This Woman’s Point of View
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© Institute for Science and Human Values
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Toni Van Pelt interviewed on First Coast Connect radio show hosted by Melissa Ross. Listen Now 
The Achievements of Paul Kurtz by Bill Cooke Paul Kurtz was born into a family with relatively recent memories of Russia and with a great enthusiasm for American society and what it could offer those who worked hard. Martin Kurtz, a businessman, and his wife Anna, lived in Newark, New Jersey when their son Paul was born on December 21 1925. The value of education was well understood and  Paul was destined for a university education. But soon after enrolling at Washington Square College at New York University, he volunteered for military service. Not quite 19, his unit was rushed to the front during the height of the Battle of the Bulge. A few months later he was among the forces that liberated Dachau concentration camp. He stayed with the American forces in Germany for eighteen months after the war before being demobilized. Once again a civilian, Kurtz resumed his studies at New York University before moving on to Columbia University, where he took his PhD in 1952. He was a student of Sidney Hook and retained a lifelong relationship with the older philosopher. And through Hook, Kurtz stands in direct line from John Dewey. It is not overstating things to say that Kurtz’s work cannot be understood without appreciating how comprehensive the influence of Dewey and Hook has been. Like Hook, Kurtz has always been keen to distance humanism from dogmatic interpretations and unsavoury allies. And like Dewey, Kurtz has wanted to emphasize the positive elements of nonreligious living. Having said this he has also been more willing to criticize religion than either of his mentors. (Read More)
Bill Cooke
Why we Believe (or Not) Many people seem to believe that there is a one-size-fits-all reason as to why people believe or disbelieve in God. However, in reality, there are many reasons why people embrace or reject a belief in God; and some people have more than one reason. I have never assumed that my reasons for believing and then not believing in God were the same for everyone else. I believed in God because, like most people, I was inculcated with the God belief by my family, friends, neighbors and society long before I had reached the age of reason. In other words, I never really had a chance.  It seemed to me that the universe and life were obviously designed by God. Later, I had been exposed to the ideas of creationists and Christians that believed in biblical prophecy. It all just seemed to make good sense. (Read More)
General Information about the Study: At the request of Reps Mark Pocan (D- WI), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Gwen Moore (D-WI), the GAO examined participation in private school choice programs across the country. The study surveyed 20 voucher programs and 5 ESA programs (although only two were operational at the time of the study) across the country and conducted site visits and interview with school district and private school officials in programs in 4 states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Indiana. The programs in those four states represent half of all private school choice programs, and around 2/3 of participating students nationwide.
GAO Report: Private School Choice Programs Are Growing and Can Complicate Providing Certain Federally Funded Services to Eligible Students
This Woman’s Point of View
Social Security has been around since 1935 and for 81 years it has strengthened the middle class and enabled working Americans to retire with dignity and financial security. Social Security has been especially helpful to groups that have faced discrimination, including the LGBT community, people of color and women. Overwhelmingly, across political party lines, Americans strongly value Social Security, and want to see the program’s benefits expanded, not cut. (Read More)
Toni Van Pelt