#0032 RRS Newsletter for July 21, 2007

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So, for the last couple days there wasn't really anything noteworthy being spread, but now I'm back, and I wish to draw your attention first to the Community section. A couple of interesting things there. Under Religion, I posted an article I received that was authored by Christopher Hitchens, we all love the Hitchens!

Thanks for reading, if you have any comments or suggestions you can reach me directly HERE.
Stay rational,
Jack
and the RRS MI team

Table of Contents

Rational Response Squad News

RRS Michigan News

Science News

My contributions for today

Evolution 101

Religion

My contributions for today

PERIODIC REMINDER HITLER WASN'T AN ATHEIST #2
An Atheist Responds (by Christopher Hitchens)
Children of God AKA The Family

Government

My contributions for today

Bush Again Bows to Religious Right on Stem Cells
Attorney General Gonzalez Visits the Discovery Institute
Indecency Legislation; Bill Treads on the First Amendment
The Politics of Fear and Bush's Propaganda Machine
OLBERMANN SPECIAL COMMENT JULY 18, 2007 (repost)

Community

My contributions for today

What Do the KKK and FFRF Have in Common?
CETA - Cult for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is Bullshit
Why does faith deserve respect?
Jim Crow Justice in Louisiana High School

Entertainment

My contributions for today george carlin nails it George Carlin - The Planet Is Fine

Bible Spoiler!

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Tonight the Rational Response Squad covers "Sicko Weekend." Have you seen Sicko yet? Michael Moore has approved viewing his movie online for free however, consider going to watch it in the theater to send a message, enjoy it the way it should be, laugh alongside theatergoers, and pay your tithes.

Festivities begin now... LIVE. Currently we're playing clips. By 6:30 PM we'll be playing Sicko clips. At around 8 pm we'll go live with Brian Flemming to discuss the movie and the health care crisis in this country. We'd like to hear from you as well. Join the chatroom... hang out with us and tell us your point of view. The purpose of our conversation is to try and find agreement amongst our community about this issue. We will try to entertain as many views from the chat room as possible. Join us by 8pm est...

DOUBLE CLICK THE VIDEO WINDOW TO OPEN THE CHAT ROOM. ENABLE POP-UPS.




Here is another way to access our chat room.

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Hosted By: Jack Wynne
When: Thursday Jul 26, 2007
at 6:00 PM
Where: Jack's house
321 Central
Inkster, MI 48141
United States
Description:
Jack Wynne

Click Here To View Event

I have decided that I will host monthly RRS MI meetings and/or outings in an effort to build a better sense of community. These will be held on the last Thursday of every month. This means the first one will be held on July 26th, and we will be watching the movie "The God Who Wasn't There". If you all have seen this, please let me know, we can choose another, but I thought it fitting to start with that one, and I WILL start the evening off with a group discussion on where and what we would like to see come out of this local chapter (something that was never really talked about in depth at the last meet). Other activities under consideration are things like scientific exhibition outings, protests where needed, and possibly the planning of political activism as our state is concerned.

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Evolution 101

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 6:40 PM

These videos are completely fascinating. I highly encourage everyone to read and learn more about biology, astronomy, geology, chemistry, etc. The immense amount of scientific illiteracy in the US is very disgusting. We are a very unenlightened nation compared to Canada, Europe, and many other countries.

Search through this website for more, http://talkorigins.org/











Keep in mind that the Carl Sagan Cosmos Series is from 1980. Much more has been discovered and updated. Hit up youtube for more because there are tons of videos from his cosmos series. *Note in this first videos he is talking about crabs and how they were artificially selected. He was referring to an old myth that was believed by the people on the island that represented ancient warriors. Out of respect, the people of the island would throw crabs back into the water that had shells which looked like the face of a warrior...

Carl Sagan 1-






2-








3-






4-







Richard Dawkins
This documentary by Dawkins is important because there is a wall of myths and misunderstandings surrounding evolutionary theory that need to be pointed out. It is all too often that creationists or other people who don't understand evolutionary theory blow it off because they think that it represents a theory of "chance." That everything "just happened" by accident. That something as complex as the eye or ear just "somehow formed itself." Or maybe they disregard it as just that, saying that it is "just a theory." This is all clearly not true. Biological evolution does not work like that at all, and we refer to it as a theory because it is the unified explanation of biology. Scientific theory is different and is not just a wild guess. It is of course a collection of facts, laws, and explanations.






