Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy F-in Christmas

Happy F-in Christmas.

I spent the day watching the 1977 film House, having epiphanies, emailing a key friend, eating chocolate, honey Greek yogurt, pumpkin pie, and driving around. And I've moved onto champagne. 
So in the best spirit of holiday cheer, and with hope for the new year, happy F-in Christmas, Merry Solstice, and best wishes for the new year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stooges of Saudi Arabia: Amy Goodman & Chris Hedges - My email to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! - December 20, 2010

Here's an email I have sent to Amy Goodman, the producer of the ultra-leftist news program "Democracy Now!", in response to the following segment:


To the attention of Amy Goodman:


I know you've gotten quite angry about this issue in the past, on the street, and on your show.

But I wanted to let you know that Islam is not a race, it's a religion, and it is a human spirit destroying religion at that.



Anti to freedom.

Your previous exposure to wars in East Timor and South America has warped your view a bit.

Not everything is equal. Some religions help humans thrive more than others.

When your buddy Chris Hedges goes out to speak with Islamic communities, does he talk to them about the problems with having veiled women? Does he talk to them about the problems with gender apartheid? Probably not.

Saudi-style Islam, which is being spread worldwide with Saudi Arabia oil money, is taking advantage of your anger over the misdeeds of the CIA.

Maybe have Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Twafik Hamid, and Ibn Warraq on your program to discuss these key issues.

Right now you seem to be in the back pocket of Hamas, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda. And Saudi-funded Islamic educators who are helping to cook up home grown terrorism here in America. Your and Chris's throwing around the term "racist" in response is not only highly dishonest, it's dangerous. Islam is a religion, not a race.

Does the word "democracy" in your program mean that people who believe Islam is a human spirit destroying religion get to have a voice? Oh, but wait, Chris Hedges says he doesn't believe in atheists. Do you?

Can your hysterical anger over past abuses by the CIA ever be quenched? By considering Islam to be a race, and by giving credit, support, and credence to Saudi-funded Islam in America, you've crossed over from fighting oppression to supporting it.



=================== end of quote

Speaking as a left leaning anti-authoritarian myself. I'm a socialist, but I also spent 25 years in a cult. So unlike idiots like Hedges who never spent one day as a believer in any hard core real religion, I know what it's like to live in an oppressive one. Mormonism was bad. But Islam is much worse. Pat Condell and Christopher Hitchens are also "lefties" who I admire.

Sometimes Goodman has some interesting stuff on her show. But she also frequently plays Islamic music during the show breaks. And in videos of her out on the street I've seen her angrily accusing people concerned about Islam of being racist. So she appears to be in the same boat as Hedges.

I don't like Fox and Glenn Beck is an asshole. But on the other hand I don't agree with the MSNBC liberal consensus that we should leave Afghanistan because the Taliban just wants to be left alone (to re-subjugate women and so on). Condell & Hitchens have spoken about being pushed away from the anti-war-at-all-costs-Islam-appeasing wing of liberalism (the class which have a crazed conspiratorial tone about all American wars).

Self hatred on the left is very unappealing and dangerous, just as is self hatred on the right.

I'd just assume go to Burning Man and relax. That would be great, but it just so happens that fellow humans are being screwed over elsewhere on the globe. And caring about their welfare is something worth valuing and fighting for. And I still remember 9/11 unlike some people.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Krista Tippett, Templeton, and the denial of basic human rights

My December 18, 2010 letter to, John Greene <>,, "Paulson, Steve" <>, "Fleming, Jim" <>,,


To the University of Utah, the University of Wisconsin, and American Public Media.

Right to Petition:

Regarding Krista Tippett & also the program "To the Best of our Knowledge," both Templeton funded and cheered on by Templeton.

Did you know that the director of the Templeton Foundation was the third-largest donor to the "Yes on Proposition 8" campaign in California, which in took away from California's gays and lesbians the right to marry?

Check out

If someone asked you what two plus two equals would you say four? Or would you say that it either doesn't matter or that we should hear from both sides on the issue and let your listeners decide?

Did you enjoy "Passion of the Christ," or did you think it was a ghoulish anti-Jewish film? Did you know that Templeton deemed it the most inspirational film of 2004?

Isn't that special?

Don't you guys just love Templeton money? Don't you love the appreciation they give Krista Tippett's program and also the work of "journalists" who create science subverting, religion & science conflating, dishonest programs like "To the Best of our Knowledge?"

On Templeton's websites they say you guys are doing a spiffy job with your programs. Isn't that special. And yet, do you care that they are apparently:



And anti to an honest discussion about the problems with religion & mysticism, and about continuing to have a demon haunted world (ref. Sagan's book on the issue)?

As recipients public tax dollars, you are not exempt from the right to petition. You don't work for a fully private entity. Public money either comes to you directly, or it supports your being able to do what you do. And what you do represents the government, my government. And radio stations must be prepared to receive, on a continuing basis, comments from the public.

And so, with all due respect, you had better be prepared to receive public comment, like it or not, and whether you agree or not.

When an anti-gay anti-Jewish anti-science & reason anti-Enlightenment organization supports and lauds your efforts, that shows there's problem in the "house of reason."

Will "To the Best of Our Knowledge" and "Krista Tippett On Being (formerly known as Speaking of Faith)" be talking about the problems with the Templeton Foundation? No. They are your funding source. You are in their pocket. But, since these programs are broadcast from public universities, and from publicly funded organizations, it just so happens that I get to have a say in what you all do, on a continuous basis. John Templeton is not your only boss. The public gets to have a say in what you do, and no, you don't get to tell the public to shut up and go away.

Since you are all duty bound to serve the public interest as public servants, I request that you examine the following additional hyperlinks regarding this matter:,_science_and_philanthropy/

The mixing of church and state is not a trivial issue. And taking money from a group headed up by people who overtly worked to overturn the rights of citizens in California to marry - well, that's not a neutral act either.

Templeton support for Passion of the Christ was a key indicator. Templeton support for more Bible study courses nationwide is another. But Templeton leadership support for ending gay marriage in California, well, I guess that may just push the ball over the edge bit, don't you think?

