#263 Oct 3, 2013
The Religious Right Is Resuscitating Dead Diseases
Natasha Hakimi Sep 17, 2013
"Thanks to certain communities’ fear of vaccines, illnesses such as the measles, which had been wiped out for decades in America, have come back into existence. This resurgence of diseases is dangerous for a number of reasons, the first being that a lot of doctors and nurses are no longer trained to treat or look out for them.
The religious right’s apprehension when it comes to vaccines isn’t founded on any hard science, despite claims that the shots could cause disabilities (lest we forget Rep. Michele Bachmann’s declaration that the HPV vaccine causes “mental retardation”). Vice magazine’s Benjamin Shapiro angrily explains how the religious right’s actions (and inactions) are putting everyone’s lives in danger:
"Remember measles? That old-timey disease we officially eliminated in the United States 13 years ago? Thanks to the wonder of inoculation, measles should be entirely nonexistent in this country, but yesterday the Center for Disease Control reported 159 cases from January through August of this year. This puts our country on track for the worst measles year since 1996, when there were 500 reported cases—which is disturbing, especially because doctors and nurses aren’t really trained to look out for measles anymore, because of the whole “elimination” thing.
...What’s unique about this year’s outbreak is that the CDC has finally admitted the spread of this “eliminated” disease is based on religious communities’ philosophical aversion to vaccines and reliance on divine healing through the Word of God. According to the report, 91 percent of the reported cases were in people who were unvaccinated, or didn’t know their vaccination status, and “of those who were unvaccinated, 79 percent had philosophical objections to vaccination.”
These cases began in religious communities, but eventually spread out of them and infected infants who couldn’t legally be vaccinated yet. This August, epidemiologists in Texas began investigating the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas. The megachurch, which believes in faith healing, had become an open breeding ground for measles after a member of the congregation returned from Indonesia and infected 21 people in and around Newark. It was widely reported that Terri Pearsons, the church’s senior pastor, had encouraged her followers to avoid vaccinations at all costs. The church has defensively denied this claim, which contradicts Pearsons’s continued reservations about vaccines.
Once babies started getting all rashy, Pearsons reversed her position in an August 15 statement encouraging her flock to get immunized. Here, she limited her concerns to “very young children with a family history of autism,” again suggesting a belief that vaccines can turn your kids retarded. Eagle Mountain’s basic point is contradictory: you should vaccinate your kids, but they might end up like Rain Man.
Things are even worse in Northern Europe. Since May, there’s been a “large, ongoing measles outbreak” in an orthodox Protestant community in the Netherlands. As of September 5, the Center for Infectious Disease Control in Netherlands had reported some 1,226 cases. Ninety-one percent of those cases were unvaccinated members of orthodox Protestant communities in the country’s Bible belt."" ...
#264 Oct 3, 2013
..."Shapiro goes on to call these acts “endangerment” and demonstrate his disgust at the fact that the religious right feeds its followers misinformation. All of which is its problem, that is, until the rest of the world gets caught in the crossfire of its ignorance. It’s all a bit reminiscent of colonial times when Europeans wiped out indigenous populations with guns, germs and steel. But what’s worse in the case of the religious right is that, as Shapiro concludes,“their diseases are smarter than they are, and do much quicker missionary work.” "
#265 Oct 3, 2013
An incomplete list of dates predicted for apocalyptic events such as the Rapture, Last Judgment, or any other event that would result in the end of humanity, civilization, the planet, or the entire universe:
#266 Oct 3, 2013
"(lest we forget Rep. Michele Bachmann’s declaration that the HPV vaccine causes “mental retardation”)
-yeah she got it wrong
That vaccine (Merck's 'Gardasil') causes something Worse than retardation- DEATH
And who says that? Conspiracy Theorists'?
Right Wing Christians?
Nope- The Friggin CDC which admits to the 75 deaths of girls taking Gardasil (that's in the U.S. alone, and it's really More than that), AND medical journals AND various governments AND Merck's Own vaccine developers!-
Lead Developer for HPV Vaccine Admits it is Useless, Likely Dangerous
August 22, 2013
Medical journal openly questions science, ethics of HPV vaccinations
Vaccine Deaths And Injuries Skyrocket As Cover-Up Implodes
Global revolt against deadly vaccines spreads as cases of debilitating illnesses, soft-kill side-effects and even instant deaths become widespread
"Meanwhile, concerned mothers whose daughters have been injured or killed by the Gardasil vaccine have put together a website that documents the truth about how the vaccine has killed and injured thousands of young girls since it was introduced in 2006. Thousands of teenagers have suffered adverse reactions and at least 71 have died from the vaccine since the HPV program was launched four years ago."
