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Ben C. O. Grimm
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Teenage Girl Stoned To Death For Loving The Wrong Boy. [Skeptic Money] A 17-year-old girl was stoned to death in Iraq because she loved a teenage boy of the wrong religion. As a horrifying video of the stoning went out on the Internet, the British arm of Amnesty International condemned the death of Du’a Khalil Aswad as “an abhorrent murder” and demanded that her killers be brought to justice. Reports from Iraq said a local security force witnessed the incident, but did nothing to try to stop it. Now her boyfriend is in hiding in fear for his life.
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Monitoring antievolution bills in New Hampshire. [National Center for Science Education] The two antievolution bills in the New Hampshire legislature attracted the attention of the Concord Monitor (December 29, 2011). As NCSE previously reported, House Bill 1148, introduced by Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17), would charge the state board of education to "[r]equire evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists' political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism," while House Bill 1457, introduced by Gary Hopper (R-District 7) and John Burt (R-District 7), would charge the state board of education to "[r]equire science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire [sic] results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes."
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Creationist legislation in Indiana. [National Center for Science Eduation] Senate Bill 89, prefiled in the Indiana Senate and referred to the Committee on Education and Career Development, would, if enacted, amend the Indiana Code to provide that "[t]he governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation."
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Common Brain Mechanisms Underlie Supernatural Perceptions. [Scientific American] Belief in the paranormal arises from the same brain mechanisms that shape most human thought. You may have never personally caught sight of Jesus Christ’s face in a potato chip, but you have likely succumbed to an equally improbable belief at some point in your life. Many people claim that ghosts exist or that their dreams can predict the future. Some individuals even think they have seen the face of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich and Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun.
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POLL: ‘Progressive’ Is The Most Positively Viewed Political Label in America. [ThinkProgress] A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press out yesterday shows that “progressive” is the most positively viewed political label in America, with 67 percent holding a positive view compared to just 22 percent who view the term negatively.
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Keeping Students From the Polls. [New York Times] Political leaders should be encouraging young adults to participate in civic life, but many Republican state lawmakers are doing everything they can instead to prevent students from voting in the 2012 presidential election. Some have openly acknowledged doing so because students tend to be liberal.

See also Republican Ethic: Victory Is More Important Than Democracy. [Addicting Info] -> http://godl.es/vNExye
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Founder Of Stormfront Openly Endorses Ron Paul, Says Paul Shares Their Views (VIDEO) [Addicting Info] Ron Paul is surging in the polls and that means he’s going to be hit with a freight train full of baggage from the past and a whole lot of new stuff from the present. But this is something that Ron Paul didn’t need right now given his past with racist newsletters and the current endorsement from the Ku Klux Klan. On Tuesday, during an appearance on The Young Turks on Current TV, Don Black, the founder of the white supremacist group known as Stormfront, endorsed Ron Paul and claimed that their views coincide with Paul’s. Black tried to exonerate Paul of the racism charges that have plagued his political career but he fell short of being convincing.
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Gingrich Raked In Oil Money After Flip-Flopping On Cap And Trade. [ThinkProgress] 2012 GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich executed a high-profile flip-flop on cap and trade, saying in 2007 that “mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system” were something he “would strongly support,” before disavowing that position this year. “I never favored cap and trade,” he claimed during a Fox News interview earlier this month. It turns out that this move was more than politically convenient for Gingrich. As the Washington Post noted today, Gingrich’s climate flip-flop was also quite lucrative, with millions of oil dollars pouring into his now defunct energy non-profit after he announced it.
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Paul Campaign Touts Endorsement Of Preacher Who Advocates Death Penalty For Gays. [ThinkProgress] Ron Paul has developed a “live and let live” approach to same-sex marriage and gay rights on the campaign trail, but his efforts to attract Evangelical voters ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses have revealed, a darker social conservative side to the libertarian Republican from Texas. For instance, earlier this week, the Paul campaign touted the endorsement of Reverend Phillip Kayser, pastor of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska, for the “enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” Kayser has previously argued that the Bible justifies capital punishment against gay people — and still stands by this belief.
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