Monday, October 31, 2011

Code of Mysterious Secret Society Cracked Centuries Later | Encryption, Cryptograms & Code-Breaking | Oculist Order & Copiale Cipher | Secret Societies & Initiation Rites | LiveScience
Habitable Zone Dramatically Bigger Around Red Dwarfs - Technology Review
Big-Name Drugs Are Falling Off The 'Patent Cliff' : Shots - Health Blog : NPR

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lead Climate Change Skeptic Scientist Richard Muller Admits Global Warming is Real! | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World
:: SCRIPPS OCEANOGRAPHY NEWS : : Researchers Identify Mysterious Life Forms in the Extreme Deep Sea ::
Download BlueStacks - Start playing Android Apps Right Now
Does Your Teen Have ADHD, a Drug Problem, or Both? - ADHD Center -

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top US foreclosure law firm threw Halloween party where staff dressed as homeless, foreclosed-upon Americans - Boing Boing

Friday, October 28, 2011

Americans' Beliefs in Paranormal Phenomena (Infographic) | Ghosts, Hauntings, Psychics & Telepathy | Why We Believe | Unexplained Phenomena | LiveScience

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Windows 8 to increase PC production costs | ZDNet

Monday, October 24, 2011

Calif. Halloween House's 'Party Rock Anthem'
Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery - Yahoo! News
How to Spot Psychopaths: Speech Patterns Give Them Away - Yahoo! News
Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery - Yahoo! News
Ice Cream Sandwich adds tons of new features | Android Atlas - CNET Reviews

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drinking Whiskey In The Spirit Of George Washington : The Salt : NPR
I, Cringely » Blog Archive » The Steve Jobs Interview - Cringely on technology
Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake : NPR
Look Who's Going Gluten-Free : The Salt : NPR
A Coconut Cake From Emily Dickinson: Reclusive Poet, Passionate Baker : The Salt : NPR
Computer Prices Keep Falling - Yahoo! Shopping

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Child Slaves Made Your Halloween Candy. Stop Buying It. - Food - GOOD
5 reasons Siri frustrates me | ZDNet

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why I’ve finally had it with my Linux server and I’m moving back to Windows | ZDNet
Why Ghosts Are Spooked by HD Cameras | Video evidence of ghosts and Bigfoot | Paranormal Activity | Life's Little Mysteries
Cell Phone Radiation and Brain Cancer: FAQs | WHO Pronounces Mobile Phone Usage 'Possibly Carcinogenic' | Life's Little Mysteries

Mohammed--Deja Vu

Mohammed—Déjà Vu

In the 1930’s Hitler and Nazism were rising in power in Germany. As the evil of their intentions became reality on the ground, nearly every leader in Europe completely denied the evil in front of their eyes. The drive to think only good thoughts about Hitler and appease him in every way saturated the speech and reports of political and religious leaders, the universities and the press. Not even the invasion of bordering states could disprove the “Hitler is a reasonable man” point of view held by the establishment. Appeasement would make him like them and be reasonable. Peace at all costs was the moral motto.

Since they would not strike while Hitler was weak, the Europeans had to deal with the Nazis when they came to full fighting strength, and it took massive costs of treasure and blood to deal with the problem. The establishment’s peace by appeasement brought great evil.

The parallels between the establishment’s denial about the Nazis then and their leadership about Islam today are frightening. We see that denial of facts in the face of fear is a human trait.

All of these quotes come from William Manchester’s biography William Spencer Churchill Alone.

