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Friday, August 17

Thursday Digest - 16 August 2012 [part 1]

Greetings, friends. Here is the 2nd digest from The Dissenting Heretic. As I mentioned yesterday, we will be moving from individual, random posts to posting a best-of-the-news paper. If you see something good online and think it deserves mention, email us at or hit us up on Facebook. If you'd like to write a political/irreligious essay for us, contact us by email or FB.
- Steve @dustcircle

Scientists Finally Conclude Nonhuman Animals Are Conscious Beings

Every now and again I receive an email message I ignore after reading the subject line. I know I'm not alone in following this rule of thumb, but today I broke down and opened a message the subject line of which read "Scientists Declare: Nonhuman Animals Are Conscious". I honestly thought it was a joke, likely from one of my favorite newspapers, The Onion. However, it wasn't.

The Action Plan to Stop Christian Witchcraft-Related Child Abuse

The United Kingdom’s Department of Education has released a national action plan for dealing with cases of witchcraft and occult-related abuse of children within religious communities. This comes after several high-profile cases of murder and abuse of children related to anti-witchcraft rituals, most prominently the murder of Kristy Bamu, who died while being tortured under the auspices of an “exorcism” at his sister’s home.

Medicare Myths, Debunked

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns say the other is trying to destroy Medicare. They can't both be right.

The American Way

Police state harshness targets defenders of right over wrong everywhere. National resources go for militarism, belligerence, and making super-rich elites richer. Corporations are licensed to steal, exploit, and plunder. 

Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

The morons who rule the american sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the american “superpower” only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply.
Israel is a tiny insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid americans. It has no power except what its american protector provides. Yet, despite Israel’s insignificance, it rules Washington.

The New Totalitarianism of Surveillance Technology

According to Homeland Security Newswire, billions of dollars are being invested in the development and manufacture of various biometric technologies capable of detecting and identifying anyone, anywhere in the world - via iris-scanning systems, already in use; foot-scanning technology (really); voice pattern ID software, and so on.
What is very obvious is that this technology will not be applied merely to people under arrest, or to people under surveillance in accordance with the fourth amendment (suspects in possible terrorist plots or other potential crimes, after law enforcement agents have already obtained a warrant from a magistrate). No, the "targets" here are me and you: everyone, all of the time. In the name of "national security", the capacity is being built to identify, track and document any citizen constantly and continuously.

The sham “terrorism expert” industry

A highly ideological, jingoistic clique masquerades as objective scholars, all to justify US militarism

Ecuador Grants Assange Asylum; UK Threatens to Storm Embassy

Wikileaks: Fulfillment of threat would be "hostile and extreme act"

The US Government Can Track Your Location at Any Time Without a Warrant

Two judges on the three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, concluding that Skinner did not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" regarding his cell phone GPS data. "If a tool used to transport contraband gives off a signal that can be tracked for location," wrote Judge John Marshall Rogers," certainly the police can track the signal." 
Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, says this kind of reasoning is disturbing.

When are drone killings illegal?
Is this killing occurring in war?
Mary Ellen O\'Connell
Both Presidents Bush and Obama have attempted to justify thousands of drone attacks as part of a "war" or "armed conflict." But is that correct?
The question must be answered in terms of international law. When the United States kills people in foreign, sovereign states, the world looks to international law for the standard of justification.

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