RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/September 2013

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September 2013[edit]

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42The government of the United States has shut down. It seems Aaron Sorkin became a prophet while overdosing on crack. Update: Take a very good look at the GOP nays in the final vote. In the words of Max Fisher, "America truly is exceptional." Update II: "Due to the gov't shutdown, all public NASA activities/events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience." Before you ask, no, mission-critical support is not being shut down. (At least they're still able to laugh. Suspended. Fitting.)
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-29A weird article about paternity fraud.
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25Here's a scary poll: 98% of right-wingers and 84% of left-wingers in France want their Roma population (only 0.79% overall) to be deported. (It seems The Evil Jew stereotype has a new home.)
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11At least that's the only thing he's gambling.
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35If you're white or look white you can shoot a black kid dead and claim self defense, if a black kid is wearing a hoodie that's enough to make him dangerous. If you're black and shoot into a wall without injuring anyone you risk 20 years in prison despite your partner's known violent past.
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14Even beyond his political grave, Berlusconi is still damaging Italy.
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29Our freeman on the land friend in Alberta who declared the house he was renting a sovereign embassy has been arrested on outstanding warrants from Quebec. Is anyone surprised? Bonus: "Earlier this week, The Canadian Press was faxed a fee schedule for the alleged unauthorized use of copyrighted names, including Andreas Pirelli and Mario Antonacci. The fax says the fee is $1 million for each use of each name."
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19Fundamentalist Christians in Kansas are suing the state board of education over the new standardized science curriculum because, well... read the legal team's press release and weep.
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11Are we living in an alternate universe? The Democrats have the advantage in the latest fiscal cliff, with Senate Republicans backing off on hijacking the economy to gut Obamacare and putting themselves directly against House wingnuts.
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2Farewell, jackass.
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9Everyone to battle stations: IPCC Assessment Report 5 is here! Update: And here comes the first round of stupid.
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7The Canuckistan Senate Scandal has spread elsewhere.
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17The US banking industry still doesn't get it.
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15Netanyahu, the previous asshole was making speeches on the UN floor denying the Holocaust. Let's see where this goes, ok? Update: And now it just went somewhere.
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8Cognitive Dissonance America: "Oh, not bombing Syria looks us like we're weak to the rest of the world... but my kid's in the military, so let's stay out of it."
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21So how do you complete a hated dud of a film trilogy that rails against altruism and mooching? Why, by mooching for altruistic donors via Kickstarter, of course!
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4The man responsible for heading the quarantine of SARS in North America calls for assisted suicide.
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22It's MPAA/RIAA's turn to play indoctrinate your children!
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19Hey, I never got awarded for not working.
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25Spacetime and particle interactions may simply be a consequence of geometry. Admit it, you don't understand this either.
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17300 high school kids break into retired NFL player Brian Holloway's NY state home and have a wild, drunken party, complete with at least $20,000 in property damage and more in theft of property, using Twitter to post photos and crow about how their parents don't care. Holloway turns it around into a community effort to save them. Incredibly, some of the parents have threatened lawsuits.
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34A freeman on the land seizes his landlady's property and declares it an embassy.
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10Universal flu vaccine possible in five years? (Of course, someone else said five years ago they were close to one.)
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9Angela Merkel/The Union seems set to stay in power, EU in hand. A mixed coalition with the center-left looks likely, though (again!), because of the abysmal performance by the analog of the libertarian party.
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6Treacherous Computing in action: iOS 7 now blocks "unauthorized" charging cables.
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9RSA: Please Stop using our own products.
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22A Guardian FOIA request discovers that on January 23, 1961 (three days after JFK's inauguration speech) the USAF was one safety switch from accidentally nuking North Carolina.
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11One more step closer to Skynet...
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21Texas somehow can't keep creation in schools off the discussion.
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9Another day, another mass shooting in the US.
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15Harper's logic goes to brand new lows: Switzerland, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia and New Zealand may have told us to address violence against Aboriginal women, but since Iran, Cuba and Belarus are also on the list, fuck them!
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21More stupidity from Russia: Tchaikovsky was never gay, and Berlusconi wouldn't have been tried if he was one!
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14Yeah, Australia is boned.
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24Now we're going somewhere: Pope Francis turns the iron law of institutions on its head, saying the Church will "fall like a house of cards" if it does not reform on gays and contraception.
