Jul 24: Ed Buckner, Pres of American Atheists; talks Founding Fathers
Jul 18th, 2010 by Sam


Glen Beck is on a crusade; a self-appointed prophet of God, the Founding Fathers, and anyone else he can think of.

According to him, social justice is wicked.  Collective salvation is what liberals are trying to get by taking wealth from individuals and spreading to the needy. And atheists are to blame for it all.  As reported in the Utah News…

First, though, he asked the audience to visualize a pyramid illustrating his view of how liberals are attacking America’s foundation.

Originally, he said, America was built on God at its base and personal charity (as opposed to government welfare) at its center, with government occupying only the pointy, narrow top, doing only the things people couldn’t do for themselves. Now, he argued, the U.S. government has reversed the equation, insinuating itself into all aspects of life while pushing God aside.

“There is a perversion of faith right now,” he said, “a wicked, wicked perversion. And it is all about social justice. It is all about collective salvation. It’s actually all about Marxism.”

Collective salvation, he said, is a liberal goal meant to force individuals into doing the right thing by taking wealth from them and spreading it to the needy. In his view, he said, salvation only comes when individuals accept God.  Utah News, July 18, 2010.

We’re going to get a real live atheist on the show to explain why he wants to destroy America by imposing Marxism and thus thwarting the Founding Fathers, who apparently weren’t deists or atheists…  except they were.

Interestingly, even faith organizations are protesting Beck’s characterizations – we’ll look into that as well.

Jun 19: Spew baby, spew & what does it mean to be a dad?
Jun 19th, 2010 by Sam


Who is apologizing to BP and why?

And Father’s Day – paternity leave in Sweden? Primate Dad’s strutting their stuff with babies? Should there be a presumption of joint custody when parents divorce? Sperm donors? Is this a good idea? How many half-siblings are out there who don’t know it?

What’s on your mind?

Apr 2: Rosalind Wiseman author of Queen Bees & Wannabees
Apr 2nd, 2010 by Sam

The Queen Bees of South Hadley – do you BELIEVE THIS???

In the traumatic days that followed, Rebecca Brouillard, a student who spoken on a television interview about the hazing, was slammed against a wall and hit by one of the accused girls, said her father, Mitch Brouillard. He said that they were angry she had publicly discussed the bullying, and that some of the students who were accused had bullied his own daughter for years.

What on earth is up with the parents? How do girls become a Queen Bee? And what can be done to stop them?  And, what’s up with the boys?  A pox on their houses…

We’ll be joined by Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees and Wannabees” the book that inspired the movie “Mean Girls.”

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized author and educator on children, teens, parenting, education and social justice. Her work aims to help parents, educators and young people successfully navigate the social challenges of young adulthood.

Her publications include:

The Samantha Clemens Show: Rosalind Wiseman

Should you be legally required to show your face?
Mar 2nd, 2010 by Sam

Five European states back burka ban

Do you think people should be legally obligated to show their faces?

More than half of voters in four other major European states back a push by France’s Nicolas Sarkozy to ban women from wearing the burka, according to an opinion poll for the Financial Times.

Cultural divide: women of different faiths in a street in Blackburn, Lancashire

Child Custody should be no-fault
Feb 18th, 2010 by Sam

Hear, hear. And default joint custody too.  Check it out here

Studies conducted in the past 20 years have shown that on all meaningful measures of success — social, economic, intellectual and psychological — most adult children from divorced families are no worse off than their peers whose parents remained married.

Researchers have found two explanations for this. Children who have to cope with their parents’ separation and post-divorce lives often grow resilient, self-reliant, adaptable and independent. And children benefit from escaping the high-conflict environment of a rocky marriage. After their parents’ separation, as conflicts fade, children recover.

Sustained family conflict can cause children to experience the kinds of problems that are usually attributed to divorce: low self-esteem, depression, high anxiety, difficulty forming relationships, delinquency and withdrawal from the world.

