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Video shows 'scientist' in Congress saying evolution is from 'pit of Hell'

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun's view that the theories of evolution and the big bang are "lies straight from the pit of Hell" is getting more exposure than he might have expected, thanks to a video above that was made at a church-sponsored banquet in Georgia and distributed by a progressive political watchdog group.

The Georgia Republican is already well-known as an outspoken conservative Christian, due in part to his unsuccessful campaign to have 2010 declared "the Year of the Bible." But the latest comments have taken on an extra dab of controversy because Broun, a medical doctor, calls himself a scientist in the video and chairs the House Science Committee's panel on investigations and oversight.


USA: Voting for Death

© n/a
America, you have become a nation of enablers and apologists for tyranny and mass murder. You condemn the Nazi and gulag guards of times past even as you celebrate your own mercenaries and torturers, even as you explain away, if not outright cheer, the unspeakable crimes committed by your sons and daughters. You don't care who you kill, as long as your soldiers are paid, and your munitions, bomb and tank factories are humming.

Safely ensconced in academic luna parks, your leading intellectuals lean slightly right or left, but never enough to rock this blazing gunboat, lest they sour the cocktail parties or, god forbid, have their tenure revoked. Mouths stuffed with antipasti, they're expert at sidestepping Israel's prolific crimes, 9/11, Bin Laden's faux death or the parasitic Federal Reserve, and as another joke election nears, they're all gung ho about candidates who back illegal wars and banking frauds, since each is supposedly the lesser of two evils.

For the past five presidential elections, winning candidates have won 52.9%, 50.7%, 47.9%, 49.2% and 43% of the popular votes respectively, so there hasn't been an overwhelming mandate for any of them, but with the runner ups from the other major party often close behind, and in 2000, actually ahead in the popular vote count, the two-party system has gotten a stranglehold on our public life and pocketbooks. As for our senators, only two are not Democrat or Republican. An American election, then, is basically a rigged referendum for this thoroughly corrupt and murderous system, and simply by voting, you will give it the green light to go on killing and looting. Every four years, we're railroaded into sanctioning endless war and bottomless corruption. If disappointed, we're then steered by our brainwashing and dumbing down media to a near clone of our current rapist.

The Good Old Party spooks the upper and middle classes by threatening, If you don't vote for us, the Dems will take your hard-earned cash and give it to the freeloaders, crackheads and other miscellaneous losers, while the Democrats, in turn, scare the lower rungs by snarling, If you don't vote for us, the Republicans will let your retired, diapered ass rot under a bridge, on a piece of cardboard, but lordy, lordy, lordy, it is already happening, but let us not sweat the details.

People 2

Dozens of LA workers walk off the job in first-ever strike against monster retailer Walmart

Walmart strike
© OUR Walmart & UNI
For the first time in Walmart's 50-year history, workers at multiple stores have gone on strike, even though their jobs are not protected by a labor union.

More than 70 Los Angeles Walmart workers from nine stores walked off the job Thursday, workers and labor organizers told The Huffington Post.

About 250 workers and supporters protested outside the Pico Rivera Walmart store, carrying signs that read, "On Strike for the Freedom to Speak Out" and "Walmart Strike Against Retaliation." The workers said their complaints about working conditions and low pay have been met with threats, suspensions and terminations.

The strikers said they plan to return to work Friday. Some of the workers will speak at LA City Hall Friday to relay Walmart's response to the strike. The strike was coordinated by OUR Walmart, a labor group backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) that defends Walmart workers' rights.

Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman told HuffPost that the protest was insignificant and claimed that less than five workers walked off the job. "This rally is just the latest publicity stunt by the UFCW to seek media attention in order to further their political agenda and financial objectives," he said. "Our stores in the community are staffed up and open for business as usual today. This event is not a factor," he added.

Walmart workers have recently filed more than 20 charges of unfair labor practices across the country with the National Labor Relation Board, according to Dan Schlademan, director of Making Change at Walmart, the campaign behind OUR Walmart. The charges, mostly filed in recent weeks, allege that workers have either been fired or had their hours reduced after activity with OUR Walmart. Workers also allege that they have been told not to talk to OUR Walmart organizers and that doing so could shut down stores, leaving employees without a job, Schlademan told HuffPost.

Che Guevara

French steelworkers warn blockade is last stand to save industry

© Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images
French trade union members blockade the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Florange, north-east France.
ArcelorMittal gives government two months to find a buyer before it shuts last blast furnaces in historic industrial region

In a valley lashed by wind and rain in the industrial heartland of north-east France, steelworkers blockading the local foundry see their action as a last stand to save their jobs, their factory, their region's economy - even the entire French steel industry.

As thunderstorms raged in the area this week, the symbolism was potent: the picket-line bonfire hissed and went out. The tent where protesters had taken refuge from the elements ditched its concrete anchors and threatened to blow away. "Let go of nothing," someone shouted as men grabbed tent poles. The others laughed.

There is little humour to be had these days outside the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Florange, where the "temporary" closure of two blast furnaces was declared permanent on Monday, with the loss of 629 jobs. Bitter jokes and anger are directed at the Indian-born, British-based Lakshmi Mittal, owner of the world's largest steelmaking company. "That man is a predator," said Edouard Martin, head of the CFDT union at Florange where he has worked for 32 years. "He's not an industrialist, he's a financier.

Light Saber

Texas grandma Eleanor Fairchild arrested for "tresspassing" as her own land is siezed for TransCanada tar sands pipeline, actress Daryl Hannah also arrested

© Tar Sands Blockade
Daryl Hannah & Eleanor Fairchild
On the eleventh day of action against TransCanada's demolition of forest, land and family farm property in East Texas, actress Daryl Hannah joined Eleanor Fairchild to defend her farm from the heavy machinery TransCanada is using to prepare the environment for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The two ran out and put their hands up in front of the machinery.

