When John. F. Kennedy was president, nearly 75% of Americans trusted the government to do what was right all or most of the time. In the latest polls, only 19% do. The fundamental problem isn't the size of government. It's who government is for. Fifty years ago most Americans believed government was by and for them. Now, most fear it's by and for big corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy. You agree?
Thursday, December 4, 2014
According to the Associated Press, police officers who searched McQuilliams’ van found a copy of “Vigilantes of Christendom,” a book connected with the Phineas Priesthood, an American white supremacist movement that claims Christian inspiration and opposes interracial intercourse, racial integration, homosexuality, and abortion. Phineas priests take their name from the biblical figure Phinehas in the book of Numbers, who is described as brutally murdering an Israelite man for having sex with a foreign woman, who he also kills. Members of the Phineas Priesthood — which people “join” simply by adopting the views of the movement — are notoriously violent, and some adherents have been convicted of bank robberies, bombing abortion clinics, and planning to blow up government buildings. Although McQuilliams didn’t leave a letter explaining the reason for his attack, a handwritten note inside the book described him as a “priest in the fight against anti-God people.”
McQuilliams’ possible ties to the Phineas Priesthood may sound strange, but it’s actually unsettlingly common. In fact, his association with the hateful religious group highlights a very real — but often under-reported — issue: terrorism enacted in the name of Christ.
To be sure, violent extremism carried out by people claiming to be Muslim has garnered heaps of media attention in recent years, with conservative pundits such as Greta Van Susteren of Fox News often insisting that Muslim leaders publicly condemn any acts of violence perpetrated in the name of Islam (even though many already have).
But there is a long history of terrorist attacks resembling McQuilliams’ rampage across Austin — where violence is carried out in the name of Christianity — in the United States and abroad.
In America, the Ku Klux Klan is well-known for over a century of gruesome crimes against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and others — all while ascribing to what they say is a Christian theology.
But recent decades have also given rise to several “Christian Identity” groups, loose organizations united by a hateful understanding of faith whose members spout scripture while engaging in horrifying acts of violence. For example, various members of The Order, a militant group of largely professed Mormons whose motto was a verse from the book of Jeremiah, were convicted for murdering Jewish talk show host Alan Berg in 1984; the “Army of God”, which justifies their actions using the Bible, is responsible for bombings at several abortion clinics, attacks on gay and lesbian nightclubs, and the explosion at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia; and Scott Roeder cited the Christian faith as his motivation for killing George Tiller — a doctor who performed late-term abortions — in 2009, shooting the physician in the head at point-blank range while he was ushering at church.
These incidents have been bolstered by a more general spike in homegrown American extremism over the past decade and a half.
Between 2000 and 2008, the number of hate groups in America rose 54 percent according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and white-supremacist groups — including many with Christian roots — saw an “explosion” in recruitment after Barack Obama was elected a the country’s first African-American president in 2008. In fact, the growth of this and other homegrown terrorist threats has become so great that it spurred then-Attorney General Eric Holder to revive the Domestic Terror Task Force in June of this year.
Christian extremism has ravaged other parts of the world as well.
Northern Ireland and Northern India both have rich histories of Christian-on-Christian violence, as does Western Africa, where the Lord’s Resistance Army claims a Christian message while forcibly recruiting child soldiers to terrorize local villages. Even Europe, a supposed bastion of secularism, has endured attacks from people who say they follow the teachings of Jesus. In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik launched a horrific assault on innocent people in and around Oslo, Norway, using guns and bombs to kill 77 — many of them teenagers — and wound hundreds more. Breivik said his actions were an attempt to combat Islam and preserve “Christian Europe,” and while he rejected a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” he nonetheless championed Christianity as a “cultural, social, identity and moral platform” and claimed the faith as the forming framework for his personal identity.
Chillingly, experts warn that something like Breivik’s attack could easily happen in the United States. Daryl Johnson, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst, said in a 2010 interview that the Hutaree, an extremist militia group in Michigan that touts Christian inspiration, possessed a cache of weapons larger than all the Muslims charged with terrorism the United States since the September 11 attacks combined.
Yet unlike the accusatory responses to domestic jihadist incidents such as the Fort Hood massacre, news of McQuilliams’ possible ties to the Christian Identity movement has yet to produce a reaction among prominent conservative Christians. Greta Van Susteren, for instance, has not asked Christian leaders such as Pope Francis, Rick Warren, or Billy Graham onto her show to speak out against violence committed in name of Christ. Rather, the religious affiliation of McQuilliams, like the faith of many right-wing extremists, has largely flown under the radar, as he and others like him are far more likely to be dismissed as mentally unstable “lone wolfs” than products of extremist theologies.
