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  1. #301
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    ^ YES! I always get so much crap for saying this, I'm glad someone agrees with me

  2. #302
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    Penn state deserves the death penalty and I feel that all who oppose have nothing but nauseatingly defensive apologetic arguments that in the end amount to two words. "But Football."

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefoot...x-abuse-071212

  3. #303
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    I have a friend who is a die hard Penn state football season ticket holder and his reaction surprises me. He seems to blame sandusky only when it looks like so many were involved in the cover up because of "But Football". Truly a sad situation but I think the death penalty is necessary. Football isn't as important as doing the right thing when it comes to pedophile.

  4. #304
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    I wish I hadn't read this, but I did. Husband found guilty of horrific spousal abuse - wife found gravely ill, starved, blind.

    Joseph S. Duffy faces up to seven years in prison for the felony of criminal abuse of a person with a disability, his wife, 60-year-old Mary Jane.
    I don't know the details of this case, maybe that man was not capable of handling the situation himself, but seven years seems very little for what amounts to torture and murder. Because if it hadn't been his intent for her to die, he would have tried to help her.

  5. #305
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    The worst kind of facepalm...

    No words.

  6. #306
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    Its depressingly telling that most social workers are pro surveillance... Terrible things go on and nobody knows

    I knew a bloke who worked at a pizza place, het got chatting to a quiet girl in the kitchen, after a few weeks she opened up and said the guy she lived with was physically abusive and only let her out of the house to work, only allowed her half a bottle of wine at weekends, chastised her for staying up late or talking to other men, generally treating her like a kid - now here's the most bizarre part of this... They werent, and never were, in a relationship! He was just her housemate and one day started telling her what to do

    So yeah basically my mate went round and told this guy to fuck off and find somewhere else to live, which he did right away (a coward, quelle surprise). After being told all this i said something to the effect of "that is unbelievable", my mate just stared into the distance and said "it's all going on out there"... Does make you wonder if people can handle being left to their devices. We have a responsibility to look out for each other, but how can you make sure the isolated wont face abuse

  7. #307
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    I found this on Twitter just now. Just you wait, every network is going to do the exact same thing by the end of the weekend.

  8. #308
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    RIP Sally Ride

    Almost every child says they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, but you made it a reality for me. Thank you for making it possible to dream about the stars.

  9. #309
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    Oh Israel, you make it so hard for us to not hate you!

    Israel Issues Demolition Orders for 8 Palestinian Villages

    Israeli in new self-immolation protest

    -
    This is an older article, but I think it's an interesting read, especially because it highlights the fundamental hypocrisy of the west: the moment the Muslim Brotherhood stand a chance at gaining political power, the media are all in an uproar over religious fundamentalists creating new theocracies. But then there's this:

    The Israel of his conjuring is a Jewish state, full stop. In that state, non-Jews would enjoy human rights, not civil rights. “If Arabs want the right to vote for a national parliament,” he said, “they should go and demand that from Arab states. Who says a non-Jew should vote for the Knesset of Israel?”
    ...

    Feiglin believes Israel errs in not laying claim — even military claim — to the entirety of the Biblical land of Israel, and scoffs at those who question how non-Jewish residents of that large land mass would subsist.
    Gideon Rahat, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an expert on Israeli party politics, said Feiglin and his associates, who are increasingly referred to as the Feiglins, now have a lot of power within the Likud party.

    “They are a large minority with significant influence on primary elections, and they can get their people high on the party list and force Netanyahu to appoint them as ministers,” he said.

    Klein Halevi said the Feiglins are “anti-democratic theocrats who are pretending to be part of the Likud’s political tradition but, in fact, reflect the opposite of Likud’s true roots.”
    “Feiglin combines fascist revisionist tendencies with a longing for an imaginary golden age of theocracy in the distant past. And that is a pretty dangerous combination.”

    As right wing and uncompromising as Netanyahu is perceived to be outside of Israel’s borders, his acceptance of the basic Labor party principle of a two-state solution and his acquiescence to relinquishing territory in the West Bank is the force propelling Feiglin, and the Feiglins, upward.

    “That’s an ideological earthquake on the Israeli right,” Klein Halevi said. “Outside of Israel, the misperception is that he is playing a tactical game. But within his own party — a party that takes ideology seriously — Netanyahu’s drastic about-face was rightly seen as an ideological upheaval.”
    Last edited by Elke; 07-24-2012 at 04:12 AM.

  10. #310
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  11. #311
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  12. #312
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    Demonoid busted by the police

    News broke today that Demonoid was busted by Ukrainian authorities in the middle of last week. The massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that brought the site to its knees late last month was apparently just the beginning.
    Last week, the server was turned off completely and the site led to a dead end. Then it came back to life and started redirecting to random sites full of advertisements. Eventually this stopped and both demonoid.me and demonoid.ph went back to not responding. Now we know why
    http://www.zdnet.com/demonoid-busted...ce-7000002208/

  13. #313
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    It's predictable yet ridiculous that this hasn't gotten nearly the coverage of the theater shooting. Yes, not as many people were wounded, but it was every bit as senseless and violent. Just now, Yahoo has that Holmes guy leading their headlines while the temple shooting has a blip four rows down. If a Sikh guy shoots up a church there would be immediate cries to put an end to their terrorist organization. White guy shoots up a temple... well it's just a lone wolf. One bad apple.