You may go work for a private company where your actions may not be scrutinized by the public so much. But while you're working on the public dime, and in my name, expect to receive public scrutiny on a continuous basis, and especially as an anti-gay anti-Jewish anti-science & reason organization continues to fund and laud your efforts and actions.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

letter to Scott Atran - regarding his debates with Sam Harris and his views on religious belief

Here's an email I have just sent to Scott Atran:



This week I've been listening to Sam Harris's new book The Moral Landscape. In his book I heard his reference to your work. I did a bit of digging and waded through some of what you've written about Sam.

Anyway, I've been working to absorb what you are claiming regarding religion, and why you are claiming it. However because I was a hard core true believer in Mormonism, I can readily see that some of what you have written does not accurately address the actual situation at hand.

For example, in your book In Gods We Trust on page 83 you state the following:
"Religious traditions do not consist of cultural worldviews, theories, systems, codes, grammars, or any such determinate structures. The beliefs current in religious doctrine and liturgy consist of logically unintegrated counterintuitions and anecdotal episodes that evoke a much richer substrate of everyday, commonsense beliefs. These commonsense beliefs, which are usually readily available to everyone, remain implicit and are rarely articulated. Transmission and survival of religious creed and ritual depends, for the most part, on the facility with which explicit religious beliefs and practices are able to elicit, and render relevant, underlying commonsense beliefs..."

"...Core religious beliefs minimally violate ordinary institutions about how the world is, with all its inescapable problems, thus enabling people to imaging minimally impossible worlds that appear to solve existential problems, including death and deception..."

My first impression of your work is that you are approaching the entirety of the subject as a person who never was a believer himself. A highly trained and intelligent observer to be sure, but one who is still approaching religion as a blind man approaches an elephant (or perhaps at the very least a near sighted man).

I have had debates with various people on the net since 1991 regarding Mormonism, and the value of speaking honestly in public regarding Mormonism (and the value of protesting publicly and so on). On a near universal basis, the people who either had a soft exit from Mormonism (people who never really believed), and the people who never believed (non-Mormons & those who have had an overall soft & light type of personal encounter with religion) tend to be against protesting for example. They tend to see little value in speaking the truth in an up front matter of fact type of way. They tent to jump to the conclusion that people are better off if they were just left alone, and so on.

But, those of us who had hard core intersections with Mormonism, usually we tend to recognize the greater value of speaking out in a more vociferous manner regarding the abuses of Mormonism.

Now, I would like to reply to sections of the paragraph I quoted.

You wrote: "Religious traditions do not consist of cultural worldviews, theories, systems, codes, grammars, or any such determinate structures..."

My response:

Mormonism does consist of a cultural worldview. It is very much a system, and it consists of a set of codes. There is a specific and unique grammar to Mormonism. There are definitely determinate structures within Mormonism.

As I was leaving Mormonism I realized that what had been instilled within me from a young age was "human brain software," and this concept came to me before I ever learned of the concept of memes or meme sets from Dawkins. At the time of my departure from Mormonism in 1993. I knew little of Dawkins and his work. My Mormon exit journal can be found at
And the exit journals of hundreds of other exmormons can be found at

You wrote: "...The beliefs current in religious doctrine and liturgy consist of logically unintegrated counterintuitions and anecdotal episodes that evoke a much richer substrate of everyday, commonsense beliefs..."

My response:

In my own direct experience, the concepts of a religion such as Mormonism are presented in a stepwise and layered approach. The layers become more complex as the child gets older. A young child in Mormonism simply learns that "Jesus loves him." Whereas a 19 year old Mormon at a college or university located Mormon institute of religion that, for example, the Mormon God had literal sex with Mary the mother of Jesus.

Do I think the views of Mormonism were presented in a non-logical way? No. It was brain software from one human to another. At the age of five, may I say that learning about a sky god seemed a big odd. But I did become a full & complete believer in most aspects of Mormonism.

The beliefs were integrated. They were not counterintuitive as such I don't think. They were taught as truth. And we were taught that one verifies the truth through feelings (as per the Mormon scripture in Book of Mormon Moroni 10:3-5).

Were the beliefs counterintuitive? I don't think so. Maybe to a non-believer such as yourself they may appear as such. But to be honest they didn't seem counterintuitive to me. I was taught them. I believed them. They became integrated into my world view, my belief system, my meme set. I believed them and they felt intuitive. But clearly non-Mormons view Mormon beliefs as absurd, while viewing their own beliefs as valid. Although the experience of Julia Sweeney (Pat from SNL) with her leaving Catholicism, she left in part after she encountered the wacky beliefs of Mormon, and was thereby able to take a step back from her own newly-viewed-as-wacky beliefs.

You wrote: "...Transmission and survival of religious creed and ritual depends, for the most part, on the facility with which explicit religious beliefs and practices are able to elicit, and render relevant, underlying commonsense beliefs..."

Within Mormonism there is constant belief maintenance, and severe penalties for expressed non-belief. Not as severe as in Islam, but still being kicked out of your family is a severe penalty. And suicides result even today from being kicked out (especially among Mormons who discover they are gay).

I don't think the main reason Mormons believe is because of their relevance to what you call "common sense beliefs." If you were to say to a Mormon, some of your beliefs are common sense and some are not, they would respond to you that all of their beliefs are common sense, and that your lack of ability to value their beliefs is your problem (which they would like to help you fix via praying to the Mormon God so that you can get a feeling which would then serve as evidence that you should believe in Mormonism).

You wrote: "...Core religious beliefs minimally violate ordinary institutions about how the world is..."

My response: I do not quite know what you mean by the word "core." But if you ask a Mormon what they mean by core beliefs, they would say the following:

1. The belief that Joseph Smith received a vision from God & Jesus stating that other churches were not true.

2. The belief that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates given to him by an angel.

3. The belief that Mormonism is the one true Church of God restored to the Earth through God's latter-day prophet Joseph Smith.

4. The belief that the current Mormon Prophet is also a prophet ordained of God to be His representative here on Earth.

5. The belief that in order to return to God in Heaven one must be baptized a Mormon, and live according to the key doctrines of Mormonism, so that one can live eternally in the Celestial Kingdom.

There's more detail, but these are the key doctrines, the core doctrines of Mormonism. And by their own use of the word core, these are their core beliefs.

