Monthly Archives: December, 2010

$385 Million TSA Program Fails to Detect Terrorists … Another WikiLeaks Cable From the Bush Administration … $250 million to keep Cheney out of jail & More

$385 Million TSA Program Fails to Detect Terrorists: “Even though the TSA failed to carry out scientific testing of Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), the TSA has allotted nearly $383 million to SPOT since 2007, rolling it out at 161 of 457 TSA-regulated airports. Despite this considerable investment, the agency didn’t even perform a cost-benefit analysis on the pilot tests that began in 2003, according to the GAO…. Maybe the most damning evidence that SPOT doesn’t work is that it has never identified a terrorist at an airport where the program has been implemented.” Read the Article

Free Trade Won’t Cure Unemployment: “Now that there seems to be no hope of using reasonable fiscal policy to fix the United States’s economy, I’ve been hearing a different idea lately: that trade can be a driver of economic recovery. Namely, the suggestion that the trade proposal South Korea and the United States recently agreed on can serve as a form of macroeconomic policy. Um, no. The problem in the United States is insufficient spending on American-produced goods and services – that is, a lack of demand.” Read the Article

Another WikiLeaks Cable From the Bush Administration: “Twice within four days, my name has popped up in the Bush-era secret cables uncovered by WikiLeaks. Lucky me. Though nowhere near as earth-shattering as the uncovering of American misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, these classified cables provide a stunning and bizarre peek into the paranoid minds of the Bush White House when it came to the subject of one Michael Francis Moore. And considering how WikiLeaks has released only 1,826 cables of its planned drop of 251,287 – and I’ve already played a starring role twice – I can only say I await with bemused anticipation how the moi-storyline will play itself out.” Read the Article

Bush Sr., James Baker Instrumental in Getting Nigeria to Drop Bribery Charges Against Cheney: “Former President George H.W. Bush and ex-Secretary of State James Baker were part of a negotiating team that convinced Nigerian government officials to drop bribery charges against Dick Cheney and Halliburton, the oil services firm he led prior to becoming vice president.Read the Article

Pope Blames Sexual Abuse of Children by Priests on Secular World: “When priests have sexually abused children for decades. It’s hard for even a Pope to try A Hail Mary pass like, “It’s all the secular world’s fault!” And really expect it to fly.” Read the Article

Obama to the Corporate Powers: I Feel Your Pain: “Guess who’s whining the loudest these days, wailing that they’re getting a raw deal from Barack Obama. Not the unemployed and barely employed – even though the White House has blithely ignored their critical need for a national jobs program. Not the poor, even though their ranks are swelling as millions of Americans fall out of the middle class.” Read the Article

Social Security’s Future at Risk With New Tax Deal “Under the radar screen, the new tax deal is threatening the livelihood of America’s present and future seniors – to line the pockets of millionaires. If made permanent, a new Social Security ‘payroll tax holiday,’ reducing the ‘match’ employers pay from 6 percent to 4 percent of salary, will drop the solvency of the program 14 years, from 2037 to 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time, Congress agreed to increase high-end loopholes in the estate tax, exempting 39,000 estates worth as much as $5 million.” Read the Article

Afghan Youth Supply Their Answer to US’s December Review: “Two days after the Obama administration released its December review of the war in Afghanistan to a public made increasingly skeptical by the war’s rising human and economic costs, a coalition of young Afghan peace activists issued their own review. The Global Day of Listening to Afghans brought together listeners from around the world, who joined sessions of a day-long conference call that offered a grassroots alternative to the official report, which has been criticized for its lack of hard facts or specifics on withdrawal.”  Read the Article

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We are witnessing a comeback of Scapegoatism

The Specter of Neo-Fascism

The recent rise of Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe poses the greatest threat to our democracy since the rise of fascism in the 1930s. It is time for us to take to the streets and reclaim the ideals of tolerance, freedom and respect.

By Jerome E. Roos

A specter is haunting Europe – the specter of neo-fascism. From Denmark to Austria, and from Switzerland to Belgium, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are rapidly on the rise. With xenophobic parties making spectacular gains in recent elections in Sweden and the Netherlands, traditionally more centrist governments in Germany and France can be seen taking a desperate dash to the right. In the process, European democracy is being thrown into its deepest crisis since the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The very freedom that triumphed in World War II is today at stake.

In a move hauntingly reminiscent of Hindenburg’s fateful 1933 decision, Christian Democrats and free-market Liberals in the Netherlands earlier this month decided to form a minority government dependent on backbench support from Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party. Over the past couple of years, Wilders has successfully profiled himself as the most outspoken critic of Islam on the continent. Among his favorite slogans are the call for a complete halt on immigration from Islamic countries, the repatriation of non-working immigrants, the banning of the Quran and a tax on headscarves.

, ……. ,

“Obviously the Muslim population is a religious minority, not an ethic minority. The point, however, remains: we are witnessing a comeback of scapegoatism. The exact shape that the scapegoat ends up taking is rather irrelevant, whether it is an “ethnic” minority, like the Gypsies, a “religious” minority, like the Muslims, or even a “sexual” minority, like the gay community — the point is that people’s hatred of the system is being projected onto the weak, just as it happened in the 1930s.”

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How Wall Street and Washington Corrupted U.S. Democracy

(NOTE: Conservative Christianity and Conservative political ideology work so well together because of the “profits before people” ideology and the “us against them” mind-set. Both of these are un-American, un-Constitutional and Treasonous. Unfortunately, the death penalty is no longer punishment for treasonous acts in the USA.)

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Forget about U.S. democracy — it’s a myth. By the standards of both Mussolini and Roosevelt, Wall Street’s capture of Washington turned the United States into a fascist republic a long time ago.

By Jerome E. Roos

Last week, Spencer Bachus, the incoming chairman of the Banking Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives — soon to be the no. 1 most powerful figure in Washington’s efforts to regulate Wall Street and prevent the next great capitalist crisis – made a startling statement.

Bachus urged Congress and federal regulators to play a “subservient role” with banks, telling the Birmingham News in clear and transparent language that:

In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

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The 10 Worst States for Retirees

by Robert Powell, MarketWatch
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Plenty of folks are aware of the best states for retirees. But what are the 10 worst states in which to spend your golden years?

