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active 2 seconds ago

      "This post was written in collaboration with MurphtheSurf3. His contribution to my work here is appreciated."

      We've all been down this road before (in regards to any phobia), we've seen it done with every race, religion, nationality, and sexuality. Fear of “the other”, sometimes provoked, sometimes ginned up out of thin air.

      Here specifically we are talking exclusively about Islam (which is a religion, not a nationality or race as it is so often referred to).

      Now I can understand that when people feel threatened because they are being attacked by those from a specific category of people that they do not want to allow any of those in that category near them. They do not want to make themselves more vulnerable.

      Of course, that is not particularly rational. Not ALL, not MOST, not MANY, not even QUITE A FEW are involved in any way with these attacks, but anger, anxiety and fear foster irrationality.

      But that is not where this phobia stops. This phobia, when allowed to fester, promotes emboldened societal prejudice and tolerates assaults. And it is what these ' emboldened societal prejudice and tolerated assaults' lead to, that this particular thread is focusing on.

      Just because something poses a possible potential threat, does not mean that it is an actual threat, but threats can be indiscriminately created where they did not actually exist.

      When FDR gave his first Inaugural Address he said , "The only thing we have to fear is fear Itself" he really hit the nail on the head. A few years later he signed the orders that locked up huge swaths of Japanese American population in internment camps giving into the unreasonable fear that he had cited.

      Fear fed by unchecked emotion causes us to throw logic-and-reason and when the go civility and laws that protect individual rights often follow. We get caught in a chaotic revolving door; the dominoes fall; and unintended consequences spread.

      Islamophobia takes the justifiable fear that many have of some Muslims who are are “Islamists/Terrorists” and transforms it into a zealous belief that Islam has not right to exist. Every act of aggression even those in justifiable self defense become proof that all have waived their right to exist.

      Actions against entire groups of people are commonplace in history. At their root is a belief that the group, as a whole, has forfeited (or never had) the kind of rights that those acting against them presume they have.

      The detention of the Japanese in WWII is one such example, but so is the enslavement of Africans, the removal (and often eradication) of Native Americans from their land (“traded” for land in “treaty” that was nearly worthless). Cuban refugees faced their share of 'camps' in Florida.

      The Chinese who came to the U.S. in the 19th century were employed as “coolie” labor; used and then tossed aside.

      Over time, immigrant settlements in towns and cities developed their own lives. Different minorities came to own and operate all of our dry-cleaners, convenience-stores, liquor-stores, gas stations; along with many other mom-and-pop establishments, like restaurants. Even police and fire stations came to be staffed by those immigrants.

      The Islamic profile is still relatively small in US society, but today Islam is at the top of the charts as a threat in the minds of many.

      Many Muslims in the US are very well established, well educated and hold respectable jobs. We are talking about doctors, dentists, attorneys, civic leaders and entrepreneurs; people that studied hard so that they could be major contributors to US society.

      The relationship that the vast, vast majority of these Muslim people have to the politics and struggles in the Middle East and in other areas in turmoil as nearly non-existent. But others, unfamiliar with Islam, make connections that are not there and take what is happening there and believe it will happen here.

      Who faces the most backlash? Muslims who are devout (69%), live in very tight family and ethnic groups and demonstrate most clearly in their customs that they are Muslim. But the community is diverse.

      There are 2.75 million US Muslims.

      They are 70 Percent Democratic; 11 Percent Republican.

      They are 30 percent white; 23 percent black, 21 percent Asian, 6 percent Hispanic

      Of those age 18 and older, more than six-in-ten (63%) were born abroad, and many are relative newcomers to the United States: Fully one-quarter of all U.S. Muslim adults (25%) have arrived in this country since 2000.

      They are 65% Sunni and 11% Shia. 20% of American Muslims converted to Islam.

      I GOT THESE FIGURES FROM THE PEW 2011 STUDY AS REPORTED AT http://www.people-press.org/2011/08/30/section-1-a-demographic-portrait-of-muslim-americans/

      Despite their diversity many Muslims, an increasing number, are experiencing this.

      "For many Muslim Americans, discrimination is a reality in their lives. Forty-three percent in 2011 reported experiencing discrimination in the last year in the form of being treated with suspicion, called offensive names, singled out by airport security, singled out by police or attacked or threatened. (And younger Muslim Americans were much more likely to report such discrimination than older Muslim Americans.)"

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      Pundit Post
      active 29 minutes ago

          Are you listening, Kevin?