Granted, right-wing extremism — like Muslim extremism — is a complex religious space. Some participants follow religions they see as more purely “white” — such as Odinism — and others act more out of a hatred for government than religious conviction.
Nevertheless, McQuilliams’ attack is a stark reminder that radical theologies exist on the fringes of most religions, and that while Muslim extremism tends to make headlines, religious terrorism is by no means unique to Islam.
To read the original make the jump here
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Relatório do Fórum Econômico Mundial coloca sistema educacional brasileiro na 116ª posição entre 144 nações avaliadas
Brasil está na 132ª posição em ranking que mede qualidade dos ensinos de ciências e matemática (Getty Images/VEJA)
O estudo indica como uma das consequências do ensino deficiente a dificuldade do país para se adaptar ao mundo digital, apesar dos investimentos públicos em infraestrutura e de um certo dinamismo do setor privado. "A qualidade do sistema educacional, aparentemente, não garante às pessoas as habilidades necessárias para uma economia em rápida mudança", diz o levantamento.
Em comparação com o ano passado, o Brasil subiu apenas da 65ª para a 60ª posição no ranking que mede o preparo das nações para aproveitar as novas tecnologias em favor de seu crescimento. Apesar de ter galgado posições, os autores do relatório destacam que o lugar ocupado pelo país não condiz com sua economia, entre as sete maiores do mundo. Na América Latina, Chile, Panamá, Uruguai e Costa Rica, por exemplo, são considerados mais bem preparados para os novos desafios da era digital.
O número de usuários de internet no Brasil também não chegava ainda a 45%, o que deixa o Brasil na 62.ª posição nesse critério, abaixo da Albânia. Apenas um terço dos brasileiros tem internet em casa. A taxa despenca para apenas 8% se o critério for o número de casas com banda larga. O Brasil não é o único a passar por essa situação. "Os Brics (Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul) enfrentam desafios", diz o informe.
"O rápido crescimento econômico observado em alguns desses países nos últimos anos poderá ser ameaçado, caso não forem feitos os investimentos certos em infraestruturas, competências humanas e inovação na área das tecnologias da informação", alerta o relatório.
An annual survey from the company School Stickers has collected data on which children’s names are the most common for kids who are well-behaved, and ones who could use a time-out. School Stickers, which tracks children’s behavior and digitally rewards ones for behaving well, collected and analyzed data based on one million entries and released a “naughty list” of names.In elementary school I pretty much earned straight A's, but I always did get poor grades in what was then called "citizenship."
Best behaved boys: Jacob, Daniel, Thomas, Adam, James, Harry, Sam, Oliver, Ryan. Hit the link for the girl results. By the way, my mother sent us this story.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
KEEP PASSING THIS AROUND UNTIL
EVERYONE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ IT.
THIS IS SURE SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!
THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE
GOVERNMENT'S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT
TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!
WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?
Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did too.
It totaled 15% of your income before taxes.
If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.
Read that again.
Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny?
We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a government bank to insure you and I, that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.
Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.
If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows).
After 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!
If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.
THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON
HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME
THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.
Entitlement my foot; I paid cash for my social security insurance!
Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!
Remember Congressional benefits?
--- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days.
Now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements?
They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it's time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.
Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.
Sad isn't it?
99% of people won't have the guts to SHARE this.
I'm in the 1%
I JUST DID!
Two polls, one from Gallup that showed President Obama’s approval rating surging with Hispanics, and one from CNN that showed that 68% of Americans believe that Congress isn’t working with President Obama enough, have brought a bounty of good news to Democrats.
The Gallup poll revealed that President Obama’s approval rating with Hispanics has skyrocketed since he announced his executive action on immigration. In the last two weeks, Obama’s approval rating with Hispanics has jumped from 54% to 68%. It is clear that President Obama has completely captured all of the momentum on the immigration. The president has both the high moral ground, and the popular position. He is benefitting from acting where Congress wouldn’t.
