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Tue, 31 Jan 2023
The World for People who Think

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Grim Calculus of Rights of Conscience

© unk
"Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results."
― George Carlin

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."
― George Carlin
I'll let you in on a secret: I'm tired of writing about religion. Honest to gods, I'm tired of it. But every damn subject you care to name has been religion-ized by the GOP. Honestly: try to think of something. Odds are, some conservative has appealed to scripture - even teacher's pay, or how employers should treat employees.

Probably, it will turn out that God is against water saving toilets. Surely Jesus had something to say about that.

And completely without surprise is Jesus' retroactive support for plutocracy. Yes, it turns out the champion of the poor really did have a big ole soft spot for the rich. Guess we've been misinterpreting his comment about the difficulties of rich people going to heaven.

I guess it would be unthinkable today for Jesus to even begin his ministry today without corporate sponsorship. Imagine the Sermon on the Mount, brought to you by Monsanto and its genetically engineered fish and loaves.


RIP Amina: Moroccan suicide triggers Twitter outrage

© unk
16 year old Amina's parents forced her to marry her rapist to preserve their "dignity", she killed herself to preserve her own.

The story of a 16-year-old Morrocan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist reverberated through the Arab world on Tuesday.

Amina reportedly ingested rat poison in her hometown Larache, in norther Morocco, on the weekend as a last resort to escape her marriage and the domestic violence she experienced at the hands of her husband.

The girl's plight dates back to a year ago, when she was reportedly raped by a man 10 years her senior. After the incident was reported to authorities, the two families struck a deal in which Amina was married to her rapist to preserve her family's 'honour'. This example of a practice which is still common in some parts of the Arab world struck a nerve with many.


Lyme Disease Proved to be Cause for Tourette-like Symptoms in Le Roy Girl


Keep hearing the same thing over and over, and you will believe anything
Le Roy Mystery Disease Update Video 2/8/2012: Lori Brownell, one of two girls passing through Le Roy New York last summer who started exhibiting the same Tourette-like symptoms as the 12 girls at Le Roy High School, is reported by News Channel 13 WNYT to have contracted Lyme Disease. Lori, the "scholar/athlete" who lives in Corinth New York, was forced due to the illness to "take a leave of absence from school and sidelined from the sports she loves playing - softball and field hockey:"
"I lost out on my junior year. I'm missing out on my life because of this," explained Lori.

But next Tuesday Lori will begin treatment for Lyme disease. It's a tick-borne bacterial illness, which left untreated can lead to neurological problems.

"I was very relieved to hear I have Lyme disease. Not happy to have it, but relief because I can get treatment and start to get better over the next few months," said Lori.

Lori first shared her story with NewsChannel 13 in January and since then has been seen by specialists all over the northeast. The physicians told her the problems could be caused by a strep infection, Tourette's, past concussions and that they were possibly psychiatric in nature.

Lori claims she was even tested for Lyme two years ago, but that she was told bacterial levels weren't high enough to warrant treatment.

Lori's mom, Tosha, wasn't convinced by the previous assessments.

"This is validation. I know what it was about, I'm not giving up for her and I'm not giving up for anybody," Tosha said.

Lori may not be in school, but believes the lessons she's learned these past few months are even more valuable - to never give up and to fight for what you believe in, especially when it comes to your health. read more

Arrow Down

Exploitation of Poor By Human Organ Traffickers

© news.upickreviews.com
A Michigan State University anthropologist who spent more than a year infiltrating the black market for human kidneys has published the first in-depth study describing the often horrific experiences of poor people who were victims of organ trafficking.

Monir Moniruzzaman interviewed 33 kidney sellers in his native Bangladesh and found they typically didn't get the money they were promised and were plagued with serious health problems that prevented them from working, shame and depression.

The study, which appears in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and Moniruzzaman's decade-long research in the field describe a growing worldwide market for body parts that include kidneys, parts of livers and even corneas.

Moniruzzaman said the people selling their organs are exploited by unethical brokers and recipients who are often Bangladeshi-born foreign nationals living in places such as the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Because organ-selling is illegal, the brokers forge documents indicating the recipient and seller are related and claim the act is a family donation.


British Teen Arrested for Anti-War Comments on Facebook

© unk
Police said the teen 'didn't make his point very well' on the social networking site
A teenager will appear in court after being arrested for allegedly making comments on Facebook about the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan last week.

Azhar Ahmed, 19, is said to have posted the comments on his profile page and has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said Ahmed, of Fir Avenue, Ravensthorpe, was criticising the level of attention the British soldiers who died in a bomb blast received compared to Afghan civilians who have died in the war.

The spokesman said: "He didn't make his point very well and that is why he has landed himself in bother."

Ahmed will appear at Dewsbury Magistrates Court on March 20.

He was arrested on Friday and charged over the weekend.

He has been bailed to an address outside the county.

Heart - Black

Dying cancer patient booted from hospital for medical marijuana

© Unknown
Angel Raich
A California woman who says she is dying from a brain tumor was kicked out of a California hospital this week for using doctor-prescribed medical marijuana.

Angel Raich told NBC Bay Area that the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco asked her to leave after she refused to stop using the drug.

"I'm in a state university hospital in the state of California," she explained. "And I have a right to have the same medical care that any other patient does, and [the pharmacist] says, 'We're going to have to ask you to leave then if you're not going to not use your cannabis.'"

