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1  Economy / Speculation / Why you should hold out for a new ATH before selling ANY bitcoin! on: January 08, 2016, 04:27:02 AM
World stock markets are heading for MAJOR crash, back to late 80s early 90s levels

https://youtu.be/Ix1RVpYyx-s#t=5m20s

Bitcoin is gonna swallow a lot of this fleeing wealth. New ATH within 18 months guaranteed.
2  Other / Politics & Society / Nuke Saudi Arabia, kill every Saudi Royal on: December 07, 2015, 05:42:13 PM
This message is for U.S. representatives. It's time to make an example, America. Nuke Saudi Arabia.  Just do it already, America, make an example! If these bronze age fuckswits want to abuse modern science (chemistry for bombs) to spread their hateful, ignorant, ancient superstition, we need to make an example.

Think about it, not a single Asian nation has dared to start shit with USA since we nuked Japan, have they? Those squinty-eyed fucks learned their lesson, didn't they? You don't fuck with modern western liberal democracies. In fact that shit has worked for seventy fucking years of peace! Let's teach these new barbarians the same way we taught the Japs. For religious nutters like this a nuke will seem like the power of God, they'll be forced to admit they were wrong! We can have the president air a message that says any Muslim nation that attacks a NATO country will face the same fate, including acts by citizens of your nations!

Realtalk though fuck Islam, fuck every one of its leaders, fuck every follower, fuck every Muslim woman and child. They all need to burn! Show them the power of science and burn them all! Irradiate the entire middle East, including Israel and every goddamn Holy Site from Mecca to Jerusalem so the survivors can't even make pilgrimage there for five hundred years without a hazmat suit. Then scatter every Holy Site with thousands of landmines and other horrible traps so future generations of dipshit theists can die (or at least lose a leg or two) for their cause in horrible ways without bothering us. We don't want any future generations thinking it's a good idea to get religious again.

MAKE AN EXAMPLE. NUKE SAUDI ARABIA!

Actually fuck it just melt the entire Middle East into fucking glass. Muslims are like roaches, if you leave any of them alive, they'll just breed and start suicide bombing again.


P.S.
This situation with theists being allowed to think their opinion matters and is worth killing for must never happen again. Theists should be forced to learn in school that they're mentally-retarded mindfucked adult children, because that's a fucking fact, jack.
3  Other / Politics & Society / Rick & Morty - Killing Rich People on: September 29, 2015, 02:03:46 AM
To another successful year of the festival, pitting poor people against each other for thousands of years!
4  Other / Politics & Society / Rick & Morty on Capitalism (modern slavery) on: September 18, 2015, 12:25:04 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_CyMqQBO8w

5  Other / Politics & Society / Televangelists - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on: August 17, 2015, 10:02:52 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg

Quote
U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with almost anything. We know this from personal experience.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption will not be able to accept donations from Church supporters from the states of Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or South Carolina. We apologize for any inconvenience.
6  Other / Politics & Society / Critics of capitalism must include its definition on: August 05, 2015, 04:17:46 PM
I hold the following to be self-evident truth. With a reasonably diligent amount of research, any earnest student of history and science will arrive at the same conclusions about industrial capitalism I outline below:

1. Capitalism is a system of resource distribution which actively prevents equilibrium. All systems approach equilibrium unless prevented from doing so by a constantly applied external force. In capitalism, that force is systematic hierarchical violence.

2. Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized.
Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims. Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

3. The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control—in everyday language, to make money—by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production.
If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.

4. Within this culture, economics—not community well-being, not morals, not ethics, not justice, not life itself—drives social decisions. Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the monetary fortunes of the decision-makers and those they serve.
Stated another way -  Social decisions are founded primarily (and often exclusively) on the almost entirely unexamined belief that the decision-makers and those they serve are entitled to magnify their power and/or financial fortunes at the expense of all those beneath them in the hierarchy.

5. Given the premises stated above, anyone who truly despises violence must be opposed to capitalism. As I love reason and loathe violence (and exploitation, poverty, starvation, indignity, drudgery, and suffering) I am therefore opposed to capitalism. This is not a political choice, I am compelled by the evidence to believe as I do. My reason for opposing capitalism is in essence the same as my reason for opposing religion: I loathe human suffering.

Critics of capitalism must include its definition

Most business leaders, mass media, politicians and academics keep defining capitalism, the main economic system in today’s world, as markets plus private (“free”) enterprises. That definition is wrong. Definitions matter more now than ever as people increasingly question, challenge and want to move beyond capitalism.

