#0036 RRS Newsletter for July 30, 2007

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Todays post is a little heavy on the articles, so it got a bit long. The whole thing is, however, very interesting, I thought.

I missed the last few of days due to a sudden outbreak of a social life, but don't worry, it doesn't happen too often! LOL

I'd like to once again thank Sapient for my new venue for this project! You rock bro!

Thanks for reading, if you have any comments or suggestions you can reach me directly HERE. Or on Myspace HERE.
Stay rational,
Jack
and the RRS MI team

Table of Contents

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Rational Response Squad News

The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES!

RRS Michigan News

Science News

Oldest Homo Sapiens Fossils Found, Experts Say Society Of Vertebrate Paleontology Speaks Out On Creation Museum Glow-in-the-Dark Sharks at Risk Clues Boost 'Out of Africa' Theory

Religion

Blood Diamonds & "The Most Dangerous Man in America?" Interesting argument against God

Government

Mike Gravel at the Democratic Debate AP: New details on Tillman's death In case you missed this... One more freedom taken away

Community

Atheist Blood Drive Root of all Evil? - CBC Debate

Entertainment

War Pigs Homophobia and Hypocracy: a btich-slap from Margaret Cho New Song - 'Impossible Claims' (words and music by RabidApe) THE SIMPSONS VS. FOX

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The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES!

****UPDATE 7-22-07 CONTEST EXTENDED. GREYDON SQUARE CATEGORY ADDED. OTHER CHANGES AND PRIZES AWARDED. PLEASE REVIEW AGAIN AND SUBMIT SOMETHING!!!****

NOTE: DUE TO ERROR IN LINKS AND LOW SUBMISSIONS, THIS CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 15TH, 2008.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION READ EVERYTHING FIRST, CLICK LINKS! COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS SHOULD BE POSTED PUBLICLY IN THIS THREAD FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL PARTICIPANTS! PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THE INFORMATION OF THIS SUBMISSION DRIVE FREELY.

The Rational Response Squad is proud to announce a call to action for content submissisions. We have been blown away by the positive feedback we've received from the freethinking community. Thanks to everyone who has placed a banner, or our player on your website and helped spread the word in some manner. We've received many great written submissions of thoughts and views, but had no place to put them, so we've created a guideline to help you, help us. The categories in which we need submissions are listed below, send us your best material. Your writings will be added to our library of articles, essays, and debunkings. We're hoping to build one of the largest and diverse free libraries of rational thoughts on the internet. Please post everything publicly on our forum so it's there for all RRS members to access who are working on this project. In addition to hosting everything in a free web archive, we may also compile views into a free e-book or a book for sale to generate money for activist projects. Not that you need a reward to share your views with others, but as a thank you we'll be awarding prizes to as many of the top participants as we can. Prizes will be awarded based on effort put in and quality of writing.

We've put the categories in order of need and may alter the order later as submissions come in.
Prizes will be awarded MARCH 15TH, 2008, but you can continue to submit content well after MARCH 15TH, 2008.

For more info on this and other RRS sponsored contests go to the thread HERE

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The next RRS MI meeting is in the planning phase still, check back later this week for details!

Reach me directly HERE, or on Myspace HERE

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Oldest Homo Sapiens Fossils Found, Experts Say

I've posted this before, but it bears repeating. Next time someone throws a picture of a "Crockoduck"at you, respond with this article!

By John Roach
for National Geographic News
June 11, 2003

Three fossil skulls recovered from the windswept scrabble of Ethiopia's dry and barren Afar rift valley lend archaeological credence to the theory that modern humans evolved in Africa before spreading around the world.

The fossils include two adult males and one child and are estimated to be 160,000 years old. They were found among stone tools and butchered hippopotamus bones. Cut marks on the skulls suggest an early form of mortuary practice.

Prior to the discovery of these fossils, evidence for the out-of-Africa theory of evolution for modern humans was largely based on the analysis of genetic variation in people alive today. Archaeological evidence from 100,000 to 300,000 years ago was scarce.

As a result, another theory that modern humans evolved simultaneously in various parts of the world at roughly the same time from ancient local populations, such as the Neandertals in Europe, maintained plausible traction.

Timothy White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said that the fossils he and his colleagues found in Ethiopia fill this gap in the archaeological record and support the argument that Neandertal was an evolutionary side branch unrelated to modern humans.

"The genetic data predicted we would find fossils that showed none of the characters we see in Neanderthal but rather would show characters on their way to becoming us, and indeed we have tested that hypothesis by finding these new fossils," he said.

