The Unpopular Opinion
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The Unpopular Opinion
news and opinions at the extremes of the mainstream
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More Catholic than the Pope? Manila Suburb Cracks Down on Condoms - Global Spin

More Catholic than the Pope? Manila Suburb Cracks Down on Condoms   - Global Spin | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"If you live in Alabang and want to have safer sex, you're going to need a doctor's note. That's because the wealthy Manila suburb has made prophylactics prescription-only. The local council says they wanted to discourage sex outside of marriage. They also wanted to stir debate about the morality birth control as the nation mulls its first-ever family planning bill. If that bill passes, the ordinance would be rendered null. For now, though, locals must heed the council's dictum, or face the consequences: violators face up to six months in jail."
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Quote of the Day: From Fulham Soccer Chairman on Michael Jackson Statue

Quote of the Day: From Fulham Soccer Chairman on Michael Jackson Statue | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell."

Fulham soccer chairman MOHAMMED Al FAYED,
takes a defiant stand on the Michael Jackson statue he unveiled before Sunday's game. Reaction from fans hasn't been kind.
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Drug Courts: Martin Sheen Defends Them in Congress. But Do They Work?

Drug Courts: Martin Sheen Defends Them in Congress. But Do They Work? | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Is rehab or jail time the right way to deal with non-violent drug offenders?
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Facebook Sued for $1 Billion Over Controversial Facebook Page [Lawsuits]

"Last week, Facebook found itself at the center of a firestorm over a page set up calling for a third Palestinian intifada. The page was 'liked' by more than 350,000 users and condemned by the Israeli government and the Anti-Defamation league. Ultimately Facebook pulled it down because it said administrators and members were participating in ""direct calls for violence" in violation of its policies.

But that's not enough for crazy conspiracy theorist Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and frequent contributor to wackadoodle news site World Net Daily. He just sued Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for $1 billion because he felt threatened by the page. The best part of the filing is when he cites the largely-fictionalized Social Network as evidence of Zuckerberg's evil ways: "Apparently, the ethically compromised Zuckerberg has no conscience or sense of right or wrong, as depicted recently in the award winning film 'Social Network.'" [INSERT SOCIAL NETWORK JOKE ABOUT "A MILLION DOLLARS ISN'T COOL..."]"
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Exposing the face of islam: Tolerance of Intolerance

Exposing the face of islam: Tolerance of Intolerance | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Wow, read an American-Muslim's question below and the answer from a blogger who goes by the username "islaminfidel." I haven't read enough of this person's posts to determine whether s/he is formerly of the Islam faith, but the answer s/he posts is very strongly anti-Islam with the claim that Islam is a political and violent movement. Click on the headline to read more blog post from "islaminfidel." Meanwhile, I have pasted the Q and A in its entirety below.


"I have recently been reading and hearing about the desire on the part of Isalmists to spread sharia law throughout the world. There appears to be a movement through which the imposition of the law by peaceful, “intellectual” means is intended. While I have heard that “Islam is a peaceful religion,” and that Islamist extremists do not represent the true faith, I am concerned by what I see as the absolute intolerance of dissenting views and/or beliefs by Islamists. I am also concerned that, here in the U.S., where freedom of the exercise of religious faith is a strongly held ideal and principle, we are vulnerable to what can happen in the name of religious tolerance and freedom. I would be very interested in your perspective on how we can protect ourselves against the encroachment of Islamic fascism while still maintaining the lofty ideals of religious tolerance and freedom of worship and expression. I find your web site very interesting, and intend to read more as I have the time.

Rick


Dear Rick;

Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of lies and the claim that Islam is a religion of peace is one of those lies. There are hundreds of verses in the Quran where Muhammad enjoins fighting on his followers. He himself launched 78 raids in the last ten years of his life. When he felt he was strong he gave ultimatums and when he was weak he simply ambushed his victims. He massacred countless people and bragged that he had become victorious through terror. There is nothing peaceful in Islam. You talk about extremists. There are no extremists in Islam. Yes you read it correctly.

