A National Call to Link Arms for Democracy...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Victoria Collier and Ben-Zion Ptashnik, Truthout | Op-Ed Occupy Wall Street marchers link arms on Church Street, NY. September 24, 2011. (Photo: Carwil Bjork-James / Flickr) “When I despair I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, think of it – always!” – Mahatma Gandhi For Americans, these are dangerous and momentous times. We have only a small window of opportunity to break the grip of moneyed interests on our government, before an advancing oligarchy consolidates power and locks in tyranny. This article is an urgent call to organize a mass-based political movement in the coming months and through the 2016 elections. If we rise to...

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Doing Nothing to Fix Homelessness Comes With Unexpected Costs for Americans Smriti Sinha’s avatar image...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Smriti Sinha POLICYMIC Doing Nothing to Fix Homelessness Comes With Unexpected Costs for Americans Image Credit: AP Homeless people are costing taxpayers in Florida almost $50 million every year. The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness released a new study showing that Florida residents pay $31,065 per chronically homeless person every year for their public expenses including transportation, cost of jail, emergency room visits and other hospitalization. The study found that it would cost taxpayers just $10,051 per homeless person to provide permanent housing, as well as services like job training and health care. That figure is 68% less than what people are currently spending as the homeless remain on the streets. This means that if central Florida took the permanent supportive housing approach, it could save $350 million over the next decade. Creative Housing Solutions,...

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“I REFUSE TO CONDEMN OUR CHILDREN TO A PLANET THAT’S BEYOND FIXING?: – Obama...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Obama Makes Public Health Pitch For Carbon Rules  | By JOSH LEDERMAN WASHINGTON (AP) — As governors, businesses and environmentalists brace for new limits on power plant pollution, President Barack Obama is casting his unprecedented effort to curb greenhouse gases as essential to protect the health and wellbeing of children. “I refuse to condemn our children to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address released Saturday. His administration is bringing forward the first carbon pollution limits on existing U.S. power plants on Monday, the centerpiece of his campaign against climate change. Critics say the plan will drive up costs, kill jobs and damage a fragile economy. Traditionally, the president records his weekly address at the White House. But Obama put the usual playbook aside on Friday and...

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Solar Power for the Global Masses: The Next Revolution...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Juan Cole By Juan Cole  TRUTHDIG Shutterstock This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page. As the price of solar panels drops, they increasingly are being spontaneously bought and installed by villagers throughout the world, who are often ill-served, or not served at all, by the central power grid in their countries.  Some remain off the grid once they have gone solar.  Just as many countries in Africa skipped the stage of building copper wire telephone transmission lines all over the place, and instead went straight for cell phones, so they may also be able to avoid trying to deliver power through a central grid to everyone.  So here are some promising signs: The new BJP government in India plans to install 20 gigawatts of grid-connected solar power by 2022, and 2...

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WALL STREET BUYING UP WORLD’S WATER SUPPLY AT ALARMING PACE...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Larry’s List – TRUTHDIG Posted on May 31, 2014 “Water barons” may soon own every drop of H2O left on earth; techies may be responsible for women getting pushed out of journalism; meanwhile, no one seems to want to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. These discoveries and more below. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. It’s Not Just Jill Abramson: Women Everywhere Are Getting Pushed Out of Journalism The firing of New York Times editor Jill Abramson has been covered with all the gossipy verve...

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Krugman: Climate Action Is ‘Remarkably Cheap,’ New EPA Rules Would Give ‘U.S. Economy A Boost’...

May 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explains for the umpteenth time that climate action is super cheap — and that even the pro-pollution U.S. Chamber of Commerce agrees. What would be the cost to the U.S. of moderate carbon pollution reductions, such as the emissions standards for existing power plants that the EPA will be announcing shortly? It’s a question that we always had to answer since, as everyone knows, EPA is legally obligated to issue rules regulating CO2 from existing power plants. In April the world’s leading scientists, economists, and governments reviewed the literature and came to the broad consensus that even aggressive climate action would reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%. And that’s for a scenario...

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A CLIMATE RESCUE PLAN?

