Californy is the place you oughta be

This October, Jerry and I (along with several of our good friends) will be attending the “Setting the Agenda: Secular Humanism’s Next 30 Years” CFI conference in Los Angeles!

I am just *beyond excited* about all the speakers I’ll get to hear and the people I’ll finally be able to meet. Here’s part of the conference description:

Scheduled speakers include Richard Dawkins, who will accept a very special award (to be announced); authors Sam Harris and Robert Wright, who will dialogue on humanist stances toward faith; and a glittering roster of speakers, including James Randi, P. Z. Myers, Eugenie Scott, Paul Kurtz, Lawrence Krauss, Chris Mooney, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Victor Stenger, Shadia Drury, Mark Johnson, Barry Kosmin, Ibn Warraq, and many more.

Oh. my. goodness.  I’m not exactly who I’m more excited to see/hear in person — Dawkins (!), PZ (who it’s no secret I just adore), the debate between Harris and Wright (who’ll have his ass handed to him, I have no doubt), Lawrence Krauss, Eugenie Scott … I could go on!

For the last 3-4 years, I’ve listened to these speakers on various podcasts and YouTube videos, I’ve watched movies or I’ve read (or listened to) their books — now I’ll have a chance to be in the same room with them, AND be surrounded by fellow atheists, agnostics, skeptics, secular humanists, etc.  I know I don’t believe in a heaven anymore, but I think this conference sounds like it could be pretty close.

And, we’ll be in California!  Without a toddler!  Emma will be staying with some family (who’ll I’ll be forever indebted to) — but Jerry and I will have a chance to be actual adults who won’t have to carry around granola bars and coloring books and wipes and all the other parenting paraphernalia required on most trips to the States.

The hard part now will be to have enough patience until October rolls around.  Stay tuned!

What she said:

The ostensibly principled position these folks are taking is that they want smaller government.  They want government to do less.  And just because so many of them are retired Medicare and Social Security recipients who get to their protests in national parks via public mass transit, don‘t let that get in the way of their anti-government message.

When you are shown to demonstrably not believe something you say you believe, that‘s hypocrisy.  And reasonably speaking, it should undermine your claim that you‘re acting on principle.  You can‘t say you hate government-run health care, for example, and then profess your love for Medicare.  It is one or the other.  Or you don‘t make any sense.

link

Republicans talking sense

A clip that includes Republican politicos that doesn’t include any tea-bagging pandering?!

Granted, I still don’t buy some of what they say, but it’s nice to see conversation without fear-mongering or deliberate misinformation. Let’s keep the talk on policy and not so much on riling (or fleecing) the base.

And don’t you just love King’s mispronouncing of the word, “heretic?” I suppose you get more slack when you’re 200+ years old.