS, so militant it was kicked out of Al Queda has taken over the opposition and is advancing on Baghdad.

So far the Right has succeed in getting the public to blame President Obama for this debacle because he presided over the withdraw of troops from Iraq. It is important to remember, however, that the war in that country was BUSH’S war. Bush started it under the false pretext of the presence of weapons of mass destruction, which have never been found. He also claimed human rights as a reason to invade, likely only to hege his bets. BUSH’S people created the present conflict by implementing destructive policies and pitting Sunnis and Shiites against each other. The situation deteriorated so much Bush started the pullout ( part of his motive may have been to deprive a potential Democratic successor of the credit for the wothdrawal). Obama inherited BUSH’s mess. It BUSH who is to blame and should be blamed for what is now happening in Iraq.

McCain and other Republicans are crazy to believe that keeping troops in Iraq would have prevented this. On the contrary, they would only have made things worse, as would any future military action. We should nor involve ourselves in the civil war we have created. It is fortunate that Obama has ruled out ground troops. He has, however, ordered an aircraft carrier into the area. I hope he is very careful about what action he takes.

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This picture says it all. We have had enough of the right/Republicsns dominating turnout in off -clear elections. We must all get out and vote; a vote to stop the right-wing base that thought Eric Cantor was too moderate from electing Brat and other Tea Party nuts; vote to turn rogue Governor Rick Scott out of office; vote to stop the deleterious Plum Creek Project here in Alachua County. We must begin clearing the conservative cloud over our country this year!

Landmark Study: Human Population Growth, Consumption Has Increased Species Extinctions by More Than 1,000 Times Natural Rate

Landmark Study: Human Population Growth, Consumption Has Increased Species Extinctions by More Than 1,000 Times Natural Rate. – Here is a study that confirms once again the damage we humans are doing to the environment. That we continue at such a rate is bewildering and will be astonishing for future generations. Much of the problem is that we are being held back by a large, well-funded minority of religious fundamentalist and free-market (itself a kind of religion) enthusiasts in almost unfathomably deep denial of science. The consequences will be dire if we do not break through the  political, social,and intellectual wall they put up. Two recent rays of hope are president Obama’s new carbon emission reduction initiative and the fact that Neil DeGrasse Tyson,with his “Comos” remake, has both groups of these people running scared.