Does god exist?

Theologians like to keep discussions of god’s existence on a high abstract plane because that enables all manner of wooly statements to pass unchallenged. It is down-to-Earth practical questions that tend to stump them. In this clip from the 1980s BBC comedy show Not the Nine O’Clock News, an audience member poses just such a question to a theologian.
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The future of newspapers

Newspapers are laying off beat reporters because their work does not generate enough revenue. The subscriber base is decreasing while the online ad revenue is not rising fast enough to compensate. But newspaper beat reporters covering actual events are the foundation of the news food chain, providing the essential nourishment that sustains all the other things such as TV, commentary, blogs, and other online services. If they go, the rest collapses.
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You’re not helping, Ben

At a time when the Donald Trump camp should be telling all its surrogates to just stop talking about the Khans so that media attention shifts away from this damaging issue, his supporter Ben Carson emerges from hibernation to suggest that all this spectacle could be ended if both Trump and the Khans apologized to each other, though he admitted that this was unlikely to happen. When asked what exactly the Khans should apologize for, Carson was typically vague saying that they had said things about Trump that were not true.
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The impact of the first female major party nominee

Much has been made of the fact that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major political party in the US and if elected would be the first woman US president. This is undoubtedly an important step and I can see why so many Americans are savoring the moment. For me personally, my reaction is “What took America so long?” since Sri Lanka elected the first woman head of state back in 1960 and many, many other nations have done so since.
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Trump’s tax returns

It is clear that Donald Trump is anxious to not follow the tradition now extending back many decades of presidential candidates releasing their tax returns. The practice began in 1963 with candidate George Romney (father of Mitt) who released 12 years of returns. Since then, almost all presidential candidates and every eventual Democratic and Republican nominee has done so.
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Trump’s lack of self-control

I am finally back home in Cleveland after being away for about ten days to deal with some personal matters and am now catching up with a lot of the political news that I could only superficially skim while away.

Following the two conventions much commentary has been devoted to contrasting ‘the sky is falling rhetoric’ of the Republican convention with the more sunny vision of the Democratic one, which challenged Donald Trump’s claim that he will make America great again by saying that America is already great.
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Stephen Colbert supports my idea for voting

In order to deal with the problem of people voting against a candidate rather than for him or her, as seems to be the case with the Clinton/Trump match up where majorities say that their vote is driven by their dislike for the opponent, in a segment he adopts an idea that I suggested back in 2014, but which I don’t claim to be original. He had also apparently resurrected his old Comedy Central persona during the conventions and ran into some trouble with the corporate lawyers
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