Consider the 20th century revolutions that overthrew a capitalism they defined as markets plus free enterprises. In Russia and China, they replaced private, free enterprises with socialized (state-owned-and-operated) enterprises and replaced market mechanisms of distribution with central state-planned distribution. They called that “socialism,” thinking they had abolished and gone beyond capitalism. However, their socialism proved unable to sustain itself and mostly reverted back to capitalism.

One reason those revolutions failed to go beyond capitalism was those revolutionaries’ definition of capitalism and socialism. That definition crucially shaped their strategies for and very conceptions of revolutionary social change. Since that definition still shapes debates over and strategies for social change today, it urgently needs to be criticized and set aside.

Because capitalism is so regularly defined as “a market system,” we may consider first the actual nonequivalence of capitalism and markets. Capitalism became the dominant economic system in England in revolt against feudalism there in the 17th century. Capitalism spread from England to the western European mainland and thereafter to the rest of the world. However, capitalism was neither the first nor the only system to utilize markets as its means of distributing resources and products. In the slave economic systems that prevailed in various times and places across human history, markets were often the means of distributing resources (including slaves themselves) and the products of slaves’ labor. In the pre-Civil War United States, for example, masters sold slaves and cotton produced by slaves in markets. Thus, the presence of a “market system” does not distinguish capitalism from a slave system.

WHATEVER DISTINGUISHES CAPITALISM FROM SUCH OTHER SYSTEMS AS SLAVERY AND FEUDALISM, MARKETS AND FREE ENTERPRISES ARE NOT IT.

The same logic applies to feudalism. In many times and places across European feudalism, for example, products of feudal enterprises (called “manors”) were sold in markets to serfs and lords of other manors. During the 20th century, for example, feudal latifundias in Latin America sold their products on world markets. The presence of a “market system” does not distinguish capitalism from feudalism. Even the presence of a particular market – e.g., for wage labor – is no definite marker of capitalism’s presence. Economic history displays various examples of slaves and serfs having some or all of their labor power exchanged in markets for money or other commodities.

A parallel argument applies to “free enterprise.” The capitalist enterprise is more or less “free” to set the prices, quantities and qualities of its outputs; organize its labor processes; choose among available technologies; and distribute its profits. But much the same has often applied to slave plantations and feudal manors.

Likewise, capitalism has persisted when markets were subordinated to other mechanisms of distribution. For example, during World War 2, ration cards distributed by the US government fundamentally displaced the market system for distributing many goods. Capitalism also can and has coexisted with “unfree” enterprises. In August, 1971, President Nixon took away the freedom of capitalist enterprises to set prices or wages. Capitalism elsewhere has often continued despite markets and enterprise freedoms being variously abrogated or suppressed for differing lengths of time.

Whatever distinguishes capitalism from such other systems as slavery and feudalism, markets and free enterprises are not it. Nor will competition or the extent of government intervention serve to differentiate capitalism from other systems. The competition among capitalist enterprises had its parallels in competitions among slave plantations, feudal manors, feudal guild workers and so on. Competition varies in its forms and intensities among capitalist enterprises depending on the context and conditions of each industry across time and space. The same is true for competition among noncapitalist enterprises.

HOW AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM ORGANIZES THE PRODUCTION, APPROPRIATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ITS SURPLUS NEATLY AND CLEARLY DIFFERENTIATES CAPITALISM FROM OTHER SYSTEMS.

Finally, government intervention into an otherwise “private” sector of the economy has also been a variable feature of all economic systems. In some slave systems, slaves were chiefly privately owned, while in others, states owned and worked many slaves. In Europe, the absolute monarchies toward the end of feudalism were states owning huge numbers of subordinated serfs alongside the privately run feudal manors of such kings’ subjects. Shifting constellations of private versus state production units characterize noncapitalist as well as capitalist systems.

So then how should we define capitalism to differentiate it from alternative economic systems such as slavery, feudalism and a post-capitalist socialism? The answer is “in terms of the organization of the surplus.” How an economic system organizes the production, appropriation and distribution of its surplus neatly and clearly differentiates capitalism from other systems.

