February is National Teen Dating
Violence Awareness Month
Billboards Went Up January 4th and 18th
on West 12th, South Cliff, & Minnesota Ave
Sponsored by Sioux Falls Feminists
Sioux Falls Free Thinkers is Home for all those of Free Thought with Open Minds! This group includes Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists, those interested in science and Scientists, those who love animals and Zoologists, and Feminists and those wanting to help abused women, but all those with open minds are welcome. Free Thinkers are those that want a world without rules and controls on thought, without mental borders and boundaries. A world where anything is possible.
Free Your Mind! There Is No Spoon!
(From the movie, The Matrix)
The one thing the writers of the Freethinker definition seem to have forgotten is the idea of having an Open Mind, the basic concept behind what made Freethinking possible in the first place. We at Sioux Falls Free Thinkers reject this closed-minded rigidity of thought, so, even though we agree with and endorse much of the Freethinking definition, we took the word Freethinking back to its original roots and call ourselves "Free Thinkers" to symbolize Open Minds, Free Thought, and true Free Thinking once again.
Our meetings and social gatherings are posted at Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com. Sioux Falls Free Thinkers Upcoming Events can be seen on the Meetup.com Calendar.
Sioux Falls Feminists Report, Planning & New Member Meetup
On Friday, February 19 at 6:00 PM at the Golden Bowl Chinese Restaurant at 2600 South Spring Avenue.
We'll get a report from our Teen Dating Violence Education Committee. They've been working to get schools to give Teen Dating Violence Educational Videos.
Plus we'll plan activities for our National Child Abuse Awareness Month (April) billboard campaign starting March 14th and lasting through April 24th. This will have very frank and explicit images of the ugliness of Child Abuse and wording which supports those images. Child Abuse is NOT PRETTY! And the people of Sioux Falls need to recognize how bad it really is. To understand why it's important that they report it and not hide it. Why it's important to convince the victims, the children, that the abuse is not their fault. That they do not deserve what is being done to them and that they should report their abuse. And where they can get protection from more abuse. The Sioux Falls Feminists website has a list of 14 different professional organizations that can take reports and can help and arrange to protect them.
The images and wording to be used in the National Child Abuse Awareness Month billboard campaign have all been reviewed by 7 local and national child abuse professional help organizations as well as by actual victims of child abuse. They all agreed these billboards were "spot on" and "on target" at getting the message across. They all agreed that we must stop hiding the truth and ugliness of child abuse. The victims themselves all expressed that they wished someone had spoken up so clearly back when they were being abused. Then they might have saved themselves years of guilt and misery living with their abuse.
It promises to be an intense meeting. So bring friends who might be interested in helping. We are the good people and it's time we spoke up!
Dale Hemming, Founder of Sioux Falls Feminists and Sioux Falls Free Thinkers
The Sioux Falls Free Thinkers group will never have any dues. Membership is not required to attend our meetings. This group will probably never have any formal rules except treating other members and their opinions with respect, and giving everyone equal time to speak. This group will never purge members for expressing their opinions or for forming their own group of open-minded people. The only loose requirement is that members, and those attending our meetings, have an interest in one of the subjects of our five websites.
"It's the Christians in our country that always
lead the repression of the human spirit!"
While it's the non-believers, Humanists and Atheists that are
the real supporters of freedom and of the right to choose!
But never get the credit!
2-6-16 This gay dance in Georgia in 1972 changed the world
This gay dance in Georgia in 1972 changed the world
Four decades ago at the University of Georgia, some brave students wanted to hold a dance to change the world. And they did. In the early evening of March 10, 1972, while excited undergraduates prepared for a dance in the student union ballroom of the University of Georgia, a longhaired sophomore in tight pants was standing against the building's massive front columns, reviewing his band's set list, when a seedy looking older man laboriously made his way up the steps and startled him. The stranger — with a red face and a comb-over — came bearing a message: The Ku Klux Klan did not approve of the night's scheduled event. Only a year earlier, female students had been forbidden to wear pants or shorts on campus, but in the fall of 1967, the Women's Student Government Association voted out the dress code. In the spring of 1968 the campus's tiny chapter of Students for a Democratic Society had helped plan a demonstration that eventually led to a three-day takeover of the ornate, white-columned Academic Building in protest of restrictive curfews and regulations imposed on female students. Several hundred students participated in what was the most dramatic manifestation of the student movement at UGA to date. By the fall, the student handbook no longer distinguished between women and men. Now girls were wearing flared jeans and boys were growing out their hair. Rock music floated from the windows of the dorms. (Webmaster's comment: Nobody ever wants to say it but it's the Christians in our country that always lead the repression of the human spirit!)
