Well, if Chopra ever had any scientific credibility, it’s now in shreds. Listen to the part of this video (laughably labeled “Two great minds question HIV/AIDS—Scam/Hoax?”) that starts at 22:15. Chopra is interviewed by Tony Robbins, wealthy lifestyle guru and “self help” author. Here’s a bit of the interchange:
Chopra: HIV may be a precipitating agent in a susceptible host. The material agent is never the cause of the disease. It may be the final factor in inducing the full-blown syndrome in somebody who’s already susceptible.
Robbins: But what made them susceptible?
Chopra: Their own interpretations of the whole reality they’re participating in.
Turns out, anti Jewish bigots were quick to blame the Charlie Hebdo attack on the Jews and Israel. Hat tip to Curious Lurker for alerting me to this story from Tablet. Yair Rosenberg reports on the latest antisemitic, anti Zionist conspiracy theory.
People hold a vigil at the Place de la Republique (Republic Square) for victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack, on January 8, 2015 in Paris, France. (Getty Images)
Just a few hours after the massacre at the offices of satirical French paper Charlie Hebdo, members of the far-right and far-left in Europe and America quickly decided who was responsible: the Mossad. Writing on her Facebook page, Greta Berlin, organizer of the 2010 Gaza flotilla and co-founder of the Free Gaza movement, argued that the attack was Israeli retribution for France’s recognition of a Palestinian state:
Berlin has a long record of promoting Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Jews, to the extent that she has been ostracized even by some in the Palestinian solidarity movement that she once captained. But she wasn’t the only flotilla leader and Free Gaza founder to attempt to pin the Paris murders on the Jews.
In France, the projects don’t look like ghettoes, but they’re filled with a poisonous mix of conspiracy theories and a some support for murderous jihadis.
SEVRAN, France — As more than 1.5 million people, including 40 world leaders, converged on Paris on Sunday to rally for unity after terrorist attacks that left 17 innocent people dead, three young men in tracksuits and hoodies lounged outside a fast-food restaurant 10 miles north of the city in Sevran, one of France’s poorest suburbs.
Mehdi Boular, 24, who said he was married with two children, and two of his friends, did not attend Sunday’s rally.
“We’re Muslims,” Boular said. “They might have killed us if we’d gone.”
But even though the flags of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia were flying at the rally in Place de la République and Muslims were well represented among the marchers Sunday, Boular said the attacks in Paris were part of a plot masterminded by Jewish conspirators.
“The Kalashnikovs, the identity cards the [killers] supposedly left behind, it was all staged,” said Boular, as his friends nodded in agreement. “It was a conspiracy designed by the Jews to make Muslims look bad. We’d rather just stay where we are.”
No use arguing. No use pointing out that one of the terrorists murdered four Jews. Conspiracy theories have their own unassailable logic, and this is a world apart from the displays of unity in Paris after the carnage of last week. French newspapers reported that some students in these neighborhoods—as well as other heavily Muslim areas near cities like Lille—refused to participate in Thursday’s national moment of silence for the victims of the terror attacks. One teacher said up to 80 percent of his students didn’t want to observe the silence, and some said they supported the attackers. “You reap what you sow,” a student who refused the moment of silence told his teacher in reference to the terrorists’ victims, according to Le Figaro.
Sevran is one of the many notorious banlieues just outside Paris that are home largely to second- and third-generation immigrants from former French colonies in North and West Africa. The town is studded with cement and brick public housing, mostly built in the 1960s and ’70s. Unemployment rates are as high as 35 to 40 percent. Sevran often is lumped in with places like Saint-Denis and nearby Clichy-sous-Bois, the epicenter of weeks of rioting and car burning in 2005. Riots here back in the summer of 1981 led to some of the first mass demonstrations to illustrate the plight of immigrant Algerians, Tunisians, and Moroccans in France.
The 19th arrondissement in Paris has also become synonymous with immigrant frustration and despair after it became known that the Kouachi brothers, Chérif and Saïd, who died in a hail of gunfire last week after killing 12 people, including eight journalists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, moved there as teenagers and were recruited by a jihadi network. Born in France, the Kouachis were the orphaned sons of Algerian parents.
The popular narrative is that France’s minority populations, specifically those of North African descent, are marginalized and isolated in what are invariably called “gritty,” or “hardscrabble” areas. Shunned by the French majority, reports often say, the children of North African immigrants are frustrated and resentful because they are blocked from traditional routes of advancement.
But many of the Parisian banlieues appear to an outsider much tamer than gun-ridden American ghettoes and bear no resemblance to, say, a typical favela in Rio de Janeiro or the mafia-run Scampia ghetto in Naples. Much of the 19th arrondissement in Paris, where Cherif Kouachi joined the Buttes-Chaumont terror network 10 years ago, looks about as rundown and sketchy today as Brooklyn’s Park Slope.
This delightful quote is included:
US Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has warned that ‘climate change alarmists’ are seeking to ‘promote homosexuality’ to control the population growth of humans on the Earth - See more here.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warned yet again on Wednesday that he fears for the future of humanity if gays and lesbians are allowed their rights, saying he believes that equality for people in same-sex relationships is part of a conspiracy by people who believe in global warming.
Perkins made the comments in response to a caller on his Washington Watch radio show who said he suspected LGBTI rights were ‘promoted … because it doesn’t lead to reproduction.’
