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    America’s Delusional — Lightning Far More Likely to Kill You Than Foreign Terrorists

    Among the actions Trump has taken since inauguration day, nothing has stirred more controversy than the travel ban. This executive order, titled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,’ blocked entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and indefinitely suspended the entry of Syrian refugees.

    As we reported earlier, the order excluded the countries responsible for 93 percent of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil – including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt – which also happen to be countries where Trump has business ties.

    From the start it appears that the travel ban – poorly written and wide open to legal challenge – was based not on actual data but ideology and emotion. Indeed, Trump’s rise to power was fueled by aggression toward ‘outgroups’ such as immigrants, minorities or certain religious types, which is a pillar of authoritarianism.

    Even though there is no rational basis for Trump’s travel ban, it is red meat for his followers and serves to increase division and hatred, while throwing federal and state governments into chaos. It’s also allowing Trump to dangerously lash out at the “so-called judge” – a Republican appointed by Bush – who temporarily lifted the travel ban, whipping up anger against a fundamental check against executive overreach.

    The Trump team understands how easy it is to play on fears about foreign terrorist attacks, and seem to be immersed in it themselves (Flynn, Bannon, etc.). However, like the baseless travel ban, Islamophobia is not grounded in reality.

    In fact, an American is more likely to be killed by a U.S.-born attacker such as Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in an African-American church, or Robert Dear, who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic, then they are to be killed by a foreign-born Jihadist-inspired attacker.

    Of course, none of these people, including U.S.-born Omar Mateen who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub, would have been affected by the travel ban.

    The irrational fear over foreign terrorists killing Americans is even more absurd when we consider five seemingly rare types of accidents that are far more likely to kill — Parachuting accidents, being buried alive, lightning strikes, drowning while taking a bath, and choking on food.

    The enormous cost of enacting a travel ban – in terms of the treasury, the plight of travelers, and the increased hatred toward ‘others’ – is clearly not remotely worth the purported safety it provides.

    Despite the facts, “terrorist attack on nation” and “victim of terrorism” are among the top five of Americans’ greatest fears. How did it come to this?

    Quite simply, the media-political discourse is so skewed from reality that it has managed to replace fact-based interpretations of the world for most people. Emotion drives the narrative and the profits of mainstream media such as CNN and Fox News, which both benefit from Islamophobia.

    It goes back to a phenomenon called the availability heuristic, first uncovered by psychologists in 1973, which states: “[A] person evaluates the frequency of classes or the probability of events by availability, i.e., by the ease with which relevant instances come to mind. In general, availability is correlated with ecological frequency.”

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    Barcelona: ‘1 dead, 32 injured’ in terror attack near Las Ramblas

    An injured person is carried in Barcelona on Thursday.

    (CNN) At least one person died and 32 were injured after a van rammed through crowds of people in the heart of Barcelona Thursday, in what police described as a terror attack.

    Eyewitnesses reported panic and chaos as the van plowed through crowds in the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, which was teeming at the time with locals and tourists.
    The number of casualties is “bound to rise” as some people are in a critical condition, Joaquim Forn, the Catalan interior minister, told a news conference.
    Catalan police said that 10 people were seriously injured. They were treating the incident as a terror attack and have sealed off the area.
    City officials ordered all public events to be canceled, while emergency services requested the closure of metro and train stations in the area.
    Reports of the attack first emerged on social media at about 5 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). About two hours later, police confirmed that Spain had suffered a deadly terror attack.
    It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces.
    Catalan police said they were continuing to hunt for the perpetrators and that the force had activated its terror response protocols. Unconfirmed reports suggested the suspects may have been attempting to reach a getaway vehicle.
    Local Spanish media earlier reported that two armed men had entered a restaurant.
    As the incident unfolded, police told everyone in the vicinity of Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas to remain indoors until told it was safe to go outside. Footage posted to social media by witnesses showed chaotic scenes with people lying in the street, apparently dead or injured.

