How can this be allowed?

A church is offering a ‘miracle cure’ that consists of drinking a solution containing bleach.

A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing plans to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state on Saturday to promote a “miracle cure” that claims to cure 95% of all diseases in the world by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.

The “church” is asking attendants of the meeting to “donate” $450 each, or $800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization as well as packages of the bleach, which they call “sacraments”. The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution or supplement”, and participants are promised they will acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases”.

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Turpins face life in prison

Some of you may remember my post from last year about David and Louise Turpin, the parents of 13 children who were found to be malnourished and shackled and beaten inside the home in which the parents ‘home-schooled’ their children. The children were so malnourished that they seemed much younger than their years and their knowledge of the world was highly deficient. It was all part of their ‘Christian upbringing’ because the Turpins were considered a ‘good Christian family’. It is a horrifying and tragic story of the absurd levels of discretion given to parents of children in the US under the umbrella of religious freedom, to determine how their children are brought up. This article describes the laws that enable this kind of abuse to exist.
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Jimmy Carter calls the US ‘the most warlike nation’

The former president said that this was not true just for the current time but in the history of the world and backed up his assertion with facts.

Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.”

Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.”

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Update on Sri Lanka

I have been trying to keep abreast of the bombings in Sri Lanka that have led to global condemnation. There are reports of a armed stand-off at an apartment building where three police officers were killed. The government has reportedly made some arrests but they are not revealing the names of those taken into custody and have urged the media not to do so either. This is likely because in Sri Lanka one’s name is an almost certain indictor of one’s linguistic/ethnic group and they likely fear that there will be vigilante retaliation against innocent members of that community. One should also be wary of any early reports. Sri Lankan police tend to depend upon the ’round up the usual suspects and see if they confess’ method of investigation, not the best way of getting reliable information.

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Carnage in Sri Lanka

I was woken up this morning by a phone call from my daughter alerting me to the horrific news from Sri Lanka where a coordinated set of eight attacks at multiple locations, reportedly involving suicide bombings, had claimed over 200 lives and 450 injured though those numbers will change. The government has ordered a nationwide curfew and shut down all social media platforms, a source of many incendiary rumors in the past. Sri Lanka is prone to fact-free speculations spreading like wildfire even before the age of social media and these platforms have made this problem much worse
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Dara O’Briain reviews the film 2012

I have not seen this film or even heard about it but after watching this hilarious review of it by the comedian, I don’t think I need to. Like most natural disaster films, there is an attempt to give a scientific explanation for the catastrophe but O’Briain says that this ludicrously over-the-top apocalyptic film offered one that was so utterly outlandish that he used it to insert a useful lesson about neutrinos.

Great moments in political grandstanding

Politicians love to claim that they have the pulse of the people and speak for them when in fact most of them speak on behalf of the wealthy and the lobbyists. Kentucky Republican Andy Barr invited congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit his home district and talk to the coal miners there about the impact her Green New Deal would have on their livelihood.

“I want to invite the gentlelady to come to eastern Kentucky where thousands of coal miners no longer have paychecks,” he said. “I invite her to go underground with me and meet the men and women who do heroic work to power the American economy.”

No doubt Barr felt that she would be afraid to meet with real Merkins because only Republicans speak for them. But to his surprise, she accepted and tweeted that she looked forward to persuading his voters that it was she who was best representing their needs and interests and not Barr.
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Robocall truce?

I noticed that today we did not get even a single robocall, though on any given day they usually number around 10. I also noticed that today is both Good Friday and Passover and I was wondering if it was more than a coincidence and that the callers declared a truce on this religious holiday. I cannot imagine that they have such sensitivities given that they are willing to annoy the hell out of people. And also, many of the places where these calls originate are overseas and thus may not have many Christian or Jewish employees who take today off.

On the other hand, today I got a sudden influx of spam comments on the blog, something that occurs very rarely.

I was curious if any readers also noted an absence of robocalls today.

John Oliver exposes the Sacklers-again

The Sackler family, the owners of the Purdue Pharma that aggressively marketed the painkiller Oxycontin resulting in an explosive growth in drug addiction, has been dragged into the spotlight and are now the target of multiple lawsuits by states. As a result these highly secretive people, who only allow their names to be public when they put it on buildings as part of their ‘philanthropy’, have been forced to give legal depositions. But their lawyers have aggressively worked to have their video depositions sealed
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