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Must Read: Scientology -- The Truth Rundown

Scientology: The Truth Rundown, Part 1 of 3 in a special report on the Church of Scientology - St. Petersburg Times There is far, far too much here to properly excerpt. Please read the whole thing. It shines a light on many of the horrors of Scientology.
The leader of the Church of Scientology strode into the room with a boom box and an announcement: Time for a game of musical chairs. David Miscavige had kept more than 30 members of his church's executive staff cooped up for weeks in a small office building outside Los Angeles, not letting them leave except to grab a shower. They slept on the floor, their food carted in. Their assignment was to develop strategic plans for the church. But the leader trashed their every idea and berated them as incompetents and enemies, of him and the church. Prove your devotion, Miscavige told them, by winning at musical chairs. Everyone else — losers, all of you — will be banished to Scientology outposts around the world. If families are split up, too bad.

Notorious Adulterer John Ensign is a member of secret Christian group "The Family"

Did A Shadowy Christian Group Help Keep Ensign's Secret? | TPMMuckraker I first read about "The Family" years ago in Harpers. They are creepy, shadowy, fervent and out to infiltrate every branch of government. This is their stated goal. I'm not even being hyperbolic. Senator Ensign is a member and his fellow Family members worked to keep his affairs secret by pressuring the husband into silence.
But could it be that the Ensign imbroglio poses a particularly thorny problem for some Republicans because, aside from the sex and jobs angle, the story threatens to shine an unflattering light on the role of the shadowy religious group to which the Nevada senator belongs? . . . In The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, published last year, the journalist Jeff Sharlet reported that both Ensign and Coburn -- as well as several other members of Congress of both parties, but predominantly Republicans -- are members of a secretive and publicity-shy religious organization founded in 1935 that aims, broadly speaking, to forge ties with decision-makers around the world in order to put Christian teachings at the center of public policy. Elsewhere in the book, Sharlet added that Ensign and Coburn each at times lived at the Family's group home for members of Congress, described as a "four-story red-brick Washington townhouse, a former convent at 133 C St SE, run by a Family affiliate called the C Street Foundation." (The Atlantic's Josh Green wrote about Hillary Clinton's ties to the group, in the context of a larger profile of the then-senator, in 2006.) To be clear, the senators may have moved since then. The "Christian-oriented group house" that Ensign and Coburn currently call home -- and which the confrontation over the affair appears to have taken place at -- may not be the same as the 133 C Street house. . . .

June 21, 2009

Conspiracy Theory Rock!

June 18, 2009

Supreme Court Rules Convicts Have No Right To DNA Tests

Supreme Court Rules Convicts Have No Right To DNA Tests
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people convicted of a crime do not have the right to obtain DNA testing on evidence to prove their innocence. The 5-4 decision involved the case of William Osborne, an Alaska man convicted of assault, kidnapping and sexual assault in 1993. ... Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion that Osborne should have exhausted his avenues for appeal in the Alaska courts. In addition, he said defendants have no freestanding right to DNA testing under the Constitution's Due Process Clause. Roberts acknowledged that DNA evidence will lead to big changes in the criminal justice system. "The question is whether further change will primarily be made by legislative revision and judicial interpretation of the existing system, or whether the federal judiciary must leap ahead — revising (or even discarding) the system by creating a new constitutional right and taking over responsibility for refining it," he wrote.

June 14, 2009

Company fires 200 factory workers for inaccurate Social Security numbers

If the workers were Poles, Irish, Chinese... same result? Computer 'raid' in Vernon leaves factory workers devastated - Los Angeles Times
No immigration agents descended on Overhill Farms, a major food-processing plant in Vernon. No one was arrested or deported. ... For more than 200 Overhill workers, however, the effect was devastating: All lost steady jobs last month and now find themselves in a precarious employment market, without severance pay or medical insurance. It wasn't a hot tip or an undercover informant that helped seal their fates, but a computer check of Social Security numbers. "A desktop raid" is how the workers' representative, John M. Grant, vice president of Local 770 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, described the scenario. Overhill, a $200-million-a-year company that provides frozen meals for clients such as American Airlines, Panda Express, Safeway and Jenny Craig, says it had no choice: An Internal Revenue Service audit found that 260 workers had provided "invalid or fraudulent" Social Security numbers. The government took no action against the workers. But Overhill did: All of the employees were fired May 31.