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stone space

stone space's Journal
stone space's Journal
November 1, 2016

It is delusional to believe that Trump, ISIL, and the KKK are truth-tellers.

I don't care how many internet memes somebody has.

The use of internet memes as polygraph machines is pseudoscience, plain and simple.

We need to approach the claims of terrorists with some skepticism.

Just because terrorists choose to slur the religions of their victims is no excuse for us to jump on the bandwagon with the terrorists.

And just because Trump self-identifies as a "respecter of women", doesn't mean that we owe it to Trump to agree with him.

I don't care what any stupid internet meme says.

Trump, ISIL, and the KKK are liars, plain and simple.

And I refuse to respect how they self-identify when that self-identification is used to insult their victims, internet meme or no internet meme.

They have done absolutely nothing to earn my respect and to earn my assistance in pushing their propaganda and their agenda.

And those who push pseudoscience in defense of Trump, in defense of ISIL, and in defense of the KKK lose my respect.

Replacing rationality and skepticism with stupid and thoughtless pseudoscientific internet memes is not what atheism is all about.

November 1, 2016

"Youíre a Terrorist, and I Canít Wait Until Donald Trump Deports All of You" (X-posted from LBN)


Teacher to Muslim Refugee Student: You’re a Terrorist, and I Can’t Wait Until Donald Trump Deports All You Muslims.

The ACLU files complaints with the Departments of Education and Justice to stop public charter school from discriminating based on faith and national origin.

By Heather L. Weaver

Get a cup of coffee. Attend worship services. Go to the library. Board a flight. Ride a train. Take a bus. Drive a car. Walk down the street. Fill up at a gas station. Go to work.

These are things that most of us do every day without a second thought, but these unremarkable events are increasingly fraught with fear for many Muslims. As a wave of bigotry sweeps the country, Muslims (and those perceived to be Muslim) are facing unprecedented harassment, discrimination, and violence simply for living their lives. It seems anti-Muslim bigotry is everywhere, even in our public schools.

Today, the ACLU and the ACLU of Arizona filed letters of complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education to make clear that enough is enough. Any anti-Muslim discrimination is detestable, but it is especially pernicious when it targets students in our public schools, which should be safe havens for students of all faiths, and those of none.

As alleged in the letters of complaint, the Academy of Excellence, a public charter school in Phoenix, Arizona, is anything but a safe haven for Muslim and immigrant students like our client A.A. During the 2015–2016 school year, A.A. was a sixth grader at the Academy, where he was repeatedly discriminated against by his teacher because he is a Muslim and because, as a refugee, he hails from Somalia.



October 30, 2016

Hillary Goes To Church in Fla.: "We Are Not Going To Back Down" (X-posted from GD)


Monica Alba ?@albamonica 13m13 minutes ago
HRC at New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Florida: "Suffering produces endurance & endurance produces character & character produces hope"

Monica Alba ?@albamonica 12m12 minutes ago
"No matter what is thrown at us, we need to stay focused on our goal," Hillary Clinton says at church in FL. "We are not going to back down"

October 30, 2016

Mathematics and Religion

Roundtable discussion with Dominic Balestra, Loren Graham, Edward Nelson, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Max Tegmark.

October 28, 2016

So, who are the smartest scientists? (since we're on the topic...)

My question is, where do mathematicians fit in here?

So, who are the smartest scientists?

Inside Higher Ed |
February 14, 2014 12:00PM


In an interview, Dutton said social scientists aren’t stupid, or necessarily extreme in their politics or overly religious. But, statistically speaking, they have lower IQs than their colleagues in biological and physical sciences and are likelier to be extremely conservative or liberal or religious, or both.

Dutton said that there are many similarities between political extremism and religious fundamentalism; in other research, he uses the term “replacement religions” to describe the phenomenon.

“[Physical] scientists are overwhelmingly atheist,” Dutton said. “This is predicted by their high IQ, which allows you to rise above emotion and see through the fallacious, emotional arguments.” Arguments about God are all emotional arguments, he added.

The paper is a meta-analysis of existing data showing several things: that natural scientists have higher IQs than social scientists; that low intelligence “predicts” political extremism and religiosity; and that physical scientists at elite institutions are less likely to believe in God or be politically extreme than their counterparts in the social sciences.