The international team of scientists recovered the fossils outside the pastoral Afar village of Herto in 1997. Since the discovery, White and his colleague Berhane Asfaw have methodically dated, pieced together, and analyzed the fossils. They published two papers on the find in the June 12 issue of Nature.

"We are all very pleased we can contribute new information on a period that was previously very poorly known," said White, who serves as the team's American spokesperson.

Owing to the mix of primitive and modern features exhibited by the fossil skulls, White and colleagues assign them to a new subspecies of Homo sapiens they named Homo sapiens idaltu. Idaltu means elder in the Afar language.

Chris Stringer, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, said that "in terms of completeness and dating these are perhaps the most important early human fossils found."

Previous fossils purportedly from this epoch have been fragmentary and were not well dated. The fossils from Ethiopia, however, were found sandwiched between two layers of ash from regularly erupting volcanoes and are very well preserved.

"These are complete enough to show they are modern humans and they are really well dated," said Stringer, who wrote an accompanying perspective in Nature on the find.

Ancient Lakeshore

The skulls were found within 650 feet (200 meters) of one another and had all eroded from the same geological layer of ancient river and beach deposits. No other skeletal bones were recovered and the team found no evidence for intentional burial.

Project geologists and paleontologists say that 160,000 years ago a shallow, freshwater lake teeming with crocodiles, catfish, and hippopotamus covered the region and supplied sustenance to the hominids that lived on the shore. Buffalo roamed the land.

A hippopotamus skull found amongst the remains has clear cut marks made by stone tools, though the team cannot tell whether the hominids actively hunted the animals or scavenged them.

The tools found amongst the remains document a transitional period in tool technology wherein earlier hand axe-dominated assemblages of the wood and bone Acheulean gave way to the flake-dominated assemblages of the Middle Stone Age, according to the team.

Each of the skulls also bears cut marks made by stone tools in what appear to be the result of some sort of post-death ritual.

"They were manipulating the skulls after the death of the individual as some sort of mortuary practice that involved not only de-fleshing—or taking the flesh off—but also keeping the bones around for some purpose," said White.

There is no evidence to suggest cannibalism, but the closest analog to these skulls come from Papua New Guinea, where the remains of the dead are retained for ritual practices that involved cannibalism.

"Could you have the same sort of modification of bones without any ingestion of human flesh? Of course you can," said White. "It is a completely open question that we will need additional remains to answer."

Susan Antón, a paleoanthropologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said that the cut marks do not appear cannibalistic in nature, but rather seem to represent some other sort of mortuary practice.

"This would signal the importance of culture in these ancient hominids, which should not come as a surprise to us," she said. "I expect they were much more like us than we have given them credit for being."

Unique Species?

White and colleagues assigned the fossils to a new species of Homo sapiens after comparing them to other fossils as well as a worldwide sample of several thousand human skulls.

They found that the fossils from Herto are similar to, but do not duplicate, the anatomy of modern humans. Their faces are longer, the skulls more robust, and the brow ridges are larger than those of modern humans, for example.

"It was a very large individual with a complex set of characters that show it is anatomically similar to modern humans, but there are a few differences," said White. "To recognize the differences, we named the subspecies."

According to White, the differences link anatomically modern humans with more archaic forms of humans. This link also fits in with the hominids' tool technology which represents a transition from the Acheulean to the Middle Stone Age, he said.

Stringer says the characteristics White and colleagues use to justify assigning the Herto fossils to their own subspecies of Homo sapiens may not be so unusual among modern humans.

"Personally, I don't think the subspecies name is very useful," he said. "I think those features would be found in other parts of the world in the Pleistocene, for example in Australia."

Whether the fossils represent an immediate ancestor of modern humans or are indeed the first modern humans, Stringer says that the fossils are a fantastic find that places the origin of modern humans in Africa.

The next question is where in Africa did modern humans evolve?

"There might be just one small place where modern humans originated and spread out from there, or did different bits of Africa contribute to the overall modern human pattern?" said Stringer.

Further research and better dating of the African fossils may eventually reveal an answer.

Read the original story HERE!

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Society Of Vertebrate Paleontology Speaks Out On Creation Museum

Science Daily — Professional paleontologists from around the world are concerned about the misrepresentation of science at the newly opened Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Creation Museum has been marketed to the public as a “reasoned, logical defence” for young-earth creationism by Ken Ham, the President and CEO of Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum.

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, a world-wide scientific and educational organization concerned with vertebrate paleontology, contends that the museum presents visitors with a view of earth history that has been scientifically disproven for over a century.

