HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » beam me up scottie » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »

beam me up scottie

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Green Mountain State
Current location: Red state in the bible belt
Member since: Sun Oct 10, 2004, 08:05 PM
Number of posts: 40,601

Journal Archives

In 1941 Dr. Seuss sent a message that, sadly, hasn’t lost its meaning.

In 1941 Dr. Seuss sent a message that, sadly, hasn’t lost its meaning.
November 19, 2015 by JT Eberhard

Dr. Seuss was actually a political cartoon contributor for New York’s PM Newspaper for part of his early career. This was his piece on October 1, 1941:

This was in reaction to the fact that most Americans opposed Adolph Hitler’s anti-Jew policies while also being opposed to granting safe haven to refugee Jews.

And here we are again today, over 74 years later, where people are being executed by on occupying force and need to get out of the country. Most Americans oppose ISIL in pretty much every way, yet the people who think a freshly fertilized egg is a human being for which anything and everything should be done are willing to turn their back on actual refugee children. If it were their families in Syria they’d be begging for safe haven, but they just can’t put themselves in the other people’s shoes. We’re safe, and that’s all that matters, right?

You want America to be a hero to the world. Well here’s the news flash: heroes take risks. They go into burning buildings to pull people out. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the courage and the strength to do what is right even though you’re afraid. And all the people who want America to be a hero simultaneously want her to cave to fear, fear ISIL purposefully has tried to impose upon us. There are gobs of refugees in so many other countries, countries that aren’t separated from ISIL by an ocean, countries that don’t spend 47% of all the world’s military spending on their own military. And yet, they’re the ones stepping up.

So much flag-waving. So much faux patriotism. You just want America to be viewed as a hero, but you want to make her a coward and it’s obvious why. Sit down, because this is going to sting: it’s because you are cowards, racists, or some combination of the two. You demand the world’s respect without wanting to do any of the work, without taking any of the risk that doesn’t include bombing places that contain way more innocents than terrorists. That’s nice and 100% safe and the only price we might have to pay are a bunch of dead innocent people and for you that’s good enough to be a hero. But it ain’t, that’s just your cowardice coming up with justifications.

Nobody’s asking you to run into a burning building, literally or metaphorically. We just want to let people into a country where they’re safe – something that once meant a great deal to this nation if the inscription on the Statue of Liberty is any indication. Yeah, a terrorist or two might try to come over and, who knows, they might get through the extremely strict screening process to get into this country. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it and deal with it. But this argument rests on the presumption that if a terrorist sneaks through people might die and it ignores the fact that people are already dying and many more are certain to die unless countries help! Other countries are, but your big, tough, macho Republican leaders are cowering like children.


I am an anti-theist but as the daughter of a refugee I am sickened by people who would turn away those who are desperately fleeing religious persecution.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Nov 23, 2015, 06:04 AM (45 replies)

Dog Whistles- an Anti-Semitism Primer (a timely repost)

Dog Whistles- an Anti-Semitism Primer (a timely repost)

There are really four classic anti-Semitic themes that have been for centuries to justify mass murder, mass expulsion, or both. They are that Jews have control the world's media, that Jews have an international conspiracy to control the world's money, that Jews join national governments and undermine them from within for their own purposes, and the "blood libel," a claim that Jews use the blood of Gentiles, usually children, to bake their Passover matzoh. Below I will try to define each of them, discuss their history, and explain why they remain important to this very day.


Let me start with the last, the "blood libel." There are a couple of different forms of the blood libel. One is that Jews drink Christian or Muslim blood outright, and the other is that Jews use Christian or Muslim blood in matzoh. This is a slander with a long and inglorious history. The first iteration was the the story of William of Norwich, recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle. This story from 1144 alleged that a boy, William of Norwich, was kidnapped by Jews, tied to a cross, stabbed in the head to stimulate Jesus' crown of thorns, and killed. His blood was drunk and used in matzoh. This story was a rumor and the Jews were vindicated by five different Popes, but the legend lived on. But it was more than a legend. It was an excuse for slaughter and mayhem.


Jewish Disloyalty

The most famous example of this theme is the German post-WWI theme of the "stab in the back."

The Stab in the Back myth claimed that the German Army was victorious along the battle lines, but suffered a "stab in the back" from disloyal Jews. I hope I need not go into any detail as to where this led.

At the same time Hitler was exercising his Final Solution, Jews were being sent to Siberia by the Soviets. Jewish disloyalty has been a common theme throughout Russian history, and led to the pogroms of the late 19th century.


