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Thu, 21 Sep 2017
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Leah Remini to John Travolta and other famous Scientologists: 'Cut the s***'

On Tuesday's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the focus was on celebrities and what they mean to the Church of Scientology.

"Scientologists believe, and they're shown this in their events, that some of the celebrities in Scientology are responsible for big changes on this planet and for mankind," Remini said. "They believe, in a way, that these celebrities are, you know, deities, in some way."

Remini did not hold back in delivering her message to stars like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, among others.

Comment: Good on Remini for calling out celebrity Scientologists on their casting a blind eye to the pathological and criminal behavior of the Church of Scientology.


No Entry

Information war: Big Brother Google intensifies censorship of anti-war websites

Google has intensified its censorship of left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, cutting the search traffic of 13 leading news outlets by 55 percent since April.

On August 2, the World Socialist Web Site reported that changes to Google's search algorithm had led the search traffic of these sites to drop by 45 percent, according to figures by the search analysis service SEMRush.

In the ensuing six weeks, the search traffic of every one of these sites, without exception, has plunged further, leading the total search traffic for the sites to fall by an additional nine percentage points.

The World Socialist Web Site, whose search traffic had fallen by 67 percent between April and July, has now experienced a total drop in search traffic of 74 percent.

Comment: Is all of this censorship in service to "authoritative" content any wonder considering that Google was Created and nurtured by the CIA?


Handcuffs

Illegal immigrant who groomed children online found guilty of sexually assaulting 6yo girl

© West Midlands Police
An asylum seeker who posed as a 'Justin Bieber lookalike' online to groom children into performing sex acts on webcam has been found guilty of 14 sexual offences, including a sex attack on a six-year-old girl.

Mauritius-born Johann Ramchelawon - who months ago was wanted for immigration offences according to a local media report of previous, unrelated crimes - was arrested in Huddersfield after police traced an IP address used to message a 12-year-old girl in Manchester.

The 30-year-old set up fake accounts on social media websites including Facebook and Instagram in order to groom underage girls online, using profile pictures he stole from the internet of a teenage boy who police described as resembling 'a young Justin Bieber'.

Heart - Black

Heartless Indian couple abandons 3-year-old daughter to become Jain monks

© HT
Sumit Rathore and his wife Anamika will take deeksha under Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj at Surat in Gujarat on September 23.
The Jain couple are scheduled to take deeksha, or the first step towards monkhood on September 23.

A young Jain couple's decision to relinquish the material world, including their three-year-old daughter, to become monks has triggered a debate as their families and the community argued the move amounts to cruelty towards the child.

Sumit Rathore, who is 35, and wife Anamika, a year younger, are scheduled to take deeksha or the first step towards monkhood under Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj in Gujarat's Surat town on September 23.

Other than daughter Ibhya, they will be renouncing property worth around Rs 100 crore in their Madhya Pradesh hometown of Neemuch, about 400km from Bhopal.

Megaphone

Canadian teacher succeeds in keeping her job against Israel lobby's efforts to have her sacked


Nadia Shoufani
Canadian elementary school teacher Nadia Shoufani has won a year-long struggle against efforts by Israel lobby groups to force her out of her job.

Shoufani, who teaches in Mississauga, west of Toronto, was the subject of complaints because of a July 2016 speech she gave at a rally in support of Palestinian rights.

"Earlier this year Ms. Shoufani's case came before the Ontario College of Teachers and she was found not to be in breach of the professional conduct expected of a teacher," Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, said in a statement to The Electronic Intifada on Monday.

"She is in her classroom and has not been disciplined."

"Despite this, we remain incredibly disappointed that her professional integrity was publicly called into question without due process having occurred," Stuart added. "This case should never have gone before the College of Teachers, and Ms. Shoufani should not have been put through the ordeal of the past months."

Attention

Melbourne: Rival groups face off as police test new anti-mask laws

© AAP/Joe Castro
A man is taken away by Victoria Police after he refused to take off a mask.
Hundreds of opposing protesters have been kept apart in central Melbourne as police test new powers to prevent violence by masked offenders.

Right-wing Jewish activist Avi Yemini attracted about 50 people for a Make Victoria Safe rally outside Victoria's Parliament, while at least three times that number gathered opposite a police barrier.

Police arrested at least one person from each opposing group, and one protester taking part in the "anti-racism" march was taken away for wearing a mask.

The two groups used loud speakers and chanting in a futile effort to drown each other out.

Mr Yemini said his protest was rallying against violent crime.

No Entry

Central Florida smacked with a foul stench in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Not content to damage homes, toss trees and knock out power to millions, Hurricane Irma has left behind a noxious brew of funk, too.

Residents across the region Tuesday reported catching a whiff of a foul, rancid smell that officials blamed on dead fish, stagnant water, flooded ponds and rotting debris - but likely not sewage.

Juliana Calloway said she started to notice the smell Sunday - an acrid odor in the air outside her home in Altamonte Springs, like spent fireworks. At first, she feared a neighbor was burning debris. Soon, Calloway realized the stink wasn't just in her neighborhood - it was outside her office in Winter Park, too, and at her son's preschool.

"This morning, it was just so bad," she said. "I have a 4-year-old, and he was like, 'It smells like rotten eggs out here, Mommy.' "

The stench was reported in Orlando, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo and Lake County, among other communities. Many took to social media Tuesday to complain.

Evil Rays

La La Land: Morgan Freeman and Hollywood demand that Trump 'tell us the truth' about "Russian election interference"

Veteran actor Morgan Freeman appeared in a political video published Monday, in which he demanded President Donald Trump speak directly to the American people about the extent of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

While insisting that the Kremlin's election interference is "no movie script," Morgan said, "we need our president to speak directly to us and tell us the truth."


Comment: Trump already did tell the truth. That Morgan Freeman and many others don't accept the answer is the problem. They can't help but continue to hate on Trump (and Russia) and believe the lies told to them by the incredibly propagandistic and deceptive US media.


"We need him to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and say, 'My fellow Americans. During this past election, we cam under attack by the Russian government," Freeman demands Trump to say, adding, 'I've called on Congress and out intelligence community to use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened.'"

2 + 2 = 4

High school lands in hot water for slavery reenactment project

Students tied up? Staff acting as slave ship captains?

As KCAL9/CBS2's Michele Gile reports, a high school in Cerritos is under fire after a controversial student history project about slavery.

Whitney High School junior Timothy Reyes had his hands taped together and was a part of a slave ship reenactment when he was an 8th grader on the Cerritos campus.

A mother complained recently after getting an email from her son's teacher explaining the "unique classroom activity," which was to be a surprise. Staff would act as slave ship captains, the email described, and the children slaves.

After lining the kids up, the note said, they'd "use masking tape to 'tie' their wrists together, make them lay on the ground, and in a dark room have them watch a clip from the film 'Roots.' "

Megaphone

Why banning 'hate speech' will only make it stronger

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason...There can be no right of speech where any man...[is] compelled to suppress his honest sentiments. Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker."

- Frederick Douglass
A recent survey conducted by the Brookings Institution adds to my already festering concerns about American attitudes when it comes to our most precious civil liberty. Free speech.

Let's start out by highlighting some of what we learned. First, via an opinion piece in The Washington Post:
Here's the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants "safe spaces," or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech.