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The Unpopular Opinion
news and opinions at the extremes of the mainstream
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French Chess Grandmasters caught using text messages to cheat [Is nothing sacred anymore?]

French Chess Grandmasters caught using text messages to cheat [Is nothing sacred anymore?] | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"The game of chess is more than 500 years old and is one of the most beautiful ways ever created to keep your mind sharp. Players all over the world sit in front of a board with 64 squares, 32 pieces, and strategically move them with the goal of defeating the opponent’s king. Ever since Garry Kasparov lost to a computer in 1997 the intellect of man came into question and people started wondering if artificial intelligence would soon surpass what humans are capable of achieving. So it’s with great displeasure that we have to inform you that three French players who were playing for global titles were caught perverting the game by using text messages to cheat."
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Quote of the Day: Louis Nizer, American lawyer

Quote of the Day: Louis Nizer, American lawyer | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself."

-- Louis Nizer, American lawyer
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Quote of the Day: Rhonda Abrams on Internet Taxes

Quote of the Day: Rhonda Abrams on Internet Taxes | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Internet sales no longer need -- or deserve -- to have an unfair advantage over small businesses. It's time to level the playing field."

--Rhonda Abrams, writing in USA TODAY
(More about Rhonda here: http://www.rhondaonline.com/content/aboutRhonda/aboutRhonda.asp)
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China Moves to Extend Jailing of Outspoken Blogger

China Moves to Extend Jailing of Outspoken Blogger | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Ran Yunfei, an uncompromising voice for free speech, was taken into custody five weeks ago just as those protest calls first came. His wife, Wang Wei, said she received a police notice Monday that was dated Friday and said Ran was charged with subversion of state power.

The move allows police to detain Ran longer for criminal investigation and brings him a step closer to prosecution.

Though the Internet calls for Chinese to stage protests every Sunday have not drawn large crowds of overt protesters, the authoritarian government has mounted an outsized response, detaining more than 100 bloggers, lawyers and activists, according to human rights groups.

Several prominent civil rights lawyers have disappeared, in a tactic that is becoming more common against government critics."
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Sarah Lane, Natalie Portman's 'Black Swan' Dance Double, Says She Deserves More Credit - Speakeasy - WSJ

Sarah Lane, Natalie Portman's 'Black Swan' Dance Double, Says She Deserves More Credit - Speakeasy - WSJ | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Excerpt:

"Sarah Lane, who served as Natalie Portman’s dance double in the ballet drama “Black Swan,” says she “definitely” wasn’t given the credit she feels she deserves for her work on the movie. Portman’s performance won the Oscar for best actress at the Academy Awards earlier this year; she didn’t thank Lane from the stage..."
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'Homosexual conduct' law still on books in Texas | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

'Homosexual conduct' law still on books in Texas | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Homosexuality is illegal in much of the Middle East but c'mon people, this is America! Get it together!

"Homosexual conduct" is still on the books as a crime in Texas, eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.

Although the state's so-called sodomy law cannot be legally enforced, civil rights advocates say it should be removed because it creates a climate favoring bullying and other hate crimes.

But the Austin American-Statesman reports that legislation that would bring state law in line with the U.S. Constitution faces a questionable future in the Legislature, which has been reluctant to provide legal protections to citizens based on sexual orientation.

In 2003, the nation's highest court ruled that Texas could not stop people of the same sex from engaging in sexual activity.

Today, the Texas Penal Code still states that it is a Class C misdemeanor to engage in "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex" — just after a line explaining that the law is unconstitutional.

Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, says leaving the law on the books creates the potential for abuse."
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Inmates on Facebook? South Carolina Considers Banning Social Media Behind Bars

Inmates on Facebook? South Carolina Considers Banning Social Media Behind Bars | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Let's put it this way: when you get convicted of breaking the law and you go to prison, most of your rights are revoked. There should be no access to cellphones and other forms of communication, such as Facebook and Twitter.

That's just the first point. The second point is that criminals should not have the ability to freely contact the public -- including the people they've harmed.

It's extremely easy to block certain websites. Do it, South Carolina.
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Ron Paul: The Best Income Tax Rate is 0%

Ron Paul is a die-hard libertarian (despite that he's a Republican congressman) and true to his values, he believes in little or NO taxes, isolationism (little or no involvement in international conflicts), and small government. Yes, it's a radical concept, but watch this video. Ron Paul provides an articulate argument.
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Stop it, Oxford English Dictionary. OMG? LOL? Heart? No! - ComPost - The Washington Post

Stop it, Oxford English Dictionary. OMG? LOL? Heart? No! - ComPost - The Washington Post | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
I agree with a lot of the points in this article.