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] A Price Tag on Carbon as a Climate Rescue Plan By JUSTIN GILLIS  HUFFINGTON POST Slide Show|10 Photos A Wisconsin Farm Fights Warming, With California’s Help A Wisconsin Farm Fights Warming, With California’s Help Credit Sally Ryan for The New York Times KEWAUNEE, Wis. — Bryan T. Pagel, a dairy farmer, watched as a glistening slurry of cow manure disappeared down a culvert. If recycling the waste on his family’s farm would help to save the world, he was happy to go along. Out back, machinery was breaking down the manure and capturing a byproduct called methane, a potent greenhouse gas. A huge Caterpillar engine roared as it burned the methane to generate electricity, keeping it out of the atmosphere. The $3.2 million system also reduces odors at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, one of...

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Mr. Kerry: Here’s Why Snowden Can’t ‘Make His Case’ in ‘Our System of Justice’ Email this item...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Juan Cole  TRUTHDIG  By Juan Cole     Secretary of State John Kerry. fotostory / Shutterstock.com This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Edward Snowden should “return home and come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case.”  Kerry seems to have a high opinion of the Department of Justice and the U.S. courts when it comes to national security issues.  I can’t imagine for the life of me why.  Kerry is either amazingly ignorant or being disingenuous when he suggests that Snowden would be allowed to “make his case” if he returned to the U.S.  No one outside the penal justice system would ever see him again, the moment he set foot here, assuming he was not given...

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Buried Carbon Causes Deep Concern...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Photo by Nicholas_T (CC BY 2.0) By Tim Radford, Climate News Network This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Geographers in the US have found a new factor in the carbon cycle, and – all too ominously – a new potential source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. They have identified huge deposits of fossil soils, rich in organic carbon, buried beneath the Great Plains of America. The discovery is evidence that the subterranean soils could be a rich store, or sink, for ancient atmospheric carbon. But if the soil is exposed – by erosion, or by human activities such as agriculture, deforestation or mining – this treasure trove of ancient charred vegetation, now covered by wind-blown soils, could blow back into the atmosphere and add to global warming. Erika Marin-Spiotta, a...

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“Bush’s Fourth Term Continues”: Guantanamo, Torture, Secret Renditions; Indefinite Detention...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Adam Hudson, Truthout | News Analysis Part of a legal defense team walk at Camp Justice, part of the legal complex of the US Military Commissions, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, in Cuba, Thursday, June 5, 2008. (Photo: Brennan Linsley, Pool via The New York Times)   New drama rocks the Guantanamo military commissions. The potential release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA torture program could influence the commissions’ future and will bring previously unknown details about the torture program to the public. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to indefinite detention. Currently, 154 men remain held in Guantanamo. Of those, 78 are cleared for released and around four dozen are designated by the Obama administration for indefinite detention because they are considered too difficult to...

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Time to Rethink American Exceptionalism?...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed Each country thinks that it’s exceptional, and, truth be told, each country really is exceptional in its own special ways. But there’s a difference between celebrating your own unique way of life and thinking that you can do whatever you want and force your way of life onto everyone else. And if we as Americans want to move forward both as a people and as members of the international community, we need to understand this fact and start basing our foreign policy around it. “American exceptionalism,” the idea that the United States is different or better than other countries, has meant a lot of different things over the years. On the one hand, we’ve used the idea that we’re better than...

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Honeybees Protecting Humanity

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Dr. Reese Halter Become a fan  HUFFINGTON POSTBroadcaster, Conservation Biologist, Educator Honeybees are incredible creatures. They are now being used in a massive military cleanup in Western Europe. Join Earth Dr Reese Halter for another SOS segment as he explains honeybees protecting children and sniffer-dogs from lethal landmines. Honeybees pollinate most of the food we eat and all of the cotton we wear. Each year, honeybees also produce an astounding 2.65 billion pounds of honey. The story of the first honeybee began at least 100 million years ago – thus, it’s a story 14 times older than that of the first human progenitor. Photo credit: abc.net.au Normally, a forager honeybee dies because after flying 500 miles in three weeks and visiting almost a million flowers, she wears her wings out. Or put another...