In slavery, one group of persons, the slaves that are others’ property, performs the basic productive labor. Slaves use their brains and muscles to transform objects in nature into what masters desire. Masters immediately appropriate their slaves’ total output, but they usually return a portion of that output for the slaves’ consumption. The excess of the slaves’ total output over what they get to consume (plus what replaces inputs used up in production) is the surplus. The masters take that surplus and generally distribute it to others in society (e.g., police and army, church, etc.) who provide the conditions (security, belief systems, etc.) needed for this slave organization of the surplus to persist through time.

Feudalism displays a different organization of the surplus. Serfs are not property as slaves are; lords do not immediately and totally appropriate what serfs produce. Instead, serfs and lords enter into personal relationships entailing mutual obligations (in European feudalism: fealty, vassalage, etc.). In medieval Europe, lords assigned land parcels to serfs, whose labor there yielded outputs. Feudal obligations typically included either 1) serfs’ laboring parts of each week on their assigned plots and keeping the proceeds and laboring other parts of the week on the lord’s retained land, with the lord keeping the product of that labor (“corvée”); or 2) the serf delivering to the lord as “rent” a portion of the product (or its monetary equivalent) from the land assigned to and worked by the serf. Corvée and rent were forms of Europe’s feudal surplus.

MARX USED THE WORD “EXPLOITATION” TO FOCUS ANALYTICAL ATTENTION ON WHAT CAPITALISM SHARED WITH FEUDALISM AND SLAVERY, SOMETHING THAT CAPITALIST REVOLUTIONS AGAINST SLAVERY AND FEUDALISM NEVER OVERCAME.

Capitalism’s organization of the surplus differs from both slavery’s and feudalism’s. The surplus producers in capitalism are neither property (slavery), nor bound by personal relationships (feudal mutual obligations). Instead, the producers in capitalism enter “voluntarily” into contracts with the possessors of material means of production (land and capital). The contracts, usually in money terms, specify 1) how much will be paid by the possessors to buy/employ the producer’s labor power, and 2) the conditions of the producers’ actual labor processes. The contract’s goal is for the producers’ labor to add more value during production than the value paid to the producer. That excess of value added by worker over value paid to worker is the capitalist form of the surplus, or surplus value.

While the capitalist, feudal and slave organizations of the surplus differ as described above, they also share one crucial feature. In each system, the individuals who produce surpluses are not identical to the individuals who appropriate and then distribute those surpluses. Each system shares a basic alienation – of producers from their products – located at the core of production. That alienation provokes parallel class struggles: slaves versus masters, serfs versus lords, and workers versus capitalists. Marx used the word “exploitation” to focus analytical attention on what capitalism shared with feudalism and slavery, something that capitalist revolutions against slavery and feudalism never overcame.

The concept of exploitation serves also to differentiate socialism clearly from capitalism, feudalism and slavery. In a socialism defined in terms of surplus organization, the producers and the appropriators/distributors of the surplus are identical; they are the same people. In such socialist enterprises, the workers collectively appropriate and distribute the surplus they produce. They perform functions parallel to those of boards of directors in capitalist corporations. Such “workers’ self-directed enterprises” (WSDEs) are unlike slave, feudal and/or capitalist enterprises. WSDEs represent the end of exploitation.

Significant conclusions follow. Soviet socialism from 1917 to 1989 did displace private in favor of social ownership of means of production and markets in favor of central planning. It did not displace the capitalist organization of the surplus in favor of WSDEs; surplus producers and appropriators in state enterprises were not made identical.

Workers produced and others – the USSR’s Council of Ministers and their appointed state officials – appropriated and distributed surpluses generated in state industrial enterprises and on state farms. The Soviet definition of socialism did not focus on the organization of the surplus. Most socialists over the last century, pro- and anti-Soviet alike, used the same definition. In the 19th century, Marx and Engels saw the seizure of state power as a means to transition from capitalism to socialism. In the 20th century, state ownership of the means of production and state central planning became the definition of socialism itself: the end, not just the means. That problematic definition of capitalism and its difference from socialism remains prevalent to this day.

The 20th century’s major experiments to establish socialism would have ended differently had organizers defined capitalism and socialism differently. Their policies might then have replaced not only private with social property and markets with central planning, but also exploitative with nonexploitative organizations of the surplus. As ground-level organizations, WSDEs might have secured a democratic accountability of socialist governments and thereby the survival and development of socialist economies.

