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Parenting Without God

12:03 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

When asked if the world would be better off without God, Dan Arel, the author of Parenting Without God does not pull punches. “The world would be better off without the idea of God,’ Arel clarifies “the world is already without God.”

Even at a time when the popularity of shows like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos, Arel’s aggressive brand of atheism will not win many friends. In fact, a recent Pew Research survey showed that people of all religious faith have one thing in common: their utter disdain for atheists.

“Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).

 

Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.” (Emphasis added)

 

The scary part about that data (aside from rampant Islamophobia in America) is that survey shows an improved opinion of atheists from only 3 years ago.

2011 poll found that US citizens trusted atheists on par with rapists.

 

With this kind of fervent hatred and distrust, Arel asks, what does the future hold for a group (Atheists) so hated in their own country?

Watch the full show here.

About the guest |
Dan Arel is freelance journalist for Alternet and Salon as well as a blogger for The Huffington Post. He writes a column called Danthropology for American Atheists Magazine and is the author of the book Parenting Without God, How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogmapublished byDangerous Little Books

About Acronym TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. |
ABOUT ACRONYM TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. 
Dennis Trainor, Jr. hosts Acronym TV, a weekly series of dialogue, conversation and debate with the goal of helping viewers sort through these transformative times through the insight of leading activists, artists, journalists, philosophers, scholars, and thinkers.

Acronym TV’s growing YouTube subscriber base of 33 thousand has generated over 30 million views, and is part of The Young Turks Network, the largest online news source in the world.
Acronym TV, what do you stand for?

Acronym TV airs on Free Speech TV, currently available in 37 million homes nationwide, airing on DISH Network (9415), DIRECTV (348), and Burlington Telecom (122) and streams all programs live at www.freespeech.org

Dennis Trainor, Jr. is a writer, host and producer. His documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc, garnered critical praise from The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and more.  He also wrote and directed Legalize Democracy, a documentary short about the Movement To Amend the Constitution.

atv baby-scientist

VIDEO: Beyond The People’s Climate March

4:17 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in conversation with Timeka Drew, a grassroots organizer with the Global Climate Convergence.

In two weeks the Peoples Climate March in New York, organized by 350.org, is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people. The march is to take place only days before a special UN meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris.

Christopher Hedges has called this march a “last gasp of climate change liberals;” and “a climate themed street fair.” Our only hope, according to Hedges, “comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance.”

atv qualifier

VIDEO: Do We Slaughter the Planet or Exterminate Capitalism?

6:58 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Humanity is flying headlong over a climate cliff  and reversing course does not project to be very profitable for the global elite.

So, without a growing number of us holding their feet to the ever warming fire, a much need reversal will not happen and the corporately controlled main stream media will continue to portray this topic as one where there are two sides to the story. Consider this typical news copy, filed by the AP, describing the 2012 UN Climate meeting, “the two decade old talks have not fulfilled their main purpose, reducing the greenhouse gas emission that scientists say are warming the earth.” (Emphasis added)

What is that extraneous phrase always included – “that scientists say” included as a qualifier? I mean, it is not as if the AP would, in captioning a satellite picture of Earth, would write, “here is a picture of the planet earth, which scientists say is not flat.”

To make matters worse, the worst offenders will be the last to suffer the consequences. One of the main stated goals of last year’s conference was finding ways to raise climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil. 
Tim Gore of Oxfam said developing countries, including island nations for whom rising sea levels pose a threat to their existence, stand before a “climate fiscal cliff.” and saidSo what we need for those countries are firm commitments from rich countries to keep giving money to help them to adapt to climate change.”

In summary: The parties to the UN Climate conference represent governments whose policies and philosophies enable crimes against the environment that have and will continue to cause devastation of the ecological, moral and financial variety to the quote developing countries who do not possess the infrastructure or the wherewithal to contribute to Sodom and Gomorrah show that us developed countries are visiting upon the planet, and will present an existential threat to the less developed countries actual existence, so we will pay them reparations. We all agree that we owe them reparations, I mean, our way of life, to channel Dr. Suess for a moment, our biggering and biggering and biggering turning more Truffala trees into thneeds that everyone NEEDS, is now or will in the not too distant future, literally killing people in less developed countries who are not so busy building thneeds that everyone needs.

So, in addition to destroying the ecosystem and straining to hold up the house of cards that is the global Hyper capitalist financial system, we are thinking that things might get down right scary in a mad max kind of way so we might want to prioritize helping the victims in developing countries who suffer or will suffer the homicidal side effects of our lifestyle. But actually change our lifestyle? No, silly. That’s not on the table, is it?

Question, and again, I am no expert on the subject, but is Capitalism compatible with the health and survival of all of the living things on this rock we call Earth?

