If Republicans and Other Religious Extremists Insist on Flaunting their 10 Commandments in Public Places, Secularists Might Want to Point Out How Retro and Dysfunctional They Truly Are

By Donald B. Ardell - 08.09.15

This essay offers ten suggested decency commitments to Christians as a big improvement over the biblical 10 commandments.           

The 10 commandments strike me as archaic, unhelpful and ill-fitted to the 20th century, let alone the 21st. Still relentlessly promoted by the Religious Right, a modicum of objective scrutiny suggests it's time for a new and improved edition. If I were pope, head of a Protestant sect or a televangelist, I'd lead the way for major changes.

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Ukraine: To The Edge?

By Conn Hallinan - 07.24.15

“If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Chair U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

“This is not about Ukraine. Putin wants to restore Russia to its former position as a great power. There is a high probability that he will intervene in the Baltics to test NATO’s Article 5.”

Anders Fogh Rassmussen, former
Head of NATO

It is not just defense secretaries and generals employing language that conjure up the ghosts of the past. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a “Munich” analogy in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a common New York Times description of Russia is “revanchist.” These two terms take the Ukraine crisis back to 1938, when fascist Germany menaced the world.

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“The Clinton Health Plan (1994), the Affordable Care Act, GOP Politics, and Chief Justice Roberts”

By STEVEN JONAS MD, MPH - 07.30.15

At about the time that the Clinton Health Plan was introduced to the Congress in the fall of 1993, through the American Public Health Association I was recruited to be a “Designated Speaker for the Clinton Health Plan.”  Of course, as a left-winger I had been a “Single-Payer” supporter for many years.  Some of my friends and colleagues on the health care field were outraged that I would do such a thing.  But my position was a simple one.  While the CHP was highly complex and hardly perfect, the intent of the Act was to get most U.S. covered by some kind of health insurance in a fairly highly regulated system.  A simple, government-run, single-payer system, it wasn’t, but: for millions of U.S. citizens it was far better than what they had (too often, nothing). 

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A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY PEACE CHARTER

By HArry R. Targ - 06.29.15

The Need for a New Peace and Solidarity Vision

Peace activists have influenced the debates about foreign policies of states for centuries. Despite the fact that World War 1 which led to 20 million deaths was not averted, peace activists opposed to that war such as Jane Addams and Eugene V. Debs became models for peace advocacy for the remainder of the twentieth century.

After the next World War which added another forty million deaths to the century’s devastation, peace activists restrained the worst features of state violence and educated younger generations about war, colonialism, imperialism, and the links between the drive for oil and violence....

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LIONS, WOLVES, BEARS, and IRAN

By Loren Adams – 08.09.2015

For “recreation”, the Vice-Presidential contender shoots wolves, bears, and moose from helicopters and low-flying planes.

Furthermore, she introduces a bill to the Alaska legislature for the state to pay $150 bounties for each foreleg of a downed wolf.

The Republican Vide-President shoots domesticated pheasants while riding around a private Texas estate, the Armstrong Ranch, in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Together with his hunting pals (rich Republican donors exclusively) they shoot 400 quail within minutes, and then Mr. Cheney accidentally shoots his friend, Harry Whittington, in the face.

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May the Cuckoo Always Sing to Me-the Plight of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo and Other Fine Spirits of the Earth

By Mickey Walker-August 9, 2015

My backyard is the magic stuff of dreams.  At least it was until I moved away to the country.  Back then it was in a bustling urban area, yet cloaked in trees and lush vines that grew on a creek that time forgot.  Within this green world and canopy of vegetation, it was the home of many wild creatures that had somehow lost their way to risk navigating the bustling freeways less than a mile away.  There were armadillos, raccoons, feral cats (which I had to stop feeding because their numbers kept growing), and, of course, the birds.  Oh yes, and rabbits and even deer who had to negotiate these tangled manmade arteries of roads and thoroughfares without getting smashed by a car or even a big truck.  My backyard was just north of Houston back then.

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