Local atheist group puts on student essay contest! Top high school student gets $500, top middle school gets $250

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) is holding it’s first-ever student essay contest this fall.

The contest is open to all Mesa County middle and high school students, whether they attend regular public school, a charter or online school, or are in a school district outside the Grand Valley, like in Gateway, Plateau Valley or DeBeque.

Students are asked write on the topic of “What is separation of church and state, and why is it important to maintaining our democracy?”

Essays should be a minimum of 700 words and a maximum of 1,000 words.

The winning high school student gets $500, and the winning middle school student gets $250.

WCAF will accept entries throughout the fall until the submission deadline at midnight on December 15, 2018. Judging will be complete by mid-March, 2019 and awards given by the end of March, 2019.

Rules and complete instructions on how to submit entries are available at WCAF’s website under the “Projects” tab.

 

Liberals, be very proud of who you are

 Mesa County vehicle that displays enmity towards liberal and progressive residents

Right wingers often disparage political liberals in western Colorado with nasty names like “libtard” and “snowflake.” Some even claim without foundation that liberalism is a “mental disorder.”

But being politically liberal is a profoundly positive thing. 

Why?

Because liberals have made most of the progress in American society.

Liberals fight to advance the unalienable rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights: freedom of speech, an independent press, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, equal treatment under the law, voting rights for all adult citizens, and women’s rights including equal pay and reproductive rights. Liberals support civil rights (the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality) and everyone’s right to due process. Liberals support protection of the environment, clean oceans, clean air and protection of public lands. Liberals support everyone’s right to health care and an education.

These are all good things. There’s not a bad thing among them.

What is a liberal?

Banner using foul language that a local business owner, a non-liberal, put on the front of his business on North Ave.

Liberals are open-minded and believe in positive, forward-looking change. Liberals are unconstrained by traditional or conventional ideas, and instead think beyond the old ways to consider a far greater realm of possibilities. 

Liberals believe in promoting the general welfare, as the Constitution requires. They believe all people should be treated equally and with respect, that everyone should have the same access to opportunities for a better life regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background. Liberals believe workers are entitled to a reasonable work week, paid sick time, paid vacations and living wages that a worker can support a family on. Liberals support public transportation and safe, clean public water supplies. Liberals support workplaces that are free of hazards, harassment and discrimination. Liberals believe climate change is based on human actions and that we must waste no time in moving toward using forms of energy that are cleaner, more efficient, renewable, sustainable, lower priced and safer for workers. 

Liberal policies include things people rely upon every day, like the Social Security Act, which created the right of Americans to a basic pension in old age and a financial safety net if they become disabled; the GI bill, which funds generous financial benefits for veterans like tuition and low-interest loans; unemployment insurance, which provides a financial safety net for people who lose their jobs, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination against physically and mentally disabled persons.

Liberals are responsible for the real progress our country has made that makes the U.S. a better, safer, cleaner and fairer place to live for all Americans. That’s why liberals are also called “progressives”  — because they have been largely responsible for making the progress that moves our country forward and makes our society better. 

Being politically liberal is something to be celebrated. It’s something to be very proud of.

Liberals, YOU make the difference for everyone. Be proud of who you are.

The “I Love Drilling” Juice Bar in Vernal, Utah, charges different prices to customers based on whether they are liberals or conservatives.

FREE Progressive Family Picnic Sept. 1 features gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis

Be a proud if you support forward-looking, consumer-friendly and environment-friendly polices!

Attend a FREE political event to celebrate the increasing power of liberals and progressives on the western slope! Come to the Progressive Family Picnic on Saturday, September 1 at the Watson Island Amphitheater from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The event is 100% free, no admission, open to all. It celebrates workers and families, so pack a picnic, and bring your family! Come enjoy the grassy amphitheater behind the Botanical Gardens beside the Colorado River at the end of 7th Street in downtown Grand Junction. There will be free live music and even parking is free. The event is sponsored by Claudette Konola and Kennedy for Colorado.  Chris Kennedy, who is running for State Senate District 7 against Ray Scott, will be there and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jared Polis will be there to share his bold ideas for the future and meet western slopers in person.

Tell your friends you’ll meet them there! There’s room for 1,000 people!