Are they counterintuitive to you? Maybe. But because they are taught, in the phraseology of Mormonism, line upon line, precept upon precept, Mormons do not view them as inconsistent, at least not while they are true believers.

You wrote "...enabling people to imaging minimally impossible worlds that appear to solve existential problems, including death and deception..."

My response:

There's a bit more depth to this whole situation.

If you examine Mormonism you'll find that Joseph Smith created a God and a religion which mirrored his own aspirations and life. He slept with the wives of other men and also a 14 year old. He created a god which validated his views. Robert Saplosky has spoken of pschizotypal, and Joseph Smith seems to fit that, if he actually believed his visions (which to my eye as someone who spent 25 years as a hard core Mormon & Mormon missionary & temple worker & Sunday School president likely that he did), Joseph probably was such a person. A charismatic charlatan.

In Mormonism one works to become a god, so that one can have literal sex in heaven with many wives, to create spirit babies for worlds without end. And that concept of heaven matches up with Joseph's own life.

So Mormonism fulfilled a utilitarian goal of Joseph to spread his seed around as much as possible (in a similar manner to other charlatans such as David Koresh), and fulfilled his need to control others through charismatic charlotanry. But he probably believed his own crap.

Anyway, yes there's probably some utility to Mormonism. But there's also a great deal of pain and abuse that comes along with the package.

At this point I'm largely in the camp of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Carl Sagan, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, and Tawfik Hamid regarding religion. I am wary of cultural and moral relativism. I do believe and have observed that Islam has a higher propensity of driving young men to suicide than other religions.

Regarding Islam, and as per page 156 of Harris's latest book, do you feel you're ignoring the widespread Muslim belief that martyrs go straight to paradise? Or what about the higher propensity for suicide bombers being from Sunni Islam, as per the video at

On the page at
you write "Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett seem to insist that faith in god is a weapon of war. But in cross-cultural study after study my colleagues, most notably Ara Norenzayan and Jeremy Ginges, find no evidence that belief in god, prayer frequency, or meditation is related to intolerance or violence once coalition variables are partialed out..."

My response:

Which god? Which religion? It's not the use of the god term or the religion term that is the issue. It's which religion. Which god. What exactly is the concept of god in a given religion. What exact does a religion teach. What exactly is the effect of religious concepts, codes, precepts, memes, on a given population within a religion. These are the key points. And Islam shows itself to be a religion that drives more of it's men to suicide.

It's not about prayer frequency. It's about WHAT they believe, and how their believes make them feel, interact, and thrive or not thrive.

On the page at
Sam Harris writes about you: "Atran makes insupportable claims about religion as though they were self-evident: like 'religious beliefs are not false in the usual sense of failing to meet truth conditions'; they are, rather, like 'poetic metaphors' which are 'literally senseless.'"

My response:

Did you make these quoted statements? If so here's my response: The literal views within Mormonism are not poetic metaphors. They are concrete claims about the nature of existence. The claims of Mormonism are not senseless in the minds of Mormons.

On the same page you also reportedly are quoted as saying "...But neither I nor any intelligence officer I have personally worked with knows of a single such case (though I don't deny that their may be errant cases out there)..."

My response:

You have not been digging enough. Speak with Tawfik Hamid. Watch his video at

I wonder if you're purposefully acting as an apologist for Islam and for abusive religion?

To tell you the truth it's a bit hard understand exactly where you are coming from or what your motivations are in all these cases, and especially with regard to Islam. Do you think that they and we (former Mormons) don't or didn't actually believe in the doctrines of our faiths? We do and we did. And since each religion has it's own set of beliefs, some of which may be comforting, and some of which may drive men to suicide, you have to examine what people actually believe from THEIR perspective - from the perspective of the actual believers themselves. Not so much from your perspective as someone who has a very hard time understanding how a person could believe in seemingly absurd propositions. To the believer they are not absurd. They are not non-intuitive. We actually believed what we claimed. And some of our beliefs were very damaging & abusive.


25 years in the cult of Mormonism
former Mormon temple worker, missionary, Sunday School president, and long time attender of the exmormon conferences held in Salt Lake City for several years

---------------------------------end of quote of letter

Here's some more links with Harris & Atran:

Sam Harris Vs Scott Atran Enlightment 2.0:

Sam Harris at Beyond Belief 2:

Scott Atran at Beyond Belief 2:

Harris & Atran at Beyond Belief 2006:
1 of 3:
2 of 3:
3 of 3:

And Harris writes of Atran: "...[HARRIS’ NOTE: Almost without exception, whenever Atran attributes a position to me, he has distorted it, often beyond recognition. Many of these false charges go unrebutted in our exchange, as it was just too tedious to keep taking his words out of my mouth. I did not reply to his second essay posted on Edge, as it was a mad tangle of irrelevancy and pseudo-argument. Under no circumstances should anyone trust Scott Atran’s representation of my views in this essay, or in any other context.]..." - as from

Letter to the FFRF, ACLU, & AU regarding the Templeton Foundation, KUER, the University of Utah, the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Radio, and American Public Media, Krista Tippett, and "To the Best of Our Knowledge"

To the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the ACLU of Utah, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

December 16, 2010


I have written to your organizations regarding KUER, the University of Utah, and the Templeton Foundation. Here's some more info.

My December 16, 2010 letter to the FCC regarding a University & State run station that broadcasts who Templeton-funded programs:

A relevant article about how Templeton bribes journalists & scientists:

More details about this issue are on my own blog, regarding my complaints to KUER (which is a department at the University of Utah - a part of the State of Utah), and regarding Wisconsin Public Radio (which is part of the University of Wisconsin - part of the State of Wisconsin), and regarding American Public Media (recipient of tax dollars from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting). The issue regards the separation of church and state, the right to petition, and FCC rules requiring broadcast radio stations to receive input from the public. KUER effectively told me to shut up and go away. That violates two out of the three. And their violation of the separation of church & state can be found via the following direct evidence:

1. Their broadcasting of two programs funded by a religious advocacy organization (Templeton), and that organization is known for funding programs, journalists, and scientists which match up with their religious agenda. The programs "On Being with Krista Tippett" formerly known as "Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett," and "To the Best of Our Knowledge."