People of Illinois, California, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nevada — you probably already know the answer.

The list, with Illinois leading the pack, comes from website TopRetirements.com. According to John Brady, president of TopRetirements.com, the 10 states earn this dubious distinction largely because of three factors: fiscal health, taxation, climate.

As for fiscal health, six of the 10 worst states for retirees on TopRetirements.com’s list were among those just identified by a Pew Center for States report as being in “fiscal peril.”

The report, “Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril,” showed that “some of the same pressures that have pushed California toward economic disaster are wreaking havoc in a number of other states, with potentially damaging consequences for the entire country.”

Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin joined California as the 10 most troubled states, according to Pew’s analysis.

Of note, TopRetirements.com’s Brady suggested that retirees and would-be retirees might want to avoid states in fiscal peril because these locales might be expected to face decreasing services and increasing taxation.

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One of the hallmarks of an authoritarian government is its fixation on hiding everything it does behind a wall of secrecy while simultaneously monitoring, invading and collecting files on everything its citizenry does.

The government’s one-way mirror

Glenn Greenwald, 12-20-2010

One of the hallmarks of an authoritarian government is its fixation on hiding everything it does behind a wall of secrecy while simultaneously monitoring, invading and collecting files on everything its citizenry does.  Based on the Francis Bacon aphorism that “knowledge is power,” this is the extreme imbalance that renders the ruling class omnipotent and citizens powerless.

In The Washington Post today, Dana Priest and William Arkin continue their “Top Secret America” series by describing how America’s vast and growing Surveillance State now encompasses state and local law enforcement agencies, collecting and storing always-growing amounts of information about even the most innocuous activities undertaken by citizens suspected of no wrongdoing.  As was true of the first several installments of their “Top Secret America,” there aren’t any particularly new revelations for those paying attention to such matters, but the picture it paints — and the fact that it is presented in an establishment organ such as The Washington Post — is nonetheless valuable.

Today, the Post reporters document how surveillance and enforcement methods pioneered in America’s foreign wars and occupations are being rapidly imported into domestic surveillance (wireless fingerprint scanners, military-grade infrared cameras, biometric face scanners, drones on the border).  In sum:

 

The special operations units deployed overseas to kill the al-Qaeda leadership drove technological advances that are now expanding in use across the United States. On the front lines, those advances allowed the rapid fusing of biometric identification, captured computer records and cellphone numbers so troops could launch the next surprise raid. Here at home, it’s the DHS that is enamored with collecting photos, video images and other personal information about U.S. residents in the hopes of teasing out terrorists.

Meanwhile, the Obama Department of Homeland Security has rapidly expanded the scope and invasiveness of domestic surveillance programs — justified, needless to say, in the name of Terrorism:

 

[DHS Secretary Janet] Napolitano has taken her “See Something, Say Something” campaign far beyond the traffic signs that ask drivers coming into the nation’s capital for “Terror Tips” and to “Report Suspicious Activity.”

She recently enlisted the help of Wal-Mart, Amtrak, major sports leagues, hotel chains and metro riders. In her speeches, she compares the undertaking to the Cold War fight against communists.

“This represents a shift for our country,” she told New York City police officers and firefighters on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary this fall. “In a sense, this harkens back to when we drew on the tradition of civil defense and preparedness that predated today’s concerns.”

The results are predictable.  Huge amounts of post/9-11 anti-Terrorism money flooded state and local agencies that confront virtually no Terrorism threats, and they thus use these funds to purchase technologies — bought from the private-sector industry that controls and operates government surveillance programs — for vastly increased monitoring and file-keeping on ordinary citizens suspected of no wrongdoing.

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“And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. It may be a humanitarian concern –“

The Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, has just been to the White House, where she implores President Nixon to press the Soviet Union to allow the emigration of Jews who wish to leave. In the Oval Office after she leaves, the president and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, are discussing her request.

“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” Kissinger tells Nixon, tapping the table for emphasis. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. It may be a humanitarian concern –“

“Well, we can’t blow up the world because of it,” Nixon responds.



That conversation, secretly recorded on March 1, 1973, is included in the latest batch of White House tapes released by the Nixon Library. Though nearly 38 years have elapsed, it is shocking to hear Kissinger’s insistence that another Holocaust ought to be a matter of indifference to the United States. That opinion would be appalling coming from any American official; coming from a German-born Jew whose family fled the Nazis and who lost at least 13 close relatives in the concentration camps, it seems almost obscenely callous.

What would prompt a man like Kissinger to say something so grotesque? Was it a “Jewish inferiority complex,” as Shmuley Boteach writes in the Jerusalem Post, that had the first Jewish secretary of state “bending over backward to show he bears no special kinship with his people”? Was it “an instinctive affection for totalitarians of all stripes,” as Christopher Hitchens poisonously claims? Was it just another instance of what Kissinger’s biographer Walter Isaacson called a “yearning to be liked” and an effort “to impress Nixon with gutsy hardline advice“?

I have no theory to offer about Kissinger’s psychology. Nor do I think one is necessary. For the simple and heartbreaking fact is that the position he took in that long-ago conversation with Nixon — that not even genocide should properly be considered “an American concern,” or be allowed to interfere with the preservation of global stability — has time and again driven US foreign policy.

When Jews in the 1940s really were being put into gas chambers, the Roosevelt administration didn’t think it urgent to stop the Nazi genocide. FDR’s State Department permitted only minuscule number of Jewish refugees to enter the United States, even as immigration quotas went unfilled. Rarely did Roosevelt denounce the extermination of Jews, and pleas to bomb the Auschwitz death camp or its rail lines were turned down the by War Department — despite the fact that US bombers were already flying over the area.

Continue….

Santa vs. Jesus

SOURCE: Atheist Revolution


List of Atheist Charities

Atheist Charities

Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2007 by Techskeptic

http://techskeptic.blogspot.com/2007/12/atheist-charities.html

This is the season of giving, as they say. There are a lot of religions who use this time of year for reflection, charity and general goodwill. I dont see why atheists can’t also use this time of year to be benevolent. Any time of year is good of course, but personally I find winter solstice to be one of the most uplifting days of the year, so why not?