More on the hate culture in Grand Junction: “If you don’t like it, leave”

Anyone who has pointed out hatred, bigotry, unequal treatment or violations of constitutional or civil rights on the western slope has heard the phrase over and over: “If you don’t like what’s going on here, you can just leave.”

That is what many western slope residents say to people who aren’t like them, who moved here from somewhere else, who disagree with them on issues or assert their constitutional rights.

Grand jury report details sexual abuse by over 300 priests in PA Catholic Church alone

President Trump and wife Melania shown with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who in July, 2013, requested permission from the Vatican to move $57 million in church funds to protect the the church’s assets from victims of priest sexual abuse. The Vatican approved Dolan’s request in five weeks.

It’s an unfathomably bad day for religion, but a better day to be an atheist, if you already are one. If you’re not already, the news coming out about the Catholic church (again) this week may be enough to flip you, if not just grip you.

A Pennsylvania grand jury has dropped a devastating 1,356 page report (pdf) that describes in excruciating detail the child sexual abuse that has occurred within the Pennsylvania Catholic church, perpetrated by over 300 “predator priests” in that state alone. The grand jury names each priest and has identified over a thousand credible child victims who endured abuse at the hands of the Church over a period of 70 years. Some of the victims are in their 80s now.

Senator Ray Scott’s absurd efforts to block progress in the energy industry

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott, die hard promoter of fossil fuels

State Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) isn’t just your average fossil fuel cheerleader. He goes far beyond defending the oil and gas industry by working to hobble and block advancements in clean, renewable energy, including solar energy, electric cars and even by finding creative ways to attack bicycle transportation. Even worse, Scott ignores inevitable injuries and deaths caused in pursuit of fossil fuel development, like the deadly explosion of a home in Firestone, Colorado on May 4, 2017 that killed two people and the July 27, 2018 explosion at a gas collection facility just over the state line in Cisco, Utah that badly burned two workers. 

Club 20 screams like a spoiled toddler while Polis attends events that are free and open to everyone

Rep. Jared Polis

At the end of July, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis announced he was going to have to miss Club 20’s September 8 candidate debate. In response Club 20 took on the persona of a spoiled, whiny toddler, quickly issuing a nasty press release (pdf) that screamed Polis had — *gasp!* — snubbed it and was slapping the collective face of the entire western slope because he wouldn’t attend it’s exclusive, must-do event.

Come on, Club 20. Grow up. Polis has something else to do. Check it out:

Election hacking? No biggie. Sen. Cory Gardner votes against funding election security

Chart: The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction

Russia’s campaign to influence U.S. elections and help Donald Trump get elected must not be any big deal to Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who joined Senate Republicans in blocking an attempt by Democrats to include $250 million in the appropriations bill to help states upgrade their election security. The measure would have paid for states to replace their outdated, insecure voting machines, offer security training to election workers, upgrade voter registration software and fund other election security initiatives. All of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the measure, but Senate Republicans, including Cory Gardner, voted it down.

Next time your Republican elected officials boast that they are patriotic and love their country, remember this shameful vote.

 

 

 

 

Documenting hate in Grand Junction

Here are additional recently-spotted signs that bring the hate and racism lurking in Grand Junction right out into the open:

This horrific sticker was spotted on a white Ford pickup truck in northwest Grand Junction on 8/4/18

A “Haji” is a slur for a Muslim, specifically one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The “ZF” stands for “Zero Foxtrot,” the “U.S. Marine veteran owned and operated company” that sells these shameful stickers.

Sure enough, a wider shot of the back of this truck shows it has U.S. Marine Corps license plates, effectively linking racism and xenophobia with the U.S. Military, specifically Marine Corps veterans:

Billboard raises awareness of Republicans’ dangerous dalliance with Putin

A billboard on I-70 B takes aim at the Republican Party (also known as the  “Grand Old Party” or GOP) which is quickly becoming “the party of Trump.”

The billboard is in front of Rimrock Marketplace on I-70 B and draws attention to Republicans’ alarming acceptance of President Trump cozying up to authoritarian dictators who disregard human rights.

The billboard will soon be moving to an even higher spot where it will be displayed to passers-by 100 percent of the time, instead of in 8-second increments rotating with 5-6 other ads. Stay tuned!