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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,070

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The president was no longer laughing: "That man would kill me," he told them flatly..."

"The president had just begun a new campaign-style speech when a man in the crowd, standing less than 50 feet away, interrupted with loud cries. "Antichrist!" the man yelled. "You'll be destroyed!"

As the Secret Service moved in, Obama cracked a joke from the podium to keep things light. He had seen the man before, he said: "He needs to update his material."

Less than an hour later, however, off stage and surrounded again by security and staff members, the president was no longer laughing.

"That man would kill me," he told them flatly..."


How the world sees our reaction to Ebola.

interesting perspective found on the tubes.........

The Tech Behind Hong Kong Protesters’ Ingenious New Way To Duck Surveillance

Despite China’s best efforts to censor them, Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are finding ways to talk to one another and organize without Wi-Fi access or going through a central network. Instead they’ve been creating their own with a phone app that lets nearby devices communicate under the radar.

Droves of protesters have turned to an app called FireChat, run by Open Garden, which links smartphones to create mesh networks, or temporary Internet networks to circumvent outages and government monitoring.

More than 100,000 protesters have gathered since Sept. 26 in Hong Kong’s major through-ways in response to China blocking once promised democratic elections for Hong Kong’s top officials. Protesters used Instagram to broadcast and organize the demonstrations and the violent police response to peaceful protests, until China partially blocked the photo-sharing site Monday. China also tried to contain news reports by shutting down media outlets and television channels that attempted to show footage of the pro-democracy protests.

But FireChat bypasses China’s censorship firewall. FireChat works by letting users within 70 meters (230 feet) of each other send messages back and forth through the smartphones’ built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth hardware, creating a mesh network.


No such thing as "Muslim countries" doing anything! They're all different! Like Christian countries

There's no such thing as "Muslim countries" doing anything! They're all different! Like Christian countries are all different. Don't you get it!?"

It's not a religion problem it's a species problem

by digby

There's an awful lot of talk these days about religions of peace vs religions of war and how some are intrinsically violent and others aren't. It's all nonsense. Right now, for a variety of reasons, Islam features some violent extremism on the fringe which happens to be in a part of the world where everyone has an interest. But you only have to look at history to see that all religions have their moments of violence.




Bill Maher vs. Ben Affleck On Islam: "Mafia That Will Fucking Kill You If You Say The Wrong Thing"

Bill Maher and Ben Affleck engaged in a heated debate over radical Islam and Islamophobia on Friday's broadcast of Real Time on HBO.

Aided by author Sam Harris, Maher contended radical Islamists are essentially a "mafia" that will kill you if you say or draw the wrong thing. Affleck argued that condemning a whole religion based on jihadists that make up a small fraction of Islam isn't fair.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was also on the panel, said the criticism of Islam has "a tinge of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks."

On last week's broadcast of Real Time, Maher went after Islam and argued "if we're giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn't we be starting the mutilators and the honor killers?"

BEN AFFLECK: How about more than a billion people who aren't fanatical, who don't punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don't do any of the things you're saying of all Muslims. It's stereotyping.

SAM HARRIS, AUTHOR: I'm not saying all Muslims --

AFFLECK: Some of them do bad things and you're painting the whole religion with that broad brush.

MAHER: Wait, let's get down to who has the right answer here. A billion people, you say.

AFFLECK: A billion five.

MAHER: All these billion people don't hold these pernicious beliefs?

AFFLECK: They don't.

MAHER: That's just not true, Ben. That's just not true. You're trying to say that these few people, that's all the problem is, these few bad apples. The idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic

AFFLECK: That's horrible.

MAHER: But you're saying the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic religion is just a few bad apples?

AFFLECK: The people who would actually believe in that you murder someone if they leave Islam is not the majority of Muslims at all...

SAM HARRIS: Just imagine you have some concentric circles. You have at the center, you have jihadists, these are people who wake up wanting to kill apostates, wanting to die trying. They believe in paradise, they believe in martyrdom. Outside of them, we have Islamists, these are people who are just as convinced of martyrdom and paradise and wanting to foist their religion on the rest of humanity but they want to work within the system. They're not going to blow themselves up on a bus. They want to change governments, they want to use democracy against itself. Those two circles arguably are 20% of the Muslim world.

