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Monday, August 27

27.Aug.2012 - Homeland Security, Billionaires, Corporate America, Climate Change, Israeli Terrorists, Dept. of Justice, AtheismPLUS, Extinct Privacy, U.S. Media, Bank Crime Punishment, Rise of the Machines, Religious Skepticism, Legitimate Rape, Christopher Hitchens, God Evolved, Religious Right

Greetings everyone. I hope you've been enjoying the new posting format: Digests. I (Steve) do this in my free time, trying to pull together the best articles that are relevant to you and put them together in one digest. 
On the website, there's a Conference page, and a Links page. Thumb through some of them. There might be something of interest to you. And don't forget the brand new Occupy 2.0 sub-Reddit. Most of the #OWS news will be posted there instead. For items missing from this digest, try our Twitter feed. 
If you'd like your business/.organization featured in our digests and on the website, see the website for Donation info. Use Paypal to make a donation, and I'll put up your graphic-link. 

Corporate America Running Ads That Tap into Our Anxiety About the Hell They've Created for Us

It’s shocking to see corporate America transform the message of organized labor into a sales pitch for … corporate America.

The Billionaires Bill of Rights

California's Proposition 32, on the ballot this November, would severely limit unions' election spending while leaving corporations free to spend as much as they like.

5 Weird -- and Terrifying -- Consequences of Climate Change You May Not Know About

When you hear climate change you think of crazy weather, but there are other frightening effects.

Did Anonymous Strike Again and Target Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns?

The mysterious hacktivist group may have struck again and this time, Mitt RMoney’s taxes may have been the target. RMoney’s taxes were given to Gawker

DOJ secretly halts FBI investigation into Israel nuclear spying/funding

The US Department of Justice has refused to publicly release a memo that outlines why an Israeli entity caught spying on the U.S. would not be investigated further.

US Scholars: Designate Israeli Extremists as Terrorists

Amid a rising spate of Jewish extremist violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank, two prominent US Middle East scholars are urging the United States to officially designate as terrorists those Israeli extremists who perpetrate terrorist violence against Palestinian civilians, Israeli citizens and even moderate elements of the settler movement.

Palestinians Flood Into Israel, If Only Briefly

As Palestinian Muslims in the West Bank celebrated the end of Ramadan this past week, many traveled to a place that's usually off limits: Israel.

Myths and Truths About Atheism+
Last week, Jen McCreight announced that she was fed up with sexism in the atheist movement and called for a new wave of atheist activism, one explicitly concerned with social justice, which quickly acquired the name "atheism+".

American Democracy: You Have to be THIS RICH to Ride This Ride

Just as Visa offers different perks of membership to its platinum and gold cardholders, so could the government to its citizens, based on wealth. Or, to use a happier metaphor, it's like those measuring sticks at amusement parks--the taller kids get more access, as you have to be this high to ride all the rides.

How Privacy Went Extinct

e've come a long way since the 1880s when Sir Francis Galton, a British anthropologist and a cousin of Charles Darwin, first undertook the scientific study of fingerprints as a means of identification. Now, two centuries later, all information is digital, created, distributed and displayed as a series of 1s and Os.

The Pursuit of Assange Is an Assault on Freedom

he British government's threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonor international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorism in London on July 7, 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

US Media: Examine Thyself

he media coverage of the Presidential campaigns is a dreary repetition of past coverage. Stuck in a rut and garnished by press cynicism and boredom, media groupthink becomes more ossified every four years.

The West's Hypocrisy Over Pussy Riot Is Breathtaking

nyone in England and Wales with a dog out of control can now be jailed for six months. If the dog causes injury, the maximum term is to be two years. I have no sympathy for such people. Keeping these beasts is weird, and those who do it probably need treatment. But the Defra minister, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, complained in May that fewer than 20 people were in jail for dangerous dog offences. The sentencing council has duly told courts to raise the threshold to two years, “to send a message”.

Two Pussy Riot Members Flee Russia

wo members of Russia's anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have fled the country to avoid prosecution for staging a protest against Vladimir Putin at a church altar, the band said on Sunday.