    Witness reports gunshots

    One witness told local media the situation was “very tense” and that all surrounding shops were being evacuated. The witness said at least eight ambulances were at the scene. Emergency services said the area had been cordoned off and all public transportation stopped.
    Another witness who was hiding in a shop nearby heard gunshots, according to state-run broadcaster TVE24. Another witness said he saw a van driving “around 80 kilometers” per hour, or 50 mph. He said “there is no doubt it was intentional,” according to TVE24.
    Tourist Susan McClean told CNN that she saw a “tidal wave” of people running away from Las Ramblas in the aftermath of the incident.
    She ducked into a nearby shop and the shutters were pulled down while police sped towards the scene.
    “There was clearly a lot of distress,” she told CNN.
    McClean said she returned to her hotel just a street away after leaving the shop.
    An injured person is carried in Barcelona on Thursday.
    An injured person is carried in Barcelona on Thursday.

    Witness: ‘Lot of distress’

    The Catalonian regional government is convening an emergency meeting to discuss the incident, its vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, said in a tweet.
    The Catalan emergency services urged people via Twitter to avoid going out or undertaking any other type of movement that is not “strictly necessary” to facilitate police operations.
    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted: “In contact with all administrations. Priority: tend to the injured in Las Ramblas and facilitate the work of security forces.”
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted his condemnation of the attack. “My thoughts are with all those affected. We stand united in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan also tweeted his support, saying: “London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.”
    The US Consulate in Barcelona posted on Twitter: “We are aware of a reported incident at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Please avoid the area and monitor local police @mossos for updates.”
    Las Ramblas is a predominantly pedestrianized street popular among tourists in Barcelona. Extending for about three-quarters of a mile through the center of the city, the tree-lined street is especially crowded in the summer, the height of tourist season.
    The promenade passes by kiosks, flower sellers, pavement cafes and bars. It includes a number of the city’s most popular sites.
    Barcelona is consistently ranked one of the world’s most visited cities.
    Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for Barcelona.
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    Well, These New Zuckerberg IMs Won’t Help Facebook’s Privacy Problems

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his company are suddenly facing a big new round of scrutiny and criticism about their cavalier attitude toward user privacy.

    An early instant messenger exchange Mark had with a college friend won’t help put these concerns to rest.

    According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask.

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don’t know why.

    Zuck: They “trust me”

    Zuck: Dumb fucks.


    Could Mark have been completely joking? Sure. But the exchange does reveal that Facebook’s aggressive attitude toward privacy may have begun early on.

    Since Facebook launched, the company has faced one privacy flap after another, usually following changes to the privacy policy or new product releases.  To its credit, the company has often modified its products based on such feedback.  As the pioneer in a huge new market, Facebook will take heat for everything it does.  It has also now grown into a $22 billion company run by adults who know that their future depends on Facebook users trusting the site’s privacy policy.

    But the company’s attitude toward privacy, as reflected in Mark’s early emails and IMs, features like Beacon and Instant Personalization, and the frequent changes to the privacy policy, has been consistently aggressive: Do something first, then see how people react.

    And this does appear to reflect Mark’s own views of privacy, which seem to be that people shouldn’t care about it as much as they do — an attitude that very much reflects the attitude of his generation.

    After all, here’s what early Facebook engineering boss, Harvard alum, and Zuckerberg confidant Charlie Cheever said in David Kirkpatrick’s brilliantly-reported upcoming book The Facebook Effect.

    “I feel Mark doesn’t believe in privacy that much, or at least believes in privacy as a stepping stone. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong.”

    Again in Kirkpatrick’s book, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg puts it this way:

    “Mark really does believe very much in transparency and the vision of an open society and open world, and so he wants to push people that way. I think he also understands that the way to get there is to give people granular control and comfort. He hopes you’ll get more open, and he’s kind of happy to help you get there. So for him, it’s more of a means to an end. For me, I’m not as sure.”