Jewish Bankers

This one flows from history, and can be seen throughout history. The "Jewish money-lender" is the central figure in The Merchant of Venice, and actually has some historic validity. You see, usury was considered unChristian (remember Jesus and the money-lenders) and was therefore illegal for Christians. That put people trying to pay for wars or put in new crops (which would not generate cash until the harvest was in) in a difficult position, as nobody was willing to lend money without interest. From this came a fairly common theme- Kings and nobles borrowed money from Jews, paid the interest as long as they thought they needed access to more money, then took all the Jews' property, prosecuted them for usery, or expelled them from the country. Another variation was simply declaring the Jews themselves property of the State.


Jew control the media

This one seems to come directly from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was enhanced and reprinted by Ford in "The International Jew." Father Charles Coughlin used his enormous radio following to perpetrate these lies.

Claims that Jews run the media are common today. That alone might be a generalization based upon ownership and participation at a rate higher than the percentage of Jewish population. But "Jews control the media" is only the first half of the claim. The other half is "... and they use that control for their own evil ends."


Can we please stop pretending that accusing Bernie Sanders of dual loyalty isn't anti-Semitic?

Diane Rehm made this mistake when she interviewed Bernie for NPR and later apologized for it.

Abe Foxman of ADL has this to say:

“Diane Rehm’s questions were inappropriate, insensitive questioning without any minimal journalistic checking of claims. Such a statement is not only factually incorrect, but has no place in such an interview.

It is deeply troubling to think that a well-respected media outlet like NPR would apparently rely on unsubstantiated information from the Internet in its preparation for a guest.

Ms. Rehm’s description and follow-up question about whether other Senators have dual citizenship with Israel play into classic anti-Semitic charges of dual loyalty. Such charges have been leveled for centuries and have been a catalyst for scapegoating and vilifying Jews.

Senator Sanders deserves a public apology, as do NPR listeners.”


Her mistake was to not research it before she even stated it as fact. She shouldn’t have asked the question, period. Had she researched it, she wouldn’t have raised it at all. Because her question challenges not only his loyalty, but also Jewish loyalties to this country.”

Posted by beam me up scottie | Sat Sep 26, 2015, 11:03 AM (107 replies)

Atheist Mom Forced Into Court-Ordered Christian Counseling

Atheist Mom Forced Into Court-Ordered Christian Counseling
September 15, 2015 by Michael Stone

In a flagrant church-state violation a New Mexico mom loses her children after refusing to attend court mandated Christian counseling sessions.

KRQE reports Holly Salzman was hoping to get some help co-parenting her 11-year-old twin boys with her ex-husband, but instead she says she got 10 court-ordered religious sessions that she did not want.

Salzman said:

I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying.’ When I expressed my concerns that I didn’t pray she said, ‘well this is what I do’ and she proceeded to say a prayer out loud.

Salzman, a single mother of two, said she felt so “offended and disgusted” that she stopped going to the court-ordered sessions. The result was that the court took her kids away.


In one secretly recorded session the counselor told Salzman:

The meaning in my life is to know love and serve God. If you want to explore how God was in your past, how God was in your life and not in your life… I know you don’t believe in God which is fine but I know at some points he was in your life in some way.

It is hard to imagine something more obnoxious, or more infuriating, than being forced to endure some holier-than-thou Christian counselor explaining that God really was in your life, despite the fact that you don’t believe in God.

And it is heartbreaking to note that if a mother does not quietly endure the abuse of the obnoxious Christian counselor, her children will be taken from her by the courts.

Commenting on the story, Peter Simonson, ACLU Executive Director, said:

No one should be put in a position where they are forced to accept training or therapy that violates their own religious beliefs and morals.

We’ve got protections in our country under the Bill of Rights are intended to try and stop that. On the face of it, it looks pretty problematic.

“Problematic” is an understatement. This is despicable, and a clear violation of Salzman’s civil and constitutional rights.

The counselor is also Catholic extremist who used to be a "parent educator" at Project Defending Life, a radical anti-abortion group.

eta video:

Posted by beam me up scottie | Wed Sep 16, 2015, 06:25 AM (189 replies)

Here Are 17 Of The Trans Women Murdered This Year. Say Their Names.

As Mock notes, this number already exceeds last year's complete total of documented murders according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs. According to an article published by The Guardian on Monday, the total of reported murders is now at 18.

This alarming number recently led transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox to declare a "State of Emergency" in the transgender community, stating that "your life should not be in danger simply for being who you are." And while this disturbing spike in the murder of trans women of color, who are disproportionately affected by violence, has caught the attention of many major news outlets, cable networks have remained remarkably silent.