The surplus-focused definitions of capitalism and socialism are available to social movements today as they engage and contest economic systems. Or those movements can stay enmeshed in old, endlessly recycled debates between more (Keynesian and welfare statist) versus less (neoliberal) government intervention in capitalist economies. Will the movements keep limiting their goals to expanded government regulation of, and intervention in, economic systems where capitalist organizations of the surplus continue to prevail?

Or will social movements – increasingly facing a hostile global capitalism – seek alliances with advocates of system change via establishing enterprise democracy through WSDEs? Such political questions become urgent as more people than ever question capitalist globalization and capitalism generally.

Cooperatives of all kinds, including worker cooperatives, have a long complex history. In many parts of the world today, they have carved out an acceptable – on condition of remaining a relatively small – place in otherwise capitalist economies. They rarely confront capitalism as an alternative economic system, likely fearing capitalism’s probable reaction.

Confrontation – putting WSDEs forward as a systemic alternative to capitalism – could take may forms. For example, labor unions could add the establishment of worker coops to their strategies vis-à-vis capital. When employers demand concessions by threatening to close enterprises, move them abroad, etc., unions could refuse and proceed instead to establish workers coops if and when the employers actually abandon enterprises. To take another example, localities could campaign for use of eminent domain to address both unemployment and poverty by organizing and supporting worker coops. The successful Mondragon Cooperative Corporation was born in a poor and unemployment-ravaged part of 1950s Spain. High school, college and university curricula could include both abstract discussions on how the US might do better than capitalism and practical courses for establishing worker coops.

Most important would be if progressive political forces saw gains from allying with, helping to build, and undertaking mass political and ideological support for worker coops. The latter could then provide a crucial communication bridge between the left and the daily struggles of workers in their enterprises, both those still capitalist and those that are WSDEs or becoming so. Workers already in WSDEs and those working for transition to WSDEs could also provide economic and political supports to left political initiatives and campaigns. In return, the left could mobilize for legal and other changes to provide worker coops with the needed legislative framework, capital and markets. Mass political campaigns eventually secured the Small Business Administration for small businesses and various levels of political supports for minority and women-owned businesses. WSDEs could benefit from parallel administrations assisting them.

Eventually, when WSDEs had become widespread enough and an allied left had grown enough, they jointly could offer the American people a real choice never before available. They might choose an economy based on capitalist, top-down hierarchical enterprise organization or one based on WSDEs, or some mixture of both. If fair and open, I have little doubt where that vote would point.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30678-critics-of-capitalism-must-include-its-definition
 
7  Other / Politics & Society / Uproar as India 'bans' porn sites on: August 03, 2015, 11:17:09 PM


A notice saying “this site has been blocked as per the instructions of competent authority” surprised many Indians as they failed to access pornographic sites on their servers today. The error is being viewed as the possible imposition of a ban by the Indian government. According to a report in Hindustan Times, porn sites were not available on most of the internet service providers (ISPs) including Vodafone, MTNL, ACT, Hathway and BSNL since Saturday night.

Tons of research has been done on this. Quoting few of them here. Findings of Goldstein and Kant, 1973 found that among US prisoners, rapists were more likely than non-rapists, to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster. These two also found that strict, religious upbringing to be highly correlated with sexual offences.

A 1984 Canadian study by McKay & Dolff for the Department of Justice of Canada reported, “There is no systematic evidence that suggests that increases in specific forms of deviant behaviour, reflected in crime tend statistics, eg. rape, are causally related to pornography.” Diamond and Uchiyama, 1999, studied the situation in Japan – as explicit materials were readily available, the incidence of rape had dramatically decreased over the past few decades.

Studies from Croatia by Landripet, Stulhofer & Diamond done in 2006 and of US and China done by Diamond also showed significant decreases in rape as pornography became increasingly available.

It's the same thing that's wrong with the puritan mindset. When you raise someone to treat natural human urges as perversion they think about those things as immoral. Then they can end up with a mixed up morality where sexuality is in the same place in their mind as rape and other actually immoral things.

When you do this you risk creating a mindset where good makes you feel repressed and evil is a reluctant indulgence. The more you repress something, the more extreme it will be when you let those urges out. That's why a little porn can be a good release.

