#0042 RRS Newsletter for August 10, 2007

hellfiend666's picture

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

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Rational Response Squad News

The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES! Rational Response Update (video by Brian Sapient)

RRS Michigan News

Detroit Science Center outing

Science News

First Light For Word's Largest 'Thermometer Camera' Levitation Mystery Cracked in Lab Zombie snails (mind controlling parasite) Ancient human fossils show women much smaller


BeliefWatch: Banned? Jesus, Barbie To Share Shelf At Wal-Mart WHO DOES GOD KILL? A SHORT LIST OF GODS Scientists confront the growing influence of Islam Actual Baptist Calculus Course Description


Sucking up to Big Religion may not help Clinton & Obama Army denounces 3 articles written by GI Canada declassifies papers on rendition


Atheist Blood Drive Atheists for Autism Research Charity! Sam Harris talks about liberals


Doug Stanhope "You make your own christianity" Slayer-Jesus Saves Live Mr Show - Lifeboat Patton Oswalt- Bush and Cheney as the Dukes of Hazzard

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The great big request for submissions WIN PRIZES!




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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Rational Response Update

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Detroit Science Center outing

I saw this advertised on a billboard on Telegraph, and I instantly wanted to go see it! It's an exhibition on anatomy using actual human bodies at the Detroit Science Center. I'm not sure if this should be an official RRS MI event, but I still wanna see how many would be interested in making a group outing of it. Here are the details. Get back to me if you'd like to go!

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First Light For Word's Largest 'Thermometer Camera'

Science Daily The world's largest bolometer camera for submillimetre astronomy is now in service at the 12-m APEX telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes. LABOCA was specifically designed for the study of extremely cold astronomical objects and, with its large field of view and very high sensitivity, will open new vistas in our knowledge of how stars form and how the first galaxies emerged from the Big Bang.

"A large fraction of all the gas in the Universe has extremely cold temperatures of around minus 250 degrees Celsius, a mere 20 degrees above absolute zero," says Karl Menten, director at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, that built LABOCA. "Studying these cold clouds requires looking at the light they radiate in the submillimetre range, with very sophisticated detectors."

Astronomers use bolometers for this task, which are, in essence, thermometers. They detect incoming radiation by registering the resulting rise in temperature. More specifically, a bolometer detector consists of an extremely thin foil that absorbs the incoming light. Any change of the radiation's intensity results in a slight change in temperature of the foil, which can then be registered by sensitive electronic thermometers. To be able to measure such minute temperature fluctuations requires the bolometers to be cooled down to less than 0.3 degrees above absolute zero, that is below minus 272.85 degrees Celsius.

"Cooling to such low temperatures requires using liquid helium, which is no simple feat for an observatory located at 5100m altitude," says Carlos De Breuck, the APEX instrument scientist at ESO.

Nor is it simple to measure the weak temperature radiation of astronomical objects. Millimetre and submillimetre radiation opens a window into the enigmatic cold Universe, but the signals from space are heavily absorbed by water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere. "It is a bit as if you were trying to see stars during the day," explains Axel Weiss of the MPIfR and leader of the team that installed LABOCA on APEX.

This is why telescopes for this kind of astronomy must be built on high, dry sites, and why the 5100m high plateau at Chajnantor in the extremely dry Atacama Desert was chosen. Even under such optimal conditions the heat from Earth's atmosphere is still a hundred thousand times more intense than the tiny astronomical signals from distant galaxies. Very special software is required to filter such weak signals from the overwhelming disturbances.

LABOCA (LArge BOlometer Camera) and its associated software were developed by MPIfR. "Since so far there are no commercial applications for such instruments we have to develop them ourselves," explains Ernst Kreysa, from MPIfR and head of the group that built the new instrument.

A bolometer camera combines many tiny bolometer units into a matrix, much like the pixels are combined in a digital camera. LABOCA observes at the submillimetric wavelength of 0.87 mm, and consists of 295 channels, which are arranged in 9 concentric hexagons around a central channel. The angular resolution is 18.6 arcsec, and the total field of view is 11.4 arcmin, a remarkable size for instruments of this kind.

"The first astronomical observations with LABOCA have revealed its great potential. In particular, the large number of LABOCA's detectors is an enormous improvement over earlier instruments," says Giorgio Siringo from MPIfR and member of the LABOCA team. "LABOCA is the first camera that will allow us to map large areas on the sky with high sensitivity."