Tribute to kent hovind




















evolution 101

These videos are completely fascinating. I highly encourage everyone to read and learn more about biology, astronomy, geology, chemistry, etc. The immense amount of scientific illiteracy in the US is very disgusting. We are a very unenlightened nation compared to Canada, Europe, and many other countries.

Search through this website for more, http://talkorigins.org/

Click her to read more and to comment on this blog...

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PERIODIC REMINDER HITLER WASN'T AN ATHEIST #2

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jul 19, 2007 4:40 PM

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Hitler in front of "Church of our Lady" in Nuremberg, Sept. 1934. Photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann.
http://www.ushmm.orghttp://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

An Atheist Responds

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 4:49 PM

An Atheist Responds by Christopher Hitchens

It's uncommonly generous of Michael Gerson[" What Atheists Can't Answer," op-ed, July 13] to refer to me as "intellectually courageous and unfailingly kind," since (a) this might be taken as proof that he hardly knows me and (b) it was he who was so kind when I once rang him to check a scurrilous peacenik rumor that he was a secret convert from Judaism to Christian fundamentalism.

However, it is his own supposedly kindly religion that prevents him from seeing how insulting is the latent suggestion of his position: the appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided by a celestial dictatorship, which could read and condemn my thoughts and which could also consign me to eternal worshipful bliss (a somewhat hellish idea) or to an actual hell.

Implicit in this ancient chestnut of an argument is the further -- and equally disagreeable -- self-satisfaction that simply assumes, whether or not religion is metaphysically "true," that at least it stands for morality. Those of us who disbelieve in the heavenly dictatorship also reject many of its immoral teachings, which have at different times included the slaughter of other "tribes," the enslavement of the survivors, the mutilation of the genitalia of children, the burning of witches, the condemnation of sexual "deviants" and the eating of certain foods, the opposition to innovations in science and medicine, the mad doctrine of predestination, the deranged accusation against all Jews of the crime of "deicide," the absurdity of "Limbo," the horror of suicide-bombing and jihad, and the ethically dubious notion of vicarious redemption by human sacrifice.

Of course Gerson will -- and must -- cherry-pick this list (which is by no means exhaustive) and patter on about how one mustn't be too literal. But in doing this, he makes a huge concession to the ethical humanism to which he so loftily condescends. The game is given away by his own use of G.K. Chesterton's invocation of Thor. We laugh at this dead god, but were not Norse children told that without Valhalla there would be no courage and no moral example? Isn't it true that Louis Farrakhan's crackpot racist group gets young people off drugs? Doesn't Hamas claim to provide social services to the downtrodden? If you credit any one religion with motivating good deeds, how (without declaring yourself to be sectarian) can you avoid crediting them all? And is not endless warfare between the faiths to be added to the list of horrors I just mentioned? Just look at how the "faith-based" are behaving in today's Iraq.

Here is my challenge. Let Gerson name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader of this column think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first -- I have been asking it for some time -- awaits a convincing reply. By what right, then, do the faithful assume this irritating mantle of righteousness? They have as much to apologize for as to explain.

Essentially conceding that philosophy and secularism do not condemn their adherents to lives of unbridled selfishness, and that (say) the Jewish people did not get all the way to Mount Sinai under the impression that murder and theft and perjury were okay, and also that we could not have evolved unless human solidarity was in some way innate, Gerson ends weakly by posing what is a rather moving problem.

"In a world without God," he writes, "this desire for love and purpose is a cruel joke of nature -- imprinted by evolution but designed for disappointment." Again, he substitutes the wish for the thought. We very probably are, as he admits, not the designed objects of the Big Bang or of the process of natural selection. But this sober conclusion, objective as it is, is surely preferable to the delusion that we have been created diseased, by a capricious despot, and then abruptly commanded to be whole and well, on pain of terror and torture. That sick joke is one that we can cease to find impressive, that belongs in the infancy of our species, and gives a false picture of reality that we would do well to outgrow.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author of "God Is Not Great."

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Children of God AKA The Family

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 20, 2007 2:17 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: S A R A H
Date: Jul 16, 2007 6:56 PM


This is... disturbing.

Part 1






Part 2






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Bush Again Bows to Religious Right on Stem Cells

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 19, 2007 12:25 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Jester
Date: Jul 19, 2007 6:10 AM


Bush Again Bows to Religious Right on Stem Cells

Once again, with overwhelming support from the American people and the medical establishment, Congress passed a bill this Spring to relax restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. And once again, President Bush has caved in to the only major group opposing the potentially life-saving research -- the religious right -- in vetoing the bill.

