The Onion is at it again…
Everything falls faster than an anvil.
Americans answered the atrocities of September 11, overwhelmingly, with faith. Attacked in the name of God, they turned to God for comfort; in the week after the attacks, nearly 70 percent said they were praying more than usual. Confronted by a hatred that seemed inexplicable, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson proclaimed that God was mad at America because it harbored feminists, gays and civil libertarians. Sam Harris, then a 34-year-old graduate student in neuroscience, had a different reaction. On Sept. 12, he began a book. If, he reasoned, young men were slaughtering people in the name of religion—something that had been going on since long before 2001, of course—then perhaps the problem was religion itself. The book would be called “The End of Faith,” which to most Americans probably sounds like a lament. To Harris it is something to be encouraged.
Dawkins and Harris are not writing polite demurrals to the time-honored beliefs of billions; they are not issuing pleas for tolerance or moderation, but bone-rattling attacks on what they regard as a pernicious and outdated superstition. (In the spirit of scientific evenhandedness, both would call themselves agnostic, although as Dawkins says, he’s agnostic about God the same way he’s agnostic about the existence of fairies.) They ask: where do people get their idea of God? From the Bible or the Qur’an. “Tell a devout Christian … that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible,” Harris writes, “and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever.”
“If there is no God, why be good?” he asks rhetorically, and responds: “Do you really mean the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up.”
The IFC Original Documentary “This Film is Not Yet Rated” opens in limited release Friday, Sept. 1, and will roll out in select markets across the country through October. The film is an unprecedented investigation into the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film rating system and its profound influence on American culture ˜ including its impact on representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in film. “This Film is Not Yet Rated” is directed by Oscar-nominee Kirby Dick (“Twist of Faith”) and asks whether Hollywood movies and independent films are rated equally for comparable content, and whether sexual content involving LGBT characters faces tougher scrutiny by the MPAA. The MPAA is the trade organization of the six major film studios, which indicates age-based content classification using the letter grades G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17.
The MPAA gave “This Film is Not Yet Rated” an NC-17 rating.
An Italian politician has used the “work makes you free” slogan that topped Auschwitz’s gates in a brochure to promote local job centres, saying he could not remember the source but was impressed by the quote.
News agency Ansa reported the vice-president of the Jewish community in Rome had sharply criticised Tommaso Coletti, President of Italy’s southern Chieti province and member of the centre-left Daisy party, for using the quote.
Countless photographs have focused on the Arbeit macht frei sign at Auschwitz and other death camps to encapsulate the horror of the Nazi camps.
“Work makes you free. I don’t remember where I read this phrase but it was one of those quotes that have an instant impact on you because they tell an immense truth,” Mr Coletti wrote in the pamphlet.
He could not be reached for comment. Ansa said the Governor of the Abruzzo region, which includes Coletti’s province, had apologised to Italy’s Jewish community.
Meat-eaters usually assume a grass-fed steak came from cattle contentedly grazing for most of their lives on lush pastures, not crowded into feedlots.
If the government has its way, the grass-fed label could be used to sell beef that didn’t roam the range and ate more than just grass.
The Agriculture Department has proposed a standard for grass-fed meat that doesn’t say animals need pasture and that broadly defines grass to include things like leftovers from harvested crops.
Critics say the proposal is so loose that it would let more conventional ranchers slap a grass-fed label on their beef, too.
In other news, “organic” means “not inorganic.”
The RIAA IS fighting against a woman who wants an independent expert to examine her hard drive to prove that she was not involved in any illegal downloading.
In the case of Sony BMG et al. v. Kim Arellanes, Arellanes wants a third party expert to have a look at her harddrive to prove that she was not engaged in any file sharing. But the RIAA wants her to turn over her hard drive to them so they can carry out their own inspection.
Because we all know the industry would never plant evidence, right?
The global debate between scientists and conservative Christians over evolution has hit Kenya, where an exhibit of one of the world’s finest collections of early hominid fossils is under threat.