Of Special Interest
2-11-16 Mammal brain frozen and thawed out perfectly for first time
Mammal brain frozen and thawed out perfectly for first time
A cryogenically preserved rabbit brain has been defrosted in a near-perfect state, with its memory-storing structures still intact. A mammal brain has been defrosted from cryogenic storage in an almost perfect state for the first time. This breakthrough, accomplished using a rabbit brain, brings us one – albeit tiny – step closer to the prospect of reanimating a human brain that has been cryogenically preserved. After death, organs begin to decay, but we can delay this by cooling these tissues, just like freezing food. But in the same way that a frozen strawberry becomes soggy when defrosted, it is difficult to perfectly preserve mammals at cold temperatures. We, and strawberries, contain large amounts of water, which freezes into ice crystals that damage cells. Cryoprotectants can prevent this ice damage, working like medical-grade antifreezes and preventing organs from freezing. This works in small worms and rabbit kidneys, but it needs to be administered quickly, which usually causes brains to dehydrate and shrink.
2-10-16 Belief in punitive gods linked with expansion of human societies
Belief in punitive gods linked with expansion of human societies
People who believe in a moralistic god are more likely to help distant strangers who share their religion, which may explain the evolution of complex societies. Complex modern societies may have grown and prospered thanks to a pervading fear of moralistic, all-knowing and, above all, punitive gods. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, ancestor worshippers, it matters not a jot. Believers widely respond to fear of reprisals from a supernatural being. And this fear can help drive model behaviour.
The Gun Facts: Canada's gun-related homicide rate (0.5 per 100,000) is about seven times lower than the United States' (3.5 per 100,000). However, it is higher than many of its peers, including Japan (0.01 per 100,000) and the United Kingdom (0.06 per 100,000). (Webmaster's comment: Canada - 1/7th the U.S. gun homocide rate, United Kingdom - 1/58th the U.S. gun homocide rate, Japan - 1/350th the U.S. gun homocide rate. Our interpretation of our constitution has not guaranteed our freedom and liberty, it has guaranteed a high death and violence rate! Think about the tens of thousands of innocent dead people, grieving family and relatives, and terrorized children every year compared to other nations! Mention this to conservatives and they will have no answer!)
1-18-16 Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%
Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%
The richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, according to Oxfam. It uses data from Credit Suisse from October for the report, which urges leaders meeting in Davos this week to take action on inequality. Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population. It criticised the work of lobbyists and the amount of money kept in tax havens.
1-17-16 Why top scientists are so worried about intelligent machines
Why top scientists are so worried about intelligent machines
Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk are all nervous about A.I. Should they be? People will tell you that even Stephen Hawking is worried about it. And Bill Gates. And that Tesla founder Elon Musk gave $10 million for research on how to keep machine intelligence under control. All that is true. How this came about is as much a story about media relations as it is about technological change. The machines are not on the verge of taking over. This is a topic rife with speculation and perhaps a whiff of hysteria.
12-28-15 Clinton Most Admired Woman for Record 20th Time
Clinton Most Admired Woman for Record 20th Time
Americans again name Hillary Clinton (13%) and President Barack Obama (17%) the woman and man living anywhere in the world they admire most. Both win by wide margins over the next-closest finishers, Malala Yousafzai (5%) for women and Pope Francis (5%) and Donald Trump (5%) for men. (Webmaster's comment: In spite of all the hype Trump's a loser!)
12-24-15 Iran hostage crisis: Victims 'to be compensated' 36 years later
Iran hostage crisis: Victims 'to be compensated' 36 years later
The US victims of the Iran hostage crisis are to receive compensation 36 years after their ordeal, reports say. Each of the 53 hostages or their estates will receive up to $4.4m (£3m), according to a US spending bill passed last Friday. (Webmaster's comment: Yet America refuses to compensate the Japanese-American citizens imprisoned in American prison camps during WWII, the victims of American Government and Military run medical experiments, the American victims of forced sterlization against their will, the American victims of forced genital mutilation against their will, the victims of American torture programs; the list of American attrocities against the innocent and violations of Human Rights is very long and hardly anyone is ever compensated.)
12-23-15 ISS crew receives Christmas delivery
ISS crew receives Christmas delivery
A Russian cargo vehicle carrying food and supplies has docked with the International Space Station - just in time for Christmas. It launched on Monday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Progress 62P vehicle docked automatically with the Pirs compartment of the ISS at 10:27 GMT on Wednesday, after its two-day transit. Once the crew completes leak checks, the hatches will be opened, allowing them to unload the cargo. (Webmaster's comment: And who makes the Christmas delivery to the ISS? The Russians of course! They are the only ones who can do so reliably.)