2. During an on air pledge drive KUER staff commented about Krista Tippett's program in a fawning way stating "isn't is great that we are respecting religion." But I would submit that it's not the job of the government to advocate for "respect" for religion. Respect implies and dictates censorship and whitewashing. The government does not "respect" religion. It is not to be an advocate one way or the other. It's supposed to be separate. And when a government-run station has a pledge drive where they fawningly cheer about a program they have on, about how it "respects religion," that is a red flag.

3. Further digging into what Templeton does and it's history show that it is a religious advocacy organization.

Here are some related links:,_science_and_philanthropy/

Also relevant interaction about Templeton between scientists starts at time index 1:24:00 on the video at
...and at time index 1:31:40 Richard Dawkins states that John Templeton is a billionaire who's used his billions to subvert science.



FCC complaint regarding KUER, a department of the University of Utah

Here is a copy of a letter I have sent to the FCC:

December 16, 2010
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554

Re: Complaint regarding educational & government run FM broadcast station KUER

Reporting a violation of the following federal laws:

U.S. Constitution, First Amendment, “right to petition”

FCC rules under U.S. Title 47, Section 73.1202 and Section 73.3527 which state that stations must be prepared to receive comments from the public. And also under any other relevant sections which the FCC may be aware of.


Recently I sent a letter to station KUER, a telecommunications department of the University of Utah, complaints about two programs they broadcast: "To the Best of our Knowledge" by Wisconsin Public Radio, and "Krista Tippett on Being" (formerly known as "Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett”).

In response the director of KUER (KUER is a department at the University of Utah – a part of the State of Utah) sent to me the following email:

--------quote beings of email from the KUER station manager

To: Jonathan
From: John Greene <>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 11:48:05 -0700


You have made your views abundantly clear. Please refrain from e-mailing me any further.

John Greene GM

--------end of quote of the email from the KUER station manager

The fully reasonable interpretation of this letter from the KUER station manager is this: “shut up and go away.”

Such a statement, and such an email violates my rights as a citizen, both to petition my government for a redress of grievances (since KUER is a department at the University of Utah and the call letters KUER are licensed by the FCC to the University of Utah, and the University is a part of the State of Utah), and also my rights under FCC regulations which state that broadcast stations must be willing to receive comments from the public about their programming.

Having the station manager tell me to “…refrain from e-mailing…”  them in the future is not only rude, obtuse, insolent, and intransigent, I submit to you that it also violates my rights, both under the Constitution, and my rights under FCC rules that require stations receive & document public comments.

Having Mr. Greene, a man employed by the State of Utah, and who directs a State-run radio station, to effectively tell me to shut up and go away is inappropriate and must be challenged. Thus I request the assistance of the FCC in this matter.



The Templeton Bribe to journalists & scientists who whitewash the problems of religion, and who conflate science and religion

Check out the following article about how Templeton's work & their agenda:

The Templeton Bribe

If you believe there are problems with religion, abuses, and so on, Templeton does not like you. They won't give you cash. And if you get their money, you're showing that you're supporting the whitewashing of lies about the problems with religion.

Here's a quote from the page:

"...One Templeton official made what I felt were inappropriate remarks about the foundation’s expectations of us fellows. She told us that the meeting cost more than $1-million, and in return the foundation wanted us to publish articles touching on science and religion. But when I told her one evening at dinner that — given all the problems caused by religion throughout human history — I didn’t want science and religion to be reconciled, and that I hoped humanity would eventually outgrow religion, she replied that she didn’t think someone with those opinions should have accepted a fellowship. So much for an open exchange of views..."

Glossing over the actions of child rapists like Mohammad (married a six year old and slept with her at age nine)

Glossing over the actions of prophets like Joseph Smith & Brigham Young, who married 14/15 year olds and who slept with the wives of other men.

And on and on. The list is endless. But the bottom line is that telling a half truth is a lie. Omitting the full truth is a lie. Templeton's agenda is to present a lie. "the Foundation doesn’t really want the hard light of science cast upon faith." Indeed they do not. And journals & scientists who receive Templeton recognition show they are matching up with the Templeton agenda of conflating science & religion, confusion about science, and whitewashing the problems with religion.

More details are in my blog.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

University of Utah & KUER promotes rich conservative sugar daddy's god & his religion

Maybe you're an atheist. Maybe you're a theist. Maybe you're both. But did you know that now only one rich conservative sugar daddy's god gets play and credit on state connected, state university run, & state funded public radio in America?


Here's my latest reply in a related forum at

-----------------------------------------------quote beings

parrotpirate wrote: "To The Best of Our Knowledge is a magazine style show. While they may sometimes cover religious issues (and sometimes have guests that have very one-sided views) I don't think I've ever heard them actually promoting or advocating religion."

[my reply:]

Howdy. The way they present their show serves Templeton's interests, which is why they fund the show.

Templeton's apparent interests in this matter, as per the several noted scientists & philosophers who've expressed concerns about Templeton, is to conflate science & religion. To confuse the issue. Yes it's true that the show has on people who aren't woo woo wacky mysticalists. But in my hearing they tend to jump from one to the other.

There's a journalistic choice about the questions one asks, and the questions they ask tend to show their own bias toward metaphysics & mysticism. Also they take a tit for tat approach to the guests they have on, and they appear to have a bias toward theistic scientists who have varying degrees of compartmentalization about what science has shown and what the history & science & religion shows. Thus they can claim "we'll just let the listeners decide," when they are doing the deciding by giving equal weight to the witch doctors and witch doctor apologists, as compared to the few reasonable people they occasionally have on.

Anyway, the show is not as bad as Tippett's banal & preachy program. But still it matches up with Templeton's interests, and that should be one key red flag. The other red flags come from the show itself.