Reported Rapes
Based on United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) data from 2012: 24,923 reported rapes in India, or 4.26 reported rapes for every 1,00,000 women
This places India at 85 out of 121 countries.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/930919/indians-shocked-as-porn-sites-become-inaccessible/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdoeoU48DIg

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-article-rape-rhetoric-and-reality/article6705077.ece

http://world.time.com/2013/11/08/why-rape-seems-worse-in-india-than-everywhere-else-but-actually-isnt/
8  Other / Politics & Society / Man stabs people at gay pride march in Jerusalem for second time on: August 01, 2015, 03:41:30 PM
Thursday 30 July 2015 - Six revellers attacked by Yishai Schlissel, recently released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing three people at gay pride parade in 2005

A religious protester armed with a knife has run amok during Jerusalem’s gay pride march, stabbing six people – one woman seriously – in the worst incident of homophobic violence in the city in a decade.

According to eyewitnesses, the attacker – named by a police spokesman as Yishai Schlissel – had hidden himself in a supermarket and waited for the march to arrive.

They described seeing Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who had been released from prison three weeks earlier after serving a sentence for stabbing several people at a gay pride parade in 2005, run screaming through the crowd in a central Jerusalem street, stabbing people at random before being overpowered by police.

An Associated Press photographer pictured Schlissel, heavily bearded and dressed in religious clothes, shortly before he began his attack, walking through the crowd with his hand inside his jacket apparently hiding a knife from view. Another image, taken seconds later, showed him running through the crowd pursued closely by police, holding the weapon aloft.

A paramedic named Hanoch Zelinger, who treated the wounded at the scene, said the woman had been seriously injured, with stab wounds to the back, chest and neck.

The march, which attracts thousands of participants, has long been a focus of tension between Israel’s predominantly secular majority and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority, who object to homosexuality. While the event takes place annually without incident in the more gay-friendly business hub of Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem, where the religious population is more dominant, violence has erupted in the past.

Zoe Shoshei, aged 18, told the Guardian she was knocked over as the attacker stabbed a man she was talking to in the back. I saw him stab one man who was wearing heels and shorty shorts and the man I was talking to who was wearing ordinary clothes. He knocked me over. I saw he had a very big knife. He stabbed the man next to me in the back so hard it was, like, ‘I hate you!’” Noah Singer, 17, added: “He did it so hard. He was running and stabbing.”

Another eyewitness, Ayala Baker, 20, said: “We were walking and singing. Then I heard a girl screaming really loudly. I turned and saw people running. I saw a guy running and the cops chasing him. I was really scared. There were people hurt. I saw his eyes. They were just filled with hate.”

Images in the Israeli media showed the moment that Schlissel, held down by several police, was arrested.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, condemned the attack “as a most serious incident”. “In the state of Israel, the individual’s freedom of choice is one of basic values. We must ensure that in Israel, every man and woman lives in security in any way they choose. That’s how we acted in the past and how we’ll continue to act. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” he said in a statement.

Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, also quickly condemned the attack. “We came together today for a festive event, but the joy was shattered when a terrible hate crime occurred here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed.

“We must not be deluded: a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them. I wish the injured a full and speedy recovery.”

Schlissel, who lives in Modiin Ilit, a settlement in the West Bank, stabbed three participants in the 2005 gay pride march and was recently released from prison after serving 10 years of a 12-year sentence for attempted murder. According to Israeli media, after his release he had distributed handwritten pamphlets calling on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the sake of preventing the parade.

On Thursday, a Jerusalem police spokesman, Asi Ahroni, said there was a “massive presence” of police securing the parade but “unfortunately the man managed to pull out a knife and attack”.

The parade continued after the wounded were taken to a hospital, with protesters chanting, “End the violence.”

Oded Fried, the head of a leading gay rights group, said the attack would not deter the movement. “Our struggle for equality only intensifies in the face of such events,” he said.

Another attack on Israel’s homosexual community occurred in 2009 when a gunman attacked a centre for young gay people in Tel Aviv, killing two and wounding 15 others. The Jewish state repealed a ban on consensual same-sex sexual acts in 1988.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/30/up-to-six-stabbed-at-gay-pride-march-in-jerusalem
9  Economy / Speculation / Pattern Recognition 101 on: July 27, 2015, 09:35:45 PM




10  Other / Politics & Society / Richard Wolff: On Bernie Sanders and Socialism on: July 25, 2015, 02:38:45 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhH-PWjR3b0
11  Other / Politics & Society / New Texas textbooks downplay the role of slavery in the Civil War and omits KKK on: July 22, 2015, 05:12:15 AM
National debate revives criticism of Texas textbook standards on Civil War - Omissions fuel new criticism

New Texas textbooks, tailored to state standards that downplay the role of slavery in the Civil War and omit mention of Jim Crow laws or the Ku Klux Klan, are drawing criticism again as the nation grapples with its racial history.