Islam is the only religion that has no extremists. There are two classes of Muslims: the real Muslims and the wishy-washy Muslims. The real Muslims are the ones who follow the Quran and the examples of Muhammad. They become terrorists. The wishywashy Muslims are weak in their knowledge and in their faith. They are not moderate Muslims, but as the real Muslims call them, the “hypocrite” Muslims. They often know what Islam requires from them, but they are too blasé,too apathetic and unenthusiastic to be real Muslims, go to Jihad, sacrifice their life and comfort and become martyrs in the way of Allah.

Classifying Muslims as moderate and non moderate is offensive to Muslims. Speaking at Kanal D TV’s Arena program, Turkey’s PM Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”, often used in the West and said, ‘These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam; Islam is Islam and that’s it.” [Milliyet, Turkey, August 21, 2007]

Religious tolerance and fighting Islamofascism are not mutually exclusive. Islam, although pretends to be a religion – is eschatological, talk about God and the afterlife – its goal is purely political. The objective of Islam is to establish its world domination.This is the same objective of communism and Nazism – very this worldly. As long as Islam cannot be separated from its political goal it should be classified as a political movement. It is a political movement that is intolerant of all religions. Therefore, to protect freedom of belief and tolerance it is imperative to eliminate doctrines. Let me clarify this with an example. We believe in freedom. All humans are born free and must live freely.

Despite that we think some individuals must be put behind the bar. This is not a contradiction. Those who violate the freedom of others should not be left free. Tolerance of intolerance encourages intolerance. If this is applies to individuals, why it should not apply to ideologies? People must be free to believe in what they want, but they are not free to take someone else’s freedom. If a religion is intolerant of other faiths that religion should not be tolerated.

I hope this answers your question. "
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Cindy Sullivan's comment, April 3, 2011 2:43 PM
I understand your rationale and realise that you don't condone prejudice. I follow your topic because I find it interesting to conceive of 'the unpopular opinion'. I guess I am also questioning what constitutes 'unpopular', as in the current socio-political climate, such derogatory views in fact reflect 'populist' opinions. While I agree that it is vital to 'listen' to all sides, I would argue that it is divisive and inflamatory to give certain voices too much attention. And I personally choose not to waste my time trying to 'understand' any form of ignorance and hatred.
Baochi's comment, April 3, 2011 3:00 PM
Cindy, I love this conversation -- thank you for your very insightful comments. You are right -- while it is interesting to some extent to give further voice to such intolerant and inflammatory viewpoints, it isn't productive to highlight them too much. I'll be more careful about posting too many of such posts.

I, too, struggle with what constitutes an "unpopular" opinion -- and it may be that I'll continue to figure it out. I guess my aim for this topic is to post extreme viewpoints from either side that are unpopular and/or controversial to any large group. As such, I should make a very conscientious effort to ensure that I post both sides equally. Thank you again for following this topic. If you ever have any suggestions for articles, please send them my way!

Long live tolerance, freedom and equality!
Cindy Sullivan's comment, April 3, 2011 3:14 PM
I too appreciate such dialogue. Thanks for responding in the manner that you have. I would love to take this discussion further someday, somehow. Meanwhile, you may also be interested in following some of my topics. Cheers. Cindy
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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Proposes Fining Obese Adults and Smokers - ABC News

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Proposes Fining Obese Adults and Smokers - ABC News | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"As part of a plan to revamp the state's Medicaid program, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced on Thursday that she is proposing fees for adults who lead unhealthy lives.

Childless adults who are obese or suffer from a chronic condition and who fail to work with their doctor to meet specific goals would be charged $50 annually. The $50 annual fee also would apply to all childless adult smokers.

"If you're not going to manage those things and take some personal responsibility, and in turn that costs the state more money, then you need to have some skin in the game," said Monica Coury, assistant director of Arizona's Medicaid program. "
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Rose McDermott: Polygamy—More Common Than You Think - WSJ.com

Rose McDermott: Polygamy—More Common Than You Think - WSJ.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Here's my (probably) unpopular opinion: I think polygamy should be legal on the grounds of religious and individual freedoms. However, the legalization of polygamy wouldn't overrule existing laws that protect women and children. In other words, as a consenting adult, a woman can choose or not choose to marry a man with multiple wives. But children under the age of eighteen should never be considered for marriage -- monogamous or polygamous -- as they are not of an age to legally make adult decisions. And obviously, children should never, under any circumstances, be forced into marriage.

Here's an excerpt from this article:

"In 2009, prosecutors charged Winston Blackmore and James Oler, two leaders of the fundamentalist community in Bountiful, British Columbia, with polygamy.

The case was thrown out on a technicality, but now Canada's anti-polygamy statute, which dates to 1890, is being put to the test in a so-called "reference case." In effect, the government is seeking an opinion from the court on whether the statute is valid. Opponents say that it violates the country's commitment to religious freedom. "Consenting adults have the right—the Charter protected right—to form the families that they want to form," Monique Pongracic-Speier of the Civil Liberties Association has said.

Supporters of the statute say that it's not about persecuting religious outliers or maintaining a traditional definition of family for its own sake. Rather, it is about protecting human rights. The case has begun to inflame passions far from the rural communities of small Mormon breakaway groups.

There are more serious problems that come with the practice of polygamy. My research over the past decade, encompassing more than 170 countries, has shown the detrimental effects of polygynous practices on human rights, for both men and women.

According to the information I have helped to collect in the Womanstats database, women in polygynous communities get married younger, have more children, have higher rates of HIV infection than men, sustain more domestic violence, succumb to more female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, and are more likely to die in childbirth. Their life expectancy is also shorter than that of their monogamous sisters. In addition, their children, both boys and girls, are less likely to receive both primary and secondary education.

This is at least partly because polygynist cultures need to create and sustain an underclass of unmarried and undereducated men, since in order to sustain a system where a few men possess all the women, roughly half of boys must leave the community before adulthood. Such societies also spend more money on weapons and display fewer social and political freedoms than do monogamous ones.

When small numbers of men control large numbers of women, the remaining men are likely to be willing to take greater risks and engage in more violence, possibly including terrorism, in order to increase their own wealth and status in hopes of gaining access to women. Whatever their concerns about protecting religious freedom, or demonstrating cultural sensitivity, Western nations should think twice before allowing the kinds of family structures that lead to such abuses."
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Conn. Transgender Protections Bill on Hold | News | The Advocate

Conn. Transgender Protections Bill on Hold | News | The Advocate | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"The Connecticut legislature's judiciary committee Wednesday postponed a vote on a controversial bill aiming to provide legal protection for transgender people.

Diana Lombardi, a 60-year-old transgender woman, feels this measure is an important one to have on the state’s books. "My friends who have come out at work, a number of them have been fired. One person I know, that worked for 25 years at a company, when she 'came out,' the next day, they had a layoff of one person; her," Lombardi told local news station WTNH.com.

Opponents of the bill say a law allowing biological men to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and single-sex sleeping accommodations could be misused by sexual predators, but sponsors of the measure say these concerns are just tactics in the opponents’ attempts to kill the bill.

"We have laws that protect people from sexual predators on the books, which would still apply even if this bill passed," said Democratic representative Gary Holder-Winfield."
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Quote of the Day: William James

Quote of the Day: William James | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

-- William James
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News Desk: Libya: Don’t Arm the Rebels

News Desk: Libya: Don’t Arm the Rebels | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Baochi's opinion: absolutely NOT we should NOT arm Libyan rebels!!!!

"The rationale for French, British, and American intervention in Libya was humanitarian. Qaddafi said he would slaughter Benghazi’s citizens; he had the means and opportunity to do so; he had a track record that suggested his rhetoric should be taken seriously. In those circumstances, intervention under international law was justified. I thought President Obama was right to act, notwithstanding the ambiguity of the case and the obvious problems involving what to do next, after Benghazi was protected.

Now the Administration’s policy may be migrating toward the idea of supplying the rebels with weapons. Yet the rebels have as yet no command and control; they serve a political entity (if that is not too generous a way to describe the councils that have been set up in eastern Libya) that is recognized as legitimate by France alone. There is no way to police the rebels’ conduct or to hold them accountable for their actions on the battlefield. It is not clear what the rebels are fighting for, other than survival and the possible opportunity to take power in a country loaded with oil.

It might be justifiable to arm the rebels if that were only way to achieve the humanitarian objectives of the intervention. Yet there isn’t any evidence that it would be necessary to do so to defend Benghazi as a sanctuary. It seems clear that Benghazi can be defended from the air by NATO, even if that requires enforcing “no-drive” zones occasionally. That may be expensive and the aerial operations may last longer than American or European publics might wish, but if those are the decisive points then the intervention should not have been undertaken in the first place and Benghazi’s civilians should have been left to their fate; the high cost and indefinite duration of the aerial intervention was completely predictable. It cannot be policy to protect the lives of tens of thousands of Libyan civilians only if the intervention meets certain standards of cost effectiveness from week to week.

Of course, not everyone in the Obama Administration—perhaps not even the President himself—is content to proceed at this stage only for the purpose of defending a civilian and political sanctuary in eastern Libya. “Qaddafi must go” is not the explicit objective of the U.N. resolution authorizing NATO’s intervention, but it is the preference or the de facto objective now of the NATO governments carrying the intervention out. Qaddafi’s own reckless, all-in response to the intervention has increased the resolve to get him out."
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Steve Jobs Rejects Tawkon – Radiation Detecting App via @GeekWithLaptop

Steve Jobs Rejects Tawkon – Radiation Detecting App via @GeekWithLaptop | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"The app in question, Tawkon, has been developed by Israeli developers, whose founder and CEO Gil Friedlander say this about their software: “Tawkon is a start up that has been working for the last 20 months on a patent pending mobile application that allows users to see the level of radiation they are exposed to from their mobile phone.”

However, despite being available for both Blackberry and Android devices, Steve Jobs sent a short “no interest” note from his iPhone when rejecting it from the Apple App Store. The app will be available on Cydia for jailbroken Apple iPhones however.

New York Computer Help (NYCH) and Apple-certified sales and service expert Joe Silverman thinks he may know why Jobs refused the app: “I think Steve Jobs felt that having a radiation-detection app may emit unnecessary fear,” he said, adding: “There are lots of radiation sources at home, such as TVs, microwaves, ovens, hair dryers and heaters. This type of radiation is all around us, and Jobs probably doesn’t want his iPhone to incite panic.”

However, the app designers say it is not designed to panic anybody, instead being a way users can effectively monitor their exposure in different spaces. “We have a very cool app,” Friedlander said. “A lot of time, talent, and technology are under the hood. We’re providing a tool that helps users take precautionary measures.”"
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Will the French veil ban hurt tourism?

Will the French veil ban hurt tourism? | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"France's ban on full-face veils for both citizens and tourists goes into effect on April 11. Do you think it will hurt tourism?"
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rougier marie's comment, April 2, 2011 4:35 AM
I don't think it will really hurt tourism, France can't refuse rich tourists because they wear full-face veils. I mean, we will not refuse some dollars because of a religious denotation. The issue is more global, we want equality and we want secularism. If we end the reasoning tourists like citizens would not wear religious denotations. France maybe should think on a law that is 106 years old. Not that I'm against this law, it's a huge part of French Republic concept, but this law was made against Catholic Church. Nowadays there is less catholics, more muslims, more buddhists ... We have to choose, no religious denotations in public space or no tourism !
Baochi's comment, April 2, 2011 7:24 PM
Marie, thanks for the insights, which are interesting to hear from a French citizen. I, myself, do not know what to make of the law. I'm a big believer in individual rights and thus religious freedom, but I don't have a firm understanding of how harmful (or not) the veils have been to French society.
rougier marie's comment, April 3, 2011 3:34 AM
I think that religious denotations are not really harmful in public space because we are 'cooler' on those stuffs. But there are a lot of fears about Islam, whatever the reasons are. So when you walk on the street and you see a woman with a face full veil, most of us will avoid her or at least , be ill at ease. And the government wonders if it's against women/men equality. That's such a complicated problem !
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Mission: Inscrutable >> Obama's Libya speech echoes Bush's worst Iraq flub via @WSJ

Mission: Inscrutable >> Obama's Libya speech echoes Bush's worst Iraq flub via @WSJ | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Libya will not be another Iraq. The U.S. and its allies will not liberate the country via a land invasion, then occupy it until a democratic regime can be installed in place of the current dictatorship. Good to know. But didn't everyone know it already? Has anyone seriously suggested that Gadhafi be overthrown by all-out ground war?

The Obama speech reminded us of Iraq in another way, though. As we've seen, last night the president was at pains to distinguish between "our military mission" and the "broader goal" of "regime change." With regard to the former, he suggested the work was largely done: "In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners."

Does he get an apology?

Remember that phrase? It was to George W. Bush what "malaise" was to Jimmy Carter. President Bush never used the words, but his May 1, 2003, speech, delivered on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, came to be known as the "mission accomplished" speech after the banner that hung in the background as the president declared "major combat operations" in Iraq had concluded."
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EarthLink - International News

"The company that gave executive bonuses for safety after its Gulf of Mexico rig exploded a year ago, killing 11 and causing the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, "just doesn't get it," the head of a U.S. presidential commission investigating the spill said Monday.

Transocean Ltd.s executive bonuses underscore the commission's finding that lax standards caused the accident that dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the gulf, William Reilly said.

Reilly and his co-chair, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, joined U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar on Monday for talks with Mexican officials on uniform regulations for drilling in the gulf.

Transocean gave bonuses for the "best year in safety performance in our company's history," according to a regulatory filing last week.

"What I've seen from various investigative reports is that they were at least at some fault," Salazar said in a news conference, adding that 2010 "was probably the greatest year of pain in terms of development of deep-water gas and oil in the world, especially in the Gulf of Mexico."

The commission appointed by President Barack Obama has said the explosion was caused by a series of time- and money-saving decisions by Transocean, BP and oil services company Halliburton Inc."
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Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming

Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"A team of UC Berkeley physicists and statisticians that set out to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming is finding that its data-crunching effort is producing results nearly identical to those underlying the prevailing view.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was launched by physics professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of skeptics who believe that global warming is exaggerated.

But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups.""
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Controversial minister draws outcry

Controversial minister draws outcry | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"A weekend conference with a Christian minister with ties to a movement that seeks to reverse homosexual behavior is drawing opposition from students.

Christopher Yuan, an HIV-positive professor and minister who travels to churches and college campuses to speak about sexuality and HIV/AIDS, will arrive at Yale Friday afternoon to participate in three events hosted by the Yale Christian Fellowship and Yale Students for Christ this weekend. His visit has driven several leaders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student leaders to plan demonstrations in response to Yuan’s alleged support of the “ex-gay movement,” which supports the reversal of homosexual behavior in individuals, despite Yuan’s claims that he has no role in the movement.

“When they decided to bring someone like him, it begins to be a concern to our community, especially to people who are both LGBTQ and Christian,” said LGBT Co-op Board Member Amalia Skilton ’13. “And at that point I find it difficult to believe that this event is just for them, because they will be talking about [the LGBTQ community].”

Yuan’s impending arrival was announced in a Wednesday e-mail from Skilton to unspecified “LGBTQ and allied Yalies,” leading some students — even those within the Christian community — to speak out against Yuan’s message. Student activists will attend Yuan’s Friday talk at the Afro-American Cultural Center in protest, and publish an open letter to campus rejecting ex-gay teachings written by Benjamin Crosby ’13 and David Washer ’11.

In an interview, Yuan said he does not wish to be affiliated with any organization, movement or Christian denomination, and is accustomed to people misunderstanding his goals."
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Film Seeks to Spur 'Rational Discussion' On Vaccine Safety - Speakeasy - WSJ

Film Seeks to Spur 'Rational Discussion' On Vaccine Safety - Speakeasy - WSJ | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Many experts have debunked some of the questions about vaccine safety. Early this year, an article and editorial published in the British Medical Journal said that an influential but now-discredited study that provoked fears around the globe that childhood vaccinations caused autism was based largely on falsified data.

