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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Links - 30th October 2015

Islamic State reveals it has smuggled THOUSANDS of extremists into Europe - "The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen had been smuggled into western nations – hidden amongst innocent refugees. The ISIS smuggler, who is in his thirties and is described as having a trimmed jet-black beard, revealed the ongoing clandestine operation is a complete success. "Just wait," he smiled."

Dating in Singapore, as Told by One Female Expat - "single white males are the hottest, rarest item on the menu. Suddenly, the guys who weren’t considered attractive in their home countries have women of all cultures vying for their attention. The white male transplant, a cunning species, plays this truth to his advantage. He doesn’t have to try — he can let the women come to him. One night, I remember standing at a bar with a friend waiting for a drink. I look over my shoulder and spot a relatively attractive man ten feet away from me. He smiles. I suggest to my friend that we go chat with him and his buddy after we get our drinks. No more than three minutes later, I turn around and this man has five girls swarming him. I didn’t even have a chance... While there was a shallow, crowded pool, I jumped in anyway. Dating in Singapore was one of the best and the worst experiences. I learned early on that I either had to woo a guy who had just moved to Asia (and didn’t realize his commodity status) or date a guy who’s been in Asia a while (and just wants some mac and cheese)."
Comment: "given that Singapore places no value on teaching their people things like history, philosophy and literature; it’s difficult to feel any attraction to the Singaporean Chinese men"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Migration Special - "A few lines written by a refugee child she once met, who felt abandoned by the outside world. 'When the war is over, we will all go back home. We will close all borders and all doors and we will write banners that say: 'No entry to all strangers. Let us alone to weep with happiness as you left us alone to weep with pain'. Yes, Nada (sp?) says, we won't be the welcoming nation we used to be. We will close our doors and be together, when the war ends'"

“NAME THE LIBERAL HYPOCRITE” QUIZ - "2. Who says that conservatives are racist because they don’t support affirmative action but has an abysmal record of hiring blacks?
a. Barbra Streisand
b. Michael Moore
c. Al Franken
d. All of the above
Answer D. All of the above. Of the 112 people Franken has hired to work on his books, television projects and radio program, only one was black. Of the 135 individuals Michael Moore hired, only three were black. Barbra Streisand has hired 53 senior people to work on her film projects and only one was black.
4. Who has called the Pentagon “the most hideous institution on the face of the earth” while enriching themselves with millions of dollars in Pentagon contracts?
a. Noam Chomsky
b. Ward Churchill
c. Howard Dean
Answer: A. Noam Chomsky. The self-proclaimed “dissident” and his wife have made millions in military contracts over the years"

Liberal Hypocrisy on Rule of Law - "Working for the government is not an inalienable right. So Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, was wrong to refuse same-sex couples marriage licenses in her office. If you’re unwilling to enforce the law, you shouldn’t be an officer of the state... we have cities across this country that ignore immigration laws they don’t like and create sanctuaries from law. We have cities that ignore federal drug laws because they find them oppressive. Yet no one finds himself in jail. When Californians approved Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, a number of officials refused to enforce the law. They were celebrated. I may even agree with the impulse. But not one elected official has been hauled off to jail for any of these stands."

Fury as archaeological site ruined and replaced with picnic table - "Builders in a Galician village confused a neolithic tomb with a broken stone picnic table and replaced the 6,000-year-old artefact with a brand spanking new concrete bench"

Studies link mental illness and 'lone wolf' terrorism - "But the new research suggests that solo terrorists are much more likely to have mental health problems than either members of the general public or participants in group terrorism. Spaaij and Mark Hamm of Indiana State University studied 98 lone wolf attackers in the U.S. They found that 40 percent had identifiable mental health problems, compared with 1.5 percent in the general population... A second study by Paul Gill and Emily Corner of University College London looked at 119 lone wolf attackers and a similar number of members of violent extremist groups in the U.S. and Europe. Almost a third of the lone wolves – nearly 32 percent – had been diagnosed with a mental illness, while only 3.4 percent of terrorist group members were mentally ill. “Group-based terrorists are psychologically quite normal,” the researchers said. They said one reason may be that terrorist recruiters are likely to reject candidates who appear erratic or mentally ill."

Slavoj Žižek · The Non-Existence of Norway - "The flow of refugees from Africa and the Middle East into Western Europe has provoked a set of reactions strikingly similar to those we display on learning we have a terminal illness, according to the schema described by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her classic study On Death and Dying... It has not escaped notice that the wealthiest countries in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, Qatar) have been much less open to refugees than the not so rich (Turkey, Egypt, Iran etc). Saudi Arabia has even returned ‘Muslim’ refugees to Somalia... Tens of thousands of refugees in Balkan countries are desperate to get to Germany. They assert their dreams as their unconditional right, and demand from the European authorities not only proper food and medical care but also transportation to the destination of their choice. There is something enigmatically utopian in this demand: as if it were the duty of Europe to realise their dreams – dreams which, incidentally, are out of reach of most Europeans (surely a good number of Southern and Eastern Europeans would prefer to live in Norway too?). It is precisely when people find themselves in poverty, distress and danger – when we’d expect them to settle for a minimum of safety and wellbeing – that their utopianism becomes most intransigent. But the hard truth to be faced by the refugees is that ‘there is no Norway,’ even in Norway... There was a moment, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, when the Japanese authorities were preparing to evacuate the entire Tokyo area – more than twenty million people. If that had happened, where would they have gone? Should they have been given a piece of land to develop in Japan, or been dispersed around the world? What if climate change makes northern Siberia more habitable and appropriate for agriculture, while large parts of sub-Saharan Africa become too dry to support a large population? How will the redistribution of people be organised? When events of this kind happened in the past, the social transformations were wild and spontaneous, accompanied by violence and destruction... Refugees should be assured of their safety, but it should also be made clear to them that they must accept the destination allocated to them by European authorities, and that they will have to respect the laws and social norms of European states: no tolerance of religious, sexist or ethnic violence; no right to impose on others one’s own religion or way of life; respect for every individual’s freedom to abandon his or her communal customs, etc. If a woman chooses to cover her face, her choice must be respected; if she chooses not to cover her face, her freedom not to do so must be guaranteed. Such rules privilege the Western European way of life, but that is the price to be paid for European hospitality. These rules should be clearly stated and enforced, by repressive measures – against foreign fundamentalists as well as against our own racists – where necessary."

