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[snip] If you think horoscopes are bunk, you don't have to call yourself a "non-astrologer," writes Sam Harris on the blog the Huffington Post. "Likewise, 'atheism' is a term that should not even exist. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma." --Harold Henderson | hhenderson@chicagoreader.com

[snip] "Neither the Ten Commandments nor the teachings of Jesus seem to command any more practical adherence in America than in Europe," writes Australian commentator John Quiggin on the blog Crooked Timber, even though many more Americans than Europeans profess to be religious. "The (apparent) unimportance of religious belief for social outcomes was one of the great surprises of the 20th century, although, like most negative results, its significance is not fully appreciated. In the 18th and 19th centuries, nearly everyone thought that religious belief made a big difference, for good or ill."

[snip] Rahm Emanuel's 2006 Contract With America. Joshua Green writes in Rolling Stone that Emanuel believes Democrats should run in 2006 on a platform of "universal college education, universal health care for anyone who works, bringing down the national debt and cutting U.S. dependence on foreign oil in half within a decade. If expanded, such policies could form the basis of a Democratic version of the Contract With America, the weapon that Gingrich wielded to such devastating effect [in 1994] in his campaign to take control of Congress."

[snip] Department of Understatement. From the NewScientist.com newsletter: "It's pretty alarming that today's cargo scanners cannot distinguish between a plutonium bomb and the radioactive potassium-40 found naturally in bananas."

[snip] "Let's not make a religion of civil liberties," writes Judge Richard Posner in a vigorous online debate with University of Chicago colleague Geoffrey Stone at legalaffairs.org. "My family survived its brush with McCarthyism quite nicely, as did most of McCarthy's victims. . . . Life without the self-incrimination clause, without the Miranda warnings, without the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule, with an unamended USA PATRIOT Act, with a depiction of the Ten Commandments on the ceiling of the Supreme Court, even life without Roe v. Wade, would still, in my opinion anyway, be eminently worth living."

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