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The New Narcotic

Public Discourse

New neurological research reveals that porn is as potently addictive as heroin or cocaine.
 

But what if I told you that the internet “is the greatest drug dealer in the United States?”

A growing body of research supports such an assertion as it relates to a new “narcotic”: internet pornography. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that in 2008 there were 1.9 million cocaine users. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, there are an estimated 2 million heroin users in the United States, with some 600,000 to 800,000 considered hardcore addicts.

Compare these numbers to the 40 million regular users of online pornography in America.

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover

Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent—if not more so—than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin. In a statement before Congress, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, physicist, and former Fellow in Psychiatry at Yale, cautioned:

With the advent of the computer, the delivery system for this addictive stimulus [internet pornography] has become nearly resistance-free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes. It’s now available in unlimited supply via a self-replicating distribution network, glorified as art and protected by the Constitution.
 

Though pornography, in one form or another, has been around for most of human history, its content and the way people access and consume it have drastically changed in the past few decades with the advent of the internet and related technologies.

Read the rest here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/10/10846/

California Expands Availability of Abortions

Gov. Jerry Brown


New York Times
LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday expanded access to abortion in California, signing a bill to allow nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to perform a common type of the procedure, an aspiration abortion, during the first trimester.

Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Hampshire allow nurse practitioners to perform such abortions, which use a tube and suction, while several other states, including California, permit nonphysicians to provide drugs to terminate pregnancy.
      
But the new California law goes further, allowing a wider range of nonphysician practitioners to perform surgical abortions. While other states have passed a tide of laws restricting abortion access, California has gone against the political tide.
      
“We are trending in a different direction, and we’re very proud of it,” said Toni Atkins, the state assemblywoman who wrote the bill. “California has a strong history of support for reproductive health care for women.” She said women in rural parts of the state had trouble finding an abortion provider.
      
“This is an issue of accessibility,” Ms. Atkins said. “California is a very large state, and more than half the counties don’t have an abortion provider.”

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/us/california-expands-availability-of-abortions.html?ref=us&_r=1&

Not All Marriages Are Created Equal

The Weekly Standard

Iowa Agency Tries to Force Mennonite Couple to Host Controversial Religious Ceremony

Des Moines, IA – Yesterday The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit in Iowa state court, seeking protection for Betty and Richard Odgaard (see video), a Mennonite couple, from being forced to facilitate a religious ceremony against their religious convictions. Betty and Richard personally own and operate the Görtz Haus Gallery, a 77-year-old-church-building-turned-art gallery. After declining a request to plan, facilitate, and host a ceremony that ran counter to their beliefs, they faced punitive action before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
 

“Iowa is a great champion of individual freedom,” said Emily Hardman with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Every Iowan should be concerned that bureaucrats are forcing Betty and Richard to personally host a religious ceremony against their religious convictions.”

Betty Odgaard was born and raised a Mennonite—her father was a Mennonite minister and she played music for her church growing up. When she and her husband founded the Görtz Haus Gallery (Görtz is Betty’s maiden name), they made sure to keep the old church elements, such as the stained glass windows depicting Biblical images. With its religious decorations and architectural elements, the Gallery has served as a place to express the Odgaards’ faith for over a decade. One of their favorite ways to do that is hosting wedding ceremonies in the old church’s sanctuary. They personally help plan and host every wedding, and are both at the Gallery from morning until night for each wedding ceremony.

Read the rest here: http://www.becketfund.org/iowa-agency-tries-to-force-mennonite-couple-to-host-controversial-religious-ceremony/

Governor Jerry Brown signs bill allowing nurses and midwives to perform abortions in California

Wed Oct 09, 2013 16:12 EST
SACRAMENTO, CA October 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills allowing non-physicians to perform abortions and reducing health standards for abortion facilities, saying the new laws “support the health and well-being of women.”
California is the fifth state to allow or not explicitly ban the practice of non-physician abortion, joining Montana, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.
 
California Governor Jerry Brown ran for the  Democratic pres
California Governor Jerry Brown ran for the
  Democratic presidential nomination
 in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The bill, A.B. 154, introduced by San Diego Democrat Toni Atkins, would authorize midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants to perform first-trimester suction aspiration abortions.

A study conducted by Tracy Weitz, director of UC-San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, found that abortions performed by non-physicians had twice the rate of complications as those performed by doctors. However, Dr. Weitz called the difference “clinically equivalent.

The new law, which originally passed the General Assembly in May, cleared the State Senate last month by a near-party line vote of 25-11. Lou Correa of Anaheim was the only Senate Democrat to vote against the bill.

“The growing shortage of abortion providers creates a significant barrier for women,” said State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/governor-jerry-brown-signs-bill-allowing-nurses-and-midwives-to-perform-abo

Why must we suffer?

October 6, 2013 | By Deacon Mike Bickerstaff
Into the Deep

DiscipleshipOne of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads directly through the cross of Christ.

