United Nations’ silence on gay rights is allowing their abuse

Yes, everywhere. riekhavoc via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Yes, everywhere. riekhavoc via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Rosa Freedman, University of Birmingham

The UN is mandated to protect all people without discrimination, to advance equality and to protect the human rights of all individuals. It has a strong track record of putting those things into place where it comes to gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age and nationality.

There are treaties, committees, monitoring bodies and other mechanisms in place for women, racial and religious minorities, indigenous populations, children and the elderly, and migrants, among others. Those mechanisms work with varying degrees of success in different states, but they send a strong message to all countries, loud and clear: the UN will not condone nor tolerate discrimination on any grounds.

Well, almost any grounds.

The UN still does not protect sexual orientation or gender identity minorities.… Read the rest

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Hail Satan Your Own Way

Threnody-01

Satanists are nonconformists. We all know that. So when most of us think “Satanic music,” we think of Satanic death metal. However, there are quite a few musicians that Hail Satan in a different way.

Satanism is based on individualism, epicureanism, and an “eye for an eye” morality. So it just stands to reason that a lot of Satanic bands don’t follow the leader when it comes to what it means to play music influenced by Satan.


The High Priest of the church of Satan, Magus Peter H. Gilmore studied music at NYU and holds a B.S. and M.A. degree in composition. He listens exclusively to classical music and film scores. He is most intrigued by the work of Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, Sibelius and Beethoven.

The above maestros influence what he composes.

His works are piano, voice, instrumental ensembles—some of which he has realized with synthesizers and samplers. Gilmore has also done purely electronically realized pieces with early patch-bay arrays which challenge one to create original sounds from scratch.… Read the rest

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Watching Friends Recover From Addiction on Facebook

By Mr. Theklan via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

By Mr. Theklan via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Atlantic:

Through likes and comments, I’ve watched my hometown of Perry, Ohio, disappear into and come back from heroin addiction.

The U.S. is facing a massive heroin epidemic, and nowhere is it more evident than in Ohio, where fatal drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, and increased by 60 percent from 2011 to 2012. Addicts in rehabilitation say heroin is the easiest drug to find. State legislators have called for Republican Governor John Kasich to declare the prevalence of heroin a public-health emergency, and in May he agreed to an Obamacare Medicaid expansion largely because the state badly needed the federal help in funding treatment for heroin addiction.

Perry, Ohio, is a microcosm of the epidemic, which is now infiltrating upper-middle-class suburbs. Thirty minutes east of Cleveland, the town of 1,500 has a median annual income $31,000 higher than that of Ohio overall, but it also lacks opportunities for young adults to start their lives.

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Investors in anti-Facebook startup have no idea how it will make money

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via Ars Technica:

Ello, the notably stripped-down, ad-free social network, announced Thursday that it has taken $5.5 million in venture capital and re-incorporated as a “Public Benefit Corporation.”

The company’s founders and investors also published a one-page document in which they declared:

  1. Ello must never make money from selling ads
  2. Ello must never make money from selling user data
  3. In the event that Ello is ever sold, the new owners would also have to comply by these terms

So how is Ello going to make money? Even its investors don’t know.

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Americans’ Trust in Doctors Is Falling

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via Live Science:

Americans’ trust in the medical profession has plummeted in recent years, and lags well behind public attitudes toward doctors in many other countries, according to a new report.

That lack of trust comes from how Americans’ perceive doctors’ motivations, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and co-author of the new report. While physician leaders elsewhere in the world often take public stands on key health and medical issues, Americans perceive the medical profession as looking out for itself, not advocating for public health, he said.

Just 34 percent of U.S. adults polled in 2012 said they had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession,” down from 76 percent in 1966, according to the report.

And a survey of people in 29 countries found the United States ranked 24th in public trust of doctors.

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Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard

By Whit Andrews via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Whit Andrews via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via The Daily Beast:

On a sprawling, idyllic cluster of rolling hills in an otherwise industrial section of New York City, history’s finest and most notorious have been laid to rest.

Green-Wood Cemetery should have its own ZIP code. Covering nearly 500 acres in the middle of Brooklyn, the land of the dead feels a world away from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, visible in the distance from the hilltops.

Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires. The cemetery is home to 560,000 dead. In past lives, the area served as the location of the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. Once the first dead were interred in 1838, it became the country’s second biggest tourism attraction thanks to its scenic and fashionable burial grounds. In the 1860s there were more sightseers than entombed residents, as 500,000 visitors flocked there per year.

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Does Inequality Cause Crime?

By craftivist collective via Flickr (cc by 2.0).

By craftivist collective via Flickr (cc by 2.0).

Surprised?

via The Atlantic:

In 1899, Thorstein Veblen described a type of good that is more lusted after the more expensive it is (think Ferraris). And in 1968, the economist Gary S. Becker theorized that criminals perform cost-benefit analyses just like everyone else: What are the odds of getting caught, and what’s the potential payoff? These two frameworks have lived out vibrant lives in academic journals, high-school textbooks, and college lecture halls, but, as they’re ostensibly unrelated, they’ve rarely been put in conversation with one another.

A study put out this month in Oxford Economic Papers does just that, in an effort to come up with a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between inequality and violence. There’s a good amount of research from all over the world that suggests that places with pronounced income inequality are more likely to have high rates of violent crime, a finding that makes intuitive sense: the wider the socioeconomic gap, per Becker’s 1968 model, the more gains potential criminals perceive.

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Rest in peace @sweepyface

EVIL

Who is trolling who?

Dehumanisation is often the starting point of cruelty. Nazis didn’t see Jews as human, that’s how they could throw them into ovens. Slavery in America worked along similar lines, people were treated as cattle because they were labelled “niggers,” a word used to denote someone who was not quite “one of us,” not quite a person. Religions do this kind of thing a lot, in Islam it’s “kuffar”, in Judaism it’s “goyim,” in Christianity it is “heathen.”

In England at the moment the word “troll” is being used by Her Majesty’s Government to do the same. Originally “trolling” referred to a fishing technique where you slowly drag a lure or baited hook from a moving boat. In the old world of forums people would be called out for trying to “troll” for a response to their posts. Now it has become detached from its original meaning and conflated with the trolls of Tolkienesque fantasy.… Read the rest

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Nate Hagens – Limits to Growth: Where We Are and What to Do About It

Is the global economy hitting the limits to growth?

In this talk, Nate Hagens will synthesize the current landscape of global energy, environment and financial risks while offering suggestions on what to do as a hominid living on a full planet. He will raise the question of whether it is possible to degrow our economies with conscious effort before our options are constrained by external forces. After a quick summary of the situation, he will lead a conversation with the audience on appropriate responses to these challenges. Are large climate rallies accomplishing anything? If they aren’t, what is a better plan of action?

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