Thursday, April 2, 2015

Scientology Did It. How Do You Make Your Religion ‘Real’?

Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear, which probes into the notoriously opaque and controversial Church of Scientology, aired on HBO Sunday night to an eruption of positive reviews and social media exultation.

In weighing the relative merits of the film and the assiduously researched book upon which it is based, one moment from the movie stands out for its cinematic impact: Scientology leader David Miscavige, standing alone in the center of a stage in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, before an audience of 10,000, exclaiming: “The war is over!” while fireworks explode all around him.

The “war” Miscavige refers to is the 26-year campaign waged by the church against the IRS, using private investigators to discredit the agency and inundating it with litigation.…

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Judge Rules Navy Underestimated Threat To Marine Mammals From Sonar

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

A federal judge has ruled in favor of environmentalists who assert the Navy has vastly underestimated the threat to marine mammals posed by its use of sonar and explosives during training off Southern California and Hawaii.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway in Hawaii ruled Tuesday that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated environmental laws when it decided that the Navy’s training would have a “negligible impact” on whales, dolphins, other mammals, and sea turtles.

The ruling appears to set the stage for an appeal or for the Navy to resubmit its application to the fisheries service for a permit.…

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Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions In California

By Matt Stevens And Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LAKE TAHOE, California — California Governor Jerry Brown, standing on a patch of brown grass in the Sierra Nevada that is usually covered with several feet of snow, on Wednesday announced the first mandatory water restrictions in California history.

“It’s a different world,” he said. “We have to act differently.”

Brown was on hand Wednesday as state officials took stock of historically abysmal levels of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada amid the state’s grinding drought.

Brown ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water usage by 25 percent.…

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