January 2009



Via Wikipedia:

On October 1, 1993, about five months before his death, Hicks was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman, his twelfth appearance on a Letterman late night show (his prior 11 appearances having been on Late Night with David Letterman), but his entire performance was removed from the broadcast – the only occasion, up to that point, in which a comedian’s entire routine had been cut after taping. Both the show’s producers and CBS denied responsibility. Hicks expressed his feelings of betrayal in a hand-written, 39-page letter to John Lahr of The New Yorker. Although Letterman later expressed regret at the way Hicks had been handled, he did not appear on the show again. The full account of this incident was featured in a New Yorker profile by Lahr.

Bill Hicks speaks about the Letterman Censorship:

Standing above the crowd,
He had a voice that was strong and loud.
We’ll miss him.

-Tool

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I really adore this commercial. It’s propaganda and its very best.

Via the Washington Post, January 26, 2009

“Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.”

UPDATE: The corn industry’s response to the findings.

In addition to…

john-oliver

This recent Daily Show peice with John Oliver sums up my feelings about the inauguration of Obama pretty well. It appears that the president is indeed following through with some of his promises. I believe ‘cautiously optimistic’ is an appropriate phrase.

Update: Politifact has created a really nice list of 500 promises made by Obama. They will be updating the status of each of his promises (no action, in the works, stalled, promise kept, compromise or promise broken) during the course of his presidency.

scientology_time

We know that Scientology uses a myriad of techniques in order to lure unsuspecting victims into their “church”. Free stress tests are probably the most common, but even more manipulative methods exist. Narconon is a Scientology front posing as a substance abuse treatment program. The audacity of such a group, one that prohibits any form of psychiatric medicine, using completely unscientific methods to treat very serious conditions, all for the sake of gaining members for their “church” and ultimately making more money. There a few activities more distasteful than this. Just take a look at the extent of the criticisms of their approach.

Well, today I learned of yet another Scientology front. LITE is an English school for foreigners. Here and here you will find an expansive list of the “church’s” schools worldwide.

The LITE program in the Czech Republic states:
“The study technology of L. Ron Hubbard addresses these issues. It’s the first truly functional technology, enabling you to study and understand any subject. It’s not mechanical studying, but true understanding of the material and the ability to use in practice what one has learned.”

Here is what academic researchers think of the “Study Tech“:

  • In a paper entitled The Hidden Message in L. Ron Hubbard’s “Study Tech”‘, Professor David S. Touretzky, Principal Scientist in the Computer Science Department and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University and historian and researcher Chris Owen. MBE, claim that ‘study technology’ is a disguised effort to proselytize for the Church of Scientology. “Scientology jargon and religious beliefs . . . are inseparable from Study Tech.”
  • Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Clark said that the Scientology methods of learning comes to: “Train the child to be either a willing subject of tyranny or to be a tyrant himself.”

Although the media has begun to cover Scientology in the United States and England, their activities are not yet widely known around the rest of the world. The Scientology schools capitalize on people’s lack of awareness and their desire to learn English. Posters and advertisements promoting the LITE school can be found in public transport stations and elsewhere. Several prominent Czech newspapers (Dnes, Metro) have written articles promoting the school probably unbeknownst to its connection to Scientology.

Here is a site in Czech that deals with some of the controversies surrounding the Lite School.

From the amazing 1960’s television show, The Prisoner.

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