"A measles vaccination program in India was halted after four children died almost immediately after receiving the shot.“Four children died within minutes of receiving a vaccine for measles followed by drops of Vitamin A solution on Saturday,” reports MedGuru."
India halts HPV vaccine trial after six girls die, US does nothing in response to 67 deaths and counting
HPV Vaccine Victim’s Advocacy Group Sends Open Letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Could the HPV vaccine be a distinct and deliberate operation to control the population?
Japan withdraws support for HPV vaccines due to infertility side effects
July 8, 2013
The Great HPV Vaccine Hoax Exposed
Blood donations from people vaccinated against HPV may be harmful to recipients
September 26, 2013
#267 Oct 3, 2013
"In 2011, there were 158 000 measles deaths globally – about 430 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour."
Measles vaccination resulted in a 71% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2011 worldwide.
"Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year."
"It remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 158 000 people died from measles in 2011 – mostly children under the age of five."
..."Since May, there’s been a “large, ongoing measles outbreak” in an orthodox Protestant community in the Netherlands. As of September 5, the Center for Infectious Disease Control in Netherlands had reported some 1,226 cases. Ninety-one percent of those cases were unvaccinated members of orthodox Protestant communities in the country’s Bible belt.""...
#268 Oct 4, 2013
Dawkins on Capitol Hill:‘Ignoramus’ Christian creationists are holding America back
By David Ferguson October 3, 2013
"Secularists and skeptics Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker appeared on Capitol Hill on Monday to argue on behalf of support for science in the U.S. and a cultural move away from religious myths. The two men appeared on behalf of the Secular Coalition for America.
A reporter asked Dawkins about the fact that more than 40 percent of Americans believe the Christian creation myth, that God created the world in seven days.
“This country is, without a doubt, the leading scientific nation in the world, beyond the shadow of a doubt,” Dawkins replied.“I can’t help wondering how much more advanced this country would be if you were not held back by this astonishing burden of 40 percent of the people who literally think the world, the universe is less than 10,000 years old.”
“I mean,” he said,“that is a staggering piece of ignorance. It’s a scandal.”
Believing that the world is less than 10,000 years old, Dawkins said,“is not a small error. It’s a gigantic, ridiculous error.”
The problem, he said, is based in part on the fact that school boards are elected in local elections, and that “in particular districts, it may be that the electors are electing ignoramuses.”"
Watch the video, embedded below via YouTube:
Watch the full House briefing, embedded below via the Secular Coalition:
#269 Oct 4, 2013
Awesome 11MB Tree of life poster!
#270 Oct 5, 2013
#271 Oct 5, 2013
No one believes that stuff you fool. It is allegorical.
#272 Oct 7, 2013
Christopher Hitchens - Christianity is Immoral (1 of 2)
"This is the brilliant opening statement (set to visuals) that Christopher Hitchens gave in a religion vs. atheism debate with Alister McGrath on October 11, 2007."
Christopher Hitchens - Christianity is Immoral (2 of 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch...
#273 Oct 7, 2013
Vouchers don’t do much for students
By STEPHANIE SIMON | 10/6/13
"Ever since the Obama administration filed suit to freeze Louisiana’s school voucher program, high-ranking Republicans have pummeled the president for trapping poor kids in failing public schools. The entire House leadership sent a letter of protest. Majority Leader Eric Cantor blistered the president for denying poor kids “a way into a brighter future.”
And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused the president of “ripping low-income minority students out of good schools” that could “help them achieve their dreams.”
But behind the outrage is an inconvenient truth: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.
In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. In Cleveland, voucher students in most grades performed worse than their peers in public schools in math, though they did better in reading.
In New Orleans, voucher students who struggle academically haven’t advanced to grade-level work any faster over the past two years than students in the public schools, many of which are rated D or F, state data show.