    Facebook declined to comment about Mark’s attitude toward privacy.

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    Empirical Evidence: Researchers Finally Confirm There Is Life After Death

    The mystery of death is not to be told. It is something to be experienced. We all know one thing for sure: we are all going to die one day. And when we do die, we may not get the opportunity to come back and explain our experience.

    Many religions believe in life after death. It is said the soul goes out of the body to live a new life in the spiritual realm. A wicked person is sent to hell to be tormented by a blazing fire, while a righteous person is sent to heaven to live an eternal and joyful life.

    However, scientists believe that this religious interpretation of death is just a mythology. Some researchers have therefore devoted themselves to unravelling this mystery. The starting point: establish that there is some sort of life after death.

    At the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, researchers have confirmed in a new study that there is indeed life after death. The study has been published in the online journal Resuscitation.

    The study is said to be the largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences. The study revealed that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely. A human being is pronounced clinically dead if the heart stops beating and the brain shuts down. The condition can also be called cardiac arrest.

    According to the researchers, they spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, the United States and Austria. They found that nearly 40 percent of people who survived their resuscitation, described some kind of awareness during the time when they were clinically dead.

    Of the 2,060 cardiac arrest patients studied, 330 survived and of 140 surveyed, 39 percent said they had experienced some kind of awareness while being resuscitated. Although many of them could not recall specific details, some themes emerged. One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness, while nearly one third said time had slowed down or speeded up.

    Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining. Others recounted feelings of fear, drowning or being dragged through deep water. 13 percent said they had felt separated from their bodies, and the same number said their senses had been heightened.

    A 57-year-old man from Southampton, who was pronounced dead for three minutes, said he left his body entirely, watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room. He was able to accurately recount the actions of the nursing staff and the sound of the machines used in his resuscitation process.

    Lead researcher of the study, Dr Sam Parnia said the study accurately revealed that people experience some awareness after death.

    Dr Parnia was quoted as saying: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experience lasted for. He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”

    Dr Parnia also added that many more people may have experiences when they are close to death, but the drugs or sedatives used in the process of resuscitation may stop them remembering.

    “Estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best. Many people have assumed that these were hallucinations or illusions but they do seem to corresponded to actual events. And a higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits. These experiences warrant further investigation,” Dr Parnia said.

    Commenting on the study, the editor-in-chief of the journal Resuscitation, Dr Jerry Nolan said Dr Parnia and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.

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    Scientist ‘solves’ mystery of the Bermuda Triangle – by claiming there was no mystery in the first place

    Defying 70 years of fevered speculation, a sceptical scientist has dared to declare that the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle has been ‘solved’ – by claiming there was no mystery in the first place.

    Karl Kruszelnicki has insisted the reason why so many ships and planes vanish without trace in the area between Bermuda, Florida, Puerto Rico is nothing to do with aliens or fire-crystals from the lost city of Atlantis.

    Instead, the Australian scientist ‘revealed’, the high number of disappearances is explained by nothing more supernatural than plain old human error plus bad weather and the fact that lots of planes and ships enter that area of the Atlantic Ocean in the first place.

    Mr Kruszelnicki told news.com.au that not only does the Bermuda Triangle – (aka ‘Hodoo Sea’, ‘Devil’s Triangle’, ‘Limbo of the Lost’ and other headline-friendly monikers) – cover a large, 700,000 square-kilometre (270,000 square-mile) swathe of ocean, it is also a particularly busy patch of sea.

    “It is close to the Equator, near a wealthy part of the world – America – therefore you have a lot of traffic,” he said.

    So, said Mr Kruszelnicki, when you then compare the number of disappearances to the large quantity of ships and planes passing through the Bermuda Triangle, you find there is nothing out of the ordinary about the area at all.

    “According to Lloyd’s of London and the US Coastguard,” he said, “The number that go missing in the Bermuda Triangle is the same as anywhere in the world on a percentage basis.”