I’ve been asked often why there aren’t any atheist charities. Of course, as usual, people are just presuming or parroting things they heard. Of course there are atheist charities. And like in my videos post, I am considering charities that do not promote a specific religion to be an atheist charity.

I found most of these at the Internet Infidels discussion board (and copied descriptive text from there, apologies if that was a problem). But I thought a nice list would be better, plus I added a few more. There are useful sites like CharityNavigator to help you sort through all the charities out there. If there are comments proposing ones that I missed (and surely there are plenty), I will add them to this list, if they are highly rated (not that all of these are). So here goes:

UPDATE 2009: I apologize for not refreshing this list. No time this year. Please feel free to leave some more a-theist charities for me to include in future versions in the comments.Please read the comments for more and add your own! I know there are more good secular charities out there that I have missed. I also recommend donating so some of the excellent critical thinking podcasts out there.

Secular Charities and Aid groups:

DonorsChoose.org
a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

Kiva.org
lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world.

The Union of Concerned Scientists
The leading science-based non-profit working for a healthy environment and safer world.

American Red Cross
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The USA’s premier emergency response organization, over 91% of Red Cross spending is on charitable services.

American Civil Liberties Union
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of constitutional protections and guarantees relating to First Amendment rights, including the freedom to practice religion and the freedom not to have religion rammed down our throats, equal protection, due process, and right to privacy.

United Nations Children’s Fund
UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a “first call for children” and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF provides emergency and disaster relief.

Doctors without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.

Amnesty International
AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
In pursuit of this vision, AI’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Oxfam International
Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. The Oxfams operate in over 100 countries worldwide working with local partners to alleviate poverty and injustice.

The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diversity of life on Earth. An environmental group that protects natural habitats and the wildlife within them. Focuses on “science-based” initiatives.

Population Connection
Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources. Works against faith-based policies that are supported by the Religious Right.

DefCon: Campaign to Defend the Constitution
DefCon is an online grassroots movement combating the growing power of the religious right. It includes a blog on religious freedom issues, action alerts, and in-depth articles on scientific, religious, and legal issues of the day.

The SEED foundation
National nonprofit that establishes urban public boarding schools to prepare students from underserved communities for success in college.

Project Peanut Butter
Project Peanut Butter is a therapeutic feeding program for malnourished children in Malawi and Sierra Leone, on the continent of Africa. It was founded by Professor Mark Manary, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatric medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

Electronic Frontiers Foundation
When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations.

Mercy corps
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Seva
Our programs serve people who have been economically, politically, or otherwise marginalized. We change our program approach to relate to their culture and circumstances, reaching out in very different ways, for example, to nomads in Tibet, women in Tanzania, or indigenous Mayans in Guatemala. Our aim is to build a bridge of compassion between our donors and the people we serve — people around the world who have the fewest resources.

International Peace Institute
The International Peace Institute (IPI) formerly International Peace Academy is an independent, international institution dedicated to promoting the prevention and settlement of armed conflict between and within states through policy research and development.

Issue-Specific Secularist Organizations

Anti-Discrimination
The ADSN Project.
The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Anti-Discrimination support network (ADSN) is collecting narratives highlighting instances of bigotry against the nontheist community.

Southern Poverty Law Center
SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.

The Alternatives to Marriage Project
The Alternatives to Marriage Project (AtMP) advocates for equality and fairness for unmarried people, including people who are single, choose not to marry, cannot marry, or live together before marriage.

Pro-choice organizations
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Provides reproductive health care services, advocates for women’s reproductive rights, and offers educational services for women.

NARAL Pro-choice America
Focuses mostly on the social and legal activism for women’s abortion rights.

Womens Health Organizations
EngenderHealth
an international nonprofit organization that has been working for 60 years to make reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable for women and men worldwide.

Ipas
an international organization that works around the world to increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, and to reduce abortion-related deaths and injuries.

Teen Pregnancy Reduction
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Sadly this charity is rated with only 2 stars due to low efficiency. However their goal is highly respectable and needed, to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults.

HIV/AIDS
Treatment Action Campaign
campaign for treatment for people with HIV and to reduce new HIV infections. Our efforts have resulted in many life-saving interventions, including the implementation of country-wide mother-to-child transmission prevention and antiretroviral treatment programes.

U.S. Military
Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
Challenging the myth that “there are no atheists in foxholes.” There certainly are.

Gay rights
Lambda
A national non-profit gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) agency dedicated to reducing homophobia, inequality, hate crimes, and discrimination by encouraging self-acceptance, cooperation, and non-violence.

Lambda Legal
The legal arm of the Lambda organization that protects GLBT civil rights through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Human Rights Campaign
Large organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights.

School vouchers
National Education Association (NEA) on school vouchers
Provides several arguments for the case against private school vouchers.

Pledge of Allegiance
Restore the Pledge
Support Michael Newdow in his quest to remove the phrase “under God” from the official Pledge of Allegiance, coercively recited by millions of schoolchildren every day.

Evolution/Creationism in the science classroom
National Center for Science Education
Great resource with current news and resources (including the famous “Project Steve” list!) on defending evolution and science against pseudoscience advocates.

Texas Freedom Network
The Texas Freedom Network advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right

Boy Scouts of America discrimination against atheists, gays
Scouting For All
Composed of mostly former Boy Scouts, it is working to influence the BSA to include all participating youth members and leaders regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

Children in Poor countries
PlanUSA
an organization committed to helping children, their families and communities in 49 developing countries around the world.

Internet tools
Wikipedia
a multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project. The name “Wikipedia” is a portmanteau (a combination of portions of two words and their meanings) of the words wiki (a type of collaborative Web site) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information.
Church/state separation and secularist organizations

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
A national watchdog organization (with local chapters all around the U.S.—find one near you!) dedicated to preserving religious liberty. It is open to theists and nontheists of all kinds, and is headed by a minister with the United Church of Christ (Rev. Barry Lynn) who can be seen often in the national media and news stories centering on church/state separation issues.

American Civil Liberties Union (click on the “Religious Liberty” link)
A favorite target of the Religious Right. The ACLU defends civil liberties on many fronts including church/state separation, personal privacy, and legal protection through due process. Look for a local chapter in your area to join.