BEN AFFLECK: What are you basing that research on?

HARRIS: There are a bunch of poll results that we can talk about. To give you one point of contact: 78% of British Muslims think that the Danish cartoonist should have been prosecuted. 78%. So, I'm being conservative when I roll this back to 20%. But outside of that circle you have conservative Muslims who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we're horrified by that but they hold views about human rights, and about women, and about homosexuals that are deeply troubling. So, these are not Islamists, they are not jihadists, but they often keep women and homosexuals immiserated in these cultures and we have to empower the true reformers in the Muslim world to change it. And lying about doctrine and this behavior is not going to do that...

MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR: So having said that, even if that is true, statistically or otherwise, the key thing to recognize that I don't think is part of the argument but I think should be is that there are voices that are oftentimes raised in opposition to these jihadists and to these extreme acts but, guess what, they don't covered, they don't get exposed. And they're not on the same level platform that we see jihadists get.

BILL MAHER: One reason they don't get exposed is because they're afraid to speak out because it's the only religion that acts like the mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book. There's a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7...

AFFLECK: What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We've killed more Muslims than they've killed us by an awful lot. We've invaded more --

MAHER: I'm not for more dead Muslims.

AFFLECK: And somehow we're exempt from these things because they're not really a reflection of what we believe in. We did it by accident, that's why we invaded Iraq.

MAHER: We're not convincing anybody here.

AFFLECK: I'm simply telling you that I disagree with you.

MAHER: I understand, and we're obviously not convincing anybody here.

HARRIS: You don't understand my argument.

AFFLECK: Your argument is, "You know, black people, they shoot each other" --

MAHER: It's not! No, it's not. It's based on facts. I can show you a Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslims world. It's like 90% of them believe death is the appropriate response to leaving the religion. If 90% of Brazilians thought that death was the appropriate response to leaving Catholicism you would think it was a bigger deal.

AFFLECK: I would think it's a big deal no matter what.

MAHER: Okay, well, that's the facts.

AFFLECK: I wouldn't say it's all Brazilians, or I wouldn't say, "Well, Ted Bundy did this. God damn these gays, they're all trying to eat each other."

HARRIS: Let me just give you what you want. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are nominal Muslims who don't take the faith siresly, who don't want to kill apostates, who are horrified by ISIS and we need to defend these people, prop them up and let them reform their faith.

AFFLECK: ISIS couldn't couldn't full a AA ballpark in Charleston, West Virginia and you want to make a career out of ISIS, ISIS, ISIS.

MAHER: No we're not. That's the opposite.

HARRIS: No, it's not just ISIS, it's all jihadists. It's a phenomenon of global jihad.

MAHER: I think that's the opposite of what we're doing.

AFFLECK: There is those things. There is ISIS, there is global jihadists. The question is the degree to which you're willing to say, because I've witnessed this behavior, which we all object to on part of these people, I'm willing to flatly condemn those of you I don't know and never met.

MAHER: They're not willing. This is based on reality.

HARRIS: It's not condemning people, it's ideas.

MAHER: It's based on reality, Ben. We're not take it up that in the Muslim world it is mainstream belief.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF: This is such a caricature of Indonesia, of Malaysia, of so much of the world. And this does have a tinge a little bit of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks by --

MAHER: What you're saying is because they are a minority, we shouldn't criticize.

AFFLECK: It's not a minority, it's the second biggest religion in the world.

MAHER: Exactly, but you're treating them like a minority. I mean if Filipinos were capturing teenagers and sending them into white slavery, we would criticize that. We wouldn't say, oh, well, they're Filipinos.

AFFLECK: You would criticize the people who are doing it, not the Philippines. A Filipino kid who lives on the streets has nothing to do with that. These are different things.


As Civil War Destroys His Country-Syrian Ambulance Driver Devotes His Time & Money To Saving Cats

As Civil War Destroys His Country, This Syrian Ambulance Driver Devotes His Time And Money To Saving

Ambulance driver Alaa is running a one-man charitable organization in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo by feeding cats that have been orphaned as a result of the conflict.

