“Religious” folk ain’t the majority in the GOUSA anymore …


No waiting in line

The secularization of U.S. society — the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation — is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and embraced.

Democratic societies that have experienced the greatest degrees of secularization are among the healthiest, wealthiest and safest in the world, enjoying relatively low rates of violent crime and high degrees of well-being and happiness. Clearly, a rapid loss of religion does not result in societal ruin …

Organic secularization can occur for many reasons. It happens when members of a society become better educated, more prosperous, and live safer, more secure and more peaceful lives; when societies experience increases in social isolation; when people have better healthcare; when more women hold paying jobs; when more people wait longer to get married and have kids. All of these, especially in combination, can decrease religiosity.

Another major factor is the ubiquity of the internet, which provides open windows to alternative worldviews and different cultures that can corrode religious conviction — and allows budding skeptics and nascent freethinkers to find, support and encourage one another.

Overdue! I had read sufficient science to be an atheist by the time I was 13. Added studies in philosophy to properly associate my understanding with philosophical materialism … by 18.

Never had to look back and change that comprehension, understanding.

Biden’s “AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN” rescues more than our health


DrewAngerer/Getty

Perhaps the most surprising element of President Joe Biden’s first presidential speech on Thursday night was what it did not include…Yet there is no doubt that the political implications of his plan have the potential to be nothing less than radical…

There’s the tax credit for children that in effect provides thousands of dollars a year for each child—an idea that’s been debated since Daniel Moynihan proposed it as a member of the Nixon administration. There’s the significant expansion of subsidies to buy into health care, along with months’ worth of free access to health insurance for those who’ve lost their jobs and health insurance—not “socialized medicine,” but a significant step toward more public underwriting of health care. And there’s an $86 billion commitment to protect the pensions of a million retirees whose multi-employer plans were in danger of insolvency—without even a pretense that this is linked to the Covid pandemic…

Overdue, of course. Most Western democracies have moved towards, often beyond, the pillars of this qualitative legislation. They marched forward at the end of the war against Nazi fascism. Not only to rebuild; but, advance new and greater standards of life and freedom. That’s a different piece of history this article needn’t address.

I have to wonder how soon – and how well – the “average American” will come to understand benefits like these. The battle yet to rage shall rollout ancient ideology from the Right. Fear and trembling unto death, no doubt. I have to wonder how much courage, backbone and strategic understanding will come to stand up for all of us. Not from the Left…what there is in the GOUSA…but, from the Democrats own party.

“The times they are a’changing” – I hope.

Native American treaties never overruled by Congress still stand — SCOTUS

The Supreme Court said Thursday that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, is Native American land for purposes of federal criminal law in a decision that the state argued could call into question thousands of state prosecutions for serious crimes.

Justice Neil Gorsuch penned the 5-4 opinion joined by the liberals on the bench…

“Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law,” said Gorsuch, who was appointed by President Donald Trump. “Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word,” he said.

Under the law, crimes involving Native Americans on a reservation are under federal, not state, jurisdiction…

The unique case represented the opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the limits of tribal sovereignty and revisit the country’s horrific history of displacing native tribes from their land.

Justice for the white land grab of Native American lands is so long overdue, the court should probably hear from Methuselah.

Massachusetts Wind Farm Will Save Customers $1.4 Billion


First and only offshore wind farm in the GOUSA

Massachusetts electricity users will save about $1.4 billion over 20 years from the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.

Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, joint developers of the 800-megawatt project south of Martha’s Vineyard, expect to provide power and renewable energy credits for 6.5 cents a kilowatt-hour according to a letter Wednesday from the state Department of Energy Resources.

❝ That’s a levelized price in 2017 dollars over the term of the contracts, and makes the Vineyard Wind project about 18 percent cheaper than other alternatives, according to the letter. It’s also lower than the wind industry expected and shows that offshore wind can be a competitive source of clean energy as costs continue to come down.

Between Congress and the Two Old Parties, the United States probably would be late to our own funeral. We not only fail to get anything done on time. We blather around playing spin the bottle with all the failing old corporations afraid to build for the future. Our future.

California Governor signs historic legislation granting expanded overtime pay to farmworkers


Arturo Rodriguez, Anthony Rendon, Lorena GonzalezRich Pedroncelli/AP

❝ With little fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed historic legislation that would expand overtime pay for California farmworkers.

❝ Assembly Bill 1066, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena S. Gonzalez (D-San Diego), calls for a phase-in of new overtime rules over four years beginning in 2019.

It would lower the current 10-hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022. It also would phase in a 40-hour standard workweek for the first time. The governor would be able to suspend any part of the process for a year depending on economic conditions.

❝ The decision followed intense showdowns on the floor of the state Assembly, where a similar proposal died in June a few votes short of the majority it needed to pass.

“We are letting the signature speak for itself,” said a spokesperson for Brown.

❝ The United Farm Workers of America, which sponsored the bill, says it addresses an injustice first inflicted on farmworkers nearly eight decades ago.

Overdue. Way overdue.