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Syria’s climate-fueled conflict, in one stunning comic strip...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Audrey Quinn and Jackie Roche This comic was produced by Years of Living Dangerously and Symbolia Magazine. You can read more of their comics exploring the impacts of climate change here.   Audrey Quinn specializes in health, science, and technology stories.Jackie Roche is a writer and...

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#AskChevron: The hashtag that roared (and paid)...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Heather Smith  GRIST In the days when I was a local news reporter, I used to get a lot of press releases about protests. As sure as rain could be relied on to fall in a downward direction, there would always be a protest going on somewhere in the city. And that was because, as long as you had a group of you — whether you were teenagers trying to get the city to pony up for youth bus passes, or nurses in sensible clogs objecting to a hospital closure — and a fixed time that you were all gathered together in public, the odds were pretty good that at least someone would show up, take a photo of you waving your sign around, and jot down a few quotes about...

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The fight is on: Obama’s climate rules aren’t out yet, but both sides are already slugging...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Thwack By Ben Adler  GRIST Shutterstock The EPA’s proposed CO2 regulations for existing power plants haven’t even been released yet, and already there’s a big brawl over their costs and benefits. As Bloomberg notes, the early rush on political messaging shows that both sides expect voters’ views of the proposal to be determined by whether they think it will help or hurt their pocketbooks. President Obama is expected to unveil the proposed rules on Monday, but the Chamber of Commerce — a right-wing trade association representing established big business — got a jump on the news cycle five days early by releasing a report arguing that the rules would impose massive economic hardship. It claims that if EPA sets formidable pollution-control targets, it could reduce coal-based electric generation capacity by one-third. That, the...

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Tiny-home-in-a-box will turn 200 sq. ft. into a sophisticated dining room AND trashy club...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Eve Andrews Do you live in a tiny home, but wish it were just a little bit more versatile? What if you want to have a classy dinner with friends? What if you just want to have more room to pace around while you brush your teeth? And most importantly, why should you have to forego any of these simple pleasures just because you prefer smaller-scale living? As always, the prankster nerds over at the MIT Media Lab have got you covered. The Media Lab’s Changing Places group brings us CityHome, which looks kind of like what might happen if Apple were to design an MRI machine. The CityHome was designed to be an all-in-one furniture module for tiny spaces: It can transform a room from a bedroom to an office to...

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Make Me Care: How does tech turn citizens into climate scientists?...

May 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Grist staff Welcome back to Make Me Care, where Grist writers and editors talk about stuff they care about that they think you should care about, too. This time around, Amelia Urry hosts Grist fellow Samantha Larson to talk about the big wide world of collective intelligence a.k.a. crowdsourcing a.k.a. citizen science. You know what they say: With a smartphone in every pocket and a laptop on every desk, the world is your research lab and supercomputer. (Well, we said it.) Climate scientists are using the new tools of collective brainpower to sort signal from noise, wresting meaning from the mob by collecting huge amounts of data and then processing it with a huge amount of volunteer RAM. Some groups are even using crowds to focus on finding climate solutions. Watch to hear...

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U.S. One Quarter Away From Recession but Economists Are Optimistic...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Photo by TEOJPG (CC BY-SA 2.0) The U.S. economy contracted for the first time in three years in early 2014, shrinking at an annual rate of 1 percent due in part to an unusually harsh winter in some of the country’s more populous states. The Guardian reports: ING’s James Knightley said most of the downward revision to growth had been caused by companies running down their stocks and said the contraction was not as bad as it looked. Noting that many companies were likely to have run down inventories due to transport problems caused by the bad weather, Knightley added: “With demand indicators looking pretty good for the second quarter of 2014 we are expecting a much stronger outcome for GDP growth in the current quarter (4.5% annualised) with inventory rebuilding likely to...