A quote from the above page - from a letter by Sam Harris:

"...The Templeton Foundation’s work is quite a bit more insidious (and clever) than funding marginal research, or even obscenely silly projects like Collins’ BioLogos Foundation. Two examples of their work should suffice:



Templeton’s recent advertisement about evolution (1. above), which appeared in almost every major newspaper and magazine in the United States, represents a very clever manipulation of scientific opinion. When faced with the question “Does Evolution Explain Human Nature?” even I would have said something like “Not entirely.” Of course, Templeton knows that most people will only read the titles of these essays. The general effect of the page is to communicate the inadequacy of evolutionary theory and the perpetual incompleteness of science—and to encourage readers to draw the further the inference that one needs religion/faith to get all the way home to the Truth. It is an especially nice touch that the one unequivocal “Yes” comes from the journalist Robert Wright, who has become a committed apologist for religion. (Leave it to Francis Collins to deliver the eminently reasonable, “Not entirely.”) Thus, whichever door one opens in this fun house of obfuscation, one finds a message that is comforting to religion. An earlier ad entitled “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?” played the same game with a carefully picked sample of respondents. Out of 12 responses, only two were direct answers of “No.” Glancing at the ad, one could only conclude that atheism must be a minority opinion in science. These ads amount to religious propaganda, pure and simple. And the Templeton foundation has spent millions of dollars on them (Full disclosure: I was asked to participate in an earlier series of ads, where I was told that the entire campaign would consist of one page of my heresy set against one page written by Francis Collins, to be placed in every major newspaper and magazine in the land. I declined.)

The d’Espagnat citation (2. above) produces a similar effect, at nauseating length. I’m not in a position to quibble with d’Espagnat’s science, nor do I intend to impugn him as a recipient of the Templeton Prize. But this citation represents another instance of religious propaganda. Reading it, one is given to understand that d’Espagnat would throw the full weight of his scientific reputation behind the following assertions: there is a hidden reality; science can’t quite glimpse it; religion offers a glimpse of its own; thus, religion and science are complimentary—but religion is likely the deeper of the two. Of course, the juxtaposition of a brilliant scientist and the “world’s largest annual award given to an individual” makes the Templeton Foundation appear both very important and intellectually credible. Whereas, in reality, all they are is a great pot of money surrounded by some very “woolly” ideas.

How is it possible that Campbell doesn’t see the problem with all this?  Why wouldn’t Nature feel that it was editorially bound to draw the CLEAREST POSSIBLE distinction between real science and ancient delusions? After all, Nature fancies that it can distinguish groundbreaking science from merely pedestrian science—publishing only the former. Why can’t it see that there is a distinction of much greater consequence to society, and to the future of science, that it should also make: there is a difference, after all, between having good reasons for what one believes and having bad ones. Incidentally, this is the only distinction one needs to become a “strict” atheist.

All of this runs to the larger issue of intellectual honesty. Perhaps we can define “intellectual honesty” as the ratio between what a person has good reason to believe and what he will assert to be true. In the ideal case, this number would equal 1, and in science it approaches as near to 1 as it does anywhere in human discourse. It seems to me that most religions subsist, and even thrive, on values that can be brought arbitrarily close to zero for centuries on end—and, indeed, grow smaller the longer any religious authority speaks about content of the faith. This disparity between what counts for honesty in serious discourse, depending on the topic, is as strange as it is consequential. Is it really so “idealistic” to think that a journal like Nature might object to it?

-------end of quote from Sam Harris on Templeton - see the page I referenced & my earlier post for several other links to Dennett, Dawkins, Kroto, and Myers.

Scientists & journalists whose work matches up with the agenda of Templeton are lauded fawningly on their website. Their fawning tribute, and the cash, are all badges of disrepute - and are indicative of where science is being subverted, and where religion & science are being conflated.

The impudent intransigent station manager at KUER, John Greene, a government employee at a public university, should know better than to tell a citizen to shut up. He needs to realize that he not only is a so-called public servant & thus must be prepared to receive comments on a continuous basis while he remains a public employee & a director of a government run university department, as per the First Amendment which deals with citizens being able to send their comments to their government. And he needs to realize that the FCC requires that his station be willing to receive comments from the public.

Thus I ask for your help in emailing government manager John Greene because of his intransigence and impudence, for the following specific reasons:

1. The government run station he directs having two programs on there that serve to subvert science, and to conflate science & religion (as per the references I've noted).
2. The government run station he directs, at a public university, being willing to receive comments as per FCC regs that require it. Right now if he doesn't like your views he'll tell you to shut up and go away.
3. Helping to uphold the right of the citizenry to send grievances to their government, and for the government to NOT act to chill that ability.

So on all these three points, I ask that if you agree you help me email KUER radio director John Greene & also the president of the University of Utah as noted in my original post. Thanks a bunch.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reintroduction - for exmormons & related people

Reintroduction to the exmormon community:


It's been a while since I've introduced myself.

Jonathan - name removed in 1994 [from the Mormon Church - the so-called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cult]

Temple worker. Missionary to Alaska. Sunday School President. Ricks & BYU attendee. Graduated from Weber. Basic naive sensitive chump who believed everything - way too much & more than others.

Exit journal:

Upon leaving found science to be more valuable than the bullcrap of Mormonism.

Also appreciated the works of Betty Dodson & Shere Hite.

Carl Sagan was a influence even when I was a Mormon God believer. But he was even more so after I left. His book "The Demon Haunted Word" was one key book, especially with regard to other issues at play nowadays and the corrosion & errosion of secularism, science, public universities, and science education. Also his book "Contact" was good, and his TV series "Cosmos" was life changing for me & many others.

After Carl Sagan died I then found other key authors, as follows:

Steven Pinker
Daniel Dennett
Richard Dawkins
Sam Harris

I also developed a strong interest in animal cognition, and enjoyed the work of Dr. Irene Pepperberg about her African Grey parrot named Alex.

In recent years I've also discovered Harry Kroto, Anthony Grayling, Victor Stenger, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a key woman who came from Somalia, and ex-Muslim who has to live with round the clock security). And also the ex-Muslims on the Center for Inquiry website in the digital media section have been excellent.

Also I enjoy Pat Condell's videos. Oh and Christopher Hitchens is excellent in most cases. 

Books of interest:

Cosmos, Dragons of Eden, Demon Haunted World, & Contact by Carl Sagan

books by Hite & Dodson

The God Delusion, The Ancestor's Tale, A Devil's Chaplain, and Climbing Mount Improbable, all by Dawkins

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

Pinker, Dennett, Dawkins, and Harris also have a lot of online videos and audio podcasts and quotes readily findable.
The videos at
Films listed at
...many of which are rentable at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake.
My current S list (crap list):

Mormon bishops who micromanage the sex lives of children & adults in Mormonism, even though Joseph & Brigham slept with adolescents and the wives of other men, and even though the Mormon God slept with Mary the mother of the mythical Jesus.