Liberate Yourself and Enjoy the Holidays
Dec 19th, 2009 by Sam

Thoughts from  Cause and Effect World:  Don Leka

I want to share with you something that our family decided several years ago that has made all the difference in our enjoying the holiday season. Namely, we all agreed to stop exchanging gifts at Christmastime.

When we removed the economic burden and joyless hassle of shopping and wrapping and sending consumer items to each other, we found the freedom to concentrate on the other, should I say the real, purpose of the holidays. You know, getting together with friends and family, celebrating the religious or spiritual aspects of the holidays, enacting or creating traditions to commemorate this special time of the year.

If a situation arises that truly calls for some sort of gift-giving gesture, we make a charitable donation in the name of the gift recipient – say to a homeless shelter, or to one of my favorites, Heifer International. Nothing compares to telling someone you gave a goat in his name to a needy family in Ecuador.

But what about the kids? Isn’t Christmas for them?, you may ask. Well, my modest proposal is intended to reduce suffering, not enhance it, so if you are worried that the kids would be sorely disappointed if they were denied a long-anticipated morning devoted to tearing open numerous packages, then go right ahead – just make it for the kids only. But you might consider just what lessons your kids learn from this ritual, and whether some alternatives are better. Try simple changes such as giving presents at unexpected times over the holiday period; this random schedule can also make it easier to avoid or explain the myth of Santa Claus.

Of course not everyone wants to decline being part of the shopfest. If you enjoy the bustling crowds and you are eager to arrive at the shopping mall at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, this proposal is not for you. But in our family, the day after Thanksgiving is for sharing a leisurely dim sum lunch at a Chinese restaurant – now that is my idea of a great holiday tradition.

Then there is the holiday dilemma: real Christmas trees or fake? There is no dilemma for my daughter in Boulder, Colorado. She goes out and finds an attractive dead branch, perhaps 4 or 5 feet long, and strips away any remaining leaves. Then she and her two kids set up the branch and place all their decorations on it. The economics and the symbolism are far superior to wondering which exploitative seasonal tree industry should receive our dollar. And I think it looks terrific.

Please don’t take my commentary as a traditional rant against the commercialization of Christmas. Retailers have every right to try and hijack the holidays for their purposes. But it is not your patriotic duty to go along with them and let them do it.

And I am not here to denounce materialism in modern life. If you want to own lots of things, maybe to play with them or just look at them or display them to impress other people, go right ahead, with my blessing

I have a more subversive message buried within this proposal of not giving gifts. That is, God did not command, request, or even suggest that you give somone a gift at Christmastime. God has confirmed to me that she never said any such thing. That goes for all the holiday traditions, which are 200 years old or less. But whether a particular tradition is ancient or a Disney invention, you have the power to pick and choose which traditions are worth keeping and which are a drag. That power is liberating, and I commend it to you.

The approach I am describing with respect to Christmas is to decide for yourself what parts make sense to you and make you and your family happy, and then ignore the parts that do not make sense or make you unhappy. The reference point is your own common sense, not what you are told or what everyone else is doing.

In fact, I confess to following this approach in just about everything. But this recommendation becomes controversial when one moves to areas that are governed by tradition and obedience to authority. The epithet “cafeteria Christian” comes to mind when you start choosing for yourself which parts of dogma to accept and which to reject. You especially run afoul of those members of the priestly class who do not want to give communion to those people whose political views are contrary to the priest’s dictates. But the notion of deciding for yourself about religious practices has a distinguished history. Just read Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 14, which is usually summed up in the phrase “God Alone is Lord of the Conscience.”

And if you decide to join the folks who make their own decisions, based upon reason and common sense rather than upon tradition and authority figures, all I can say is Welcome to Cause and Effect World.

Happy Holidays everybody.

