Archive | April 6, 2013

Science: Britons Really Do Hate Immigrants

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown helped seal his 2010 electoral defeat after a live mic caught him calling an elderly voter a “bigot” (in reaction to a bigoted statement said voter had made about Eastern European immigration).

Now, a new study by the British Sociological Association scientifically validates that Britons, in fact, are among the most xenophobic people in Europe – second only to Greeks. Rating their perception of immigration on a scale of 0-10, Britons from the governing Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition reported averages of 4.4 (for Conservatives) and 5.9 (for Lib Dems). Voters supporting the opposition Labour Party rated immigrants at a 4.9.

Nonetheless, the study concluded, British attitudes toward immigration softened in direct relation to their exposure to eastern Europeans. Researcher Anne-Marie Jeannet, of the University of Oxford, explained that,

“This may be because Central and Eastern Europeans are not physically dissimilar to the natives in Western Europe.

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Activists Sign Petition to Award Bradley Manning Nobel Peace Prize

He certainly deserves it more than Obama.  Norman Soloman writes at the Antiwar.com Blog:

During the last week of March, more than 30,000 people signed a petition urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Bradley Manning. While the numbers continue to mount on the petition website, so do the comments from individual signers.

Thousands have already written personal notes to explain their support for the petition. I hope the Nobel committee reads the comments carefully when the petition arrives in Oslo later this spring.

As a U.S. Army private — seeing massive evidence of official deception, human rights abuses and flagrant killing of civilians — Bradley Manning did not just follow orders. Instead, he became a whistleblower, supplying vast troves of documents to WikiLeaks, exposing duplicity that had enormous impacts from Iraq and Afghanistan to Egypt and Tunisia.

Manning, now 25 years old, could be in prison for the rest of his life.

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How Occult Ideas Infiltrate Normal Culture

Via Reality Sandwich, discussing the state of the occult in 2013, author Mitch Horowitz on how esoteric ideas saturate contemporary society:

This notion of using your mind as a causative agency colors almost every aspect of our culture. It’s spoken about from evangelical pulpits by figures like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. It’s heard in political speeches, such as when Ronald Reagan used to say, “nothing is impossible”; at the heart of our business motivation philosophies; it appears in the recovery movement; and it’s a form of popular religiosity that’s spread all across the culture.

You turn on the television and one sitcom character is telling another to think positively, and they’re having a laugh about either the potential, or the dismal irony, of trying to use your mind to change a situation. It surrounds us. Americans embrace ideas and discard terms, hence you don’t hear terms like occult or New Age within mainstream culture, yet the assumptions around them are everyplace.

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Sate Your Documentary Addiction

I’m overburdened with media! I’ve a pile of books to read, news to collate, new music to parse and podcasts to digest. My Netflix queue overfloweth. And if I ever get time to devour something in my free time, sadly, it usually isn’t the pure escapism of fiction. I think I’ve been reading non-fiction and watching documentaries for so long, my brain is now wired to be impatient with what should be delicious candy.

My problem is that I continue to welcome all recommendations from friends, co-workers, DJs, online sources, journalists and Disinfonauts. But I am thankful that the terse and listographic nature of the internet, as well as the myriad of sources for content organization, have actually streamlined this process. A digital native, I irrationally worry that I’ll be missing some current event or corner of the world’s many subcultures.

I’ll die before I give up on trying to subsume it all into my subconscious!… Read the rest

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Sonia Gandhi’s “Occult” Economics

Picture: Ricardo Stuckert (CC)

Surjit S. Bhalla writes at the India Express:

As we all know, an economic disaster has struck India for the last three years. A halving of GDP growth, a doubling of inflation rates, a 20 per cent depreciation of the rupee, and record current account deficits (latest, 6.7 per cent of GDP) are reflective of the deep rot the Indian economy is in.

The economy numbers are exceptionally bad and worse than most other countries. What, or who, is responsible for making the impossible possible? For sure, it is the Congress-led UPA government. But who within the Congress party? On economic issues, most fingers will point towards the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, an economist of international repute, and joint father of the economic reforms introduced under the leadership of non-Nehru-Gandhi Congressman Narasimha Rao in 1991. But this would be wrong.

For too long we have been made to believe that, within the UPA, the political decisions were made by Sonia and the economic decisions by Singh.

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How To Keep Your Home Garden Monsanto-Free

Should you choose to create your own fruit or vegetable garden in your backyard or on your windowsill, how can you keep Monsanto from reaching its grubby fingers into your home? The corporate behemoth has gained control of 40% of the U.S. vegetable seed market by buying up smaller companies, and now owns the rights to the names themselves of many kinds of seeds. Thus these tips from Healthy Home Economist:

Avoid buying from the seed companies affiliated with Monsanto. Here’s a list of these seed companies: http://www.seminis.com/global/us/products/Pages/Home-Garden.aspx

Buy from this list of companies Monsanto HASN’T bought and are not affiliated or do business with Seminis: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/2012/03/06/monsanto-free-seed-companies/

Avoid certain heirloom varieties because Monsanto now apparently owns the names. This article lists the seed varieties to avoid: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/2012/03/17/monsanto-owned-seednames/

Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge. Here’s a list of companies that have done so: http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=261

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