|‘Over many months, The New York Times did what the United States government has not — examine the long-term mental harm of torture and coercive methods used in C.I.A. prisons and Guantánamo Bay.
|Many of the men subjected to such treatment have emerged with the same psychological symptoms as tortured American P.O.W.s…’
Source: The New York Times, via abby
You’ve probably never tasted Bitrex, but it’s all over your home.
Source: Atlas Obscura
5 compelling reasons to stop calling Trump’s comments “locker room talk”: Donald Trump and his surrogates have been trying to dismiss the leaked tape that turned his campaign upside-down as being just “locker room talk.” He did so in a written statement immediately following the tape’s release, and during Sunday night’s presidential debate when he repeatedly dodged Anderson Cooper’s direct questions about what he said on the tape.But let’s be clear: The footage features Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
The Daily Show dismantles Trump’s nonsense excuse about “locker room talk”: “If you conduct ‘locker room talk’ everywhere, it’s not the locker room,” Trevor Noah said. “It’s you.”
Dear Donald Trump: I played in the NFL. Here’s what we really talk about in the locker room. You’re wrong, and only the type of wrong an over-tanned ham hock like yourself can accomplish, plummeting past the morass of gross incivility into the abyss of depraved sociopathy. — Chris Kluwe.
Why Donald Trump’s furious tweetstorm at Paul Ryan is so revealing: He’s trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits in some polls, but Donald Trump has now adopted a promising strategy that could rejuvenate his flailing campaign.Haha, just kidding! Trump has decided to declare war on his own party via Twitter, attacking Paul Ryan and turning the GOP into a circular firing squad just four weeks from Election Day.
Watch Samantha Bee take down Donald Trump with the “vagina monologue” he deserves: “In fact, ‘Take a Tic Tac and grab them by the pussy’ is the closest thing to a plan Trump has described this election,” Bee said.
Trump: Warren Buffett avoids taxes like me. Buffett: Nope, and here’s my taxes to prove it. As a final knife twist, Buffett notes that he is currently being audited — but is releasing information from his return anyway, since that is totally allowed, despite Trump’s protests to the contrary.
Donald Trump’s threat to imprison Hillary Clinton is a threat to democracy: There is no way to sugarcoat this: At Sunday night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump threatened to throw Hillary Clinton in jail if he wins the presidency. This — threatening to jail one’s political opponents — is how democratic norms die.
As Paul Krugman puts it, ‘Is there a partisan pattern here?’ Although Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Trump after his boasts about sexual assault, no one should be fooled that the GOP has any enduring concern about the matter. Trump is not an anomaly here; he is rather a pure distillation of his party’s predatory values.
Source: The New York Times
131,000 people in the United States wait for an organ donation every single day. Only 10% of them will get one – unless we allow organ donations from drug deaths.
Source: Big Think
Mike Pence identifies himself first as a Christian. However, despite looking squeaky-clean, down home and humble, some of his more unique distinctions are quite un-Christian — doing nasty things to vulnerable people.
‘The irony is that Trump appears to be the extremist when he is a hollow grifter with a personality disorder. Mike Pence is the real deal.”
— signed a law banning abortions of fetuses with Downs syndrome and other genetic conditions and forcing a woman to bury or cremate fetal remains even after a miscarriage
— signed a law (later overturned on constitutional grounds) legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination by people, churches and businesses
— faced with a devastating HIV outbreak in a small poor Indiana town, he ignored the criris for months, opposed a needed needle exchange and only under mounting pressure from health officials, legislators and the press conceded he should go home and “pray on it.”. Still opposing needle exchange, he is rumored to have instructed the state legislature to provide so little support for similar programs in five more Indiana counties faced with HIV outbreaks as to ensure the failure of these programs.
— His other idea for the prevention of the HIV epidemic? Mandatory conversion therapy to “de-gay” people, often youth pressured by homophobic parents.
— opposed FDA regulation of cigarettes on the grounds that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”
— led GOP efforts to destroy Planned Parenthood, at one point threatening to shut down the government if funding for the organization was in the appropriations bill
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Video of Mike Pence denying Trump said any of the horrible, racist, stupid, uninformed and generally embarrassing things he spouts all day long, matched with Trump saying the stuff.
