Tag Archives | Human Rights

Podcast Episode 3: Pagans & Prisons


Compelling stories, ambient recordings, and interesting background music, woven into a radical pagan tapestry with a high audio-geek quotient.

Via Gods & Radicals:

In episode 3, we hear from several members of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, all of whom work in some capacity with pagans in prison, along with a rant on the subject from our own Dr. Bones.

“We’re number one in prisoners.

By every measure the U.S. leads the world in prisoners, with 2.2 million people in jail and more than 4.8 million on parole. No nation tops that – not China with 1.7 million, not Russia with 670,000. We not only have the highest number of prisoners, we have the highest percentage of people in prison or jail. In the U.S., 702 of every 100,000 people were in prison or jail in 2013. Cuba has 510 per 100,000 people in prison, Russia has 467, and Iran has 290.

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Jeff Bezos’ rocket company beats SpaceX to landing its first rocket

Eric Burger via Ars Technica:

Jeff Bezos finally one-upped Elon Musk in space. On Tuesday Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, announced its New Shepard space vehicle had ascended to 100.5km and returned successfully to the ground near its West Texas launch site.

“Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts—a used rocket,” said Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, in a statement. “Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission—soaring to 329,839 feet and then returning through 119mph high-altitude crosswinds to make a gentle, controlled landing just four-and-a-half feet from the center of the pad. Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”

Like Blue Origin, Musk’s SpaceX is attempting to build a reusable Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 booster, but so far the company’s efforts to land its rocket on a mobile, seaborne platform have not been successful.

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Sports Military Worship Propaganda Exposed

Bernie Suarez via Activist Post:

A Senate oversight report just blew the lid on the U.S. military worship ceremonies we all see at sporting events all over the United States. We see this military worship all the time at college and professional sports events. These staged ceremonies are designed to psyop young men and women into joining the military. They are also designed to sell war and make young adults think that the road to honor goes through a military lifestyle. Sports fans have no idea they are being bombarded with lies and propaganda bankrolled by the Pentagon and the National Guard. The recent Senate report blowing the lid on this psyop campaign labels the paid for propaganda as “inappropriate and frivolous.”


The report reviewed contracts between the Pentagon (and National Guard) and sports teams and admittedly labels two thirds of the contracts as “paid-for-patriotism.” Yeah, I’ll say. Every trick from flag ceremonies, national anthems, ceremonial first pitches, puck drops, color guard presentations even reenlistment ceremonies have been quietly paid for to deceive the sports fans into wanting to join the military.

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New FBI Program Trains Teachers, Students to Snoop On Muslims

"Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement," said Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. (Photo: Cumminsr/Wikimedia/cc)

“Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement,” said Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. (Photo: Cumminsr/Wikimedia/cc)

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Sarah Lazare’s posts here.

Rights groups are charging that a new FBI program to counter “extremism,” expected to be unveiled shortly, employs games and online tools that encourage teachers and students to snoop on—and discriminate against—Muslims, in violation of their most fundamental civil liberties.

Entitled ‘Don’t Be a Puppet,’ the program “leads the viewer through a series of games and tips intended to teach how to identify someone who may be falling prey to radical extremists,” New York Times journalist Laurie Goodstein reported on Monday. “With each successful answer, scissors cut a puppet’s string, until the puppet is free.”

Muslim, Arab, civil rights, and community groups invited by the FBI to “review” the program on October 16 told reporters that Don’t Be a Puppet unfairly targets Muslims.… Read the rest

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The 25 Most Important Zombie Movies Ever Made

dawn of the dead main 25

Jim Vorel via Paste Magazine:

From the living dead to the walking dead to the typing dead, zombies have completely and utterly suffused 21st century culture. And that’s a pretty weird phenomena, when you think about it.

It’s not like this was always the case. Go back to the ’80s, and to wax poetic about George Romero-esque zombie films would have been the hallmark of a nerdy, acne-ridden high school student in a John Hughes movie. The idea that a TV show like The Walking Dead could be one-upping Sunday Night football in TV ratings? That would seem patently impossible.

