#0033 RRS Newsletter for July 23, 2007

hellfiend666's picture






Well, it seems I have finally found a permanant home for my newsletters! Yesterday, after taking notice of the project, and also noticing the troubles Myspace was presenting it with, Brian Sapient felt we needed to talk about resolving these issues by giving me a spot here on the national site. I, of course, was thrilled by this, and promptly took him up on the offer. As you may have noticed, I have already posted all of the back issues, as well.

For this gratiousness, I would like extend my thanks and gratitude to Brian for allowing me this opportunity to present this exactly how I would like it to be. I hope I can be rescource for the community.

Well, now that thats out of the way, there is a lot to get to today, so I'll not babble longer.

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

The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES!

RRS Michigan News

The first monthly meeting of RRS MI

Science News

Journey by Starlight plus fre mp3 Einstein Relativity Pale Blue Dot narrated by Carl Sagan. Fins to limbs, Anglerfish! Looking for something? Surprising number of neurons help...

Religion

How the religion beat became a test of faith Free Will: Is serving God a choice? Another youth pastor arrested for alleged rape True Christians Can Drink Poison

Government

Youtube and CNN to host Presidential Debates GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING! The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective The Politics of Fear and Bush's Propaganda Machine Henry Rollins - Incredible Rant "Never Relent"

Community

Message from Ellen Johnson, American Atheists Books of interest... Featured MySpace Book: "God Is Not Great" (Review It)

Entertainment

Lol. Why God never recieved Tenure at any University Music Videos from Chris

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES!

****UPDATE 7-22-07 CONTEST EXTENDED. GREYDON SQUARE CATEGORY ADDED. OTHER CHANGES AND PRIZES AWARDED. PLEASE REVIEW AGAIN AND SUBMIT SOMETHING!!!****

NOTE: DUE TO ERROR IN LINKS AND LOW SUBMISSIONS, THIS CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 15TH, 2008.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION READ EVERYTHING FIRST, CLICK LINKS! COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS SHOULD BE POSTED PUBLICLY IN THIS THREAD FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL PARTICIPANTS! PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THE INFORMATION OF THIS SUBMISSION DRIVE FREELY.

The Rational Response Squad is proud to announce a call to action for content submissisions. We have been blown away by the positive feedback we've received from the freethinking community. Thanks to everyone who has placed a banner, or our player on your website and helped spread the word in some manner. We've received many great written submissions of thoughts and views, but had no place to put them, so we've created a guideline to help you, help us. The categories in which we need submissions are listed below, send us your best material. Your writings will be added to our library of articles, essays, and debunkings. We're hoping to build one of the largest and diverse free libraries of rational thoughts on the internet. Please post everything publicly on our forum so it's there for all RRS members to access who are working on this project. In addition to hosting everything in a free web archive, we may also compile views into a free e-book or a book for sale to generate money for activist projects. Not that you need a reward to share your views with others, but as a thank you we'll be awarding prizes to as many of the top participants as we can. Prizes will be awarded based on effort put in and quality of writing.

We've put the categories in order of need and may alter the order later as submissions come in.
Prizes will be awarded MARCH 15TH, 2008, but you can continue to submit content well after MARCH 15TH, 2008.

For more info on this and other RRS sponsored contests go to the thread HERE

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The first monthly meeting of RRS MI

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.

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Journey by Starlight plus free mp3 Einstein Relativity

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 11:14 AM

From: Monika

This website is awesome.Thanx for sharing...Monika

From: The Son of the Self-Aware Universe

Great post! Thanks LET NEWTON BE, AND ALL WAS LIGHT!

Just want to add a link to a free download of Albert Einstin's book Relativity

to save just "right click and save taget as"

From: LET NEWTON BE, AND ALL WAS LIGHT!

JOURNEY BY STARLIGHT


THIS WEBSITE IS REALLY AMAZING...YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOKSmiling

Back to Table of Contents

Pale Blue Dot

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 11:37 AM

Thanks~
Blu222
Substance D
Pegasus

We used to have the audio cassette tapes for Pale Blue Dot; however, TPO donated them to the local library to share the knowledge. Awesome book!


Thanks to:
Beatle bones 'n' smokein' stones

Free MP3 download go to this page and "right click and save target as" mp3 - Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space ...




The Son of the Self-Aware Universe
..................................................................................................