Since last May, DefCon supporters have sent more than 100,000 emails to President Bush and congressional leaders urging them to support embryonic stem cell research. In light of the president's unwillingness to buck the religious right on this crucial issue, it is clear that our best hope is securing a veto-proof majority. Click here to contact your senators and ask them to put lives above the religious right's agenda.

DefCon.org -- Campaign to Defend the Constituion -- Because the Religious Right is Wrong



We are
The A-Team and we're still wondering where's John Wilkes Booth when you need him.

Attorney General Gonzalez Visits the Discovery Institute

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 19, 2007 12:27 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Jester
Date: Jul 19, 2007 6:14 AM


Attorney General Gonzalez Visits the Discovery Institute


Last month, Attorney General Gonzalez became the latest political official to speak at an event sponsored by the Discovery Institute, the leading proponent of Intelligent Design. While Gonzalez's speech focused on intellectual property and cybercrime, his decision to pay a visit to an organization leading the campaign to undermine science education in America is troubling. Senator John McCain made a similar trip to a Discovery Institute event in February.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the parade of politicians pandering to the Discovery Institute is that the Institute's main financial backer, Howard Ahmanson, has a long history of attempting to undermine the separation of church and state. He spent 20 years on the board of the Chalcedon Foundation, an organization dedicated to replacing American civil law with "Biblical law."

That the head of the Justice Department decided to make a special visit to Ahmanson's current pet project raises deep concerns. Visit the DefCon blog for more information on Gonzalez's speech to the Discovery Institute.

Fighting for Seperation of Church and State -- DefCon: Campaign to Defend the Constitution



The A-Team

Indecency Legislation; Bill Treads on the First Amendment

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 19, 2007 12:34 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Un-Dead Sacredness (Meng long guojiang)
Date: Jul 19, 2007 8:47 AM


RE: Indecency Legislation; Bill Treads on the First Amendment
----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: My Hate Speech
Date: Jul 19, 2007 5:28 AM








Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union said today that indecency legislation, slated for markup in the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow, violates the First Amendment. Recently introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), S.1780 would attempt to regulate “indecent” television programming by instituting a Federal Communications Commission policy that a single word or image could be considered “indecent.”



“Senator Rockefeller’s proposed legislation would replace parents with Uncle Sam. It borders on the ridiculous to think that our government should determine what is and is not ‘decent’ and substitute its judgment for that of America’s parents.” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Legislative Office. “This bill could have serious and damaging effects on the First Amendment.”



The bill would serve to overrule the recent court decision, Fox Television Stations vs. FCC. In Fox, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FCC arbitrarily changed its rule regarding unexpected “fleeting expletives” on broadcast television. For thirty years, the FCC had followed the policy that “fleeting expletives” would not be considered indecent. The FCC changed the policy without a legally sufficient explanation. The court challenged the FCC to explain its reasoning in changing the policy, expressing doubt that the FCC could do so within the bounds of the Constitution.



“When it comes to what children see on television, parents are a better judge than any politician or government agency,” said Marvin Johnson, First Amendment Legislative Counsel. “Parents have a range of tools at their disposal to regulate what their children watch, and should use them. It is not the role of Congress to set morality guidelines. The government is treading on dangerous ground when it attempts to parent America’s parents.”

We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

The Politics of Fear and Bush's Propaganda Machine

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 6:00 PM

From: Substance D

The Politics of Fear and Bush's Propaganda Machine

The Bush Administration uses this strategy over and over because it works. The press loves it and very few journalists have the integrity to call it what it truly is--UTTER BULLSHIT. I checked all three major news networks this morning and they were all gleefully spreading the Bush message--BE AFRAID. And this is only the beginning. By election time they will have the majority of Americans, those who depend on them for most of their information, ready to support an attack on Iran.

Let's hope enough Democrats and a few courageous Republicans will call the Administration and the Networks who enable them on their Terrorism propaganda. They must do this at every opportunity or we will all pay the price for their inadequacy.

An editorial titled The Politics of Fear reminded me yesterday of how the fear of Terrorism has been used to cloud the minds of people in this country every time Bush doesn't seem to be getting his way or when an election is coming up.

