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Breaking the Sound Barrier

Breaking the Sound Barrier

By Amy Goodman

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Ear to the Ground

Dems Make Franken a Player

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Posted on Jun 30, 2009
Al Franken
U.S. Air Force / S. Sgt. Maria L. Taylor

Al Franken performs for U.S. troops in Germany in 2000.

Al Franken won’t officially be a U.S. senator until next week, but he’s set to make a big impact, and not just because he gives his party that 60th seat. Senate Democrats have reserved four committee spots for Franken, two of which will make him a key participant in health care reform and the confirmation of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Congressional Quarterly via Political Wire:

Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has been temporarily filling the seat the Democrats reserved for Franken on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has spent two weeks working on a complicated health-care overhaul that is expected to be completed July 10. The work on that bill has taken so long that Franken might still be able to participate.

Franken had argued for the urgency of resolving the court case because of his interest in participating in the health debate, which Democrats call their top domestic priority.

In addition, Ron Wyden of Oregon has been serving temporarily in Franken’s place on the Judiciary Committee, which has a hearing scheduled July 13 on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Democrats hope to confirm her before the August recess.

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By glider, July 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christian, I admit to being relatively ignorant of the Bible.  I have a copy of “The Five Gospels” which seeks to get at what Jesus actually said but have not yet read it.  I strongly prefer to read non-fiction so I have difficulty reading something that is obviously fabricated.  But it is on my list as it has had a powerful influence on the world.

I appreciate that you have “faith” and that is the basis of what you write here.  But you certainly must realize that there is not a shread of empirical evidence for the existence of your god.  Christian’s accept that their god exists simply because the bible says so.  It is as simple as that!  This is why I objected to you calling me irrational when I did not accept your biblical prophecies.  There is no rational argument for the basis of the prophesies in the first place.

As a scientist/buddhist of sorts I do find, the suggestion that the principles of love and kindness are uniquely Christian, to be an insulting falsehood.  I hope you realize this is nonsense!  Buddhists for example believe that good is the elimination of pain in living creatures (unselfishly, this extends to animals as well).  They are admittedly shocked by the Christian concept of forgiveness, such that a mass murderer can theoretically enter heaven by behaving well on the last day of his earthly life, while a man who has built up a lifetime of good karma will suffer an eternity of punishment because he was born in a country where he was not taught to believe in Jesus.  Consequently, in some of these countries you are not forgiven so easily when you do something bad and you really need to think about your actions.  Kind of refreshing in a way.

I too feel Eisenhower was prescient in warning about the military industrial complex and it surely has wrought a neglect to investing in education, healthcare, and other benefits at home.  But this is hardly a result of a lack of Christian teachings.  Most of the neocon’s responsible for this atrocity consider themselves to be good Christians and use the bible to support their crimes.  But you as a Christian really can not call them out on it.  You know why?  Because once you reject the need for one’s beliefs to be rational and provable you validate everyone’s interpretation of whatever book of fantasy they use to support their actions (old testament, new testament, koran, etc).  Rational thought and argument don’t matter because my interpretation of the bible says I can go kill these MF muslims or MF communists or MF abortionists.  Yes, I know you do not agree with their interpretation but it is there and the acceptance of the belief in god eliminates your ability to argue against their irrationality.  This is why religion is generally evil and dangerous.

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By christian96, July 3, 2009 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

Glider—-I have a great education.  Academically,
I have doctoral degrees in counseling and child
development, taught child development and educational
psychology at major universities.  One year, I even
taught research design and statistical analysis.  I
served as school psychologist for public schools.  But, my best education came in 1977, after my father
had a heart attack, I began studying the Bible and
have done so for 32 years.  The Bible has taught me
more than my formal education did about the nature
of human beings.  I will not read the book you
recommended because I don’t wish to take the time
to do so.  I have better things to do.  There is a
Bible verse that talks about people like you.  It
basically reads, “In the last days will come scoffers.”  As for the future of our children I’m
afraid it doesn’t look very bright, especially after
the government placed the financial burden on them
it did within the last year.  It could have been
bright if our government had required child development and family relations courses which educated children how their thoughts and behaviors
are being manipulated by the “consumerism” society
in America.  It would help our children if the
governement limited class size to 15 for Kind. through 3rd grades.  But that’s not going to happen
because the government has to use billions of dollars to subsidize the military-industrial
complex which President Eisenhauer warned us about.
I am not even going to get into the moral depravity
in America that is ruining the future for our children.  I can only wonder what it might be like
if our children had been taught the Christian
principles of love, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, a concern for others, etc.  Of course
that isn’t going to happen because of a minority
of ignorant perverts.  My suggestion to you is to
study the Bible rather than reading what someone
else says about the Bible.  Your eternal future
depends upon it.