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From Ferguson To Palestine Occupation Is a Crime

9:58 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR6bt9_Yn5o

After five hours of rallies and marches on justice for Palestine and Ferguson, 1,500 protesters were in Union Square park in Manhattan, all with their hands up for Mike Brown. When the crowd took their hands down, a voice from the crowd told them “Mike Brown never took his hands down. The dead children in Gaza did not get to take their hands down.”

And so it was on this dramatic ending to a long day of complimentary marches in New York Wednesday: the NYC Solidarity with Palestine March over the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hands Up/ Turn Up march in remembrance of Mike Brown energized activists and community members who stood up to racism and oppression “from Ferguson to Palestine.”

A highlight of the solidarity with Palestine march came when activists were able to drop a large banner with the colors of the Palestinian flag from the Manhattan Bridge (facing the march on the Brooklyn Bridge). Text in the flag read “Gaza in our Hearts. Boycott. Divest. Sanction.”

Pictures of the flag billowing from the Manhattan Bridge quickly went viral on social media.

Protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to One Police Plaza in order to call out Mayor De Blasio and NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for what organizer Nastaran Mohit called “their criminal silence on the issue of Palestine” even as they coordinate and train with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Many of the protesters from the Palestine march joined the #HandsUp #TurnUp on NYC march.

Joel Northam, a past contributor to Acronym TV, was among them. He described the link this way: “we have people of color living in def-acto internal colonies in the United States. There are no borders. There are only the oppressed and the oppressors.”

ATV Something is happening

VIDEO: Detroit Water Crisis is a Prelude to the Privatization of Water

6:07 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Atpeace Makita, a single mother of five children who turned to activism after her water was shut off by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the Detroit Water Brigade and what it is like to living during the current push for the privatization of the water supply.

Only the Polar Ice Caps contain more fresh water that The Great Lakes.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, The Great Lakes are the largest surface fresh water system on the Earth, providing 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and 21% of the world’s supply.

AtPeace Makita is at the center of a growing wave of activism fighting what the UN has called a clear violation of human rights: “Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights,” U.N. officials said in a news release. “Because of a high poverty rate and a high unemployment rate, relatively expensive water bills in Detroit are unaffordable for a significant portion of the population.”

“If Detroit can be used as a prototype,” asks Makita “why can’t it happen in LA, Chicago, or New York? On top of the bankruptcy, on top of the foreclosures, on top of the mayoral issues and emergency manager, on top of all of it – now you want to take our life source?”

Under the “stewardship” of emergency management, shutting off the life source of many Detroiters is exactly what is happening.

In March of this year, more than half of all the customers of Detroit Water and Sewage department were more than 60 days delinquent on their water bills.Including businesses, schools and commercial buildings the department has about 323,900 Detroit accounts. As of March 6, nearly 165,000 of those accounts were overdue to the tune of $175 million. There are also more than 296,000 residential accounts –more than 154,000 of which are delinquent for $91.7 million

As Carl Gibson, writing for Occupy.com, points out: “The water shutoffs in Detroit, which is currently in the middle of a bankruptcy fight, are merely a prelude to the outright privatization of water and other public assets. Defenders of Kevyn Orr’s water shutoffs claim that residents need to simply pay their bills to avoid losing their water. Others argue that water infrastructure needs to be paid for – and if it isn’t, the only logical conclusion is that those who don’t pay for the infrastructure will lose their water.”

Makita describes her work with the Detroit Water Brigade, where she serves as Creative Director, as working towards a cultural shift. The system, says Makita, is not working and “we need to create another system that works for all of us.”

Noting that the Detroit t Water and Sewage Department is a public utility that in now under the oversight of an unelected emergency manager, Makita’s message to people outside of Detroit is both a warning and an invitation.

“What if your water is cut off, “ she asks “what if you are not controlling that spigot? Then what?”

About the guest 

AtPeace Makita is the Creative Director of The Detroit Water Brigade. A mother of six children, she is a native Detroiter and an honorable veteran of the U.S. Military.

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VIDEO: Is BuzzFeed a Mouthpiece for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)? (with Mnar Muhawesh)

9:08 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

While Benjamin Netanyahu has practically been given an anchor chair at CNN during Operation Protective Edge to pound home a narrative that almost everyone else in the world (save for 100% of US Senators) has rejected; namely that Israel is a victim of terror and not a perpetrator, telling the counter narrative is left to media outlets without ties to major corporate interest and/or ties to the duopoly here in the United States.

In this interview with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of AcronymTV, Mnar Muhawesh, editor in chief of Mint Press news says she sees the role of journalism as protecting the people from the State.

