Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Dark Side: A Conversation with Paul Bloom | Sam Harris

Photo
(Photo via Woody Hibbard)

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom talk about Donald Trump, torture, trophy hunting, and other terrors.
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor ofBehavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. Dr. Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author or editor of six books, including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.

Guatemala President Faces Arrest as Business Interests and U.S. Scramble to Contain Uprising | Democracy Now!


In Guatemala, a judge has ordered that former Vice President Roxana Baldetti must remain in prison while her corruption trial takes place. The ruling comes on the heels of the Guatemalan Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to lift the immunity from prosecution for President Otto Pérez Molina, clearing the way for his impeachment. The court passed the impeachment recommendation along to Congress. A general strike has been called in Guatemala for today. We are joined by Allan Nairn, longtime journalist who has covered Guatemala since the 1980s.


Remembering Hurricane Katrina 10 Years Later: Voices from the Storm | Democracy Now!


Farmworkers See Jobs, Earnings Shrivel In California Drought | NPR

Strawberry pickers in Watsonville, Calif. Many farmworkers in the state are out of work because of the severe drought. Those who do have a job are often working harder for less money.
More than 21,000 people are out of work this year from California's drought, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The majority are in agriculture. Those farmworkers lucky enough to have a job are often working harder for less money.


Leaning forward and crouching from the waist, Anastacio picks strawberries from plants about as tall as his knees. We're not using his last name because Anastacio and his family are undocumented.

He's working in an organic field in Watsonville, near Santa Cruz. This year, he's averaging about half as many boxes of berries as he usually does.

"We are earning less money because we are done with work early, and there is less fruit," he says in Spanish. A steady stream of sweat pours off his brow.

He and his family illegally crossed the border from Mexico about six years ago. When he arrived, his average workday was about 11 hours; now it's seven....

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/27/434763709/farmworkers-see-jobs-earnings-shrivel-in-california-drought

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

David Cay Johnston: 21 Questions for Trump on Kickbacks, Busting Unions, the Mob & Corporate Welfare | Democracy Now!



"To talk more about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, we are joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who has covered Trump off and on for 27 years. He recently wrote an article for The National Memo titled "21 Questions for Donald Trump." David Cay Johnston is an investigative reporter previously with The New York Times. He’s currently a columnist for Al Jazeera America as well as a contributing writer at Newsweek. His latest book is "Divided. The Perils of Our Growing Inequality."

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/19/david_cay_johnston_21_questions_for

"Privileged Bloodlines": Is Trump’s Stance Against Birthright Citizenship Setting Tone for GOP? | Democracy Now!



"Support is growing among Republican presidential candidates to repeal part of the 14th Amendment that guarantees people born on American soil are automatically American citizens. In his plan for immigration reform, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump singles out birthright citizenship as the single "biggest magnet for illegal immigration." And Donald Trump is not alone. Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham all support ending birthright citizenship. We speak to Ian Millhiser of Center for American Progress who recently wrote a piece headlined "Donald Trump’s First Policy Plan is Even More Racist Than You Think It Is."

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/19/privileged_bloodlines_is_trumps_stance_against

When Black Lives Matter Met Clinton: Activists Speak Out on Challenging Candidate over Crime Record | Democracy Now!



"Black Lives Matter activists are back in the news after confronting Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. Following a campaign event in New Hampshire, a group of Black Lives Matter activists from Massachusetts met with Clinton. What followed was a 16-minute conversation during which the activists pressed Clinton to address her support of the crime bill that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed into law in 1994. That legislation led to the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. Hillary Clinton had heavily lobbied lawmakers to pass the crime bill, which included $9.7 billion in prison funding and tougher sentencing provisions. We air excerpts and speak to the activists, Daunasia Yancey of Black Lives Matter Boston and Julius Jones of Black Lives Matter Worcester."