Some time before he died in 1996, Carl Sagan recorded a partial audio version of his 1994 book "Pale Blue Dot". Often described as the "sequel" to Cosmos, the audio version of Pale Blue Dot is, at this moment, regrettably out of print.

This video is "episode one" of an unauthorized attempt at producing a series of videos based on Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" audio book combined with a soundtrack and appropriate video and still images intended to recall the feel of the classic documentary series "Ascent of Man" and "Cosmos"


Please visit the official project website at "Wanderers"
to view the full version (40 minutes running time)

Back to Table of Contents

Fins to limbs, Anglerfish!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Human evolution
Date: Jul 22, 2007 1:18 PM

Back to Table of Contents

Looking for something? Surprising number of neurons help...

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Reverend AtheiStar
Date: Jul 22, 2007 7:36 PM

http://www.medicexchange.com/mall/departmentpage.cfm/MedicExchangeUSA/_96103/2083/departments-contentview

Looking for something? Surprising number of neurons help find it, research shows

Source: University of California - Irvine
Author:
Date: Thu, 19 July 2007

A person searching for a ripe tomato at the grocery store is more likely to notice apples, strawberries and other red fruits as well, according to a new study that measured changes in blood flow in the brain. The researchers also discovered that more neurons are called into action to help the eyes find a particular object than has previously been documented.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers observed systematic changes in brain activity when participants focused on observing a certain object in motion, no matter where it appeared in their visual field.

"This increased activity in the brain is what helps you find objects you are looking for, even when you don't know exactly where the objects are," said UC Irvine cognitive scientist John Serences.

The study, co-authored by Serences and University of Washington associate professor Geoffrey Boynton, is published in the July 18 online edition of the journal Neuron.

In their study, researchers presented participants with a computer display of objects moving in different directions. Participants were asked to pay attention to objects moving only in a particular direction (for example, the object moving to the left). Using noninvasive fMRI to indirectly measure neural activity, researchers demonstrate that patterns of brain activity change when people pay attention to objects moving in different directions.

In addition, paying attention to one direction of motion makes the brain more responsive to other objects moving in that direction, no matter where the other objects appear in their visual field - a phenomenon that has not previously been documented.

This research may enhance scientists' understanding of problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, while also explaining how healthy people's brains create awareness of their surroundings.

"By gaining a more thorough understanding of how a healthy human brain functions, we will be better equipped in the future to recognize, diagnose and treat abnormalities within the brain," Serences says.

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

How the religion beat became a test of faith

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 10:29 AM

How the religion beat became a test of faith

I just finished reading a moving essay by a reporter for the LA Times where he describes how the religion beat became a test of his faith. In this piece he explains how the religious stories he covered affected his faith and his spiritual journey.

He opens the piece by describing what being assigned the religion beat for his paper meant to him:

"WHEN Times editors assigned me to the religion beat, I believed God had answered my prayers.

As a serious Christian, I had cringed at some of the coverage in the mainstream media. Faith frequently was treated like a circus, even a freak show.

I wanted to report objectively and respectfully about how belief shapes people's lives. Along the way, I believed, my own faith would grow deeper and sturdier.

But during the eight years I covered religion, something very different happened.
Something very different indeed, he came to the only reasonable conclusion anyone who is honest with themselves will arrive at sooner or later.
"I wondered if my born-again experience at the mountain retreat was more about fatigue, spiritual longing and emotional vulnerability than being touched by Jesus.

And I considered another possibility: Maybe God didn't exist.

Clearly, I saw now that belief in God, no matter how grounded, requires at some point a leap of faith. Either you have the gift of faith or you don't. It's not a choice. It can't be willed into existence. And there's no faking it if you're honest about the state of your soul."
Please click the link below to discover what lead him to this conclusion.

TPO

Religion beat became a test of faith - Los Angeles Times

Hat Tip to Stewart for sending me this article.

(Click here to share your comment on this blog...)

Back to Table of Contents

Free Will: Is serving God a choice?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 22, 2007 4:24 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jul 21, 2007 3:19 PM


Cheryl







Just a really interesting video someone sent me.
We are The A-Team and we approve this message.

Back to Table of Contents

Another youth pastor arrested for alleged rape

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 22, 2007 4:39 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Kristinas World
Date: Jul 22, 2007 10:50 AM


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 21, 2007 10:54 PM


Another youth pastor arrested for alleged rape

Wendel Nix joins the growing ranks of Baptist youth pastors charged with child molestation and rape. Nix is alleged to have raped a 14-year-old girl who was a member of his youth group at Aztec Bible Baptist Church.