The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) where LABOCA is installed is a new-technology 12-m telescope, based on an ALMA prototype antenna, and operating at the ALMA site. It has modified optics and an improved antenna surface accuracy, and is designed to take advantage of the excellent sky transparency working with wavelengths in the 0.2 to 1.4 mm range.

"APEX is located a mere 2 km from the centre of the future ALMA array. The new LABOCA camera will be very complementary to ALMA, as its very wide view will find thousands of galaxies which will be observed in great detail with ALMA," says De Breuck.

APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Onsala Space Observatory and ESO.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by European Southern Observatory.

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Comparison between an image of the Galactic HII region RCW 120 in the visible (R-band; as obtained by the ESO Schmidt Telescope) and in the submillimetre with LABOCA on APEX, highlighting the need to observe in this wavelength range. The LABOCA image has an exposure of only slightly more than 3 hours. The expanding shell causes the surrounding gas to collapse into clumps, which are the cradles of massive stars. As the gas in these clumps is still very cold, around -250 degrees Celsius, they can only be seen at submillimetre wavelengths. Thanks to the high sensitivity and large field of view of LABOCA, astronomers could detect clumps that are four times fainter than was possible before. As the brightness is also a measure of the mass of these stellar embryos, this will allow scientists to study the formation of more representative, less massive stars. (Credit: Copyright ESO)

Read the original story HERE!

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Levitation Mystery Cracked in Lab


Aug. 6, 2007 — Scientists have discovered a ground-breaking way of levitating ultra small objects, which may revolutionize the design of micro-machines, a new report says.

Physicists said they can create "incredible levitation effects" by manipulating so-called Casimir force, which normally causes objects to stick together by quantum force.

The phenomenon could be used to improve the performances of everyday devices ranging from car airbags to computer chips, say Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin from Saint Andrews University.

Casimir force — discovered in 1948 and first measured in 1997 — can be seen in a gecko's ability to stick to a surface with just one toe.

Now the British scientists say they can reverse the Casimir force to cause an object to repel rather than attract another in a vacuum.

"The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano world, in particular in some micro-electromechanical systems," said Leonhardt.

"Micro or nano machines could run smoother and with less or no friction at all if one can manipulate the force," he added.

And he added: "In order to reduce friction in the nanoworld, turning nature's stickiness into repulsion could be the ultimate remedy. Instead of sticking together, parts of micromachinery would levitate."

Leonhardt stressed that the practice is possible only for micro-objects.

But he underlined that, although in principle it may one day be possible to levitate humans, that day is a long way off.

"At the moment, in practice it is only going to be possible for micro-objects with the current technology, since this quantum force is small and acts only at short ranges," he said.

"For now, human levitation remains the subject of cartoons, fairy tales and tales of the paranormal."

Their research was to be published in the New Journal of Physics.

Read the original story HERE!

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Zombie snails (mind controlling parasite)

Ancient human fossils show women much smaller

By Tim Cocks Thu Aug 9, 10:18 AM ET

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Homo erectus, long viewed as a crucial evolutionary link between modern humans and their tree-dwelling ancestors, may have been more ape-like than previously thought, scientists unveiling new-found fossils said on Thursday.

Revealing an ancient skull and a jawbone from two early branches of the human family tree -- Homo erectus and Homo habilis -- a team of Kenyan scientists said they were surprised to find that early female hominids were much smaller than males.

The skull was the first discovery of a female Homo erectus.

It suggests mankind's upright ancestors may have been physiologically closer to modern gorillas and chimpanzees, which also exhibit big differences in size between males and females, than had been supposed.

"Prior to the discovery of the new specimens, scientists did not know that Homo erectus males were far larger than the females," said Dr Emma Mbua, one of the team.

"This sexual dimorphism is considered a primitive character because it occurs in other apes," she said, standing in front of the bones at Kenya's National Museum.

She said this could also mean the sexual behavior of Homo erectus was more like that of apes, where individuals, especially males, mate with several partners, sometimes in a few hours, than that of its more monogamous human successors.

The fossils, discovered in east Africa's Rift Valley, regarded as the "cradle of humankind," challenge the idea that human prototypes evolved one after the other in a linear fashion from Homo habilis to Homo erectus, ending with modern humans.