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/19/when_black_lives_matter_met_clinton

After Scandals, Ireland Is No Longer 'Most Catholic Country In The World' | NPR

The scandals of recent years have destroyed popular support for the church in Ireland, with many Irish people ignoring the hierarchy's guidance on social issues.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eugenie Scott: Decrypting Pseudoscience | Point of Inquiry

Our very special guest on Point of Inquiry this week is Eugenie Scott, the former director of the National Center for Science Education who has been waging and winning battles against creationism and pseudoscience for years, and has become one of the most venerated luminaries of the skeptic and secular movements. A Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, in 2013 she was honored with the Center for Inquiry Lifetime Achievement Award.
Scott is getting back to her roots as a biological anthropologist to talk about cryptozoology and other fringe anthropological claims. Talking with host Lindsay Beyerstein, Scott explains the distinctions between real science and pseudoscience, as well as some of the common misconceptions that lead people to mistake fiction for fact. Why is the existence of things like yetis so improbable? Why couldn’t humans and aliens procreate? Questions like these point to a need that is at the core of Scott’s career: the need to better educate kids about the methods of science.

Scott and Beyerstein also take an anthropological look at the recent controversy over Rachel Dolezal, the civil rights activist who became the focus of heated national attention when it was alleged that she was a white person passing as black. What does the concept of race even mean to biological anthropologists? Listen here....

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Televangelists (HBO)




U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with almost anything. We know this from personal experience.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption will not be able to accept donations from Church supporters from the states of Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or South Carolina. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Talk Nerdy Episode 75 - Gad Saad



Cara is joined in studio by Dr. Gad Saad, an evolutionary psychologist who specializes in consumer behavior. They discuss what evolutionary psychology is and isn't, and what makes us universally human, regardless of culture or geography.

Obama Gives Shell Final Approval to Drill in Arctic Despite Protests & Pledge to Cut Emissions | Democracy Now!



The Obama administration has granted Royal Dutch Shell final approval to resume drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012 despite widespread protests from environmental groups. Shell first obtained drilling permits in the Arctic during the George W. Bush administration, but drilling stopped in 2012 after a series of mishaps. The Interior Department’s decision comes just weeks after a protest in Portland, Oregon, temporarily blocked an Arctic-bound rig of Shell’s from leaving the city after a group of activists from Greenpeace dangled off a bridge, blocking the ship’s movement while "kayaktivists" took to the water below. A coalition of environmental groups have pushed the Obama administration to say no to Arctic drilling, citing the dangers of a possible oil spill in the pristine region and the impact new oil extraction would have on the climate. The Interior Department approved the Arctic drilling ahead of President Obama’s upcoming trip to the Arctic later this month. He mentioned the trip during his recent speech unveiling plan to slash carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.

"A State of Emergency": At Least 17 Transgender Women Have Been Murdered This Year | Democracy Now!



The murder of Tamara Dominguez on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri, marked at least the 17th murder of a transgender woman so far this year. Dominguez was repeatedly run over in a church parking lot. Her death follows the recent murders of a number of African-American transgender women, including Elisha Walker, found in a "crude grave" in North Carolina; Shade Schuler, whose decomposed body was found in a Dallas field; Amber Monroe, shot and killed in a Detroit park; and Kandis Capri, fatally shot last Tuesday night in Phoenix, Arizona. "This is a state of emergency for the transgender community," Chase Strangio says. "We are living in a moment where we should be incredibly concerned about all of the mechanisms of violence against our community."

As Peace Talks Collapse in South Sudan, Film Shows "Pathology of Colonialism" Tearing Apart Nation | Democracy Now!



Peace talks between South Sudan’s warring sides have failed to reach a deal to end a civil war which has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the world’s youngest nation. Last week, the United States proposed implementing a United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan and new sanctions unless the government signs a peace deal to end the conflict. Now the situation in South Sudan is the subject of a new documentary, "We Come as Friends," by Austrian director Hubert Sauper that provides an aerial view of the conflict in Sudan from a shaky, handmade two-seater plane. The film depicts American investors, Chinese oilmen, United Nations officials and Christian missionaries struggling to shape Sudan according to their own visions, while simultaneously applauding the alleged "independence" of the world’s newest state. What emerges is a devastating critique of the consequences of cultural and economic imperialism. We speak with Hauper and feature excerpts from the film, which debuts this week in theaters.