  14. #314
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    I've been reading up on this, and apparently Sikh are pretty much sitting ducks since 9/11, because people confuse them with muslims. How do you confuse a peace-loving vegetarian turban-wearing Sikh with anything other than a Sikh? How stupid are people? Don't they at least teach basic world religions in US schools?

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    Oh Israel, you make it so hard for us to not hate you!

    Israel Issues Demolition Orders for 8 Palestinian Villages

    Israeli in new self-immolation protest

    -
    This is an older article, but I think it's an interesting read, especially because it highlights the fundamental hypocrisy of the west: the moment the Muslim Brotherhood stand a chance at gaining political power, the media are all in an uproar over religious fundamentalists creating new theocracies. But then there's this:
    Feiglin is a racist, but ultimately Netanyahu won like 80% of the likud leadership vote, and it's the mainstream of israeli politicians that the west cosies up to. They don't want crazies in power. Most of the governments in the middle east are fuckwits. israel are bang out of order with settlement building and civil rights, but ones has to wonder why regional and international criticism doesn't fall on iran or turkey for their treatment of the kurds. I find it amazing how ahmadinejad criticises israel for ethnic cleansing and land grabs... While iran bombs kurdistan, refuses to acknowledge its existence etc

    Ultimately kurdistan was excised from the middle east by western planners in much the same way as the palestinian territories were. But in this case, turkey and iran are cool with it. I think nasserism has a lot to do with the direction criticism typically flows in

  16. #316
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    I have to say that we have a rather large group of Kurdish refugees in Belgium, and we have the Kurdish broadcasting center and some Kurdish terrorist / freedom fighters cells, so it's not a conflict that has been wholly ignored. The odd thing is that while Palestine is something of a hot topic in the umma, I don't see many of my muslim students debating the plight of the Kurds - I've always assumed it was because while the 'bad guys' in the Palestinian conflict are non-muslims, the Kurds are being oppressed by one semi-secular (but mostly muslim) and a handful of muslim nations. In a European story of pure, universal islam the idea that within the umma people are being discriminated against, doesn't fit the rhetoric. Which makes you wonder about the imams those kids listen to, and the websites they visit.

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    I've been reading up on this, and apparently Sikh are pretty much sitting ducks since 9/11, because people confuse them with muslims. How do you confuse a peace-loving vegetarian turban-wearing Sikh with anything other than a Sikh? How stupid are people? Don't they at least teach basic world religions in US schools?
    Not always and usually not until high school.

  18. #318
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    You'd think though... If you were going to throw your life away in a blaze of violence... Google the target? At least check. But then, I suppose we don't know that he thought they were muslims, maybe he was generally anti-asian. Also nazis tend to be thick as pigshit.

    Elke - 100% agreed on islamist (specifically the diet qutbist pan islamic brand) narratives not being multidimensional enough to factor kurdistan in. Concern for kurdistan is not politically useful for them

  19. #319
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    I've noticed that when I mention things like Kurdistan or Kashmir or even Darfur in class, some of my more devout muslim students will even say it's western propaganda - which almost always results in an ICT assignment on the topic (I'm evil like that).

    I guess when people demand a more modern, more European islam that moves away from cultural traditions, they don't expect that. But that's what they'll get: these modern European crypto-islamists are not so different from the protestant movements in the christian renaissance reformation. I'm not inclined to fear any group of people too much, but I'm not a big fan of these tendencies myself.

  20. #320
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    I vaguely remember we covered some religions briefly in a social studies class when I was a freshman, and then it was never brought up for the rest of my highschool career. Everything I know about other religions is either from people of that particular reglion or research. We have a "don't teach religion in school" stance in the public schools where I'm from, but I think a world religion class in school would be useful. Far too many people hate something that they don't know shit about.

  21. #321
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    It's especially sad because for 85% of the world's population, religion is something that matters to them - yet most of the cultural input we get is Anglo-saxon, which means that when you switch on your tv, wherever you are, there's a good chance that what you see is either christian or atheist - those two life stances don't even make up for half of the world population's value systems.

    What is more: there is so much to learn from other cultures and other religions. Ignorance breeds fear and hatred, and curiosity and knowledge are often a sign of respect that can open a dialogue. Religions are gateways into cultures, history, conflicts but also a single human being's heart and mind. And not just religion, but any life stance. A secular jew and a devout Sikh have a lot in common, but if they don't have the tools to open a dialogue, they might always be a little wary of eachother.

    Oh well. [/rant]

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    It's especially sad because for 85% of the world's population, religion is something that matters to them
    Religion matters to me, in the sense that I don't have a religion and think that at this point in history the influence of organized religions is starting to really fuck things up...