Political leaders
British leaders would not even believe the intelligence gathered by their own members:

the British government took the remarkable position that the detailed reports from two of its most eminent ambassadors, describing conditions in the Third Reich, were based on misunderstandings, distortions, and unconfirmed rumors.
… [the prime minister] assured Germany's ambassador to Britain, Leopold von Hosch, that he knew there were no atrocities, no beatings, no desecration of synagogues--that everything England's own envoys had reported was, in short, a lie.
… [the prime minister’s] silence, his refusal to see, hear, and speak no evil of the Nazi chancellor was characteristic of the response among England's ruling classes.( Pg 103 )

Hitler was to never be offended:

The real problem was that the most powerful and influential men in Britain were determined not to offend Hitler.( pg 125)

The establishment made love and peace the religion of the state:

Appeasement became evangelical; indeed, for some the line between foreign policy and religion became blurred. [Leadership] denounced Vansittart's hostility toward the Nazis; Baldwin commented: "I've always said you [Vansittart] were a Christian." “Rage”, wrote Margot Asquith, the widow of the prime minister, “should be met with Christian love. There is only one way of preserving Peace in the world, and getting rid of your enemy, and that is to come to some sort of agreement with him--and the viler he is, the more you must fight him with the opposite weapons than his." She concluded: "The greatest enemy of mankind today is Hate." (Pg 101)

The Folly of Truth
Books and facts were never allowed to penetrate the shield of peace at all costs:

Over the holidays he [Prime Minister Chamberlain] read Stephen Roberts's The House That Hitler Built, a powerful indictment of National Socialism by an eminent Australian scholar, but he wrote his sister Ida: "If I accepted the author's conclusions I should despair, but I don't and won't. pg. 243

What leader of today has read the Koran or the Sunna? Not one leader (except Churchill) in the establishment ever read Mein Kampf:

the appeasers seemed wholly unaware of Hitler's great design, blueprinted in Mein Kampf and now emerging as an alarming reality. Pg. 242

The Media
The press and the BBC radio censored all bad news about the Nazis. They also never connected any dots. Any event that did sneak through the reporting was never part of a pattern of behavior:

Ebbutt's [British reporter] editors read his stories; they knew what was happening in the Third Reich, though their readers often did not; his dispatches were frequently rewritten or suppressed by Dawson [Times editor], who, after five years of jumping through Hitler's hoops, merely wondered at the man's ingratitude. He wrote H. G. Daniels, his Geneva correspondent: "I do my utmost, night after night, to keep out of the paper anything that might hurt their [Nazi] susceptibilities. I can really think of nothing that has been printed now for many months past to which they could possibly take exception as unfair comment." Pg 144

The establishment was to not to ever make evil specific to the Nazis:

[Leadership told] Tory MPs that if they felt they must deplore totalitarianism and aggression, they must not name names. It was important, he said, to avoid "the danger of referring directly to Germany at a time when we are trying to get on terms with a country. Fleet Street [the British press] cheered. So did Britain. These were men of peace. Pg. 238

The press had a policy of not reporting evil about the Nazis:

Dispossessed by the Nazis, they [Jews] wandered the roads of eastern Europe. Photographs of their ordeal were profoundly moving, but Dawson [editor of London Times] refused to run any of them in The Times; he couldn't help the victims, he explained to his staff, and if they were published Hitler would be offended. Pg. 399.

Religious leaders
The persecution of the Church in Germany did not bother the virtuous Establishment religious leaders and the press. They would cover it up and make excuses:

There was "no persecution of religion in Germany," said Bishop Headlam, merely "persecution of political action." Geoffrey Dawson [newspaper editor] published the bishop's sermons in full while consigning dispatches from his own Berlin correspondent, describing the imprisonment of German clergymen, to the wastebasket. Pg. 311

Notice any parallels? History repeats itself. Islam and Mohammed get the same treatment. Our current ignorant and fearful political, religious, media and university leaders have a historical pedigree.

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LA HB 195 - Louisiana Legislature - 2011 - Legislation - MyGov365

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

California’s Olive Oils Challenge Europe’s -
Smart Phones Could Hear Your Password - Technology Review - StumbleUpon
EmTech: Get Ready for a New Human Species - Technology Review

EmTech: Get Ready for a New Human Species - Technology Review

Future gazing: Juan Enriquez speaking at EmTech 2011 on Tuesday.
Technology Review


EmTech: Get Ready for a New Human Species

Now that we can rewrite the code of life, Darwinian evolution can't stop us, says investor Juan Enriquez.


