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Americans are turning away from religion in record numbers

© Shutterstock
With fire-breathing religion figuring anew in global conflicts, and political discussions at home often dominated by the nuttery of the Christian right, you might get the sense that somebody's god is ready to mug you around every street corner. But if you're the type who doesn't like to hang your hat on organized religion, here's a bit of good news: in America, your numbers are growing.

There are more religiously unaffiliated people in the U.S. today than ever before. Starting in the 1980s, a variety of polls using different methodologies have come to the same conclusion: people who do not identify with religious labels are on the rise, perhaps even doubling in that time frame.

Some call them "nones": agnostics, atheists, deists, secular humanists, general humanists, and people who just don't care to identify with any religious group. It's not exactly correct to call them nonbelievers, because some still have faith and spirituality in some sense or another. A 2012 Pew study noted that 30 percent of these people believe in "God or universal spirit" and around 20 percent even pray every day. But according to the latest research, Americans checking the "none of the above" box will make up an increasingly important force in the country. Other groups, like born-again evangelicals, have grown more percentage-wise, but the nones have them beat in absolute numbers.

The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute has documented this sea change in its American Values Atlas, which it released last Wednesday. The fascinating study provides demographic, religious and political data based on surveys conducted throughout 2014. According to PRRI director of research Dan Cox, "The U.S. religious landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation that is fundamentally reshaping American politics and culture."

Last year, for the very first time, Protestants lost their majority status in the Institute's annual report, making up only 47 percent of those surveyed. The religiously unaffiliated, who come in at 22 percent, boast numbers on par with major religious groups like American Catholics. All told, the unaffiliated is the second-largest group in the country. It was also the most common group chosen by residents in 13 states, with the largest share (a third or more) in Washington, Oregon and New Hampshire. In Ohio and Virginia, this group was tied for first place. The unaffiliated don't find too many like-minded folks down in Mississippi, however, where they make up only 10 percent of the population.
Whistle

Netanyahu speech protest: Is public opinion regarding Israel changing?

netanyahu protest
© ANSWER Coalition/Phil Portluck
Outside, in the streets surrounding the U.S. Congress, a strong, spirited crowd of demonstrators denounced Benjamin Netanyahu for committing war crimes against the Palestinian people and for attempting to whip up a war fever against Iran. We were met by police lines and cops who grabbed and shoved people as they attempted to exercise their Constitutional right to protest at Congress.

Inside, from within the hallowed halls, Netanyahu was given a boisterous two-minute-long standing ovation by the millionaire politicians in Congress.

The irony of what happened today speaks volumes about the nature of democracy in this country.

Comment: Bibi the Clown in Congress: Iran = most terrible, horrible, no good thing ever, in the universe

Pistol

NSA headquarters damaged by multiple gunshots

© Reuters / NSA / Handout via Reuters
National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Multiple gunshots reportedly struck a National Security Agency office building in Fort Meade, Maryland, where the department's headquarters are located, according to local law enforcement officials.

No injuries have been reported at the scene, though the NSA told NBC Washington that one of its buildings was damaged by "what appear to be" several gunshots. Law enforcement officials are investigating the situation, but US Park Police say they don't know who may have fired the shots.

According to the Washington Post, US Park Police spokesperson Alicia Woods said the NSA "found evidence of multiple shots hitting a wall of a building."
Eye 1

Child Protective Services children found in human trafficking sex trade

Child Protective Services agencies are intended to take care of children with nowhere else to go, but corruption has infiltrated the government custodial system - putting kids at great risk.

National Safe Child founder Tammi Stefano takes a look at the problem and reveals cases of CPS children who ended up working in the growing human sex trafficking trade in this short clip from the full length Buzzsaw interview with Sean Stone.


Comment: There are millions of children all over the world suffering at the hands of these pedophiles. The legal system will not help them. Most countries legal systems are corrupted and controlled by these scumbags. They have their own global 'network' where pedophiles are protected by other powerful pedophiles. See:

Cell Phone

Budding female psychopath? Teen charged in encouraging suicide of friend before using his name for fundraiser

© Sun Chronicle
Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy.
Authorities have accused a Plainville teenager of coldly urging a friend to kill himself last summer, claiming she helped him research how to die from carbon monoxide poisoning and told him to "get back in" his truck when he had second thoughts.

Prosecutors have charged Michelle Carter, 18, with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III, an 18-year-old from Mattapoisett who committed suicide in a parking lot in July. Carter's lawyer denies the accusation.

Police, who searched Carter and Roy's phones in the investigation, say she was in close contact with Roy in the days and hours before his death, even as she texted friends to say he was missing and that she was worried for his safety.

After writing one friend to say, "I'm losing all hope that he's even alive," Carter texted Roy, "Let me know when you're gonna do it," according to a police report.

Carter, now a senior at King Philip High School, had a "full understanding" of the suicide plan, and in the days leading up to Roy's death "not only encouraged Conrad to take his own life, she questioned him repeatedly as to when and why he hadn't done it yet," the report said.

Police said she likely spoke on the phone with Roy until he died, yet she continued to text a friend "as if nothing happened."

Carter's lawyer, Joe Cataldo, said the charges were a massive overreach, and that Carter was shocked by the accusation.

"It was his voluntary decision to end his life," he said. "His death was not caused by Michelle Carter."

Cataldo said prosecutors were misusing the state's manslaughter law to punish her for "not preventing a voluntary decision," and predicted Carter would be cleared of the charges.

Conrad Roy, Roy's grandfather, said Friday that he strongly believes Carter was responsible for his son's death.

