Weekend Coffee: November 3

Coffee

• The big news, of course, is that the U.S. presidential election is on Tuesday. Take heart, progressives: although the media and the Republicans are straining mightily to pretend that the race is a dead heat, the state-by-state polls make Obama a clear favorite for reelection. • Skepticon 5, the amazing free conference for atheists and skeptics of all stripes, is coming up next weekend - but they haven't raised enough money to cover all their costs yet, and they need your help to … [Read more...]

Video! My Speech at the 2012 Secular Student Alliance Convention

This past July, I had the privilege of being one of the keynote speakers at the Secular Student Alliance's annual convention in Columbus, Ohio. I've been promising video, but until now, I've only had this teaser photo. Well, I'm happy to say your waiting is over, because the SSA has just posted the full talk on their YouTube channel. Here it is:(Most of my slides are visible in the video, but I can also provide the full set on request.) Thanks to the SSA for inviting me! It was an honor to … [Read more...]

See You At Skepticon!

Just a brief announcement: The weekend of November 9, I'll be in Springfield, Missouri for Skepticon 5. Since I had such a blast at Skepticon 4 last year, there's no way I couldn't go back. And though I don't want to reveal any spoilers, there's a distinct possibility that I'm not just going to be in the audience this year. Further updates on that, possibly, as the time draws nearer. If last year was any guide, there will be ample opportunity over the weekend for carousing and meetups. If … [Read more...]

SSA 2012 Conference Wrap-Up, Day 3

Read Part 2 here.To finish off Saturday night, atheist comedian Keith Lowell Jenson and journalist Ted Cox gave a demonstration of "ex-gay" conversion therapy. The quack idea undergirding this is that men are gay because they were deprived of love by their fathers, and experiencing real manly affection will cure them of their confused and unnatural lust. Here, Hemant Mehta (who was an extremely good sport about the whole thing) demonstrates how this works with the help of … [Read more...]

SSA 2012 Conference Wrap-Up, Day 2

Read Part 1 here. On Saturday, the SSA conference was in full swing, with three simultaneous tracks of talks going on throughout the OSU student union. As Murphy's Law predicts, the ones I wanted to see the most were inevitably scheduled at the same time as each other. But I still got to see some outstanding speakers, with topics running the gamut from the nuts and bolts of campus organizing to high-level political strategizing to important lessons on community and social justice. Here are some … [Read more...]

SSA 2012 Conference Wrap-Up, Day 1

We've survived fire and flood! The Reason Rally in March was a day of gusty cold and battering rain. This July 4 weekend we went to the opposite extreme, as secular students and atheist movers and shakers from all over the country converged on Columbus, Ohio for the 2012 Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference. And the summer was merciless, as Columbus broiled under 100-degree temperatures all weekend. (There had been a violent storm across the Midwest the previous week, and some areas … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Conference Decompression

I'm home again, safe and sound. As I mentioned, this weekend I was in Columbus, Ohio at the 2012 Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference, having a blast with some of my favorite bloggers, some amazing freethinking students, and many of the other people in the vanguard of the unstoppable juggernaut of secular awesome that is the atheist movement. Many informative and inspiring talks were given, many good times were had, many new friendships were made, many drinks were consumed, and much … [Read more...]

Netroots Nation: Obama and the Liberals

One of the things that most struck me at the Netroots Nation conference last week was how surprisingly little of a presence the Obama reelection campaign had there. (Michelle Goldberg noticed this too.) Organizing for America sponsored a party and sent some staffers, but nothing made them stand out from all the other attendees; they had a booth in the exhibition hall, but it was just one booth among many. There were candidates and officeholders from across the country who spoke and participated … [Read more...]

Meet Me at Netroots Nation

One more announcement for the weekend: This coming week, I'll be in Providence, Rhode Island, attending Netroots Nation 2012 from June 7 to 10. If you're also going and would like to arrange a meetup, leave a comment or send me an e-mail and we'll work out a time and a place. I'm going to a whole bunch of panels, gatherings, and and parties (particularly the Center for Reproductive Rights' Pro-Choice Dance Party on Friday night), so there should be ample opportunity! … [Read more...]

SSA 2012 Conference Schedule Posted!

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be speaking at the Secular Student Alliance's 2012 national convention in Columbus, Ohio over the July 4 holiday weekend. The conference schedule has now been posted, and I'm one of the Saturday night keynote speakers! For the occasion, I'm debuting a brand-new talk. It's titled How to Move Mountains, and it's about how we can make the atheist movement politically successful by learning from the victories of past progressive activists. Here's a teaser:The … [Read more...]


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