Catholic Priests who rape children en masse, and who cover up such rape.
Muslims / Islamists who advocate gender apartheid & the veil, and the killing of cartoonists, authors, and heathens.
Cultural & moral relativists who maintain the hugely dangerous lie that everything is equal.

Micromanagers of all types and in all venues.

Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm style lazy shallow pouncers, who as far as I'm concerned are no better than dead wood or bumps in the road worthy of very fast driving over. Hitchens & Pat Condell are excellent examples of how to deal with people too lazy to care about what a person says or to do proper research. Since I've been on the net since 1991 I've engaged in plenty of debates. But more recently I've grown weary of people who really don't deserve my time to respond to. Figure it out yourself or get out of the way - this is the path Condell & Hitchens have shown and as far as I'm concerned it's a good one. You can be the cordial one 100% of the time. But I guess my patience wears more thin these days. It takes a village.
My current heros list:

Sagan, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, Dodson, Hite, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Adams, and the Monty Python group & creators. Geert Wilders & Pat Condell are also worthy of honorable mention. In the general greater exmo world Simon Southerton is good. The people who helped found the Salt Lake based exmo conferences are good also. Relative to those conferences I'm one of the few people who still goes on a regular basis who also was around for the founding of the Salt Lake based conferences. Also I'm a long time attendee of the atheist coffee chat things that happen every Thursday in Salt Lake.

My web site & blog:

Current endeavor: Dating. Six years ago I lost 110 pounds using a weight loss program of my own design. The weight loss was to facilitate dating.
Outside of Utah I've lived in Texas (Austin & south of San Antonio) and Oregon (Portland). I recently moved back to Salt Lake from Portland to find more sun.
Favorite beer: The darker the better.
Favorite wine: red pinos are good but I'm also experimenting with others.
Music: Raindrop Prelude by Chopin and other excellent classical. Rammstein. Prince. John Denver. Simon & Garfunkel. Neil Young. Selected Cat Stevens, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, selected New Age genre instrumental.
Favorite websites:
and sites dealing with what the Internet is for:
The freedom to see and to be free from the coercive abusive S of Mormonism has led to the quiet realization that the most important things happen in real life with other people in the "first life." Also that what you "get" from exposure to the totality of positive human interaction is not what they say. Not pollution. Not filth. But rather the simple quiet realization of the great majesty & beauty of life, and the value of preserving the garden we've been given by evolution, natural selection, and a Universe we were lucky enough to have as it is.
There's a reason preachers want you to avoid a positive approach to human sexuality: Because if you embrace such an approach you'll quickly find no reason whatsoever to suck up to a-hole preachers who tell you such crap in the first place. Move on from their dross & drivel & be a lot happier.
The pale blue dot:
There may not be gods now, but science may allow us to become as such.
We may transcend our little home & survive after our home is destroyed. Or we may develop the science & technology to prevent the destruction, but only if we can transcend wasteful delusion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The talk I gave at my mother's funeral - February 2010

Here's a copy of the talk I gave at my mother's funeral on February 27, 2010. The talk was given at a Mormon meeting house.


The daughter of a sheepherder and dairy farmer. From a small parched town in central Utah. Growing up in a nice house with a good view of the temple. Climbing on the hills and mountains above Manti. Moving to Salt Lake during World War II. Learning to be a nurse. Meeting her husband at a dance. Marrying and living in Orem, California, Jamaica, and Cottonwood.

If you could stand up here on this podium I am sure that there are many things you could choose to say.

All of us have special memories of Helen.

Whether as a wife, a mother, a grand mother, a great grand mother, a sister, an aunt, or a friend.

How would she like to be remembered?

How do we remember her?

And what did she leave behind?

She would want to be remembered as a mother who created a very nice family. As someone who had many children and grandchildren whom she loved very much.

As someone who had many good times, visiting with many friends, persevering through trails, and having a fruitful life.
Here are some excerpts from some documents she wrote:


    I was born June 13, l926 in a small home about 4th south and main street in Manti, Utah.  It was a home delivery.  The evening prior to my birth, my Dad worked on a crib for me.  It was a crib for all 5 of my parent's children.


    While very young, my mother entered me in the most beautiful baby contest at the Sanpete County Fair.  I was a winner until they saw me sucking my thumb and that eliminated me from the contest.  I'm sure my mother was very irritated.
    I must have been quite a thumb sucker.  My little friend next door, Pauline Cox, had a splint on her elbow so she could not get her thumb up to her mouth.  Apparently I felt sorry for her because one of our parents took a photo of Pauline sucking my thumb and she was sucking mine.  Our parents never let us forget this incident.


    I was 3 years old when my mother gave birth to my brother, Ray.  It was a home delivery with Dr. Sears attending.  It was at this time when the Dr. said that if I didn't stop sucking my thumb he was going to cut It off. This stopped my thumb sucking habit.  I remember his big black bag to this day.

    Grandma Keller had dark hair and most of her children had dark hair.  Grandpa Keller teased her and said that Westenskow really meant Eskimo.


    Aunt Bernice had profound influence on me. 

    She was always kind and taught me to enjoy classical music, fine literature, and the arts. 

    She was an excellent teacher and always lifted people to higher levels of  thinking.  I remember her discussing Elbert Hubbard's philosophies with both my mother and aunt Maggie in grandma Barton's kitchen.

The above stories come from documents typed up by Helen. If you would like copies you're welcome to email me or you can find me on Facebook.

Here is how I remember my mother Helen:

That she enjoyed sewing & knitting. When I was younger she worked in the Mormon Church Office Building in the health unit. She very much enjoyed giving vaccination shots to the occasionally visiting big wigs. She also liked to go on vacations with Jack. Later she became a teacher at a couple of local high schools teaching students about careers in health.

In retirement she had the opportunity to care for and love many grand children, and to continue to go on vacations with Jack, many of which in her later years were done in association with the Flying Tigers Army Air Force reunion group.

In the last ten or so years of her life she had congestive heart failure. But modern medical science was able to keep her alive.

She was a liberal democrat. She was more religious than Jack. She believed in the value of science, the fact of evolution, and much of what came to us from key events like the Renaissance and The Age of Enlightenment. She was not a hard line literalist nor an angry fundamentalist.