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12WBC hometown of Topeka, Kansas passes LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance. WBC's reaction is suitably nonsensical.
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23Even the head of a Christian research firm that found that 35% of all Americans and 48% American evangelicals believe that mental illness can be overcome with prayer and bible study alone was surprised by the findings. "I would say that if your leg is broken, you're going to believe in prayer, you're going to believe in scripture, but you're probably also going to have some medical intervention," he said.
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23Reason not to hack under influence of rage: NASA got whacked by Brazilian hacktivist who wants to stop NSA.
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5Wonder what Fox is trying to gain from this?
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21Taking the idea from post-war Germany, Greece set to ban Golden Dawn from politics.
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24Pat Robertson fails in his attempt to make his "gay AIDS ring" comments vanish from the internet.
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18Holy water now gives you holy shit.
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-6Heads up: Size of the Shadow Banking System (not a conspiracy theory, really) Much bigger than previously thought Hat tip
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26A game reviewer gives Grand Theft Auto V a 9/10 and mentions the depiction of women in it as a single negative point. Gamers start a petition to try and get her fired. Update: Man stabbed and robbed in London of Grand Theft Auto game [1]
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19Here we go again: At least 12 killed in a mass shooting at Washington Navy Yard. Murderer was heavily armed.
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46The new Miss America isn't white. Americans show their class. And ignorance.
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5Richard Dawkins jumps off the cliff and embarrasses skeptics for real this time. (Check out the rationalizations in the comments: pederasty was beneficial to the Greeks!)
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8Are you seriously telling us that you can't find $1.2 million out of an annual $20 billion budget to keep this thing out of private hands? (Also, the list of Congressmen against this is... quite interesting.)
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13Slow motion world for small animals
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12US Terrorism court orders Govt to review and declassify its rulings. Could this be a sudden outbreak of transparency and common sense??
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8Coming soon: computers powered by booze.
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17Your tax dollars at work: NSA has command center(s) themed after Star Trek.
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13Don't let the door hit you on the way out, jackass. (We might be on our way to the appointment of the first sane Federal Reserve chairman in 40 years.)
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2For the first time since the 1960s, Japan will be completely without nuclear power. Related: The Lib Dems accept nuclear power to combat AGW, but weirdly gave their regards to fracking.
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23So, can you guess how many Americans think that the situation with Syria is linked to the coming of Armageddon? If you guessed one out of three, you're correct. (Now guess how many people from the rest of the world would say "only a third?")
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23Michelle Obama endorses Americans drinking water. Republicans are outraged.
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7More Christianity like this, please (even if there's some nationalism in it (and even that has a beneficial side))
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12I am sure some people would prefer to get arrested for a real shooting if they start arresting people for virtual shooting.
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30Meet the issus nymph, an adolescent insect about 2.5 mm long. Its jumping legs can generate a coordinated accelerating force of nearly 400 Gs thanks to a feature never before seen in a biological creature -- mechanical gears!
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19Post-grad: Bar magnets mean that gay marriage is, scientifically, wrong. Of course this is in Nigeria.
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11Silence of the lambs kids.
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22Good luck, Malawi.
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13Pro-gay marriage campaigns in Florida and Arizona, led in both states by a campaign manager who not only helped defeat a similar campaign in Utah back in 2004, but also helped Rick Perry get elected? Suspicious of a Trojan horse, gay rights activists have caused the Arizona initiative to be suspended and the Florida initiative to be delayed until 2016.
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13South Africa's secrecy bill falls at the last hurdle.
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9Elvis has left the building
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6Perhaps learning from Japan before privatizing the mail infrastructure would be a better idea?
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36First came "pray away the gay." Then about 18 months ago, a Cleveland shock-jock told a listener who had seen his daughter kissing another girl that he should pay some of his male friends to rape away her gay. Now in Iowa, "rape away the gay" may actually have been used successfully as a defense for a 31-year-old youth pastor who raped at least A DOZEN BOYS! His reasoning: it would "'help with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with (them)' in order to keep them 'sexually pure' for God. He then allegedly told police that 'when they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.'" The judge has suspended his sentence in favor of counseling and five years probation.
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10Goodbye, Weiner.
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0What's it like to be a hard green in this situation?
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8Responsible Gun Ownership Arsenal Management at work: TSA reminds you not to travel with grenades
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9Vatican is ready to discuss priest celibacy.
