Chelsea Manning and the Power of Empathy

Chelsea Manning when she was known as Bradley Manning.

Chelsea Manning when she was known as Bradley Manning.

Can there be righteousness without compassion?

Nozomi Hayase writes at Common Dreams:

It is 3 am. Something in me is unsettled and I cannot sleep. Earlier today, the Israeli military intensified its assault on Gaza Strip as a kind of collective punishment of the Palestinians; those vulnerable and marginalized who have been locked up and denied their humanity. After more than 440 air strikes since the beginning of the week, I saw photos of injured and dead men, women and children by the dozens.

I hear a man walking on the street outside my window shouting loudly; “you are a liar, a liar”. In this explosion of anger, I feel his pain. Life does not have to be this way. We can live with dignity and treat each other with respect and kindness. We can do much better.

When we see suffering of others, it upsets and saddens and keeps many of us awake at night.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

[Poll] Favorite Vietnam Protest Song

It’s time to wrap up last week’s poll and start anew. This week’s poll is all about the Vietnam war and the myriad of protest songs it inspired. Of course, we couldn’t list every single song, so you’ll have to choose from the few we picked. If we missed your favorite, feel free to let us know in the comments.

"Narrated by Sean Penn and based on the work of media critic and best-selling author Norman Solomon, WAR MADE EASY reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose 50 years of government spin and media collusion that has dragged our country into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq."

“Narrated by Sean Penn and based on the work of media critic and best-selling author Norman Solomon, WAR MADE EASY reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose 50 years of government spin and media collusion that has dragged our country into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.

Favorite Vietnam Protest Song

“Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” – John Prine (1971)
“Wooden Ships” – Crosby, Stills & Nash and Jefferson Airplane (1969)
“Where Are You Now, My Son?” – Joan Baez (1973)
“What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye (1971)
“War Pigs” – Black Sabbath (1971)
“War” – Edwin Starr (1970)
“8th of November” – Big and Rich (2006)
“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” – Arlo Guthrie (1967)
“All You Need Is Love” – The Beatles (1967)
“Charlie Don’t Surf” – The Clash (1980)
“Bring Them Home” – Pete Seeger (1966)
“Give Peace a Chance” – The Plastic Ono Band (1969)
“Man in Black” – Johnny Cash (1971)
“Orange Crush” – R.E.M.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Using TV, Videos or a Computer Game as a Stress Reducer after a Tough Day at Work Can Lead to Feelings of Guilt and Failure

I know TV is evil, but I thought video games were good.  Guess I was wrong again!

Via ScienceDaily:

It seems common practice: After a long day at work, most people sometimes just want to turn on the TV or play a video or computer game to calm down and relax. However, in a study recently published in the Journal of Communication researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands found that people who were highly stressed after work did not feel relaxed or recovered when they watched TV or played computer or video games. Instead, they tended to show increased levels of guilt and feelings of failure.

458px-Braun_HF_1

In a joint survey research project, Dr. Leonard Reinecke of the Department of Communication at Mainz University and Dr. Tilo Hartmann and Dr. Allison Eden of the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam asked a total of 471 study participants about their previous day, how they felt after work or school, and what media they turned to at the end of the day.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Case, Awarded $1.8 Million

A quick update to my recent post “Jesse Ventura Claims Loss of Work and Income Due to Defamation“: CBS News reports that Jesse Ventura is victorious in his defamation case against the estate of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and the jury has awarded him $1.8 million:

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

Ventura was awarded $1.3 million for unjust enrichment, and $500,000 in damages for defamation, CBS station WCCO reports.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Who is the Woman in Black?

A woman dressed in all black is apparently traveling across the country on foot – but no one is quite sure where she’s going or why. Many assume she’s on some type of spiritual mission and a Facebook page has been started by an unaffiliated party that tracks her progress. So far, she’s traveled from Georgia to Ohio.

Picture taken from the Facebook page:

Picture taken from the Facebook page: “Where is the Mysterious Woman in Black?

via Reuters:

A quiet woman wearing a flowing, black dress and mysteriously strolling along busy highways in parts of the U.S. Southeast and Midwest has the curious wondering who she is and spurred a social media site to document her trek.

She has been dubbed the “Woman in Black,” by TV stations, police and followers on the Web, including those on a Facebook page where she has been tracked on a nearly 500-mile journey with a black bag and walking stick in hand that has taken her from Ranger, Georgia, to Athens, Ohio, since July 18.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

13 Last Meals Requested by Executed Texas Prisoners

Disinfo was doing the whole “listicle” thing before it became the norm. Here’s an excerpt from our Book of Lists, which was published in 2004:

799px-Pickle

Taken verbatim from a now-deleted page on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website.