    Mr Kruszelnicki, who has a fellowship at Sydney University for communicating science to the broader community, also said there were simple explanations for the disappearance that did the most to start the whole Bermuda Triangle speculation: the loss of “Flight 19.”

    This was a flight of five US Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that set off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 5 1945 for a routine two-hour training mission over the Atlantic.

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    After losing radio contact with their base, all five planes vanished.  No trace of them or their 14 crew members was found.

    Even more spookily, it was later claimed, a PBM-Mariner seaplane dispatched that night on a search-and-rescue mission to find Flight 19 also disappeared, along with its 13 crew.

    In the absence of either knowledge or fact-checking, speculation about Flight 19 became a growth industry, especially after 1964, when the writer Vincent Gaddis advanced his theories in an article entitled The Deadly Bermuda Triangle.

    “Whatever this menace that lurks within a triangle of tragedy so close to home,” he wrote, “It was responsible for the most incredible mystery in the history of aviation – the lost patrol.

    “This relatively limited area is the scene of disappearances that total far beyond the laws of chance.  Its history of mystery dates back to the never-explained, enigmatic light observed by Columbus when he first approached his landfall in the Bahamas.”

    As well as pointing out that Lloyd’s of London would disagree with Gaddis’ statistical analysis, Mr Kruszelnicki also offered simple explanations for the loss of Flight 19.

    For a start, he said, despite Gaddis suggestion the patrol vanished in ideal flight conditions, “It wasn’t fine weather, there were 15m (49ft) waves.”

    Mr Kruszelnicki added that the only truly experienced pilot in the flight was its leader, Lieutenant Charles Taylor, and his human error may well have played a part in the tragedy.

    “[He] arrived with a hangover, flew off without a watch, and had a history of getting lost and ditching his plane twice before,” said Mr Kruszelnicki.

    Radio transcripts from before the patrol vanished, he added, made it clear that Flight 19 had become unsure of its position.

    The transcripts show Lt Taylor thought his compass had malfunctioned and that he was above Florida Keys – a string of islands stretching to the southwest of the US mainland – when in fact later analysis by ground staff would show he was to the southeast, near an island in the Bahamas.

    Mr Kruszelnicki said Lt Taylor overruled a junior pilot who said they should turn west, and insisted the patrol fly east, unwittingly taking them further into the Atlantic, above deep water where it might be harder to find sunken planes or bodies.

    “If you read the radio transcripts,” said Mr Kruszelnicki, “Some of the junior pilots are saying, ‘Why don’t we fly to the west?’, and the pilot says, ‘Why don’t we fly to the east?’”

    Even more damningly for the Bermuda Triangle ‘mystery’, said Mr Kruszelnicki, was the fate of the search-and-rescue seaplane that according to Gaddis and others also vanished.

    “It didn’t vanish without a trace,” said Mr Kruszelnicki.  “[It] was seen to blow up.”

    There were several witnesses to the explosion; an oil slick and debris were found; and after the disaster, the US Navy grounded all other PBM-Mariner seaplanes.  The aircraft had already gained the ominous nickname ‘flying gas tanks’.

    It remains to be seen, however, whether Mr Kruszelnicki, a popular science pundit on Australian TV and radio, will succeed in his attempt to close down the Bermuda Triangle ‘mystery’.

    Very similar efforts have been made in the past.

    Lloyd’s of London has been saying that Bermuda Triangle disappearances occur at the same rate as everywhere else since at least 1975.

    That, however, was a bad year for Bermuda Triangle debunking, because Charles Berlitz’s book The Bermuda Triangle, published in 1974, was on its way to selling 20 million copies in 30 languages.

    By 1977 the Bermuda Triangle had gained such mass appeal that Steven Spielberg included references to it in his avowedly fictional film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which depicted the crews of Flight 19 as having been abducted by aliens.

    Seemingly undaunted, Lloyd’s of London has regularly repeated its claims about the unremarkable nature of the Bermuda Triangle.

