Ohio governor panders to the religious

John Kasich, the current governor of Ohio, has been suspected of having presidential ambitions, just waiting for the right moment to join the vast throngs of Republican elected and non-elected people who think they have what it takes to do the job. He has been coy about expressing his ambitions openly but he just gave an indication that he is seriously considering it by taking an action that is blatant pandering to the religious nutters.
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Why US media makes torture victims invisible

The release of the torture report has brought out the torture architects, perpetrators, and apologists in full force and they are all over the media explaining why brutalizing people in disgusting ways was good and noble and why just the fact that this report was released somehow absolves America for committing these horrendous crimes and proves how great and noble we are.
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How did they do that?

Stephen Colbert is a huge fan of the Hobbit world created by J. R. R. Tolkien and is familiar with the most minute aspects of it. When I saw that he was going to interview Smaug (apparently is a character in some of the books) I thought it would be someone dressed as the character and was wondering whether it would be worth watching since I am not a big fan of the books or the films. I am glad that I did because it was really something to see.
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Flash mob’s Ode To Joy

We need a break from depressing news about torture and what better than some good music?

I love these flash mobs that pop up in public spaces to play the great classical pieces. And there are few pieces more suited to this kind of street art than the last movement from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a magnificent piece that never fails to move me however many times I hear it. And since this took place at a street fair in Nurenberg, Germany, there was the added bonus that many of the spectators actually knew the words and could join in on the choral parts.
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Why did they torture?

Torture is barbaric and immoral and goes against all civilized norms of behavior. Those considerations alone should be sufficient to not do it and prosecute those who do. But there are those who argue that that is trumped by the fact that it generates information that can prevent even worse outcomes. But there are some things that we have known for a long time about the efficacy of torture that the US senate report has made even more clear and that is that it is not useful for getting information since tortured people will tell you what you want to hear or whatever they think will stop the torture.
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