Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Muzzling of Free Speech in America; Why Homeschooling Is Growing...more

Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America  ...More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow...

A new, deadly drug is extremely popular among high-school students ...Synthetic cannabinoids are made of dangerous research chemicals that are usually imported from drug traffickers in China and mixed into a solvent, according to Barden. The solvent is then sprayed on crushed-up tea leaves that are meant to look like marijuana. The drug is supposed to mimic the effects of a marijuana high by having the chemicals in the drug bind to the brain's CB1 receptors.

But since the chemicals are so much stronger than traditional THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — Barden says they can produce serious side effects, including nonresponsiveness, elevated blood pressure, hallucinations, tremors and seizures, numbness and tingling, vomiting and agitation, anxiety, organ and brain damage, and death...

Why Homeschooling Is Growing
...In other words, they aren’t exactly denim-wearing, backwoods-living hicks. Farris says, “Almost every parent with school-aged children knows at least one homeschooling family. And in the vast majority of cases, the impression is very favorable.” It’s this impression that inspires other families to choose to homeschool.

There are more opportunities than ever for parents to show their children real, hands-on learning thanks to nonprofit organizations, museums, and other industries opening their doors to homeschoolers via special events just for them. Last year, USA Today reported that “[m]useums such as the National Museum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society offer programs exclusively for home-schooled students. And there are listservs and other online communities where parents can seek advice and voice concerns.”
Farris noted, “The biggest shift in the homeschooling movement in the last few years is the development of more co-op type approaches for some specialized classes. The heart of homeschooling is still a mom and dad teaching their own kids. But, there is a strong growth in shared specialty courses, especially at the secondary level. Science, math, history, and debate are very common courses for this shared approach.”...
Two sisters sentenced to be raped in India after their brother ran off with a married woman from a higher caste   ...Meenakshi and her little sister were with their family in Delhi for a wedding when a neighbour called and told them not to return to their village.

The neighbour warned that the un-elected village council, Khap panchayat, dominated by the upper caste 'Jat' men, had ordered the two sisters be raped and paraded naked with their faces blackened as punishment for their brother's actions.

Their brother, Ravi Kumar, 25, from the Dalit caste - historically known as 'untouchables' - had been in a relationship with 21-year-old Krishna from the Jat caste for almost two years...

Christians in India Honor 7th Anniversary of Hindu Attack on Christians

156 YEARS AGO, A GEOMAGNETIC MEGA-STORM  ...As the day unfolded, the gathering storm electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire. The "Victorian Internet" was knocked offline. Magnetometers around the world recorded strong disturbances in the planetary magnetic field for more than a week.

The cause of all this was an extraordinary solar flare witnessed the day before by British astronomer Richard Carrington. His sighting marked the discovery of solar flares and foreshadowed a new field of study: space weather. According to the National Academy of Sciences, if a similar storm occurred today, it would cause a trillion dollars in damage to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery....

Once in a Blue Moon from Luke Taylor on Vimeo.


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