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Welcome to Dangerous Talk

Dangerous Talk is an atheist/progressive daily blog discussing the three most dangerous topics of polite conversation: Religion, Politics, and Sex. Our goal is to fight back against the Religious Right and push for a more free and rational society.

While this blog is primarily about atheism and our target audience is intended to be atheists, we of course welcome the opinions of religious people (particularly Christians). Dangerous Talk is different than many other atheist blogs in that our emphasis is not as much on news of interest to atheists, but rather on philosophical issues and arguments. As such, feel free to search the categories in the sidebar for past articles which may be of interest.

The host of Dangerous Talk, Staks Rosch, has also appeared as a panelist on Pennsylvania Television’s CN8 on It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle to argue against Intelligent Design in the classroom.

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  • http://www.atheistrev.com/ vjack

    I suppose one question I would have is how he knew that the recipients of his pictures were adults.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      I could be wrong, but I think they Tweeted photos to him too. Still, that is no guarantee of anything. But I think he had a reasonable expectation that they were adults.

  • SmilodonsRetreat

    I don’t get it. With all of the blatantly illegal things happening in politics by politicians and this is what gets the focus…

  • DubitoJeff

    While I certainly agree with your analysis from a moral/ethical perspective, I can’t help but feel that the repeated behavior, given the consequences and public response seems to display poor judgement on his part. While I am pretty much a life long atheist with minimal religious
    scarring, I am forced to consider that my sense that his behavior
    reflects poor judgement may be a product of the culture in which I live.
    Nevertheless,I don’t think I want a person so committed to such behaviors in a position with much power.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      So you are telling me that when it comes to matters of sexual relations your judgement has always been tiptop?

      My point here is that people exercise different judgements in different situations. Some of the best politicians have exercised poor judgement on sexual issues. Most even do illegal things. If Weiner’s only sexual indiscretion is Tweeter photos of his dick, then he’s a head of JFK, Thomas Jefferson, and pretty much every Republican. Ben Franklin had a reputation of flirting heavily with women even while married. If wife didn’t seem to mind either and it clearly didn’t affect his politics.

  • kraut2

    “photos of his weiner to women on the internet.”

    No, he sent photos of weiners wiener….

    on another note: What is to be expected from a population that is utterly stupid in its majority: Over 50% believe evolution is false, god created the whole bloody mess, over 30% believe in alien visitations – that is 80% stupid right there.
    Add up all the other stupid beliefs (climate change denial, alien abductions, various conspiracy theories etc.) and you will find out that way over 100% of the US population is stupid – enough to share with the rest of the world, unfortunately.

  • Misanthrope

    We live in a time when people are particularly forgiving sexual peccadillos, after all most of us have indulged one at some point or other. That said I have two big worries about Weiner. Firstly while I’m not concerned about the implied infidelity to his wife (that’s their business) I am concerned that he has continued in this high risk behavior when he has to know he’s politically vulnerable. It’s compulsive, stupid, high risk behavior. I can forgive sexual impropriety in a public servant far more readily than I can forgive compulsively stupid. Secondly he spent 45,000.00 dollars in donated campaign money to find the “hacker” who breeched his twitter account knowing full well that there was no hacker, no breach, and that money was being burned on the alter of political expedience to cover his lie. THAT speaks to an intense failure character. I don’t need a God to tell me a man who would do that, does not deserve the public’s trust, and should not be a steward of the publics money.

  • f_galton

    “Stop trying to tell him what he can and can’t do”

    The thing is he wants to tell other people what do.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      He is? How so?

      • f_galton

        You must have missed it, he wants to be Mayor.

        • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

          Is there a particular law that is he pushing for that aims to control people’s personal and private lives especially in matters of sexual expression?

          • f_galton

            He favors all sorts of restrictions on personal behavior. Also what he did wasn’t “private” since he’s a public figure.

            • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

              Please give one example of “all sorts.” Thanks!

              • f_galton

                Mandatory recycling, smoking restrictions, smoking taxes, banning trans fats at restaurants.

                • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                  NYC has those restrictions already. As do many cities in America. Plus, none of that has anything to do with sexuality and most don’t even deal with personal freedoms except recycling (which is common sense). They are restrictions on corporations mainly. Fail!

                  • f_galton

                    And he does not intend to lift them. That those restrictions don’t involve sexuality isn’t relevant, some people enjoy those pastimes as much as Weiner enjoys his pastime of being a pervert.

                    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                      And no one is making it illegal to smoke! You just can’t do it in a public area for health concerns! This is a total red herring. As far as I am aware, Weiner isn’t proposing any new laws that limit personal freedom for its own sake. This is in contrast to Spitzer who did go out of his way to go after prostitutes.

