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terrorism


prism

It’s paranoid time

Interesting week. The American public is shocked, SHOCKED, to discover it is living in a surveillance state. For some of us, who have been warning of this scenario unfolding over the last decade or so, the most difficult thing right now is to resist extracting cheap satisfaction by admonishing with “we told you so!”

We told you about Carnivore and ECHELON. We told you about Total Information Awareness (TIA). We told you about the secret rooms housing Narus network tap and DPI racks being quietly installed at core points of the US communications backbone at AT&T and others. We told you about the massive data centre the NSA was building in Utah. You dismissed us as cranks and paranoids – and resumed posting your Lolcats and gossiping about mindless crap, because, y’know, that’s what morons do.

Now all of this has coagulated into this amorphous thing being labelled Prism. (more…)

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Ophelia Benson: "THIS is all YOUR fault!"

Ophelia Benson learns a new big word – stochastic

Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) is a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, usually Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

Blood libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover, although this element was absent in the earliest cases that claimed (the contemporary) Jews reenacted the crucifixion. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and, historically, blood libel claims have been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise. Four of these have been previously canonized as saints, namely William of Norwich, Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Simon of Trent (Simon was decanonized[7] in the 20th century), and Gavriil Belostoksky who remains canonized in the Russian Orthodox Church.the Cesspit of Lies (more…)

“pssst, franc did it…”

Baboons are so giving. Within a day of the Survival Guide post, they have barfed up some perfect examples of exactly how vile they can be when they gather in their echo chamber and start their paranoid whispers about how cruel the world is to them.

The first is merely amusing. The fact that Reddit Atheism+, much like freefromthoughtblogs and skepchick, is being censored with the zeal of a North Korean newspaper is a given and not a surprise to anyone. What is a surprise though (at least to me) is that they found a way to disable the Reddit post “dislike” arrow. I guess clicking the “dislike” arrow on what someone says is a coat of paint away from violent rape at knife point – if you listen to Marcotte and Skeptifem enough it is anyway. So they removed it.

There is a special added bonus with this to boot – now, r/atheism+ can really state that EVERYONE agrees with what they say, and technically, they will be telling the truth. Who says the Naked Emperor can’t teach new tricks? This style of lie-that-isn’t-really-a-lie is his main area of expertise. (more…)

Probably the greatest delusion of the 21st century is that secularism is somehow less insane around its fringes than theism.

And now that 9/11 is being remembered a decade on, it is as inevitable as night following day that the Truthers will come slithering out of their dung piles to rub our noses in their nonsense all over again.

So there is no surprise finding this gem deposited on my ‘tardbook news feed –

What dumber than dogshit looks like

(more…)

This just makes me feel warm –

George W. Bush calls off Europe visit after arrest threat over torture of terror suspects

HE WAS once mocked for his scant foreign travel. Now George W. Bush faces the prospect of a retirement confined to the United States after the cancellation of a trip to Switzerland amid fear of being prosecuted for torture.

The former president’s first trip to Europe since leaving office was called off after human rights groups lodged a complaint with the Swiss courts urging that he be prosecuted under international laws forbidding torture. [full article]

The chances of an arrest and conviction are zero. But it is nice to see someone like Bush, born and raised to feel bullet proof and that those ordinary rules apply only to ordinary folk, realising that no, maybe he is not untouchable and that maybe, just maybe he really is a criminal. And having enough of that doubt and fear that he won’t risk travel.

It is better than nothing.