Both fossils were found in 2000 east of Lake Turkana. But the Homo erectus skull, dating back 1.55 million years, was slightly older than the Homo habilis jawbone, which was found to be 1.44 million years old, the scientists said.


This means they must have co-existed, exploiting different habitats at the same time, they added.

"They were kind of sisters, if you like," said Frederick Manthi, the scientist who discovered the fossils. "Homo habilis never gave rise to Homo erectus. These discoveries have completely changed the story."

The research, first published in the journal Nature, was conducted by nine scientists including well-known paleontologist Meave Leakey and her daughter Louise Leakey.

The scientists think both Homo erectus and Homo habilis must have evolved from a common ancestor 2-3 million years ago.

The most famous such ancestor is Ethiopia's "Lucy," a fossil more than 3 million years old that set off this week for a tour of museums in the United States.

The basic evolutionary story -- that all humans came "out of Africa" after evolving from apes in the Rift Valley around 5 million years ago -- remains unchanged and may even be strengthened, the scientists said.

"The more fossils we find in Kenya, the more we justify the story that east Africa is the cradle of mankind," Manthi said. "These hominids tell us there was a large diversity within this species, which strengthens that convention."

The researchers said Homo habilis was largely a herbivore, so would have foraged for fruits in greener, more heavily forested areas than Homo erectus, who is thought to have been a hunter who thrived in east Africa's open savannah.

Manthi said the team would have to find more fossils to confirm the findings.

"The story of human evolution has not yet been (told)," said Kenya Museum director Farah Idle. "There are many missing links. The more discoveries you make, the more questions you raise."

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BeliefWatch: Banned?

By Lisa MillerNewsweek

Aug. 13, 2007 issue - Moshe Milstein, a religious Jew who is incarcerated at the federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., wants his Maimonides back. Officials at the Otisville prison recently removed hundreds of books from the chapel library there—including, Milstein charges in court documents, works by the great 12th-century rabbi and physician Maimonides as well as the Zohar, the ancient text upon which the mystical practice of Kabbalah is based. The books were removed, Bureau of Prisons officials explain, to comply with new rules set earlier this year. To reduce the risk that prisoners will find hateful or radicalizing (read: terrorist) materials in chapel libraries, the BOP has developed lists of 150 approved books per religion for 20 religions, including Bahai, Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses. In all of the bureau's 114 prisons, chaplains are in the midst of dramatic reorganizations, removing from shelves any book not on one of the BOP's lists. "It was a huge undertaking," says Traci Billingsley, a BOP spokeswoman.

Together with a Christian and a Muslim inmate, Milstein sued Otisville prison officials, saying the removal of the religious books violated their civil rights and presented insurmountable obstacles to practicing and studying their faiths. Particularly forceful was Milstein, who argued the inmates' side to a judge by phone in May. He used to read the Zohar every day, he said, and "every day we don't have access to [these books] really presents a problem for us." On July 27, the case was withdrawn while the inmates exhaust the grievance process within the prison system. Meanwhile, attorneys at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss stand by, ready to refile if the inmates' demands aren't met.

Religious groups have taken up the inmates' cause. They accuse the BOP of, in the words of the Orthodox Jewish leaders who wrote a letter to BOP director Harley Lappin, "throwing the baby out with the bath water." The goal behind the lists—that is, preventing inmates nationwide from reading incendiary tracts—may be exemplary, they say, but its implementation is not. "The new policy will force chaplains to throw out many excellent books ... leaving only a possibility of 150 books available to the inmates," wrote Mark L. Early, president of Prison Fellowship Ministries, in a letter to the BOP's chaplain. Billingsley says that the lists aren't capped; prisoners are welcome to submit titles for vetting at any time. Besides, she says, books about the great Maimonides remain on the Jewish list. Maimonides, a book lover if ever there was one, would not approve.

© 2007 Newsweek, Inc.

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Jesus, Barbie To Share Shelf At Wal-Mart

Jesus, Barbie To Share Shelf At Wal-Mart
The Daily Telegraph
August 1, 2007

LOS ANGELES — A foot-high plastic Jesus doll that quotes Scripture and a three-inch Daniel in the lions' den are about to do battle with Barbie and Bratz in toy aisles across America.

The nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has announced that it will start carrying a line of faith-based toys in 425 of its 3,376 stores later this month to see if characters such as Spirit Warrior Samson can rival the popularity of superhero figures like Spiderman.

The move is a first for the chain, which has carried religious-themed products including stationery and books before but never a line of toys.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart said the "faith-enriching toys," made by One2believe, a Californian company, would go on sale mainly in stores in the Midwest and South, the country's religious heartlands. David Socha, the chief executive of One2Believe, described his products as "real superheroes they [children] can believe in" and part of a "battle for the toy box" that offers parents an alternative to dolls and figures with violent or sexual overtones.

"The gradual decline of what children are offered is definitely heavy on our heart," said Mr. Socha yesterday. He is a father of two who first started working with toys as a child in his parents' New York toy shop. "If you walk down the toy aisles, you see a lot of reproductions of Satan," or dolls that promote promiscuity.

"I think we have to glorify good, not bad, and most parents want an alternative to what's out there. That's what we aim to provide, and I believe there is a very large market here."

The company hopes to tap into a feeling shared by many parents about the inappropriateness of toys such as the mini-skirted Bratz dolls, which earlier this year were described as "worrisome" by the American Psychological Association for their association with "objectified adult sexuality."


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I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours...Stephen Roberts

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Scientists confront the growing influence of Islam

By Nicholas Birch in Istanbul

Tensions are rising in Turkey's schools and universities as academics and scientists confront the growing influence of Islamic creationists.

"Without science, modern civilisation is impossible," says Haluk Ertan, a geneticist at Istanbul University, "and yet Turkey has become the headquarters of creationism in the Middle East." Tarkan Yavas, the public face of the Science Research Foundation (BAV), a shadowy group that has led the charge against evolutionary theory in Turkey for 15 years, boasts: "Not just the Middle East, the world."

Headed by Adnan Oktar, a university dropout turned charismatic preacher, BAV made international headlines in February when it mass-mailed its lavishly illustrated, 6kgAtlas of Creation to scientists and schools throughout western Europe. Hundreds of pages juxtapose photographs of fossils and living species, arguing the similarities disprove claims that species adapt with time. Elsewhere, belief in evolution is blamed for communism, Nazism and - under a large photograph of the World Trade Centre in flames - the 9/11 attacks.

"Hitler and Mao were Darwinists," Mr Oktar told journalists last month on a luxury boat trip arranged to answer questions about the atlas. "Darwinism is the only philosophy which values conflict."

A survey last year showed that only 25 per cent of Turks accepted evolution. In a similar survey in 2005, almost 50 per cent of science teachers said they questioned or rejected the theory. "Darwinism is dying in Turkey, thanks to us," says Mr Yavas.

That may be premature. BAV, secretive about the sources of its considerable wealth and widely accused of brainwashing its initiates, has been taken to court repeatedly in the past decade. In May, Turkey's Supreme Court opened the way for a new trial when it argued that criminal charges levelled against the group in 2005 should not have been dropped because of time constraints.

The silent war on creationism began last spring, when 700 academics took the Ministry of Education to court, calling for references to creationism in school science syllabuses since 1985 to be removed. "There are compulsory religious classes in Turkish schools as it is," says Ozgur Genc, a biologist who began organising the legal case after five schoolteachers in southern Turkey were transferred to another school for teaching evolution. The court has yet to make a decision.

Like BAV, which has organised hundreds of conferences on creationism over the past 10 years as well as a recent flurry of American-style "creation museums", opponents of creationism are taking their arguments to the Turkish people.

There have been scientific conferences in towns along the Anatolian peninsula in the past few months. One popular science magazine has devoted its last two issues to answering what it calls BAV's "charlatanry".

Nazli Somel, a former teacher writing a doctorate on Turkish creationism, says: "When the creationist movement surfaced in the early 1990s, many scientists just laughed at it. It's good to see they're taking it seriously now."

Yet, while most public figures avoid associating themselves too closely with Mr Oktar's group, more up-market versions of creationism have powerful supporters in Turkey.

The notion of intelligent design (ID), which suggests some cellular structures are too complex to have evolved naturally, is a case in point. In the United States in December 2005, a judge echoed most experts in calling it "a religious view, not a scientific theory" and blocked attempts to add it to a Pennsylvania school's syllabus.