The Creation Museum’s fossil exhibitions, though artistically impressive, include a vast number of scientific errors, large and small. These errors range from implying that the Earth’s sedimentary rocks were deposited by a single biblical Flood, to claiming that humans and dinosaurs lived alongside one another, to denouncing the reality of transitional fossils.

"Ken Ham is not recognized as a scientist or educator among experts in the fields of geology and paleontology, and his views on the interpretation of Biblical texts are extremist. Visitors to his ‘museum’ may arrive knowing little about these sciences, but they will leave misled and intellectually deceived,” said Dr. Kevin Padian, professor and curator, University of California, Berkeley and president of the National Center for Science Education.

The fossil exhibits at the Creation Museum discount the last 150 years of paleontological and geological discovery. Not only are transitional fossils, including snakes with limbs and dinosaurs with feathers, abundant in the fossil record, but radiometric dating allows paleontologists to pinpoint the timing of major events in the ancient history of the earth.

For example, Tyrannosaurus rex existed over 65 million years ago, whereas modern humans didn’t show up on the scene until 200 thousand years ago. They never walked side by side. The Creation Museum neglects to include this critical data in its analysis of the history of life on earth. “Most of us in the public view museums as places to get the latest information on scientific discovery. In this case, the Creation Museum is using the disguise of science museums and centers without including an iota of science inside,” said Dr. Kristi Curry Rogers of the Science Museum of Minnesota.

“That’s the real danger of such a place – undermining the basic principles of science, eroding the public's confidence in science, and causing a general weakening of science education in the country,” commented Dr. Glenn Storrs of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Dr. Catherine Badgley, a professor at the University of Michigan and president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, remarked, “according to the Creation Museum, the history of life is short, sin-ridden, and laden with moralizing imperatives. In contrast, the real fossil record shows that this long history is brimming with discoveries of new kinds of animals, plants, and environments, inviting people to use their unusual minds to question, to reason, and to wonder at life’s remarkable variety.”

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Read the original story HERE!

Comment on this forum post HERE!

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Glow-in-the-Dark Sharks at Risk?

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

July 17, 2007 — One of the first ever detailed studies on deep water lantern sharks, so named for their ability to glow in the dark, has found they are in danger of extinction.

Recent studies have linked declines in shark populations to the collapse of entire marine ecosystems. The loss of lantern sharks could devastate other ocean life globally, as many lantern sharks have wide ranges.

Researchers focused on one species in particular, the smooth lantern shark, commonly caught as by-catch in Portuguese trawling and longline fisheries. Since the bioluminescent shark has little commercial value, the fishermen usually just discard it.

"What we now know is that this species has a vulnerable life cycle characterized by slow growth rates, low fecundity and late maturity," lead author Rui Coelho told Discovery News.

"When fisheries mortality increases, the populations start to decline and cannot compensate for this," added Coelho, a shark researcher at the University of Algarve, Portugal.

He and colleague Karim Erzini analyzed 614 by-catch sharks over a two-year period. Their measurements showed the species grows anywhere from 5 to 19 inches long.

The sharks have special light-producing organs, called photophores, mostly found on their sides.

"These photophores may be used to allow individuals to escape from predators, approach prey without the sharks being detected or for species recognition, such as during the mating season," explained Coelho.

The scientists developed a unique way to determine the age of the sharks: The inner portions of their spines grow continuously. By counting growth bands in this spinal area, similar to counting tree rings, the researchers could estimate each shark's age.

Their findings have been accepted for publication in the journal Fisheries Research.

The oldest male they found was 13 years old, while the oldest females were 17 years old.

Eggs found within females numbered, on average, 10.44. Since this shark's reproductive cycle may last as long as three years, the birthrate is extremely low when compared to most other animals and fishes. The researchers also noticed that many females miscarried — likely due to stress — when they became by-catch.

Prior studies conducted by Coelho and Erzini suggest that a number of strategies can reduce by-catch and help prevent lantern shark populations from declining further.

Since the sharks often swim in very deep water, the researchers suggest that fishermen remove hooks from their gear at these levels. For deep water trawling, rigid grids may help to keep fish out of desired crustacean catches.

Laws, such as one that now prohibits trawling in the Mediterranean at depths deeper than 3280 feet, might also afford some level of protection to the sharks and other deepwater species.

Shark expert Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute in Ireland told Discovery News that the new study is "very comprehensive" and "is the first paper to validate age estimation for a deepwater shark."

Of the smooth lantern shark, Clarke said, "It is clear that it is a slow-growing species that matures late in its life. It is likely to be vulnerable to exploitation."