    If I'm being counted in the 85%, then I can believe that statistic. Otherwise, I have to say I'm skeptical. One of the most encouraging developments in popular mindset that I've noticed is an acceptance of atheism/agnosticism and a secular approach to morality. Atheism doesn't seem to be relegated to the overwhelming minority anymore.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 08-08-2012 at 04:59 AM.

  23. #323
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    15% of the world population is counted as either agnostic or atheist, amongst them (and I find this incorrect, but whatever) humanists. Secular religious people are counted amongst the religious, because even if you don't believe in a specific deity, religion itself isn't merely faith - it's an intricate play of ritual, morality, storytelling, culture and beliefs in the supernatural (however you define it). While more than half of my students self-identify as not-religious, most of them are actually secular christians, so the line is very blurry.

    As for why it's important, just think of the whole discussion about the muslim veil in western secularized countries like Belgium and France, where it's seen as an instrument of oppression and/or a symbol of islamism. It's not only a sign of a lack of understanding of islam, but it's also a sign of a lack of understanding of religion on the whole.

  24. #324
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    President Obama Signs the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, effectively telling the Westboro Baptist Church to finally fuck off. The kind of good news everybody should wake up to.

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by onthewall2983 View Post
    President Obama Signs the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, effectively telling the Westboro Baptist Church to finally fuck off. The kind of good news everybody should wake up to.
    I can't think of a more disgusting group in recent history. Hopefully this will shut them up for good

  26. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    15% of the world population is counted as either agnostic or atheist, amongst them (and I find this incorrect, but whatever) humanists. Secular religious people are counted amongst the religious, because even if you don't believe in a specific deity, religion itself isn't merely faith - it's an intricate play of ritual, morality, storytelling, culture and beliefs in the supernatural (however you define it). While more than half of my students self-identify as not-religious, most of them are actually secular christians, so the line is very blurry.

    As for why it's important, just think of the whole discussion about the muslim veil in western secularized countries like Belgium and France, where it's seen as an instrument of oppression and/or a symbol of islamism. It's not only a sign of a lack of understanding of islam, but it's also a sign of a lack of understanding of religion on the whole.
    The problem is very few people make a sincere attempt to understand, but nonetheless make their judgements without accepting how uninformed they are (this is bang your head against the wall ironic when you bear in mind what the stock criticisms of religion usually are). As the example you provide illustrates, a lack of understanding leads to misattribution, misunderstanding, and ultimately prejudice, division and finally, persecution.

    Ultimately the real problems are the culture of ignorance and the extremist tendency - and this affects all of modern global civilisation. The absence across cultures of a willingness to accept and embrace plurality and to think critically at all times - subjecting your own beliefs to the scrutiny which most people reserve for opponents or the unlike, is what renders people prey to alternate and harmful narratives - people retreat into unsophisticated totalisations ie "israel and the west are responsible for most of the problems in the middle east", "islam is a static and backward ideology", "such and such group of people must be eliminated for the world to become a safer and more just place" (the reigning, chameleonic champ, which always gains more currency in times of unrest. People will do serious mental gymnastics so they can feel comfortable espousing that sentiment). Mass media and the internet have made this worse by provided a plethora of heavily biased media for people to wrap themselves up in - extreme right/left/religious news outlets, closed or heavily moderated discussion forums - all of these help to reinforce the tissue of confirmation bias and biased media that consititutes an alternate/false narrative.

    Blah blah blah, upshot is, I agree with what you were saying earlier about the real issues transcending things like religion. It is my opinion that an uncritical mindset, a desire to lash out at reality and finally the elimnation of a substantial stake in social values, is what makes an extremist - religion, nation etc are all just trappings. Religion causes and exacerbates an awful lot of problems - however, dismissing or vilifying it without honest and committed research is more or less part of the larger problem - like the way most creationists don't seem to actually understand evolution and seem to think it can only exist at the exclusion of their own values.

    i have no idea what the answer is, perhaps we are incapable of wider understanding and integration, and wars and strife simply have to happen. i hope not, nonetheless once I have enough money in the bank I will be off to build a well armed house in the sticks

  27. #327
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    It all goes back to the "my god is bigger than your god, bomb the shit out of them" mentality that's existed since forever. And unfortunately, all people ever see or read about are the fundies who take a good thing and pervert it. The majority of christians aren't bigoted assholes, the majority of muslims aren't terrorists, etc...Every religion has its good ideals, but it's the jagoffs who think a 2000+ year old text should be used verbatim as law and for governance are the ones who ruin all hopes of understanding one another.

  28. #328
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    And even those who have no god... Have ideals they hold to be just, and some who will discriminate in the name of. Upshot is... Shut up and sit down, unless you have pursued study to a serious degree. Of course atheism is more rational, but it's this idea that "I have declared myself atheist, that is more rational, therefore no more study is required, I have earned the rational badge by utterance alone." - cartoon bollocks. Say the magic words, be by default better - sound familiar? There are muslims with a critical attitude more suited to reality than many atheists... And vice versa. Atheist here - I appreciate critical faculty alone.

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