"These woman are more than just a compilation of names and ages and stories of violence and trauma -- they are people," Mock says at the end of the segment. "People living at a vulnerable intersection of race, gender and class. People existing in a culture where they fell in between the cracks of racial justice, feminist and LGBT movements. People whose names are only spoken by the majority of us when they can no longer respond. Today we learn their stories and say their names, not out of obligation but out of recognition that these 17 women had value, had purpose and were loved. And they will be missed."


Posted by beam me up scottie | Fri Aug 28, 2015, 06:50 AM (7 replies)

That story is heartbreaking.

The death penalty is not progressive.
Posted by beam me up scottie | Tue Aug 25, 2015, 06:09 AM (1 replies)

What I'm seeing is a lot of whining about not being able to use slurs with impunity.

I hear the same arguments from racists who are enraged because they can't use the n-word at work:

But they use it all the time on each other

But they call us ________

But I have a friend who doesn't think it's offensive

But you're being oversensitive, it's just a word

But freedom of speech, this is Amurka!!1!

It's not that difficult folks.

If you know a certain word is used as a slur and is extremely offensive to many of your fellow liberals, why use it?

If you don't use it or want to use it, why complain when someone else does and gets censored?

Posted by beam me up scottie | Sun Jun 7, 2015, 07:19 PM (1 replies)

When the Catholic Church owns your doctor: The insidious new threat to affordable birth control

Cross-posting from the other room, trotsky's thread didn't get much love so I'm reposting here.

When the Catholic Church owns your doctor: The insidious new threat to affordable birth control
Eight of the largest health systems in America are now Catholic-owned. More and more won't prescribe conraception
Patricia Miller

Angela Valavanis had already had one bad encounter with the Catholic health care system when St. Francis Hospital, the hospital in Evanston, Ill., where she delivered her second baby, refused to allow her OB/GYN to tie her tubes because of Catholic restrictions on the procedure. When she went to her doctor’s office for a check-up after the birth and asked about going back on the Pill, since she hadn’t gotten the sterilization she wanted, she got another shock: “My doctor told me that she couldn’t prescribe birth control because she had sold her practice to a Catholic health system,” said Angela. “My mouth dropped open. I was so confused to hear those words coming out of the mouth of an OB/GYN.”

An OB/GYN who can’t prescribe birth control? It’s not some bad joke. It could be a reality if your doctor’s practice is purchased by a Catholic health system that then imposes the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a set of rules created by the U.S. Bishop’s Conference that prohibits doctors from doing everything from prescribing the Pill to performing sterilizations or abortions.


And with Catholic hospital systems accounting for eight of the 10 of the largest nonprofit health systems in the U.S., these hospitals are poised to become major owners of doctors’ offices, which could severely impede access to contraceptives if doctors are forced to follow the Directives. “The more we see these Catholic systems buying up these practices, the more we are going to see what Angela saw,” predicted Lorie Chaiten, director of the Illinois ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project, who notes that such refusals are legal under Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act.


But for some women, changing doctors may not be an option. Health insurers are becoming increasingly restrictive about which hospitals and doctors a patient is allowed to use and may charge a steep penalty for going out of the network of preferred providers. Smaller towns and rural areas may not have a large selection of OB/GYNs. The ACLU is backing a measure in the Illinois Legislature that would require health systems to tell patients beforehand what services they don’t provide and where they can get them. Chaiten also encourages women who have been denied reproductive health services for religious reason to report it to the ACLU, which is tracking this trend.

Ironically, Angela’s experience with her OB/GYN wasn’t her last run-in with Catholic health care. After she was refused a tubal ligation and a prescription for birth control, Angela’s husband decided to get a vasectomy. His doctor, who was also part of the Catholic system, said his practice couldn’t do the procedure or make a referral. “The whole situation is so unbelievable to me. I had no idea these limitations occurred,” she says. “When I tell my friends about it, they say it’s medieval. We have to worry that if they keep buying up all these practices, it will get harder and harder to find someone who can prescribe birth control.”

Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon May 11, 2015, 06:38 PM (12 replies)

An Anti-Theist’s Interpretation Of The Bible’s Opinion On Same-Sex Marriage

An Anti-Theist’s Interpretation Of The Bible’s Opinion On Same-Sex Marriage
April 29, 2015 by Peter Mosley

Here’s my interpretation of the Bible’s opinion on Same-Sex marriage:

Anything derogatory it says about same-sex marriage is nothing more than prejudice against gay individuals by primitive tribes.