Excerpt:

"Today we learned that it’s added “heart” as a verb, as in “I ♥ NYC,” which pains me to type, “LOL,” “FYI,” and “OMG.” Also “dotbomb” and “ego-surfing,” which, frankly, I have never heard anyone use. It’s like the depressing period when your aunts and uncles went around saying “phat.”

Actually, there is no analogy that fully conveys how terrible this is. It’s like a grandmother who insists on using slang, but worse. It’s like a grandmother wearing glittery makeup and jeggings. It’s like Yoda trying to sext you. It’s like your great-uncle Pete going to see “Never Say Never 3D,” twice. If the OED weren’t a dictionary, I would be worried that it was a pedophile, given that it spends all its time hanging around people hundreds of years younger trying to seem cool. It’s less embarrassing for the person than it is for everyone around him, who remembers what he used to be like."
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Who Sold Libya Its Supermissiles? via Wired

Who Sold Libya Its Supermissiles? via Wired | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if the U.S. somehow had an indirect hand in getting those supermissiles into the hands of Libyans. It's happened before...
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Japanese nuclear plant’s safety analysts brushed off risk of tsunami

Japanese nuclear plant’s safety analysts brushed off risk of tsunami | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"A Japanese government agency that spent several years evaluating the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant declared the facility safe after dismissing concerns from a member of its own expert panel that a tsunami could jeopardize its reactors...

That conclusion left Daiichi vulnerable to what unfolded on March 11, when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s northeast coast. Experts now say that Daiichi, as designed, withstood the quake. It was the ensuing tsunami, with waves more than 20 feet high, that knocked out the facility’s critical backup power supply and triggered a nuclear emergency, resulting in widespread releases of radiation.

The disaster highlights the government’s miscalculation in prioritizing one natural disaster over another and casts scrutiny on a review that more often reaffirmed NISA’s and Tepco’s standards than challenged them."
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Why I Support President Obama's Decision to Invade Libya

Why I Support President Obama's Decision to Invade Libya | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Written by Ed Schultz, host of “The Ed Show” on MSNBC:

"The president's base is angry because we're firing millions of dollars of missiles at Libya instead of investing in America's infrastructure.

On the other side -- the Republicans are hammering the president not because he is not invading the entire Middle East, but because he's not doing it the way they would want to do it.

President Obama has decided on a more focused, realistic approach. He's trying to give the rebels, those who want democracy, a fighting chance at just that and trying to stop Gaddafi -- this is the human thing to do -- from slaughtering his own people.

Please take note that since we started this mission, Gaddafi hasn't been killing civilians, his own people. Does the president get credit for that? Does the coalition get credit for that?

This president, President Obama, has made his choice. And it is his leadership. He inherited Iraq. He inherited Afghanistan. And now, he has made a decision to invade Libya.

As a country, we really don't have much of a stomach for this right now and a lot of us are torn because of all of our needs here at home.

But remember -- and this needs to be pointed out -- there have been no lies told, no fear games played on the American people by President Obama and his administration.

I'm with the president on this one, and I think if it is defined the way he says it is -- limited in scope -- this actually could be a situation where we don't hear from Gaddafi for a long, long time.

So, what I think is going to happen is that we're going to have a Libya with Gaddafi. He might survive this. And then we're going to have a country with rebels who want democracy. This is all about democracy.

This is all about people in Libya wanting the simplicity of freedom.

I'm with the president on this one. As I said, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt."
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Close Reading Al Qaeda's Latest Jihadist Women's eMagazine (Yes, Latest) | Fast Company

"Tips on how to meet a terrorist husband? Ideas for keeping your skin beautiful underneath a niqab? Poetry about the Holy War? Enter the bizarre world of Al Qaeda's newest Cosmo-like magazine for women."
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New Book Raises Question: Was Gandhi Gay? - India Real Time - WSJ

New Book Raises Question: Was Gandhi Gay? - India Real Time - WSJ | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"More than six decades after his death, Mahatma Gandhi remains a polarizing figure—either revered or despised. So the arrival of a new book on him is a chance for those with well-formed unflattering opinions of Gandhi to trot out all his trespasses, as those on the other end of the spectrum leap to his defense.

Which is exactly what they did in reactions to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India,” officially out in the U.S. on Tuesday.

