The forgotten Move fiasco

When we think of past encounters between anti-government groups and the authorities that ended in tragedy, Ruby Ridge and Waco are the names that come to mind. But today marks the 30-year anniversary of a major tragedy that has been largely forgotten, and that was the dropping of a bomb on the members of the strange cult-like group known as Move. Alan Yuhas takes us back to that day.
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How money talks

I have been railing against the Cleveland Indians’ use of the racist Chief Wahoo logo (and I am pleased to report that they still have the worst record in their division, the American League, and close to the worst record in the major leagues). But let us not forget another abomination, and that is the name of the NFL team associated with the city of Washington DC. The team’s owner Dan Snyder has vehemently defended the use of the name and refused to change it in spite of widespread opposition. He used the usual ‘it’s tradition’ and I think it actually honors Indians’ and ‘if I don’t intent it to be offensive it can’t be offensive’ arguments favored by the fans of such things in defending the indefensible.
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The secret TPP deal that Obama wants to impose on us

I always get nervous when Democrats and Republicans in government work together on something. This is because we have reached the stage in politics in the US where oligarchic control is so extensive that it seems like the only force that can overcome the sheer pettiness, greed, and ambition of the elected representatives who are so divided on social issues. So signs of bipartisanship that are so revered by the establishment are for me warning signs that moves are in the works that the oligarchy is pushing strongly for and that will be bad for the rest of us. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) issue provides a case in point.
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This is a thing?

What is the matter with some people that they would think this is funny? Apparently this started out as a fake TV video that went viral and now female TV reporters as well as some male ones are routinely subjected to this as they try to broadcast live reports.

The reporter Shauna Hunt has to be credited for not backing off and directly confronting these awful people and showing them up for the creeps they are.

The tricky business of riding a bike

Anyone who has learned to ride a bicycle has experienced the feeling that one will never master it until suddenly, you get the hang of it and feel that sense of exhilaration as for the first time you cruise along without fear of falling. The bike now seems so stable that you cannot imagine why it took you so long to learn. But why it is so stable is not easy to understand. I have written before about how the stability of the humble bicycle is actually quite mysterious from a physics point of view.
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Sharp rise in religiously unaffiliated in the US

The Pew Research Center’s forum on Religion and Life today released its latest survey on the religious landscape in the US and they find that there are currently about 56 million religiously unaffiliated people in the US and they are the most rapidly growing group, jumping from 16.1% in 2007 to 22.8% in 2014. That is a huge increase. Non-Christian faiths showed a smaller increase over that same time period, from 4.7% to 5.9%. The big losers were Catholics (23.9% to 20.8%) and mainline Protestants (18.1% to 14.7%). Evangelicals have also dropped by about one percent.
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Why movements should not have spokespersons

Being an atheist does not carry with it any special wisdom. Just because one has seen clearly on one particular issue does not mean that one sees clearly on every issue. This is why it is never desirable for fledgling movements to be too closely identified with one or a small set of individuals because those people might say things on other issues that are unwelcome and yet all members of the movement get perceived as having the same views.
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