Jul 31: Libs and Cons; Immigration and Morality
Jul 31st, 2010 by Sam


Newsflash!!! Libs and cons view immigration differently!!! We libs are certain that for us, it is a moral issue. Not only is it immoral to let people die of thirst in the desert, it is immoral to not provide healthcare, separate families, withhold a better living standard to people who just out of bad luck were born into a poorer country.

But, is it POSSIBLE that conservatives have their own moral view? That it isn’t just naked self-interest?

We’re going to look at some cutting edge research on the science of morality; studies that have been done globally on the moral intuitions of people and how that effects their stances on immigration and a whole lot of other things.

These guys got together to talk all about it…

Jonathan Haidt has a theory, the Moral Foundations Theory, where he proposes that liberals and conservatives view the world differently:

Moral Foundations Theory was created to understand why morality varies so much across cultures yet still shows so many similarities and recurrent themes. In brief, the theory proposes that five innate and universally available psychological systems are the foundations of “intuitive ethics.” Each culture then constructs virtues, narratives, and institutions on top of these foundations, thereby creating the unique moralities we see around the world, and conflicting within nations too. The foundations are:

1) Harm/care, related to our long evolution as mammals with attachment systems and an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others. This foundation underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.
2) Fairness/reciprocity, related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. This foundation generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy. [Note: In our original conception, Fairness included concerns about equality, which are more strongly endorsed by political liberals. However, as we reformulate the theory in 2010 based on new data, we are likely to include several forms of fairness, and to emphasize proportionality, which is more strongly endorsed by conservatives]
3) Ingroup/loyalty, related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. This foundation underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s “one for all, and all for one.”
4) Authority/respect, shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. This foundation underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.
5) Purity/sanctity, shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. This foundation underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions)

Take the morality quiz to see where you fall…

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.

May 8: The border and the stock exchange!!
May 7th, 2010 by Sam


Topic #1: Immigration!!!

Okay, okay, okay – the white folks in AZ are scared of the drug cartels. I GET IT!!!

So why do they think that pissing off the entire Latino population is going to help? The police don’t want it either.

Why don’t they LEGALIZE and regulate the drug industry and put the cartels out of business!!!! And, for those concerned about illegal immigrants from Mexico… don’t you think these people would STAY HOME if things were better? So, why aren’t they better?

Topic #2 Stock market plummets, then shoots up again!!! What the heck happened? What does it mean? What does this mean for my retirement? The global economy? Tom Shafer is a former specialist (trader) on the New York Stock Exchange who was involved with automating the exchange. He’ll explain what happened, how it affects us, talk about the battle over regulation, and what we should expect going forward (do you like roller coasters?).

He just might share his opinions on the border issue too (if we twist his arm).

Michael Smerconish: For Me, the Party Is Over
Mar 2nd, 2010 by Sam

Michael Smerconish: For Me, the Party Is Over.

I think President Obama is earnest, smart, and much more centrist than his tea party caricature suggests. He has never been given a fair chance to succeed by those who openly crow about their desire to see him fail (while somehow congratulating one another on their relative patriotism). I know he was born in America, isn’t a socialist, and doesn’t worship in a mosque. I get that he inherited a minefield. Still, the level of federal spending concerns me. And he never closed the deal with me that health insurance is a right, not a privilege. But I’m not folding the tent on him. Not now. Not with the nation fighting two wars while its economy still teeters on the brink of collapse.

Do we need affirmative action for guys?
Feb 16th, 2010 by Sam

“…in The Atlantic, Don Peck reports that last November nearly a fifth of all men between 25 and 54 did not have jobs, the highest figure since the labor bureau began counting in 1948. We are either at or about to reach a historical marker: for the first time there will be more women in the work force than men.”  David Brooks, New York Times, February 15, 2010

Unhappy, angsty guys… Funny… I bet a lot of them are conservatives, so following their logic, my response should be “Not MY problem!!!”