Of course, it’s not often a book on Gandhi—even the many revisionist books, plays and films that have come out in recent years and that have highlighted his unkindness to his wife, his remoteness as a father and his odd ways of testing his sexual self-control—has suggested that he might have been gay, or at least had one gay relationship..."
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Where Marijuana Gets You Higher Education

Where Marijuana Gets You Higher Education | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"On the second floor of the downtown campus, a motley group of students listens to a lecture titled "Palliative and Curative Relief Through a Safe and Effective Herbal Medicine." Not the sexiest of topics on the face of it, but there's a catch: this is Oaksterdam University, and the medicine being discussed is marijuana. At "America's first cannabis college," in Oakland, Calif., the sallow-faced hippy-skater types that one expects to find sit beside middle-aged professionals in business attire, united in their zeal for the pungent green leaf. No one dares speak out of turn, until instructor Paul Armentano, a marijuana-policy expert, cites a news report that U.S. antidrug authorities plan to legalize pot's active ingredient exclusively for drug companies' use. "More stinking profits for Big Business," mumbles a young man wearing a baseball cap. His classmates groan in agreement.

More than 17,000 students have enrolled since Oaksterdam opened in late 2007. The original student body numbered fewer than two dozen people. Most are from the U.S., but others have arrived from as far as Iran and Colombia to get training for the lucrative medical-marijuana industry."
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Is Homosexuality Based on a Brain Chemical?

Is Homosexuality Based on a Brain Chemical? | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"Neuroscientist Yi Rao of Peking University and the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, and his collaborators have now shown that serotonin also underlies a male's decision to woo a female or another male. They published their results in the March 24 issue of the journal Nature.

Rao and his team genetically engineered male mice to lack either serotonin-producing neurons or a protein that is crucial for making serotonin in the brain. Both types of altered mouse couldn't make serotonin.

Unlike typical males, mice deficient in the neurotransmitter showed no inclination to mount sexually receptive females more than males, nor did they prefer to smell females' genital odors or bedding. Instead, they climbed onto males and serenaded them with ultrasonic love songs more frequently than normal. Males emit these vocalizations when they encounter females to make them more receptive to mating.

While all of the males who possessed serotonin mounted females first, nearly half of the mice that lacked serotonin clambered onto males before females, and about 60 percent spent more time sniffing or hovering over the genital odors and bedding from males than from females."
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High-Tech Flirting Turns Explicit, Altering Young Lives

High-Tech Flirting Turns Explicit, Altering Young Lives | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
What's the matter with kids these days??

"One day last winter Margarite posed naked before her bathroom mirror, held up her cellphone and took a picture. Then she sent the full-length frontal photo to Isaiah, her new boyfriend.

Both were in eighth grade.

They broke up soon after. A few weeks later, Isaiah forwarded the photo to another eighth-grade girl, once a friend of Margarite’s. Around 11 o’clock at night, that girl slapped a text message on it.

“Ho Alert!” she typed. “If you think this girl is a whore, then text this to all your friends.” Then she clicked open the long list of contacts on her phone and pressed “send.”

In less than 24 hours, the effect was as if Margarite, 14, had sauntered naked down the hallways of the four middle schools in this racially and economically diverse suburb of the state capital, Olympia. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students had received her photo and forwarded it."
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Arguing the Case Against the Libya Attack, Xtranormal Style [VIDEO]

Arguing the Case Against the Libya Attack, Xtranormal Style [VIDEO] | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Excerpt:

"Perhaps the most cogent argument yet against the U.S.’s recent airstrikes on Libya comes from a cartoon character.

This Xtranormal video, with a decidedly right-leaning point of view, compares President Obama’s decision to bomb Libya with President Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. With close to 100,000 views since it was loaded four days ago, the argument seems to have struck a chord."
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Quotes of the Day: Lindsay Lohan's mother dishes that "Lindsay...

Quotes of the Day: Lindsay Lohan's mother dishes that "Lindsay... | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"...is dropping the Lohan." -- DINA LOHAN

Dude, Lindsay should focus first on "dropping" a lot of other negative things first! #imjustsaying
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Beyond Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, the Middle East Crisis Has Just Begun - WSJ.com

Beyond Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, the Middle East Crisis Has Just Begun - WSJ.com | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Great article via WSJ. Author Robert D. Kaplan essentially makes three points:

1) Middle East society and politics are only getting more chaotic.
2) U.S. and UN involvement in Libya is not a bellwether for how "easy" it will be to launch interventions in the rest of the Middle East.
3) It may be extremely futile and even damaging for the U.S. to be involved.