According to this editorial:

Yesterday, the director of national intelligence released a report with the politically helpful title of "The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland," and Fran Townsend, the president's homeland security adviser, held a news conference to trumpet its findings. The message, as always: Be very afraid. And don't question the president.
Oh what impeccable timing. After all, "President Bush's bungling of the war in Iraq has been the talk of the summer and some of the more reliable Republicans are writing proposals to force Mr. Bush to change course.

So it should be no surprise that "the administration...seized on the report and, through bald political timing, tried to use it to dampen calls for an end to Mr. Bush's catastrophic war."

Of course:
"The White House denied that the report was timed to the Senate debate. But the administration controls the timing of such releases and the truth is that fear of terrorism is the only shard remaining of Mr. Bush's justification for invading Iraq."
In conclusion, I think Keith Olbermann put it best in the special comment bellow. Damn, we need more journalist like Obermann and Bill Moyers to wake people up in this country and to keep their asses awake.

TPO

Keith Olbermann: The Nexus of Politics and Terror

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_M2E-IQNkg







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OLBERMANN SPECIAL COMMENT JULY 18, 2007 (repost)

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 7:44 PM

From:
[JOE]™
CarolAnn


OLBERMANN SPECIAL COMMENT JULY 18, 2007 (repost)

Three little words:

Impeach
Indict
Incarcerate.


Many thanks to: bobby
Date: Jul 19, 2007 9:39 PM







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What Do the KKK and FFRF Have in Common?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 1:19 PM

From: Substance D

What Do the KKK and FFRF Have in Common?

The Galesville Republican, a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin, won't accept ads from either.

Galesville

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is lumped into the same league as the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, and Al-Qaeda.

(And apparently, they all want ads in the Galesville Republican.)

FFRF said this about the piece:

Ms. Eddy apparently does not realize that the Nazi party was Christian to the core, as is the KKK, and that Al-Qaeda also terrorizes in the name of a god–if not her particular brand of deity. If you wish to enlighten this unenlightened editor, her e-mail is: news@galerep.com

Although it's a given letters from freethinkers will be censored, as always we encourage responses to be polite, succinct, to-the-point and signed both with name and mailing address. (No editors enjoy receiving anonymous or pseudonymous e-mail.)

You can also reach the Galesville Republican at:

Galesville Republican
P.O. Box 695
Galesville, WI 54630-0695

CETA - Cult for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is Bullshit

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 19, 2007 1:22 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Invisible Pink Unicorn
Date: Jul 19, 2007 2:11 PM


From: Tim Rambo

I'm putting the videos all in one bulletin and deleting the others for easy repost. I would have done this in the first place but I didn't know about two and three until after the fact.

Let it be known I am against sport hunting, and cruel treatment in the slaughtering process, or any cruelty such as pet abuse. But other than that PETA is a Bonafide whack job no different than fundamentalists that believe in a 6000 year old earth.

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYKdsIHE3is





Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu17ZbAIcQc





Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DkjM1B5kpI








We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Why does faith deserve respect?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 19, 2007 1:45 PM


Thanks to:
La Femme Athée {Rachel}
Beatle bones 'n' smokein' stones

Add - Pat Condell




in my blog

Jim Crow Justice in Louisiana High School

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 20, 2007 8:39 AM

Jim Crow Justice in Jena, La. by Slim

Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, the day after two Black highschool students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."

A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in "their place"--but it's happening today. The families of these young men are fighting back, but the odds are stacked against them. Together, we can make sure their story is told, that this becomes an issue for the Governor of Louisiana, and that justice is provided for the Jena 6. It starts now. Please add your voice:

Justice for the Jena Six

The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were arrested for the theft of the gun.

That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.

Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.

The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.

The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were arrested for the theft of the gun.

That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.

Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.

The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.

Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years. Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week. The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. They will lose precious years to Jena's outrageous attempt to maintain a racist status quo. But if we act now, we can make a difference. Please add your voice to the voices of these families in Jena, and help bring Mychal, Theo, Robert, Carwin, and Bryant home. By clicking below, you can demand that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial. Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years. Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.

The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. They will lose precious years to Jena's outrageous attempt to maintain a racist status quo. But if we act now, we can make a difference.

Please add your voice to the voices of these families in Jena, and help bring Mychal, Theo, Robert, Carwin, and Bryant home. By clicking below, you can demand that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial.


Justice for the Jena Six

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george carlin nails it

George Carlin - The Planet Is Fine

Bible Spoiler!

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The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.

Greetings

Excellent!!! !