    In 1997 a spokesman backed up the claim that “There are just as many losses as in other wide expanses of ocean”, by adding that insurance premiums for voyages through the Bermuda Triangle were no higher than for any other routine sea journey.

    This, however, had little noticeable effect.

    The theories have proliferated, despite the fact that Gaddis’ Deadly Bermuda Triangle article had been published in an American magazine that sometimes promoted itself as “the magazine of masterpiece fiction”.

    And despite the fact that Berlitz’s bestseller linked the Mary Celeste to the Bermuda Triangle, even though the ship had been found abandoned off the Azores, on the other side of the Atlantic, and its New York-Italy route would have taken it nowhere near the triangle.

    It is now possible to go online and find theories that dismiss such absurd notions as planes and ships disappearing into some sort of black hole or time warp within the Bermuda Triangle, and instead explain: “The Bermuda Triangle is situated more or less in the middle of an area of the Atlantic Ocean that once housed Atlantis.

    “When Atlantis was destroyed it sank to the very bottom of the ocean. While the ruined temples now play host to multitudinous underwater creatures, the great Atlantean fire-crystals that once provided so much of the tremendous power and energy that was found in Atlantis still exist.

    “And they are still emitting strong energy beams into the universe.

    “From time to time, the force field emitted by these damaged Atlantean fire-crystals becomes very powerful and any plane or ship coming within the influence of this force field disintegrates and is transformed into pure energy.”

    New theories are constantly being put forward, some with a kernel of scientific truth to them.

    Some have attributed Bermuda Triangle disappearances to explosive releases of methane gas, trapped as methane hydrate inside an icy crystalline cage of water molecules beneath the cold seabed of the deep ocean.

    Such blowouts, it has been suggested, could release a giant plume of gas that could cause the sea to bubble like it was boiling, sinking ships because the resulting foam was much less dense than the water on which vessels normally floated.

    The gas could also rise into the sky, producing a mixture of 5-15 per cent methane that would explode on contact with a hot aeroplane engine exhaust.

    One United States Geological Survey scientist consulted on this theory admitted a gas hydrate blowout could indeed sink ships in the manner described.

    The only problem, he said, that the most recent naturally-occurring hydrate gas blowout off the south-eastern US “probably occurred at the end of the glacial episode … about 15,000 years ago or more, when the more technically advanced men’s ships were probably nothing more than hollow logs.”

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    Human Zoos Existed: 20 Depressing Photos That Will Destroy Your Faith in Humanity

    In a series of horrific photographs, a deep and dark past history of human zoos is exposed. Sadly, Westerners would keep people from around the world in ‘human zoos’ so that random people could come and gape at them in their habitats.

    Many of these images were taken in a recently as 1958, proving that inhumane and racist treatment of different ethnicities took place merely decades ago. Those that were deemed primitive by the Western world would be placed in cages and treated like animals by the Western world in order to educate the population about the various nations. 

    1. A Young Filipino Girl Being Showcased in an Exhibit at Coney Island

    2. A Mock Version of a Senegalese Village at the World Fair in Brussels, Belgium in 1958

    3. A Young African Girl in a Mock Congo Village

    4. Another Congolese Exhibit at the New York, Bronx Zoo

    5. Chief Yellow Hair and His Council at a Human Zoo at the World’s Fair in St. Louis

    6. An Eskimo Child with a Dog at the World’s Fair in Chicago

    7. Ethiopian Exhibit in Germany

    8. Baby at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago

    9. A Savage Olympics Exhibition in St. Louis

    10. A Man Wearing Native Headgear at the World’s Colombian Exposition

    11. A Javanese Woman at the World’s Colombian Exposition

    12. A Congolese Man on Exhibit at the New York City’s Bronx Zoo

    13. German Zoologist Lutz Heck with an Elephant and an African Family in Germany

    14. Filipinos in Loin Cloths Being Held at Coney Island

    15. St. Louis World’s Fair, Apache Geronimo on Display

    16. A Scene from the World’s Fair In Which Rich White People Watch the Primitive

    17. Igorot Men from the Philippines at the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition

    18. A Negro Village (As it was Called) in Germany

    19. Five Indians of the Kawesquar Tribe Displayed in Europe

    20. Sarah Baartman Who Was a Very Sad Example of Human Zoos


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    Hot Popular

    The U.S. Laws That Legalize Child Marriage With Children As Young As 10-Years-Old