"Casino Capitalism": Economist Michael Hudson on What’s Behind the Stock Market’s Rollercoaster Ride | Democracy Now!

Black Monday is how economists are describing Monday’s market turmoil, which saw stock prices tumble across the globe, from China to Europe to the United States. China’s stock indices fell over 8 percent on Monday and another 7 percent today. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average initially fell a record 1,100 points before closing down nearly 600 points. The decline also caused oil prices to plunge to their lowest levels in almost six years. To make sense of what’s really behind the fluctuations in the market, we are joined by economist Michael Hudson, president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst and author of the book, "Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy."

StarTalk Live! Climate Change | StarTalk Radio


On a hot night in Brooklyn, Bill Nye and Eugene Mirman get steamed up about climate change with help from their guests, Nobel Prize-winning climatologist Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig and comedians Jemaine Clement and Michael Che.

"Opening the Box": After Being Jailed in Iran, Sarah Shourd Examines Solitary Confinement in U.S. | Democracy Now!


"Since her 2010 release from an Iranian prison, Sarah Shourd’s work has focused largely on exposing and condemning the cruelty and overuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. She has just written a play about solitary confinement in the United States titled "Opening the Box." It was performed Thursday at an event hosted by the Fortune Society in New York City, before an audience of many who had been in solitary."

StarTalk Live! Sociology and the Human Condition | StarTalk Radio


Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman investigate the human condition with the help of bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, sociologist Dr. Alondra Nelson and comedian Wyatt Cenac. Recorded live at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

TTA Podcast 234: The Transgender Question



What is "transgender?" How is sexual identity determined? What are the challenges and opportunites facing those who don't fit into established cultural definitions of gender? What is this all about?

In this broadcast, we get an education and have some frank and positive discussion on the issue. Joining us is Stephanie Guttormson of the Richard Dawkins Foundation and Thinking Stephtically, YouTube activist Zinnia Jones, Callie Wright of the Gaytheist Manifesto podcast, and activist Danielle Muscato...all transgender individuals.

Julian Bond (1940-2015): Remembering Civil Rights Freedom Fighter | Democracy Now!


"We remember the life of civil rights pioneer Julian Bond, who died on Saturday at the age of 75. Bond first gained prominence in 1960 when he organized a series of student sit-ins while attending Morehouse College. He went on to help found SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. After the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Bond was elected as a Democrat to the Georgia House of Representatives. But members of the Legislature refused to seat him, citing his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War. Bond took the case to the Supreme Court and won. He went on to serve 20 years in the Georgia House and Senate. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Julian Bond became the first African American nominated for U.S. vice president by a major political party. But he had to withdraw his name because he was just 28 years old — seven years too young to hold the second-highest elected office. Julian Bond would go on to co-found the Southern Poverty Law Center. He served as the organization’s first president from 1971 to 1979. From 1998 to 2010, he was chairman of the NAACP. We speak to Eleanor Holmes Norton, delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia; former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch; and Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "He never thought the movement was about only blacks, so he was easily able to grapple with the movement that involved women, that involved the LGBTQ community, that involved climate change."
Bond2

Friday, August 14, 2015

From New Orleans to Ferguson, a Decade of Asserting Black Lives Matter | The Nation

"We’ve learned that the moment black people stop saying our lives matter, our lives will cease to matter."

Protest in New Orleans

"Black lives matter. America understands this as a movement rooted in the breathtaking sadness of George Zimmerman’s 2013 acquittal in the brutal murder of Trayvon Martin; necessitated by the enraging refusals to indict police officers in Ferguson and Staten Island for the murders of black men in 2014; and amplified by the unrelenting videos of black vulnerability and death out of South Carolina, Ohio, and Texas throughout 2015. These moments caused activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi to assert that black lives matter. But for us, James and Melissa, Black Lives Matter began as a public movement a decade ago, on August 29, 2005; and it was our neighbors, friends, beloveds, and coworkers who formed the first modern corps of Black Lives Matter activists. Before Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, it was more than 1,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced New Orleanians who forced America to confront black vulnerability and to understand how that vulnerability indicts a system of national inequality...