          And, for good measure, here is "Klavan's Rule" for interpreting MSM stories:

          Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.

          posted at 8:41 am on November 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

          Here’s a lead that the Washington Post has never written:

          To many religious liberty advocates, it seemed only a matter of time before something like this happened. Ever since the summer, when the Southern Poverty Law Center called the Family Research Council a hate group for its opposition to same-sex marriage, threats against the organization increased. But on Wednesday, their worst fears came true: A man walked into their offices carrying Chik-Fil-A sandwiches and opened fire.

          Police have not yet identified a clear motive for the shooting …

          You probably never read this lead at the Washington Post in 2010, either:

          To many pro-life advocates, it seemed only a matter of time before something like this happened. Ever since pro-abortion advocates pressured Pennsylvania and Philadelphia authorities into lax enforcement of clinic regulations, the threat of malpractice against the poverty-stricken area served by Kermit Gosnell’s clinic increased. A string of complaints and lawsuits — 46 lawsuits over a 32-year period — failed to prompt officials to close down his late-term abortion practice. But in 2010, the fears of pro-life advocates came true: a raid that targeted illegal drug sales exposed a butcherous practice that had murdered children born alive, and resulted in the death of at least one adult patient.

          Police have not yet identified a clear motive for the inhumane charnel house uncovered in the drug raid …

          However, if you read the Washington Post today, you did read this lead:

          To many abortion rights advocates, it seemed only a matter of time before something like this happened.

          Ever since the summer, when an antiabortion group accused Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue, threats against the organization had escalated to unprecedented levels, abortion providers say. They stepped up collaboration with the FBI and local police and stiffened security at clinics. But on Friday, their worst fears came true: A man walked into a health center in Colorado Springs and opened fire.

          Police have not yet identified a clear motive for the shooting …

          So let’s get this straight.

          When a lunatic shoots up a Family Research Council office, it has nothing to do with its political opposition.

          When an abortionist runs loose because public officials are too intimidated to enforce the laws that do exist, it has nothing to do with political support for abortion.

          But when a lunatic shoots up an abortion clinic, it’s the fault of millions of Americans who oppose abortion, and who argue peacefully for limits on the practice and better oversight of those who operate in the industry?

          Even when “police have not yet identified a clear motive for the shooting”?

          The shootings in a clinic and the deaths of two people are horrific acts that everyone with a lick of sense and humanity abhors. But what the Washington Post and pro-abortion advocates are conducting in its wake is an attack on free speech and the political process, not to mention the unconscionable smearing of millions of Americans. It’s disgusting, manipulative, exploitative, and un-American. Shame on them, and shame on the Washington Post for its egregious bias.

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          active 30 minutes ago

              This film is Incredible!! A Must See!!!!

              The Huffington Post is thrilled to bring you the new film from Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson, "Time to Choose."

              "Time to Choose" takes on one of the most pressing issues of our time, global climate change, and examines the main contributing factors to this worldwide phenomenon, and what we can do to alleviate this crisis. The film makes the case that we can combat climate change; that we have the tools and the knowledge to begin doing so right now.

              In a special event, readers can view the entire film above for the next 48 hours. This coincides with the beginning of the UN climate change conference in France, Paris COP21. You can check out HuffPost's coverage of the conference here.

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              active 21 minutes ago

                  I heard Spike Lee speak about this topic in an interview last week! This is the necessary response that endows the words "black lives matter" with some credibility.

                  But Lee pointed out you can't be vocal after Laquann McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer and silent after 9-year old Tyshawn Lee was killed.

                  "Tyshawn Lee is led to an alley and executed," he said. "It's not an either/or situation. It has to be both."

                  It is not a matter of saying that the shootings of young black men by white police officers is not an issue of concern. But it is very much a matter of admitting that the larger problem is the violence within the black community.

                  I hesitate to say that because many on the Right will respond, "That's what we've been saying all along. Black-on-black crime is the real problem!" At that point, they will feel justified in ignoring police actions against blacks and satisfied that racism is just another leftist myth.

                  But I cannot be concerned with that. The process of forcing us black people to look at ourselves and to ourselves is a difficult but necessary one. Just the change in focus towards what is in our power to fix is potentially transformative. The next step in the process of becoming free.

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                  active 3 minutes ago

                  It think it is becoming clear that we are down to a two man race - Trump v. Rubio. Cruz and Bush need to take out Rubio to have any hope - and that hope is that the 75% of Republicans who do not favor Trump at this time can be cobbled together in a single candidate who can win the nomination.