    It’s the ultimate pedophilia loophole: have a sexual craving for kids? Well, there’s a disturbing legal workaround in America that is often even approved by courtroom judges.

    Despite how sacred marriage should be, this institution is being used by thousands to secure lifetime relationships with minors—children sometimes as young as 10 years old.

    Just over the last 15 years, the U.S. has allowed over 200,000 kids to marry adults, even though 18 years is the legal age of adulthood.

    Shockingly, skewed statistics could make the actual figures even higher.

    According to The Independent:

    “At least 207,468 minors married in the US between 2000 and 2015, according to data compiled by Unchained At Last, a group campaigning to abolish child marriage, and investigative documentary series Frontline.”

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    Through legal exceptions to the 18-year age of consent—such as unexpected pregnancy or parental approval—countless children are forced into marriages with adults, some of which are literally decades older.

    The matter recently garnered significant public backlash after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie refused to make such marital arrangements illegal.

    “I agree that protecting the wellbeing, dignity, and freedom of minors is vital,” Christie attempted to justify, “but the severe bar this bill creates is not necessary to address the concerns voiced by the bill’s proponents and does not comport with the sensibilities and, in some cases, the religious customs, of the people of this State.”

    In other words, people’s religious freedom to marry children trumps the well-being of American kids.

    Despite Christie’s willingness to write off the issue, Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained At Last, said the statistics are nothing to take lightly.

    “I got that spreadsheet from the state health department, I was literally shaking,” said Reiss.

    According to the health department figures she saw, nearly 3,500 minors, mostly 16 and 17 year-olds, were married from 1995 to 2012.

    “That number was so much higher than I had thought it would be,” she added, “Then, the fact that the children were as young as 13 and the fact that it was mostly girls married to adult men.”

    According to Frontline:

    “The youngest children to marry were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee in 2001, who were married to men ages 24, 25 and 31, according to state data. The youngest groom was an 11-year-old boy, also in Tennessee, who married a 27-year-old woman in 2006.

    “Children as young as 12 were granted marriage licenses in Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

    “Thirteen-year-olds were given the green light to marry in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

    “…Most states set the age of sexual consent between 16 and 18. A person can be charged with sexual abuse or statutory rape for having sex with a minor. Yet, we found numerous examples of children who were given marriage licenses before they could legally consent to sex. These marriages were almost always approved by court clerks and judges.”

    In once instance, a 74-year-old man from Alabama married a 14-year-old.

    By masking their predatory intentions as a sacred vow of marriage, pedophiles may have found legally sanctioned way to prey on underage victims.

    The Free Thought Project
    The Independent

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    Europe’s Forgotten ‘Hitler’ Killed Over 10 Million Africans — But the west Erased it From History

    Most people have no idea of who is pictured above, but you should. The sight of this man should cause a similar revulsion to that of seeing Mussolini, Mao, Stalin or Hitler, as he committed an African genocide that resulted in the killing of over 10 million people in the Congo.

    His name is King Leopold II of Belgium.

    Most of people never learned about him in school, and have also most likely never heard about him in the media either. This is because he’s not included in the popular narrative of oppression (which includes things like U.S. slavery and the Holocaust).

    King Leopold II is part of an ongoing history of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, and genocide in Africa that would clash with the popular social narratives taught in our school system today. It doesn’t fit neatly into school curriculums where, paradoxically, it is looked down upon to make overtly racist statements. However, it’s quite fine not to talk about a genocide perpetrated by European capitalist monarchs that killed over 10 million Congolese.