Fairchild, who the Tar Sands Blockade describes as a "feisty 78-year-old great-grandmother," put her hands up in the air, along with Hannah, to say, "Stop!" While standing in the way of an excavator there to clear trees, she declared:
...Get off my land, period. And, I don't want tar sands anywhere in the United States.

I am mad. This land is my land and it's been our land since '83. Our home is on it. They're going to destroy the woods and also they could destroy the springs.

It is just devastating but it is also not good to have that tar sands anywhere in the United States. This is not just about my land. It's about all of our country.

It needs to be stopped...

Control Panel

California gas stations shut as oil refiners ration supplies

© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A gas delivery in San Anselmo, California.
Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) are beginning to shut pumps as the state's oil refiners started rationing supplies and spot prices surged to a record.

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) stopped selling gasoline on the spot, or wholesale, market in Southern California and is allocating deliveries to customers. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) is also rationing fuel to U.S. West Coast terminal customers. Costco's outlet in Simi Valley, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, ran out of regular gasoline yesterday and was selling premium fuel at the price of regular.

The gasoline shortage "feels like a hurricane to me, but it's the West Coast," Jeff Cole, Costco's vice president of gasoline, said by telephone yesterday. "We're obviously extremely disheartened that we are unable to do this, and we're pulling fuel from all corners of California to fix this."

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles has surged $1 a gallon this week to a record $1.45 a gallon premium versus gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That's the highest level for the fuel since at least November 2007, when Bloomberg began publishing prices there. On an outright basis, the fuel has jumped to $4.3929 a gallon.

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Exorcist describes 'healing' process

Gary Thomas
© Conor Alwell
Gary Thomas, a Vatican-certified exorcist explains how exorcisms are performed at the Cook Campus Center on Tuesday night to about 200 people.
Rev. Gary Thomas, a Vatican-certified exorcist, spoke about practicing exorcisms, in which he attempts to drive demons out of someone's thought-to-be-possessed body.

"Satan has been defeated," Thomas told a multi-faith audience of 200 people in the Cook Campus Center.

He said in Catholic teachings, Jesus Christ's crucifixion signified the ultimate defeat of Satan, explaining the cross's prominence in the church.

Victoria Coglianese, secretary of the Catholic Student Association at the University, said members in her organization wanted to bring a speaker like Thomas to campus because they feel students are mature enough to handle the serious content of the visit.

"We really wanted someone that would attract a lot of people. The event holds a lot of history, [and is an] intriguing topic," said Coglianese, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior.

Citing hope, confidence and thanksgiving as the central meanings symbolized in the cross and the Eucharist, Thomas said these show the positive forces that can counter demons in both the modern and the historic church.

Thomas said sins are a vessel for evil to enter the world.

The concept of sin grew unclear through time, he said, and it has become difficult to tell exactly what behavior is sinful.


Trust amends Causeway centre 'Creationist' exhibit

Giant Causeway
© GreatBritain.co.uk
The Giant's Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage Site and features more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.
The National Trust has amended a controversial exhibition at the new Giant's Causeway visitor centre.

An audio exhibit revealed how people's explanation of how the Causeway was formed developed as scientific understanding improved.

Young earth creationists believe the Causeway was formed 6,000 years ago. The vast majority of scientists say it was formed 60m years ago.

The trust says it has always supported the "scientific view" of its formation.

The Causeway is a Unesco World Heritage Site and features more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.

The £18.5m centre was opened on 3 July.

The National Trust decided to carry out a review of the exhibit after the creationist element provoked what it termed a "wide and mixed response".

In July, an online campaign to remove it began.

A new piece of audio, approximately 20 seconds long, now replaces the previous recording.

Graham Thompson, project director for the Giant's Causeway, said the change would clear up "any misunderstanding there may have been"


Einstein's letter questioning God goes up for auction

Einstein's Letter
© Auction Cause, www.einsteinletter.com
In a 1954 handwritten letter, Albert Einstein reveals his thoughts on God and religion. The original letter is going up for auction Oct. 8, 2012.
From studying slices of his brilliant brain to probing profound physics theories, scientists and enthusiasts alike have long been spellbound by Albert Einstein. Now, an auction is offering the world a peek at Einstein's thoughts on what may be humanity's most profound question: the existence of God.

The private letter written by Einstein expressing his views on God and religion will go up for auction Monday (Oct. 8) on eBay. In the letter, he calls belief in religion and God "pretty childish" and ridicules the idea that the Jews are a chosen people.

"This is the most historic and significant piece we have listed on eBay," Eric Gazin, president of Auction Cause, the agency managing the sale, told LiveScience in an email. "We are excited to offer a person or organization an opportunity to own perhaps one of the most intriguing 20th-century documents in existence. This personal letter from Einstein represents the nexus of science, theology, reason and culture."

Einstein handwrote the letter in German to Jewish philosopher Eric B. Gutkind on Jan. 3, 1954, a year before Einstein's death. The letter was a response to Gutkind's book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt (1952, H. Schuman; 1st edition).

In part of his letter, Einstein writes, "For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people.

As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them," as translated from German by Joan Stambaugh.


Second case of corruption in recent weeks: 12 French officers of anti-crime squad arrested

At least 12 members of the police anti-crime squad (BAC) in the southern French city of Marseille have been arrested in an inquiry into corruption.

© Reuters
Those arrested worked on the housing estates of northern Marseille.
They are suspected of having stolen drugs and cash from dealers and taking cigarettes from illicit sellers.

Five hundred grams of hashish, cash and jewellery were found hidden in the ceiling of a police station.

A lawyer said the find did not prove the officers were corrupt, as they frequently worked under deep cover.