                  Cruz claims to be claiming the middle ground between Rubio/Bush who are clearly neocons who will do another W on us, and Rand Paul who wants out of wars. I think he is lying, and Cruz is probably the candidate most likely to get us into a war with Russia and Iran. But maybe he is telling the truth - he wants to moderate the attacks abroad so he has more resources to war on Americans at home. The war on women is not going to be won without some sacrifices.


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                  active 3 hours ago

                      Alaska: America's Cutting Edge Of Climate Change

                      Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the nation, bringing widespread impacts

                      Alaska is the United States’ only Arctic region. Its marine, tundra, boreal (northern) forest, and rain forest ecosystems differ from most of those in other states and are relatively intact. As such, Alaska represents America's cutting edge of climate change, its effects and consequences on human, animal and plant life. Long-term and short-term modeling projects both benefits and crises.

                      World leaders are now meeting in Paris in what many consider a last-ditch effort to avert the worst consequences of climate change. Climatologists now say that the best case scenario, assuming immediate and dramatic emissions curbs, is that planetary surface temperatures will increase by at least 2 degrees Celsius in the coming decades.

                      If the nations involved in the Paris talks follow their current trends and don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures could go up by almost 6 degrees Celsius this century. In that scenario, rising temperatures will destroy plant and animal habitats, and reduce yields of important food crops. More people will be exposed to extreme weather events, rising sea level, flooding, wildfires and drought.

                      The effects of a warming planet are already being felt in Alaska.

                      The following represents a distillation of a report to the National Climate Assessment written by Patricia Cochran, Alaska Native Science Commission, Henry Huntington, Huntington Consulting, Carl Markon, U.S. Geological Survey, Molly McCammon, Alaska Ocean Observing System, A. David McGuire, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Alaska Fairbanks and Mark Serreze, University of Colorado.

                      Ray Cunneff


                      Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the United States, bringing widespread impacts. Sea ice is rapidly receding and glaciers are shrinking. Thawing permafrost is leading to more wildfire, and affecting infrastructure and wildlife habitat. Rising ocean temperatures and acidification will alter valuable marine fisheries.Rising temperatures have thawed frozen soil in some areas, leaving coastlines vulnerable to storms and tidal activity.

                      Energy production is the main driver of the state’s economy, providing more than 80% of state government revenue and thousands of jobs. Mining and fishing are the second and third largest industries in the state, with tourism rapidly increasing since the 1990's. Land-based energy exploration will be affected by a shorter season when ice roads are viable, yet reduced sea ice extent may create more opportunity for offshore development.

                      Alaska has warmed more than twice as rapidly over the past 60 years as the rest of the country, with state-wide average annual air temperature increasing by 3°F and average winter temperature by 6°F, with substantial year-to-year and regional variability. The overall warming has involved more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cold days.

                      Because of its cold-adapted features and rapid warming, climate change impacts on Alaska are already pronounced, including earlier spring snow melt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, warmer permafrost, drier landscapes, and more extensive insect outbreaks and wildfires.

                      Alaska Will Continue to Warm Rapidly

                      If global emissions continue to increase (A2) during this century, temperatures can be expected to rise 10°F to 12°F in the north, 8°F to 10°F in the interior, and 6°F to 8°F in the rest of the state. Even with substantial emissions reductions (B1), Alaska is projected to warm by 6°F to 8°F in the north and 4°F to 6°F in the rest of the state by the end of the century.

                      Disappearing Sea Ice

                      Arctic summer sea ice is receding faster than previously projected and is expected to virtually disappear before mid-century.

                      This is altering marine ecosystems and leading to greater ship access, offshore development opportunity, and increased community vulnerability to coastal erosion.Reductions in sea ice increase the amount of the sun’s energy that is absorbed by the ocean. This leads to a self-reinforcing climate cycle, because the warmer ocean melts more ice, leaving more dark open water that gains even more heat.

                      Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have declined substantially, especially in late summer (September), when there is now only about half as much sea ice as at the beginning of the satellite record in 1979. Models that best match historical trends project northern waters that are virtually ice-free by late summer by the 2030's.

                      With reduced ice extent, the Arctic Ocean is more accessible for marine traffic, including trans-Arctic shipping, oil and gas exploration, and tourism. This facilitates access to the substantial deposits of oil and natural gas under the seafloor in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, as well as raising the risk to people and ecosystems from oil spills and other drilling and maritime-related accidents.

                      Sea Ice Loss Brings Big Changes to Arctic Life

                      A seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean also increases sovereignty and security concerns as a result of potential new international disputes and increased possibilities for marine traffic between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

                      Shrinking Glaciers

                      Most glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia are shrinking substantially.