The Supreme Court Rules That Christianity Is Not Christian - "The Supreme Court ruling is another giant leap toward theocracy. We are descending to new lows, where non-Christians are openly scorned, made to stand up in public to be identified as outcasts. Our founding fathers are crying in shame and frustration. Welcome to the United States of Iran. Every American should today weep for our country."
The hysteria can fight with the worst of Fox news

Supreme Court Upholds Prayer at Council Meetings in Landmark Ruling - "After their initial complaint, four of the 12 meetings meetings in 2008 included non-Christian prayers; a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and a Baha’i leader were among those invocations, however from Jan. 2009 through June 2010, Christian prayers were reportedly once again the only ones offered. Galloway and Stephens inevitably sued and in 2010 a lower court found that there was not sufficient evidence that Greece intentionally cut out non-Christian invocations... Opportunities for others to pray at the meetings were also not publicized by the town, although there was no ban on outsiders coming to offer invocations and the vast majority of churches in its bounds are Christian in nature... Both sides acknowledge that the Supreme Court has taken up prayer in public venues in the past, however their stances on the merits of the most recent case, Marsh v. Chambers, a 1983 battle over government funding for chaplains, differ wildly. “In that ruling, the Supreme Court upheld legislative prayers in Nebraska but noted that the prayers were generally non-sectarian,” Americans United noted, arguing that the Greece case differs in that its prayers were almost always Christian in nature. The Alliance Defending Freedom disagreed, though, writing, “The last time the Supreme Court ruled on this prayer issue was in 1983. The High Court affirmed America’s long-standing practice of opening public meetings with prayer.” Regardless of how different parties viewed Marsh v. Chambers, as Pew noted, the results are simple to summarize: The Supreme Court found that the Nebraska legislature did not violate the Establishment Clause by allowing sessions to open with prayer, seeing as the U.S. has a unique history of allowing such invocations... The Obama administration surprised some by submitting an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) written brief on the case last year. Rather than taking sides with Americans United, the federal government is arguing that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit misinterpreted the Marsh decision in striking down Greece’s prayer policy, Pew wrote.
The argument here is that sectarian content is allowed, so long as it doesn’t proselytize or disparage other faiths. The Obama administration does not believe that Greece’s prayer policy does either of these things, thus the federal government posited that the court should uphold it."
Presumably the "giant leap toward theocracy" is supported by Obama

Justices allow public prayers at New York town's council meetings - "Just moments before the opinion was announced from the bench, the high court began its public session as it has for decades: with the marshal invoking a traditional statement that ends, "God save the United States and this honorable court.""
The Supreme Court is already a theocracy

Was America Founded As A Christian Nation? - "As historian John Fea notes, “If the Treaty of Tripoli is correct, and the United States was not ‘founded on the Christian religion,’ then someone forgot to tell the American people… The idea that the United States is a ‘Christian nation,’ has always been central to American identity.” But debate rages over whether the Founders were Deists and why the Constitution bears no mention of God... All thought the Bible essential for just and harmonious society. Washington’s Farewell Address neatly summarized, “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensible supports.” Franklin warned the irreligious Thomas Paine, “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?” In Vindicating the Founders, Thomas G. West relays that Gouverneur Morris, ambassador to France , predicted their revolution would fail because the French were “ridiculing religion.” Morris, a not particularly pious man, foresaw catastrophe since “religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments.” The Founders disagreed on much, but were nearly unanimous concerning biblical morality. They understood the relationship between state and society differently than progressive thinkers today: government cannot mold man. Righteous men must mold government which requires the inculcation of virtue through vibrant churches and the transmittal of values generationally via a social structure based on families. Usurping the First Amendment to obstruct public expressions of faith would leave the Founders aghast. Not only did the Constitution leave extant the official religions authorized in most of the states, as historian Thomas Woods explains, prohibiting prayer in public schools “runs exactly contrary to the Framers’ intent … a stupefying departure from traditional American principles and an intolerable encroachment on communities’ rights to self-government.” Jefferson ’s “wall of separation” guarded faith, or lack thereof, against political interference. Far from uprooting our cultural moorings, the Forefathers embraced heritage. Historian Larry Schweikart notes, “The founding documents of every one of the original thirteen colonies reveal them to be awash in the concepts of Christianity and God”... Per Paul Johnson, “The Declaration of Independence was, to those who signed it, a religious as well as a secular act, and the Revolutionary War has the approbation of divine providence.” The Declaration contains four clear references to God... Franklin rebuked the Constitutional Convention for neglecting prayer. He reminded that the delegates had prayed daily during the war and that God answered."

PolyHero Dice - Warrior Set by PolyHero Dice — Kickstarter - "PolyHero Dice are the result of a creative collaboration between brothers Dann and Greg May. We've worked together in the visual arts for more than 20 years, as graphic designers, artists and 3D animators. We've also played Dungeons and Dragons (and other RPGs) together from an early age, starting with the red boxed Basic Set (oh, and even before that a game Dann made up and tried to make Greg play). This project is a labour of love for us; to create imaginative, 3D-sculpted custom dice for our favourite hobby, and for the pure joy of holding and rolling them"
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