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Ponerization in Action: Rape Laws Blurry for Israelis

Israel Rape Law
© Agence France-Presse
Rape laws blurry for Israelis: researcher
More than 60 percent of Israeli men and 40 percent of women do not believe that forcing sex on an acquaintance constitutes rape, an Israeli researcher said on Tuesday.

The findings, set to be published in a book in the United States later in the year, indicate a stark difference between public perceptions of what constitutes rape and the way it is defined by law, author Avigail Moor told AFP.

"Among the public there is a very stereotypical view of rape of a stranger jumping out the bushes and assaulting a woman," said Moor, a psychologist who treats victims of sexual violence and a researcher at the Tel Hai college in northern Israel.

Moor asked participants in her study for a yes or no answer on whether forced sex was rape when carried out by a stranger, an acquaintance or a partner.

Comment: "Any human group affected by the [ponerization] process [...] is characterized by its increasing regression from natural common sense and the ability to perceive psychological reality. Someone considering this in terms of traditional categories might consider it an instance of 'turning into half-wits' or the development of intellectual deficiencies and moral failings." - Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology


Pistol

America's Blood Sport of Buying Trophy Killer Guns: The Tuscon Glock

Image
© unk
Glock Pistol
When is rising consumer demand bad for America?

When it comes in the form of guys buying guns used in killings as blood-sport collectors' trophies.

That's what happened in Arizona after the Tucson massacre, when the sales of the Glock handgun used by the killer soared:
Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers after a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8.

Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols - popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters - flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

"We're at double our volume over what we usually do," Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Bizarro Earth

Suicide Tourists Make Swiss Minister Uneasy as Terminally Ill Seek Escape

Image
© Wikimedia
Former Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has proposed making the practice more difficult by demanding oversight by doctors who aren’t connected with one of the country’s four right-to-die organizations.
Switzerland is the destination of choice for people from abroad who want to die. The office of the country's top legal official is pushing to change that.

While assisted suicide is permitted in the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana, only Switzerland allows doctors to help foreigners end their lives. More than 25 percent of the 380 assisted suicides in Switzerland during 2009 involved foreigners, most of whom died after drinking water laced with a lethal dose of barbiturates.

Former Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, who was replaced by Simonetta Sommaruga in November, has proposed making the practice more difficult by demanding oversight by doctors who aren't connected with one of the country's four right-to-die organizations. Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1942.

Cult

Monk Caught with Nun's Skeleton at Airport

A Cypriot monk caught at a Greek airport with the skeletal remains of a nun in his baggage on the weekend told authorities he was taking the relics of a saint back to his monastery.

The 56-year-old Cypriot was detained at Athens airport on Sunday after security staff discovered a skull wrapped in cloth and skeletal remains in a sheet inside his baggage.

"They maintained it was a woman who was a saint," a Greek police official who declined to be named told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that the monk told authorities he was transferring her remains to a monastery in Cyprus.

The remains were those of a nun who died four years ago. She was not a saint in the Greek or Cypriot Orthodox Churches, but had once been a nun at a Cypriot convent, police said.

Revering the skeletal remains of saints is common in the Greek Orthodox tradition. A sect within the church may have venerated the nun even though she was not an official saint.

Bomb

US: Bomb Found Along Martin Luther King Jr Parade Route

Device reportedly had remote control detonator; incident described as 'domestic terrorism'



A backpack found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march in Spokane contained a bomb "capable of inflicting multiple casualties," the FBI said Tuesday, describing the case as "domestic terrorism."

The FBI said the Swiss Army-brand backpack was found about 9:25 a.m. PST on Monday on a bench at the northeast corner of North Washington Street and West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane.

Attention

'Smoking Gun' Letter Reveals Official Vatican Cover-up of Child Sex Abuses

Pope Pious
© Unknown

A letter written by a Vatican official in 1997, marked "strictly confidential," warned Irish bishops to avoid reporting the sexual abuse of children in the church, in hopes of avoiding public fallout from the scandals that were sure to ensue.

Victims' groups the world over were calling the letter -- first obtained by Irish broadcaster RTE - the "smoking gun" which proves institutional complicity in untold thousands of reported sexual abuses.

The church has long maintained that it did not and would never instruct its bishops to engage in a cover-up of such heinous crimes: a claim that appeared to be false.

"And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere," Colm O'Gorman, with the Irish chapter of Amnesty International, told the Associated Press.

The AP also noted that the Vatican has refused to acknowledge policies passed by Irish churches that command bishops to report any instances of suspected or confirmed sexual abuse.

Alarm Clock

African Food Riots Spread To Persian Gulf As Oman Is Next; Adverse Implications For Oil Prices?

hands on bread
© pakalertpress
While deadly protests in Africa have been largely ignored, because, well, they are in Africa, and they don't even have iPads there and Kindle WhisperNet coverage is spotty if any, the world may be forced to start paying just a little more attention as food riots get ever closer to the center of the oil extraction infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. From BBC Monitoring, which discusses the latest outbreak of protests sweeping Oman "Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices." Luckily, for now the protest is still peaceful. The thing about hunger is that it doesn't go away if you ignore it. And as Oman borders the UAE, all it takes is for the riots to jump one more border and then it gets interesting. And to all those observent enough to note that soaring prices continue to occur in countries with "growing unemployment" i.e., economic slack, and wonder how this is possible, after all the Fed said record slack can never lead to inflation, don't worry - you are certainly not alone.

Cow

Cattle Network Warns Farmers: Big Time Inflation Is Coming and You Better Have an Explanation

cattle @ fence
© Lalo de Almeida / New York Times
The insiders know, they see it coming. A spike in food prices is just around the corner. Here's what Drovers Cattle Network is telling farmers:
Americans have spent less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food for many years now. That's about to change. Food prices are on the rise and there will be new records set for some, actually many goods, this year. Meat, dairy and poultry prices are among the products on pace to set records.

While the general inflation rate was nearly zero in 2010, food and fuel presents another story. Predictions for 2011 food inflation range from 3 percent to 6 percent, with some estimates in recent days pushing into the double digits.

This will come at a time when gasoline and energy prices also are on the rise - oil is projected to reach beyond $100 per barrel....Consumers will see higher prices in the supermarket and hear about record commodity prices and will perceive you as riding waves of money.

Sherlock

Alleged Loughner Postings Paint Disturbing Picture

Erad3
© Pima County Sheriff's Office
Abovetopsecret.com's co-owner says Jared Loughner posted under the name "Erad3."

NASA has never flown a manned space shuttle mission.

There was no Mars rover.

People can make their own currency.

From February 2009 through September 2010, someone using the name "Erad3" made these and a series of other assertions -- unusual at best, disturbed at worst -- on the website abovetopsecret.com.

Erad3, according to site co-owner Mark Allin, was almost certainly Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old man accused of killing six people and injuring 14 others last weekend, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.

The site, Allin said, focuses on "alternative news" and information "not covered by the mainstream media." Allin noted that all 130 messages from Erad3 were posted from Loughner's hometown of Tucson, and many of them bear a striking resemblance to postings made by Loughner on the popular social media site YouTube.

Book

Study: Many College Students Not Learning to Think Critically

rodin thinker
© n/a
An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn't learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.

Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn't determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

Arum, whose book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press) comes out this month, followed 2,322 traditional-age students from the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2009 and examined testing data and student surveys at a broad range of 24 U.S. colleges and universities, from the highly selective to the less selective.

Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, according to the study. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills.

Combining the hours spent studying and in class, students devoted less than a fifth of their time each week to academic pursuits. By contrast, students spent 51 percent of their time - or 85 hours a week - socializing or in extracurricular activities.