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Archive for the ‘Best of RFT’ Category

RFT Classics – Best of the 240s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 13, 2014

Download the episode here!

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Killing the CBC:

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As ye sow, so shall ye reap…can also be stated, as ye fast, so shall ye whither, and whither the CBC has. Facing an $100 million budget short fall…thanks to Harper, losing hockey and other factors…the CBC is cutting staff by over 650.

Polling shows the CBC is the most trusted media source in the country, more three-quarters think the government should fund the CBC at a sufficient level…most of those think funding needs to increased.

The Harper government has regularly and consistently slashed the CBC grant budget after budget while spending  the entire CBC budget on a single F-35 jet…or overpriced frigates. What money they are giving, they think would be better spent by just giving it to private media companies…here’s how that would turn out…

Why are we not moving to a BBC style of funding…create a strong, stable and independent broadcaster, whose sole interest to provide the best of Canada.

Further Reading:

CBC Update

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In the wake of the pending cuts to the CBC, three prominent CBC hosts have decided to leave the CBC both to help protect new talent and as a sign of protest of the defunding of the CBC.

Listen to Linden MacIntyre explain why he is leaving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUXygVR420s

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The birth of Canadian Citizenship

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In the wake of the debate of the soon to be release reform of the Canadian Citizenship act, we take  nostalgic look back and how and when a Canadian actually became a Canadian Citizen…you would be surprised.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDCrGjH9JTs

What’s Your Sign – The evolution of astrology

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In the wake of the controversy, in the skeptic community, about MacMillan Space Center event regarding Astrology, we take a quick look at astrology and how it evolved into the real science astronomy.

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RFT Classics – Best of RFT – the 230s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on January 21, 2014

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Don’s Rant:

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Don’s Rant’s about Harper’s redefinition of Antisemitism and his twisted logic of criticizing ‘apparent’ moral relativism but stating moral acts must be judged relatively…you cannot condemn Israeli actions with weigh them compared to Arab/Palestinian actions.

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Atheism for Dummies

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From the vaults, my extended interview with Dale McGowan, author of “Atheism for Dummies” and executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. We discuss that others think of atheism, the history of disbelief and the culture of atheism.

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Best of RFT – Education

Posted by Don McLenaghen on January 1, 2014

Download the episode here! 

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From the vaults of the Radio Free Thinker library, a couple of classic segments about education and religion.

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Dis-education – A look at the harms of Christian home schooling. We take an extended look at the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum and what some home schooling text-book are actually teach our children about the physical sciences as well as the social sciences.

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South Korea removed evolution from schoolsUnder pressure from religious groups in South Korea, publishers of science textbook have removed any reference to evolution.

UPDATE: since airing the original, the Korean government grew a spine and reinstated examples of evolution in science textbooks. Science for the win!

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Best of RFT – the 210s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on August 6, 2013

Hanging technology

This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

  • Ant-GMO fallacies,
  • Faith in Science,
  • Irished Water
  • The Good of Big Data

Download the episode here!

Ant-GMO fallacies

teosinteIn the light of recent protest, we look at some of claims of the anti-GMO movement and some better reasons to hate Monsanto. Find out more:

Faith in science

vetenskap_vs_tro_vykort-re14a53ee849740d4b445e7b307529e3a_vgbaq_8byvr_512Religious people have often lament about us Atheists…that without a belief in god, we are somehow diminished. One area that religious faith seems to have no secular equivalent is in times of stress or in confronting our mortality, we have no source of comfort. Some have suggested that, in the absence of religious belief, secular beliefs such as Humanism and various political ideologies can replace religion as a source of comfort and meaning. images (2)

New research shows that non-believes show greater faith in science under stress or existential anxiety. That belief in the value of science as an institution and in its superiority as a source of knowledge can offer reassurance to secular individuals in threatening contexts.

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Irished Water

i-ac25dbfdf1f593ea6bd09b5f8d5c176f-a9 manic depressive cartoonDon talks about a proposal to test the effects of purposefully adding lithium to the drinking water in Ireland in an attempt to fight the growing epidemic of depression and suicides that has plagued that nation.
We take a look a number of studies that looked at geographic regions with higher natural lithium concentrations in drinking water and the effect this has on the subject population.

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The Good side of Big Data

Big Data is BIG and its growing and becoming an ever more important part of our every day life. In the first part of a 2 part series on Big Data, we look at the good Big Data has brought to the world.

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the internet over an average 24 hours in 2012—higher usage in yellows and reds; lower in greens and blues

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Best of RFT – the 200s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on July 30, 2013

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This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

  • Librarians and loyalties,
  • Panda Politics,
  • Suing for information
  • The Parliamentary Budget Office – pillar of democracy

Download the episode here!

Librarians and loyalties

Ottawa,fonction publique,Mix & Remix,pastiche,Elizabeth II,Stephen HarperDon reviews changes to the Code of Conduct for Library and Archives of Canada. The insistence of a ‘duty of loyalty’ to the government as opposed to the nation of Canada strikes as tones of totalitarianism. In the light of many other policies, decisions and legislation  one can not help but get the feeling Harper things HE is the nation, civil servants can’t be trusted and the less the people know the better for the government.

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Panda Politics

547676_584686418216612_1260358425_nPandas has been an intricate part of Chinese diplomacy for centuries. Since the 1970’s the People Republic has used them to open the doors to the non-communist world.