People for the American Way
Progressive group that supports secular values in government. PFAW is an activist organization and PAC (political action committee) working to battle such groups as the Christian Coalition. Click the “Religious Freedom” link for action alerts and information.

Freedom from Religion Foundation
Great organization that defends the rights of nontheists in courtrooms, sponsors a fun-filled annual national convention, and publishes the popular “Freethought Today” (magazine written by and for freethinkers).

Godless Americans Political Action Committee
Endorses and supports U.S. political candidates that support secular values in government and the rights of “godless Americans.” We will have our “seat at the table” in formulating public policy.

Atheist Alliance
Democratic association of various individual atheists and atheist organizations. It is a great all-around resource for all-things atheist.

Interfaith Alliance
Alliance of leaders of various religions, worldviews, and beliefs that includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, et al. It works to promote religious freedom for everyone regardless of religious beliefs as well as civic participation and civility. Nontheists can find theist allies here.

American Atheists
Controversial atheist organization started by the infamous Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Today it fights for the complete separation of church and state, as well as for the rights of atheists in America.

Secular Coalition for America
Vast coalition of secular and freethought organizations (including the Internet Infidels!) dedicated to sending lobbyists to Washington, D.C. to gain support for protecting the rights of nontheist Americans.

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
Explores the causes of religious belief, promotes science in public schools, maintains a list of public lecturers, sells pro-secularist books and other media, and facilitates the giving of humanitarian aid to organizations that are completely secular in nature.

Europe

National Secular Society
Supports secularism in the UK, as well as church-state separation.

Rationalist Association
The Rationalist Association is a focus for rationalist thought and debate in the UK and worldwide. The RA is the UK’s leading freethought and rationalist book publisher.

Australia

Atheist Foundation of Australia, Inc.
Something for our friends Down Under — lots of good information, book lists, humor, etc.

Organizations that promote humanism/Atheism

Center For Inquiry
The purpose of the Center for Inquiry is to contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of science and reason, and their applications to human conduct.

Council for Secular Humanism
Large organization that offers support for secular humanists through activities such as magazine publishing, conducting secular ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc.), educational courses, and summer camps for kids that teach critical thinking skills and secular ethical values.

American Humanist Association
Promotes the spread of humanism and furthering of the humanist philosophy in the U.S. by working with and/or establishing like-minded organizations.

The Continuum of Humanist Education
Online courses available for humanists in areas such as law, science, ethics, and secular humanist philosophy.

The Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS)
A think-tank that offers news, opinions, information, and humor relating to humanism. It works to spread public awareness and acceptance of humanist principles.

British Humanist Association
The largest provider of humanist ceremonies in England and Wales. Offers services for weddings, funerals, and baby-namings as well as general resources on humanism and support for humanist organizations.

Humanist Association of Canada
Provides secular officiants, information, services, and support for humanists in Canada.

Positive Atheism
Comprehensive resource for positive atheists to learn about atheism, history, philosophy, religious freedom, and responsibility.

Unitarian Universalist Assocation
A popular “church” for atheists, agnostics, deists, very liberal Christians, etc. Check your local yellow pages for one in your community or use this website’s handy Congregation locator.

The Brights
A movement endorsed by several prominent nontheists to adopt a new term (“Brights”) with an accompanying philosophy to describe secularists, freethinkers, atheists, naturalists, etc. with the intent of putting forth a positive, and less-stigmatized, perception of ourselves. Many nontheists have encouraged its use, while many others reject it.

The Objectivist Center
A controversial philosophy founded by Ayn Rand that embodies particular principles on various philosophical, political, economic, and religious issues. Objectivists generally are atheists, but atheists are generally not Objectivists.

Skeptic Society
Learn how to live life free of nonsensical beliefs, and develop your own scientific and critical thinking skills. Also publishes a popular monthly magazine, SKEPTIC, which can be found in major bookstores.

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)
Investigates extraordinary claims from a scientific and rational perspective. CSICOP also puts out a popular monthly magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, found in major bookstores.

American Ethical Union (AEU)
The American Ethical Union (AEU) describes “Ethical Culture” as a humanistic religious and educational movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society.

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
IHEU is the sole world umbrella organization for humanist, atheist, rationalist, secularist, skeptic, laique, ethical cultural, freethought and similar organizations world-wide.

Internet Infidels
A nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet. They offer thousands of outstanding essays, reviews, and critiques, covering everything from articles of general interest to scholarly papers by prominent nontheistic philosophers, scientists, historians, and others. Unlike most of our opponents, we even publish responses to our own pieces to encourage readers to make up their own minds. In addition to such encyclopedic resources, other features of the site are outlined in the Secular Web pamphlet, which readers may download, print out, and distribute, as desired.

Republicans Poised to Declare War on Welfare State … The Philippines Are About to Issue Christian Money … Things about to get worse for Muslim Americans, & More….

Republicans Poised to Declare War on Welfare State: Senate Republicans scuttled a bipartisan $1.2 trillion dollar spending omnibus bill last week. Now, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is scrambling to pass a temporary funding bill to keep the federal government’s lights on. The GOP abruptly pulled the plug on the omnibus, a massive piece of legislation that Republicans and Democrats had collaborated on for months. Why? Because the Republicans want to start over in the next session of Congress when they will control the House and pick up seats in the Senate. They intend to rewrite the spending bill with much less Democratic input. In other words, bipartisanship proves once again to be a racket.

GOP Plans To Investigate Muslim-Americans: Incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is already causing quite a commotion with his plans to hold congressional hearings on what he calls the “radicalization of the American Muslim community.”  According to King, “mainstream” Muslims are being silenced by their leaders and it’s up to Congress to uncover why. Never mind that Rep. King’s belief is flat-out wrong.  Like others who have launched political careers by demonizing a specific ethnic group, King dismisses all criticism of his proposed witch hunt as “politically correct nonsense.”  King even takes it one step further and maintains that the proposed investigations are for the good of all Muslims.

The Philippines Are About to Issue Christian Money: New bills will be containing this direct quotation from the Christian Bible: “Pinagpala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay ang Panginoon (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord)”… which comes from Psalm 33:12. This statement can be found above the seal of the Republic of the Philippines.