Huseyin Celik, Turkey's Education minister, publicly supports it. "Evolutionary theory overlaps with atheism, intelligent design with belief," the former university lecturer said on Turkish television last November.

With polls showing that only 1 per cent of Turks are atheists, he added, not allowing ID into science textbooks would be tantamount to censorship.

Actual Baptist Calculus Course Description

Check out the academic program of the Castle Hills First Baptist School in San Antonio, TX. Yeesh. Learn about god through this and that discipline. You get the feeling that what they did was take a regular curriculum description and insert that phrase everywhere they could fit it in. Nope, no brainwashing here!

Check out the description of their Calculus course:

"Students will examine the nature of God as they progress in their understanding of mathematics. Students will understand the absolute consistency of mathematical principles and know that God was the inventor of that consistency. Mathematical study will result in a greater appreciation of God and His works in creation. The students will understand the basic ideas of both differential and integral calculus and its importance and historical applications. The students will recognize that God created our minds to be able to see that the universe can be calculated by mental methods."

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Sucking up to Big Religion may not help Clinton & Obama

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 7, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The leader of a top evangelical ministry is taking issue with pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Prison Fellowship Ministries President Mark Earley says the two are trying to reach out to Christian voters by talking about God but promoting the killing of God's children through abortion.

The two top candidates for the party's nomination have been very open in recent weeks to talking about their faith and they are actively courting religious voters.

Previous Democratic presidential candidates have shied away from discussing religion but now Obama and Clinton hope to grow their levels of support by siphoning away Christian voters, who predominantly support pro-life Republican candidates.

The two have gone so far as to hire strategists specifically to assist them into reaching out to the religious community.

But Earley writes in a recent commentary that their efforts are disingenuous because the two candidates take decidedly anti-Christian views on some political issues, namely abortion.

“I appreciate that the candidates are taking a risk when they talk about their faith,” Earley wrote in an opinion column.

“The problem is that all of this ‘God Talk’ misses the point: what Christians want – or should want – is a candidate who shares their moral and culture concerns, not just their religious vocabulary," he explained.

He points out that both Obama and Clinton recently addressed a Planned Parenthood conference and expressed their unbridled support for abortion -- which is anathema to Biblical values.

“It’s difficult to imagine positions more at odds with the motivations of the very evangelical voters they’re trying to court,” commented Earley. “Protecting the lives of unborn children has been the cornerstone of politically active Christians for the past thirty years.”

“It’s hard to know which is worse: that candidates think that talking about religion will make evangelical Christians forget why they care about politics – or that they might be right," he concluded.

Printed from: http://www.lifenews.com/nat3258.html

Latest Pro-Life Updates on 2008 Presidential Campaigns

Rudy Giuliani Vows to Oppose Taxpayer-Funding of Abortions as President
Read the complete story.

Mitt Romney Leads Giuliani in Iowa Prior to Republican Straw Poll
Read the complete story.

Rudy Giuliani Talks Adoption Over Abortion, Pro-Life Group Doubts Pledge
Read the complete story.

Mitt Romney Supports Amendment Banning Abortions, Accused of Flip
Read the complete story.

Sam Brownback Features Norma McCorvey From Abortion Case at Straw Poll
Read the complete story.

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Army denounces 3 articles written by GI

By JOHN MILBURN and ELLEN SIMON, Associated Press Writers Thu Aug 9, 4:07 AM ET

NEW YORK - A magazine gets a hot story straight from a soldier in Iraq and publishes his writing, complete with gory details, under a pseudonym. The stories are chilling: An Iraqi boy befriends American troops and later has his tongue cut out by insurgents. Soldiers mock a disfigured woman sitting near them in a dining hall. As a diversion, soldiers run over dogs with armored personnel carriers. Compelling stuff, and, according to the Army, not true.

Three articles by the soldier have run since January in The New Republic, a liberal magazine with a small circulation owned by Canadian company CanWest Corp. The stories, which ran under the name "Scott Thomas," were called into question by The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine with a small circulation owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Standard last month challenged bloggers to check the dispatches.

Since then, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, has come forward as the author. The New Republic said that Beauchamp "came to its attention" through Elspeth Reeve, a reporter-researcher at the magazine he later married.

Read the original story HERE!