The ability to engineer life is going to spark a revolution that will dwarf the industrial and digital revolutions, says Juan Enriquez, a writer, investor, and managing director of Excel Venture Management. Thanks to new genomics technologies, scientists have not only been able to read organisms' genomes faster than ever before, they can also write increasingly complex changes into those genomes, creating organisms with new capabilities.

Enriquez, who spoke at Technology Review's EmTech conference on Tuesday, says our newfound ability to write the code of life will profoundly change the world as we know it. Because we can engineer our environment and ourselves, humanity is moving beyond the constraints of Darwinian evolution. The result, he says, may be an entirely new species.

Enriquez is the author of the global bestseller As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth. His most recent publication is an eBook, Homo Evolutis: A Short Tour of Our New Species.

Technology Review senior editor Emily Singer spoke with Enriquez after his talk.

TR: Why do you think there is going to be a new human species?

Juan Enriquez: The new human species is one that begins to engineer the evolution of viruses, plants, animals, and itself. As we do that, Darwin's rules get significantly bent, and sometimes even broken. By taking direct and deliberate control over our evolution, we are living in a world where we are modifying stuff according to our desires.

If you turned off the electricity in the United States, you would see millions of people die quickly, because they wouldn't have asthma medications, respirators, insulin, a whole host of things we invented to prevent people from dying. Eventually, we get to the point where evolution is guided by what we're engineering. That's a big deal. Today's plastic surgery is going to seem tame compared to what's coming.

How is this impending revolution going to shape the world?

Ninety-eight percent of data transmitted today is in a language almost no one spoke 30 years ago. We're in a similar period now. But this revolution will be more widespread because this is software that writes its own hardware.

People think this technology will just change pharma or biotech, but it's much bigger than that. For example, it's already changing the chemical industry. Forty percent of Dupont's earnings today come from the life sciences. It's going to change everything; it will change countries, who's rich and who's poor. It's going to create new ethics.

New ethics?

It will change even basic questions like sex. There used to be one way to have a baby. Now there are at least 17. We have decoupled sex from time. You can have a baby in nine months, or you can freeze sperm or a fertilized egg and implant it in 10 years or 100 years. You can create an animal from one of its cells. You can begin to alter reproductive cells. By the time you put this together, you've fundamentally changed how you reproduce and the rules for reproduction.

What does it take to make a new species?

We're beginning to see that it's an accumulation of small changes. Scientists have recently been able to compare the genomes of Neandertals and modern humans, which reveals just a .004 percent difference. Most of those changes lie in genes involved in sperm, testes, smell, and skin.

Engineering microbes alone might speciate us. When you apply sequencing technology to the microbes inhabiting the human body, it turns out to be fascinating. All of us are symbionts; we have 1,000 times more microbial cells in our bodies than human cells. You couldn't possible digest or live without the microbial cells inside your stomach. Some people have microbes that are better at absorbing calories. Diabetics have a slightly sweeter skin, which changes the microbial fauna and makes it harder for them to cauterize wounds.

One concern about human enhancement is that only some people will have access, creating an even greater economic divide. Do you think this will be the case?

In the industrial revolution, it took a lifetime to build enough industry to double the wealth of a country. In the knowledge revolution, you can build billion-dollar companies with 20 people very quickly. The implication is that you can double the wealth of a country very quickly. In Korea in 1975, people had one-fifth of the income of Mexicans, and today they have five times more. Even the poorest places can generate wealth quickly. You see this in Bangalore, China. On the flip side, you can also become irrelevant very quickly.

Scientists are on the verge of sequencing 10,000 human genomes. You point out this might highlight significant variation among our species, and that this requires some ethical consideration. Why?