Judge orders feds to pay $2.5M in wiretapping case: A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the U.S. government to pay more than $2.5 million in attorney fees and damages after he concluded investigators wiretapped the phones of a suspected terrorist organization without a warrant. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the attorneys for the Ashland, Ore., chapter of the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation should receive $2.5 million for waging its nearly five-year legal challenge to the Bush administration’s so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program. Walker also awarded $20,400 each to Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, two of the foundation’s Washington D.C.-based lawyers. They had their phone conversations with Al-Haramain principals monitored, the judge said.

Catholic Church ‘Punishes’ Hospital for Saving Woman’s LifeDo you need any more evidence to be convinced that hospitals should not be affiliated with the Catholic Church? In 2009, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center admitted a pregnant woman who was at nearly 100% risk of death. In order to save her life, the doctors chose to abort her baby, saving the mother’s life in the process.

GOP Delays Confirmation Of Obama Nominee Because He Might Want To Help Underwater Homeowners: The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that the Obama administration has been trying to cajole Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into writing down loan principal for troubled homeowners. Incoming House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), however, is not on-board with the effort. And he’s evidently not alone. In fact, the GOP is so dead-set against helping borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages — meaning they owe more than their house is currently worth — that they are delaying confirmation of the administration’s nominee to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (Fannie and Freddie’s chief regulator) because he might be sympathetic to loan write-downs


“The Chamber fought to help kill the 9/11 compensation bill because it was funded by ending a special tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations doing business in the United States.”

“The Chamber fought to help kill the 9/11 compensation bill because it was funded by ending a special tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations doing business in the United States.”
12-17-2010

‘U.S.’ Chamber Of Commerce Lobbied To Help GOP Kill Bill To Provide Health Care To 9/11 First Responders
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/17/chamber-911-responders/

Last night, the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart skewered Republicans for killing deficit neutral legislation to provide health care to the 9/11 first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses from working at Ground Zero. He also mocked the celebrity-obsessed media that has completely ignored the story. Republicans, like Sen. John Thune (R-SD), filibustered the bill because they said tax cuts for the richest 2 percent were a higher priority for Congress. While Republicans quietly snuffed out efforts to compensate 9/11 heroes, they were aided by a quiet lobbying campaign by the powerful lobbying front — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber fought to help kill the 9/11 compensation bill because it was funded by ending a special tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations doing business in the United States. (*)

The “U.S.” part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a misnomer. As ThinkProgress reported, the Chamber represents dozens of foreign businesses in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Bahrain, India, Brazil, and other countries. An investigation of the Chamber turned up recent fundraising documents from the Chamber soliciting foreign contributions to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6), the tax entity the Chamber used to run nasty campaign ads against Democrats earlier this year.

In September, the Chamber sent a letter officially opposing the 9/11 first responders bill, called the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.” The Chamber warned that ending the tax loophole would “damage U.S. relationships with major trading partners” and “aggravate already unsettled financial markets.” A lobbying disclosure filed with the Senate confirms the Chamber contacted lawmakers to help kill the bill.

In typical fashion, the Chamber has not revealed which of its foreign members had asked them to kill the 9/11 bill. As the Chamber CEO explained to the Washington Monthly’s James Verini, the entire purpose of the Chamber is to provide “deniability” to corporations that want to affect the outcomes of elections or of public policy. In 2009, the Chamber secretly used a $86 million donation from the health insurance industry to fight health reform. At the time, the Chamber lied and claimed to the public that they were simply acting on behalf of the entire “business community.”

Republicans are continuing to protest any renewed attempts to pass the 9/11 first responders bill because of the tax issue raised by the Chamber. Yesterday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) sent out a statement that mirrored the Chamber’s opposition to ending the foreign corporate tax loophole.

Related Posts:
The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce’s History Of Placing Narrow Corporate Interests Over Public Interest:
http://thinkprogress.org/?p=131597
 

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* Enzi criticizes bill that aids 9/11 survivors, first responders
12-7-2010, Contact Jeremy Pelzer at jeremy.pelzer@trib.com or 307-632-1244.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_8471ce5c-4b0f-55ff-b257-55983d86ec9f.html

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Proponents of federal legislation to offer $7.4 billion in health care treatment and compensation for 9/11 survivors and first responders are targeting U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., for opposing the bill.

Enzi has been a leading critic of the legislation, saying lawmakers need to first find answers to unanswered questions about how current federal funding for 9/11 survivors is being spent.

The legislation, which passed the U.S. House in September, is scheduled to be voted on Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.

Under the bill, House Resolution 847, the funding would provide medical monitoring and treatment for survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash site of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. First responders who suffered long-term health effects from being exposed to toxins at the attack sites would also be eligible.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who introduced the legislation in the House, said at least 71,000 people from almost every congressional district would be eligible for treatment or compensation under her bill, including between one and 24 Wyomingites.

The funding would come by closing tax loopholes on foreign corporations.

There are 59 senators who support the bill, but under cloture rules, the legislation needs 60 aye votes to pass. And with Republicans taking over the House next year, supporters worry that the bill must pass now or never.

Enzi said in a statement Tuesday that he opposes the legislation because he and other lawmakers haven’t received adequate answers to how $475 million in existing 9/11 compensation and relief-program money is being spent.

“Sen. Enzi thinks it is reasonable to find out what happened to the money that has already been allocated before spending more,” spokeswoman Elly Pickett said.

In addition, Enzi said in a statement that he’d like to see how this legislation would be affected by a recent court settlement giving $625 million to 9/11 survivors.

Enzi isn’t the only Senate Republican to oppose the legislation. Newly sworn-in U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has been the only GOP member to come out in favor of the bill. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and at least one anti-tax group have also opposed the bill, saying the taxes imposed on companies would kill American jobs.

But many supporters of the bill — as well as at least one New York newspaper — have singled out Enzi for sending out letters against the bill. Supporters also allege that Enzi has sent out misleading information about the bill.

“He’s the lead troublemaker,” said John Feal, who lost half of his left foot on Sept. 17, 2001, at ground zero as he was working to clean up the site.

Feal, who would be eligible for money under the legislation, led a few dozen World Trade Center first responders to Enzi’s Washington, D.C., office on Tuesday to urge the senator to rethink his opposition.