By portraying slavery as merely one of several factors pushing Southern states to secede, and by focusing on states’ rights as a primary cause, the standards fail to present a clear and accurate picture of the Civil War, some historians, educators and activists say. Textbooks based on those standards will be used in some of San Antonio’s biggest school districts.

The controversy has flared anew as legislators, educators and others take steps to remove Confederate symbols on public display across the South after nine black worshippers were fatally shot in Charleston, South Carolina. That state’s governor signed a bill Thursday to take down the Confederate flag from its pole on the statehouse grounds. An effort to remove statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and two of his generals at the University of Texas at Austin has gained steam.

“... the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States ... demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races ... We hold as undeniable truths that ... the servitude of the African race ... is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator ...”

The only right that Southern states were fighting for was the right to own slaves, say critics of the textbooks, comparing their portrayal of the Civil War’s causes as a distortion comparable to the way the statues and flags honor a racist heritage.
The State Board of Education adopted the standards in May 2010 on a 9-5 vote after a bitter debate, with Republican board members voting for them, saying they would rectify liberal bias in the way Texas taught history. Democrats voted against the standards.
“There would be those who would say, you know, automatically say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery,” board member Patricia Hardy, R-Fort Worth, said during one meeting. “No. It was states’ rights.”

The standards also don’t require textbooks to include material on Jim Crow laws that perpetuated segregation or on the Ku Klux Klan. But the Texas Education Agency said a review showed that publishers on the list of textbooks the board approved last fall did include those subjects in their books.

Last year, facing renewed criticism about the standards, the board’s chairwoman, Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, said the new materials were “much more fair and balanced than they were before.”
Some districts have chosen to pick books that are off the state’s approved list, taking advantage of a 2011 state law that gave districts more freedom in purchasing books. Most districts still buy books from the list.
Textbooks remain an important resource, but teachers rely on their training and judgment, said Steve Antley, a sixth-grade social studies teacher in Houston Independent School District, the state’s largest. The district is ordering state-approved social studies textbooks from the publishing company Pearson for middle school use but is no longer buying printed textbooks for its high schools, instead using online materials, spokeswoman Holly Huffman said.

“I don’t think there’s really the danger that some agenda can be pushed into (the standards) and that’s somehow going to impact all the kids in Texas,” said Antley, who represents HISD educators as president of the Congress of Houston Teachers. “In the end, teachers are still making decisions about how to teach the course.”

Leslie Price, San Antonio Independent School District spokeswoman, said the district adopted state-approved social studies textbooks for both middle and high school.
Northeast Independent School District also follows the state-approved list of social studies textbooks, spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said.



A TV news crew member takes close-up video of a protest sign at a “Don't White-Out Our History” Rally outside the building where the State Board of Education was meeting in May 2010 in Austin to debate new social studies curricullum standards. The protestors were among numerous critics who said the board’s conservative majority was watering down teaching of the civil rights movement and slavery

http://www.expressnews.com/news/education/article/Texas-textbook-standards-on-Civil-War-concern-6377518.php
12  Other / Politics & Society / Pew Research Center - America's Changing Religious Landscape on: July 20, 2015, 02:50:18 PM
Christians decline sharply as share of population; Unaffiliated (atheists & agnostics) as well as Other faiths continue to grow

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men. (Explore the data with our interactive database tool.)

To be sure, the United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world, and a large majority of Americans – roughly 70% – continue to identify with some branch of the Christian faith. But the major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly 8% in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%. And the share of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths also has inched up, rising 1.2 percentage points, from 4.7% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2014. Growth has been especially great among Muslims and Hindus, albeit from a very low base.

Christians Decline as Share of U.S. Population; Other Faiths and the Unaffiliated Are GrowingThe drop in the Christian share of the population has been driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics. Each of those large religious traditions has shrunk by approximately three percentage points since 2007.



Read more: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

American Christians are a dying breed. The truth hurts, no?
13  Other / Politics & Society / Jeremy Rifkin - The Zero Marginal Cost Society on: July 17, 2015, 02:37:57 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBlWEOHqdOU

Jeremy Rifkin, economist, government advisor & New York Times bestselling author of the book: The Zero Marginal Cost Society.

Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

ENVIENTA Open Source Ecology - Live In An Economic Revolution

With the current rise of global economical problems, more people have to sacrifice their time to earn more income in order to keep up with the times. This is due to the cost of living that has drastically increased compared to that of 10 years ago. Our living needs have changed so much since then, that we find it hard to cope with our daily life.

We depend so much on the main electricity and power this day, from how we cook food to heating up the water with water heaters during our shower. Not only do we have to deal with the problem of the rising electricity bills, we have to also tackle the problems with our economic system that were caused by the usage of these conveniences.

A non-profit association has sprung its doors open to cater to you, me and our beloved Mother Earth. The ENVIENTA has seemed to figure out an answer to this rising issue. They have come up with a whole revolutionary open source based economic system that might be just the exact solution for a better, cleaner and greener living for us.

The concept that they have put together will definitely change how we look at the whole issue. Imagine living in a space where it costs lesser than regular houses, but, it is fitted and controlled entirely with a smart home system. It costs lesser because, instead of a regular brick house, it is made out of upcycled shipping container which is reconstructed to cater to our basic living needs.

As the rising costs of bills does have a huge impact on not only our monthly income, but the time invested to earn the pay cheque, these houses will be fully powered through the natural source of light. Solar panels will be fixed on this housing concept, where light energy from the Sun will be captured and conserved. It will then be converted into electrical energy when needed.

This would mean that all our equipment and electronics will be powered by this natural source of energy. Thus, there will be no monthly electric bills, lifting off the huge burden from our shoulders.

What ENVIENTA has included in their economic revolution concept is the use of Hydroponics and Aeroponics to meet our food demands. This is not only a great idea, but something that has never been put to thought to exist in our own homes as well.

As known to many, more vegetables and plantations today are grown with the excessive use of pesticides, insecticides and other types of chemical. The food that we consume might not be as safe as we thought it is. This will not only be able to reduce the amount of spending on vegetation, but eat food products that are proven to be cleaner and chemical-free, as well as reduce the amount of land or soil used in its growth.

Adding the use of Hydroponics and Aeroponics to the concept for our own use is certainly a vital point for our sustainability in the future and will be able to progress us to live greener as well.

Another great idea that the ENVIENTA has included in their concept is the usage of 3D printing technology. Depending on mainstream mass production line of products would mean that more amount of plastic, paper and other materials were produced in efforts to create a particular product of interest.

Most of us know very well how much waste we produce by day, and some of the waste cannot be recycled such as plastic matter. The idea that ENVIENTA project has introduced in using 3D technology might be another great solution that one could think of. Replacing mass produced furnitures with recycled plastics made from using 3D printing technology is a very innovative idea.

The whole concept seems to work well hand in hand, making it a whole new living edge and space. The amount of ideas ENVIENTA has come up with and how practical and broad they are is something that is sought upon. They might just be the next vital project that will bring the world into a spectrum of economic revolution and the answer to the future.
14  Other / Politics & Society / Won't you take the Vasectomy Pledge with me, brother? on: July 16, 2015, 03:52:52 PM
"Night gathers, and now my sex begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no sperm, father no children.
I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my bedpost. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the toucher of the tits.
I am the pervert that fucks the realms of women. I pledge my penis and thrusts to the Women's Watch, for this night and all the nights to cum."

Get a vasectomy today, live a good life. Trust me, it's awesome.



15  Other / Politics & Society / Hardly Any Women Regret Having an Abortion, a New Study Finds on: July 15, 2015, 07:18:42 PM
http://time.com/3956781/women-abortion-regret-reproductive-health/

The conclusion comes after a three-year research period involving nearly 670 women of all social backgrounds

Ninety-five percent of women who have had abortions do not regret the decision to terminate their pregnancies, according to a study published last week in the multidisciplinary academic journal PLOS ONE.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine, and from the university’s division of biostatistics.

Its conclusions come after a three-year research period in which nearly 670 women were regularly surveyed on the subject of their abortions. The sample group was diverse with regard to standard social metrics (race, education, and employment) and on the matter of what the study calls pregnancy and abortion circumstances. Financial considerations were given as the reasons for an abortion by 40 percent of women; 36 percent had decided it was “not the right time;” 26 percent of women found the decision very or somewhat easy; 53 percent found it very or somewhat difficult.

The authors of the study concluded that the “overwhelming majority” of the women participating in the study felt that abortion had been the right decision “both in the short-term and over three years.”