12-22-15 New kind of moon rock found by Chinese Yutu rover
New kind of moon rock found by Chinese Yutu rover
The Chinese Chang'e 3 mission to the moon is delivering the first new scientific results from the lunar surface since US and Russian missions ended in the 1970s. There’s still a lot to learn about our closest neighbour. China’s Yutu moon rover has discovered a new kind of rock on the lunar surface. The find suggests the moon’s make-up is more diverse than previously thought, and will help interpret future satellite-based observations. China’s Chang’e 3 lander mission touched down on the moon in December 2013 and released the Yutu rover to explore the edge of a nearby crater, which was nicknamed “Purple Palace” at the time but is now formally known as Zi Wei. The landing site was in the Mare Imbrium, a large area on the moon’s northern hemisphere thought to have been formed around 3 billion years ago when lava flooded a giant crater. The more recent impact that formed the Zi Wei crater in the Mare Imbrium exposed the ancient basalt rock that formed when the lava cooled, so sampling here allowed Yutu to look deep back in time. Zongcheng Ling of Shandong University in Weihai, China, and his colleagues analysed data the rover collected on the basalt and found that concentrations of minerals including iron oxide, calcium oxide and titanium dioxide differ from those seen in the samples gathered by the Apollo astronauts and the Russian Luna probes in the 1970s. (Webmaster's comment: Useful science from the new kids on the block, the Chinese.)
12-16-15 US Muslims reel at Trump supporters' hostility
US Muslims reel at Trump supporters' hostility
Surrounded by banners proclaiming Islam's respect for America and promotion of tolerance, freedom and democracy, they talked about the violence, the backlash and about Donald Trump. The Republican presidential candidate responded to the killings in San Bernardino by proposing the suspension of all Muslim immigration to the US, a statement that sent chills up Muslim spines. Such language, he argued, would "fan the flames of hate and lead us down the very path that our enemies want to see us go". There is a weary feeling here about the cycle of events; a violent attack followed by an expectation that the Islamic community will publicly restate a commitment to peace. "It is just inconsistent," he says, "we're not mentioning it when people are being gunned down by white supremacists, by people with distorted ideologies in this country who go into the theatres, who go into the schools, who go into the abortion clinic, who went into the church." In other words, why are such killers rarely referred to as Christian extremists, even when they claim to be driven by Biblical teachings? "We would be safe if we just referred to criminals as criminals, murderers as murderers without putting religious titles on them," says Mr Seifullah who argues that Mr Trump's response to San Bernardino has "given people approval" to be racist and bigoted, "to think that it's OK to discriminate against one group of people over another." Half a century after "intense civil rights struggles," he warns, "we can go back to that. There are people who are embracing his rhetoric and that's frightening."
12-4-15 Mass Shootings This Year
Mass Shootings This Year
There have been at least 351 mass shootings in the U.S. in the first 334 days of this year, defined as incidents in which four or more people, including the gunman, are killed or injured by gunfire. There were at least 12 in the previous week alone, including the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting. Having access to a firearm almost doubles one’s chances of becoming the victim of a homicide, and triple’s one’s likelihood of killing him or herself. And we know that states with the highest rates of gun ownership have the highest rates of gun murders. The same is true of countries—more guns equal more gun deaths. The incidence of mass shootings has tripled over the past four years, a period that coincided with 37 states’ loosening their restrictions on owning and carrying guns. Of the 384 mass shootings in 2015 less than 2% involved shooters with Muslim beliefs and less that 4% involved women shooters. More than 80% of the shooters were white males. At least 60% of those claimed to be Christians.
11-11-15 Could an atheist win the White House? It's not as crazy as you might think.
Could an atheist win the White House? It's not as crazy as you might think.
These are pretty good times for non-believers. Our ranks are growing rapidly, with nearly a quarter of Americans now claiming no religious identification. Even if most of those don't emphatically declare themselves atheist, but say their religion is "nothing in particular," there are surely plenty of people who call themselves Catholics or Jews or something else but whose belief in an all-knowing, all-seeing god is tenuous at best. The number will keep growing, because religiosity and age are strongly correlated today, with older people being the most religious while a full third of millennials claim no religion. It's no longer considered scandalous in many, if not most, places to say that you aren't a believer.
Our "slogan" above comes from the following quote:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!
But above all Be Your Own Heroine, Be Your Own Hero. You achieve nothing for yourself by living vicariously off the skills and achievements of others. It's What You Do That Matters. Cheer and applaud your own skills and achievements and be proud of them, Be Proud of Who You Are and What You Do.
Don't Just Think You Are Right, Know You Are. Don't hesitate, don't be unsure, don't let others doubts cloud your judgment, your power of reason. Others will constantly try to manipulate you, control you, dominate you, intimidate you, tell you that you must do this or can't do that, Ignore Them! Your mind, your own thoughts are the only thing you can be sure of, trust your thoughts instead of theirs.
Your mind, your conscious mind is the most powerful tool ever evolved.
Trust it, act on what it tells you. Be positive! If you think you're right
Then Know you're right and Follow What You Think is the best course.
Break Free! There Is No Spoon!
We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our events and meetings!
We have member websites for Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists, for those interested in science and Scientists, for those who love animals and Zoologists, and for Feminists; for those who wish to help abused women, and for abused women themselves. Check out these other websites at Member Websites.
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Welcome Sioux Falls Free Thinkers!
Welcome Open Minds!