The role of journalism is to inform he public and hold those in power accountable. (What we have today) is a journalism outfit that does not work in the interest of people, it is working in the interest of the government, corporations and these lobby groups.

Muhawesh claims that it is not only CNN, FOX, and MSNBC, but popular websites like BuzzFeed, who, according to Muhawesh, serve as a “mouthpiece for Israeli Defense Forces.”

About the Guest 

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News. Ms. Muhawesh is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She is also regularly interviewed on nationally and internationally syndicated networks like RT about the need for independent journalism and neoconservatism in the media. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today.

In 2009, Muhawesh also became the first American woman to wear the hijab to anchor/report the news in American media, and Muhawesh is currently the first American Muslim woman to work as an editor at large for an American newsroom.

atv IDF

Has The Pro-Choice strategy of Last 40 years Failed Women?

6:23 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

“What once was maybe a Christian-Fascist movement against women’s right to abortion really got elevated and brought into the halls of power,” says Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy. “Starting with Ronald Reagan, continuing under Bush, escalating Bill Clinton (quiet as it is kept: Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became the foundation for the recent Hobby Lobby decision).”

Taylor continues: “There has been a concerted push on the one side from Christian-Fascists to force women back into the role of breeders and there has been a lot of conciliation on the ‘pro-choice’ side and by the Democrats and by much of the movement. (…) This is a movement enslave women. This is a movement to control women. This is a movement driven by biblical literalists; Christian Fascists who literally, when they pray outside the clinics say ‘LORD:please break this curse of independence that has afflicted women.’”

Pro-choice, Abortion Rights, Pro-Life, Right to Life, Debate, 2014 elections, mid term elections, Acronym TV, ATV 013, Sunsara Taylor, Dennis Trainor Jr, Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, HB2, House Bill 2, Abortion bill,

atv WhyVoteDemocratic

The Pope and The Pornographer – What is the Difference? 

5:15 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV.com

“There is a big difference between being anti-pornography and anti sex worker,” says Taylor. “Stop Patriarchy does stand firmly against pornography, against the sex industry, against the commodification of women’s bodies, against the sexualized degradation of women, and just to be real: what is going on in pornography today is exactly part of this whole revenge against women. I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be for women’s rights and find (pornography) empowering or something we should celebrate.”

Taylor sums up her argument by saying: “There is no difference between the Pope and the pornographer. Both reduce women to objects. You could be a breeder or you could be a sex object.”

atv pope pornography patriarchy

An Abortion Rights Battle Bigger Than Texas | an interview with Sunsara Taylor

2:07 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV just days before leading a month long Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in Texas. The freedom ride is currently underway and will run through September 1, by which time Texas is expected to close all but six abortion clinics statewide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtAkCvVVkJo&feature=youtu.be

Stop Patriarchy’s highly theatrical, non-violent yet confrontational style has not endeared them to all activists in Texas fighting for reproductive justice. In fact, a coalition has formed whose sole purpose is to oppose Stop Patriarchy. Texans for Reproductive Justicehas published a Letter of Concern, opposing “Stop Patriarchy’s messaging, tactics, dishonesty, and racism.”
Stop Patriarchy has seen this type of resistance before.

Diane Derzis runs the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. Speaking to Acronym TV on background for this episode, Dianne told us she was “warned about Stop Patriarchy” before they came to defend her clinic during the 2013 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. Derzis, who now sits on the Abortion Rights freedom Ride advisory board noted that one reason people fear Stop Patriarchy is because their leader, Sunsara Taylor, is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

The way Derzis sees it, however, the fear of, and opposition to Stop Patriarchy goes deeper than a McCarthyism style witch-hunt: it boils down to women in the pro- choice movement being too polite.

“The message I have heard all my life is be good. Be Nice. Be a Lady, you can’t talk like that’, if you will just follow the program, everything fine, we will take care of you,” Derzis told us, before clarifying: “we are seeing the same things we have been seeing for 40 years and (the pro-choice movement) is loosing drastically.”
“This is not just a Texas issue, Derzis emphasized, “we are just he canary in the mines. This is going to happen to everyone. Everyone in this country should be on the Freedom Ride.”

Acronym TV Episode 013 breakdown

Part 1: (00:26) Why I support The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride
Host Dennis Trainor, Jr. explains why he has joined with Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, Mark Ruffalo, Dr. Cornel West, and many others in co-signing a statement in support of Stop Patriarchy’s 2014 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride.

Part 2: (05:25) From Roe V. Wade until today, how did we loose so much ground?
“What once was maybe a Christian-Fascist movement against women’s right to abortion really got elevated and brought into the halls of power. Starting with Ronald Reagan, continuing under Bush, escalating Bill Clinton (quiet as it is kept: Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became the foundation for the recent Hobby Lobby decision).”