    Belgium’s King Leopold II ran a personal empire so vast and cruel, it rivaled – and even exceeded – the crimes of even some of the worst dictators of the 20th century.

    When Leopold II ascended to the throne in 1865, he ruled with the kind of gentle hand that Belgians wanted from their king after the democratization of the country in the wake of the multiple revolutions and reforms. He had great ambitions of building an overseas empire, and was convinced, like most statesmen of his time, that a nation’s greatness was directly proportional to the resources it could extract from those colonies.

    He disguised his business transactions as “philanthropic” and “scientific” efforts under the banner of the International African Society and used slave labor to extract Congolese resources and services. His reign was enforced through work camps, body mutilations, torture, executions, and his own private army.

    The empire was known as the Congo Free State, and Leopold II stood as its undisputed slave master. For almost 30 years, rather than being a regular colony of a European government, Congo was administered as the property of Leopold II for his personal enrichment.

    The world’s largest plantation, registering at 76 times the size of Belgium, possessed rich mineral and agricultural resources and lost nearly half of its population by the time the first census counted only 10 million people living there in 1924.

    Interestingly, when we learn about Africa in the U.S., we learn about a caricatured Egypt, the HIV epidemic, the surface level effects of the slave trade, and if you went to a good school perhaps something about South African Apartheid. We also see lots of pictures of starving children on commercials, safaris on animal shows and we see pictures of vast savannahs and deserts in films and movies.

    What we don’t learn about is the Great African War or Leopold’s Reign of Terror during the Congolese Genocide. Leopold II essentially turned Congo into his own personal part-plantation, part-concentration camp, part-Christian ministry, and yet history fails to retell the lessons of his tyrannical endeavor.

    It seems that when you kill ten million Africans — you aren’t called ‘Hitler’, your name never comes to symbolize the living incarnation of evil, and your picture doesn’t produce fear, hatred, and sorrow — rather your crimes are simply swept under the historical rug and the victims of colonialism/imperialism remain forever voiceless.

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    Facebook Has Created A Generation Of Narcissists

    Social media has shaped mass culture in an enormous way possible. It has changed everything! Social media has changed the way we communicate with one another it has turned an entire generation into narcissists. People are not concerned with world issues anymore. The majority of us are content spending our free time taking deceptive selfies and editing them in order to make ourselves more attractive so that we can post then all over our social media accounts.

    Social media has taken over our lives and we pick and choose the things to post in order to make our lives seem a little less meaningless and more fulfilled. We are self-centered in all ways possible. Most teenagers never even leave their rooms, finding joy simply watching television and playing on their smartphones. Some people claim we are more connected thanks to social media but in some ways we are more separated, more broken.

    Social media platforms are overflowing with masses of individuals competing with one another for followers, shares, likes, re-tweets, and things along those lines. Of course, there are some small level activities and tiny percentages of people who do not have hidden intentions with social media but the bad outweigh the good on a large scale.

    We make ourselves out to be who we want to be on our social media accounts rather than who we are. Extreme focus on ourselves like this has led to self-obsession. This is not simply taking too many pictures of ourselves, this is promoting ourselves as someone we are not for popularity we will never truly have. Sharing things gets you noticed it makes you valid in a world taken over by social media.

    Do you get excited when you notice someone share or retweet a post you made? When something like this happens our brains often release a small rush of dopamine that could be comparable to a tiny hit of cocaine. Why does social media matter so much? People are begging for likes and follows I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the hashtags “#likeforlike” or “#follow4follow.” Social media can be a great thing but not the way we are currently using it.

    We yearn for validation and need to affirm our egos in any way that we can. I could scroll through my Facebook feed and spout off at least ten instances of self-obsession within the first sixty seconds of looking. The government knows exactly what they are doing. They know exactly what they are doing.

    They are creating a world of self-obsessed narcissists who will believe anything they say and don’t care enough about anything but themselves to take action against those causing issues. We are not pawns, wake up! Please take the time to watch the video below.