Comment: It's possible there is more to this story, but this young lady bears all the hallmarks of a psychopath. Protect yourself and your children by learning more about how pathological people operate and manipulate. See:

House

House in Parliament? Activists want Westminster for social housing

Houses of Parliament - Prestigious riverfront offices
© Generation Rent
Houses of Parliament … 'Prestigious riverfront apartments and offices'.
Britain's Houses of Parliament should be converted into affordable flats to save taxpayer money and provide much needed accommodation, claims social housing campaign group Generation Rent.

With a prime Central London location, historic architecture and stunning river views, a flat in the Palace of Westminster could cost a fortune.

However, if Generation Rent succeed in their ambitious plan, a one bedroom apartment would be available for just £258 per week.

In a bid to save taxpayers' money and boost the economy of the north of England, Parliament would be relocated to Hull, where rent is the cheapest in the country.

Architect Jay Morton has drawn up detailed plans of how the iconic building could be converted into desirable riverside flats.

Arguably, the highlight of her plan is the conversion of the grade I listed main debating chamber into a swimming pool and library.
Colosseum

John Oliver: America's crumbling infrastructure, the movie

© Last Week With John Oliver
America's crumbling infrastructure: It's not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.


Comment: That it takes a British comedian using Hollywood motifs to communicate how bad things are in the US, and to explain to Americans the basic functions of state, speaks VOLUMES about why there has not been - and can be no - infrastructural (re)development in the US: the country has been taken over by psychopaths and other character-disturbed imbeciles who are literally running it into the ground... and one consequence of this is that people get stupider and stupider, thus their ability to understand anything shrinks.

As an aside, the White House spokesman's suggestion - towards the end of this video - that corporate loopholes be closed to prevent profits being sent abroad (where they are used to capture and plunder the resources of other countries), thus retaining them within the US so that they can be invested in US projects, is dead on the mark... but it'll be a cold day in hell before any US president can rein in Wall Street. Successive administrations for 40 years have known that this was the only and obvious solution... but in that time they've also known that presidents can be shot dead in broad daylight for less.

Heart - Black

Soul smashing cruelty! 1st grader forced to eat lunch behind divider for being one minute late

1st grader_divider
© Laura Hoover
A six-year-old boy who attends Lincoln Elementary in Redwood, Oregon has been publicly humiliated by school officials on multiple occasions because he showed up a few minutes late to school. 1st grader Hunter Hoover has been made to sit by himself during lunch, behind a cardboard divider for something that was totally out of his control.

On one recent morning when his mother's car had trouble starting, Hunter arrived to school exactly one minute late and was reprimanded by administrators. Someone from Hunter's family stuck around, and were absolutely horrified by how he was isolated at lunch.

Hours later, Laura Hoover, the boy's grandmother, made a post to facebook showing a picture of her gandson's punishment. Her post said:
This is my grandson, Hunter. He's a little first grader. His momma's car sometimes doesn't like to start right up. Sometimes he's a couple minutes late to school. Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him! They have done this to him 6 times for something that is out of this baby's control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students! The principal is responsible for this. His mom found him there, crying, and took him home for the day. Anyone want to help me flood this lady principal with calls telling her how inappropriate this is?
The post sparked national outrage and eventually the school was forced to respond and change their policy. The school then issued the following notice:
For the past twenty-four hours, there has been considerable general and social media attention regarding the Lincoln Elementary School Attendance/Tardy Catch-up Protocol. This afternoon, Principal Fitzsimmons was able to meet with both parents to discuss their concerns. We are pleased to report the meeting was productive. The parents' concerns were politely discussed and, ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both the parents and the school. All parties involved believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached and are anxious to move forward with their normal daily routines.
This is just another example of why state-run schools and government do not always know what is best for our children. Do you truly believe this school had Hunter's best interest in mind when they secluded him because his mother dropped him off one minute late?
Syringe

Pakistan arrests parents for refusing polio vaccine

Pakistan_forced vaccination
© BBC
Pakistani police will only release parents once they have sworn that they will vaccinate their children
Pakistani authorities have conducted their first-ever mass arrest of parents for refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against polio.

Authorities in Peshawar, in the north-west of the country, detained 471 people and charged them with "endangering public security".

The local government says they will only be freed once they have pledged in writing to vaccinate their children.

The Taliban prohibit vaccinations and have attacked health workers.

The Pakistani government has declared "war" on the disease. "We have decided to deal with the refusal cases with iron hands. Anyone who refuses will be sent to jail," said Riaz Khan Mehsud, deputy commissioner of Peshawar.

Pakistan accounts for the vast majority of polio cases globally and is one of only three countries where it remains endemic.

In 2014, polio cases in the country reached a 14 year high of 306. Nine new cases have been detected so far this year.


Comment:
78% of polio cases in Pakistan are among those vaccinated with the polio vaccine.


In June 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that all international travellers from Pakistan be administered polio drops at airports to prevent its spread.

The Taliban have claimed that the polio vaccination drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

In November four polio vaccination workers were shot dead in the south-west city of Quetta.

Comment:
Are polio vaccines increasing the rate of polio paralysis?

Oral polio vaccine-associated paralysis in a child despite previous immunization with inactivated virus

Gold Bar

$4M in gold reported stolen during robbery along I-95 in North Carolina

The FBI and Wilson County authorities are investigating the theft of an estimated $4 million worth of gold reportedly stolen during an armed robbery along Interstate 95 near Wilson Sunday evening, the sheriff's office says.

Two armed security guards told authorities that they were traveling from Miami to Massachusetts with a shipment of silver and gold when they pulled over at mile marker 114 after mechanical problems with their truck.

The sheriff's office says the guards reported that three armed men in a white van approached them, ordered them to the ground, tied their hands behind their backs and forced them to walk into some nearby woods.
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