At a previous Senate hearing, Feal said, Enzi initially seemed to be sympathetic to the bill.

“And then he started all with this, ‘This bill is no good. I don’t like this bill. This bill doesn’t work for me,’ “ Feal said. “But it’s not about what works for Sen. Enzi. It’s about what works for 9/11 responders that are sick and dying.”

Maloney said Enzi’s protests about not getting answers to other 9/11 compensation funding are a “gross misrepresentation,” as the money was given out in the form of block grants.

“Sen. Enzi is asking for data that he knows doesn’t exist,” she said. “Data on individual claims simply isn’t available.”

If the bill fails, Feal said he’ll take the fight to Enzi.

“I’m going to rent a Winnebago or a bus and come to Wyoming and do a rally in front of his office,” he said.

Mercenaries Role Grows In US Military Policy…Of Course the Civil War Was About Slavery…War on Christmas? What war on Christmas? & more

Mercenaries Role Grows In US Military Policy, December 20th, 2010. Mercenaries are doing the dirtywork behind the scenes around the world. They have become the private armies of US policy around the world. American taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars to these contractors. As this article shows they have become even more important under Obama. Source: ‘ProgressiveTalk’ Yahoo Group

America’s New Mercenaries
by Tim Shorrock

As American commanders meet this week for the Afghanistan review, Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush. Tim Shorrock on the Blackwater heirs.

Top U.S. commanders are meeting this week to plan for the next phase of the Afghanistan war. In Iraq, meanwhile, gains are tentative and in danger of unraveling.

Both wars have been fought with the help of private military and intelligence contractors. But despite the troubles of Blackwater in particular – charges of corruption and killing of civilians—and continuing controversy over military outsourcing in general, private sector armies are as involved as ever.

Without much notice or debate, the Obama administration has greatly expanded the outsourcing of key parts of the U.S.-led counterinsurgency wars in the Middle East and Africa, and as a result, for its secretive air war and special operations missions around the world, the U.S. has become increasingly reliant on a new breed of specialized companies that are virtually unknown to the American public, yet carry out vital U.S. missions abroad.

Companies such as Blackbird Technologies, Glevum Associates, K2 Solutions, and others have won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military and intelligence contracts in recent years to provide technology, information on insurgents, Special Forces training, and personnel rescue. They win their work through the large, established prime contractors, but are tasked with missions only companies with specific skills and background in covert and counterinsurgency can accomplish.

Some observers fear that the widespread use of contractors for U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Horn of Africa could deepen the secrecy surrounding the American presence in those regions, making it harder for Congress to provide proper oversight.

Even in Iraq, where the U.S. has ended combat operations, the government is “greatly expanding” its use of private security companies, creating “an entirely new role for contractors on the battlefield,” Michael Thibault, the co-chairman of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting, recently warned Congress.

Among the companies getting contracts is Blackbird, which is staffed by former CIA operatives, and is a key contractor in a highly classified program that sends secret teams into enemy territory to rescue downed or captured U.S. soldiers.

Glevum, meanwhile, fields a small army of analysts in Iraq and Afghanistan who provide the U.S. military with what the company opaquely describes as “information operations and influence activities.”

And K2 is a highly sought-after subcontractor and trainer for the most secretive units of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, including the SEAL team that rescued the crew of the Maersk Alabama from a gang of pirates last year. It is based near the Army’s Special Forces headquarters in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was founded by Lane Kjellsen, a former Special Forces soldier.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander of conventional and special forces in the war zones, is using contractors because “he wants an organization that reports directly to him,” said a former top aide to the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, the umbrella organization for all Special Forces. “Everyone knows Petraeus can’t execute his strategy without the private sector.” The former aide spoke on the condition that he not be identified, saying his career could be jeopardized if he went public. The International Security Assistance Force, the general’s home command, did not respond to a request for comment.

For more of this article
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-15/counterinsurgency-outsourcing-americas-new-mercenaries-in-afghanistan-middle-east-africa/

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Concrete concerns about saving and expanding slavery, and not the nebulous theology of states’ rights, ignited the U.S. Civil War. Why does that message keep getting lost?

War on Christmas? What war on Christmas?

Roanoke Man Charged With Threatening To Kill President Obama

US set to back net traffic rules

Compassion & The Party Of Jesus Revisited

Here Is More Evidence That Republicans Think Americans Are Stupid

The year Washington became “business-friendly”: Under American-style capitalism, profits matter — but jobs don’t

Resolution 1734 demonstrates conclusively who governs U.S. policy regarding the Middle East, and it’s not the President, nor is it the U.S. Congress; it’s AIPAC, the foreign lobby of Israel that wrote the resolution and its stooge, Howard Berman, the professed Zionist working on behalf of Israel that engineered it to a unanimous vote.

Rove Suspected In Swedish-U.S. Political Prosecution of WikiLeaks

Is the Senate ‘Disrespecting’ Christmas? Not According to Tradition

Democrats, Obama Cave to Corporations Unwilling to Let Congress Close Tax Loophole to Help 9/11 Responders

Debunking Theories of a Terrorist Power Grab: A Penn State power-system expert cites laws of physics to pull the plug on worries that a terrorist attack on a minor substation could bring down the entire U.S. electric grid.

Baby Jesus stolen from McDonald’s manger

Fox News Chicago Sends Undercover Agents to Anti-Gay Fundraiser

A Banner Year for Islam Bashing: Why has anti-Muslim sentiment risen in lockstep in America and Europe? It’s been a bad year for Muslims in the West. The ground zero mosque uproar, the worry over halal burgers in France, Geert Wilders’ parliamentary gain in the Netherlands, an apparent anti-immigrant sniper in Sweden, a preacher in Florida planning to burn the Quran, the advance of a stridently anti-immigrant party into Sweden’s national parliament, and a bestselling polemic by a German banker, Thilo Sarrazin — who thinks Muslim immigrants are worse for his country than any other — amount to a backlash in Europe and the United States unprecedented since 2001.