13. Delbert Teague Jr.

Executed September 9, 1998. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice notes: “Last minute he decided to eat a hamburger at his Mother’s request.”

12. Juan Soria

Executed July 26, 2000. “Chicken, three pieces of fish, burgers, pizza, fruit (grapes, plums, peaches, apples, tangerines), doughnuts, walnuts, chocolate candy bar, plain potato chips, picante sauce, hot sauce, salad with ranch dressing, Coke, and Sprite.”

11. Miguel Richardson

Executed June 26, 2001. “Chocolate birthday cake with ’2/23/90′ written on top, seven pink candles, one coconut, kiwi fruit juice, pineapple juice, one mango, grapes, lettuce, cottage cheese, peaches, one banana, one delicious apple, chef salad without meat and with thousand island dressing, fruit salad, cheese, and tomato slices.”

10.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Billionaire Warns Of EMP ‘Black Swan’ Danger

Paul Singer is a billionaire hedge fund manager. He’s warning his investors of a potential huge “Black Swan” event, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would be massively disruptive, reports CNBC:

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer has issued an unusual warning for investors, calling the threat of a widespread blackout from an electromagnetic surge the “most significant danger” in the world.

Called an “electromagnetic pulse” or EMP, the events can occur naturally from solar storms or artificially from a high-altitude explosion of nuclear weapons.

EMP USA.svg
EMP USA” by NACLE2Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

“While these pages are typically chock full of scary or depressing scenarios, there is one risk that is head-and-shoulders above all the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence,” Singer wrote to clients of his $24.8 billion Elliott Management on Monday in a standard investment update letter.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Short Horror Film is Shot Entirely with iPhone 4s: La Boca Del Léon

unnamedThe Mouth of the Lion (La Boca Del Léon) is an interesting answer to the over-saturation of the “found footage” films that we’ve had to endure the past few years. It has that found footage feel, but is rendered in a relatively new way. The film also raises compelling questions about the whole “Skype exorcism” fad, you may or may not have heard about.

Personally, I’m still partial to widescreen films seen in the cinema. But, I always appreciate innovation and am a sucker for the horror genre. Enjoy.

NOTE: The film is roughly 5 minutes long.

via the Press Release:

“The Mouth of the Lion” (La Boca Del Léon) is a story directed by Alfonso García López Madrid and written by Vincent Blonde Catalan under the production of the pop producer GEOFILMS ENTERTAINMENT. Inspired by the real exorcisms of Manual Vatican, the film tells the harrowing story of a father who is obsessed with the world of the dead. One of his macabre games has gone too far, so he decides to make one last call for help.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Alex Jones Wants To Be Taken Seriously: ‘I’m Not Making Jack Crap Up, I’m Not Making Nothing Up’

Apparently not satisfied with being America’s highest profile conspiracy theorist, Texas radio host Alex Jones wants to be taken seriously, reports Right Wing Watch:

Alex Jones said last week that he is sick and tired of everyone dismissing him as a conspiracy theorist, when actually he is a real man trying to tell people the truth!

“I am not making jack crack up, okay? I’m not making nothing up,” he charged. “We’re already in deep you know what but it’s getting deeper fast, and as a man, as a parent, my spider sense is just off the charts.”

He also warned “InfoWars” listeners that the government is getting ready to launch false flag attacks in order to start a civil war and commit mass arrests.

“We are in a progressing tyranny, it’s progressive like brain cancer, malignant cancer, it’s metastasized, it’s blooming right now and unequivocally I can say the people running things are clearly going to stage massive terror attacks and blame it on domestic groups and they are going to try to come arrest a lot of people,” Jones said

[continues at Right Wing Watch]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Plot Thickens in the Siberian Crater Saga

Well, two new holes/craters/portals to hell have been found in Siberia.

via The Washington Post:

Two new craters have emerged in Siberia, deepening the giant hole saga. Though not as big as the first crater, which extended hundreds of feet in diameter, these new craters are just as strange.

One of the newly discovered holes is near the original — in a land referred to by locals as “the end of the world.” It’s around 45 feet in diameter and formed under unknown conditions. Same goes for the other new crater, which has a diameter of 13 feet, a depth of between 200 and 330 feet and was discovered by “mystified” herders near the village of Nosok in the icy Krasnoyarsk region.

This new crater in the Taz district, near the village of Antipayuta, has a diameter of about 15 metres.

This new crater in the Taz district, near the village of Antipayuta, has a diameter of about 15 metres. Photo via The Siberian Times

“It is not like this is the work of men,” one expert explained to the Siberian Times, which has been hot on the giant crater story from the get-go.

Read the rest
Continue Reading