                      This trend is expected to continue and has implications for hydro-power production, ocean circulation patterns, fisheries, and global sea level rise.

                      Alaska is home to some of the largest glaciers and fastest loss of glacier ice on Earth. Loss of glacial volume in Alaska and neighboring British Columbia, Canada, currently contributes 20% to 30% as much surplus freshwater to the oceans as does the Greenland Ice Sheet – about 40 to 70 gigatons per year, comparable to 10% of the annual discharge of the Mississippi River.

                      Glaciers continue to respond to climate warming for years to decades after warming ceases, so ice loss is expected to continue, even if air temperatures were to remain at current levels. The global decline in glacial and ice-sheet volume is predicted to be one of the largest contributors to global sea level rise during this century.

                      Glaciers supply about half of the total freshwater input to the Gulf of Alaska. Glacier retreat currently increases river discharge and hydro-power potential in south central and southeast Alaska, but over the longer term might reduce water input to reservoirs and therefore hydro-power resources.

                      Thawing Permafrost

                      Permafrost temperatures in Alaska are rising, a thawing trend that is expected to continue.

                      The thawing is causing multiple vulnerabilities through drier landscapes, more wildfire, altered wildlife habitat, increased cost of maintaining infrastructure, and the release of heat-trapping gases that increase climate warming.

                      Alaska differs from most of the rest of the U.S. in having permafrost – frozen ground that restricts water drainage and therefore strongly influences landscape water balance and the design and maintenance of infrastructure.

                      In Alaska, 80% of land is underlain by permafrost, and of this, more than 70% is vulnerable to subsidence upon thawing because of ice content that is either variable, moderate, or high. Models project that permafrost in Alaska will continue to thaw, and some models project that near-surface permafrost will be lost entirely from large parts of Alaska by the end of the century.

                      Changes in terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska and the Arctic may be influencing the global climate system. Permafrost soils throughout the entire Arctic contain almost twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Warming and thawing of these soils increases the release of carbon dioxide and methane through increased decomposition. Thawing permafrost also delivers organic-rich soils to lake bottoms, where decomposition in the absence of oxygen releases additional methane. Extensive wildfires also release carbon that contributes to climate warming.

                      Mounting Expenses from Permafrost Thawing

                      This spectrum of changes in Alaskan and other high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems jeopardizes efforts by society to use ecosystem carbon management to offset fossil fuel emissions.

                      Changing Ocean Temperatures and Chemistry

                      Current and projected increases in Alaska’s ocean temperatures and changes in ocean chemistry are expected to alter the distribution and productivity of Alaska’s marine fisheries, which lead the U.S. in commercial value.

                      Ocean acidification, rising ocean temperatures, declining sea ice, and other environmental changes interact to affect the location and abundance of marine fish, including those that are commercially important, those used as food by other species, and those used for subsistence.

                      Overall habitat extent is expected to change as well, though the degree of the range migration will depend upon the life history of particular species.

                      The changing temperature and chemistry of the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea are likely changing their role in global ocean circulation and as carbon sinks for atmospheric CO2 respectively, although the importance of these changes in the global carbon budget remains unresolved.

                      Ocean waters globally have become 30% more acidic due to absorption of large amounts of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This CO2 interacts with ocean water to form carbonic acid that lowers the ocean’s pH (ocean acidification). The polar ocean is particularly prone to acidification because of low temperature and low salt content, the latter resulting from the large freshwater input from melting sea ice and large rivers.

                      The rising acidity will have particularly strong societal effects on the Bering Sea on Alaska’s west coast because of its high-productivity commercial and subsistence fisheries.

                      Native Communities

                      The cumulative effects of climate change in Alaska strongly affect Native communities, which are highly vulnerable to these rapid changes but have a deep cultural history of adapting to change.

                      With the exception of oil-producing regions in the north, rural Alaska is one of the most extensive areas of poverty in the U.S. in terms of household income, yet residents pay the highest prices for food and fuel. Major food sources are under stress due to many factors, including lack of sea ice for marine mammals.

                      Warming also releases human-caused pollutants, such as pole-ward transported mercury and organic pesticides, from thawing permafrost and brings new diseases to Arctic plants and animals, including subsistence food species, posing new health challenges, especially to rural communities.

                      Greater levels of industrial activity might alter the distribution of species, disrupt subsistence activities, increase the risk of oil spills, and create various social impacts. Native communities must rely not only on improved knowledge of changes that are occurring, but also on support from traditional and other institutions – and on strength from within – in order to face an uncertain future.

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