                      It is also disingenuous to go after politicians for not actively trying to repeal every single law they might disagree with. Besides, he isn’t even in office yet. You are just trying to hate on Weiner because the scandal deals with sexuality. It doesn’t even deal with sex. Where is your hate for Mark Sanford and all the other politicians who either actually had sex, actually broke the law, or both?

                    • f_galton

                      His biggest problems are lack of judgement and self control, which have turned him into a joke.

                    • f_galton

                      No one is making it illegal to send weiner photos, you just can’t do it and expect to be mayor.

                    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                      Why not?

                    • f_galton

                      Because people with no judgement tend to make bad leaders. That aside, I’m not sure what positive traits Weiner does have.

                    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                      “Because people with no judgement tend to make bad leaders”

                      Yeah, people like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, JFK, and Bill Clinton were all horrible leaders, right? lol.

                    • f_galton

                      JFK’s behavior was highly problematic. Clinton’s poor judgment got him impeached. I’m not sure why Thomas Jefferson is on that list. That aside, those men had other qualities, which Weiner does not, and none were as stupid about their conduct as Weiner.

                    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                      Jefferson has an affair with at least one of his slaves. Franklin was well known as a flirt even while he was married. In fact until fairly recently, most historians just assumed Franklin slept with the women he flirted with. But my point in the article was that people make poor decisions on sexual issues all the time. That doesn’t mean that they will necessary make poor decisions on other non-related issues. For the record, Clinton was found non-guilty in his impeachment which was mostly about political game playing. As a president, Clinton was pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, I have issues with many things he did during his presidency, but he was still a pretty great president overall. The fact that he got off on sticking a cigar up his consenting intern’s privates didn’t really equate to poor political decisions.

                    • f_galton

                      There are a number of reasons to doubt Jefferson’s affair. Unfair or not, Clinton’s poor judgement had significant consequences for him politically.

                    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

                      “There are a number of reasons to doubt Jefferson’s affair.”

                      WHAT??? Seriously?

                      “Unfair or not, Clinton’s poor judgement had significant consequences for him politically.”

                      That isn’t the point. The point is that his poor decisions on sexual matters did not equate to poor decisions in politics. You claimed that Weiner’s poor decision to Tweet photos of his junk equates to poor decisions he might make as Mayor. But that isn’t necessarily the case. As a congressman, Weiner did a great job. There is no reason to believe he can’t do as good of a job or better as Mayor of NYC if he just owns what he did instead of run from it. So what if he sent photos of his peepee to consenting women on the internet? That’s his business and that of his wife and the other women involved.

                    • f_galton

                      Take a skeptical look at the Hemmings allegations. I don’t get the sense Weiner has ever accomplished anything. He’s the one who chose to publicize himself, he has no business complaining.

              • f_galton

                Look up Tiffani Webb. Does Weiner want to change the policy that resulted in her being fired?

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I may be an atheist, but the comic in me prays that Anthony Weiner becomes mayor.

  • Geoff Hambrick

    I love your GMO page and pass that link on to everyone I know when we get into a discussion. It is the best resource I have seen to get one informed on both sides of the topic.

    Yesterday, someone claimed your site infected their computer with a virus. I was just on it and have never had any problem, so I was skeptical and thought maybe they were trying to scare people away from your site.

    I got more skeptical when this person would not tell me which link on your site caused the problem -even after I posted screen shots.

    Still, I have a Mac and might be immune. So to be extra cautious and give this person a benefit of the doubt, I had my friend who cleans computers for a living check. It seemed clean to her with the latest software, but she didn’t check everything. She mentioned that some malware/virus software gives false positives.

    So just wanted you to know what was going on…

    Ok then, Geoff Hambrick

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      As far as I am aware there are no virus problems on this cite. My brother manages the GMO page, so I can’t really comment on that. But I’ve never really had any virus problems. I hope you will check out the new cite at http://www.skepticink.com/dangeroustalk

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    First, no one is claiming that this is a “panacea or even a solution.” It is part of a solution to a variety of problems. Second, there were many things that were suggested here. Not all of it was solar and geothermal. The problems I am trying to solve are 1. financial and 2. environmental. As I said before, according to the people we talked to on the solar tour, the upfront expenses usually pay themselves off between 7 to 12 years. At minimum, the solar panels last for at least 20 years. But as I pointed out, you don’t even have to go that route. There are several small much less expensive things one can do to make the house more energy efficient and same money on the electric bill.

    As for the environmental issue, it may require more in fossil fuel use to create some of this technology in the short term. I don’t know. But in the long term, I will be using less fossil fuels and I will be creating a world in which less fossil fuels are used. Plus, as I said, the technology is changing all the time and is becoming much cheaper and more efficient. So one can start with some of the cheaper option and then gradually add more energy saving options down the road.