Clarke added, "The next step is to quantify the amount of this species being removed from the sea. This information, along with the data from Rui and Karim's study can form the basis of an analysis of the vulnerability of this species being caught and discarded in commercial fisheries."

Read the original story HERE!

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Clues Boost 'Out of Africa' Theory

AFP

July 18, 2007 — Twenty years after it was popularized, the "Out of Africa" theory, which posits that modern humans originally came from Africa before spreading out in a global conquest, has received an emphatic boost, scientists said on Wednesday.

Rival theories about the rise of Homo sapiens sapiens, as anatomically modern man is called, say humans either came from a single point in Africa or among different populations in different parts around the world, who evolved independently from a forebear, Homo erectus.

The "Out of Africa" scenario has been underpinned since 1987 by genetic studies based mainly on the rate of mutations in mitochondrial DNA, a genetic material inherited from the maternal line of ancestry.

The "multiple origins" school, meanwhile, points out that human skulls from around the world have clearly different characteristics, and argues that this proves our species evolved in slightly different forms more or less simultaneously.

In a study released by the British journal Nature, University of Cambridge researchers combined both techniques.

Analysis of genetic diversity among human populations is backed by evidence from 4,500 male skulls from around the world, demonstrating we all came from a single area in Africa, the authors say.

They found that the farther a population is from Africa, the less genetic diversity that population has.

This was the result of a "bottleneck," or interbreeding among a smaller gene pool that occurred when migrating populations were temporarily reduced by war, disease or some other catastrophe.

The loss in genetic diversity was mirrored by a corresponding loss in diversity of skull characteristics.

Applying a benchmark of characteristics, the researchers found that the most varied skulls were from southeastern Africa — and the diversity progressively declined the farther the skull was from Africa.

"We have combined our genetic data with new measurements of a large sample of skulls to show definitively that modern humans originated from a single area in sub-Saharan Africa," said lead researcher Andrea Manica of the university's Department of Zoology.

The team tested the "multiple origins" theory on these two tools, and found "this just did not work," said fellow researcher Francois Balloux.

In 2000, Swedish research based on the molecular clock estimated that H. sapiens sapiens emerged about 121,500 to 221,500 years ago, and the migration out of Africa was about 52,000 years ago, give or take 27,500 years.

Read the original story HERE!

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Blood Diamonds & "The Most Dangerous Man in America?"



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Diamond Pat

Another one of Robertson's more notorious business deals is the recently exposed diamond mine case. In this ingenious venture, Robertson saw an opportunity in the country formerly named Zaire (now the Congo) for diamond mines. The former Zaire is a country rich in natural resources, including diamonds, but these resources were thus far being plundered by its (former) dictator, the brutal Mobuto Sese Seko. Mobuto (who recently died of cancer) was one of the world's richest men, while his people lived in grinding poverty. It was often noted that he could have cured all of his country's ills by writing a personal check. Mobuto had been trying to come to the US to try to improve relations, but the State Department refused to grant him a visa, due to his lengthy human rights violations (see the Pat's Dictator Friends page for more info). In all of this, the clever Pat Robertson saw an opportunity. The two became close associates, and Mobuto allowed Pat to open diamond mines in Zaire, under the name of the African Development Company, while Pat tried to persuade the State Department to allow Mobuto entry into the US. Ultimately, it was found out that Pat had been using CBN money and equipment to aid his diamond mining operation in Zaire (see the News page for more details). A good deal for Pat, seeing as he employed people in Zaire for ridiculously low wages, and managed to use CBN's infrastructure to cut costs even more.

Ultimately, one is struck by the constant use of non-profit, donor money used to fund Pat's schemes, and the total lack of ethics that this man has. Anyone thinking about sending money to CBN to "promote the gospel" should definitely take note; chances are that your money will end up being used to increase the fortune of one Marion "Pat" Robertson instead. For even more information on Pat's business practices, I encourage you to check out Rob Boston's book entitled "The Most Dangerous Man in America? Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition," from which some of my information comes.



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"Operation Blessing, also financed entirely through charitable donations from Robertson's cult following, has proved to be a more shaky financial venture for Robertson. First, he used the airplane and resources brought in by Operation Blessing to fly to Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to purchase diamond mines for Robertson's company African Development Corporation, to harvest so-called blood diamonds produced by near slave labor. "

Source and complete story

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Interesting argument against God






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Mike Gravel at the Democratic Debate

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AP: New details on Tillman's death

Comment on this forum post HERE!

By MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer Fri Jul 27, 1:48 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

• In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

• Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

• The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

• No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene — no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.

The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something.

At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.

The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.

Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.

"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.

Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.

Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.