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Canada declassifies papers on rendition

By CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press Writer

TORONTO - Canadian intelligence officials suspected that a Syrian-born Canadian citizen detained by the U.S. in 2002 as a terror suspect and deported had been sent to a third country for torture as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, according to documents declassified on Thursday.

The previously censored information came to the light in the case of Maher Arar who was sent to Syria in October 2002 where he spent a year in custody and was tortured. Arar was later cleared of any links to terrorism and received an apology from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

An Oct. 10, 2002 memorandum on Arar's case was declassified Thursday after a judge ordered the Canadian government to stop censoring material published in a four-volume report on a Canadian inquiry into his ordeal.

Arar was detained in September 2002 by U.S. authorities during a flight stopover in New York while returning home to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia. U.S. authorities sent him to Syria the following month for interrogation as a suspected al-Qaida member after Canadian police told U.S. authorities that he was a "man of interest" and may have had ties to Islamic extremists.

The newly declassified memo was dated two days after U.S. authorities removed Arar from a holding cell in New York and put him on a plane to Jordan — from where he was sent to Syria. Canadian officials learned on Oct. 9 that he had been sent to Syria but they were not sure why.

"I think the U.S. would like to get Arar to Jordan where they can have their way with him," Canadian Security Intelligence Service deputy director Jack Hooper said in the memorandum.

According to the documents, the next day a CSIS official in Washington wrote to his superiors about the so-called "rendering" to third countries. The official said Arar's detention and subsequent handover amounted to such a case. The officer was not identified in the documents.

State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck said Thursday evening that the department did not have any immediate comment.

The newly released documents showed that Canadian officials suspected early on that Arar had fallen victim to the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program — the transfer of foreign terror suspects to third countries without court approval.

Canada's federal government had blacked out approximately 1,500 words in the inquiry report before it was issued in September 2006 over concern that the passages would reveal national security secrets.

Canadian officials battled to keep the information secret, frequently arguing that it did not want to compromise the goodwill of foreign allies who sent in intelligence from abroad. The blacked out passages often referred to the CIA or information most likely derived from Syrian torture.

"Canada was trying to protect the CIA," Maria LaHood, one of Arar's U.S. attorneys, told the Associated Press on Thursday. "Actually both governments are trying to hide secret information to stop themselves from being embarrassed because they don't want to expose their own role or that of their others in this case."

The commission that conducted the inquiry into Arar's case fought Canada's justice department for months for greater disclosure before Federal Court Justice Simon Noel ruled last month that the declassified portions of the report would not compromise national security, diplomatic relations with other countries or the defense of Canada.

The documents also show that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was in contact with the CIA when U.S. authorities transferred Arar to Syria. However, it was not clear whether the RCMP had been informed of the transfer when it occurred.

The commission has already concluded that Arar was wrongly labeled a terror suspect by the RCMP before they passed that information to U.S. authorities. The commission, however, also concluded there was no evidence Canadian officials participated in or agreed to the decision to send Arar to Syria.

Arar has expressed hope that the deleted portions of the report would shed light on the actions of the CSIS in the affair and whether front-line security officers misled their superiors, as well as whether cabinet ministers were adequately briefed by their subordinates.

Canada's federal government has agreed to compensate Arar more than $9 million for his ordeal.

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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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Atheists for Autism Research Charity!

Check these guys out, and donate if you can!

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Sam Harris talks about liberals

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Doug Stanhope "You make your own christianity"

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Slayer-Jesus Saves Live

(lyrics - king, music - hanneman, king)

You go to the church, you kiss the cross
You will be saved at any cost
You have your own reality
You spend your life just kissing ass
A trait thats grown as time has passed
You think the world will end today
You praise the lord, its all you say

Jesus saves, listen to you pray
You think youll see the pearly gates
When death takes you away

For all respect you cannot lust
In an invisible man you place your trust
Indirect dependency
Eternal attempt at amnesty
He will decide who lives and dies
Depopulate satanas rise
You will be an accessory
Irreverence and blasphemy

(lead: king)

Jesus saves, no need to pray
The gates of pearl have turned to gold
It seems youve lost your way

(lead: hanneman)

Jesus saves, no words of praise
No promised land to take you to
There is no other way

(lead: king)

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Mr Show - Lifeboat

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Patton Oswalt- Bush and Cheney as the Dukes of Hazzard

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