Anti-Muslim subway ads throughout New York City: Fighting for faith?

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Early in first grade, one of the nuns advised our class not to associate with children who attended other schools and believed other religions. My teacher, a younger nun, looked uncomfortable and quickly changed the topic. Later that day, I asked my mother about playing with friends who worshiped at other churches.

“Playing with other friends won’t change your beliefs,” my mother said. She was beautiful, devout and confident that her children knew right from wrong at an early age.

I have often wondered if those beliefs could have survived the Catholic Church’s child-abuse scandal, but she died long before the worst reports emerged.

Religions that insist that their adherents cannot read or explore other beliefs, testing their values, are insecure. Religions that try to thrive by insulting other religions are insecure.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has purchased ads for the New York subway system that read:
“In any war between civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

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 Here’s What A School Has for Your 4th Grader. US schools are teaching 8-year-olds how to masturbate, and parents are outraged. The controversy surrounds the textbook titled “It’s Perfectly Normal,” which contains graphic illustrations of naked people of all ages. Some drawings depict children and adults masturbating and having intercourse. Do-it-yourself instructions are included.++

US Common Core standards now require sexuality education from kindergarten through grade 12. To qualify for federal grants from the US Department of Education, public schools must adopt Common Core standards. According to the independent Heartland Institute, the Affordable Care Act has budgeted $75 million for sexuality education. Much of that has been granted to Planned Parenthood. With these funds, Planned Parenthood has hired sexuality teachers for public schools.

Think this photo is bad? Look at the other photos and read the article:

Remove COMMON CORE from our education system and remove the politicans who support it!

by dahlys

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#Yemen: Clashes Unsettle the Capital #Sanaa

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Fighting between Shia rebels and Sunni militias in Yemen has escalated, with clashes on the edge of the capital.

Armed rebels, known as Houthis, shelled buildings of the state TV and the main Sunni Islamist party, Islah, in Sanaa.
Hundreds of residents have fled their homes and international flights to the city have been suspended.
About 40 people have been killed since Tuesday, reports say. The rebels have staged protests for weeks, demanding political and economic reforms.
President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has dismissed the government and promised to review a decision to cut fuel subsidies.

Over the past few weeks the rebels have occupied protest camps on the road to the airport and staged sit-ins at ministry buildings, as well as clashed with fighters loyal to Islah.
On Thursday night Houthi fighters attacked the state television headquarters in Sanaa.
"The Houthi group is continuing to shell the television building with all kinds of weapons until this moment," the channel said on Friday morning.
As fighting intensified, foreign airlines suspended flights to the Sanaa.

"Arab and foreign airlines have decided to suspend their flights to Sanaa for 24 hours because of developments in the capital," the Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement on state news agency Saba.

The measures could be extended depending on the security situation, the statement added.

update : 9/20/2014

Post by Middle East Monitor.

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9/11 Conspiracy Theories: Why Do People Believe In September 11 Conspiracies?

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100% it is 

There are dozens of conspiracy theories surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Some speculate inside traders knew about the attack beforehand. There are people who are convinced that bombs, not airliners, destroyed the Twin Towers. One of the more popular theories states that the U.S. government, not al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.

The 911 Mystery Plane

When people were asked in the 1950s if they could trust the government to do what is right, 75 percent of people said they did, said Robert Alan Goldberg, a history professor at the University of Utah and the author of “Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America.” But there has been a dramatic change since then because of events like the Vietnam War, the Watergate wiretapping scandal and President Bill Clinton's intern romance. Now, only a small minority of Americans trust the government to do what is right, Goldberg said.

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#Smartwatch #Apple Launches Smartwatch, Updates #IPhone6 Line

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Launches Smartwatch, Updates IPhone Line

It will start with a friend. A friend who lives in San Francisco, maybe. Or who works as a venture capitalist. Or who recently had a birthday.

This friend will be wearing an Apple Watch. And at first, you'll giggle. It's a wrist computer! It looks silly, like something out of Dick Tracy. You'll say something snide, like, "Get a lot of dates with that thing?" The friend will laugh good-naturedly. He'll show you some of the things the Apple Watch can do: Twitter notifications, turn-by-turn directions, conversations 

with Siri. You'll pretend to be wowed. You'll move on to other subjects.

Then, a few weeks later, you'll start seeing more of these goofy-looking watches being worn by actual humans. Your boss will get one for Father's Day. They'll raffle one off at a benefit dinner. A hot woman will be wearing one in a restaurant and, somehow, be pulling it off. People will start talking about it in your earshot. Eh, the battery life isn't great, but it saves me a lot of time when I travel. Oh yeah, I use it to pay for stuff. Did you know you can share your heartbeat with this? 

Better, cooler apps will be built for these watches. Silly apps that let you take selfies and send them places. Useful apps that put vital information on your wrist when you need it. Apps for work, for commerce, for killing time on the subway platform. Then the accessories will come: rich-looking leather bands, gorgeously thin Chanel straps, carrying cases that have an extra battery tucked away inside. You'll get numb to the boxy, geeky look of the watches. Maybe one day, you'll catch yourself admiring one from afar. Is that ... an Apple Watch?

And then, sometime around June, you'll get an unexpected infusion of cash — a security deposit you forgot you'd paid, or a few hundred dollars from your tax return. And you'll find yourself on late at night, admiring the watch, wondering if the $349 you'd spend would ever really be worth it.

What the hell, you'll say. Add to cart.

For all the hemming and hawing about the devices Apple released yesterday — the tech specs, the dimensions, the informed analysis of How It Will All Work Together — the most overlooked aspect of the entire day was that Apple gadgets have always been, and will always be, pure fetish objects. Our iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Air purchases may end up helping us be productive at work, or saving us time on the go, but our decision to buy them always starts with the same thought: This looks cool and I want one.

This instinct, and the simple, primordial envy that produces it, is what's made it possible for Apple to sell luxury devices to the masses even in a time of stagnant wages and widening inequality, inspiring millions of people to stretch their budgets in order to accommodate yet another device they can't really afford. It's what's made my first thought, after dropping a $600 piece of metal and glass in the ocean by accident last year, not "Why did I buy a $600 piece of metal and glass that isn't waterproof?" but "Where can I get another one, stat?"

A few months ago, I wrote about wearables — the unfortunately named category to which the Apple Watch now belongs. My prognosis wasn't great. I thought that "despite all the buzz surrounding wearables, it isn’t clear who’s supposed to be buying them," and wondered aloud who, exactly, would be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a glorified notifications screen for their wrist.

But I left myself a small opening. The smartwatch, I wrote, "could succeed as a high-end fashion accessory" if designers conspired to turn it from a geek status symbol into something truly trend-worthy.

This is, of course, exactly what Apple wants to do. By putting the Apple Watch in the hands of fashion people rather than just tech and marketing experts, by making it cost $350, by letting third-party designers accessorize the hell out of it, Tim Cook is going to try to turn the Apple Watch into something aspirational — a thing you covet not because it's got an S1 processor or a Taptic engine, but because having it on your wrist will make you feel better about yourself.

I know, a fashionable smartwatch sounds like an oxymoron. But that's the strategy here. And if it works, you'll find yourself succumbing to the pressure eventually — just like you did with the iPhone, just like you did with the iPad, just as you'll do with any number of future Cupertino-conceived gadgets.

The bottom line is that you'll never need an Apple Watch. But you may very well want one. In wristwear, as in computing, Apple's social engineering may matter more than its technical engineering.

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