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From Elections to Mass Movements: How Wealthy Elites Are Hijacking Democracy All Over the World...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Sonali Kolhatkar – TRUTHDIG   Then-Egyptian Minister of Defense General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi walks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt on November 3, 2013. U.S. Department of State   Mass street protests are usually seen as a hallmark of democratic aspirations. And elections are meant to be a culmination of such aspirations, affording people the opportunity to choose their own leaders and system of government. But in country after country these days, the hallmarks of democracy are being dangerously subverted and co-opted by powerful elites. The question is, are we recognizing what is happening under our noses? Three examples unfolding right now are indicators of this trend: Thailand, Ukraine and Egypt. Thailand has just witnessed its 19th coup in 82 years. Although coup leader Gen....

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Why the Koch brothers hate Detroit...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Have a Koch and a frown By Ben Adler  GRIST Hiii Fiii Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy organization founded and funded by the Koch brothers, has it in for Detroit. One of the leading groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement, AFP is trying to put the kibosh on a deal that would rescue Detroit from financial ruin. The New York Times reports: Over the last five months, a deal has come together that would solve some of the most contentious issues in Detroit’s bankruptcy. It would minimize the pension cuts for 30,000 retirees and city workers, save the city’s art collection and give a reasonable amount of money to the city’s bondholders. As expected, there were some objections from a few big insurance companies that stood to lose heavily. But with...

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Organic farming is great, but it’s not Jesus...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Nathanael Johnson val’sphotos I have a pretty high baseline level of skepticism, and when I’m exposed to rhetorical bombast, it causes those skepticism levels to spike. Objections overflow; doubts seep from my pores. It’s an allergic reaction. So this line, the first sentence in the Rodale Institute’s new white paper on the carbon-capturing potential of organic farming, gave me a light rash: We are at the most critical moment in the history of our species. The entire history of our species? Including the first faltering steps? Including the thousands of years about which we know zilch? This extension of rhetoric beyond the scope of human knowledge does not inspire confidence. The paper’s assertion is that, “Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we...

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Thanks to coal, U.S. CO2 emissions are up. Good thing Obama’s about to regulate coal plants....

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Ben Adler  grist Rainforest Action Network We’ve gotten soft. The economic crash of 2008, and then the rise of natural gas from the fracking boom, have gotten us used to small but steady declines in U.S. CO2 emissions. Not anymore. According to the newest Monthly Energy Review from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, released Wednesday, that five-year trend is clearly over. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by 2.39 percent in 2013. For January and February of 2014, the only months this year for which the EIA has data thus far, carbon emissions increased by 7.45 percent over the same period last year. The main culprit is coal, and that illustrates the importance of the EPA’s forthcoming regulations for emissions from coal-fired power plants, which President Obama is expected to unveil on Monday. CO2...

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Neil deGrasse Tyson destroys climate denial in this new video...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] For 11 episodes now, the groundbreaking Fox and National Geographic Channel series Cosmos has been exploring the universe, outraging creationists, and giving science teachers across the nation something to show in class every Monday. In the process, the show has been drawing more than 3 million viewers every Sunday night, a respectable number for a science-focused show that is, after all, a major departure from what prime-time audiences are used to.Cosmos certainly hasn’t shied from controversy; it has taken on evolution and industry-funded science denial, and it has been devoting an increasing amount of attention to the subject of climate change. And apparently that was just the beginning. This coming Sunday, Cosmos will devote an entire episode to the topic. Here’s the episode description from National Geographic: Our journey begins with a trip to another world and time, an idyllic beach during the last perfect day...

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Camp Rockaway: Your Subway-Accessible Paradise...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] inShare6 David Friedlander  LIFE EDITED Architecture As summer descends upon the northern hemisphere, thoughts–and bodies–start to run to the beach. But for many, expensive hotels and house-shares make anything more than a day-trip seem a bit out of reach. But in days of yore, vacationing by the shore was not the exclusive domain of the monied few. There were many spots where any budget would provide simple accommodations by the shore. This is the idea behind a Kickstarter project called Camp Rockaway. The idea for the project started germinating a couple years ago when its creator Kent Johnson moved to the New York City from the Catskill mountains. He needed a natural outlet to replace the mountains and rivers that had previously been outside his door. “I started surfing and discovering all the New York City beaches,” Johnson told...