And across Louisiana, many of the most popular private schools for voucher students posted miserable scores in math, reading, science and social studies this spring, with fewer than half their voucher students achieving even basic proficiency and fewer than 2 percent demonstrating mastery. Seven schools did so badly, state Superintendent John White barred them from accepting new voucher students — though the state agreed to keep paying tuition for the more than 200 voucher students already enrolled, if they chose to stay.
Nationwide, many schools participating in voucher programs infuse religion through their curriculum. Zack Kopplin, a student activist who favors rigorous science education, has found more than 300 voucher schools across the U.S. that teach the Biblical story of creation as science; some also instruct children that the world is just several thousand years old and use textbooks describing the Loch Ness Monster as a living dinosaur. Parents at one such school in Louisiana received a newsletter calling secular scientists “sinful men.”" ...
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/voucher...
#274 Oct 8, 2013
Jesus or Kim Jong Il: Who is more ridiculous?
"One will have you tortured for not accepting his divinity. The other is the son of the Eternal Father. Actually, either one describes both these guys."
#275 Oct 8, 2013
5 Popular Beliefs That Are Holding Humanity Back
By David Wong October 08, 2013
#276 Oct 9, 2013
U.S. Should Adopt Higher Standards for Science Education
"Americans have grown accustomed to bad news about student performance in math and science. On a 2009 study administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 15-year-olds in the U.S. placed 23rd in science and 31st in math out of 65 countries. On last year's Nation's Report Card assessments, only one third of eighth graders qualified as proficient in math or science. Those general statistics tell only a piece of the story, however. There are pockets of excellence across the U.S. where student achievement is world-beating. Massachusetts eighth graders outscored their peers from every global region included, except Singapore and Taiwan, on an international science assessment in 2007. Eighth graders from Minnesota, the only other U.S. state tested, did almost as well.
What do Massachusetts and Minnesota have in common? They each have science standards that set a high bar for what students are expected to learn at each grade level. Such standards form the scaffolding on which educators write curricula and teachers plan lessons, and many experts believe them to be closely linked with student achievement.
Unfortunately, the quality of most state science standards is “mediocre to awful,” in the words of one recent report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank in Washington, D.C. Several states present evolution as unsettled science—“according to many scientists, biological evolution occurs through natural selection,” say New York State's standards. Wishy-washiness is also creeping into the way schools teach climate change, as some parents pressure teachers to “balance” the conclusions of the majority of scientists against the claims of a tiny but vocal clan of skeptics. We can't have a scientifically literate populace if schools are going to tap-dance around such fundamentals." ...
read the rest:
#277 Oct 10, 2013
WATCH: I Used to Be in a Cult and Here's What It Did to My Brain
Diane Benscoter 09/27/2013
"Extremism has become a sensationalized catchall phrase, often used by politicians and mass media to polarize and to label groups of people as "the bad guys."
But, what is extremism? And how do we get to the root of its destructiveness?
When I was 17, I learned about extremism first-hand. Young, vulnerable and searching for what I call 'easy answers to hard questions,' I left my loving, middle-class, midwestern -- very normal and average, by all accounts -- family and fell prey to the teachings of a religious cult.
I became a devout follower of Sun Myung Moon and was the victim of highly manipulative tactics. Being a "Moonie" completely dictated my decision-making processes. It tore me away from family, friends, my planned future, and everything else I had previously known and loved.
In my TEDTalk I define what happened to me as having been infected by a "memetic virus." Once infected, I would have done anything for my "messiah." My mind was closed, fixed, intolerant and impervious to change. I was an extremist.
If we hope to prevent extremist terrorism we have to begin with understanding the mental condition of extremist leaders. We also need to understand the mental condition of those most vulnerable to extremist tactics. Finally, we need to understand manipulation, the vehicle that connects the extremist leader and it's victims.
What causes someone to become a cult leader like Sun Myung Moon or Jim Jones, or a terrorist leader like Osama Bin Laden?
I agree with Neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor's assessment that religious fundamentalism could be treated as a form of mental illness. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/kath...
Extremist leaders are addicts. Addiction is a powerful force. The addiction to power and/or money can affect the brain much like other types of addiction. The overwhelming desire to feed any form of addiction can eventually lead to a type of psychopathy. In the most dangerous circumstances charismatic leaders, under the influence of their addiction, can make a powerful and potentially deadly discovery. They can discover, and put into action, a set of manipulative tactics that prey on vulnerable segments of society.