    As for the Prius, I am pretty sure they solved the battery problem, but I could be wrong about that. I don’t know what the Leaf’s battery is made of, but I got to think that the life of the car verse the one time creation/transportation of the battery would be a net win for clear energy. I could be wrong though. My issue with the Leaf is that it only runs for 70 miles before it needs a recharge and we just don’t have the recharge stations in this country to make that viable. Plus, one would presumably have to pay for that energy and that takes away from the savings one would get by not having a gas car. However, if you don’t generally drive further than 70 miles roundtrip, then it isn’t a problem.

  • kraut2

    My main point is to address the illusion that we can eliminate the carbon footprint in any significant way by just switching to other technologies. The wrong in this thinking I have observed is the blindness in not investigating what the total carbon footprint of any and especially alternate technologies is. The worst example that comes to mind is the production of biodiesel from agricultural crops, an industry shill if there ever was one.
    Second only is the believe that electrical vehicles will in any significant way help to curb carbon emissions, without going into the depth of the transmission and not at all carbon friendly production of electrical power, be it dams, solar or wind. The input is massive in those projects.

    The fact of the matter is simply: we will have get poorer if we ever will achieve a decrease in our footprint world wide. Economic activity will have to be curbed, loss of production and accompanying unemployment is unavoidable, a reverse of population growth is mandatory.

    Anybody who really thinks we will be able to hold the present level of economic production and prosperity is simply lying to him/herself, and this believe acquires the same value as a religion: unsubstantiated faith.

    This outcome will be likely anyway, if the weather patterns change and crop production because of climatic circumstances is shifted into areas with unsuitable soils, taking out of service areas with high productivity, demanding an energy input that is no longer sustainable. We will be forced to do then what we refuse to do now – sacrifice a then clearly no longer tenable way of a carbon based economy at a level of production that is irresponsible. And it will be harsh.
    It is not technology – this is the pipe dream of those who forgot that the basis of human existence is agriculture and clean water and nothing else and believe in the salvation by technological wizardry- that will save us and a world amenable for humans.

    The amount of production, the way we sustain and distribute this production, the amassing of capital into fewer and fewer entities controlling the economic machinery (including the totally out of control financial sector) and the populations we are sustaining at present are the problem, not if we turn over our cars to hydro power or produce heating for our home with some costly and rather inefficient way like geothermal or even nuclear energy.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    I have two issues with your comment. First, for the second time now, you are arguing a point that I did not actually make. I never said and do not think that this is a solution to all our environmental problems. As stated in the last comment this is part of a fiscal solution and PART of an environmental solution. It does decrease the carbon footprint at least a little bit. But more importantly, it takes wanes us off the drug of fossil fuels.

    Second, I don’t agree with you that our only options are to go back to the dark ages or do nothing. I think there is a middle ground. As I said previously, technology is getting better every day. We are finding better and more efficient ways to product clean energy. You talk about over-population, but this is only because of resources. If we being to explore and colonize space, then this situation changes. We don’t have to kill people to deal with our over-population issue. There are other ways. I think you suffer from a lack of imagination and a apocalyptic view of the world. There are small things we can do to help move the ball in the right direction.

    I think your view is lazy. You are basically claiming that the problem is unsolvable and that therefore you aren’t going to do anything to help solve it. You might as well be saying that only God can solve it. No, I disagree. We can work to solve this problem and it won’t be easy. But we can start small and move the ball. We can work toward finding bigger solutions as we go. But to not do what we can do because you think it won’t be enough is lazy and overly pessimistic. I choose to actually do something even if it is just a small something.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Again, you seem to be making up positions and then assigning them to me even when I flat out told you at least twice that I do not hold those positions. This is what is called a strawman argument.

    While there are a lot of things that you have said that I agree with, your conclusion that the grand conspiracy has controlled it all and that now there is nothing we can do so we should just curl up in a little ball and cry is not just something I agree with you on. I don’t think you have laid out the evidence for this. As I have stated before, there are small things we can be doing right now that will help the situation. My blog post gives some suggestions for this. It is my hope to encourage others to start small as well and that together we can not only change the environment, but also change the mentality to get more people concerned and to force government to make the massive changes necessary. Still, industry has to change too, but that doesn’t mean that we must abandon all technology as you suggest. It just means that we have to develop new industries to replace the old industries. Corporations hate to change direction when what they are doing is profitable. So the job is to make them change directions by making the new industries more profitable and more worth their efforts.

    Is it too late? I don’t know. The data is inconclusive, but even if it is we can’t just do nothing and die. We have to at least try to make the world better in any way way can. So I support the efforts of people in America who are trying to find ways to live off clean energy. I support this for both fiscal and environmental reasons. But all you seem to want to do and cry about the apocalypse. Well shit, I have religious wackos for that. Try actually coming up with a plan of action or get out of the way. The truth is that you are lazy and don’t want to change. You don’t want to do the hard work of actually trying to solve problems. You just want to whine about the obvious and preach about the evil corporations and their grand conspiracy to control the world. Get a life!