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Ditching the Manual

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Metropolis Magazine / May 2014 / Ditching the Manual The surprisingly good LEGO Movie points to a future when improvisation might be the key to planetary survival. John Hockenberry Illustration by Adam Lucas; made with LEGO font by lineto. Humans have a lot of great qualities; following detailed instructions does not appear to be one of them. There’s apparently enough ambiguity in the ancient commandment “Thou shalt not kill” to justify centuries of war, murder, and genocide. Our capacity to ignore the warning about soiling the place where you sleep is sufficient to produce degradation that scientists believe will eventually cause irreversible mass extinction of life on Earth. The apparent human preference for denial over rational self-interest, or open-ended democracy over rigid dictatorship, entrepreneurship and innovation over conformity, ditching the rules in favor of adaptation and finding one’s own...

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Climate Change Doomed the Ancients...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By ERIC H. CLINE,  TRUTHDIG THIS month, a report issued by a prominent military advisory board concluded that climate change posed a serious threat to America’s national security. The authors, 16 retired high-ranking officers, warned that droughts, rising seas and extreme weather events, among other environmental threats, were already causing global “instability and conflict.” But Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a stalwart believer that global warming is a “hoax,” dismissed the report as a publicity stunt. Perhaps the senator needs a history lesson, because climate change has been leading to global conflict — and even the collapse of civilizations — for more than 3,000 years. Drought and famine led to internal rebellions in some societies and the sacking of others, as people...

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The Stiglitz Code: How Taxing Capital Can Counter Inequality...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Felicia Wong, Next New Deal | Op-Ed TRUTHOUT Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his pioneering research in the shortcomings and imperfections of market systems. May 28, 2013. (Photo: InnovationNorway / Flickr)   Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that tax reform is the key to addressing inequality in a new Roosevelt Institute paper. Click here to listen to Stiglitz describe the key arguments of the paper. Click here to read his recent congressional testimony on why inequality matters and what can be done about it. The American economy is at a crossroads. One of the questions that will determine which path we take is whether and how the government can use taxes to meet social needs. In recent years there have been countless...

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The World Health Organization in Thrall to the Nuclearists...

May 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Robert James Parsons, Truthout | Report  A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat, Ukraine. (Image: EL / TO ; Adapted: D. Markosian / DoD; WHO / DoD) The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose mandate is the promotion of everything nuclear, has – for the last 55 years – prevented the WHO from carrying out its public health mandate in a world ever more exposed to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation.For 55 years, as of May 29, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been under the heel of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in matters regarding ionizing radiation and health. The IAEA, whose mandate is the promotion of everything nuclear, has thus prevented the WHO from carrying out its public health mandate in a...

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Hungry goats might be saving the Bay Area from wildfires...

May 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Goat Samaritans By Eve Andrews  GRIST William A. Clark Who would you pick to save your community from rampant wildfire? A) Daenerys Targaryen B) Lil Wayne C) A herd of goats If you picked A or B, we’re sorry — your house has burned down. If you picked C, you’re clearly a prevention-minded person! But you’re also out of luck, because firefighting goats are in extremely high demand these days. In the Bay Area, goats are literally eating wildfire fuel. These hoofed heroes like to graze on dry brush, which, if left unconsumed, could contribute to the spread of fires. In case you haven’t been paying much attention to goings-on in the Golden State, wildfires are already threatening huge swaths of the state, and parched flora is in abundance.   California Grazing,...

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Why Do Many Christians Still Literally Believe in Demons and Satan?...

May 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Belief   AlterNet / By Adam Lee Hundred of years after the scientific revolution, the Catholic church still subscribes to the belief that the cosmos is swarming with evil spirits. May 27, 2014  | If there’s anywhere in the U.S. where you’d expect aggressively conservative, domineering religion to be a relic of the past, it’s tolerant and culturally liberal Massachusetts. But even in that blue enclave, the theocratic impulse is still surprisingly powerful. We found this out when a student group at Harvard University, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, ignited a furor by announcing that they were planning an educational program of ceremonies from different belief systems around the world, and that one of these ceremonies, in partnership with the New York-based Satanic Temple, was going to be a Satanist black...

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