 But for us, James and Melissa, Black Lives Matter began as a public movement a decade ago, on August 29, 2005; and it was our neighbors, friends, beloveds, and coworkers who formed the first modern corps of Black Lives Matter activists. Before Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, it was more than 1,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced New Orleanians who forced America to confront black vulnerability and to understand how that vulnerability indicts a system of national inequality"....Read More...

http://www.thenation.com/article/from-new-orleans-to-ferguson-a-decade-of-asserting-black-lives-matter/

Henry Siegman, Leading U.S. Jewish Voice for Peace: "Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United Nations" | Democracy Now!



Jewish and Palestinian women are holding a hunger strike outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem to call for a renewal of peace negotiations. Members of the group Women Wage Peace have been fasting for the past month in alternating shifts, sitting in an open-air tent and inviting passersby to discuss how best to wage peace. The group has dubbed their mission "Operation Protective Fast," a twist on "Operation Protective Edge" — Israel’s military operation that left 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children, dead last summer. On the Israeli side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers. The attack destroyed 12,000 homes in Gaza. Another 100,000 were damaged. None of the destroyed homes have been rebuilt so far, due in part to the ongoing Israeli blockade. Our guest for the hour suggests the best chance for achieving a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine lies with the United Nations Security Council presenting both parties with clear terms for resumed peace talks...

Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement for Having Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner Issue in Her Cell | Democracy Now!



U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning could face punishment of indefinite solitary confinement for having an expired tube of toothpaste, an issue of Vanity Fair in which transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner describes her new life living openly as a woman, the U.S. Senate report on torture and other "prohibited property" in her cell at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking U.S. government cables to WikiLeaks.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

More Evidence That Music Eases Pain, Anxiety After Surgery | NPR

Hospitals have a free and powerful tool that they could use more often to help reduce the pain that surgery patients experience: music.

Scores of studies over the years have looked at the power of music to ease this kind of pain; an analysis published Wednesday in The Lancet that pulls all those findings together builds a strong case. READ MORE...

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/08/13/431695242/more-evidence-that-music-eases-pain-anxiety-after-surgery

Eye Shapes Of The Animal World Hint At Differences In Our Lifestyles | NPR



Take a close look at a house cat's eyes and you'll see pupils that look like vertical slits. But a tiger has round pupils — like humans do. And the eyes of other animals, like goats and horses, have slits that are horizontal.

Scientists have now done the first comprehensive study of these three kinds of pupils. The shape of the animal's pupil, it turns out, is closely related to the animal's size and whether it's a predator or prey. READ MORE... http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/08/07/430149677/eye-shapes-of-the-animal-world-hint-at-differences-in-our-lifestyles

The Digital Revolution with Arianna Huffington | StarTalk Radio

Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the information age with two of its digital elite: Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington and BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis. Chuck Nice co-hosts, and Bill Nye shares about sharing.

Questions Along the Path | Waking Up With Sam Harris

Further Reflections on the Practice of Meditation with Joseph Goldstein

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(Photo via Lorenzoclick)
Joseph Goldstein has been leading meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and the Forest Refuge. Since 1967, he has practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma, and Tibet. His books include The Experience of Insight, A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma, and Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam and Joseph discuss the practice of meditation and answer questions that came from listeners in response to their first conversation, The Path and the Goal.
For those interested in practicing mindfulness, Joseph and Dan Harris have developed a short meditation course as an app, 10% Happier: Meditation for Skeptics. You can begin the course for free, and if you choose to purchase the full course, you will receive a 20 percent discount by using the code: WAKINGUP (all caps required).