Don Leka

Dec 19: Healthcare – so NOW what??!! A doctor’s view
Dec 19th, 2009 by Sam

December 19, 2009

Segments 1 & 2: Single payer healthcare

Dr. Geoff Clark, retired medical doctor who practiced in New Hampshire for over 30 years, will tell us why he thinks “single payer” is still the best system for America. With feeling! And perhaps shed some light on why the American Medical Association is against it, what other things they’ve been against, and where the heck we go from here!

The following links were provided by Dr. Clark:

Worldwide statistics on health:

Infoplease – Health and Social Statistics

World Health Organization – Health Statistics and health information systems

Polls of doctors on Single Payer Healthcare that show broad support:

Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare (numerous polls, including Kaiser Health, Time Magazine, Grove Insight Opinion Research, New York Times/CBS News)

New Hampshire Medical Society: Two thirds of New Hampshire physicians, including 81% of primary care clinicians, indicated they “would favor a simplified payor system in which public funds, collected through taxes, were used to pay directly for services to meet the basic healthcare needs of all citizens.”

On whether the American Medical Association represents doctors:

Position on single payer Liasson reports that AMA opposes any public plan, ignoring AMA’s inconsistency | Media Matters for America

Percent of Physicians as members NBC’s Guthrie falsely suggests AMA represents “the nation’s doctors” | Media Matters for America

Other Physician Organizations:

Physicians for a National Health Program

National Physicians Alliance

This American Life Programs

#391 This American Life

#392 This American Life

Segment 3: Thoughts from Cause and Effect World

Sometimes we try to get a little deeper, a little more profound, here on The Samantha Clemens Show. So naturally, we turn to a self-described “recovering lawyer” to take us down that path. Don Leka, who a Musician as well as a Recovering Lawyer, shares his essay “Liberate Yourself and Enjoy the Holidays.” But how, Don? How?


Dec 12: Climate change consensus & the skeptics – what’s the problem??
Dec 12th, 2009 by Sam

December 12, 2009

Climate change

Outside the United States, the world is pretty much on board with the notion that the climate is changing in profound ways and that human activity is partially the cause. Within the United States however, there is a stubborn minority who believe it is all hype, or a natural occurrence, or a conspiracy by scientists, politicians, environmentalists and other overt and covert liberals. They reject the notion that there is a scientific consensus, they believe the insurance companies’ risk assessments with which they price their products are simply jumping on the bandwagon, and so forth. We look at the scientific consensus and what the skeptics have to say about them, and also pose few questions from a Green IQ test we stumbled upon.

We’re joined by Brenda Ekwurzel, Federal Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists.

The unlucky

We get an update on how things are going at the Somerville Homeless Coalition from Mark Alston-Follansbee, Executive Director.  Personal experiences, funding, what works, who helps.


Nov 7: Fort Hood massacre; “Good To Be God”, by Tibor Fischer
Nov 7th, 2009 by Sam

Segment 1

Fort Hood massacre. Florida massacre. The Dr. Tiller killing. Terrorism? Alienation? Religious? Hopelessness? What do they have in common? What is different? With unemployment is such bad shape, will there be more of these?

Segment 2

What does it mean to be good? And, should it be encouraged? Or, does that make it a career move, something you do like file your taxes or wash your hands in a public restroom? British novelist Tibor Fischer talks about his new novel “Good to Be God.” Yup, it’s about a guy pretending to be God, a British guy no less, in Miami. Who is trying very hard to be good. From a review in the Guardian:  “When was the last time you saw hardened drinkers pass around a novel that asks some big philosophical questions?”


Dec 31: In honor of Halloween
Oct 31st, 2009 by Sam

  • Which of these are superstitions? Black cats are unlucky, Walking under a ladder is unlucky, Stepping on the foul line when running on to a baseball field is lucky (or not), The number 7 is unlucky, Fung shui helps improve life, Miracles happen, People have free will to choose to do anything at any time…
  • What is it that we LIKE about Halloween? Permission to delve into the dark corners of ourselves? What do you like?


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