The issue of [genetic variation] is a really uncomfortable question, one that for good reason, we have been avoiding since the 1930s and '40s. A lot of the research behind the eugenics movement came out of elite universities in the U.S. It was disastrously misapplied. But you do have to ask, if there are fundamental differences in species like dogs and horses and birds, is it true that there are no significant differences between humans? We are going to have an answer to that question very quickly. If we do, we need to think through an ethical, moral framework to think about questions that go way beyond science.

Yucatan Lemon Soup Recipe -

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Analytics in 40 years: Machines will kick human managers to the curb | ZDNet
Why You Shouldn't Compare Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party - Yahoo! News
The Original Human Language Like Yoda Sounded | LiveScience

Monday, October 17, 2011

Challenges loom as world population hits 7 billion - Yahoo! News
Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?
What's Really in Your Food?
Why my parents don't use Android | ZDNet
Siri = Eliza? | ZDNet
Spanish scientists trial promising HIV vaccine
Patient reportedly cured of HIV infection after stem cell transplant
Liquid lens mimics the human eye
Mini autofocus lens mimics the human eye

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Event-hiding 'temporal cloak' demonstrated
Chemical-etching technique could lead to diamond micro-machines

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Samsung Nexus Prime hands-on video - - YouTube
Evicting Wall Street Protesters Would Be a Disaster for Bloomberg | BNET
Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan: Winners and Losers | Jill Schlesinger - CBS
Visitrs - Chrome Web Store
Triassic 'Kraken' may have created self-portrait | TG Daily
Did the U.S. fabricate the Iran plot? - Yahoo! News
Former Iran assassin says alleged plot 'makes no sense' - Yahoo! News
Police and demonstrators clash in Rome, teargas fired - Yahoo! News

Friday, October 14, 2011

PolitiFact | Sorting out the truth in politics

PolitiFact | Sorting out the truth in politics: "According to Wikipedia, there are only five countries in the entire planet that are more unequal than the United States in the distribution of our wealth."

'via Blog this'
Dennis Ritchie, 70, Dies, Programming Trailblazer -
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Rabbit-Hole Economics -

Rabbit-Hole Economics -

Rabbit-Hole Economics

Reading the transcript of Tuesday’s Republican debate on the economy is, for anyone who has actually been following economic events these past few years, like falling down a rabbit hole. Suddenly, you find yourself in a fantasy world where nothing looks or behaves the way it does in real life.

And since economic policy has to deal with the world we live in, not the fantasy world of the G.O.P.’s imagination, the prospect that one of these people may well be our next president is, frankly, terrifying.

In the real world, recent events were a devastating refutation of the free-market orthodoxy that has ruled American politics these past three decades. Above all, the long crusade against financial regulation, the successful effort to unravel the prudential rules established after the Great Depression on the grounds that they were unnecessary, ended up demonstrating — at immense cost to the nation — that those rules were necessary, after all.

But down the rabbit hole, none of that happened. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because of runaway private lenders like Countrywide Financial. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because Wall Street pretended that slicing, dicing and rearranging bad loans could somehow create AAA assets — and private rating agencies played along. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers exploited gaps in financial regulation to create bank-type threats to the financial system without being subject to bank-type limits on risk-taking.

No, in the universe of the Republican Party we found ourselves in a crisis because Representative Barney Frank forced helpless bankers to lend money to the undeserving poor.

O.K., I’m exaggerating a bit — but not much. Mr. Frank’s name did come up repeatedly as a villain in the crisis, and not just in the context of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, which Republicans want to repeal. You have to marvel at his alleged influence given the fact that he’s a Democrat and the vast bulk of the bad loans now afflicting our economy were made while George W. Bush was president and Republicans controlled the House with an iron grip. But he’s their preferred villain all the same.

The demonization of Mr. Frank aside, it’s now obviously orthodoxy on the Republican side that government caused the whole problem. So what you need to know is that this orthodoxy has hardened even as the supposed evidence for government as a major villain in the crisis has been discredited. The fact is that government rules didn’t force banks to make bad loans, and that government-sponsored lenders, while they behaved badly in many ways, accounted for few of the truly high-risk loans that fueled the housing bubble.