As the famed National Museum of Kenya (NMK) prepares to re-open next year after massive EU-funded renovations, evangelicals are demanding the display be removed or at least shunted to a less prominent location.
The Origins Of Man exhibit, comprised of pre-historic finds from around Africa’s Great Rift Valley considered by many to be the cradle of humanity, is offensive as it promotes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, they say.
“When museums put it out there that man evolved from apes, theologically they are affecting many people who are Christians, who believe God created us,” says Bishop Boniface Adoyo, who is leading a campaign against the exhibit.
“It’s creating a big weapon against Christians that’s killing our faith,” he told AFP, calling evolution theory an “insult” and dangerous to youths. “When children go to museums they’ll start believing we evolved from these apes.”
Now, everyone together. Stick your fingers in your ears and yell “LA LA LA LA!”
Fabrizio Gatti, inviato de L’espresso, ha vissuto una settimana con i raccoglitori di pomodori nella provincia di Foggia. Un inferno fatto di sfruttamento, violenza e omertà.
“Are you from Romania?” A grimace is all it takes to convince him. “I can hire you. Tomorrow,” he promises. “Do you have a girl friend?” “A girlfriend?” “You have to bring me a woman. For the boss. If you bring him one, he’ll put you to work right away. Any girl will do.” He points to a twenty year-old woman and her companion, working on the conveyor belt of a huge tractor that is being used to gather tomatoes. “Those two are Romanians, just like you. She slept with the boss.” “But I’m alone.” “No work for you then.”
There’s no limit to shame in the triangle of slavery. The gang master wants a woman for the boss to screw. This is the price farm laborers have to pay in order to work in the heart of Puglia. A triangular area where there are no laws, which covers almost the entire province of Foggia. From Cerignola to Candela and upwards, in the North, beyond San Severo. It is hard to believe, but this area is located in the progressive region governed by Nichi Vendola, just half an hour away from the beaches of the Gargano; in the land of Giuseppe Di Vittorio, the hero of union struggles and one of the historical leaders of the CGIL, along the same road traveled by pilgrims on their way to the huge sanctuary of San Giovanni Rotondo.
In order to pass a week undercover amidst the slave laborers it is necessary to undertake a voyage that takes one beyond the limits of human imagination. But this is the only way to report on the horrors that the immigrants are forced to endure.
Italian version (includes additional sidebars not found in the English version, including local and government reaction to the exposé and more photo galleries under the sidebar “Reportage Fotografico.”)
Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press, here’s a handy map showing how far median incomes have dropped over the past six years. And it’s good news for most of you: Compared to Michigan and North Carolina you’re not doing so badly after all. So stop your sniveling.
It was the best Father’s Day present Steve Irwin could have asked for – a moving tribute from his eight-year-old daughter telling the world how she loved him “very, very much”.
In Irwin’s last magazine interview, Bindi told the September edition of marie claire in it’s Father’s Day special just how much her dad meant to her.
“I love that he’s funny, he’s entertaining and he’s always there when I need him most,” she said.
“I’m proud to have a dad like that, who takes on conservation issues around the world.
“I love him very, very much.”
For Irwin, the rare father-daughter interview and photo was so treasured he requested all photos from the shoot be sent to him – a series Bindi will now treasure forever.
Fatally injured by a stingray, Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin pulled its serrated barb out of his chest before losing consciousness and dying, the world-famous naturalist’s manager said on Tuesday.
Video footage of the attack shows Irwin swimming above the stingray on the Great Barrier Reef on Monday when it lashed out and speared him in the heart with its barbed tail, manager John Stainton told reporters.
“It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest),” Stainton said after watching the footage.
“He pulled it out and the next minute he’s gone. The cameraman had to shut down,” he said.
These photos were taken morning after Steve died from a StingaRay barb punture into his heart.
As the day morning went along, traffic became heavy and tributes poured in. I would say there would be twice as many now as in these photos.
Bijna 45 procent van de Nederlanders gelooft in wonderen.
Dat verklaart de opkomst bij verkiezingen, zou ik zo zeggen…