In the last years of her life she went to the hospital many times. But she remained relatively spry and alert for someone her age. And she continued to venture out with Jack on vacations as she was able.

I would say that overall, even during the years when her health was failing, she remained relatively upbeat. And when I saw her newly allowed-to-go-gray hair, I realized that maybe she should have let it go gray a bit earlier.


What is the baton we have been passed by Helen, and what will we do with it?

Hair which has yet to go gray; a dickey ticker; a propensity for epiphanies; sometimes unpleasant moodiness; stubbornness but also determination. Helen also directly passed on ideas to us, and she gave us the opportunity to learn from the world we were born into.

Since it is a common tradition in buildings such as this to make a statement of belief as part of a funeral talk, I will make one of my own - with the caveat that I think the best way to honor a person is to be honest about what they really thought about life, the Universe, and everything.

We're here to honor Helen. Part of her legacy is what you believe and feel in your heart. Part of her legacy are the children you've borne. And part of her legacy are people like me in this family who believe the following:


As far as I can tell, relative to our position in the Universe, we're rather like some moss growing on the top of a mountain.

As moss we're very intelligent. And maybe some day, being the smart green moss that we are, maybe we'll find a way to extract ourselves from the mountain top.

In a few years our lone peak which is the only place we can live is going to get scorched. And we happen to be so smart in fact that we have predicted the future scorching.
So if we are very lucky & very smart indeed, our science & technology may save us.

Or perhaps we'll fade away to dust like most life has on the mountain.

It's either the sky god or the volcano god, or the real truth about our rather humble state.

Noble & beautiful, yes, but if we're going to make it in the long term at least a few of us have to take a longer view.

There is no Christian Armageddon waiting. But in about 500 million years our Sun will be 10% brighter thereby causing the oceans boil off. So our descendants either need to re-engineer the Sun by then, or get us off of this rock. And we've only known about this for ten or so years. And there are other huge risks to our survival.

What we teach our children about science may save humanity.

There's no heaven or hell. But that means we have an added responsibility to care for what we have here. To make this life here & now into a heaven or a hell.

We are related to other animals. We are animals, and our morals come from a combination of genetics and socialization. Whether such a fact is good or bad, it doesn't matter. That's simply the way it is.

Being concerned about legacy is an issue. Who will care that you lived in 100 years? Make a contribution. Be a great artist or a great scientist or have kids. And if you have kids, teach them the value cutting edge art and science, and of the value of taking the proverbial red pill as from the
film The Matrix.

Those of us in this extended family who share these views are part of the legacy of Helen. And she shared many of these views.

May she rest in peace. We have the baton now.

Thank you for coming to honor the memory of Helen and your place in this story.

The conflation of science & religion at the University of Utah

Here is a letter I am sharing with some local newspapers:


Dear Editor,

Come to find out KUER is an actual department of the University of Utah. The call letters KUER are licensed to the University by the FCC.

Recently I wrote to the station manager of KUER with some concerns I have about two of their programs. The programs are funded by the Templeton Foundation, a religious advocacy organization that is controversial with some leading scientists, including Nobel prize winner Dr. Harry Kroto. The programs of concern are "To the Best of Our Knowledge" by Wisconsin Public Radio, and "Krista Tippett on Being" by American Public Media - both funded by Templeton.

In any case, regardless of whether you agree with my comments about the programs, perhaps you can at least agree that an arm of the government should not be telling citizens to shut up.

John Greene emailed me on December 9th and said to me "...Jonathan, You have made your views abundantly clear. Please refrain from e-mailing me any further. John Greene GM."

Isn't that nice? He had no cogent response. No detail. All he essentially said was "shut up and go away, and don't bother me in the future..."

Maybe you don't care about whether the god of the Templeton Foundation happens to be your god, or whether the conflation of science and religion is an issue for you. Maybe you don't care about whether an arm of the government is broadcasting two programs that advocate on behalf of a certain definition of god & religion. Probably not your specific definitions. The words may be the same, but the definition probably doesn't match up with what you believe or do not believe. I suppose the separation of church & state may not matter much to you. Or, if it does then that's great.

But, you may also want to make note that the First Amendment states that the government should be willing to listen to citizens. Also FCC rules state that broadcast stations must be willing to receive comments from listeners.

KUER is not just another radio station. The programs they have aren't just on there to be listened to or not. Since KUER is a University of Utah telecommunications department, what they choose put on the air means something more. Also KUER receives federal tax dollars via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

When your and my government decides to put programs funded by Templeton on the air, maybe you love it. Maybe you hate it. But if you comment about it to KUER (which is a part of the U of U & therefore a part of the State), hopefully you'll appreciate the need for your government to not then tell you to shut up and go away if they don't like your comments.

Harry Kroto, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Anthony Grayling, and P.Z. Myers all are not big fans of Templeton's apparent subversion of science. Google them all to find the details. And as an ex-Mormon myself I don't much appreciate the conflation of science with Krista Tippett's or Templeton's definition of god, nor Templeton money going to subvert science & to conflate science & religion (especially as per the readily findable concerns of the noted scientists & philosophers I've noted, and as per what I have personally heard from the programs in question).

But when my government picks & chooses arguably religious advocacy programs to broadcast, that raises the bar of concern. And when a department of a public university engages in the distortion of science, and the conflation of science with religion, that is also a concern. And when they tell me to shut up and go away, that's another disconcerting point.




If you'd like to help with the issue you can write to the following parties:

John Greene, Station Manager, KUER:
Michael K. Young, University of Utah president:

Please feel free to forward a copy of this letter to these men who are managers & public employees at the University of Utah (a part of the State of Utah), along with your own comments.

Further details and posts:

Maybe you love Krista Tippett & the Templeton Foundation. But at the very least you might make note of the fact that a part of the government is both advocating for and on behalf of a specific definition of the word god (Templeton's), and when we complain, they tell us to shut up and go away.


p.s. Did you know that Templeton gave Mel Gibson an award for his film "Passion of the Christ" and they deemed it the most inspirational film of 2004? Isn't that special? Oh my goodness, Passion of the Christ? Go figure. Here's Hitchens' responses to Gibson:

And isn't it great that the same foundation that loved Gibson's ghoulish film also supports two religious programs on a public radio station near you, and via a publicly funded university near you also. One of several references to the film award:

...and when you complain to your local public university? What do they tell you? Shut up, and go away. So if you could help in this case that would be great.

letter to the editor: University of Utah department to citizens: shut up, if we don't like your comments

Click here to view the updated page here on my blog for the letter, and how you can help.

