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The disappearance of several top officials from North Korean state media in recent weeks has prompted fears Kim Jong-un has ordered another “extensive purge” during his period away from the spotlight.
Kim vanished from public view for 40 days, sparking rumours of illness, power struggles in Pyongyang and even a coup. Now, speculation is growing that the leader may have instead used this time to oversee another major purge, after executing his uncle and other officials last year.
Would you be surprised if I told you that someone was lying for Jesus again?
Don and Evelyn Knapp of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are civil rights pioneers - if you believe the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Religious Right’s most visible legal arm filed a lawsuit against the city last Friday on behalf of the Knapps, who are ordained ministers in the Four Square Gospel church and run The Hitching Post wedding chapel. In a statement, the ADF referred to the chapel as a “religious ministry” and claimed that the Knapps had run afoul of Coeur d’Alene’s anti-discrimination ordinance by refusing to perform same-sex weddings.
“Months before voter-approved protections for marriage were struck down in Idaho, city officials warned Donald and Evelyn privately and publicly that if those laws were struck down, a city nondiscrimination ordinance would require them to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies in their privately owned chapel, or they would face the consequences,” the group asserted, and added, “On October 17, 2014, the Knapps respectfully declined such a ceremony and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.”
It didn’t take the Religious Right long to respond to this alleged injustice. At Herman Cain’s website, Dan Calabrese branded the situation as “fascism” and claimed that Idaho authorities are actually threatening to jail the couple.
“If you are risking jail, not because you did anything to anyone, but because you refused someone else’s demand that you provide a service that is anathema to your faith - then we have a new civil rights crisis in this nation, and homosexuals are not the ones with the problem at all,” Calabrese wrote.
But there’s a bit more to the story than jack-booted government authorities and a persecuted pair of ministers. In fact, the Coeur d’Alene Press reports that there may be some problems with the ADF’s account. For starters, the newspaper says the Knapps have never actually been asked to perform a same-sex wedding; nor have they been threatened with arrest.
City officials did note they have privately communicated with the Knapps about the anti-discrimination ordinance, and informed the couple that if they did not register the chapel as a non-profit religious corporation, they could be subject to a fine and possible jail time if they violated the ordinance. They city’s argument seems to be that the chapel, as a profit-making business, is expected to adhere to public accommodation laws.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, thermal paper store receipts, and dental composites. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties, and exposure of fetuses, infants, children or adults to the chemical has been shown to cause numerous abnormalities, including cancer, as well as reproductive, immune and brain-behavior problems in rodents. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that daily exposure to very low concentrations of BPA by pregnant females also can cause fetal abnormalities in primates.
Thermal Paper Cash Register Receipts Account for High Bisphenol a (BPA) Levels in Humans — ScienceDaily
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri is providing the first data that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.
“BPA first was developed by a biochemist and tested as an artificial estrogen supplement,” said Frederick vom Saal, Curators Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “As an endocrine disrupting chemical, BPA has been demonstrated to alter signaling mechanisms involving estrogen and other hormones. Store and fast food receipts, airline tickets, ATM receipts and other thermal papers all use massive amounts of BPA on the surface of the paper as a print developer. The problem is, we as consumers have hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens on our hands that drastically alter the absorption rate of the BPA found on these receipts.”
In 2000, the National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) added a ground-breaking unit on the neurobiology of trauma to our curriculum on adult victim sexual violence. Judges and others have found this neuroscience unit extremely helpful in understanding phenomena such as why the way in which traumatic memories are recorded and recalled prevents victims of traumatic events such as rape from producing the sequential, never-forget-a-detail narrative of the assault that most people expect.
We are now at a comparable knowledge-development point with respect to understanding the impact of domestic violence on children. This has been a subject of judicial concern and commentary for decades. Now, with the advent of magnetic resonance imaging, neuroscientists have produced scores of studies documenting on a neuronal level the profoundly negative impact of exposure to domestic violence on children, and how children can recover when exposure to the violence is eliminated and they are secure in the care of their non-abusing, primary caregiver parent
. . … Some stress is normal and healthy for brain development. Chil- dren need to learn to deal with everyday stress. But in an unpredictable, tension- filled, violent environment where the stress is inescapable, it becomes toxic, unleash- ing a storm of neurochemicals that result in “embedded stress.”12 Children learn to become fearful through this “fear condi- tioning,” which is strongly connected to anxiety disorders across the lifespan.
Dr. Perry explains that living in an alarm state has critical implications for children’s ability to learn:
When a child is in a persisting state of low-level fear that results from exposure to violence, the primary areas of the brain that are process- ing information are different from those in a child from a safe environ- ment. The calm child may sit in the same classroom next to the child in an alarm state, both hearing the same lecture by the teacher. Even if they have identical IQs, the child that is calm can focus on the words of the teacher and, using neocortex, engage in abstract cognition. The child in an alarm state will be less efficient at processing and storing the verbal information the teacher is providing.14
The resulting failure to learn has con- sequences across the lifespan..
Abstract -New England Journal of Medicine: Silent Victims — An Epidemic of Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence
Sweat, ick. It betrays our nervousness, leaves unsightly blotches on our clothes, drips down our faces, and makes us stink. Sure, it cools us when we overheat, but most of the time we think of it purely as an inconvenience.