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Common Sense 295 – Trumping the Playbook | Dan Carlin


cs-cover

Fri, August 7th, 2015 – Duration: 55:29 minutes

Dan puts on his pundit hat to analyze the first GOP televised debate. Not surprisingly, while he’s no fan of Donald Trump, he finds reasons to be glad there’s a political outsider in the race.

click here to listen

No More Torture: World’s Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations | Democracy Now!

By a nearly unanimous vote, the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives voted Friday to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. The resolution also puts the APA on the side of international law by barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights.


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No More Torture: World’s Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations

Sunday, August 9, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Shattering a day-old record, 28,000 backers of Bernie Sanders on Sunday filled all the seats

PORTLAND, Ore. – Shattering a day-old record, 28,000 backers of Bernie Sanders on Sunday filled all the seats and crowded into overflow areas outside the Moda Center sports arena where the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers play.

“Whoa. This is an unbelievable turnout,” Sanders said after he walked onto the stage. Consistently drawing bigger turnouts than any other presidential contender, Sanders told the packed Portland arena, “You’ve done it better than anyone else.” The arena seats were filled and thousands more listened to the speech on loudspeakers outside, according to Michael Lewellen, a Rose Quarter vice president. The total turnout far surpassed the 15,000 in Seattle just 24 hours earlier.

The big and boisterous crowds, Sanders said, are sending a message that it’s time to reverse the four-decade decline of the American middle class and launch a grassroots “political revolution” to take on the billionaire class. “Bringing people together,” Sanders added, is at the core of his campaign.

Sanders also called for criminal justice reform. “There is no candidate who will fight harder to end institutional racism in this country and to reform our broken criminal justice system,” he said.

In the nearly hour-long speech, Sanders touched on economic and jobs proposals, criminal justice reform and civil rights issues.

On domestic issues, the U.S. senator from Vermont advocated raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, closing tax loopholes exploited by the wealthy and profitable corporations, undertaking a massive $1 trillion program to fix roads and bridges and create or sustain 13 million jobs, a Medicare-for-all health care system to provide better care for more people at less cost, an expansion of Social Security and tuition-free college.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory Minimums (HBO)


Mandatory minimums require fixed prison sentences for certain crimes. John Oliver explains why we treat some turkeys better than most low-level offenders.

Real Time with Bill Maher: The Sick Culture of Wealth (HBO)


In his editorial New Rule, Bill Maher calls out rich Americans for taking their selfish behavior to a whole new level.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rights of Man | Thomas Paine


Not only did I enjoy reading every second of Paine's brilliance and wit, I was surprised to find the insight he had regarding social issues that still haunt Americans to this day. There is something so punk-rock and defiant about Paine's style, and yet so universal that every man can resonate with this work. I regret that I did not read it sooner!

"One of the most influential writers and reformers of his age, Thomas Paine successfully publicized the issues of his time in pamphlets that clearly and persuasively argued for political independence and social reform. Rights of Man, his greatest and most widely read work, is considered a classic statement of faith in democracy and egalitarianism.

The first part of this document, dedicated to George Washington, appeared in 1791. Defending the early events of the French Revolution, it spoke on behalf of democracy, equality, and a new European order. Part Two, which appeared the following year, is perhaps Paine's finest example of political pamphleteering and an exemplary work that supported social security for workers, public employment for those in need of work, abolition of laws limiting wages, and other social reforms.

Written in the language of common speech, Rights of Man was a sensation in the United States, defended by many who agreed with Paine's defense of republican government; but in Britain, it was labeled by Parliament as highly seditious, causing the government to suppress it and prosecute the British-born Paine for treason. Regarded by historian E. P. Thompson as the "foundation-text for the English working-class movement," this much-read and much-studied book remains an inspiring, rational work that paved the way for the growth and development of radical traditions in American and British society."


http://www.amazon.com/Rights-Man-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486408930/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438981018&sr=8-1&keywords=the+rights+of+man

Top 10 Reasons Why Bernie Sanders May Actually Become President

Back to the Grind, Saturday, August 8th

I am playing solo tomorrow night with some local Folk Music studs at Back to the Grind in Downtown Riverside.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

It Took A Musician's Ear To Decode The Complex Song In Whale Calls | NPR

Humpback whale and calf, off the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. Humpback whales don't just sing songs — they compose with the whales around them, singing a song that changes, and evolves over time. Scientists didn't know that until they started recording whale sounds in the 1960s and spent years listening. The evolution of this "culture of listening" among researchers is the focus of Morning Edition's weekly summer series, Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound.