But that’s history. What do the Republicans want to do now? In particular, what do they want to do about unemployment?

Well, they want to fire Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve — not for doing too little, which is a case one can make, but for doing too much. So they’re obviously not proposing any job-creation action via monetary policy.

Incidentally, during Tuesday’s debate, Mitt Romney named Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw as one of his advisers. How many Republicans know that Mr. Mankiw at least used to advocate — correctly, in my view — deliberate inflation by the Fed to solve our economic woes?

So, no monetary relief. What else? Well, the Cheshire Cat-like Rick Perry — he seems to be fading out, bit by bit, until only the hair remains — claimed, implausibly, that he could create 1.2 million jobs in the energy sector. Mr. Romney, meanwhile, called for permanent tax cuts — basically, let’s replay the Bush years! And Herman Cain? Oh, never mind.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the disappearance of budget deficits as a major concern for Republicans once they start talking about tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?

It’s all pretty funny. But it’s also, as I said, terrifying.

The Great Recession should have been a huge wake-up call. Nothing like this was supposed to be possible in the modern world. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be engaged in serious soul-searching, asking how much of what he or she thought was true actually isn’t.

But the G.O.P. has responded to the crisis not by rethinking its dogma but by adopting an even cruder version of that dogma, becoming a caricature of itself. During the debate, the hosts played a clip of Ronald Reagan calling for increased revenue; today, no politician hoping to get anywhere in Reagan’s party would dare say such a thing.

It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party, one that already has the power to block anything the president proposes — and which may soon control the whole government.

'via Blog this'
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photoshopped Mohammed

Photoshopped Mohammed

by Kenneth Roberts

Photoshopping is slang for the digital editing of photos. In photoshopping, images are edited and manipulated to create an illusion or deception.

Helicopter Shark Mohammed

The ‘Helicopter_Shark’ was a famous example of photo manipulation in which two photographs were digitally combined to give the impression that a shark was leaping from the water to attack a military helicopter. Modern Islamic apologetics go to similar lengths to manipulate the biography of Mohammed even adding elements not in the foundational texts. A typical example of Islamic ‘helicopter shark’ is this story:

There was a lady who threw garbage in the path of the Prophet on a daily basis. One day, she didn‘t do it. The prophet went to inquire about her health, because he thought she might be sick. This lady ended up converting to Islam.

There is no reference provided for the preceding, because it is not Islamic. The actual story is from the life of Abdul Baha, a founder of Baha’iism that has been photoshopped into Mohammed’s biography by modern Muslim apologists.

The real story of a woman who insulted Mohammed is found below with its reference:

A Jewish woman used to insult the Prophet and say bad things about him, so a man strangled her until she died, and the Prophet ruled that no blood money was due in this case. (Abu Dawud 4349)

Glamour Photo Mohammed

In glamour photos, the term "airbrushing" describes the removal of physical imperfections of photo models or the enhancement of their attributes in an attempt to fabricate an image of unrealistic female perfection.
Modern Muslims similarly create an ‘airbrushed’ or ‘photoshopped’ image of Mohammed by leaving out his offensive traits and enhancing any qualities that appeal to our modern concerns for human rights and civil liberties.
Here is an example of ‘airbrushed’ Mohammed found on an Islamic website:

“He (Mohammed) suffered from all but harmed none. He was affectionate and loving towards his friends and forgiving and merciful towards his enemies. He was sincere and honest in his mission; good and fair in his dealings; and just in deciding affairs of friends as well as of enemies. In short, all goodness and excellence have been combined in the person and personality of Hazrat Mohammed”.

However, the unphotoshopped Mohammed is neither affectionate nor merciful:

“Aisha, the Mother of the Faithful, was asked, ‘How did the Messenger of Allah behave?’ She replied, ‘His eye did not weep for anyone.’” Tabari VIII:40

Object Removal

A main aim in photo editing is the removal of unwanted objects in the photo. Before photoshopping, this was done by airbrushing. Stalin routinely airbrushed his enemies out of photographs. The term "airbrushed out" has come to mean rewriting history to pretend something was never there.
Contemporary academics have called the process of removing components from an image object removal. It is considered unethical because it is an intentional misrepresentation of historical facts.