The victim alleged that she has attended the church for the past year, and over time, she and Nix grew close. Last month, Nix began sending her text messages saying how good he thought she looked and how well her clothing fit her, states the affidavit for an arrest warrant. Then he began calling her, hoping to get her away from her friends so that he could familiarize himself with what he called the "real her," the affidavit states.

After agreeing to take a drive into the hills with Nix at the end of last month, the victim said Nix kissed her, but then she became scared and demanded she be taken home. A few days later, after exchanging more electronic correspondence, they arranged another meeting and Nix picked up the girl and headed out toward Navajo Dam, the arrest affidavit states.

That was when the first of several sexual encounters the pair would have took place, according to police documents. This sexual relationship is believed to have lasted until Saturday, July 14, when the victim decided to put an end to it.

Nix sounds like a peach. Of course, he could be innocent. I should play nice. Or not....




The A-Team

Back to Table of Contents

True Christians Can Drink Poison

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 22, 2007 4:46 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Invisible Pink Unicorn
Date: Jul 22, 2007 12:56 PM


From: Michael: Existential Storm Pilot

Descriptions and signs of the true believer that Jesus himself set down.

The Bible tells us that a true Christian is a snake handling, scorpion treading, fig withering, disease curing, mountain moving, poison drinking, God commanding, family hating, woman shushing, sex abstaining and morally perfect as God.

Super Powers- Matt 10:1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.

And Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Can Handle Snakes And Drink Poison - Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Can Walk Over Scorpions- Luke 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.

Must not Fornicate- 1st Corinthians 7:1-40 (Editors note: This is very long so I leave it to the reader to check it out!)

Must Hate Their Family- Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Does Their Family Hate Them?- Matt 10:21-22 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Are Perfect- Matt 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Keep Women Silent- 1st Timothy 2:11-12 Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

Can Bend The Will Of God- Matt 18:19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Can Move Mountains- Matt 17:20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

Can Wither Figs- Matt 21:19-22 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it they marvelled, saying "How did the fig tree wither at once?" And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will be done. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

The Bible tells us that a true Christian is a snake handling, scorpion treading, fig withering, disease curing, mountain moving, poison drinking, God commanding, family hating, woman shushing, sex abstaining and morally perfect as God.

There are many different types of Christians, many sects and denominations. In their pride and arrogance they all claim to be true believers. But it is important to make sure that we have the real thing because Jesus said that there would be many fakers.

In the following passages in the Bible Matt 7:15, Matt 24:23-24, Matt 7:22-23 and 1st John 4:1 Jesus tells us about false prophets, false Christians. When dealing with Christians ask them if they are 'true' Christians. If the answer is 'yes' then chuck them a taipan and stick a few scorpions in their shoes.

by Dale Huxtable

The A-Team

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Youtube and CNN to host Presidential Debates

Hi, you may have heard about this before but if not, YouTube and CNN are teaming up to host the next Presidential debates and right now the 2nd most demanded question is asking how the Candidates will appeal to non religious voters.

For more about this question here is the Newsweek article about the question and the Debates: Newsweek

To help support this question and give atheism a voice in a Presidential debate for once, click "Answer" right above the video question from the site: www.communitycounts.us/debates/

GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Rich Rodriguez
Date: Jul 22, 2007 9:55 AM

Back to Table of Contents

The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 10:36 AM

The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective

I get at least one and usually many more 9/11 Conspiracy bulletins each day. Most of the time I ignore them because I've already wasted enough time looking at the cherry picked evidence of the 9/11 Truth movement long ago. I've watched all the videos and read all the scenarios put forth by this movement and I have yet to be convinced.

All these conspiracies do is take peoples attention away from the governments real crimes. Like the fact that Bush intentionally ignored threats of an imminent attack, the relationship Bush had with Saudi Arabia and the administrations facilitation of the bin Laden family in their exodus from the US. There are so many more instances of provable corruption and negligence and down right complicity for people to be deflecting attention to conspiracies that are based on cherry picked evidence and fabricated scenarios.

Recently Skeptic magazine tackled this 9/11 conspiracy issue and I am posting a link to this rather lengthy analysis below. I encourage all of you go read this piece. Take your time and digest all the information provided there and then compare it to what the 9/11 Truth movement is distributing. Hopefully after doing this, you will have become at least little more skeptical than you were.

