Archive | November 11, 2013

Up in Arms: Why America is More Divided Than People Realize

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Colin Woodard, writer of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, explains how America is more divided than most people realize and why.

via Tufts Magazine

THE BATTLE LINES OF TODAY’S DEBATES OVER GUN CONTROL, STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS, AND OTHER VIOLENCE-RELATED ISSUES WERE DRAWN CENTURIES AGO BY AMERICA’S EARLY SETTLERS

Last December, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a rifle and killed twenty children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed in debates about gun control. Another flash point occurred this July, when George Zimmerman, who saw himself as a guardian of his community, was exonerated in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. That time, talk turned to stand-your-ground laws and the proper use of deadly force. The gun debate was refreshed in September by the shooting deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard, apparently at the hands of an IT contractor who was mentally ill.

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Is Death An Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End

Robert Lanza, MD sheds some light on  death with quantum physics.  Or does he?

via Robert Lanza: Biocentrism

After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right – death is an illusion.

Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite. We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live awhile and then rot into the ground.

We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die. Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die.

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MafiaLeaks: Inside the Site That Wants to Take Down the Mob

st-francis-of-assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

An organization is taking a bite out of crime with tips from anonymous whistlerblowers.

via Mashable

For almost two centuries, Italy has fought a war against the Mafia, a broad term defining various highly organized and violent crime rings. The Mafia’s strongest weapon is not its knack for secrecy or corruption of local governments, but rather the omertà, an unwritten code of silence rooted in fear — a cultural attitude that makes people turn a blind eye to Mafia operations and refuse to report what they’ve seen to the authorities.

Now, a group of anonymous Italian citizens wants to defeat the omertà and the Mafia with a WikiLeaks mentality: A website for mob whistleblowers and victims called MafiaLeaks.

The site is also inspired by the ancient Boche de Leon, 16th century mouth-shaped mailboxes in which the citizens of the Venetian Republic could drop documents or notes to magistrates containing anonymous complaints, according to one of its founders (see image below).

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New Book from Daily Grail’s Greg Taylor Suggests There’s Probably an Afterlife

stop-worrying-webcoverJust a quick note to let you know that our friend Greg Taylor over at Daily Grail has a new book available for purchase: Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife:

Did Steve Jobs have a vision of the afterlife on his death-bed? Does quantum physics suggest that our mind might survive the physical death of our body? How do some near-death experiencers ‘see’ outside of their bodies at a time when they are supposed to be dead?

In Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife, author Greg Taylor covers all these questions and more. From Victorian seance rooms through to modern scientific laboratories, Taylor surveys the fascinating history of research into the survival of human consciousness, and returns with a stunning conclusion: that maybe we should stop worrying so much about death, because there probably is an afterlife.

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Motorola Patents Neck Tattoo That Acts As Device-Connected Microphone

tattooEver wish that everything you ever said could be recorded? Me neither. Discovery notes:

According to a patent application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Motorola has a technology that tattoos a microphone onto a person’s throat. The microphone, which comes with a power supply, an antenna, a receiver and an optional display, would pair with mobile devices over Bluetooth.

Most likely, the “tattoo” would be an extremely thin electronic device that adheres to a person’s skin, as opposed to being woven into it.

Because the microphone is on the throat, it would pick up vibrations from the person’s voice box when she spoke. The close proximity of mic to sound would eliminate background noise that would typically interfere with a call or a voice command.

There’s more. Motorola’s throat tattoo will double as a lie detector. According to the patent: “…The electronic skin tattoo 200 can further include a galvanic skin response detector.”

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Fighting Skills, Narcotics and Stolen Goods: Would You Pass This Test?

794981_f496“How would you rate your fighting skills?”
“What types of narcotics have you recently consumed?”
“What would you estimate is the cash value of all the goods you have stolen from work sites in the last six months?”

If you answered “D. none” to all of the above you just might qualify for a job cleaning up construction sites, digging ditches, or dismantling a restaurant. All for minimum wage, of course. But the good news is wages are paid daily at the office, with a convenient ATM on site that will cash your check for a small fee. I know because I passed.But I never used that ATM, because luckily a bar down the street cashed Labor Ready checks. Nothing like a cold beer after a hard days work! (and 46 dollars in my pocket!)

Gabriel Thompson of “Mother Jones” Breaks down the life of the modern day Laborer

It’s still dark when I show up at the Labor Ready storefront in downtown Oakland, California, just a few blocks from the plaza where the Occupy crowd threw up its tents against the one percent.

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Secretary of State John Kerry Doubts Lee Harvey Oswald Acted Alone

oswaldleeharveybioSecretary of State John Kerry won’t go so far as to suggest the government’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination, but he recently told Tom Brokaw that he’s not sure Oswald acted alone.

Via Las Vegas Guardian Express:

To this day, I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I certainly have doubts that he was motivated by himself, I mean I’m not sure if anybody else was involved — I don’t go down that road with respect to the Grassy Knoll theory and all that — but I have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of Lee Harvey Oswald’s time and influence from Cuba and Russia. I think he (Oswald) was inspired somewhere by something.

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George W. Bush to Raise Money for Group That Converts Jews to Bring About Second Coming of Christ

ShapeUp

George W. Bush attempting to immanentize the eschaton?

via Mother Jones

The former president follows in the footsteps of Glenn Beck, who addressed the group last year.

Update (11/8/13):After this story published, the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute removed references to George W. Bush’s scheduled appearance from its website. But Freddy Ford, a spokesman for the former president, told Mother Jones on Friday afternoon that Bush’s plans “haven’t changed,” and he will appear at the event.

Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization’s goal: to “restore” Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.

Messianic Jews have long been controversial for Jews of all major denominations, who object to their proselytizing efforts and their message that salvation by Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology.

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Once Again A Young African American Is Killed For Seeking Help Following A Car Accident

renisha CBS News reports on a tragedy that echos the police killing of Jonathan Ferrell in North Carolina less than two months ago:

The attorney representing the family of a Detroit teenager who was shot and killed while apparently seeking help after a car accident says the girl was injured and may have wandered a Dearborn Heights neighborhood for as long as an hour before arriving on the porch of the man who shot her.

McBride, whose cell phone was apparently dead, “knocked on several doors and no one answered,” said Thurswell. The one man who did come to the door, apparently came armed with a shotgun. McBride was shot in the face and died on the man’s front porch.

Police have said the man, who has not been identified but is reportedly 54-years-old, told them he thought McBride was trying to break into his home and that the shotgun fired accidentally.

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Humans Came From Another Planet, New Book Claims

202Did we all originate from Mars or somewhere else? Dr Ellis Silver argues that we may have.

via Alien Disclosure Group (ADG)

This year, other scientists have argued that life originated on Mars, due to a mineral found in Martian meteorites, thought to be crucial to the genesis of life. Another experiment showed that amino acids could have arrived in impacts with comets, which suggests life might be widespread in the solar system.

But a new book by American ecologist Dr Ellis Silver argues that humans may well not be from Earth – and may have arrived separately. Silver offers arguments, based on human physiology, that suggest we may not have evolved alongside other life on Earth, but arrived from elsewhere, brought here by aliens as recently as a few tens of thousands of years ago.

Silver, an environmentalist  who is currently working with the effort to clean plastic debris from the Pacific, says his book aims to provoke debate, and is based on scientific work on the difference between humans and other animals.

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