Source: Boing Boing
[A commenter said, “Someone please tell Mike Pence who his running mate is.”]
‘Telescopes on a sacred mountain constitute a form of “colonial violence,” in the words of J. Kehaulani Kauanui, an anthropologist at Wesleyan University.
Or as Robert Kirshner, a Harvard professor who is now also chief science officer at the Moore Foundation, put it, “The question in that case become not so much whether you did the environmental impact statement right, but whose island is it?” …’
Source: The New York Times
‘The Japanese climate is not exactly conducive to mummification. There are no peat bogs, no arid deserts, and no alpine peaks perennially encased in ice. The summers are hot and humid. Yet somehow a group of Buddhist monks from the Shingon sect discovered a way to mummify themselves through rigorous ascetic training in the shadow of a particularly sacred peak in the mountainous northern prefecture of Yamagata.
Between 1081 and 1903, at least 17 monks managed to mummify themselves. The number may well be higher, however, as it is likely some mummies were never recovered from the alpine tombs.
These monks undertook such a practice in emulation of a ninth-century monk named Kūkai, known posthumously as Kōbō Daishi, who founded the esoteric Shingon school of Buddhism in 806. In the 11th century a hagiography of Kūkai appeared claiming that, upon his death in 835, the monk did not die at all, but crawled into his tomb and entered nyūjō, a state of meditation so profound that it induces suspended animation. According to this hagiography, Kūkai plans to emerge in approximately 5.67 million years to usher a predetermined number of souls into nirvana.’
Continue to read for a detailed and harrowing description of the three-year process leading to mummification before death, via Atlas Obscura
Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton … Donald Trump? It could happen, according to a law professor and consumer-protection expert.
Source: Pacific Standard
Should patients be able to access their doctor’s political affiliation as easily as their educational background?
‘Trump has too long a history of being Trump to ever make a concrete shift toward being presidential… Remember that moment in the first presidential debate when Trump gave an angered speech about how good his temperament is. Yeah. That’s what we’re talking about.’
Although these pieces may seem tiresome, I feel it is incredibly important we keep them in the public eye to prevent being inured to Trump’s incompetence and menace.
‘Will we ever salute Vulcans or cuddle tribbles? An astrobiologist explores the latest thinking on the forms alien life might really take…’
Source: National Geographic
‘In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million.That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists…’
Source: Scientific American
Source: NYTimes Editorial Board
‘There was a fundamental asymmetry to the exercise, because of the awful truth that one of the participants had nothing truthful to offer.’
‘According to new data, supporters of Donald Trump prefer to get their news from television and enjoy watching crime dramas. These findings might sound insignificant. But they actually offer insight into Trump’s rise. As a presidential candidate, he’s claimed that illegal immigrants are flooding the country with “no regard for the impact on public safety,” while warning that if things don’t change, “we’re not going to have a country anymore – there will be nothing left.”
This rhetoric supplements our current media environment, which, as studies have shown, cultivates a false perception of the world as a mean, violent place. And it’s laid the groundwork for many of Trump’s most successful appeals to fear…’
Source: WThe Conversation
Of course, the flaw is that, while it may be true that Trump supporters watch TV news and crime dramas, it is surely not the case that TV news viewers and crime show aficionados are all Trumpies. Nonetheless, as it is said, a nation of vapid TV viewers gets the leadership it deserves.
A guide to traveling with “the wickedest man in the world.”
Source: Atlas Obscura
The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked and stored for the coming winter. It is the time of the autumn equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druidic traditions), is a ritual of thanksgiving. It is a time of plenty, of gratitude, and a recognition of the need to share our abundance with those less fortunate to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the winter months. Day and night are of equal length, looking forward to the days’ shortening. The Autumn Equinox is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. We also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. Welsh legend brings us the story of Mabon ap Modron, who dwells, a happy captive, in Modron’s magickal Otherworld — his mother’s womb. Only in this way can he be reborn.
In the northern hemisphere this equinox occurs anywhere from September 21 to 24. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas/Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain. (via Wheel of the Year – Wikipedia).