Yes, zombies have come a long way, as has our appreciation for them. We live in a society that has become profoundly geekier in the last 15 years, and adopted the once secretive and insular totems of geek culture as its own. But it’s not just us who has evolved, it’s the zombies themselves—the creatures, their films and the people who made them.

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The Real Reason Playboy is Getting Out of the Nudie Business

If you haven’t already heard the news that Playboy is getting out of the nudie business or thought it was a internet hoax, I’m here to lay the bad news (or good news if you hate boring airbrushed soft porn) on ya.

No more boobies from the bunny.

Playboy Party Bucharest 2008

If you suspect that political correctness has finally run amok and absconded with your naked girlies, I also have bad news for you. It is far more cynical than that.

The real reason former Freedom of Speech advocate Playboy is dumping the airbrushed tits and ass is China’s mores and China’s Yuan. Especially the latter. Yep, as it turns out Playboy makes almost half of what they bring in from China, and they won’t hesitate to bow down to the almighty dollar, even if the Chinese do spell it funny over there.

Quartz has the explanation for us:

Playboy’s recent decision to stop publishing nude photos marks a watershed moment in media, as the porn pioneer buttons up and turns its back on what made it famous.

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‘It’s Like I Forget I’m in Prison’: Simple idea that could change solitary confinement

Prisoners Growing Sagebrush
Terrence McCoy via Washington Post:

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change.

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How Hacktivists Will Break Corporate Control of Information Within a Decade


Jake Anderson via Activist Post:

Sci-fi author and information rights activist Cory Doctorow appeared out of the dusty heat of the 2015 Burning Man in a gray jumpsuit and a pair of Adbusters Black Spot sneakers. In his hand he held a small black moleskin, which he glanced at intermittently while delivering an electrifying, albeit head-spinning talk on the future of the Internet of Things.

Doctorow, who recently re-joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), contextualized theInternet of Things as an information rights struggle that requires an end to patent laws that forbid jailbreaking digital locks. Concordantly, he and the EFF have an ambitious plan: To dismantle the draconian Digital Rights Management (DRM) laws currently protected by the DMCA Section 1201. Doctorow and the EFF seek to counter this oppressive legislation with the Apollo 1201 initiative, by which they will strategically pick cases that can clearly demonstrate Congress violated the Constitution when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998.

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How Sacred Science Addresses What Modern Physics Ignores

Tom Bunzel via Collective Evolution:

In a recent attempt to understand how conventional physics “explains” reality, I began to read Lawrence Krauss’ A Universe from Nothing

Krauss is one of those famous scientists like Richard Dawkins who doesn’t find anything strange about the fact that existence IS.

Instead he takes EVERYTHING for granted and attacks, like Dawkins and Bill Maher, the low hanging fruit of organized religion and its dogmatic, unproven Gods created in our image.

When I tried reading his book I got a bit frustrated and then checked the index for the word “consciousness,” and when I did not find it, I put the book aside.

The question really is – “what” exactly is “nothing.”

First and foremost it is a concept.  Nothing does not exist.  What exists is, well, everything.

Nothing is the word or placeholder we use for null – similar to zero in math – but in both cases (words and math) they are human abstractions or interpretations of Nature. 

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Scientists Asked the Stoners: What Type of Pot Helps You Sleep Better?

marijuana 2

Agata Blaszczak Boxe via Braindecoder:

People use various tricks to deal with sleep problems — some like to have a cup of chamomile tea before bed, while others count sheep or rewatch Planet Earth.

And then there are those who claim the best way to get quality Zzz’s is to smoke some pot.

Managing sleep issues is indeed one if the most commonly cited reasons for the use of medical marijuana, research has shown. But while pot may help promote sleep in some insomniacs, the extent of this potential benefit and the exact mechanisms involved are not clear.

What’s more, various types of marijuana may have different effects on sleep. To understand this better, in a new study, researchers look at the types of medical marijuana that people prefer to use for sleep problems like insomnia and nightmares. After recruiting 163 adults who purchased medical marijuana at a California dispensary, the researchers looked specifically at whether the people were using sativa, indica, or hybrid strains of pot.

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