Taylor continues: “There has been a concerted push on the one side from Christian-Fascists to force women back into the role of breeders and there has been a lot of conciliation on the ‘pro-choice’ side and by the Democrats and by much of the movement. (…) This is a movement enslave women. This is a movement to control women. This is a movement driven by biblical literalists; Christian Fascists who literally, when they pray outside the clinics say ‘LORD:please break this curse of independence that has afflicted women.’”

Part 3: (10:03) Texans For Reproductive Justice v. Stop Patriarchy
Critics within the Texas pro-choice community have very publicly stood in opposition to Stop Patriarchy. A coalition calling itself Texans for Reproductive Justice have published a United Statement in Opposition to Stop Patriarchy and a detailed Letter of Concern“opposing Stop Patriarchy’s messaging, tactics, dishonesty, and racism.”

“Well first I have to say, (Texans for Reproductive Justice) has this huge Texas flag at the top of their website. Before I talk about the substance of that website, I just have to say that anyone who waves the Texas flag; the flag of the theft of Mexico, the flag that flew over slavery … They became a state because Mexico tried to outlaw slavery. That is what that flag stands for! And (if) you want to wave that flag you are automatically disqualified to talk about liberation. It is a disgusting flag. It is a disgusting notion that people from outside of Texas should not come down here. There are no ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ in a liberation struggle. Texas is a local theater in a national war- frankly- an international war on women. What happens in Texas is going to affect women everywhere.”

Taylor then goes on to dismiss the issues raised by Texans for Reproductive Justice as “tabloid style rumors (and) emotionally accusations that have nothing to do with the positions and the past of Stop Patriarchy. They accuse us of racism for invoking the legacy of the freedom ride. Again, I would rather invoke the legacy of freedom fighters than the flag and the legacy of slaveholders. It is an absurd charge.”

That strategy is loosing, according to Taylor, and has proven deadly.

“For years, there has been a tried and failed approach within the pro-choice movement. It has been an approach of conciliation, of ‘toning it down’, and funneling one’s energies into the electoral arena and into Democratic candidates.”
Part 4: (16:30) Is Stop Patriarchy “Anti-Sex Worker?”
“There is a big difference between being anti-pornography and anti sex worker,” says Taylor. “Stop Patriarchy does stand firmly against pornography, against the sex industry, against the commodification of women’s bodies, against the sexualized degradation of women, and just to be real: what is going on in pornography today is exactly part of this whole revenge against women. I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be for women’s rights and find (pornography) empowering or something we should celebrate.”

Taylor sums up her argument by saying: “There is no difference between the Pope and the pornographer. Both reduce women to objects. You could be a breeder or you could be a sex object.”

Part 5: (19:02) The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride – Ground Zero Texas
Sunsara Taylor about what she calls the local theater for a national war on women and the specific itinerary for The 2014 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. Including public speak outs in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley as well as “Confrontational, dramatic, non-violent political protest that delivers the verdict of these hearings to appropriate individuals/institutions. Protesters will brandish bloody coat-hangers, images of the women who died from illegal abortions, and shackles representing female enslavement.”

The objective of the Freedom Ride, according to Taylor, is to build momentum so that if/when Texas shuts down all but six of its abortion clinics by September, “that that moment becomes part of a turning point where people actually respond in outrage and this part of gathering the country to stand up and start to reverse the momentum.”

atv TEXAS-ABORTION_0

VIDEO: Obama’s Failure to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison

3:53 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Jason Leopold, in the clip from the full-length Acronym TV episode, How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Guantanamo Prison, discusses the Obstacles President Obama faces in keeping his campaign promise to restore habeas corpus, shut down Guantanamo Prison, and restore America’s moral stature in the world. If President Obama’s true intention s are as described above, what can he do alone, and what does need cooperation from Congress to do?

“What he could do now is actually start releasing some of these prisoners,” says Leopold “The vast majority of those cleared are Yemeni prisoners. Yemen is a big country. To think that these men, who were never on a battlefield, can’t be sent back to Yemen because they will end up as part of Al-Qaeda (makes no sense).”

Citing President Obama’s major 2013 counter terrorism speech, wherein he acknowledged that a US drone had targeted and killed a U.S. citizen (Anwar Al-Awlaki) and where the President was forced to discuss GITMO because, “it was the height of a hunger strike and it attracted attention around the world.” In that speech, Leopold notes, Obama lifted a moratorium, “that he put into place and here we are year later and there have been no Yemeni’s released. As we saw with the swap with the Taliban of the five prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, that was a fight he was willing to wage with Congress.”

About the guest:

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government, and civil liberties. He’s been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which includes successfully suing the FBI to force changes to Bureau FOIA practices.

audacity of nope