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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 10:14 AM
Number of posts: 1,877

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Being 'Openly Secular' Is the First Step To Eliminating the Stigma

It took the threat of a lawsuit before the Air Force agreed on Wednesday to allow an airman to omit the phrase "So help me God" as part of a required oath. They claimed the airman, stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, was ineligible to reenlist because he crossed out the phrase on his reenlistment form.

For many people of good will, the controversy will rile them up. "Why make a big deal out of words that the majority of Americans believe in?" Just cross your fingers if you must, and say the words. Why rock the boat?

Here's why: The incident betrays a subtext of intolerance and hostility toward secular people embedded in American culture and public institutions. The Air Force was ready to end a man's military career because he would not submit to its religious demands.

To secular Americans, requiring an oath to God is like asking a Jewish airman to swear, "So help me Jesus" or a Christian to say, "So help me Allah." The objection to forcing the oath on nonbelievers should be obvious. It's not.

But a new campaign is hoping to change all that.


Nunn leading in new poll

Apparently those attack ads aren't working.

August 23, 2014

According to the latest poll, released Friday evening, measuring support in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn leads her Republican challenger David Perdue by seven points. The survey was conducted by the Landmark Communications firm for WSB-TV.

The results of the poll show Nunn with 47 percent of the vote, Perdue with 40 percent, and Libertarian Amanda Swafford with 3 percent. Just 10 percent were still undecided, according to the survey. The poll included 600 “active Georgia voters” and has a +/- 4 percent margin of error.


Ferguson. Sound canons. Flash grenades. Other strangeness.

OK, I'm familiar with tear gas, but reporting from Ferguson, MO., particularly last night, mentions "sound canons" and "flash grenades" used by the police. What are these? And are these part of the new police para-military arsenal? Also wondering by what authority/law the police insisted that the crowd could assemble but only if they kept moving?

Great NYT piece on writing, and failure

I found the comments instructive, too. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/failure-writings-constant-companion/

GA-Gov: New Poll Has Jason Carter (D) Beating Nathan Deal (R) 48-41

in depth Daily Kos article from yesterday suggests Deal ethics scandal really influencing opinion.


Deal needs to answer these questions.

We know what Nathan Deal is going to say about the latest developments in the Ethics Commission cover-up. He’ll deny, rinse, and repeat. This is the same move he’s pulled every single time he’s gotten into hot water.

According to Deal, it’s always someone else’s fault.

Question is, who will he blame this time?

Yesterday, a damning memo was obtained by the AJC authored by Ethics Commission Executive Director Holly LaBerge in 2012 that alleges state employees Ryan Teague, Nathan Deal’s chief counsel, and Chris Riley, Deal’s Chief of Staff pressured her to make ethics complaints about Deal’s 2010 campaign “go away.”

Previously, Deal has claimed “no involvement whatsoever”, but according to an interview with WAGA’s Dale Russell, LaBerge—who is now claiming whistleblower status—the cover-up came directly from Deal’s office.

If he is still claiming innocence, Nathan Deal should answer these questions IMMEDIATLEY:

1) If Ryan Teague and Chris Riley are state employees and they were acting on behalf of Nathan Deal as an individual or the Deal for Governor campaign—Riley’s text message specifically references DFG—then why have they not been fired? Georgia Code § 21-5-30.2specifically prohibits state resources from being used for campaign purposes:

2) If the Deal Administration used state funds to negotiate a settlement on behalf of Nathan Deal the individual, why hasn’t Attorney General Sam Olens opened an investigation of the activities of Nathan Deal’s administration?

3) Randy Evans—who now appears to be playing the role of “The Wolf” from Pulp Fiction—represented Nathan Deal in the original ethics complaint. So, why did two individuals in the governor’s office negotiate a settlement instead of Randy Evans?

The latest developments in the continuing ethics cover-up only reinforces Sen. Jason Carter’s call for Attorney General Sam Olens to fully investigate both the original ethics complaint and the actions leading up to the cover-up.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter had the following to say on the ethics matter: “This is either willful blindness or unconscionable incompetence on the part of Nathan Deal. We’re gonna keep getting the same old story from Deal. Truth is—I wouldn’t hold in my hand what’s sure to come out of his mouth.”

Monsanto's Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic: Could It Topple the Company?

For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The "u" differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.


Wiccan Priest Reportedly Barred From Giving Invocation At City Council Meeting

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A member of the Wiccan faith says he was set to give the opening invocation at a Huntsville City Council meeting until the plan was publicized and he was asked about his faith. He was then told he was no longer invited.

Huntsville City Attorney Peter Joffrion says that when the agenda for Thursday's meeting was made public Tuesday and citizens called to voice concerns.

The agenda said the invocation would be given by "Reverend Blake Kirk, Priest of the Oak, Ash And Thorn Tradition of Wicca."

Kirk tells WHNT-TV (http://bit.ly/1poHosQ) he was then confronted and asked about his faith, which he acknowledged. Kirk says he was then told he was no longer invited to give the invocation.

The Huntsville station reports that the council has a long-standing tradition of opening meetings with prayer.


Open letter to medical professionals and the AMA: Start the conversation

I would have included a few more "whereas" 's about HFCS, some specific pesticides, more about Endocrine Disruptors and antibiotics, and linked to more bad news about infant mortality and learning disabilities, but hey, it's a start.


Nathan Deal Suggests New Restrictions for Good Government Whistleblowers

news piece. In case you missed it.

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