University of Utah department to citizens: Shut up. Don't complaint to us.

Come to find out KUER is actually a department of the University of Utah.

In a previous post here I made note of their general manager, John Greene, who sent an email asking that I stop contacting his station. Well, come to find out, his station is merely a department of the University of Utah.


Here's a copy of the email I sent to John Greene, station manager of KUER, also the department head of KUER, a department of the University:

To: John Greene <>

[December 9, 2010]

To the University of Utah, the licensee of radio station call letters KUER.


To Mr. Greene, station manager.

Cc: Related parties & officers at the University.

Regarding: U.S. Constitution, First Amendment, and also U.S. Title 47, Section 73.1202  Retention of letters received from the public, and Section 73.3527 Local public inspection file of noncommercial educational.

Dear Mr. Greene,

KUER is a part of the University of Utah. The University of Utah is a part of the State of Utah. The State of Utah is a part of the United States.

I refer you to the following wikipedia article relating to the Federal Constitution:

I ask that you not send to me emails asking that I stop exercising my rights as a citizen and tax payer of the US & of Utah.

As KUER is a de facto and in fact government entity and an arm of the government, you must be prepared to receive comments from the citizenry regarding serious concerns citizens may have regarding your programming decisions.

Also the FCC states that you must be prepared to receive comments about your programming. Your station, in addition to being a part of the State of Utah, is a Federal Communications Commission licensee. Here is a link to the relevant FCC rules Mr. Greene:

Here is a quote from the FCC on this matter:

"...Comments to Stations and Networks.  If you feel the need to do so, we encourage you to write directly to station management or to network officials to comment on their broadcast service..."

Also as an FYI, all emails you send to me will be publicly published, especially to interest groups which relate to the mixing of church and state, which in my view is what KUER is doing now, and which I am trying to get you to stop doing.

My tax dollars which go to support the U of U and indirectly & directly to KUER are going to support religious programs on KUER.

If you have a cogent response other than "please do not exercise your rights under the Constitution," then I'm ready to hear. But in the mean time, with all due respect, I'll continue to follow the constitution in this matter, and to exercise my rights to address MY government with grievances I happen to have with what you all are doing with my tax money, and with my franchise as a citizen.

I feel that my rights are being violated by your station and your university - my right to have a separation of church and state. And as long as KUER remains a part of the State of Utah, the University of Utah, and the government indirectly & directly, then I'll continue acting as a citizen in this matter and I'll continue acting within my rights.

I encourage you to personally contact the FCC to see if station listeners have a right to comment about station operation & programming. And I encourage you to personally contact the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church State, as these advocacy groups can provide more details to you about your duties as a defacto and in fact government employee & public radio station manager.

The legal name of the KUER broadcast station licensee is the University of Utah, as per

The call letters KUER are licensed by the FCC to the University of Utah.

Thus, as a government employee & representative, I expect you to offer proper respect when citizens attempt to exercise their rights under the federal constitution.

I feel my rights are being severely violated by the presence of two programs on KUER which I feel are religious advocacy programs, as per my own listening, and as per the related concerns by one nobel prize winning scientist, several other scientists, noted philosophers who have high concerns about the key funding source involved, and other citizens who I've found who also have concerns about the programs & funding sources involved. Details & extensive links about these other people who have serious concerns about the specifics in this case have already been shared.

I will continue to exercise my rights under the constitution. KUER is not just a mere radio station. The programs you put on are not merely just for a person to listen to or not to listen to. What you put on the air has a direct connection to the University of Utah, and to the State of Utah, and thus to my government. And as a citizen I'll continue exercising my rights. It may be inconvenient for you to receive comments from the citizenry, even when those comments are backed up with key comments from nobel prize winners and highly noted scientists with a lifetime of experience in science & Enlightenment-era advocacy. But as a government employee, and as an FCC licensee, it's your job to receive such comments and to respond with respect, dignity, and honor.


Jonathan Higbee

Thursday, December 9, 2010

KUER asks me to shut up - separation of church & state: station KUER not willing to receive public comments as is required by law

Whether or not you agree with my comments about two public radio programs engaging in religious advocacy on the government's dime & time, perhaps at the very least you can agree that we should be able to comment about their existence to public radio stations. The programs: "To the Best of our Knowledge" by Wisconsin Public Radio, and "Krista Tippett on Being" (formerly known as "Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett."

The call letters KUER are licensed to the University of Utah, and the University of Utah is a part of the State of Utah.

My contention is that the programs  are religious advocacy programs, as per other posts I've made.

I sent detailed complaints to KUER about the matter.

Maybe you disagree with my conclusions, or maybe you agree. But in any case, at the very least make note of the fact that KUER is a part of the State of Utah.

FCC rules in Title 47, Section 73.1202 and Section 73.3527 state that stations should be prepared to receive comments from the public. Also the FCC website at
states the following: "...Comments to Stations and Networks.  If you feel the need to do so, we encourage you to write directly to station management or to network officials to comment on their broadcast service..."

Also note the First Amendment states that citizens have a right to address their government regarding grievances. And since the call letters KUER are licensed to a part of the government, it seems to me that part of the amendment would apply in this case.

If any of this sounds interesting or of concern, here's how you may be able to help...

Write and call the KUER station manager, and call to the University of Utah to help make sure that they will be willing to receive comments from the public regarding the separation of church and state:

John Greene, KUER station manager, - phone 801-581-6625, option 6, then option 1
Michael K. Young, University of Utah president - phone 801-581-5701, email

Please email both men if you could, if you want to help.

--------quote beings of email from the KUER station manager

To: Jonathan
From: John Greene <>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 11:48:05 -0700


You have made your views abundantly clear. Please refrain from e-mailing me any further.

John Greene GM

--------end of quote of the email from the KUER station manager

The man has no interest in a conversation. He just wants me to shut up. But he is a government employee & representative. And his station is licensed to a part of the government. And so on.