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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

Considering the cake case: Is religious freedom bent beyond repair in this country?

From the article:

If you’re secular or a progressive religious person, you might be thinking “yes”—especially in view of a high-profile case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday (Dec. 5). Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission pits the anti-gay-marriage beliefs of a cake baker against the rights of a same-sex couple to live and marry free of discrimination.....

Is this the point we’ve reached? Is it time for Americans to elect politicians and shape a judiciary with a much more limited conception of religious freedom?


To read more:


Instant preplay of the Amazon bidding war

From the article:

THE TERRIFIC podcast Citations Needed, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson, call it "lotteryism"--the grotesque process where local and state governments bid for Fortune 500 companies by offering billions of dollars in tax breaks in the hopes that they will relocate to their cities. The most high-profile example of this right now is, of course, Amazon. Politicians across the country are offering absurd packages to attract the new "Amazon HQ2" headquarters. These enticements will gut services for those who depend on public schools, hospitals, public transportation and basic infrastructure. This is not to say that Amazon won't bring jobs to these cities. It is making promises of thousands of permanent hires. But the pound of flesh being offered for these jobs is frightening.

To read more:


Belt tightening and wage stagnation for the bottom 90% while the billionaire class receives corporate welfare. A recipe for a third world nation.

Bernie Sanders Warns That Republicans Are Coming To Kill Social Security And Medicare After The Tax

Bernie Sanders Warns That Republicans Are Coming To Kill Social Security And Medicare After The Tax Bill

From the article:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is warning that after Republicans cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, their next move is going to be to attack Social Security and Medicare.

To read more:


And Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already hinted of cuts being necessary. The GOP creates an economic disaster with huge tax cuts for the rich, and the bottom 99% pay for the cleanup.

Simply as speculation, if Al Franken resigned, imagine that Governor Mark Dayton appointed

Representative Keith Ellison to fill the spot, thus replacing one strong progressive voice with another progressive voice.

This exercise in speculation does not mean that I feel Al Franken should resign. At this point, the timing of the charges against Franken are far too convenient for the Trump Administration.

But if this scenario were to happen, Ellison would be a strong voice for progressive Democrats, and an excellent ally and co-worker for Bernie Sanders and other progressive Senators in the fight for social and economic justice.


Edited to correct my error. Ellison is still a Representative from Minnesota.

Where the abusers make the rules

from the article:

AFTER WOMEN stepped forward to tell their stories of how they had been sexually abused and harassed by members of Congress, it didn't take long for political leaders from both sides of the aisle to talk about how serious this all was.....

Confidentiality agreements that prevent women from speaking in public, a process that bars women from getting co-workers to corroborate evidence, secret settlements paid out of the federal treasury--all are part of a process where sexual assault claims never see the light of day, remaining confined to a rigged in-house system, with rules that Congress made up for itself.

To read more:


Good news: Resisting Trump, churches give sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation

From the article:

The church covenant makes it clear: The congregation is to be “a safe haven, free from the fear of judgment, where wounds are healed, differences are celebrated and inclusivity is intentional.”.........

This congregation of 300 members has become the first church in Raleigh to convert part of its space into a bedroom.

To read more:


What Archaeology Is Telling Us About the Real Jesus

From well into the article:

“I don’t know any mainstream scholar who doubts the historicity of Jesus,” said Eric Meyers, an archaeologist and emeritus professor in Judaic studies at Duke University. “The details have been debated for centuries, but no one who is serious doubts that he’s a historical figure.”......

I heard much the same from Byron McCane, an archaeologist and history professor at Florida Atlantic University. “I can think of no other example who fits into their time and place so well but people say doesn’t exist,” he said.

And also:

Scholars who study Jesus divide into two opposing camps separated by a very bright line: those who believe the wonder-working Jesus of the Gospels is the real Jesus, and those who think the real Jesus—the man who inspired the myth—hides below the surface of the Gospels and must be revealed by historical research and literary analysis. Both camps claim archaeology as their ally, leading to some fractious debates and strange bedfellows.

To read more of this fascinating article:


"And God said, let there be light. And there was light."

If one accepts that existence was literally created, it also implies and assumes that one believes that there is/was a Creator to initiate the creation process.

One hypothesis:

The Big Bang hypothesis is widely known in popular thought as the best explanation for how the universe came to be. However, very few people know that a Catholic priest formulated this theory in the late 1920s. Reverend Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a Belgian scientist, challenged the conventional thinking of his colleagues, including Albert Einstein, and rejected the static universe hypothesis for a dynamic model. In the course of carrying out his research, he confronted illogical thinking that pitted faith against reason, and science against the Church. His legacy extends beyond cosmology, to the nature of truth itself

And also:

Father Lemaître's intellectual background was unique. His education was a synthesis of the classics, philosophy and theology along with engineering, mathematics and physics. Perhaps this powerful combination is what allowed his mind to formulate a concept as abstract and significant as the primeval atom hypothesis — his term for what we now colloquially refer to as the Big Bang


What I see in the phrase "let there be light", is a metaphoric rendering of the Big Bang, set in language that a Bronze Age people could understand.

Georges Lemaitre, of course, worded it a bit differently, but that was in the 20th century, with the advantage of 5800 years of scientific advancement and knowledge.

The Abrahamic religions all agree that existence was created by the Creator. Some believers also believe that evolution is a part of creation. I am one of that group that believes that the Creator provided the initial spark, so to speak, and allowed what evolved to evolve from that spark. Thus the "let there be light" moment.

Others, the so-called Biblical literalists, believe that every word in the Bible is literally true.

Sanders Intros $146 Billion 'Transformation Blueprint' for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

From the article:

Calling on the federal government to bring its "full resources to bear" on the crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.-I) unveiled a $146 billion recovery package for the U.S. territories on Tuesday, two months after Hurricane Maria left destruction across the islands.
Sanders and the Democratic co-sponsors of the new bill argue it is necessary to treat the recovery as the emergency it is, but that rebuilding the islands' battered infrastructure should not mean simply returning to things as they were.

To read more:


The hateful history of the Ku Klux Klan

From the article:

So The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition (W.W. Norton and Company), by Linda Gordon, a professor of history at New York University, is a late addition to a very crowded shelf. The book makes its contribution chiefly as a work of synthesis; its endnotes point, for the most part, to earlier studies rather than primary sources.

To read more:


Considering the messaging of the Trump campaign, and considering how racist hate groups feel secure enough to march once again, it is good to remember that racial hate is one of the foundational pillars of US capitalism and US society.
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