Except, it is. And will be. Angsty guys cause problems. The only positive… China has more of them and there aren’t enough women around, so their problem is worse.

“You too can vote to take away civil rights from someone.”
Dec 1st, 2009 by Sam

What a great point!  If you really want to protect marriage, just ban divorce!

In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California.

The effort is meant to be a satirical statement after California voters outlawed gay marriage in 2008, largely on the argument that a ban is needed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage. If that’s the case, then Marcotte reasons voters should have no problem banning divorce.

“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.”


Not surprisingly, Marcotte’s campaign to make divorce in California illegal has divided those involved in last year’s campaign for and against Proposition 8.

As much as everyone would like to see fewer divorces, making it illegal would be “impractical,” said Ron Prentice, the executive director of the California Family Council who led a coalition of religious and conservative groups to qualify Proposition 8.

No other state bans divorce, and only a few countries, including the Philippines and Malta, do. The Roman Catholic Church also prohibits divorce but allows annulments. The California proposal would amend the state constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced while allowing married couples to seek an annulment.

Prentice said proponents of traditional marriage only seek to strengthen the one man-one woman union.

“That’s where our intention begins and ends,” he said.

Jeffrey Taylor, a spokesman for Restore Equality 2010, a coalition of same-sex marriage activists seeking to repeal Proposition 8, said the coalition supports Marcotte’s message but has no plans to join forces with him.

“We find it quite hilarious,” Taylor said of the initiative.”

Check out Marcotte’s website

Jun 6th: Rev Katherine Ragsdale, Episcopalian Divinity School
Jun 6th, 2009 by Sam

The Samantha Clemens Show: Rev Katherine Ragsdale; Craig Sandler

Sarah said Hillary should stop whining
Sep 11th, 2008 by Sam

Check out this video of Palin criticizing Clinton for mentioning unequal (read sexist) treatment.  She says the unfair treatment is there, but says “so what, work harder.”

What’s that old saying?  People who wear lipstick…  oops… people who live in glass houses…

The new Republican epithet: Community organizer
Sep 6th, 2008 by Sam

So, Obama was a community organizer, and so, naturally, Republicans have to come out and villify community organizing.

Have a listen to a discussion of what it is to be a community organizer (by the evil media) here:

Lame.  Really, really lame.  The Republicans are once again playing every card they’ve got.  They call Democrats elite and arrogant, how do they behave?  People from small towns (and I am from one) have the gall to say (and believe) that they are nicer, smarter, work harder, and are all-around better than everyone else.

The arrogance.  The dripping sarcasm.  What leaders.  What tough guys.  Wow, are these people we really want to have to listen for four years?  omg.

And from this discussion, it sounds like next on the list of targets are college professors.  Great.  I mean, education isn’t important for America’s success in the world, is it?  Nah…

African is the new black
Jun 19th, 2008 by Sam

Well, it’s all over for white girls. Sigh. With Michelle Obama soon to be the next first lady, with her great looks, sense of style, and great speaking ability; white women just pale in comparison. And, here it begins… Italian Vogue’s new issue features black women in all the photos, black women’s issues in all the articles. And, damn it, they look great!

Black women can wear great, bright colors that would make me look like a clown. They can wear fabulous jewelry that looks junky on me. Have you ever been in a room full of black women dressed to the nines? It’s like comparing a nice little pastel to a Picasso.

But black women have always been gorgeous. What’s new is that black women are now trendy. Just as Ellen made being a lesbian hip and cool, Michelle Obama is making being a black woman fabulous. And, it’s great! About time, I must say – the culture hasn’t been so kind to black women over the years.

However, I must confess to a little nostalgia for the good old days when medium brown hair and pale skin weren’t so, well, blah. So, we straight, white girls will just keep plugging away.  We’ll cycle through black, latina, and asian periods of coolness; let the bi-sexual girls have their day; and just patiently wait, hoping that our day will return.

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