Extremist Victims/ Followers
It's hard to think of a terrorist as a victim, but we have to ask what's going on in the brain of someone who straps a bomb to his or her body and detonates? As I express in my talk, with great repulsion, I understand how it could happen. I was a victim of extremist mental manipulation. So are they.
In these cases the victims are often young adults who feel lost in their world and desire the comradery and easy answers to complex questions offered by extremism. When I read the background of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, I see a bit of 17-year-old me.
In my memoir, Shoes of a Servant -- My Unconditional Devotion to a Lie, http://www.amazon.com/Shoes-Servant-Diane-Ben... you can see how vulnerable I was to the specific type of manipulative tactics used by Sun Myung Moon and his followers and how I became an extremist. While Moonies are certainly not terrorists, it is the mental condition we need to understand.
What can we do?
There are many examples of how educational campaigns have greatly slowed down the spread of infectious diseases and brought awareness to important social topics. I propose that we create similar campaigns to combat extremism. " ...
read the rest and watch the video:
#278 Oct 10, 2013
It's like Global Warming Incorporated predicting deadly weather events.
#279 Oct 10, 2013
Re: Gov. Shutdown; An Appeal to Paul Krugman and the NY Times: Stop Being Polite, It's Time to Expose Extremist Religion's Threat to Our Democracy
Frank Schaeffer 10/07/2013
"For almost 9 years I've been warning Huffington Post readers of the danger religious right fundamentalist activism is to our country. With the advent of the shutdown I'm tempted to say "I told you so." The shutdown is the religious right's biggest "victory" and a loss for the rest of us that threatens everything we love. But it's not all "their" fault. Some of our best and brightest dropped the ball too. Our chattering classes have been too polite about religion, in fact mostly silent.
For instance, someone I admire very much -- Paul Krugman -- and the New York Times have unintentionally sinned against their readers. They are far too tolerant of the evil of religion-gone-bad. They are being overly polite about the horrible effect religion and evangelical fundamentalist religion in particular, has had on our American "shutdown" politics. They are analyzing the shutdown but offering no solutions because they duck the truth. Until Krugman and the Times editorial board and the rest of the media, attack the religious extremist root cause of the shutdown nothing can change."...
..."As Krugman said, "the government is shut, and a debt crisis looms." Man up Krugman, NYT editors et al and tell us plainly why this is so. The problem isn't the GOP. The problem is what the mass of extremist GOP voters believe.
Church and state are no longer separated. They have been folded into one deadly destructive, economy-threatening entity by the Republicans. It's time to stop being any less forcefully truth-telling about religion than we are about politics. The shutdown is a slow motion religious extremist attack on America no less deadly that a suicide vest attack. It's time to call these people out on their own terms for what they believe before they take us all down with them. "
read the rest:
#280 Oct 11, 2013
What's Going On Here?
#281 Oct 14, 2013
Rand Paul on the Global Slaughter of Christians
“From Boston to Zanzibar, there is a worldwide war on Christianity,” declared Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky).
He made the comments in a speech discussing the slaughter of Christians at the 2013 Values Voter Summit on October 11.
The Kentucky Senator added, Across the globe, Christians are under attack, almost as if we lived in the Middle Ages or if we lived under early Pagan Roman rule... It’s almost as if that is happening again throughout the Middle East.
Girls Threatened With Hate Crime Charges For Complaining About Transgender Bathroom Harassment
School tells parents boy’s rights as transgender trump their daughter’s privacy rights
Photo: Only One Person Shows Up to Obamacare Event in South Carolina
Obamacare STILL not working: CNN Reporter Cannot Sign Up A Fortnight After Launch
#282 Oct 15, 2013
Autocrat Feinstein Defends High-tech Stasi Surveillance State in Op-ed
Obamacare’s Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are http://www.infowars.com/obamacares-website-is...
Nobel Prize Winner as Keynesian Crackpot
So what does one of the latest Nobel Prize winners, Robert Shiller, think causes unemployment?
Capitalism. I am not making this up.
EBT Card Users Threaten Rodney King-Style Riots
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