In one of the clearest discussions of the history of science and religion I have ever heard, Cal Tech Physicist Sean Carroll explains in 10 minutes how the progress of science has led to the view that nothing exists beyond the natural universe…
The Case For Naturalism
Sean Carroll | YouTube | March 12
Opening statement by Sean Carroll at “The Great Debate: Has Science Refuted Religion?”, sponsored by the Skeptic Society on 25 March 2012. Other participants in the debate were Michael Shermer, Dinesh D’Souza, and Ian Hutchinson. The entire debate can be seen at this YouTube address.
________________________________________________________________________________ Sean Michael Carroll, PhD is a senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is a theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity. He is also a contributor to the physics blog Cosmic Variance, and has published in scientific journals and magazines such as Nature, Seed, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist.
Stephen M. Walt | Harvard-Kennedy School of Government | May 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Stephen M. Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Among his most prominent works are “Origins of Alliances and Revolution and War”. He coauthored “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” with John Mearsheimer.
Many people don’t like Bill Maher. They find him a bit too ‘snarky’ for their taste. Some don’t like him because he’s down on religion and way too leftist. That’s OK. You don’t have to like him. Just listen to what he says…
I appreciate what Timothy Egan says in his Opinionator column about the single-minded zealotry and obstructionist policies of the republican party in America today. I differ somewhat from his conclusion that ultimately we, the voters, are to blame for this situation. As Paul Krugman points out in his column today, the voters of this country are being trumped (no pun intended) by the .01 percenters who have successfully bought the American political system and are playing it like Las Vegas card sharks. Without the influence of big money on politics—thank you Supreme Court—the republicans would find themselves bankrupt, literally. So while political ignorance and disinterest are major factors in why people vote the way they do, it is the context of the political discussion that steers the electorate today and that context is largely owned and manipulated by the rich. They own the politicians. They own the networks and other media. They own the lobbying firms. And, to a large degree, they own us. You get to vote but it counts for little. It’s like the lottery. You get to buy a ticket but someone else owns the game…
Do Nothings and Know Nothings
Timothy Egan | NYTimes | 4 May 12
If you worked at a place where barely one in 10 people approved of what you did, if you took a six-figure salary for a job that let you go on “recess” for about 29 weeks of the year, and if you were addressed as “honorable” for said employment, you might suffer an occasional bout of shame.
Or you could fight back. How else to explain a proposal in the 112th Congress — that is, the one known as worst, ever — to ban the word “lunatic” from federal law.
This is one of the all-time great rock and roll concert performances of all time. The gold standard of how to knock out a tune. Mick Jagger was a master of staging and performance but I never saw him get into a garbage can and fly over the audience. Absolutely phenomenal. The kids on Idol should watch this and learn…
Money Changes Everything
Cindi Lauper | Houston | 1984
Note: This is the HD version of this video. If you have problems playing it you can switch to a lower res version bu clicking on the “gear” symbol. Also, just download it by running the video without sound and then replaying with sound, preferably with some good Bose earphones and full-screen on a 27-inch iMac. Enjoy.
I am always amazed at the audacity of republicans who say poor people are spongers, students should educate themselves and the sick deserve it. Romney kids shouldn’t have much of a problem with their education. How much was your endowment?
Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!
Stephen King | The Daily Beast | 30 Apr 12
Chris Christie may be fat, but he ain’t Santa Claus. In fact, he seems unable to decide if he is New Jersey’s governor or its caporegime, and it may be a comment on the coarsening of American discourse that his brash rudeness is often taken for charm. In February, while discussing New Jersey’s newly amended income-tax law, which allows the rich to pay less (proportionally) than the middle class, Christie was asked about Warren Buffett’s observation that he paid less federal income taxes than his personal secretary, and that wasn’t fair. “He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie responded, with his typical verve. “I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check—go ahead and write it.”