As Raich was speaking to the NBC Bay Area reporter outside of UCSF Medical Center, she had a seizure and was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco.

UCSF Medical Center released statement saying that their smoke-free policy extended to marijuana use.

"Even a vaporized form of medical marijuana releases particles in the air that are damaging to the lung," according to the statement. "Any particles from vapor and odor could have an impact on other patients and hospital employees. Under federal and state law, a physician is at legal risk related to any activity that could be construed as prescribing medical marijuana to a patient."


Delta 737 rolls off taxiway into embankment at Atlanta airport

A Delta jet rolled off a taxiway and into an embankment at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tuesday morning.

No one was injured when a Delta plane rolled off a taxiway and into an embankment at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tuesday morning.

Two Delta maintenance workers were testing the engines on the 737 aircraft shortly after 5 a.m. when the brakes failed and the plane began to move, according to Delta spokesman Eric Torgenson.

No passengers were aboard the plane when it left Taxiway E and crashed into the embankment. The plane sustained damage, but the extent of it is not yet known, Torgenson said.

A runway adjacent to Taxiway E is closed while crews work to move the plane.

According to the FAA, the incident has had no impact on operations at Hartsfield although it may do so later when Delta tries to recover the plane.

msnbc.com contributed to this report

Alarm Clock

Kansas to Pregnant Women: "A Little Lie from Your Doctor Won't Hurt You"

© reprofreedom

It's what every pregnant woman I know dreads. Going into that big ultrasound, having the ultrasound tech, who had been so chatty, suddenly go silent. Having her do sweep after sweep across your belly without saying another word, until finally, she gets up and solemnly says, "I am going to get the doctor."

As far as pregnancy nightmares go, I thought that was one of the worst. But now politicians in Kansas are giving pregnant women and their partners something new to worry about. Buried in a sweeping anti-abortion bill is a provision that would immunize a doctor who discovers that a baby will be born with a devastating condition and deliberately withholds that information from his patient. That's right. If the bill passes, a doctor who opposes abortion could decide to lie about the results of your blood tests, your ultrasound, your cvs or your amnio. Lie to you so that you won't have information that might lead you to decide to end your pregnancy or that might lead you to learn more about your child's condition so that you are prepared to be the best parent you can be to your child.

Now, I have been working for a long time defending the right of a pregnant woman to make the best decision for herself and her family, whether that is continuing the pregnancy, adoption, or abortion, based on full, accurate information. I thought I had seen just about every manner of government intrusion into those fundamentally personal and private decisions. I thought I was past the point of being shocked and outraged. But as a mother who has been through those ultrasounds myself, the thought that my doctor could choose to withhold this information from me and take this decision away from me and my husband ... well, let's just say it really touched a nerve.


Obama's War on Whistle-Blowers Likely to be Endorsed by Supreme Court

© AP / Patrick Semansky
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted into a courthouse for a military hearing.
Totalitarian systems disempower an unsuspecting population by gradually making legal what was once illegal. They incrementally corrupt and distort law to exclusively serve the goals of the inner sanctums of power and strip protection from the citizen. Law soon becomes the primary tool to advance the crimes of the elite and punish those who tell the truth. The state saturates the airwaves with official propaganda to replace news. Fear, and finally terror, creates an intellectual and moral void.

We have very little space left to maneuver. The iron doors of the corporate state are slamming shut. And a conviction of Bradley Manning, or any of the five others charged by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act of 1917 with passing government secrets to the press, would effectively terminate public knowledge of the internal workings of the corporate state. What we live under cannot be called democracy. What we will live under if the Supreme Court upholds the use of the Espionage Act to punish those who expose war crimes and state lies will be a species of corporate fascism. And this closed society is, perhaps, only a few weeks or months away.

Few other Americans are as acutely aware of our descent into corporate totalitarianism as Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to The New York Times and is one of Manning's most ardent and vocal defenders. Ellsberg, who was charged under the Espionage Act, faced 12 felony counts and a possible sentence of 115 years. He says that if he provided the Pentagon Papers today to news organizations, he would most likely never see his case dismissed on grounds of government misconduct against him as it was in 1973. The government tactics employed to discredit Ellsberg, which included burglarizing his psychoanalyst's office and illegal wiretaps, were subjects of the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon. But that was then.


'Doonesbury' Abortion Law Strip Moved, Scrapped by Universal Press Syndicate

© Tim Rickard/Greensboro News and Record
Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau as illustrated by Tim Rickard.
A national syndicate will offer replacement "Doonesbury" comic strips to newspapers that don't want to run a series that uses graphic imagery to lampoon a Texas law requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, executives said Friday.

A handful of newspapers say they won't run next week's series, while several others said the strips will move from the comics to opinion pages or websites only. Many already publish the strip by cartoonist Garry Trudeau, whose sarcastic swipes at society's foibles have a history of giving headaches to newspaper editors, on editorial pages.

"We run 'Doonesbury' on our op-ed page, and this series is an example of why," said David Averill, editorial page editor for the Tulsa World. "Many of our readers will disagree with the political stance the series takes, and some will be offended by the clinical language. I believe, however, that this series of strips is appropriate to the abortion debate and appropriate to our op-ed pages."