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This is going to be a short diary because I think it speaks for itself, and I have been writing too many of these diaries lately.

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This is sort of a meta diary/update to my last diary.  In this diary I would like to address what some people perceive as me being shrill and abrasive toward others who are allegedly in the Progressive movement.

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I consider myself to be part of the "far left."  I also have multiple scientific degrees and work in the health care field.  I strongly believe that my science background has resulted in my Progressive ideology.  The reason being is Progressivism is a fact and science based ideology, whereas Conservatism is a faith based ideology.  Conservatives offer religious, faith based solutions to social problems.  Moreover, they rely on faith in the "invisible hand" for solutions to the economy, and any free market outcome - whether good or bad - is a moral outcome regardless of its practicality.  Hence, wanting to let the economy hit rock bottom after the financial crisis, because that was the "moral"/free market thing to do.

Why do I bring this up?  Because a biologist recently wrote a diary criticizing the far left for being a home for GMO truthers.  And, unfortunately, Meteor Blades recently promoted GMO nonsense on the front page.

I would probably say that most progressives don't know much about GMO at all because this topic - especially the science behind it - is not discussed nearly as much as something like climate change or evolution.  And this is perfectly all right!  It is impossible to know everything about everything.  You know GMO has something to do with big corrupt corporations (i.e. Monsanto) and there are a lot of people and groups you inherently trust who say GMO is bad, so you are naturally inclined to think of GMO as a negative thing.

However, the great thing about this issue is that is is very science based.  And you can look at independent research to come to a firm, fact-based conclusion on where to stand.  Now there are people with a severe case of cognitive dissonance who, no matter how much science you shove in front of their face, will refuse to accept reality.  I have very little patience - or respect - for these people, whom I call GMO truthers.  For the rest of you hopefully this diary will educate you about this issue and encourage Progressives to distant ourselves from this anti-science crowd.  Being associated with GMO truthers and people of their ilk is making Progressives look bad.

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I am not merely an atheist, but an anti-theist.  I believe that not only are all religions inherently flawed and destructive institutions, but that the concept of a god or gods limits human progress.  Some may say that religion does some good but that is like excusing a serial killer's slayings because he volunteers at a soup kitchen.  One does not excuse the other.

As you can see I am no apologizer for religion.  However, I am also a Progressive and a secular humanist, and despite whatever ignorant beliefs a person may hold she/he should be respected as a human being.

It has become increasingly clear that famed atheist Richard Dawkins criticism of Islam has taken on a bigoted tone.  His criticism have devolved into an ignorant bigotry that is factually and scientifically deficient.  When you eschew knowledge in favor of ignorant hatred then you violate the very principles of what it means to be a secular humanist.  This is what Dawkins has done.

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For the most part the liberal community is currently a haven for scientists and science lovers who have been under attack by the dummies and neanderthals on the Right.

However, there are those amongst us who have taken up certain issues of which there is no scientific basis for whatsoever: anti-GMO and anti-vaxers.  And a perfect example of this anti-science lunacy comes from none other than Bill Maher.  

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o-ISRAELI-SNIPER-PHOTO-CHILD-570
An Israeli sniper recently posted this photo on Instragram, which sparked worldwide outrage

The United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as,

rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.
It is hard to come to any other conclusion other than this phrase aptly describes what Israel is doing in the West Bank...
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Almost a year ago Glenn Greenwald wrote a blog post with this title:

Repulsive progressive hypocrisy
Was he talking about Progressive politicians or Progressive writers and thinkers?  No.  He was referring to your average self-identified Democratic citizen:
But now that there is a Democrat in office presiding over Guantanamo and these other polices — rather than a big, bad, scary Republican — all of that has changed, as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll today demonstrates..
53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.
Repulsive liberal hypocrisy extends far beyond the issue of Guantanamo...
Seems like a pretty harsh indictment for your average non-politically obsessed citizen.  But as we are about to see the real hypocrite here is Glenn Greenwald...
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The Oscar nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" interviews all six living former Shen Bet Chiefs.  Shen Bet, for those who don't know, is sort of like Israel's version of the FBI and Secret Service.

One of the former Chiefs, Avraham Shalom, made a surprising and controversial comparison to Israel's occupation of the West Bank:

We are making the lives of millions unbearable, into prolonged human suffering, [and] it kills me,” Carmi Gillon says in the film. “[We’ve become] a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II," adds Avraham Shalom.
Do I think Israel and Nazi Germany are equivalent?  No of course not.  Not even close.   However, Israel is, unfortunately, on that continuum of regimes that show a clear disregard for the human rights of a persecuted ethnicity.

Now what makes this statement even more intriguing is Shalom experienced the brutality of the Nazis firsthand:

And, by the way, Avraham Shalom was a young kid in Vienna in the 1930s. He didn’t know that he’s a Jew. He was forced to go to school after the Kristallnacht. He was almost beaten to death by his classmates. He felt firsthand what it means to be a Jew under a racist regime. And when he compares that, he compares the Israeli occupation to the Germans, that—like how the Germans treated the Poles, the Czechs, the Dutch, he knows what he speaks about. And I think that his worry is something that had resonance in me, as well, about what—where will it lead, the occupation—I mean, if it will continue like that.
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There seems to be a lot of gnashing of teeth that Obama decided not to nominate a neo-con Democrat to the Defense post (i.e. people like Panetta and Hillary Clinton).

So what is there response to the Hagel nomination?  "He hates gays!", "He is a bigot."

Problem with that view is that they are basing their objections on views held in the 90's, when even a majority of Democrats held the same disgusting views of the LGBT community.

Now they have the audacity to use that smear to try to take the shine off his nomination.

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Apparently the chicken hawks at the Washington Post editorial board don't think that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is sufficiently hawkish enough to be Defense Secretary.  Specifically, he doesn't want to start a war with Iran.  Keeping in mind none of the members of the editorial board have served their country in uniform or have even reported from a war zone.  This stands in stark contrast with Vietnam war hero Chuck Hagel who received two purple hearts for his service Vietnam.

If you were to look up chicken hawk in the dictionary you would see the faces of the WaPo editorial board:

We share that skepticism — but we also understand that, during the next year or two, Mr. Obama may be forced to contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate or halt its uranium-enrichment program. He will need a defense secretary ready to support and effectively implement such a decision. Perhaps Mr. Hagel would do so; perhaps he would also, if installed at the Pentagon, take a different view of defense spending.
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