Two of the bi-coloured fur balls are not in Canada; what does it mean, why did we get them and what did we give up? Could our Prime Minster spend his time doing something more important than pimping Pandas?

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The Parliamentary Budget Office – pillar of democracy

Direction,budget,ParlementCanada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer has recently stepped down. It is likely that his office will be “wound down” because it proved to be too embarrassing for the Harper Government even though it was the Conservative Governments own creation. We discuss what it did, why it did it and  why you should care.

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Suing for information.

101007InformationcWe discuss the efforts of Canada’s Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault to investigating whether the Harper government is living up to the law of the land. Legault is currently suing the DOD over a 1100 day extension on a 30 day Access to Information Request which she claims is deliberately obstructive and violating the principles of the Access to Information act.

We talk about how the Harper government has systematically restricted our access to information and the people who make it. As well as the push back by Legault as well as Democracy Watch and U of Vic’s Environmental Law Clinic.

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Best of RFT – the 190s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 21, 2013

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This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

– Eulogy for Aaron Swartz,
– Harris hypocrisy, and
– The Cost of Casinos.

Download the episode here!

Topics:

Eulogy for Aaron Swartz

184472_542876089056707_1319108737_nDon give an impassioned and emotional eulogy to one of the promising progressive lights – Aaron Swartz, and how state bullying contributed to his suicide.

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Aaron inspired

Harris hypocrisy

cbe0109cd-gun-sales-500A recent controversy yet again arisen over what WAS one of the leading figures of the atheist skeptical community. Sam Harris yet again shows that at least on some subjects, he is far more the dogmatist than the enlightened skeptic.

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The Cost of Casinos

grin753lRecently the Surrey city council voted to NOT allow the expansion of gambling in the city by rejecting plan to build a new casino in the city. In the light of this controversy  Don explores the research into the pros and cons of legalized gambling in general and casinos in specific. As a twist, we compare our stances on  ‘harm reduction’ with regard to drug usage to the same principle with gambling addiction.

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Best of RFT – the 180s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on February 5, 2013

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This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

– Cellular Memory – the skeptical bubble,
Defining the “-ism”s, and
– What up with the skeptical movement?

Download the episode here!

Topics:

Cellular Memory – the skeptical bubble

mban3342lDon relays a story about how we as skeptics can find ourselves in the “bubble’ of the skepetic community and completely fail to debunk pseudo-science to a ‘I-want-to-believe’ friend. We talk about the role not only of sciences to communicate well, but the responsibly of us skeptics to do so as well.

Oh yes, we had a laugh off while going through the Skeptic Dictionary entry on Cellular Memory.

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Defining the “-ism”s

4thWaveSkepticismThere has been much debate in the skeptical and atheist community about the future of the movements. Don takes a moment and tries to define what the terms mean so that people engaging (at least RFT) will have a common understanding of what we are talking about. Even if you disagree with our take, you will at least know where we are coming from.

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What up with the skeptical movement?

Apluslogo3There has been a lot of talk about A+ and where the skeptical movement should go. Ethan and Don debate whether A+ is expanding atheism or ghettoising the equality “wing” of the movement. Should we continue to attempt to educate the ignorant (both senses of the term) or cut them a drift as lost causes.

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Best of Radio Free Thinker – the 170s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on August 28, 2012

This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

Nuclear Salmon invade the West Coast,
– 5 Awful Atheists,
– Quack Medicine and your pets

Download the episode here!

Topics:

Nuclear Salmon invade the West Coast

The recent front page of the Georgia Straight warns Canadians about the imminent and probably deadly threat to our lives from the nuclear fallow from the Fukushima reactor accident arriving in the form of radioactive fish. Don takes a critical eye to this story and exposed its bias and unscientific slant.  

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Awful Atheists

A recent article at Alternet.com ‘exposing’ the worst ‘stars’ of atheist. We discuss the people and the positives/negatives of these individuals. We end on a rift about how important it is to be an atheist for the right reasons…that a dogmatic atheist is no better than a fundamentalist   

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Quack Medicine and your pets

We respond to listener emails about the use of Alt-Med on our loved pets. We discuss the practice, the risks and the ethical responsibly of pet owners to not endanger their pets.

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Best of Radio Free Thinker – the 160s

Posted by Don McLenaghen on July 17, 2012

Just for fun

This week a recasting our some of our best bits from episodes past:

– Fare-ness of Translink,
– NarcOnon – Scientology on drugs,
– Jane the Ripper; who was the White Chapel murder?

Download the episode here!

Topics:

NarcOnon – Scientology on drugs

Don discussed the accidental discovery of some scientist attempting to show the efficacy of a DNA reading technique. What they discovered was that what you are getting in traditional Chinese medicine may be more than you bargained for. They discovered the ‘expected’ endangered species. They also showed that what was called ‘pure’ antelope contained goat and sheep DNA. It also found unlisted ingredients that could allergic reactions such as peanuts. Also they found ingredients that are toxic and potentially fatal.

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SkyTrain Fare-Gates

We discuss the controversy regarding the soon to be installed fare-gates at SkyTrain stations with the aim of reducing ‘fair evasion’. We discuss how cost effective this tactic is, who is its target and ultimately are there better solutions to the issue of funding public mass transit in the GVRD.

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Jane the Ripper – who was the White Chapel murder?

We discuss the mythology of Jack the Ripper and a new book that makes a (poor) case that the ripper may have been a woman.

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