The film includes interviews with strong current vaccine advocates, such as Dr. Paul Offit (Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), Dr. Norman W. Baylor (Director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review), and Dr. Melinda Wharton (Deputy Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases).

But their voices are far outnumbered by those calling for further oversight of vaccinations, such as Dr. Bob Sears (author of “The Vaccine Book”), and Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, as well as families who claim to be victims of vaccine injuries. The film focuses on three such emotional stories: of a teenage girl whose life deteriorated after taking the HPV vaccine; a boy who developed autism subsequent to being vaccinated; and a family whose infant died shortly after being vaccinated.

“We feel we have given voice to a population that isn’t regularly represented in the media,” says Pilaro, defending the choice of subjects. “We also did contact a number of families with children who had been injured by vaccine-preventable diseases, but none of them would film with us.”

“The goal was not to scare people away from vaccinations,” Pilaro continues. “We need to have the ability to ask these hard questions without being shunned.”

“The Greater Good” is currently seeking a deal for broadcast or theatrical distribution. It plays next at the Arizona International Film Festival on April 12."
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The Price of Taxing the Rich - WSJ.com

The Price of Taxing the Rich - WSJ.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
This is such a well-said article about how relying on taxes from the top 1% of earners ends up hurting the budget in the long run.

Excerpts:

"The working class may be taking a beating from spending cuts used to close a cavernous deficit, Mr. Williams said, but the root of California's woes is its reliance on taxing the wealthy.

Nearly half of California's income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes—their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population's during the recession. When they crashed, they took California's finances down with them.

Mr. Williams, a former economic forecaster for the state, spent more than a decade warning state leaders about California's over-dependence on the rich. "We created a revenue cliff," he said. "We built a large part of our government on the state's most unstable income group."

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois—states that are the most heavily reliant on the taxes of the wealthy—are now among those with the biggest budget holes. A large population of rich residents was a blessing during the boom, showering states with billions in tax revenue. But it became a curse as their incomes collapsed with financial markets.

Arriving at a time of greatly increased public spending, this reversal highlights the dependence of the states on the outsize incomes of the wealthy. The result for state finances and budgets has been extreme volatility."
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McDonnell adds abortion restriction to insurance-exchange legislation

McDonnell adds abortion restriction to insurance-exchange legislation | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Virginia Gov. Robert F. Mc­Don­nell has added an amendment restricting insurance coverage for abortion into a bill approved by the General Assembly establishing a health insurance exchange as part of the federal health-care overhaul...

After the bill reached Mc­Don­nell (R) for his signature, he added an amendment that would prohibit any insurance plan offered as part of the exchange from including coverage for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

“The governor does not believe elective abortions should be covered through the exchange or with taxpayer dollars,” said Mc­Don­nell spokesman Tucker Martin. “This is consistent with his pro-life position and policies passed with bipartisan backing at both the state and federal levels.”

Abortion opponents across the country have been working to get the health-care exchanges to exclude abortion coverage, and similar measures are pending in more than 20 states. They say a government-managed market should not allow dollars to be spent on the procedure.

“Taxpayers don’t want to see the government entangled with the abortion issue in any way,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia.

She said seven states have adopted similar legislation.

Advocates for abortion rights say the measures are part of a national drive by conservatives to restrict access to abortion.

Federal and state law prohibit using tax dollars for abortions except in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. McDonnell’s amendment would extend such prohibitions to insurance plans purchased by individuals in exchanges."
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Depositions in Transgender Widow Case

Depositions in Transgender Widow Case | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
This is a really interesting story. Click on the headline to watch a brief speech by the widow. Excerpt:

"There are new developments in the controversial case of a transgender widow.

Nikki Araguz is fighting for Thomas Araguz's death benefits.

The Wharton firefighter died in fire last year.

Araguz met with attorneys on both sides for depositions in preparation for the trial in May.

Thomas Araguz's family says the couple's marriage was not legit because Thomas did not know Nikki was born a man. They want all the money to go to his children."

According to Nikki Araguz in the video, the children's benefits would not be affected should she win her case.