  • kraut2

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GECON-01-220813.html

    ” The energy industry is not investing in any significant way in
    renewables. Instead, it is pouring its historic profits into new
    fossil-fuel projects, mainly involving the exploitation of what are
    called ”unconventional” oil and gas reserves.

    The result is indisputable: humanity is not entering a period that will
    be dominated by renewables. Instead, it is pioneering the third great
    carbon era, the Age of Unconventional Oil and Gas.

    That we are embarking on a new carbon era is increasingly evident and should unnerve us all. Hydro-fracking – the use of high-pressure water columns to shatter underground shale formations and liberate the oil and natural gas supplies trapped within them – is being undertaken in evermore regions of the United States and in a growing number of foreign countries. In the meantime, the exploitation of carbon-dirty heavy oil and tar sands formations is accelerating in Canada, Venezuela, and elsewhere.”

    “In other words, there will be an increasingly entrenched institutional
    bias among energy firms, banks, lending agencies, and governments towardnext-generation fossil-fuel production, only increasing the difficulty of establishing national and international curbs on carbon emissions.
    This is evident, for example, in the Obama administration’s undiminished support for deep-offshore drilling and shale gas development, despite its purported commitment to reduce carbon emissions. It is likewise evident in the growing international interest in the development of shale and heavy-oil reserves, even as fresh investment in green energy is being cut back.”

    “Surviving the Third Carbon Era

    Barring unforeseen shifts in global policies and behavior, the world
    will become increasingly dependent on the exploitation of unconventional energy. This, in turn, means an increase in the buildup of greenhouse gases with little possibility of averting the onset of catastrophic climate effects. Yes, we will also witness progress in the development and installation of renewable forms of energy, but these will play a subordinate role to the development of unconventional oil and gas.”

    “Michael Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, a TomDispatch regular, and the author, most recently, of The Race for What’s Left, just published in paperback by Picador. A documentary movie based on his book Blood and Oil can be previewed and ordered at http://www.bloodandoilmovie.com. You can follow Klare on Facebook by clicking here.”

    a reality check.

    You are welcome to fight it, but despite your labeling my statement as to the economical/political nexus as “conspiracy theory” indicates that you are denying the existence or power of the actual dominant forces in politics, which have nothing to do with how or what the population votes for, but everything with how wealth is distributed and controlled and what furthers its increase.

    The reality is it matters not at all if you curl up or fight – I was a participant in the political fights in Germany in the sixties, with exactly the same result to show for not after one season of protest as in the 1% flareup, but a fight that went on from 66 – 70: nothing

    It matters only what the now having primacy over anything economic, institutions from wall street to bay street to Goldman Sachs to etc., deem necessary to further their interests.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    For at least the fourth time now, you have assigned an opinion to me that I do not hold. This is still called a strawman argument. You have not learned from making the same mistake four times.

    I don’t disagree with you that the politics of money is increasing the use of fossil fuels. If you actually read what I wrote, I talked about how we can change this by creating a demand for renewable resources. Companies care about one thing, profit. Right now the profit is in increased fossil fuels, but if we start a demand for renewable energy, the they will shift to supply it because that is where the profit will be.

    But you don’t really care. You just care about preaching the apocalypse. You don’t have any solutions at all and you are too lazy to try anything. So what re you going to do? This is the second time I have asked this and I am really getting tired of repeating myself with you. What is your plan?

  • kraut2

    “I talked about how we can change this by creating a demand for
    renewable resources. Companies care about one thing, profit. Right now
    the profit is in increased fossil fuels, but if we start a demand for
    renewable energy, the they will shift to supply it because that is where
    the profit will be.”

    and you do not listen when I tell you that this approach is unworkable without changing the political economy, where there is a not just an overlap, but the fact that the politics serves the economic interests of the major players in finance and industry. And that is where your approach will fall down – there will be no incremental change. You might not accept it which is fine, it however does not change what will happen on the ground.
    And do not think that a majority that is necessary is behind a decrease in carbon use. From my various experiences: the heating systems got more efficient – the houses got bigger. The trucks/cars got more fuel efficient – the vehicles stayed big and as powerful as before, the end result is 0 savings overall.

    And in the near future it will not even matter what the US and other western economies do, the former (and at present still) major consumers of energy – the combined efforts by India and China with a population of about six six times that of the US will outstrip that demand by a large margin, with few concerns about clean and renewable energy.

    I welcome all protest and efforts, I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that those efforts are about as futile as the efforts to establish working democracies in the middle east that never knew them before. We in the west have not known economic democracy, we have the illusion of a political democracy whose actual base is the economic power structure dictating the possible or desirable.