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    Why Highly Intelligent People Have Poor Social Skills

    If ignorance is bliss, is intelligence a curse? Are there any downsides to being highly intelligent? Intellectual capabilities are by far the greatest of gifts that a human being can possess. But the reality is: some of us are born smarter than others; some of us have higher than normal intelligence; and some of us, who are highly intelligent, are cursed in many ways.

    Most of us don’t know there’s a neurological correlation between being socially awkward and being highly intelligent. While reasoning comes easy to highly intelligent people, most of us with a high IQ experience a degree of social apprehension, lack social skills, and are branded socially incapacitated geniuses.

    It’s not because highly intelligent people are social fools, but because they see the world on an entirely different level than the rest of us. People who are socially anxious are usually highly intelligent and vice versa. Here’s why being highly intelligent is both a blessing and a curse:

    1.They overthink responses

    Highly intelligent people have a keen eye for detail. They are overthinkers who constantly analyze everything happening in their life and beyond. They tend to ponder what they/others say/do and contemplate conclusions/solutions for a long time, which eventually interferes with their interpersonal relationships. By over-analyzing things, moreover, they distance themselves from mainstream conversations they think have little face value.

    2. They constantly self-doubt

    “The problem with today’s world is that while intelligent people are full of doubts, the stupid ones are very self-confident” Charles Bukowski

    As they possess a rather objective view, highly intelligent people are more self-conscious, have a higher degree of self-awareness, and constantly doubt themselves. Being hyper self-aware makes these individuals super conscious, critical, and judgmental in a social setting. They forget to go with the flow and get frustrated in social interactions.

    3.They have high standards

    Highly intelligent people know exactly what they want, what they talk, and what they do in every area of life. This is why they tend to have high expectations, both from themselves and from those around them. They know how to deal with logical situations, but social situations are not logical. When their expectations face the raw reality of life and people with average intelligence, they get anxious.

    4.They detest small talk

    “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” Anonymous

    Ordinary people gossip, laugh at each other, do stupid things for fun, and discuss mundane things like food, cosmetics, and soccer to keep a conversation going. Highly intelligent people find themselves out of place while socializing as they can’t summon up the enthusiasm to join in everyday conversations.

    5.They are aware of your state of mind

    Brianna Wiest, American writer and founder of Soul Anatomy, says “highly intelligent people are highly attuned to how someone is thinking, feeling or perceiving a situation, a little bit beyond what would be appropriate and healthy to function without over-thinking, worrying and trying to react to someone’s perceived state of mind, rather than the reality they are presenting”. As a result, all they can think about is how much they’d like to escape.

    6.They suffer from general anxiety

    Psychiatrists at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in New York have found that higher levels of intelligence and increased levels of anxiety are linked. An anxious mind is constantly examining ideas, information, and experiences from multiple angles simultaneously. Thus, highly intelligent people find social engagement too overwhelming.

    7.They are well-guarded

    Highly intelligent people think analytically, even when it comes to things like interpersonal relationships. They have a harder time opening up because their analytical brain never stops reflecting back on past situations where they survived a not-so-pleasant experience.

    8.They hide their vulnerabilities

    Highly intelligent people learn from their mistakes and change their behavior in response to failures. However, this cautious attitude robs them of essential social skills. No one wants to interact with someone who is unwilling to share their experiences; someone who inadvertently sends a signal that they are cold or distant; someone who never failed.

    9.They get obsessive

    When highly intelligent people open up to topics that interest them, they become so heated and enthusiastic they tend to monopolize the conversation and appear as aggressively opinionated, know-it-all, and angry.

    10.They can’t avoid conflict

    Highly intelligent people often end up in conflict with others because they unintentionally begin correcting others; act as an overly argumentative debater, and start being intellectually competitive in social conversations. These people are so brainy and on a different wavelength that it interferes with their ability to relate to others.


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