September 13, 2014

Parenting Without God

Originally posted at AcronymTV

When asked if the world would be better off without God, Dan Arel, the author of Parenting Without God does not pull punches. “The world would be better off without the idea of God,’ Arel clarifies “the world is already without God.”

Even at a time when the popularity of shows like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos, Arel’s aggressive brand of atheism will not win many friends. In fact, a recent Pew Research survey showed that people of all religious faith have one thing in common: their utter disdain for atheists.

“Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).


Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.” (Emphasis added)


The scary part about that data (aside from rampant Islamophobia in America) is that survey shows an improved opinion of atheists from only 3 years ago.

2011 poll found that US citizens trusted atheists on par with rapists.


With this kind of fervent hatred and distrust, Arel asks, what does the future hold for a group (Atheists) so hated in their own country?

Watch the full show here.

About the guest |
Dan Arel is freelance journalist for Alternet and Salon as well as a blogger for The Huffington Post. He writes a column called Danthropology for American Atheists Magazine and is the author of the book Parenting Without God, How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogmapublished byDangerous Little Books

About Acronym TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. |
ABOUT ACRONYM TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. 
Dennis Trainor, Jr. hosts Acronym TV, a weekly series of dialogue, conversation and debate with the goal of helping viewers sort through these transformative times through the insight of leading activists, artists, journalists, philosophers, scholars, and thinkers.

Acronym TV's growing YouTube subscriber base of 33 thousand has generated over 30 million views, and is part of The Young Turks Network, the largest online news source in the world.
Acronym TV, what do you stand for?

Acronym TV airs on Free Speech TV, currently available in 37 million homes nationwide, airing on DISH Network (9415), DIRECTV (348), and Burlington Telecom (122) and streams all programs live at

Dennis Trainor, Jr. is a writer, host and producer. His documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc, garnered critical praise from The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and more.  He also wrote and directed Legalize Democracy, a documentary short about the Movement To Amend the Constitution.

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Steve Reich 2x5

Performed by Bang On A Can

September 12, 2014

Violence Against Women is a Necessary Outcome of the Athletic Industrial Complex | Dave Zirin Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the one reason Roger Goodell will be forced out as NFL Commissioner, Violence in the NFL, Domestic violence.

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September 11, 2014

Capitalism Must Die: Stephanie McMillan on The Soapbox

Stephanie McMillan -- artist, blogger, and anti-capitalist activist -- discusses the failings of capitalism, her hopes for moving beyond it, and how art intersects with activism.

September 8, 2014

Calling for a Solution as Big as the Crisis We Face

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Timeka Drew of the Global Climate Convergence in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr.

The Global Climate Convergence is calling for AN EMERGENCY GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL including:

  • Full employment with community-based small businesses, worker co-ops, small farmers & government jobs.
  • 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. International binding treaty for swift, deep cuts to carbon emissions. Wealthy polluting nations pay for technology transfer & climate adaptation.
  • Universal free healthcare & education through college. Affordable housing for all & a moratorium on foreclosures.
  • Secure the global food supply: Support small farmers, our major source of food production. Put carbon back in the soil through restoration grazing and climate-smart sustainable agriculture. Ensure the right to land, food sovereignty and gender equality.
  • Economic democracy: Replace “too big to fail” banks with public banks. Secure workers’ rights, support for co-operative enterprise & fair trade. Tax Wall Street & the rich. End third-world & student debt.
  • Demilitarization: Cut at least 50% of military spending, freeing up resources for social programs & infrastructure. Foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy – not the military-industrial complex.
  • End mass incarceration & deportations. Treat immigrant rights as human rights & drug abuse as a public health issue.
  • Political democracy: All people, not corporations, have the right to self-government, to vote, & to have our votes count. Public financing, proportional representation & free use of public airways for candidates.
  • Civil liberties: Restore the rights of free speech, protest, privacy, & internet freedom. Close Guantanamo, end torture/renditions, & pardon whistleblowers including Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, & Julian Assange.
  • Support human rights, rights of Mother Earth, the call for peace & an end to colonialism & imperialism, as called for in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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September 7, 2014

Why the 11th-Hour Tactics of Gov. 1% May Backfire

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is up to his old tricks again as his Democratic primary challenge from Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout continues to gain momentum as we close in on Tuesday's vote.
Cuomo, Teachout (AP)

Just like the Cuomo campaign's deployment of interns to hound Teachout, its unsuccessful objection to her nominating petition signatures, and its expenditure of $2.5 million on failed attempts to have her name removed from the ballot generated, for her candidacy, publicity of a quantity that may never have otherwise existed, there are reasons to suspect the incumbent's last-minute maneuvers will only damage his own prospects.

