I Will Not Lose Ever

U Don’t Know by Jay-Z off of The Blueprint.

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Atheism Described By An Atheist

The Article: I don’t believe in God, so why is it that I don’t want to be labelled an atheist? by Ian Jack in the Guardian

The Article: A couple of weeks ago, a nurse stood beside my hospital bed with a pen and a clipboard. After the questions about allergies and next of kin came the one about religion. None, I said, when she asked which one. Her English was hesitant. “You are … what do you call it … an atheist, then? Shall I write that?” “Please just write ‘none’, or ‘no religion’,” I said.

I don’t know why I jibbed at the word atheist. It may have been Jonathan Miller’s argument that non-belief in God is a narrow and entirely negative self-description that ignores all the other things you might either believe in or not, from homeopathy through necromancy to the Gaia theory. As a definition it belongs to the same dull category as “non-driver” or “ex-smoker”; not driving or no longer smoking, just like not believing in God, is an inadequate guide to the self. There are so many richer and more positive ways, or so you hope, to summarise your behaviour and beliefs and what you might add up to when the counting is done.

But after the nurse left with her questionnaire, I wondered about other motives for denying a truth about myself. Had it to do with social cowardice, or some ridiculous notion of politeness on my part? Three other men shared my bay in the ward, and who knew what beliefs they held? “Atheism” has such a scorning ring to it. I wouldn’t have wanted them to think (though, of course, they wouldn’t have cared less) that, as I lay beside them, I was quietly cackling at their misplaced faith in the other life to come. As it turned out, two of them may have declared at least the name of such a faith to the nurse, because the next day a visitor came into the ward and made a beeline for their beds, and talked briefly and earnestly to each man in a low voice.

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Tomorrow’s Just An Excuse Away

Thirty Three by the Smashing Pumpkins off of Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.

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The Worst Economic Policies Of 2011

The Article: The 10 Craziest Economic Policies of 2011 by Travis Waldron, Tanya Somanader and Pat Garofalo at Think Progress.

The Text:The economy continued to struggle through 2011, with persistently high unemployment, a foreclosure crisis that kept on burning, and banks behaving badly in a whole host of ways. And there were plenty of ideas from economists, lawmakers, and pundits about what to do about it. But some ideas were, shall we say, more…unique than others.

Here are ThinkProgress’ nominations, in no particular order, for the ten craziest economic ideas of the last twelve months. Think we missed a good one? Let us know in the comments below:

Florida State Rep. Proposes Ending Ban On Dwarf Tossing To Create Jobs: In October, Florida state Rep. Ritch Workman (R) filed a bill to end the state’s ban on dwarf tossing — the practice of “launching little people for the amusement of an audience.” Workman may not condone throwing little people across his lawn, but he introduced the bill because he wanted to remove a “Big Brother law” that would create jobs: “Well, there is nothing immoral or illegal about that activity,” Workman said. “All we really did by passing that law was take away some employment from some little people.”

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