Category Archives: Activism

Islamic Blasphemy and the “Freedom” to Choose your Own Religion

Hang the anti Islam written on street

In the last few weeks, Muslims from Bangladesh have been going crazy trying to fight back against the critical words of bloggers and other online heretics by violent riots that have so far led to the death of over 30 people. Over 100,000 rioters have been taking to the streets, and the Muslims have been arguing that things have to change for their allegedly secular government. Men must not “mix” with women, and the word of Allah must be brought into the nation’s constitution. And from there… the law against blasphemy can be brought to Western countries. Does that sound about right? It does to them.

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The Apocalypse 2012 is Real (…but not at all what you think)

Apocalypse background

If a credible source told you the precise day you were going to die, it would presumably cause a great deal of anxiety. So maybe you decide to take actions to minimize the chance of this happening. You watch what you eat more carefully, you exercise intensively to stay fit – just in case you need to act swiftly – and you otherwise change your daily routine to stay prepared for any possible difficulties that might befall you on your predicted date of death. This existential preoccupation may alone be the difference between life and death. For example, maybe you were mentally distracted while crossing a street and got hit by a car, or you worked out so much to keep fit that your heart failed because it didn’t have enough time to rest. Or perhaps you couldn’t take the suspense and decide to end your own life. Regardless of the details, it’s this type of anxiety that makes doomsday prophecies come true for individuals.

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What Does a Week of Gun Violence Look Like in America?

ResearchBlogging.orgThe reason for carrying a gun in America is an obvious and understandable one: protection. After all, there are lots of weapon-wielding psychos out there in dark masks – just think about what happened at Aurora. This is what one Connecticut man thought yesterday when he saw someone in a black ski mask wielding a knife in his sister’s driveway (the next door over to his house). When he came to investigate, he took no chances, and made the fatal shot. The victim, Tyler Giuliano, was a fifteen year-old high school student. It was also the killer’s son. “It’s something out of a Hollywood script” said one top elected official. I disagree. It’s just an ordinary day in America.

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Iranian Woman Beats Up Cleric After Being Told to Cover Up

Don’t mess with Iranian women. Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti was just doing his regular religious duties, politely telling an Iranian women to cover herself up. She brashly responded with “You should just close your eyes.” What happened next was a quick escalation. The woman began to insult the cleric, and when he told her to stop, she started threatening him. The woman soon pushed him to the ground and started kicking him while shouting insults at him. Evidently, this cleric picked the wrong ass-kicking Iranian woman to oppress.

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Political Satire and Censorship in the Middle East

The Danish cartoons started cultural clashes; riots and embassies burned down to ashes. Still there is hope in the dissident voices; who see beyond jihad more civilized choices.

These words begin the chapter on the Middle East, in the book entitled “The Offensive Art – Political Satire and Censorship around the world, from Beerbohm to Borat.” The book can help us understand what’s happening in the Middle East, with the furor over the pathetically-made video that has gotten Muslims up in arms.

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Chaos in the Middle East – Muslims Up in Arms Over Anti-Islamic Film

I stop checking the internet for just a few days and what happens? The Middle East goes absolutely insane. Well, not simply the Middle East, but believers of Islamic persuasion who are up in arms. They’re violently opposing America and all that’s associated with it. Why are they so upset? Another episode of a satirical children’s cartoon, perhaps? Actually, it appears as though what caused this was actually a video that insults the prophet Muhammed. In truth, it’s not so different from a satirical children’s cartoon.

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Guns in America – Part 2: Gun Cultures and Foreign Solutions

In Part 1, we saw that many people are very dangerous with guns, including some who accidentally shoot themselves or others in the face. In fact, hundreds of unintentional deaths happen every year due to guns, not to mention the thousands that are intentional. Being able to defend yourself against a large person who wants to hurt you is of course an important thing, but obviously this argument assumes that you’re a smaller person defending against a bigger person. However, anyone can own a gun, which makes it dangerous for everyone.

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Guns in America – Part 1: The Current State of Gun Violence

With thousands of Americans dying from gun violence each year, it seems that such stories are in the news so often that – paradoxically – it’s rarely ever news anymore. However, high-profile cases such as the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has brought gun crimes back into the media spotlight. The response to this event has in some ways been predictable, and in other ways mind-boggling. There’s no telling what it’s going to take for Americans to have a real debate about gun control, but it’s important for everyone, because American guns have a way of affecting people outside the country as well.

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Youth Magazines to Show Real (not Photoshopped) Girls

A big victory is coming to the teen consumer culture, because of the activity of some strong-willed youth. Fourteen-year-old Julia Blumh from Maine, USA, started the fight with a petition from the popular youth magazine “Seventeen.” She was protesting the use of photo-alteration methods like photoshop and airbrushing, which change the way models look. Exposing youth to such unrealistic depictions of beauty create high expectations and make it impossible for girls to live up to them, causing low self-esteem. After it was launched in April of this year, it took only a few months to garnish over 85,000 signatures, and Seventeen agreed to change the way they produce their magazines.

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Oh, the Humanities! – Who Cares About Humanities and Social Sciences?

The “Mickey-Mouse courses,” the “fluffy concepts,” the “GPA boosters,” the “classes with all the hot girls”… or as you know might also know them, the humanities. Those artsy classes that only those theatre-types or cultural elitists understand. And then there are those social sciences, the kind that don’t deal with the real or hard sciences like chemistry or physics, but the unscientific ones like society and behavior. They don’t involve some of the hard choices that come from important fields of today like business and computer science. In fact, what good are the humanities anyways? And just who needs (or even likes) social sciences?

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