Excerpt:

"Despite the military drama unfolding in Libya, the Middle East is only beginning to unravel. American policy-makers have been spoiled by events in Tunisia and Egypt, both of which boast relatively sturdy institutions, civil society associations and middle classes, as well as being age-old clusters of civilization where states of one form or another have existed since antiquity. Darker terrain awaits us elsewhere in the region, where states will substantially weaken once the carapace of tyranny crumbles. The crucial tests lie ahead, beyond the distraction of Libya.

The United States may be a democracy, but it is also a status quo power, whose position in the world depends on the world staying as it is. In the Middle East, the status quo is unsustainable because populations are no longer afraid of their rulers. Every country is now in play. Even in Syria, with its grisly security services, widespread demonstrations have been reported and protesters killed. There will be no way to appease the region's rival sects, ethnicities and other interest groups except through some form of democratic representation, but anarchic quasi-democracy will satisfy no one. Other groups will emerge, and they may be distinctly illiberal.

Whatever happens in Libya, it is not necessarily a bellwether for the Middle East. The Iranian green movement knows that Western air forces and navies are not about to bomb Iran in the event of a popular uprising, so it is unclear what lesson we are providing to the region. Because outside of Iran, and with the arguable exceptions of Syria and Libya itself, there is no short-term benefit for the U.S. in democratic revolts in the region. In fact, they could be quite destructive to our interests, even as they prove to be unstoppable."
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To some in Libya, ‘Brother Leader’ Gaddafi still a hero

To some in Libya, ‘Brother Leader’ Gaddafi still a hero | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"To all outward appearances, this is a city deeply enamored of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. His portrait hangs from lampposts, adorns shopping centers and sprouts from the gleaming new office blocks rising from the seafront. Sayings from his Green Book, required reading for all schoolchildren, are posted in government buildings, including public restrooms.

And his supporters, draped in Gaddafi green and clutching pictures of their beloved leader, noisily and passionately assert their presence in near round-the-clock displays of devotion. Hurtling through the streets in pickups or gathering in Tripoli’s central Green Square, they bellow the rhythmic chant that encapsulates the omnipotence of Gaddafi’s self-ascribed role: “God, Moammar, Libya: Enough!”

How deep that support runs in a populace that has been governed by fear for decades is impossible to tell. But six days into the allied bombardment of Libyan military targets, it is clear that Gaddafi can count on the fierce loyalties of at least a significant segment of the population in the vast stretches that lie beyond the enclave of rebel-held territory in the east. "
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Social Security’s possible fate: Done in by its friends

Social Security’s possible  fate: Done in by its friends | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
All the points about Social Security being doomed for those forty and under? Hasn't that been a fact for the last five years? The author of this article talks about social security being in trouble as if this is a new revelation.
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Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly ignites controversy with speech at Islamic charity event

Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly ignites controversy with speech at Islamic charity event | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
Hi people, just a reminder that it's totally uncool to be intolerant in America.

"Speaking outside a community center in nearby Yorba Linda during the February event, Councilwoman Deborah Pauly pointed at the [Islamic] center and said, "What's going on over there right now … that is pure, unadulterated evil."

"I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise," she said. In the video, families with small children can be seen walking into the community center while protesters carrying American flags chant, "Go back home!""

Wow, according to her quote in this article, Pauly sounds like an uneducated hick. And she's in government? Hmmm.
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George W. Lowry's comment, March 27, 2011 1:53 PM
Please always to make a distinction between elected and appointed officials and career civil servants.
In government, generally the higher up the tree, the stupider the monkey.
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Quote of the Day: Joseph Joubert, French essayist

Quote of the Day: Joseph Joubert, French essayist | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it."
--Joseph Joubert, French essayist


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axelletess's comment, March 28, 2011 3:29 PM
ahhah, this statement is definitely french... debating is our thing ...Deciding something else;)
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What Is Beauty? A Plastic Surgeon's Perspective via Huffington Post

What Is Beauty? A Plastic Surgeon's Perspective via Huffington Post | The Unpopular Opinion | Scoop.it
This is actually a very well-balanced article about inner and outer beauty. The author, a plastic surgeon, talks also about his philosophy on plastic surgery as one that accentuates -- not transforms -- a person's existing beauty.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with plastic surgery if it helps boost someone's confidence. It's just when someone takes it too far -- just like anything in life that one doesn't moderate.
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