When he is not treating the human casualties of the war, Alaa helps around 150 stray cats in Masaken Hanano, a neigbourhood in Aleppo. He spends about $4 of his savings each day on meat to feed the pets.

The neigbourhood has been almost completely abandoned because of shelling from the forces of Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad, as they attempt to win back control from the rebels. Alaa says that he has been feeding and caring for the cats for more than two months.

Read more at :


LOL: Speaking of Clowns…

Talking Points MemoVerified account
Graham: Rubio "is not quite ready" to be President, but I may be


Nice One, Mr. President!

President Obama: While affordable health care might still be a threat to freedom on Fox News, it’s working pretty well in the real world.
— @BarackObama


Surprise! Jeb Bush Wins New Backer: George P. Bush

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, George P. Bush didn’t reply directly when asked whether he wants his dad to run for president. “I think he would have a lot to offer,” he said. He then volunteered: “I would definitely vote for him, I think it’s safe to say, otherwise I may not be invited back home for Thanksgiving.”

Voter registration in Ferguson surges after Brown killing

More than 3,000 people have registered to vote in Ferguson, Mo., since the death of Michael Brown — a surge in interest that may mean the city of 21,000 people is ready for a change.

Since a white police officer shot the unarmed black 18-year-old on Aug. 9, voter registration booths and cards have popped up alongside protests in the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The result: 4,839 people in St. Louis County have registered to vote since the shooting; 3,287 of them live in Ferguson.

The city's population is two-thirds African American; five of its six city council members are white, as is its mayor. The St. Louis County Election Board does not record the races of eligible voters, but many believe the increase is a sign that Brown's death has spurred renewed interest in politics and might mean more blacks will vote in the upcoming election.

"It's a great move when people come out and register in mass like that," said Anthony Bell, St. Louis 3rd Ward committeeman. "They are sending a signal that we want a change. It doesn't give justice to the Michael Brown family, but it will in the future give justice to how the administration is run in a local municipality like Ferguson."


USA Go Home: ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Now Opposing US Airstrikes In Syria

‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Now Opposing US Airstrikes In Syria
By: DSWright Thursday October 2, 2014 5:54 am

Richard Engel ✔ @RichardEngel
Syrian activists telling us theyve never heard of Khorasan or its leader
10:32 AM - 24 Sep 2014

In an ironic twist to the ongoing and controversial US bombing campaign in Syria, the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels are telling the Western media that they too oppose US airstrikes in Syria and think the campaign will do more harm than good for their cause. The US-led bombing campaign recently hit grain silos and killed food workers making a bad situation worse and reminding many that US intervention in the Middle East rarely leads to anything other than increased suffering for everyone.

Now members of the Free Syrian Army have told Foreign Policy that they want Washington to send its planes back home.
Fighters and commanders in the FSA told FP that the US airstrikes were just providing political capital for ISIS and other Islamic groups that opposed the moderate rebels. ISIS could point to strikes on civilians as evidence that the US was a wicked power and that ISIS’ jihad was just. The FSA rebels also feared the airstrikes would strengthen the Assad government.

America’s most plausible allies on the ground in Deir Ezzor, however, remain critical of the international effort. Foreign Policy interviewed six FSA commanders from the province who are currently exiled by the Islamic State and hiding out in southeastern Turkey. All of them were arrested at some point by the jihadist group; some were tortured. They all agree that the U.S. airstrikes in their home country are a bad idea.

FSA fighters and commanders complained to Foreign Policy that they have received no increase in support since the international effort to combat the Islamic State began, despite promises from the Obama administration that the United States would begin supplying arms to the rebels. The FSA fighters also disparaged the airstrikes, saying they would mainly kill civilians and give the Assad regime a chance to gain ground.


Does anyone outside the White House support these airstrikes at this point? Given that ISIS is active in such a large area it is going to be pretty hard to “degrade and destroy” them without taking a lot of civilians with them. In other words, even if the air campaign is successful it’s going to create a lot of enemies and radicals.

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