A Few Important Items

Before we get back to our a semblance of our normal routine, I want to share a few things with you.

First, for those who want to help the Sandy Hook families with funeral expenses and paying for counseling, Atheists Giving Aid has set up a fund. You can donate here.

Roses at Avery Park, Corvallis, OR

Roses at Avery Park, Corvallis, OR: A reminder there are still beautiful things in the world.

I will have some more substantial things to say at a later time. I do know one thing: things here will change. We’ll still have our fun and our geology and so forth, but you’ll see more of a focus on social justice issues than before. This latest mass shooting crystallized the entirety of A+ for me. The reason why we need movements like A+ is because we have so damned much to fix. As I’ve said repeatedly over the past few days, there’s no single way to prevent these shootings. Getting an assault weapons ban passed is just taking the keys out of the drunk person’s hand – it will probably reduce the incidence, but it won’t eradicate the causes. We will never completely solve these problems. That’s no reason not to begin somewhere. [Read more…]

I Am Civically Literate Enough to Write This Blog


I am nearly 100% qualified to opine on political and governmental issues. Ha!

And no, I didn’t cheat and Google the answers. If I had, I wouldn’t have missed bloody Question #7. Go see if you do better.

This is an interesting little project the ISI’s got. Their official survey – the one people can’t cheat on – shows that 71% of Americans fail the test. The average score for regular citizens is 49%. For people who held public office, it’s 44%. That’s just pathetic.

Here’s a finding that shows a dramatic confusion about religion in this country:


Seventy-nine percent of those who have been elected to government office do not know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits establishing an official religion for the U.S.

Only 24% of college graduates know the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.

I think we need to get to edumicating people.

At least we know without taking the test that we’re likely smarter than average:

The civic knowledge gained from engaging in frequent conversations about public affairs, reading about current events and history, and participating in more involved civic activities is greater than the gain from a bachelor’s degree alone.

And people wonder why I didn’t opt for crushing student loan debt…