Give Us the Ballot: The Struggle Continues 50 Years After Signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act | Democracy Now!

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark achievement of the civil rights movement. It was August 6, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and now 14-term Congressman John Lewis looked on. The law has been under constant attack ever since.

On Hiroshima Anniv. Peacemakers March on Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab, Birthplace of Atomic Bomb | Democracy Now!

On the 70th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are joined by peace activists from across the nation who are convening in Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the atomic bomb and home to the country’s main nuclear weapons laboratory and the site of ongoing nuclear development. This afternoon, activists will march toward the laboratory’s main entrance calling for nuclear disarmament.

Japanese Nobel Laureate Kenzaburo Oe on 70th Anniv. of US Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | Democracy Now!



Seventy years ago today, at 8:15 in the morning, the U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Destruction from the bomb was massive. Shock waves, radiation and heat rays took the lives of some 140,000 people.

Why Did The U.S. Choose Hiroshima? | NPR

U.S. strategists wanted to flatten an entire city with a single atomic bomb: Hiroshima was the right size.
The name Hiroshima is so tied to the atomic bomb that it's hard to imagine there were other possible targets. But in early 1945, the U.S. was still months away from building its first bomb and certainly didn't know what to hit.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates: A Country Built on Black Bodies | Point of Inquiry

August 3, 2015

Host: Lindsay Beyerstein

This week on Point of Inquiry, our guest is Ta-Nehisi Coates, a renowned journalist and celebrated essayist on culture, history, and politics. He’s a senior editor at The Atlantic, where last year he ignited national introspection and heated debate with his cover feature, “The Case for Reparations.” He is also author of the new bestseller, Between the World and Me, a book he wrote for his son about surviving in America as a black man.
Coates joins Lindsay Beyerstein to discuss the heightening racial tension in America, the result of what he describes as a country built on black bodies and black suffering. In this evocative conversation, Coates compels us to look clearly at our illusions about American identity and social mobility, and explores what difficult remedies will be necessary to begin to rectify the damage American policies have done to black men and women over the centuries. He also considers how his atheism has influenced his own thinking about civil rights, justice, and forgiveness.

Click Here:
http://www.pointofinquiry.org/ta-nehisi_coates_a_country_built_on_black_bodies/

The Virtues of Cold Blood - A Conversation with Paul Bloom | Sam Harris



In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with psychologist Paul Bloom about the limitations of empathy as a guide to moral reasoning.
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor ofBehavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. Dr. Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author or editor of six books, including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.

Obama Is Beginning to Sound Like a Climate Leader, When Will He Act Like One? | Democracy Now!


Stories

August 4, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

1998

In the autumn of nineteen ninety eight,
I lost the last sane part of my poor brain.
Nature, she loves to exsanguinate,
Strip my soul ‘till all of my blood drains.

Mother, she feasts on entropy!

If there’s a god up above,
It’s not a spirit of love,
It’s not a being of goodness or light;
It’s dark matter, a cancer, a blight.

I’m the son of a plumber and bookkeeper,
Though my family is full of teachers.
But the lesson I’ve learned from those meeker
Is that we're all just servants of the reaper.

Mother, she has no empathy!

If there’s a god up above,
It’s not a spirit of love,
It’s not a being of goodness or light;
It’s dark matter, a cancer, a blight.

My grandparents, they poured their love on me,
But their neurons nursed on nicotine.
And while the rich, they profit on disease,
We bow, deluded, praying on our knees.

Mother, she knows no equity!

If there’s a god up above,
It’s not a spirit of love,
It’s not a being of goodness or light;
It’s dark matter, a cancer, a blight.