Christianity in America grudgingly moves in opposite directions

A series of Pew Research Center polls released last week shows how ideas about religious belief and morality are increasingly falling along racial and political lines. Fifty-six percent of Americans now say that belief in God isn’t a necessary component of morality, up from 49 percent in 2011. The uptick reflects the wider prevalence of the spiritually unaffiliated, or “nones,” as nearly a quarter of Americans identified as atheist or agnostic in 2011.

The change may be only a 7-point difference. But those differences manifest themselves almost exclusively along political lines.

Having resolved this discussion to the best information available in science and philosophy – at the time – I’ve been a philosophical materialist, a dialectician, an atheist since 1956. Every serious scientific publication I’ve read since has only strengthened that conviction.

While Republicans have roughly held steady in their attitudes — 50 percent say a belief in God is necessary for morality, while 47 percent say it is not — Democrats have shown the most change in their perspectives. Almost two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters now say belief in God is not part of being a good person, compared with 51 percent in 2011.

RTFA for more directions – and direction – the authors seem solid that this portion of their survey speaks most accurately to changes in the United States.

Phony-Quality Steel scandal hits Boeing, Toyota, Nissan and more


Kobe executives now qualify for their own reality TV show

❝ Boeing, Toyota, Nissan and other big companies are scrambling to check the safety of their products after it emerged they had been supplied with falsely certified metal from Kobe Steel in a deepening scandal that has dealt a fresh blow to confidence in industrial quality controls in Japan.

More than a fifth of the value of Japan’s third biggest steelmaker was wiped off after trading resumed in the company following its admission of falsifying inspection data on an estimated 20,000 tonnes of metals shipped to about 200 customers in the year to August 2017.

❝ The steelmaker had sold metal with strength that did not match the quality standard it had promised its clients for use in products ranging from cars to aircraft. It warned at the weekend that the problems could stretch back 10 years.

❝ It is the latest in a string of scandals highlighting wider concerns about inspection and quality control in Japan from wobbly building pilings at the construction arm of Asahi Kasei to overstated fuel economy at Mitsubishi Motors. The Kobe Steel news came just days after Japanese carmaker Nissan was forced to recall about 1.2m vehicles that were inspected by unauthorised technicians.

Other companies affected by the Kobe Steel scandal include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, IHI, Honda, Mazda and Subaru. Kobe Steel said it had no evidence of any safety concerns as a result of the fraudulent certification.

If Japan can get away with corruption like this for a decade, it sets a new goal for Trump and his chump followers to try to match.

Pimp for Big Coal will repeal Clean Power Plan — that is until American Voters tire of dying for profiteers


You know damned well neither Trump nor Pruitt live near here

❝ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told coal miners in Kentucky on Monday that he will move to repeal a rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, assuring them, “The war against coal is over…”

A 43-page draft of the proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post and other news outlets last week, argues that the agency overstepped its legal authority in seeking to force utilities to reduce carbon emissions outside their actual facilities to meet federal emissions targets. It does not offer a replacement plan for regulating emissions of carbon dioxide, which the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA is obligated to do. Rather, the agency said it plans to seek public input on how best to cut emissions from natural-gas and coal-fired power plants…

None of which involves science or the reality and results of carbon pollution.

❝ “With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States,” Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “He’s proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year.”

RTFA for the details. The POST fulfills the All-American requirement for a certain amount of sophistry; so, you shall, of course, encounter the required percentage of lies from the Trump government, the Republican Party and other pimps for coal profiteers.

I rely not only on current science for my condemnation of this crappola; but, my own childhood growing up in a New England factory town powered entirely by coal. Two of the three biggest factories in town were just uphill from my neighborhood. Breakouts of coal gas from the private power plants providing electricity to those plants were common enough, dangerous enough to lay bodies low on the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood. The factories were required to have sirens in place to activate in such instances. Not a big deal. They were leftover from the War.

Nothing else was done until the introduction of natural gas to our city. The switchover saved money for the factory owners so, of course, it was done. Only incidentally were the sirens finally removed as no longer needed.