I wonder how long the couple were married?
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Church Easter Service Ad Pulled for Mention of Jesus

Church Easter Service Ad Pulled for Mention of Jesus | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
I don't understand why the ad was pulled. The Church has a right to advertise so long as the contents don't attack anybody. But the decision-makers run a business and such an ad probably would've angered movie-goers. Click on the headline to watch the commercial. Here's an excerpt of the article:

"A pre-movie advertisement promoting an Easter church service was banned from local theaters because of its mention of Jesus.
Related

Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif., created the 30-second ad to air for three weeks on 45 movie screens across Orange County starting April 1, paying more than $5,000, according to ABC.

The commercial posed questions about what some conspiracy theorists believed may have happened to Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Claims like “the disciples stole the body” and “Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross” were mentioned.

It asked moviegoers “Did it really happen?” And ended with “Why we actually believe in the resurrection.”

But the money was returned and the ad was pulled for its “controversial” material, mainly its mention of Jesus, and its failure to comply with specific guidelines set by National CineMedia.
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Libertarians praise Congress on April Fool's Day

Libertarians praise Congress on April Fool's Day | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON - The Libertarian Party congratulates Congress for passing a budget that makes serious cuts in federal government spending, including the following:

1. Eliminating Department of Education programs, saving taxpayers more than $40 billion each year.
2. Getting rid of farm subsidies, saving over $20 billion each year.
3. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as many other overseas deployments, saving over $100 billion annually.
4. Eliminating programs and subsidies in the Department of Transportation, saving about $80 billion annually.
5. Terminating federal housing subsidies, saving about $45 billion each year.
6. Giving overpaid federal employees a 10% cut in compensation, saving $30 billion annually.
7. Throwing out federal energy subsidies, saving $20 billion annually.
8. Reducing and reforming Medicare and Medicaid, saving about $100 billion a year for the next ten years.
9. Ending the federal War on Drugs, saving $15 billion annually.
10. Phasing out mandatory Social Security, and reducing the rate of benefit growth to save $40 billion a year by 2020.

"April Fool's!" cried Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict. "Congress hasn't done any of those things. Congress is causing the federal government to keep growing rapidly. And don't be fooled by the recent hype about Republican proposals for 'cuts.' Those 'cuts' are so small and so peripheral, that even if they pass, they won't have any effect on the fiscal catastrophe facing our children and grandchildren. Republicans and Democrats continue to link arms and keep our federal government huge and growing."

Benedict continued, "We got that list of items from a Cato Institute advertisement that ran in several major news outlets today. Of course, we wish Congress would cut all those things, but we know Republicans and Democrats won't do it."

The Libertarian Party platform calls for major reductions in the size and scope of government.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
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The Most Controversial iPhone Apps - Slideshow from PCMag.com

The Most Controversial iPhone Apps - Slideshow from PCMag.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
The list:

1. Baby Shaker ("simulated the act of infanticide")

2. Exodus International (Gay-curing app)

3. iBoobs (with "adjustable physics settings and breast size")

4. Shake That Booty ("app lets users wiggle the image of a female behind using the magic of the iPhone's touchscreen")

5. I Am Rich (..."point of the app was the ability to demonstrate to the world that you were so filthy rich that you could blow a wad of cash on such a thing.")

6. Tawkon (..."promises to detect the amount of radiation emanating from your handset")

7. DUI Checkpoint Apps (..."reveals the location of DUI checkpoints")
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Homeless addicts get help without getting clean, sober - USATODAY.com

Homeless addicts get help without getting clean, sober - USATODAY.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
What's your take? Housing first, or sober first?

Excerpt:

"...Housing First, a controversial nationwide initiative to house chronically homeless people without first requiring them to get treated for their addictions...

A roof over a person's head is the first step to solving a person's problem says Sam Tsemberis, a clinical-community psychologist who started the program in 1992 in New York City...

...Some experts and housing facilities workers disagree with the idea of providing housing for homeless people with drug and alcohol addictions without emphasizing treatment."
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Protest Art from North Africa and the Middle East - NYTimes.com

Protest Art from North Africa and the Middle East - NYTimes.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Protest art from North Africa and the Middle East, a region where images like these were unthinkable just a few months ago."
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