Tonight’s debate: Pre-viewing analysis and prediction


Tomorrow’s print headlines will feature reviews of the debate with this photo on the front page.  I just hope that Mika and Joe display it with arms held high bright and early Tuesday morning.

drumpf-head-up-ass

Posted in Humor, politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Science and Skeptics Book Club. Stumbling on Happiness. Daniel Gilbert.: 10/2/2016 at Biddle’s Escape


Where: Biddle’s Escape (401 Biddle Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221)

When: 10/2/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/234042725/

Note: This is one week later than the normal time. 

Stumbling on Happiness. Daniel Gilbert. Stumbling on Happiness won the Royal Society’s best science book in 2007. This book isn’t a self-help book. It doesn’t tell us how to be happy, but it points out just how bad we are at figuring out what will make us happy. “Gilbert is wickedly funny at times as he describes the mechanisms that lead us to distort our thinking; our projections about what will bring about our future selves happiness.” And he does offer at least one suggestion You can listen to Gibert on the science of happiness here: https://www.ted.com/t…

Our library system has 22 copies. You can buy it used on Amazon for 1¢ plus shipping

Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 PM

3

Science and Skeptics Book Club. Stumbling on Happiness. Daniel Gilbert.

Sunday, Oct 2, 2016, 2:00 PM

3 Skeptics Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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Brunching Skeptically: 10/2/2016 at The Porch at Schenley


Where: The Porch at Schenley (221 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15260)

When: 10/2/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/234031333/

Come meet some like-minded folks of all ages and have a great brunch at the same time. This month, we are headed back indoors to The Porch at Schenley Plaza in the heart of Oakland.  All ages welcomed. 

Brunching Skeptically is brought to you the 1st Sunday of most months by the Steel City Skeptics, which is part of the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason. For more information on these groups or our other events, go to: http://unitedcor.org/…

Sunday, October 2 at 12:00 PM

6

Brunching Skeptically

Sunday, Oct 2, 2016, 12:00 PM

6 Skeptics Attending

Check out this Meetup →

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Drumpf, trade and racism: spotlight – Youngstown, Ohio


trump-trade-and-racism

 

By now most of you have heard of Kathy Miller, Herr Drumpfenfuhrer’s campaign chair in Mahoning County, inform listeners that “…. there was no racism and violence in ‘Murika before Obama.”  I found her comments quite amusing given that she lives in Youngstown, OH, infamously known as Bomb Town, USA for at least the past 65 years.

The snippet of video her laying her ignorance and racism bare for anyone to see has been playing non-stop on most cable news channels for the past couple of days.  But it was a very short segment of a 12-minute video presentation.  There’s a whole lot more that Guardian journalists, Paul Lewis and Tom Silverstone, uncovered in their recent short cruise through the area that everyone might want to see.

You can read the Guardian article HERE.  It’s excellent.  Click the photo above to watch this first-in-a-series video.

Kathy Miller is just one of hundreds if not thousands of people who think this way in the Youngstown area.  Just the other day, for example, I stopped at a local fresh veggie vendor’s street tent to buy a few fresh tomatoes.  As I perused the produce, a young white male in his 30s working the stand was eager to tell me about how he was “fed up with freeloaders gaming the system” and “all the welfare people getting SSI.”  Quite authoritatively informed me the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) was going to bankrupt the Social Security system and added, “Obama’s responsible for SSI, you know.” When I replied with, “That’s not true.  SSI’s been a reality for many years and it’s not even funded by the Social Security system,” he immediately interjected with, “Yea, but Obama expanded it.”

Clearly, there’s little chance of reasoning with people who do not value truth, reason or critical thinking and who so easy fall prey to just about any racist, bigoted, fraudulent, bullshitting ignoramus that comes down the pike.  I just smiled and wished him a better day (and silently thanked him for showing me his true colors) as I walked back to my car.

 

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CFI Monthly Lecture Meeting!: 9/28/2016 at First Unitarian Church


Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 9/28/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/233354567/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture night series!

Each month (with the exception of August and December) we feature a presentation/lecture on a variety of topics.  Our primary focus is on science, but we also have talks on skepticism and humanism and beyond.  We try to structure the meetings to begin with a presentation that leaves time for great discussions and Q&A sessions afterward. We try to post the topic and speaker bio as soon as that information is known — please check back soon. If you have speaker suggestions and/or ideas that are in keeping with our mission, please feel free to email your suggestions to pgh@centerforinquiry.net

See you there!

P.S.  We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.


Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 PM

3

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA
1,507 freethinkers

If you’re looking to become part of a community of fascinating people who generally share your secular and critical-thinking worldview and values, if you want to meet some lik…

Check out this Meetup Group →

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Olbermann on Herr D: missing link fixed


Advance apologies for the missing link (Rev. El)

If there ever was a great way to spend the next 17 minutes of your life, viewing the video monologue below has got to be one of them.

Keith Olbermann does an absolutely fantastic job exposing the most recent American buffoon to seek the highest office in the land for the despicable, pathological liar that he is.

How any sensible human being could possibly support Herr Drumpfenfuhrer for the presidency is, quite frankly, way beyond my pay grade.  The only conclusion that I’m able to make is that those who support this obvious fraud are, by definition, not sensible people.

olbermann

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Olbermann on Herr Drumpfenfuhrer


If there ever was a great way to spend the next 17 minutes of your life, viewing the video monologue below has got to be one of them.