Evolution and its Rivals

Jesus Guns

Waste in U.S. Afghan aid seen at billions of dollars: Waste and fraud in U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan while fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban may have cost taxpayers billions of dollars, a special investigator said on Monday. Arnold Fields, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said the cost of U.S. assistance funding diverted or squandered since 2002 could reach “well into the millions, if not billions, of dollars.” “There are no controls in place sufficient enough to ensure taxpayers’ money is used for the (intended) purpose,” said Fields, whose independent office was created in 2008 to energize oversight of what U.S. auditors have described as a giant, poorly coordinated aid effort that has sunk some $56 billion into Afghanistan since 2002.

America the sick?

The Left’s Unconscious Self-Defeat

All I Want for Christmas Is the Truth – A look at some of the mythologizing that has arisen around the West’s winter holidays, from poison plants to phantom Der Bingles: Many religious organizations, and some conservative commentators, created a furor several years ago claiming there was a “war on Christmas” brought about by such supposedly politically correct greetings as “Happy Holidays” and by failing to keep Christ in Christmas when using the shortened “Xmas.” However, the X in “Xmas” is not the same as the X in “X-Factor.” It is instead chi, the Greek letter representing Christ. Documents since at least the 11th century used X or XP to symbolize the word Christ (XP is from the Greek chi and rho, the first two letters of Christos) and Xt (for Christian). So a “Xmas” greeting actually continues that religious tradition.

Atheists Raise Over $42,000 for Doctors Without Borders

The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page

Atheists, Christians, and Santa Claus

The Globalization of Militarism The United States has been overtaken by a military-industrial-financial cabal whose representatives are firmly ensconced in both the White House and the US Congress. The ultimate goal of the cabal, according to their own military guidelines, is “full spectrum dominance” of the world; and they are willing to wage as many wars, to destroy as many countries and to kill as many people as necessary to achieve that goal.

The New Inquisition – the Roman Catholic Man Cult’s modern War on Women – Gregory S. Paul – RDFRS

Feeling The Wrath of The FRC: Republicans Rue The Day

U.S. government silent on massacre of Tamils by Sri Lanka

Monday, December 20, 2010

Advancing imperialist interests at any cost


A diplomatic cable from the embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka shows that the U.S. government is fully aware that high-raking Sri Lankan political and military officials are responsible for war crimes committed during an offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam in 2009. The embassy stated that “responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with … President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka.”

The LTTE, also called the Tamil Tigers, fougt for decades for self-determination for the Tamil people, who have experienced severe oppression as a result of divide-and-conquer tactics first employed during British colonial rule. The Sri Lankan government finally defeated the LTTE during an offensive last year, in which thousands of civilians were massacred and hundreds of thousands were forcibly interned.

The United States has close relations with the criminal Sri Lankan regime, which has received over $100 million of US military assistance over the last decade.

Clearly, indiscriminate slaughter means little to the U.S. government when the perpetrators advance imperialist interests.

Click here to read the full cable released by WikiLeaks.

Read more PSL WikiBriefs!

Christian Group Executes Santa – Gun totting fat-ass white trash….the best representatives of good ole’ USA

” Scare the hell out of the American people.”

~ Senator Arthur Vandenburg, telling President Truman what the he needed to do in order to to tax the American people to pay for the weapons and covert activities of the US National Security State

(Source: http://whatreallyhappened.com/)

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Repent Amarillo, a Christian extremist group with a crazy website, has a Christmas message for everyone. It involves Santa Claus getting shot at by a firing squad: MORE

U.S. Falls Behind Other Nations on LGBT Issues

Let others worry about the rapture: For the increasingly powerful Christian Reconstruction movement, the task is to establish the Kingdom of God right now….from the courthouse to the White House. By John Sugg

‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ – Gay ban repealed, but restrictions remain

The Austerity Hammer Starts to Fall on the U.S.

Scientists find gene clue to 130 brain diseases

Interactions cause seniors to drop antidepressants

The Dumbing Down of Americans: According to a new poll from Gallup, 40% of Americans believe in strict Creationism — that a god created us in our present form under 10,000 years ago.

Homeless and Alone in The Land of Milk and Honey

The FED’S stupendous crimes against the American Taxpayers EXPOSED: This was a hostile world takeover orchestrated through economic attacks by a very small group of unelected global bankers. They paralyzed the system, then were given the power to recreate it according to their own desires. No free market, no democracy of any kind. All done in secrecy. In the process, they gave themselves all-time record-breaking bonuses and impoverished tens of millions of people – they have put into motion a system that will inevitably collapse again and utterly destroy the very existence of what is left of an economic middle class. That is not hyperbole. That is what happened.

Globalists Can Win Cyber War, But Not Information War

DADT Repealed in Senate; Final Vote 65-31. Religious Right Lashes & Freaks Out: Now the President needs to sign it and implement it ASAP. Since it’s such a historic day, let’s laugh together at Bryan Fischer of the hate group American Family Association, whose response is SUPER crybaby.

Wikileaks has enlisted the architects of media disinformation to fight media disinformation: An incongruous and self-defeating procedure: America’s corporate media and more specifically The New York Times are an integral part of the economic establishment, with links to Wall Street, the Washington think tanks and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Moreover, the US corporate media has developed a longstanding relationship to the US intelligence apparatus, going back to “Operation Mocking Bird”, an initiative of the CIA’s Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s.

Fake Terror And The War For Your Mind



Contractors behaving badly mean headaches for US, Republicans Support Child Rape & more…

Contractors behaving badly mean headaches for US

“At two in the morning on Sept. 9, 2005, five DynCorp International security guards assigned to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s protective detail returned to their compound drunk, with a prostitute in tow. Less than a week later, three of these same guards got drunk again, this time in the VIP lounge of the Kabul airport while awaiting a flight to Thailand.”They had been intoxicated, loud and obnoxious,” according to an internal company report of the incident, which noted that Afghanistan’s deputy director for elections and a foreign diplomat were also in the lounge. “Complaints were made regarding the situation.” DynCorp fired the three guards.