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By glider, July 2, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christian, it is a good start that you are asking this question. So, you ask what is the statistical probability that any 3 broad vague events you can pull out of the bible occurred by chance rather than being an intervention by “god”? I would suggest that you can pull verses out of the bible to support virtually anything you want. After all politicians, crusaders, and warriors have been doing for millennium. Why don’t you try that as an exercise? Make up something completely absurd and see if you can find verses in the bible to support it.
But OK lets just quickly look at your example.
1)terror released upon a country
2)borrowing from other nations
3)fast war from a far away nation
The number of countries fitting these criteria is obviously quite high right? How about considering Iraq and Afganistan for instance. I think our shock and awe and drone campaigns easily qualify as terror from a far away nation that is swift as a eagle. In fact it is a better fit than Al Qaeda which is not a “nation”. I will grant you that the borrowing bit fits the USA better but this is a fairly universal operation.
My recommendation to you is put down the bible and get an education. A good book to start with is “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris. In addition to providing a point by point refutation of religion he argues against the moral equivalency crowd and urges people to confront those who push the religion agenda. You seem to be a member of this scary “end days” group. How do such people go about making a better world for our children and future generations if you firmly believe that armageddon is just around the corner? I believe it is a bad influence on our society

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By christian96, July 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Glider—-I assume by your comments you envision
yourself as a logical scientific individual.  Ask
any scientist how much statistical probabilities
are involved in proving or disproving theories
they are researching.  In my previous comments I only
mentioned 3 of many characteristics which would
describe a nation cursed by God for their disobedience:  (1) God would bring “terror” upon a
nation disobedient to his teaching.  There are many
examples of “terror” upon America of which 9/11
was the most severe so far; (2) another example
of God cursing a disobedient America is other
NATIONS LENDING TO US and (3) God shall bring a
nation against you from far, AS SWIFT AS THE EAGLE
FLYS, a nation which language you shall not understand.  Were the 2 jets which flew into the
twin towers AS SWIFT AS THE EAGLE FLYS?  Since you
are a rational science oriented person what is the
STATISTICAL PROBABILITY these 3 events described
thousands of years ago would occur in America within
a decade?  You are not a rational scientist.  I can
tell by your writing.  You wrote “The ONLY THING
you can fall back on is something called FAITH…”
My previous description of 3 events which happened
in America which God predicted would happen to a
disobedient nation are more than FAITH.  So, who

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By idarad, July 1, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

point being you quote “scriptures” I call them fairy tales
why don’t you make your point instead of quoting someone else.  Knowledge is the basis for making and forming an opinion, taking a stance and being able to involve yourself in your world.  If you can’t state your case in your own words, why waste our time quoting someone - some other work. If I wanted to read the “scriptures”, I would.  SInce I am on-line reading articles and peoples own thoughts and ideas, that is what I seek.  Speak for yourself if you have something you want to say.

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By SteveL, July 1, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

If Franken had been a Republican the ultra right (those slightly to the right of mainstream media) would have been screaming their heads off these past months.  Harry (I am more useless than spit) Reid must be in terror.  Now when things don’t get done he is out of one big excuse.

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By glider, July 1, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITH, Unfortunately actually believing in this wacky Christian shit is a litmus test for being the President of the USA!

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By Inherit The Wind, July 1, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Hey, Christian1696:

For 8 years we HAD a President who believed God was talking to him.  And he put us down this RAT HOLE!

Reagan had a Sec of the Interior, James Watt, who believed like you that Armageddon was just around the corner.  Therefore he saw NO reason not to gut all regulations and restrictions against exploiting our beautiful lands and dumping poisons into it. 

THAT is where your so-called “Christians” who believe have gotten us.

The last TRUE Born-Again Christian to actually DO GOOD was hounded from office and ridiculed by the televangelist Right.  Of course, I’m speaking of Jimmy Carter.—and he’s been out of office for 28 years.