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22The Pope tells atheists to abide by their own consciences, "Listening to it and abiding by it means making up one's mind about what is good and evil." No, really.
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2Turns out that the Syrian Electronic Army has some member(s) that really like taking pictures of their member(s) (NSFW).
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7Documents declassified released from the NSA: NSA illegally spied with phone records since 2006. Hat tip
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8Gun nuts have a collective orgasm, as pro-gun control Colorado State Senator gets ousted in recall election.
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8Dr. Strangelove featured a binder listing "World Targets in Megadeths." Perhaps the US should keep one on hand for "World Casualties in Great Depressions." Related: In Greece, the suicide rate has increased by 45% since their debt crisis began four years ago.
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11RIP, Mr Mayor.
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7Total destruction put on hold for the time being.
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14There's little to no evidence that "three-strike" ISP policy for blocking piracy works.
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12Twenty three percent - yes, twenty three percent of Asian men men in Asia admit to rape.
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6What is going through Dennis Rodman's mind right now?
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17Bachmann, Gohmert and King: "Kill the Muslim Brotherhood! Praise the dictatorship! The secular left shall prevail! ...wait, what?"
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7Let's ask this now before we hold our peace: Is Florida ready for its equivalent of the 1992 Los Angeles riots?
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11Engage cloaking device.
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174 Bangladeshi atheists face up to 14 years in prison for criticising Islam and Muhammad online. [2]
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8SOPA may be crawling back to haunt us... again.
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13Iowa debates Second Amendment rights for the blind.
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12"One of our planes has crashed!" "Quick, rescue the passengers hide the logo!"
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10A pig asks "Did I really drink 18 pints and pick a fight with a cow last night?".
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7Seriously, there is no way we can age this guy?
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17Political bias makes even smart people lose the ability to accurately do math.
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6If I were the President, I'd stop hoarding raisins and start hoarding chocolate chips.
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7Because (previously unheard-of) "20-year-old" rape chants can travel over a distance of 6000 km and be repeated in the same week by frosh leaders?
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14Australians can never again complain about American politics.
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21Bet they never saw it coming...
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21If you used Google today (6 September 2013), did you notice that its web address now starts with "https://"?
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29In a small town south of Glasgow, members of a small, fundamentalist sect from the Deep South of the US that call themselves the US Church of Christ -- which from their beliefs and tactics would seem to have nothing to do with the similarly named United Church of Christ -- has spent the last eight years indoctrinating the children of a local public primary school, all with the blessing of the school's primary teacher, and now the chagrin of some very pissed-off parents who just found out about it.
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10Big news on Keystone XL: Harper is finally backing down from his opposition to a GHG emissions deal. ("You lefties don't care about jobs and reality!" doesn't really stand up to science, ya?)
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26The GOP is all heart: Can't afford school dinners? Let them starve - it'll be a teaching moment for the hungry kids.
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14Is Australia ready to insert its suppository of wisdom?
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17Wish you well, Mr. Mayor.
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17NSA at work: What encryption?
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14National Gun Registry Association: NSA's phone record is illegal because it is creating a gun registry.
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15UK electronics retailer Currys to jobseeker: Entertain me little man! Dance! DANCE FOR ME!
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17In post-racial America, natural black hair and hairstyles, like afros, are apparantly "fads". Black little girls should really know better, and pour sodium hydroxide on their scalps to get proper, non-faddish, hair.
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-12Bollock-munching fish invades Europe. Or maybe not...
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1420 years too late.
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19A milestone for gay marriage since DADT was struck down: The first-ever same-sex spouse of a US military veteran has been buried at a national military cemetery.
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31In the "Awfully Kind-Hearted, But How is This Going to Work?" folder: Sweden will grant any Syrian refugee asylum.
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3Ariel Castro commits suicide.
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22Financial stress reduces your ability to think clearly
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23UK Skyscraper melted car by reflecting sunlight on it. (Sunshine in Britain? Who'd have thought it?)
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12There's apparently now an after-market for positive pregnancy test kit results.
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7Coming soon: moles with "significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections" in the CIA.
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25 Aussie PM Kevin Rudd and the great same-sex marriage smackdown! Yowza!!
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7When is this going to end? Edit: soon. Japanese government finally stops blaming Tepco and actually starts doing something about it.