Keith Olbermann does an absolutely fantastic job exposing the most recent American buffoon to seek the highest office in the land for the despicable, pathological liar that he is.

How any sensible human being could possibly support Herr Drumpfenfuhrer for the presidency is, quite frankly, way beyond my pay grade.  The only conclusion that I’m able to make is that those who support this obvious fraud are, by definition, not sensible people.

olbermann

 

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Low Can a PA Legislator Go?


About a week ago, I received a glossy oversized postcard from my state representative asking me to fill out a questionaire on legislative priorities. There are three questions to answer. Your first thought, I’m sure, is that this sounds like a legislator genuinely interested in doing his job and actually acting in accordance with the wishes of his constituents. And you would be wrong.
The first thing to remember is that my legislator is none other than Rick Saccone – who, with the possible exception of Daryl Metcalfe, is the most rabid teavangelical in the legislature. He is the primary sponsor of the “Year of the Bible” nonsense, the “Month of Prayer” nonsense, and the legislation mandating the posting of the “In God We Trust” motto in every classroom. All this after swearing to uphold the Constitution. So you know this guy is not anywhere close to a paragon of ethical behavior. And that’s before mentioning his previous role as a CIA contractor/interrogator at Abu Ghraib – something he used to ballyhoo when he first took office until he realized that most normal people considered that a negative and removed that reference from his website.

But even putting all that aside, all you really need to do is read the questions and the multiple choice answers offered and it becomes clear that the questions are phrased and worded in such a way as to preclude a specific result. Take, for instance, the first question:
“Pennsylvania spends $27 billion on K-12 education (sixth highest in the nation). Our state should…. 1. spend more on education; 2. spend less on education; 3. keep funding levels the same; 4. no opinion
Notice that there is no mention that Pennsylvania has the sixth largest population in the US, which when coupled with the sixth largest expenditures means that the per capita spending is right in line with the other states. It also doesn’t make any mention that K-12 education as a function of GDP is woefully underfunded in comparison to the developed nations in the civilized world. So it’s obvious that this was intended to get a skewed result calling for reductions in education spending – giving him and his reactionary cohorts cover for promoting this teavangelical priority.

The third question is no better, and maybe even more disingenuous:

Our two state employee pension systems, the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), currently have a shortfall of $55 billion – and growing. The state should……1. place new hires into a 401(k) system and stop offering excessive retirement packages; 2. leave the system as is and raise taxes to pay for it; 3. take on billions in new debt to keep the system solvent; 4. no opinion

Notice that responses 2 and 3 have so much negative baggage attached to them that virtually no one would choose either of those. And while response 1 has some merit, it has the additional zinger of taking a shot at the supposedly overly generous retirement plans – the gravy train, as it were – that public employees have, a common canard that RWNJs are fond of spewing.

This is little more than a print version of a “push poll” that conservatives are so fond of using to get skewed results when they want to trumpet “support” for their radically inhumane or pecunious policies, most of which have been debunked many times over. And when you consider that it was sent on a slickly produced, full color red & blue themed glossy sheet featuring plenty of photos of Saccone in his flag shirt, it’s obvious that it is clearly nothing more than a piece of taxpayer-funded campaign promotional material that in addition to promoting Saccone himself, has the added purpose of promoting the teavangelical agenda. Utterly disgusting.

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Women In Secularism 4: 9/23/2016 at Hyatt Regency Crystal City


Where: Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, arlington, VA)

When: 9/23/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/233337103/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Women are increasingly living religion-free lives and embodying the values of humanism and skepticism in their activism and professional work.

“Secularism” also refers to the secular movement, which fights against religious oppression and advocates for women’s rights around the world, and where women’s voices and leadership are at the forefront of a broader, more inclusive movement.

This fourth Women in Secularism conference brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a “woman in secularism”—not just in theory, but in practice. Speakers will address not only the progress that has been made, but also the many challenges that still lie ahead.

How can we fight back against the intrusion of religious dogma on women’s lives, from anti-abortion legislation to the violent threats against religious dissidents? What is the role of “safe spaces” in a movement that highly values free expression? What can we learn from other social movements to more effectively advance the cause of secularism?

Join us September 23–25, 2016 in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. Women in Secularism 4 is proudly presented by the Center for Inquiry.

For more information, speaker list, and registration: http://womeninsecular…

I am listed as the host, but I will not be attending. (Jeff P.)

arlington, VA – USA

Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM

2

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA
1,507 freethinkers

If you’re looking to become part of a community of fascinating people who generally share your secular and critical-thinking worldview and values, if you want to meet some lik…

Check out this Meetup Group →

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CFI Secular Celebrant Training: 9/22/2016 at Hyatt Regency Crystal City


Where: Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, arlington, VA)

When: 9/22/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/233336967/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

The next Secular Celebrant Training will be on September 22, the day before CFI’s Women in Secularism 4 conference September 23-25, 2016, outside of Washington, DC. Learn more about the conference here: http://womeninsecular….

Come early for the conference and take the training to become a Secular Celebrant. The demand for secular ceremonies is growing fast so this is the perfect time to build your skills and get certified. 

For more information about Secular Celebrancy: http://www.centerfori…

For more information about this particular event and how to register: https://secure.center…

I am listed as the host, but I will not be attending. (Jeff P.)

arlington, VA – USA

Thursday, September 22 at 9:00 AM

1

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA
1,507 freethinkers

If you’re looking to become part of a community of fascinating people who generally share your secular and critical-thinking worldview and values, if you want to meet some lik…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment