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Michael Schulson – The Sex Scandal Following Whole Foods’ Guru

Over the holidays, the New York Times ran a punishing profile of Marc Gafni, an ex-rabbi who reinvented himself as a New Age spiritual leader. A founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom and organizer of the Success 3.0 Summit, Gafni has built a New Age brand around two trademark concepts—Unique Self and Outrageous Love—which, like much of “Integral Theory,” seems to draw from …

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LISA WADE – Millennials’ Tolerance for Shutting Down Free Speech

This November, a wave of student activism drew attention to the problem of racism at colleges and universities in the United States. Sparked by protests at the University of Missouri, nicknamed Mizzou, we saw actions at dozens of colleges. It was a spectacular show of strength and solidarity and activists have won many concessions, including new funding, resignations, and promises …

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Guillaume LAVALLE – Pakistan facing climate ‘calamity’ if warnings go unheeded

Karachi, 2050: The sprawling megacity lies crumbling, desiccated by another deadly heatwave, its millions of inhabitants suffering life-threatening water shortages and unable to buy bread that has become too expensive to eat. It sounds like the stuff of dystopian fiction but it could be the reality Pakistan is facing. With its northern glaciers melting and its population surging — the …

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Leid Stories – 09.28.15

Holier Than Thou: The Role of Religion in the 2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential race has unleashed a devil’s brew of marketing ploys—chief among them a distinctly nativist “American Christian” religiosity.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), was the first to tout his evangelical credentials to the [self-] righteous. In early April, in a bid to woo evangelicals, his campaign ran a 30-second spot, titled “Blessing,” in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada—the states with the earliest primaries.

In the ensuing months, the candidates’ religious beliefs, and religion as a whole, have featured prominently in media coverage of the presidential campaign. Leid Stories discusses the role of religion in shaping electoral choices.

Islamic State: why so resilient? – PAUL ROGERS

Ten years after the attacks in London on 7 July 2005 (7/7) and nearly fourteen years after those in New York on 11 September 2001 (9/11) which provoked the “war on terror”, there is no end in sight to this long conflict. Today, the proto-caliphate of Islamic State – the latest manifestation of the al-Qaida idea – has done more than just …

Ben Gurion’s 1948 Letter: The Ethnic Cleansing Policy and Palestinians “Right of Return” By Jonathan Cook

Over many decades, Israel’s self-serving deceptions about the Nakba in 1948 have been exposed for the lies Palestinians already knew them to be. It was long accepted in the west that, as Israel claimed, Palestinians left their homes because they had been ordered to do so by neighbouring Arab leaders. The lie usefully distracted diplomats and scholars from the much more pertinent question of why Israel had refused to allow 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return to …

The U.S. Encouragement of Fanatic Islamism in the Arab World – GARY LEUPP

A beautiful essay posted on Medium.com, entitled “A Marine in Syria: Silhouettes of Beauty and Coexistence before the Devastation” by Brad Hoff, draws our attention to what for the warmongers in Washington is a highly inconvenient truth: the secular dictatorships in the Middle East the U.S. has sought to destroy since 9/11 (including most recently that of Libya) have been far more tolerant towards …