Big Banks: No Crime, No Punishment

hen the Justice Department recently closed its criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs, it became all but certain that no major American banks or their top executives would ever face criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis.

What the Supreme Court Did This Summer

Do the justices really deserve a three-month vacation?

Israeli soldiers abuse Palestinian kids

Wounded Palestinian kids are taken to hospital. (file photo)

Israeli vets confess to ‘no mercy’ abuse of Palestinian ‘terrorist’ kids

A young Palestinian protester runs away from Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Ramallah(AFP Photo / Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
A young Palestinian protester runs away from Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Ramallah(AFP Photo / Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

The danger of twisted beliefs

There is a commonly held notion that insanity is the only key ingredient to commit crimes against humanity. However, there are ample of evidences strongly suggest that you don’t have to be insane to do such horrible things since religious/political beliefs alone can do influence or drive anybody to commit crimes. See: Horrific acts of violence were driven by twisted belief, not insanity.

Wall Street: Rise of the machines

Algorithms rule the markets. They even read the papers

An 11-year-old Christian girl, suffering from Down’s Syndrome, was arrested on Saturday on blasphemy charges, after being accused of burning passages of the Holy Quran.

Innocent people are thereby sentenced to years in prison, or even execution. I shall list several reasons how this comes about, and why. In a broader context, l will attempt to point out just how malfunctioning applies to pastors, their congregations, and religions of all kinds.

‘Legitimate rape’ remark fuels women’s increasing skepticism about religion

A roar has erupted over the now-famous phrase “legitimate rape,” Rep. Todd Akin’s clumsy attempt to justify fundamentalists’ justification of strict anti-abortion measures. Echoing President Obama’s assessment that rape is rape, the Washington Post editorial board suggested that a code is in play, that “the remarks are not the first, nor are they likely to be the last, in a long-running effort to downplay the horror of rape as a way to restrict access to abortion” and what anti-abortion politicians suggest is “that not all rape victims are victims.”

Christopher Hitchens: an impossible act to follow

Christopher Hitchens, the influential writer who died last year, approached the end with his customary wit and charisma intact – and his wife always by his side. Carol Blue recalls their final months together.

Why Atheism Plus Is Good for Atheism

I’m going to lay this out there: I think Atheism Plus is good. And I don’t just mean “good” in the sense of “morally right.” I mean “good” as in “good for the health and future of atheism.”

Weird Science: Six ‘Scientific’ Theories That Right-Wingers Insist Are True

Mike Huckabee isn’t the only conservative now defending Todd Akin (R-MO) — who is still running to replace Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in the U.S. Senate. Huckabee and other religious right leaders within the GOP insist that Akin is right — although many of the party’s leading figures — including the party’s presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus — asked Akin to withdraw after the congressman said that victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant.

Why the Opposition to the Religious Right Failed

A new movement offers a new strategy

How “God” Sorta Evolved

Over at Evo Anth, Adam Benton opines on how “god” evolved. The first thing I have to do is congratulate Adam because his post was picked up by The Browser. This is an honor and will ensure he gets at least 1,000 hits for the post. The second thing I need to do is recommend that you read the post. And the third thing I need to do is briefly comment on a few of the ideas found in the post.

Myths and Truths About Atheism+

Last week, Jen McCreight announced that she was fed up with sexism in the atheist movement and called for a new wave of atheist activism, one explicitly concerned with social justice, which quickly acquired the name "atheism+".

“It is a small thing, this dear gift of life handed us mysteriously out of immensity.”

“I’m Not Fighting or Battling Cancer—It’s Fighting Me.”

The “unpublished jottings” of Christopher Hitchens from his posthumous book, Mortality.

Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, & The Fifty Shades of Rape

For profit "non-profit" hijacks
Justice Department and Homeland Security

Calls free speech hate speech
and veterans "potential terrorists"

The History of Women in Freethought

Annie Laurie Gaylor’s presentation at the Center for Inquiry’s 2012 Women in Secularism Conference in May. 
Steve Dustcircle can be found at:
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