If we are to find and stay on this path, this is a truth that we must come to embrace. In a passage from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus explains to His apostles that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the authorities… that He will need to lay down His life. Peter, so like many in the world – maybe like you and like me – has a different view. Peter objects to what he hears and the Gospel tells us that he takes Jesus aside and actually rebukes Him!

And so, Jesus who had just previously called Peter Rock now addresses him as Satan. Jesus accuses Peter of thinking like human beings and not as God. He speaks of the necessity of the Cross… in His life and in ours. Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.

Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.” (Matthew 16:21-27) Who among us would not wish to run from suffering and pain? Surely we can relate, even to the words of Peter to Christ! Why? Because we do not think as the Father does.

- See more at: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2013/10/deacon-bickerstaff-why-must-we-suffer/

Kidnapped Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio Reported to Be Alive

More than two months after he was snatched in Syria, the peace advocating Jesuit priest is supposedly being treated well by his abductors.

09.10.2013       
Carly Andrews
Aletiea
 

© KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 
Journalist Khalaf Ali Khalaf told Aki-Adnkronos International news agency that Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio is alive and well.

Khalaf, a Syrian anti-regime journalist and activist who is based in the North of Syria, has refused to reveal the names of his sources for “fear of reprisals.”

“Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio is alive and is being treated well by his kidnappers” says Khalaf.

He claims that the men who abducted the priest over two months ago “are members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) extremist group.” Khalaf was informed by sources with al-Qaeda affiliations who are closely tied to the extremist ISIS militants.

Apparently Fr. Oglio was seen by the unnamed sources entering into an ISIS area of North Syria. However Khalaf did not reveal the exact location.

Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio is a 58 year old Roman-born Jesuit who had been restoring the Catholic monastery ‘Mar Musa’ (Monastery of St Moses the Abyssinian) in Northern Syria for 31 years. The monastery was also a centre for Islamic-Christian dialogue. Then in 2012 Fr. Oglio was expelled from Syria due to his open criticisms of president Bashar al-Assad and his regime. However this did not stop the Jesuit from returning regularly to rebel controlled areas of the country.
Read the rest here: http://www.aleteia.org/en/world/news/kidnapped-fr-paolo-dalloglio-reported-to-be-alive-4767002

Remember Obama’s 2006 thoughts on raising the Debt Ceiling?


Obama Congressional Record
Image: Zero Hedge
As debates in D.C. continue to rage over the debt ceiling, and the continuing resolution to fund the government…we are reminded of the words of one Democratic Senator when a similar argument was taking place back in 2006.
 
The President has since tried to distance himself from those remarks. In April of 2011, Mr. Obama appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to explain his change of heart. “I think that it’s important to understand the vantage point of a Senator versus the vantage point of a…President. When you’re a Senator, traditionally what’s happened is this is always a lousy vote. Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the United States by a trillion dollars… As President, you start realizing, ‘You know what? We– we can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith in credit of the United States.’ And so that was just a example of a new Senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country. And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.”
 

How Many Native Americans Think ‘Redskins’ is a Slur?

Perhaps this uncertainty shouldn’t matter — because the word has an undeniably racist history, or because the team says it uses the word with respect, or because in a truly decent society, some would argue, what hurts a few should be avoided by all.

(Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

But the thoughts and beliefs of native people are the basis of the debate over changing the team name. And looking across the breadth of Native America — with 2 million Indians enrolled in 566 federally recognized tribes, plus another 3.2 million who tell the Census they are Indian — it’s difficult to tell how many are opposed to the name.

The controversy has peaked in the last few days. President Barack Obama said Saturday he would consider getting rid of the name if he owned the team, and the NFL took the unprecedented step Monday of promising to meet with the Oneida Indian Nation, which is waging a national ad campaign against the league.

What gets far less attention, though, is this:

There are Native American schools that call their teams Redskins. The term is used affectionately by some natives, similar to the way the N-word is used by some African-Americans. In the only recent poll to ask native people about the subject, 90 percent of respondents did not consider the term offensive, although many question the cultural credentials of the respondents.

All of which underscores the oft-overlooked diversity within Native America.

Read the rest here: http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/10/08/how-many-native-americans-think-redskins-is-a-slur/

US adults are dumber than the average human

WASHINGTON — It’s long been known that America’s school kids haven’t measured well compared with international peers. Now, there’s a new twist: Adults don’t either.

In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test, according to results released Tuesday.

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test. Beyond basic reading and math, respondents were tested on activities such as calculating mileage reimbursement due to a salesman, sorting email and comparing food expiration dates on grocery store tags.

Not only did Americans score poorly compared to many international competitors, the findings reinforced just how large the gap is between the nation’s high- and low-skilled workers and how hard it is to move ahead when your parents haven’t.

In both reading and math, for example, those with college-educated parents did better than those whose parents did not complete high school.

The study, called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, found that it was easier on average to overcome this and other barriers to literacy overseas than in the United States.

Researchers tested about 166,000 people ages 16 to 65 in more than 20 countries and subnational regions. The test was developed and released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of mostly industrialized member countries. The Education Department’s Center for Education Statistics participated.

Read the rest here: http://nypost.com/2013/10/08/us-adults-are-dumber-than-the-average-human/

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