Epicurus and American Exceptionalism

Contrary to the insinuations of the American Right, most US liberals are not anti-patriotic, or even unpatriotic. The vast majority are proud Americans. Where most sensible people draw the line is between American patriotism- a simple affinity with the American state and its people- and American Exceptionalism, or the belief that America is uniquely important …

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Best of the Week #3

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/16/15810524/senate-ahca-explain-please. If anyone ought to be able to explain the American Healthcare Act, it should be senior Republican senators. Vox asked them what the bill is meant to do. Their responses are wildly varied and totally lacking in detail. An important and frightening story! http://www.conservativehome.com/highlights/2017/06/outsiders-are-not-always-good-and-governments-are-not-always-bad.html. A book review of the rise of the outsiders, and …

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Learning about climate change, (1 of 2 posts on climate change)

A comprehensive survey of science teachers at middle and high schools across the US, conducted by the journal “Science”, finds that teachers generally devote a paltry 1 to 2 hours to the topic of climate change, and despite the fact 97 per cent of experts agree climate change is mainly human-caused, many teachers still “teach …

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Wild animals are dying off

Global wildlife populations are set to fall by more than two-thirds since 1970 by the end of the decade, warns the Living Planet report by WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The assessment of more than 14,000 populations of 3706 species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles from around the world reveals …

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Ripping out the smoke detectors even as the house begins to burn

“We seem intent on blinding ourselves, ripping out the smoke detectors even as the house begins to burn”.  (Bill McKibben, founder of climate change campaign 350.org, in Wired magazine, February 2017) And this is from Tom Engelhardt, who produces Tomgram: “The the most unforgivable of crime of all , is about to be wrought by …

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Let us all thank messy eaters

Researchers at the Arizona State University Institute of Human Origins have found that our species’ first ancestors began to climb down from trees to retrieve snacks they had dropped. Anatomical evidence from the 6-million-year-old fossilized remains of Sahelanthropus peinaó—which was unearthed earlier this year in South Africa and is now believed to be the last …

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