A new CNN poll also suggested that the blame Obama strategy isn’t going to be enough now that Republicans control Congress.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Via the Wall Street Journal:Reposted from Joe Jervis
No puns, please. This is China. That’s the message from the country’s media regulators, who on Thursday derided the use of wordplay in advertisements and broadcasts, saying they were “contradictory in spirit to the promotion and continuance of excellent, traditional Chinese culture.” Examples cited by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, or SAPPRFT – whose dim view of language abuse evidently doesn’t include any reticence about long-winded names — include slogans that have been previously used to promote tourism and medical treatment. “They can create misunderstandings for the public, especially for minors,” the regulator said in a notice posted to its site. “They need to be firmly corrected.” The agency isn’t alone in its campaign for linguistic purity. Earlier this year, Communist Party flagship paper People’s Daily also railed against the seeping of English terms such as “CEO” and “wifi” into the Chinese language.
Is Russian President Vladimir Putin meddling in the internal politics of countries in the European Union? That seemed a strong possibility to some Europeans this week, after French political leader Marine Le Pen confirmed she had secured a €9-million ($11.1 million) loan from a Moscow-based bank, in order to run her right-wing National Front party. “At this stage, Russia is trying to influence French domestic policy,” says Jean-Yves Camus, a political researcher at France’s Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). If so, Putin’s strategy resembles the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991, when Moscow funded trade unions and political groups in western Europe in an attempt to buy influence and destabilize foes. “In this respect Putin is pretty much in line with the former USSR. It is the same policy all over again,” says Camus.According to the Independent, the €9M loan is only the first installment in loans that will total €40M. But that's not all the Kremlin is doing:
There have been unconfirmed allegations in the United States that Moscow is funding the virulently xenophobic Hungarian party Jobbik and the avowedly neo-Nazi Greek party, Golden Dawn. A discussion paper from a Putin-supporting Moscow think-tank, leaked to the German press this week, urged the Kremlin to find ways of funding other Europhobic parties such as the emerging Alternative for Germany (AfD). The admiration of hard-line nationalist parties for Mr Putin is not only based on money. The Kremlin has gone out of its way to establish friendly ties with European political parties that share its view of the European Union as a meddlesome, US-controlled enemy of national sovereignty and destroyer of traditional religious and family values.PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: The National Front is a backer of the anti-gay Manif Pour Tous and has supported its numerous, vicious and often violent rallies, as have hate group leaders Brian Brown and Tony Perkins. Founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted six times for inciting racial hatred, including for denying that the Holocaust took place. Earlier this year he "joked" that his critics, who include Madonna, will be in the next "batch" headed for the gas chambers. He has also "joked" that ebola is the "solution" to Europe's immigration problems. Last year Le Pen's daughter, Marine Le Pen, herself a failed candidate for France's presidency, praised the man who committed suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral in protest of same-sex marriage. In February of this year Le Pen's granddaughter, 24 year-old Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, led a massive anti-gay march through the streets of Paris. (What a family.) In January of this year the youth leader for the National Front called for France to institute anti-gay laws similar to those in Russia.
Labels: France, Kremlin, LGBT rights, Manif Pour Tous, Marine Le Pen, National Front, neo-Nazis, religion, Russia, Vladimir Putin
Somos todos normóticos em um sistema acadêmico de formação de pesquisadores e de produção de conhecimentos que está doente, e nossa Normose acadêmica tem feito naufragar o pensamento criativo e a iniciativa para o novo em nossas universidades
Doença sempre foi algo associado à anormalidade, à disfunção, a tudo aquilo que foge ao funcionamento regular. Na área médica, a doença é identificada por sintomas específicos que afetam o ser vivo, alterando o seu estado normal de saúde. A saúde, por sua vez, identifica-se como sendo o estado de normalidade de funcionamento do organismo.
Numa analogia com os organismos biológicos, o sociólogo Émile Durkheim também sugeriu como identificar saúde e doença em termos dos fatos sociais: saúde se reconhece pela perfeita adaptação do organismo ao seu meio, ao passo que doença é tudo o que perturba essa adaptação.
Então, ser saudável é ser normal, é ser adaptado, certo? Não necessariamente: apesar de Durkheim, há quem considere que do ponto de vista social, ser normal demais pode também ser patológico, ou pode levar a patologias letais.
Os pensadores alternativos Pierre Weil, Jean-Ives Leloup e Roberto Crema chamaram isto de Normose, a doença da normalidade, algo bem comum no meio acadêmico de hoje. Para Weil, a Normose pode ser definida como um conjunto de normas, conceitos, valores, estereótipos, hábitos de pensar ou de agir, que são aprovados por consenso ou por maioria em uma determinada sociedade e que provocam sofrimento, doença e morte. Crema afirma que uma pessoa normótica é aquela que se adapta a um contexto e a um sistema doente, e age como a maioria. E para Leloup, a Normose é um sofrimento, a busca da conformidade que impede o encaminhamento do desejo no interior de cada um, interrompendo o fluxo evolutivo e gerando estagnação.
