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Christians and Fox exploit Colorado Church Shootings

Someone at Daily Kos takes a look at media coverage of the church shooting and digs up some interesting details about the Christian group that Murray was most involved with, Youth with a Mission:

The Cult Awareness Network national office in Chicago had several letters on file concerning YWAM. One such letter by Nancy Brown dated March of 1984 from Itheca, New York stated “that Ywam has many elements of a destructive cult”. A major issue cited was “the authoritarian control by the elders”. Allegedly YWAM depicted the “world” as “Satanic”. Members were told that “Satan comes into an idle mind” and were advised “Whenever you have a spare moment memorize. Elders gave out cards with Bible verses to carry and use”.

And:

Denver station KMGH reports that many people at the Colorado Springs church have similar connections: “There is a Youth With A Mission office on the New Life Church campus, and many members of New Life have completed the YWAM’s school and discipleship programs. They have also worked together in local evangelical outreach programs.”

So here’s what seems to have happened: a particularly loony Christian group filled a mentally ill kid’s head with terrifying non-sense and he ended up killing some people, and now the conservative media want blame secularism for it. Well, it makes as much sense as Christianity does in the first place, I suppose.

Full Story: Daily Kos.

Canadian post office upset by Sex Party

A small political party in Canada is suing the government because the state-owned postal monopoly refused to distribute information on the party. Called the Sex Party the party advocates relaxation of laws on sexuality.

[...]

The flyer was an attempt to recruit members and the party did run three candidates. But the post office would not deliver the pamphlet. They say they are obligated to protect people from anything they might find offensive. But they did deliver an anti-gay brochure by a Christian group that was very aggressive in its tone and dislike of gay people.

The head of the post office said they delivered the anti-gay brochure, which she said was vile, because they aren’t in the business of censoring the mail. But when it came to the Sex Party they were in the business of censoring the mail. And since the post office is a legal monopoly the ability to send one’s message another way is very limited indeed.

Full Story: Classically Liberal.

(via ifeminists.com).

Lab work to identify 2,800-year-old mummy of shaman: scientists

Chinese scientists are conducting laboratory work hoping to identify a 2,800-year-old mummy presumably of a shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The well-preserved mummy of a seemingly Caucasian man with a Roman nose and deep-set eyes was unearthed from a cluster of ancient tombs in 2003 and research work has been going on ever since.

Archeologists found the mummy most intriguing because a sack of marijuana leaves was found buried alongside the corpse.

The mummy remains intact in its original outfit despite the passage of time: leather hat, heavy coat and boots, huge earrings of copper and gold, a turquoise necklace, a copper laced stick in the right hand and a bronze ax in the left, according to Li Xiao, head of the heritage bureau in Turpan.

Full Story: People’s Daily Online.

(thanks Danny Chaoflux)

Viking Youth Power Hour: Every Man and Woman is a Star

Mat schools us on circus lingo and the virtues of the Farmer’s Almanac as we further dissect the implications of an increasingly intrusive government and corporate run culture.
Hey kids! Did you know that the top three TeleCom companies are in the process of using their power and money to turn the internet into a tiered system where information will be graded by them and shows like this will become near impossible to find? You can thank that mongoloid Michael Powell for helping to put this into motion back in his short and destructive stint as the head of the FCC, but it’s the heads of Verizon and his cronies who are trying to make sure that their hold on power remains tight.
But there are heroes in this battle and they demand your support: Freepress.com, the Media Access Project, Common Cause and Senator Widen, among others, are working diligently to lobby and pass laws protecting the neutrality of the internet and to expose ‘astro turf’ organizations which these giant corporations are setting up to make it look like the American people actually want this horse shit ruining their country and their lives. These organizations need your support please consider donating to them if you are able.
We also discuss RFID tags how they’ll be used to track your purchases, how they’ll be used to revolutionize the retail industry, whose fighting against their use, and how clubs in Barcelona are using them to fast forward fashion.
So much strangeness and so much hope, it makes you wonder how the panopticon will change our socieites taboos and their priorities in the future…

MP3 on Viking Youth Power Hour.

Evolution in the bible, says Vatican

THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.
Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin’s theory of evolution were “perfectly compatible” if the Bible were read correctly.

His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.

“The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim,” he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that “the universe didn’t make itself and had a creator”.

News.com.au

William S. Burroughs interview with Jimmy Page

jimmy page and william s. burroughs

WB: I was thinking of the concentration of mass energy that you get in a pop concert, and if that were, say, channeled in some magical way…a stairway too heaven…it could become quite actual.

JP: Yes, I know. One is so aware of the energies that you are going for, and you could so easily….I mean, for instance, the other night we played in the Philadelphia Spectrum, which really is a black hole as a concert hall….The security there is the most ugly of anywhere in the States. I saw this incident happen and I was almost physically sick. In fact, if I hadn’t been playing the guitar I was playing it would’ve been over somebody’s head. It was a double-neck, which is irreplaceable, really, unless you wait another nine months for them to make another one at Gibson’s.

Rock Magic: Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, And a search for the elusive stairway to heaven originally published in Crawdaddy Magazine, June 1975.

(via LVX23)

For more on Burroughs check out our dossier on him

Hunter S. Thompson endorses Kerry

Thompson proves he’s still the hardest writer out there:

This year’s first presidential debate was such a disaster for George Bush that his handlers had to be crazy to let him get in the ring with John Kerry again. Yet Karl Rove let it happen, and we can only wonder why. But there is no doubt that the president has lost his nerve, and his career in the White House is finished. NO MAS.

[...]

Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous “trickle-down” theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow “trickle down” to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to preindustrial America, when only white male property owners could vote.

Things haven’t changed all that much where George W. Bush comes from. Houston is a cruel and crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It’s a shabby sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West — which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.

[...]

The question this year is not whether President Bush is acting more and more like the head of a fascist government but if the American people want it that way. That is what this election is all about. We are down to nut-cutting time, and millions of people are angry. They want a Regime Change.

[...]

Of course I will vote for John Kerry. I have known him for thirty years as a good man with a brave heart — which is more than even the president’s friends will tell you about George W. Bush, who is also an old acquaintance from the white-knuckle days of yesteryear. He is hated all over the world, including large parts of Texas, and he is taking us all down with him.

Virtual graffiti

I’ve been hearing about “virtual graffiti” systems for a while, but now there’s some stuff actually happening. The idea is to be able to place virtual notes in spaces that would be accessable through cell phones and the like.

Geonotes (via Many to Many) from Sweden have a wifi based solution, but it only works with Lucent base stations. Still, from my understanding of it, anyone with Win2k, Linux or Savaje OS, a wifi card, and the GeoNotes could leave a location specific note in a Lucent base station (even if the base station doesn’t have special software installed?).

And according to this report (via City of Sound) there’s a Finish company offering some similar service:

An experimental system in Helsinki called Flirt enabled mobile users to leaves virtual messages or ?hanging data? in specific locations which would be picked up by the next user to pass the same location. The experiment turned the city into a chatroom of flirty Finns.

And here are some fun things you could do with some of this tech: Location Aware Game Ideas (via Head Map).

A leftist argument for space

Philip Shropshire of Three River Tech Review has written a nice rant about space exploration

I might add that if you were seriously concerned about the Martian ecosphere it would be nice if there were some environmentally sensitive types on the Red Planet. Who would be more responsible about making that choice as to whether to preserve the precious Martian bacterial life: The head of the Sierra Club or those lobbyists who want the EPA to lessen clean air standards? Who do you want making that choice to pave over the rare Martian ruins for the new mall: the head of Wal Mart or the head of Greenpeace? I think the choice is clear.

Link.

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