The ‘objects’ modern Islamists want to remove are Mohammed’s …

‘It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.’ Koran 33.36

‘While I was sleeping, the keys to the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.' Bukhari:V4B52N220

"Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it." Kash-shaf (the revealer) of al-Zamkhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525)

"No two religions are to exist in the Arab Peninsula", The Sira, pp. 50, 51


"The apostle of God defeated the people until they entered Islam by hook or by crook." "The Ordinances of Qur’an", Al Shafi, page 50

“Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.” K. 8:36

“How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them.” K. 7:4

‘Terrorists cannot be Muslims’ or can they?

One of the claims of modern Islamists is that ‘a terrorist cannot be a Muslim’.

Just after 9-11, the late Anwar Awlaki, mentor to notable terrorists, said, "There is no way that the people who did this (9-11) could be Muslim, and if they claim to be Muslim, then they have perverted their religion." Awlaki’s later terrorism proved he did not believe his own definition.

By Awlaki’s definition, many leading Muslims of history are excluded from the religion of Islam:

Osama Bin Laden was not a Muslim when he cast terror into the hearts of Americans on 9-11.

Sayeed Maududi was not a Muslim when he wrote: "Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam." Sayeed Abdul A'la Maududi, Jihad in Islam, p.9

Sultan Mehmet V was also not a Muslim when he signed the Universal Fatwa of 1915 sanctioning the genocide of three million of his Christian subjects.

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), was not a Muslim when he wrote, “the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” (emphasis added)

Tamurlane was not a Muslim when he wrote glowingly of his mass murders: ‘I had crossed the rivers Ganges and Jumna and I had sent many of the abominable infidels to hell, and had purified the land from their foul existence....Thanks to almighty Allah.”

Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq was not a Muslim when he ordered his general Qasim to “behave in such a way that no enemy of the true faith is left in that country”.

Mohammed’s successful general Khalid ibn Walid was not a Muslim when Mohammed sent him to destroy all the pagan temples of the neighboring tribes of Mecca. Khalid reached the Jazima tribe and asked them to say, “We are Muslims”. But they said, “We are Sabians” – whereupon Khalid slaughtered the whole tribe.

By Awlaki’s definition, Mohammed could not be a Muslim either. The Sira (his official biography) is filled with violent acts initiated by Mohammed. In the Sira, Mohammed orders or leads a violent act every six weeks resulting in assassination, plundering, enslavement, rape, genocide, ethnic cleansing and territorial conquest.

The Sira explicitly states that many detractors ran away because of Mohammed’s acts of terrorism. The Sira depicts Mohammed as a successful terrorist. Muslim apologists seldom refer to the Sira…object removal.

The Ethics of Manipulating Mohammed’s Image

In Islam, it is considered moral to manipulate Mohammed’s image to create a favorable impression with kafirs. The moral basis for photoshopping Mohammed’s ‘image’ is called taqiyya.

Taqiyya is sacred concealment for the advancement of Islamic political supremacism. Taqiyya is a form of verbal jihad used to defeat Islam’s opponents by using disinformation. Mohammed used taqiyya frequently in the Sira.

Taqiyya is a doctrine of disinformation endorsed by all branches of Islam. Governments of Islamic countries use taqiyya as a normative policy technique, especially in Shi’ite Iran where taqiyya has greater acceptability.

Taqiyya is basically a kind of object removal.

Our Reaction to Islamic Photoshopping

In light of Islam’s dualistic doctrine of taqiyya, should we ever take at face value the depictions of Mohammed invented by modern apologists of Islam? Or should we rigorously investigate them and do our own research into Islam’s foundational texts to determine whether they have been photoshopped?