October 26, 2016

NRA Shows Its Support for Donald Trump With Big Ad Spending

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump, who has seen the Republican establishment’s support for his presidential candidacy deteriorate in recent weeks, has found a stalwart in one conservative institution: the National Rifle Association.

The group has spent more than $26.8 million on ads promoting Mr. Trump and attacking Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. That’s more than twice what it spent at this point in the 2012 election and more than any other outside group backing the GOP ticket in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records. The next biggest spending pro-Trump group, Rebuilding America Now, has spent less than $17 million on advertising.

“No other outside group committed the necessary resources to defeat Hillary Clinton so the NRA had to fill the holes,” said Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action.

The pro-gun-rights group endorsed Mr. Trump earlier than it had with any other presidential candidate—a fact he mentions frequently on the campaign trail. And the GOP convention speech by Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s political and lobbying arm, was the group’s first appearance at a national party convention.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/nra-shows-its-support-for-donald-trump-with-big-ad-spending-1477431363

October 23, 2016

If it's Sunday, Hillary Clinton is making a stop at church (X-posted from GD)


Monica Alba ?@albamonica 11m11 minutes ago
If it's Sunday, Hillary Clinton is making a stop at church. This morning, she's accompanied by 5 "Mothers of the Movement" in North Carolina

Dan Merica ?@danmericaCNN 16m16 minutes ago
Hillary Clinton is going to church this morning at Union Baptist Church in Durham, NC with the Mothers of the Movement.

Gitt ?@tamaragitt 15m15 minutes ago
The Mothers of the Movement joining Hillary Clinton at Union Baptist Church this morning in Durham, NC

Tamara Gitt ?@tamaragitt 4m4 minutes ago
another Sunday on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton addressing congregates at Union Baptist Church in Durham, NC

Hannah Chanpong ?@hannahfc 27m27 minutes ago
@HillaryClinton at Union Baptist Church in Durham, NC: "We are asked to love one another. We’re not encouraged....We are commanded."

October 23, 2016

Sam Harris: Donald Trump would be our first atheist president

Republican Donald Trump could become the first atheist president of the United States, according to neuroscience author Sam Harris.

“The one thing that is surprising and actually hopeful in Trump’s candidacy is the fact that he has dissected out the religious, social conservative component of the Republican Party,” Harris said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

“Evangelicals, for the most part, were going for Trump over Cruz when it was pretty clear to them that Trump was just pretending to be religious.”

Harris, who is associated with the “New Atheism” movement, mocked Trump for referring to “Second Corinthians” as “Corinthians Two” during a speech at the evangelical Liberty University.

“It is clear to them that he is just miming the language or impersonating a person of faith, but they don’t care really, as long as he does it,” he explained. “And that — if you look for a silver lining to this – it shows they just want a space where their religious convictions are not under attack. They don’t really care that the person in charge share them. If you pretend to share them, that’s good enough.”


“He might be our first atheist president.”



October 20, 2016

Open Carry and Election Law

ByJosh MarshallPublishedOctober 16, 2016, 3:20 PM EDT

Here's one topic I've been thinking about and which we're going to be talking about next week. Where do state laws on voter suppression and open-carry intersect with federal laws on voter intimidation and voting rights?

You saw this incident last week where two Trumpers stood outside a Democratic campaign office in Virginia for twelve hours holding firearms. This was obviously menacing behavior. And this takes on a new dimension, both substantively and in terms of federal law, when it's tied to elections. But it was also completely legal under state firearms laws.

We know Donald Trump now repeatedly asks his supporters to go to minority precincts on election day to search for signs of voter fraud and attempts to steal the election. Today his chief surrogate Rudy Giuliani told Jake Tapper that Democrats are able to steal elections because they "control the inner cities." So there's no longer much attempt to be subtle about warning that black people are going to steal the election for Hillary Clinton.

Voting officials in a number of open-carry states say it wouldn't necessarily be against the law if Trumpers did some version of what happened in Virginia outside polling places. It wouldn't necessarily be protected either. It would be up to the local election official to decide if it amounted to intimidation or interference.



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