We may soon, however, learn to like our sweat a lot more—or at least what it can reveal about our health. We’d certainly prefer giving a doctor a little sweat to being punctured for a blood test—or even providing a urine sample—as long as we didn’t have to run a mile or sit in a sauna to do it. And if sweat could provide constant updates about our bodies’ reactions to a medication, or track head trauma in athletes, we might just start to appreciate it.
Sweat contains a trove of medical information and can provide it in almost real time. And now you can monitor your sweat with a wearable gadget that stimulates and collects it using a small patch and analyzes it using a smartphone—that is, if you visit my lab.
Mexico on Wednesday ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, his wife and an aide, charging they masterminded last month’s attack that left six students dead and 43 missing.
Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26, in a case that has sparked national and international outrage, including mass demonstrations that saw the Iguala city hall torched Wednesday.
“Arrest warrants have been issued for Iguala mayor (Jose Luis Abarca),” as well as his wife and public safety chief, “as the individuals who likely organized the events that took place in Iguala,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told reporters.
The gunman who killed a soldier in Ottawa and stormed Canada’s parliament had been put on a terror watch list, it has emerged.
The attacker, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau by Canadian media, was considered “high risk” and had seen his passport confiscated to stop him travelling abroad to join Islamic State terrorists in Iraq or Syria.
But the 32-year-old was able to strike at the heart of his home country’s capital, shooting dead Corporal Nathan Cirillo before he was himself gunned down by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers as he launched his assault on parliament.
Air strikes by U.S.-led forces have killed 521 Islamist fighters and 32 civilians during a month-long campaign in Syria, a monitoring group which tracks the violence said on Thursday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the vast majority of the deaths, 464, were militants from Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot which has grabbed large areas of Syria and neighboring Iraq.
The attacks also killed 57 members of the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, the Observatory said. Six of the civilians were children and five were women, it added.
Chalk up one for the “but, Rick, I thought that was your departments dirty diaper.” No. It’s the Fed. Yeah that Fed. The one who attempts to level the field across the board. So the Rick, I must be on meds, or I could actually debate, Perry and the usual gang of bomb throwing, big gummint hating, free range chicken loving home grown or shipped in from the psyche ward legislators in Tejano all got their shorts in a knot screaming about how the Obama Socialist Oligarchy failed to actually do the job of state regulators. Like think. Or act. Or be useful. “What do we do Rick? Ted? Ted!?” How about work with all the resources available? Put aside the immense Dallas Presby fuckup, the blame lays with…..Ready? People outside the state that we like to keep outside the state. Big Gubmint Ebil. “We must admit, along the way, we have seen ample opportunity for improvement, from the CDC all the way to the hospital,” he said.
No mention of Rick or Ted or Gohmert or any other wanking gift to humanity seeking truth and closure. Nope. GOP on parade.
Two weeks ago my wife and were standing outside on the Sparks Street mall right in the heart of downtown Ottawa. We had just had lunch with a longtime friend of mine and were enjoying the cool fall air outside. Nearby, commuters walked to and from work, tourists snapped photos and everyday citizens went about their lives.
As the three of us chatted outside the restaurant faint bagpipe music began to fill the air. Looking over my wife’s shoulder, to the National War Memorial that lay right across the street from where we were standing, I saw a bagpiper in full regalia escorting two members of the Canadian armed forces to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is guarded 24/7 and the shift changing ceremony I was watching takes place every single day.
As I took all of this in I couldn’t help but think of how much I loved my country and Ottawa in particular. Ottawa is a midsized city. Not overly confusing, overly sprawled or overly complex. I may be partial due to my long history there but I’ve visited many other cities both large and small and Ottawa has always been near the top of my list as a comfortable, peaceful place. Even more surprising as Ottawa is the seat of the Canadian government and a place of national importance to the country.
(detail of my birth certificate)
I was born in Ottawa, I was bred in Ottawa. Twenty of my Thirty three years have been spent there. I’ve lived in a variety of places but Ottawa will always be home to me.
Tonight, Ottawa is a city in pain and in grief. In close to the same spot my wife and I stood two weeks ago, a gunman killed the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This may have been the same man I saw assuming the post that day. In addition, shots filled the Parliament buildings and sent fear racing throughout the city.
Top: An image I took on the aforementioned day two weeks ago.
Bottom: An image from the television earlier today showing the same location (evident by the lion statues and post office logos on the windows)
Of course there weren’t that many casualties but to a city and country relatively unaccustomed to major gun violence this hurts. To a country and people used to peacefully living alongside one another this is painful.
Canada is not as used to gun violence as Americans. We can’t dismiss it as easily, we can’t deal with it as easily. So while some people might think what happened in Ottawa today is a minor incident It’s far more than that. This was a shot across the peaceful bow of Canada and one we’re not liable to forgive and forget anytime soon.
We don’t know much more at this hour than we did before. Many things are uncertain right now with regards to the facts behind the incident.
But one thing is certain: Home is changed forever. Ottawa will never be the same.
And yet despite the senseless violence, despite the fear, despite the uncertainty Canadians can still come together and stand, dignified and proud, in one of our countries darker moments. There are soldiers once again guarding the Tomb of the Unknown soldier tonight.
As we stand as one, determined to stay proud and strong as a nation, the words of our national anthem ring truer than ever:
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Tonight and going forward, we WILL be standing on guard to protect our freedoms, our honor and our way of life. There are no terrorists alive who could ever destroy the spirit of the Canadian people.