TPO




In this week's eSkeptic, on the 5th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, Phil Molé takes a look at the "9/11 Truth Movement" and shares with us his experience attending a weekend conference held in Chicago, organized by 911truth.org.

Click here to read this analysis by Skeptic Magazine.


If you would like to respond to this post,
please click here and leave your comment on the blog.

Back to Table of Contents

The Politics of Fear and Bush's Propaganda Machine

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 10:39 AM

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



Digg This Blog!!!

Click here to comment on this blog...



Back to Table of Contents

Henry Rollins - Incredible Rant "Never Relent"

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 2:46 PM

From:
Bobby of Occasional Monster ~ Official MySpace
Keith (enemy combatant for peace)

Actually Civil Liberties are gone, have been since before the "Clinton Era". He just put an amiable face on the stealing of our rights and money. Unfortunately for us, fortunately for them, very few people noticed. That's why they' re called sheeple.

Thanks Civilly disobedient

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Message from Ellen Johnson, American Atheists

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jul 21, 2007 10:30 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Sevtap
Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:30 PM


Ellen Johnson, American Atheists, 7/10/2007






http://www.atheists.org/


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

Back to Table of Contents

Books of interest...

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 10:57 AM

The only one of these I've read is "The Opium of the People" which I thought was a good read.

TPO


From: J Erwine-Author/Editor
Nomadic Delirium Press

We just wanted to drop everyone a note to remind you that we currently have four titles available, and we're reading for future titles.

Here's what we have...

Max checked out of reality years ago. When he comes back, he finds himself to be a bum dressed like a priest. He also finds himself to be the only potent man in an otherwise impotent America.

Max eventually reaches the west coast where he finds himself the host of an hour long TV show watched by billions. His adoring fans begin to call him The Poet, and they see him as the savior of the world.

Joined by his triplet lovers, Max sets out to change the world; a world that is more than a little resistant to his efforts. Smothered by his adoring fans and dogged by men intent on killing him, Max's multiple personalities fight their own battle in his mind, and no one is ever sure who will win.

Warning: Contains sexual material that some readers may find offensive.

Order from us

Order from Amazon.com




The American government has been overthrown! After a near-miss of a giant comet, the American people fall under the control of a radical right-wing fundamentalist Christian government, ruled by the Grand Patriarchs, that slowly strips away their freedoms and establishes a rule of law that even the dictatorships of the 20th Century couldn’t have dreamed up.

Forced into virtual seclusion, Edward Silverberg, a former English Lit professor, finds himself on a path that will lead to either his destruction, or the destruction of the Grand Patriarchs…or maybe both.

Order from us

Order from Amazon.com




Crime has always been with us, and probably always will be. Future Syndicate looks at what the future of crime might be, and what criminals might be like in the future.

Featuring the works of Jason Sizemore, Bret Tallman, Jason Andrew, Rebecca S.W. Bates, J Alan Erwine, Lavie Tidhar, Bruce Horner, and Rebecca M. Senese, Future Syndicate gives you eight distinct views of what crime might become...


Order from us

Order from Amazon.com




Do Humans control their destiny, or are they merely victims of the circumstances that surround them?

A new collection of short stories from prize winning SF author J Alan Erwine examines whether we have freedom of choice, or are merely puppets on strings subject to the whims of the universe. Marionettes on the Moon features 13 short stories, including the never before published title novelette.

Order from us


Back to Table of Contents

Featured MySpace Book: "God Is Not Great'' (Review It)

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 8:04 PM

Go to the books page to place your positive comment on God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Hey, we gotta push the agenda.
Visit

The image “http://x.myspace.com/images/books/covers/0446579807-l.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Back to Table of Contents

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lol. Why God never recieved Tenure at any University

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 11:48 AM

From: Monika

Lol. That's a good one. Thanx for sharing...Monika

Jester

Why God Never Received Tenure at Any University

1) He had only one major publication.
2) It was in Hebrew.
3) It had no references.
4) It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
5) Some even doubt he wrote it himself.
6) It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
7) His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
Cool The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9) He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.
10) When an experiment went awry, he tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
11) When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
12) He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
13) Some say he had his son teach the class.
14) He expelled his first two students for learning.
15) Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.
16) His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.

Back to Table of Contents

Music Videos from Chris

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: TPO
Date: Jul 22, 2007 6:55 PM

Much thanks to Chris

A little friendly Rage



The Cult - Rain



Land of Confusion



November Rain - GnR



Add to My Profile | More Videos

Back to Table of Contents

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.