Should we not compare the photoshopped versions of Islam with Islam’s canonical writers and spokesmen? Should we not study orthodox authorities of Islam such as Bukhari, Ibn Ishaq, Taymiyyah, Tabari, Nawawi, Ibn Kathir, since they represent Islam’s canonical consensus?

As we saw, Muslim apologists, like the late Anwar Awlaki, use taqiyya to justify misrepresentations of Mohammed’s biography or of the supremacist agenda of jihad, Mohammed’s method.

We need to ask: ‘Has this image of a non-violent Mohammed been photoshopped?’

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wal-Mart’s Layaway Plan -

Panic of the Plutocrats -

It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.

And this reaction tells you something important — namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called “economic royalists,” not the people camping in Zuccotti Park.

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police — confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain calls them “anti-American.” My favorite, however, is Senator Rand Paul, who for some reason worries that the protesters will start seizing iPads, because they believe rich people don’t deserve to have them.

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor and a financial-industry titan in his own right, was a bit more moderate, but still accused the protesters of trying to “take the jobs away from people working in this city,” a statement that bears no resemblance to the movement’s actual goals.

And if you were listening to talking heads on CNBC, you learned that the protesters “let their freak flags fly,” and are “aligned with Lenin.”

The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.

Last year, you may recall, a number of financial-industry barons went wild over very mild criticism from President Obama. They denounced Mr. Obama as being almost a socialist for endorsing the so-called Volcker rule, which would simply prohibit banks backed by federal guarantees from engaging in risky speculation. And as for their reaction to proposals to close a loophole that lets some of them pay remarkably low taxes — well, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, compared it to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

And then there’s the campaign of character assassination against Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer now running for the Senate in Massachusetts. Not long ago a YouTube video of Ms. Warren making an eloquent, down-to-earth case for taxes on the rich went viral. Nothing about what she said was radical — it was no more than a modern riff on Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous dictum that “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

But listening to the reliable defenders of the wealthy, you’d think that Ms. Warren was the second coming of Leon Trotsky. George Will declared that she has a “collectivist agenda,” that she believes that “individualism is a chimera.” And Rush Limbaugh called her “a parasite who hates her host. Willing to destroy the host while she sucks the life out of it.”

What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.

So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.

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Panic of the Plutocrats -
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Ohio Amish leader: Beard-cutting religious matter - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

4 arrested in Ohio Amish attack - Yahoo! News
Firing contest by boss leads employees to quit | The Des Moines Register |
World’s most powerful telescope begins search for origin of the universe, alien life | ExtremeTech
High court drawn into magnetic-homes case | The Columbus Dispatch

Saturday, October 8, 2011

3 health reasons to cook with cast-iron - Food on Shine
Zions Bank sued in Utah over 'unconscionable' fees - Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poll: 1 in 3 vets sees Iraq, Afghan wars as wastes - Yahoo! News
Who are the protesters behind Occupy Wall Street–and what do they want? | The Lookout - Yahoo! News
Discovery Health
Discovery Health

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World's Most Complex Radio Telescope Snaps Stunning 1st Photo of the Cosmos | ALMA & Radio Telescopes | Galaxy Formation & The Early Universe |
Are Aliens Part of God's Plan, Too? Finding E.T. Could Change Religion Forever | Aliens & Religion, 100-Year Starship Symposium, Interstellar Travel | Christian Implications of Extraterrestrial Intelligence |
Sex in Space & Other Interstellar Travel Challenges Revealed | 100-Year Starship Symposium & Interstellar Travel to Another Star | Multigenerational Spaceships, Warp Drive, DARPA & NASA |

Sunday, October 2, 2011

'Broken penis': Karma for cheating husbands? - Health - Men's health -
9/11: A Conspiracy Theory - YouTube

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cloud-Powered Facial Recognition Is Terrifying - Jared Keller - Technology - The Atlantic
Boston Dynamics' AlphaDog Quadruped Robot Prototype on Video - IEEE Spectrum
Amazon has Palm in its shopping cart — will it click Buy? (exclusive) | VentureBeat