the entire Future Islands set from Pitchfork Music Festival Paris.
This is no surprise to me since the most common question I get from xtians when stating my atheism is “But how do you tell right from wrong without God?” The real difference here is that there isn’t any forgiveness and few if any rationalizations for torture in the atheist viewpoint. At the WaPo link you have to use the “more details” link, and then the drop downs to see each question broken down by religion.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Americans, by a 59-31% margin, believe that CIA “treatment of suspected terrorists” in detention was justified.
Remarkably, the gap between torture supporters and opponents widens between voters who are Christian and those who are not religious. Just 39% of white evangelicals believe the CIA’s treatment of detainees amounted to torture, with 53% of white non-evangelical Protestants and 45% of white Catholics agreeing with that statement. Among the non-religious, though, 72% said the treatment amounted to torture. (The poll did not break down non-Christian religions in the results.)
Sixty nine percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA treatment was justified, compared to just 20% who said it was not. (Those numbers, incidentally, roughly mirror the breakdown of Republican versus Democratic voters among white evangelicals.) A full three-quarters (75%) of white non-evangelical Protestants outnumber the 22% of their brethren in saying CIA treatment was justified. White Catholics believe the treatment was justified by a 66-23% margin.
But a majority of non-religious adults, 53%, believe the CIA actions were not justified, with 41% of the non-religious saying the treatment was justified.
The Cuban national assembly announced on Friday that it would back the agreement of President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago.
“In the name of the Cuban people, we fully back the speech to the president of the council of state and of ministers, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, this past Dec. 17,” read Yolanda Ferrer, the president of the National Assembly’s International Relations Commission.
A South Carolina white nationalist leader is scheduled to appear alongside Tea Party leaders, members of Congress, and prospective presidential candidates at a Tea Party convention in January, according to new research by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR).
Roan Garcia-Quintana, a national board member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, is scheduled to speak at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention on January 17-19 in Myrtle Beach. In fact, Garcia-Quintana is listed first on the convention’s “Speaker Bios” page, above many more well-known presenters.
Tea Party leaders, including Bill Norton of Tea Party Patriots, Deneen Borelli of FreedomWorks, and Mark Meckler of Citizens for Self-Government are also scheduled to speak, according to the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition’s website. So is anti-immigrant activist Mike Cutler. US Representatives scheduled to share the stage with Garcia-Quintana at the convention include Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC), Rep. Tom Rice (SC), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX). Likely GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to address the convention
Cliff Weathers at Alternet outlines some of the newborn crazy from this year.
Conspiracy theories are like bellybuttons, everyone has one but some are just out there more than others. This year, the Internet was rife with vile gossip and wild beliefs; I couldn’t even possibly list all the wacky new chemtrail and illuminati theories in just one article. And let’s just quickly drive a stake through the rumors that Ebola victims are rising from the dead, reptilians disguised as humans run the U.S. government, and Pharrell, Keanu Reeves and Madonna are actually vampires.
I’ve found that the conspiracy theories spread most widely — and the ones that seem plausible to many, unfortunately — are those based on current headlines and often propagated by public figures such as politicians, celebrities and media figures. They travel by word-of-mouth at light speed and become “a known fact.” These theories are often believed by those who assume there must be a coherence behind world events and occurrences don’t just happen randomly. Using that as our criteria, here are the most insidious conspiracy theories of 2014.
The upswing reached throughout the Bay Area geographically and was bolstered by strength in a wide array of industries.
“Santa Clara County is on fire, the San Francisco metro (area) is on fire, and now the East Bay is joining with strong job gains,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
“The quality of the job growth really stands out to me,” said Jordan Levine, director of economic research with Beacon Economics. “A lot of it is well-paying jobs. It’s not just seasonal and holiday jobs.”
Santa Clara County added 8,600 jobs, including 5,600 in tech, 900 in the hotel and restaurant business and 700 construction positions, according to a Beacon analysis of the EDD figures.
Israel has carried out an airstrike on a Hamas site in Gaza, its first against the Palestinian territory since this summer’s war, which ended when a truce was signed in August.
The Israeli military said the airstrike, in the early hours of Saturday morning, was on what it called a “Hamas terror infrastructure site” in the southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli military officials said they had acted in response to a rocket having been fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Friday without causing any injuries.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, said Israel’s military “will not permit any attempt to undermine the security and jeopardize the well-being of the civilians of Israel. The Hamas terrorist organisation is responsible and accountable for today’s attack against Israel.”
Note: Caonima = grass mud horse/F your motherChina’s netizens are well aware that the government pays commenters to make favorable remarks on Internet forums about the Party and its leaders. Allegedly, the propagandists are paid half a yuan (5 mao or 50 cents, in American terms) per comment, so collectively they are known as the “50-Centy Party”, or as wumao.
A Chinese blogger managed to hack into the email system of a local propaganda bureau, and published the email directives to the local wumao on his blog. (It’s in Chinese.)
Among the hacked documents are instructions to paid commenters, their posting quotas, and summaries of their activity. The emails reveal hundreds of thousands of messages sent to Chinese microblogging and social media services like Sina Weibo, Tencent, and various internet forums, including working links to the actual posts. All told, they demonstrate the Chinese state’s wide reach on the internet, even at the lowest levels of government.
Zhanggong’s propaganda department comes across as surprisingly large, yet comically unsophisticated. To get a sense of its inner workings, Quartz examined emails related to a single event: an online Q&A with the local Communist Party secretary earlier this year. What we found was a Potemkin online village of adoring citizens posting favorable messages and easy questions—all manufactured by the propaganda department.
Most of the 300 wumao or wangpingyuan (Internet commentators) on this city’s payroll just copy and paste the suggested emailed comments to meet their daily quota, and receive their payments. Others get a little more creative, while still maintaining the unquestioning, loyal, even fawning tone of the pro-government remarks.
Here’s an example from the Quartz article, referring to the local party secretary:
2. (Link to forum) I really admire Party Secretary Shi, what a capable and effective Party Secretary! I hope he can be the father of Ganzhou for years to come.
It’s quite likely China employs English-speaking wumao to troll English websites and Twitter. So, the next time you see an over-the-top patriotic remark about China, it may have come from a paid agent of the Chinese government.
Teahadis may complain about the IRS targeting politically incorrect groups but in Canada it is actually happening.
But the teahadis up will not complain. In fact they’ll think it is deserved and long past due.
Sigh. My country is committing suicide by slow poison.
“We have not caved,” Sony CEO Michael Lynton said today, defending his company from President Obama’s comment that the studio had “made a mistake” in bowing to terrorist demands over the North Korea-skewering The Interview. “We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered, and we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie.”
So who let the terrorists win? Lynton shifted blame for The Interview’s cancelled release to exhibitors who shied away from showing the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy after hackers threatened the safety of moviegoers. Sony left the decision to play The Interview - or not - to the theater chains, who started pulling out one by one this week.