Cuomo's campaign stepped up its efforts as word spread widely about the stances of his running mate for lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, who has described her own voting record in Congress as "very conservative."  Hochul, who became a lobbyist for M&T Bank upon losing her congressional seat after one term, is opposing Teachout's running mate, Columbia University law professor Tim Wu.  But the current marketing of Hochul as a "progressive" is an obvious ruse, especially considering her poor record on environmental protection and on gun safety.

Although Cuomo, who has declined to be interviewed on television at any time in the last eight years*, and Hochul refuse to face their opponents in any debate, publicly mention them by name or now even accept a handshake from them, dishonest and illogical attacks were directly launched against Teachout on Friday by prominent allies of Cuomo in a conveniently-timed burst that was apparently one in a series orchestrated by him.

These surrogates curiously include ex-governor David Paterson, State Senator Jeff Klein, State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, all of whom might be more likely than not to actually hurt Cuomo and Hochul among Democrats statewide.  After all, Paterson left office with an approval rating of just 32%, Klein and Savino conspired with Cuomo to preserve Republican control of the State Senate, and a poll conducted last year found 51% of the Empire State's voters, including a plurality of its Democrats, believing Silver should resign as speaker.

Paterson, Klein and Savino alleged Teachout somehow enabled an "extreme" right-wing agenda merely by debating Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino on WNYC even though that outlet has hosted him on the air many times already.  Astorino was twice elected by a double-digit margin to be county executive of Westchester, which has twice as many Democrats as Republicans.  He is not extreme.  Furthermore, given who has done what to keep the Republicans in charge of the upper chamber in the State Capitol, these three of Cuomo's surrogates demonstrate flagrant hypocrisy by decrying supposed elevation of conservative viewpoints.

Silver melodramatically trotted out the tired insinuation that anyone who does not embrace the Israeli government's military policy is anti-Jewish.  He cast that slander upon Teachout and Wu, who are vulnerable to it because they prefer to discuss issues relevant to the offices they seek rather than focus on foreign policy like Cuomo recently did.

Meanwhile, Cuomo/Hochul's online advertising, pictured below, includes a false implication for people who vaguely know of Teachout/Wu that the latter duo is to the right of the former, anti-choice, in favor of arbitrary discrimination, and against universal pre-kindergarten.  Also included is a false suggestion for those who do not know of Teachout/Wu that the general election will be held this Tuesday rather than in November.

The objective of the Cuomo/Hochul strategy is clearly to hinder a substantive contrast of the paths from which New York Democrats can choose.  Anyone paying attention is able to smell the desperation of Cuomo and Hochul, who evidently do not even deem themselves to be the best team in the running.

UPDATE: Cuomo and New York City mayor Warren Wilhelm Bill de Blasio bullied prominent figures out of endorsing Teachout and Wu.

*Reported on the 2 Sept. 2014 edition of Inside City Hall on NY1.

September 4, 2014

Beyond The People’s Climate March

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in conversation with Timeka Drew, a grassroots organizer with the Global Climate Convergence.

In two weeks the Peoples Climate March in New York, organized by, is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people. The march is to take place only days before a special UN meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris.

Christopher Hedges has called this march a “last gasp of climate change liberals;” and “a climate themed street fair.” Our only hope, according to Hedges, “comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance.”

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Climate march,, People’s Climate March, Climate change, Global warming, Extreme weather, Global Climate Convergence, Timeka Drew, Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV, 2014 elections, U.S. Elections, System Change not climate change, Green Party, Cheri Honkala

Das Triadische Ballet - Oskar Schlemmer