‘There’s this anti-life agenda, there’s a total anti-human, anti-life, “human beings are a virus,” type of mentality,’ the caller said.
Perkins told his caller that his suspicions were ‘absolutely correct’ and that he had warned before about how ‘climate change alarmists and those who are pushing population control … promote homosexuality’ because ‘there’s no procreation there.’
Maher likened the sexual assault of reporter Lara Logan to dating and suggested that she ought to have expected it from Arabs: “Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good. They have a sense of entitlement.”
Maher again waxed misogynistic in 2014 when he Tweeted: “Dealing with Hamas is like dealing with a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her.”
But it’s not just slapping. When NFL star Shawn Merriman was accused of choking model and television personality Tila Tequila, Maher had this to say: “New rule: stop acting surprised someone choked Tila Tequila! The surprise is that someone hasn’t choked this bitch sooner.”
During his TED Talk presentation last week, The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald issued a challenge: If you defend the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities by insisting that you have nothing to hide, then you should send all of your usernames and passwords to Glenn Greenwald, allowing him to publish anything he finds particularly juicy. Here’s the actual quote:
“Over the last 16 months, as I’ve debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, ‘I don’t really worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.’ I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, ‘Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide.’ Not a single person has taken me up on that offer.”
Yeah, I wonder why.
First of all, this is a bit of a strawman fallacy. Very few reputable people use this “I have nothing to hide” line of reasoning in defense of NSA any more because it stupidly and simplistically concedes that NSA might actually be spying on them personally without a warrant — a concession that’s both inaccurate and nearsighted.
It also draws a ludicrously false comparison. Greenwald having access to all of your personal information, with the latitude to publish whatever he wants, isn’t even in the same universe as what NSA is up to.
Read more at thedailybanter.com
Bossier City police say the man — whose identity KTBS 3 News decided to protect pending a medical evaluation — called 911 to inform the sheriff’s office he had a loaded rifle. He reportedly said he was going to start a hostile takeover and asked law enforcement to come to the scene with marijuana. When BCPD showed up, sans marijuana, they saw the rifle by his side and later confirmed it was loaded. The man reportedly told police “I’ve got a gun, shoot me,” before yelling other obscenities, even pulling down his pants to expose his genitalia.
“There are individuals who consider themselves sovereign citizens, who do not recognize local law enforcement as an authority, and this individual claimed to be that type of person,” Natale said.
The paper, a friend says, is a certification that lists the man as a moor and therefore exempt from local law. In the “sovereign citizen” movement, adherents argue the government has no authority to tax, arrest, or otherwise govern them.
Alaa Abdel Fattah, 32, an Egyptian blogger and political activist, has been arrested numerous times by Egyptian authorities since the eruption of a popular revolution in the country in early 2011. Abdel Fattah, who boasts 626,000 followers on Twitter and 156,000 on Facebook, was released on bail September 15 after being charged with organizing an illegal protest in Cairo and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Abdel Fattah was nominated for the Sakharov Prize on September 23 along with rappers Mouad Belghouate (Morocco) and Ala Yaacoubi (Tunisia) by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Parliamentary Group, a left-wing group of 52 European parliament members representing 14 EU countries. The winner of the prize will be announced on October 16.
During an exchange on generalizations in the Egyptian political context, Abdel Fattah wrote: “All Zionists are criminals, all racists are stupid, all humans have rights. These are examples of acceptable generalizations.”
Debating the Palestinian issue, Abdel Fattah wrote on November 15, 2012, that “there is a critical number of Israelis that we need to kill and then the problem is solved.”
Dawkins demonstrates that he’s gone completely off the rails to seek the limelight once more.
Oy, Richard Dawkins and Twitter again.
Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins
@InYourFaceNYer Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.
I’m fully in agreement with Dawkins that abortion is not an unethical choice. The woman can choose whether to keep a child or not, and it is perfectly reasonable, and even responsible, for her to include any information about genetic disorders in making her decision. However, singling out children with Down Syndrome is seriously problematic — it is not immoral to have a child with Downs. It is immoral to insist that a fetus with Down Syndrome should be aborted.
An interesting commentary by Julia Burke, on the obsession some people on the far left have with food, and how it is similar to how some people on right feel about sex. Do you agree? Do you think the analogy is appropriate?
It occurred to me a few weeks ago after a discussion based on a pro-GMO post Kavin wrote for Grounded Parents. Bring up reproductive rights and liberals shake their heads and remark on the incredible cognitive dissonance of the Religious Right. Sure, the Right is “small government” in theory, but it’s about sex, liberals shrug. It’s about policing women’s bodies and an obsessive desire to control what happens in people’s bedrooms. It’s a complete fear and denial of scientific data in favor of emotionally overblown gut reaction.
Then you bring up GMOs. Or locally sourced meat. Or whatever diet is trendy that week.
Food, and how to eat it as “responsibly” as possible, with a particular focus on “where it comes from,” has become the hot-button topic of white liberals. Witness the euphoria surrounding the dawn of food trucks. Witness the Locavore movement. Witness the spot-on “Local Chicken” sketch on Portlandia—those of us who live in “progressive cities,” like my own Madison, laugh at this parody because we’ve heard similar exchanges so many times.