These results offer a statistical retort to the claim that women who have abortions suffer emotionally as a result, as anti-abortion campaigners claim. Previous studies cited in support of this claim, researchers said, “suffer from shortcomings, leaving the question of women’s post-abortion emotions unresolved.”

The new study is careful to avoid generalities. It discerns between having lingering emotions after an abortion and regretting the abortion altogether — two distinct responses that pro-lifers tend to conflate — and concludes that post-abortion emotional reactions are normal, but almost inevitably taper over time, and that ultimately, very few women altogether regret terminating their pregnancies.

“Certainly, experiencing feelings of guilt or regret in the short-term after an abortion is not a mental health problem; in fact, such emotions are a normal part of making a life decision that many women in this study found to be difficult,” the study reads. “Our results of declining emotional intensity… [find] steady or improving levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, stress, social support, stress, substance use, and symptoms of depression and anxiety over time post-abortion.”
16  Other / Politics & Society / Last Week Tonight: Transgender Rights on: June 30, 2015, 02:23:27 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoAX9f6MOc

Discuss, if you dare.
17  Other / Politics & Society / The road to the End of Religion: How sex will kill God on: June 29, 2015, 10:42:28 PM
Phase 1. Destroy heteronormative standards and establish equality for all sexuality. Struggle nearing completion in most industrialized nations [sorry Russians]

Phase 2. Destroy the myth of Homo Sapien monogamy and assert science in the realm of human sexuality. Pansexuality / polyamory explodes. Struggle ongoing in most industrialized nations

Phase 3. Smash the myth [social construct] of gender and assert science in that realm. Struggle just began in industrialized nations

Phase 4. Medical science cures all sexually transmitted infections/diseases. Orgies ensue all over the world. Probably a result of nanotech innovation.

Phase 5. Merging of hardware and wetware, next phase of human evolution. Religion fully obsolete as mortality itself has been solved.

Related reading (pics are links!):









----Sorry, final two books are paywalled for now!----



18  Other / Politics & Society / Billionaires worried about the poor rising up on: June 16, 2015, 02:23:30 PM
"I can't sleep at the thought of the social upheaval that I believe is imminent. Bear in mind that when the poor rise up, the middle class won't want to buy luxury goods for fear of exposing their wealth. How is society going to cope with unemployment, the envy, the hatred, and the social warfare? We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It's unfair, so that's what keeps me awake at night."

-Billionaire Johann Rupert, at the Financial Times "Business of Luxury" summit meeting, in Monaco

Source: Richard Wolff Global Capitalism update June 2015

Related: http://www.democracyatwork.info/
19  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Use Bitcoin Out of Principle on: June 10, 2015, 01:47:47 PM
Excerpt:

The Only Way to Freedom is Through Its Practice Here and Now

"Every single transaction that takes place outside the nexus of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction"
– The Dread Pirate Roberts, 2012

(...)

The government derives its power to do all the objectionable things it does from the monetary system. Fiat currency can be created in any quantity by the government at any time and at zero cost.

Given the government’s ability to create money instantly at zero cost, tax collection today is mostly about social engineering. Paying taxes maintains the illusion that fiat money is scarce and therefore valuable

(...)

How Change Happens. And Why It Often Doesn’t

Our intuition tells us that technology, social norms, movements and ideas just move forward through time, as if forward progress is a river and those things are on a raft gliding through. We so associate the passage of time with progress that we use the term “the future” to refer to a better, more advanced version of our present world. In reality, if a more advanced future does happen, it’s because that future was willed into our lives by a few brave people.

The present isn’t welcoming of an advanced future because the present is run by a thick canopy made up of the ideas, norms, and technologies of the past. There’ll be incremental tweaks and slight iterations on proven-to-work concepts, which may seem to us like moving into the future, but it’s really just a polishing up of the past.

Source: https://weeklyglobalresearch.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/tuesday-9th-june/

Emphasis mine
20  Other / Politics & Society / Real Time Capitalist Train Wreck (again) happening in USA, Greece, Spain, Italy on: March 18, 2015, 12:59:45 AM
Capitalism is hitting the fan once again, and this time there will be no "New Deal" to pull it back from collapse. This time there will be no reform.
There will be no negotiating with the real terrorists, the elite parasite caste that smugly hordes 90% of the world's wealth in their greedy claws, while the rest of us fight for metaphorical breadcrumbs.

Learn more here. And here. And here. And here. And here.
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