Estes conceitos, embora fundados sobre um propósito de análise pessoal e existencial, são muito pertinentes ao que se vive hoje na academia. Aqui, pela Normose não é apenas o indivíduo que adoece, que estagna, que deixa de realizar o seu potencial criador, mas o próprio conhecimento. E não apenas no Brasil, também em outras partes do mundo.
Peter Higgs, Prêmio Nobel de Física de 2013 disse recentemente que não teria lugar no meio acadêmico de hoje, que não seria considerado suficientemente produtivo, e que, por isso, provavelmente não teria descoberto o Bosão de Higgs (a “partícula de Deus), descrito por ele em 1964 mas somente comprovado em 2012, quase 50 anos depois, com a entrada em funcionamento de uma das maiores máquinas já construídas pelo homem, o acelerador de partículas Large Hadron Collider. Higgs contou ao The Guardian que era considerado uma “vergonha” para o seu Departamento pela baixa produtividade de artigos que apresentava, e que só não foi demitido pela possibilidade sempre iminente de um dia ganhar um Nobel, caso sua teoria fosse comprovada. Ele reconheceu que, nos dias de hoje, de obsessão por publicações no ritmo do “publique ou pereça”, não teria tempo nem espaço para desenvolver a sua teoria.
À sua época, porém, não só o ambiente acadêmico era outro como ele próprio era um desajustado, um anormal, uma espécie de dissidente que trabalhava sozinho em uma área fora de moda, a física teórica expeculativa. Então, sua teoria é também fruto desta saudável “anormalidade”.
Você pode ler o Artigo completo aqui:
Sunday, November 30, 2014
More North State Christmas lore. If you haven't driven north on I-5 around Christmastime, you wouldn't know about this tree. It's located about 50 yards east of the freeway, near the rest stop halfway between Red Bluff and Cottonwood, about 25 miles south of Redding.
You've probably driven by this Christmas tree just north of Red Bluff heading north on Interstate 5 and wondered about it. I did, and I set out on a search to find why that Charlie Brown kind of tree was always decorated at Christmas time and who was doing it. It's known as Carrie’s Christmas tree and its located north of Red Bluff on Interstate 5 just before we approach the roadside rest area. It stands there all by itself all decked out with bright-colored Christmas tree decorations.
The story of that tree is interesting enough to be told and retold. Years ago in the early 1960s when major reconstruction work began to get underway on that section of the highway, Cottonwood resident and lover of trees Carrie Bogue asked the road officials if she could dig up the tree and move it out of harm’s way. She was denied her simple request.
Work on the highway continued and somehow her tree managed to remain standing through the reconstruction work. However, a few years later, it died. And then, in 1966, a few years after the tree died, Carrie died. She was 93 years old.
Carrie had many friends. Among them were Ruth and Cary Chadwick of Anderson who had been friends of Carrie’s for at least 40 years. They knew the story of Carrie and her tree, and one day as they were driving by the “dead” tree, they noticed it had miraculously come back to life! And of course they thought it was Carrie, now in the form of a tree.
The Chadwick’s knew Carrie well. Carrie had told them, and others, that if she could come back to life after death, she wanted to come back as a tree. And so, according to the Chadwick’s, and to everyone else who knew Carrie well, there she was, alive again, this time as a tree, just as she wished.
That Christmas season, in 1967, the Chadwick’s decorated Carrie’s tree. They covered the tree with bright garlands, tinsels and bows for everyone to see as they passed by on the highway that had now become a freeway.
Over the years, the tree grew larger and taller making it more difficult for the Chadwick’s to decorate. They continued decorating her tree for at least twenty more years until their old ages and poor health began getting in the way. In approximately 1990, their friends Dale and Larry McClure, also of Cottonwood, began helping them out. A few years later, the McClure’s became the lone decorators of Carrie’s tree.
It is not an easy task to decorate the tree because it is no ordinary tree. It is full of spiked barbs approximately two inches long. It has wide limbs and branches that are gnarly and twisted. It's as far from being a Christmas tree as a manzanita bush.
But Carrie saw beyond all the unfriendly and not-so-pretty parts of the tree enough to try and save it. What better way to show it off now that it's Christmas time for all to enjoy.
I drove by it last night and it was hard to tell if it has been decorated. If it's not, I'm sure it will be soon. Please share this story so the story of Carrie's tree will live on! Merry Christmas everyone!