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The NRA’s Brazen Shell Game

The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is one of those American institutions that people tend to either love or hate. According to this Yahoo News investigation, however, even those who love the NRA may balk at it’s brazen diversion of donations to political causes the donors never signed up for:

Occupy the NRA

Photo: Occupy Global (CC)

Early last summer I began making contributions to the National Rifle Association — a dollar here, a dollar there — to see where my money would end up. Some of it quickly found its way into the account of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. And that was of no small interest, because I never knowingly contributed to the NRA-PVF. For me, this wasn’t a big problem; my contributions were a spit in the bucket for an organization that spent $37 million on the 2014 elections and operates on an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

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The Perfect Stone

Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Perfect Stone chronicles the story of a psychopathic lawyer from New York named Mike Hunt who is bent on creating the perfect strain of marijuana.

It is set in the very heart of darkness of the Emerald Triangle in Mendocino Co. California atop an aquifer that pumps out over 200 million gallons of pure spring water a year. Hunt tries to sell the water to various Indian tribes and all reject his offer. The White Devil AKA Hunt is feared and despised by the community as he is regarded as a con artist, charlatan and counterfeit Christian by many.

A detective is sent by some So. Cal. investors to investigate the lawyer who ripped them off prior to his being hospitalized for sepsis. A shocking discovery is made on Split Rock ranch, one that shakes the marijuana industry to the core — The Perfect Stone!Read the rest

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How a PhD in linguistics prepared me for motherhood

peasap (CC BY 2.0)

peasap (CC BY 2.0)

Annabelle Lukin

Unlike most newborns, on his arrival into the world, my newly-minted son found himself in the arms of someone well-versed in the the most fiercely contested question in contemporary linguistics: is language innate?

Are babies born with grammar hard-wired into their brain? Or is language something bestowed by culture and socialisation?

The early exchanges of gaze, attention and vocalisations with my baby in his first hours, days and weeks were experienced against the melodrama of modern linguistics’ greatest schism. This happens to revolve entirely around the role of mothers and significant others in the development of a child’s language.

In the story of how language emerges in the child, as told by Noam Chomsky, nature is largely the lone hero. The child comes with a “language organ” already installed in her or his brain, as a sudden and isolated gift of evolution – out of nowhere, all-at-once, fully formed and forever unchanging.… Read the rest

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Zahi Hawass Goes Berserk In Debate With Graham Hancock

Former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass completely loses his mind in the warm up to a debate in Cairo with Graham Hancock. The trigger event appears to be the mention of another disinformation® author, Robert Bauval, a well-respected Egyptologist … in some circles but clearly not in the mind of Hawass.

This is the video description on YouTube:

For more than a year the encounter that took place at the Mena House Hotel, Giza Egypt, on 22 April 2015 between famed Egyptologist Dr Zahi Hawass and controversial alternative historian Graham Hancock, had been billed as”the first open debate between the representatives of two completely different versions of history.” On the night of the event, however, as Graham Hancock was focussing his slides prior to giving his opening presentation, and before most of the audience had even entered the room, Dr Hawass saw that one slide contained a photograph of Hancock’s colleague Robert Bauval, originator of the Orion correlation theory with whom Dr Hawass has had disagreements for many years.

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Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

The culture of technology equipped homeless millennials is the focus of a long Newsweek story:

On Reddit, he’s /u/huckstah, an administrator on /r/vagabond, a subreddit with nearly 10,000 members—many of them identify as “homeless”—who trade skills and stories.  On “the road and the rails,” he’s Huck, and even after we speak twice by cellphone, he tells me he’d prefer I don’t print his real name. “People say, ‘Well, you chose to become homeless.’ But that’s wrong,” he says. Huck says he’s been a hobo for upward of 11 years and started hopping trains and hitching rides at 18. “I did not choose to become homeless. If you want to say I chose to become homeless and sleep on the streets, really all I have to say is fuck you. You’ve never experienced it.”

Homeless group

Photo: Franco Folini (CC)

Or maybe you have experienced it, thanks to the recent Great Recession that caused a spike in homelessness—especially for families—with its tidal wave of foreclosures.

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Chicago Police Department Faces Lawsuit Over Stop And Frisk

Photo: Josh Koonce

Photo: Josh Koonce

In the wake of a study by the ACLU showing that Chicago police stop and frisk more people, particularly African American men, than any other city, six men have filed suit against the department.

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Six African American men from the South and West sides have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department over its “stop and frisk” procedures. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the men by the law firm Romanucci & Blandi against the City, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and 14 unnamed officers, alleges CPD’s practices have violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and calls for a class-wide judgement declaring it unconstitutional. The firm is also calling for others who believe their rights have been violated to come forward.

The suit comes after a March ACLU report revealed that Chicago Police lead the nation in stop and frisk procedures, four times that of New York City, which recently saw rulings to curb the practice.… Read the rest

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‘Killing Jews is Worship’ Riling New York

What do you think disinfonauts, is an ad campaign on New York City buses with the slogan ‘Killing Jews is Worship’ kosher? The NY Daily News has the story:

A conservative firebrand said Tuesday she plans to paper at least 50 MTA buses with Islamophobic posters following a judge’s ruling the ads were protected by the First Amendment.

Pamela Geller's controversial banner.

Pamela Geller’s controversial poster.

 

Manhattan Federal Court Judge John Koeltl wrote the MTA had improperly denied displaying Pamela Geller’s controversial posters featuring a picture of a menacing man with his face masked in a Middle Eastern scarf next to the quote, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.” The quote was attributed to “Hamas MTV” and included the tagline, “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”

Though the MTA had accepted other incendiary posters by Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, it declined last year to post the “Killing Jews” ad, saying it could provoke violence.

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Why I Don’t Do Psychedelics Very Often Anymore

sunwaves1Hey Disinfonauts, I think I’ve mentioned this before, but everyone should absolutely check out this Divine Spark book that Graham Hancock just put out. It’s a great roundup of essays exploring the mind’s limitless imaginal potentiality as presented to us by the psychedelic experience (I’m pretty sure that sentence makes sense). The fact that psychedelic research is finally gaining more mainstream acceptance is, much like marijuana legalization, not something I ever thought I’d see in my lifetime. Back in my early 20’s I got popped for acid possession and was scoffed at for wanting to study these things as a psychology student. As bleak and out of touch as the world can seem at times, there are some deliciously weird things afoot. Let us never lose sight of that, or harp on the fact that this essay already appeared on the site a few years back. Is there ever a bad time to re-read through my stuff (or to read my book which you can grab super cheap)?… Read the rest

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Debunking the Debunkers of October Surprise

81oYiGW8hKL._SL1350_Y’know how a bunch of Republicans sent a letter to Iran a few weeks ago?  It got me thinking about history…

Robert Parry, writing at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting in 2013:

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from investigative reporter Robert Parry’s new book, America’s Stolen Narrative. One of the book’s storylines examines corporate media’s role in squelching investigation into whether Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980 went behind President Jimmy Carter’s back to contact Iranian officials then holding 52 Americans hostage, a controversy dubbed the October Surprise.

When the possibility of a serious October Surprise investigation emerged in the latter half of 1991, an intimidating phalanx of powerful players was arrayed against it, from Ronald Reagan’s many defenders, to the sitting President George H.W. Bush, to David Rockefeller’s business and government circles, to past and present officers in the CIA, to the Israeli government.

If Congress conducted a tough-minded investigation, there was no telling where it might go and who might be harmed.

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