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By glider, July 1, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christian, you are the one who needs to take a course in logic. Coincidences you can cherry pic from the vast repertoire of fabrications made by ignorant people thousands of years ago proves nothing. Try studying scientific method which has been designed to ferret out the real truth as best we can in world about us. As it stands you are a complete embarrassing ignoramus when it comes to “rationality”. The only thing you can fall back on is something called “faith” which is what religious people do when it is pointed out how irrational their beliefs are.

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By JP, July 1, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excuse me, but what expertise does Franken have on health care and judicial matters?  I don’t really care one way or another who won the Senate seat, but isn’t it a sham to put a former comedian newly elected to the Senate into such important seats in our most deliberative government body?  Seems like Democrats are just going for the celebrity recognition, another sign that they are no better than the Republicans in putting politics before country.

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By christian96, July 1, 2009 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Idarad——“Fairy tales,” “myths,” and “mystical being” are typical ways ignorant people expose
their lack of knowledge.  If you are going to be
critical at least try to use some rationality.  Did
the scriptures I quoted describe America today?  If
so, try some rational approach to argue against

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By idarad, July 1, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

your post would be better left without the fairy tale associations.  you either can think for yourself or you can quote the myths, better to provide your thoughts for their own merits rather than hide behind some mystical being

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By christian96, July 1, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Senator Franken—-In another post I made the comment
that it looks like the only hope for America was
through revolution.  Then I said it would be ugly and
bloody.  It has come to mind that it doesn’t have to
be ugly and bloody.  There are various types of
revolution.  The one that would not be ugly and bloody would be a revolution in thought.  You are about to become one of the leaders of our country.
By the way they act, I believe most leaders have very
little knowledge of the Bible.  In the 26th Chapter
of Leviticus, God tells Israel to follow his teachings for blessings to come upon them.  Then,
beginning in verse 15 God tells Israel what will happen if they don’t follow his teachings.  Verse
16 tells us that God will bring TERROR upon them if
they are not obedient.  Has TERROR come upon Israel
and America?  The 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy also
discusses the curses God brought upon Israel when
they failed to follow his teachings.  America would
learn well from all the verses but especially 43 and
44, “The stranger(Foreigner) that is within you shall
rise above you and you shall come down low.  HE SHALL
be the head and you shall be the tail.  One of the
problems wrong with America now is the financial mess
we have gotten ourselves into because of other nations lending to us.  Foreigners are buying America.  Verse 49 reads, “God shall bring a nation
against you from far, from the end of the earth, as
swift as the eagle flys, a nation whose language you
shall not understand.  There are many more curses
God brought upon Israel for their disobedience.  For
lack of space I suggest you read Leviticus 26 and
Deuteronomy.  We need to learn from History.  What
happened to Israel because of their disobedience is
now happening to America because of our disobedience.
Be a leader.  Inform your fellow brothers and sisters
in Washington about the curses God brings upon a nation who becomes disobedient, ask them to set aside
a day of Prayer where they become humble and ask God
to forgive their ignorance and to guide them in the
way they should go and ask them to RESTORE the Ten
Commandments and Prayer in schools.  America was the
strongest when the majority of people were Christians and followed the teachings in the Bible.
You will receive resistance from a minority of people.  The Bible mentions them in Proverbs 14:12,
“There is a way which seems right to people but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  Follow life.
Follow God.

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By idarad, June 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

60 seats does not make 60 votes
you count lie ber man
you count spectator
you count reid the spinless
you count the blue dawgs.

where the hell do you get 60 votes.  Hell only 5 senators voted against sending another 106 billion down the rat hole occupation, 2 democrats voted on principal - 3 republicans because they didn’t remember what they were voting on.
jesus christ, you don’t have something until you have it. And seats are where the asses sit, not where the votes are counted.

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By boggs, June 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

I think our democrats in Washington wanted that sixtieth seat filled, but maybe not with a good liberal democrat who might not be joyful to see the big name dems selling out on a good healthcare plan to big PHARMA and INSURANCE companies.

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By DocReality, June 30, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Great! Another Zionist clown ready to throw the Constitution away

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By coloradokarl, June 30, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

I hope Big Al gives us the truth about what is really going on in the Senate. It seems like anyone who has a brain gets “silenced” and stuck in the seniority line to slowly get the life sucked out of their souls. Coleman has my highest respect and I wish him a Very healthy and prosperous long life. Thank You !!!

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