Such episodes represent the headaches that U.S. contractors can cause in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. They are indispensable to the State Department’s mission overseas, handling security, transportation, construction, food service and more. But when hired hands behave badly — or break the law — they cast a cloud over the American presence.” MORE

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REPUBLICANS SUPPORT CHILD RAPE: House Republicans Block Child Marriage Prevention Act: “On Thursday, the House took up the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. The bill would ensure that child marriage is recognized as a human rights violation, and develop comprehensive strategies to prevent such marriages around the world. The legislation seemed likely to garner strong bipartisan support in Congress, and in the Senate, it did. But last night, the bill was voted down in the House by Republicans who argued the bill is too costly and could lead to increased abortions — gripes the measure’s supporters say have no basis in reality and are just excuses to kill the popular bill.” …… “The prevalence of child marriage remains alarmingly high worldwide. As CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and supporting the child marriage prevention bill notes, “More than 60 million girls ages 17 and younger — many as young as 10 — are forced into marriage in developing countries. Many of these girls are married to men more than twice their age. Not only does this unacceptable practice thwart a girl’s education, it endangers her health and often locks her into a life of poverty.” MORE

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Sunday, December 19, 2010 – This Week In Holy Crimes – Over the last seven days…

New York: Monsignor Charles Kavanagh has been defrocked after being found guilty of child molestation by a three-priest Catholic tribunal. He is the highest-ranked New York priest so judged and has not faced criminal charges.
Oklahoma: Pastor Baron Hopgood arrested for embezzlement.
Ireland: Father Oliver O’Grady charged with possessing thousands of child porn images.
Ohio: Pastor Mark Griggs charged with more than 100 felony counts of possessing and distributing child porn.
Britain: Monsignor Michael Smith arrested for child molestation.
Colorado: Pastor Loren Ankarlo pleads guilty to multi-million dollar securities fraud.
Ontario: Father Donald Grecco found guilty on 24 counts of molesting altar boys.
Missouri: Father Gerald Howard indicted on three counts of forcible sodomy of a child. Howard was previously convicted of similar crimes in New Jersey under a different name.
Ohio: Pastor Robert Jones fails to appear at his trial for brandishing a gun at a drive-thru bank teller.
Ireland: Father Tony Walsh likely to have molested hundreds, according to a new report.
Britain: Vicar Dominic Stone convicted of possessing child porn.
Nevada: Pastor Joshua De Los Santos arrested for assaulting a member of a “competing” church for not being holy enough.
Tennessee: Pastor David Hoschar indicted for possessing child porn.

This Week’s Winner
Georgia: Bishop Eddie Long, who is already facing lawsuits from four young men who accuse him of sexual coercion, has been linked to a massive mortgage fraud operation being run from his church. According to CBS Atlanta, thousands may have lost their homes after paying $1500 during church seminars held by a company that promised to lower their house payments. CBS reports that the seminars are still being held.

SOURCE: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/12/this-week-in-holy-crimes_19.html

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Breaking News from ‘Citizens For Legitimate Government’

Officials: CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield: When the CIA decided to waterboard suspected terror detainees in overseas prisons, the agency turned to a pair of contractors. The men designed the CIA’s interrogation program and also personally took part in the waterboarding sessions. But to do the job, the CIA had to promise to cover at least $5 million in legal fees for them in case there was trouble down the road, former U.S. officials said. Turns out the mercenaries needed that secret agreement as taxpayers pay to defend the men in a federal investigation over an interrogation tactic the United States now says is torture.

Blackwater seeks dismissal of Iraq shooting suit : The security firm formerly known as Blackwater told a federal judge Thursday that the U.S. government – and not the company – should be held accountable for a 2007 shooting by its contractors that killed 17 Iraqis. The Moyock, N.C.-based company and several of its  mercenaries are seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of three people killed in the shooting – Ali Kinani, Abrahem Abed Al Mafraje and Mahde Sahab Naser Shamake.

Former Blackwater Bought by Investment Group: Security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, bought by investment group from founder 17 Dec 2010 An investment group with ties to the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater announced Friday that it has bought the security firm, which was heavily criticized for its mercenaries’ actions in Iraq. USTC Holdings said in a statement that the acquisition of the company now called Xe Services includes its training facility in North Carolina.

GOP Senator Calls Cops on 9/11 Responders : Republican senators were so worried about meeting with 9/11 responders who came to Washington today that at least one called the cops on them, the Daily News has learned. Even before the nine responders had a chance to start visiting senators’ offices – where they intended to stay until meeting with legislators – they were greeted by Capitol Police, who had been called by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.).

Mexican drone crashes in backyard of El Paso home: A Mexican drone crashed in El Paso’s Lower Valley, sparking a federal investigation and raising questions about why the aircraft was in U.S. airspace. Though the U.S. is known to use drones to patrol the border, this is thought to be the first time a Mexican drone has been reported operating at the border. The drone crashed Tuesday on Craddock Avenue, near the intersection with Yarbrough Drive.

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MORE STORIES

Call for widened ban after documents reveal export to American states of lethal injection cocktail

In a historic vote, the Senate overturns ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

WikiLeaks cables lay bare US hostility to international criminal court: US embassy dispatches reveal American preoccupation with discerning court’s views on Iraq

US criticises court that may decide on Julian Assange extradition, WikiLeaks cables show: Leaked dispatches reveal diplomats’ disdain for Council of Europe’s stance against extraditions to US and secret renditions

REPUBLICANS SUPPORT CHILD RAPE: House Republicans Block Child Marriage Prevention Act:

REPUBLICANS SUPPORT CHILD RAPE: House Republicans Block Child Marriage Prevention Act:

“On Thursday, the House took up the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. The bill would ensure that child marriage is recognized as a human rights violation, and develop comprehensive strategies to prevent such marriages around the world. The legislation seemed likely to garner strong bipartisan support in Congress, and in the Senate, it did. But last night, the bill was voted down in the House by Republicans who argued the bill is too costly and could lead to increased abortions — gripes the measure’s supporters say have no basis in reality and are just excuses to kill the popular bill.” …… “The prevalence of child marriage remains alarmingly high worldwide. As CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and supporting the child marriage prevention bill notes, “More than 60 million girls ages 17 and younger — many as young as 10 — are forced into marriage in developing countries. Many of these girls are married to men more than twice their age. Not only does this unacceptable practice thwart a girl’s education, it endangers her health and often locks her into a life of poverty.”

MORE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/house-republicans-block-child-marriage-prevention-act_n_798382.html

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