The documents also shed new light on Tillman's last moments.

It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.

But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

___

Associated Press reporters Scott Lindlaw in Las Vegas and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this story.

Read the original story HERE!

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In case you missed this... One more freedom taken away.

In one of his most chilling moves to date against his own citizens, the American War Leader has issued a sweeping order this week outlawing all forms of protest against the Iraq war.

President Bush enacted into US law an 'Executive Order' on July 17th titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq", and which says:

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004."

According to Russian legal experts, the greatest concern to the American people are the underlying provisions of this new law, and which, they state, are written 'so broadly' as to outlaw all forms of protest against the war. These provisions state:

"(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken."

To the subsection of this new US law, according to these legal experts, that says "...the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit...", the insertion of the word 'services' has broad, and catastrophic, consequences for the American people in that any act deemed by their government to be against the Iraqi war is, in fact, supporting the 'enemy' and therefore threatens the 'stabilization of Iraq'.

In an even greater affront to the American people are the provisions of a law called The Patriot Act, and that should they run afoul of this new law they are forbidden to allow anyone to know about it, and as we can read as reported by the Seattle Times News Service:

"The [Patriot] act also expands the use of National Security Letters, which are a kind of warrant that the Justice Department writes for itself, authorizing its agents to seize such things as records of money movements, telephone calls and Internet visits. Recipients of a National Security Letter are not allowed to tell anyone about them, and so cannot contest them."

It is interesting to note, too, that this is not the first time that the United States has unleashed the brutal power of their government against its citizens to further their war aims and stifle domestic dissent, as during the European conflict of World War I they enacted a law called The Sedition Act of 1918 and which "...forbade Americans to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, flag, or armed forces during war."

It is curious to note that after the enactment of this new law there has been no protest by any of the other political leaders in the United States, with the exception of the only Muslim member of the United States Congress, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, and who compared President Bush to the Nazi War Leader Adolph Hitler by stating the attacks upon the World Trade Center could be likened to the burning of the Reichstag.

Today, as the United States faces an imminent economic collapse, while at the same time its war bill has reached the staggering amount of $648 billion, one of the last freedoms the American people have had to protest their leaders actions against them, and other peoples in the World, has now been taken away from them, the freedom to speak and write in opposition to what is being done to them.

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.", said the great British writer George Orwell, but, and sadly, liberty has been lost to the once free people of the United States who are no longer allowed to tell their leaders, or each other, what they don't want to hear.

With this being so, the American people should, likewise, contemplate their 'new' future, and as, also, stated best by George Orwell, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

:Taken from media source:

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Atheist Blood Drive

In an attempt to show the world that atheists are every bit as charitable as the religious of society, and that we need no "divine warrent" to be so, the RRS has set up a daughter organization called Atheist Volunteers. We hope you will all chip in. The most prominent of it's projects is the Atheist Blood drive.

Click HERE to get more info on this important project!

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Root of all Evil? - CBC Debate

This was a good format for a TV show. Avi Lewis with the CBC would watch a documentary with a crowd of guests, then they would debate the documentary. One thing I couldn't help but to notice most of the responses were very similar to responses you hear in comment threads on the Internet. These commentators however are experts in their fields.

Here is the debate, if you haven't seen the documentary yet, it is posted on this very site HERE




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War Pigs






Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
sorcerers of death's construction.
In the fields the bodies burning,
as the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind,
poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Oh lord, yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war.
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah.

Time will tell on their power minds,
making war just for fun.
Treating people just like pawns in chess,
wait till their judgement day comes, yeah.

Now in darkness world stops turning,
ashes where the bodies burning.
No more War Pigs have the power,
Hand of God has struck the hour.
Day of judgement, God is calling,
on their knees the war pigs crawling.
Begging mercies for their sins,
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings.
Oh lord, yeah!
--Black Sabbath, War Pigs

Homophobia and Hypocracy: a btich-slap from Margaret Cho

..."The fact that this subject is even on the table, that we are openly debating the right to marry someone of the same sex, to me is an outrage, a grievous display of prejudice, homophobia and the power of church reaching out of bounds, beyond the state. If we were truly following the mandates of the Bible, there would be laws against same-sex marriage, but not against polygamy or slavery. In addition, there would be no mixed fabrics, no theory of evolution, but constant burning bushes and ongoing human sacrifices.

The laws and mandates of a nation made up of many different tyes of people who worship innumerable ways should not be based on biblical text."

From "I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight" by Margaret Cho

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New Song - 'Impossible Claims' (words and music by RabidApe)

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THE SIMPSONS VS. FOX









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The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.