So, what I’d like you to do is throw your Bible away. Because, honestly, this is ridiculous. Why the heck would you hang on to that ancient rulebook crafted by bigots? It’s time to look past that to people who exist and who love each other.

I guess that’s why I’m an anti-theist. I see progressives and conservatives and fatheists arguing over what God supposedly “REALLY” said, and I’m standing here like — can we move pass this? Can we move past trying to get to the “true” meaning of texts and start looking at, like, the flesh and blood people right in front of us?


I mean, this is absurd. I’m tired of being trapped in a stone age when there are people in the current age who want to show their love for each other.

Let’s quit making this so damn complicated. Two people love each other. They want to get married. Awesome.


Leave it to an anti-theist to point out the obvious: "when you’re trying to engineer an egalitarian society, messing with nonexistent variables doesn’t seem all that helpful."

Posted by beam me up scottie | Fri May 1, 2015, 06:11 PM (18 replies)

Carl Sagan Appreciation Thread


"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

November 9, 1934 - December 20, 1996

Please post your favourite quotes and pictures.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Thu Apr 2, 2015, 10:56 PM (29 replies)

Galileo was lucky.

Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher
by John J. Kessler, Ph.D., ch.E.

Filosofo, arso vivo a Roma,

In the year 1548 an Italian boy was born in the little town of Nola, not far from Vesuvius. Although, he spent the greater part of his life in hostile and foreign countries he was drawn back to his home at the end of his travels and after he had written nearly twenty books.


Bruno was born five years after Copernicus died. He bequeathed an intoxicating idea to the generation that was to follow him. We hear a lot in our own day about the expanding universe. We have learned to accept it as something big. The thought of the Infinity of the Universe was one of the great stimulating ideas of the Renaissance. It was no longer a 15th Century God’s backyard. Bruno tried to imagine a god whose majesty should dignify the majesty of the stars. He devised no new metaphysical quibble nor sectarian schism. He was not playing politics. He was fond of feeling deep thrills over high visions and he liked to talk about his experiences. And all of this refinement went through the refiners’ fire — that the world might be made safe from the despotism of the ecclesiastic 16th Century savages. He suffered a cruel death and achieved a unique martyr’s fame. He has become the Church’s most difficult alibi. She can explain away the case of Galileo with suave condescension. But Bruno sticks in her throat.


By the year 1582, Bruno had issued very science-centered thoughts, considered heretical by the clerical authorities of southern Europe. He had written of an infinite universe that had no room for a yet greater entity called God. That blasphemed against schema outlined by Aristotle and tenets in Genesis taught by the Church and universally believed by low and high everywhere. Bruno’s philosophy negated the mysteries of Virgin Mary, Crucifixion and Mass. He seemed to have been so absorbed in truths he hurriedly exposed that he did think of them as heresies. He considered the Bible as a book which only the ignorant could take literally and the Church’s methods were, to say the least, unfortunate.


For six years from 1593, he lay in a Papal prison. Was he forgotten, tortured ? The Papal authorities have till date not summoned enough the courage to overcome their shame and publish the historical records. Bruno was interrogated several times by the Holy Office and convicted by its chief theologians. He was given forty days to consider his position and, by and by, he promised to recant but did not desist from his “follies.” He got another forty days for deliberation but did nothing but baffle the Pope and the Inquisition. At last, in the custody of the Inquisitor, on 9th February, Bruno was taken to the palace of the Grand Inquisitor to hear his sentence, on his knees.

Bruno answered the sentence, of death by fire, with damnation : “Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it with.” He was given eight more clays to see whether he would repent. But that was futile.

Bruno was led to the stake on the 17th of February, 1600. He was offered a crucifix, which he pushed away with scorn.


Galileo never met Bruno in person and makes no mention of him in his works, though he must have read some of them. He may not be blamed for being diplomatic enough to withhold mention of a recognised heretic. Sixteen years after Bruno met his fate, Galileo faced the Inquisition in the same hall that had sentenced the predecessor !

Bruno is the numero uno among all martyrs who were persecuted for their beliefs. He was not a religious sectarian, caught up in the psychology of a hysterical mob. He was a sensitive, imaginative poet, fired with the enthusiasm of a larger vision of a larger universe … and he fell into the ‘ error ‘ of heretical belief. He was kept in a dark dungeon for years, for his quest of an order that admits intellectual integrity. And, at the end, he was taken out to a blazing market place and roasted alive.

It is an incredible story. The “Church” will never outlive him. Amen.


Posted by beam me up scottie | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 11:04 PM (3 replies)
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »