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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,748

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Nice Scoop: Iran-backed rebels in Yemen loot secret files about U.S. spy operations

Secret intelligence files held by Yemeni security forces and containing details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism operations, U.S. officials say.

U.S. intelligence officials believe additional files were handed directly to Iranian advisors by Yemeni officials who have sided with the Houthi militias that seized control of the capital of Sana last September and later toppled the U.S.-backed president.

For American intelligence networks in Yemen, the damage has been severe. Until recently, U.S. forces deployed in Yemen had worked closely with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government to track and kill Al Qaeda operatives, and President Obama hailed Yemen six months ago as a model for counter-terrorism operations.


It's stuff like this that made the Founding Fathers separate Church & State


Letterman Asks O'Reilly: How Are You Not Like Brian Williams?

"It comes down to the same thing, with you and Brian," Letterman said near the end of the interview, referencing Williams, whom he called a friend.

"Trust is the residue of both positions," he went on. "So people must trust you to the same degree — they might disagree with you — but they must trust you the same way they trust Brian Williams."

"I've been on the air 19 seasons, 15 years at number one," O'Reilly answered. "Our ratings now are as high as they've ever been, so I think they do trust me and I'm glad they do."

truth does not matter, it's all about "the ratings"

OPEN LETTER: Leading Scientists Tell the Nation's Museums to Sever Ties with the Koch Brothers

An Open Letter to Museums from Members of the Scientific Community
March 24, 2015

To Museums of Science and Natural History:

As members of the scientific community we devote our lives to understanding the world, and sharing this understanding with the public. We are deeply concerned by the links between museums of science and natural history with those who profit from fossil fuels or fund lobby groups that misrepresent climate science.

Museums are trusted sources of scientific information, some of our most important resources for educating children and shaping public understanding.

The Code of Ethics for Museums, adopted in 1991 by the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums, states:

“It is incumbent on museums to be resources for humankind and in all their activities to foster an informed appreciation of the rich and diverse world we have inherited. It is also incumbent upon them to preserve that inheritance for posterity.”

“Museums are grounded in the tradition of public service. They are organized as public trusts, holding their collections and information as a benefit for those they were established to serve…Museums and those responsible for them must do more than avoid legal liability, they must take affirmative steps to maintain their integrity so as to warrant public confidence. They must act not only legally but also ethically.”

We are concerned that the integrity of these institutions is compromised by association with special interests who obfuscate climate science, fight environmental regulation, oppose clean energy legislation, and seek to ease limits on industrial pollution.

For example, David Koch is a major donor, exhibit sponsor and trustee on the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and the American Museum of Natural History. David Koch’s oil and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries is one of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Mr. Koch also funds a large network of climate-change-denying organizations, spending over $67 million since 1997 to fund groups denying climate change science.

When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge. This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.

Drawing on both our scientific expertise and personal care for our planet and people, we believe that the only ethical way forward for our museums is to cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry and funders of climate science obfuscation.

With concern,

1. James Hansen, Climatologist; former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

2. James Powell, Geochemist; former President of the Franklin Museum of Science and former President and Director of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

3. Bob Corell, Climatologist; Head of US Office for the Global Energy Assessment; former Assistant Director for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation.

4. Kevin E Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Lead Author 2001 and 2007 IPCC report which won a Nobel Prize.

5. Danny Harvey, Professor of Geography and Climatology, University of Toronto, IPCC Convening Lead Author and Lead Author; Deputy Editor of Climatic Change.

6. Eric Chivian, founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. Co-founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

7. Henry Pollack, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at the University of Michigan. Advisor to the National Science Foundation, IPCC member.

8. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology; Director, Earth System Science Center, The Pennsylvania State University.

9. Joseph J. Romm, Physicist, Climatologist; former Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy; founder and editor of Climate Progress.

10. George Woodwell, Ecologist; Founder and Director Emeritus, Woods Hole Research Center.

11. Calvin B. DeWitt, Environmental Scientist, Co-founder of the Evangelical Environmental Network, President of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists, and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

12. Dr Stuart Parkinson, Climatologist; Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility, UK

13. Jason Box, Climatologist, Professor of Glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Co-author of 2007 IPCC report which won a Nobel Prize.

14. Mike MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute.

15. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia

16. Robert R. Janes, Ph.D. , Archaleologist, Museologist, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Museum Management and Curatorship

17. Matt Lappe, Paleoclimatologist, Environmental Hydrologist, Executive Director, Alliance for Climate Education.

18. Greg Laden, Paleoanthropologist, Independent Scholar, Writer at National Geographic Scienceblogs.

19. Sarah Kornbluth, Biologist; Affiliate of Bee Database Project, American Museum of Natural History and Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers University

20. Dr Simon L Lewis, Reader, Global Change Science, at University College London and University of Leeds.

21. Roger Fouquet, Principal Research Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

22. Brad Johnson, Science writer; MS geosciences, MIT

23. Emmanuel Vincent, Assistant Project Scientist at the University of California, Merced

24. Jonathan Oppenheim, Professor of Quantum Theory, University College London. Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

25. David Webb; Emeritus Professor; Previously Professor of Engineering, Leeds Metropolitan University

26. Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick, Physicist, University College London

27. Scott A. Mandia, Asst. Chair /Professor – Physical Sciences, Suffolk County Community College

28. Mona Mehdy, Molecular biologist, faculty at University of Texas at Austin

29. Judith S. Weis, Professor Emerita, Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

30. Jonathan Tunik, Former Evaluation Studies Associate for the American Institute of Physics.

31. Aerin Jacob, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Applied Conservation Science Lab, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

32. Shaun Lovejoy, Professor of Physics, McGill University, Canada, formerly at the Climate Diagnostics Centre of NOAA

33. Lindy Weilgart, Professor of Biology, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada

34. Dr. Sophie Levina, MD, PhD and Doctor of Medical Sciences.

35. Dr. Susan Spencer, Solar Scientist, Founder/President of ROCSPOT.org

36. Erika Crispo, PhD, Evolutionary Ecologist and Biologist, Pace University, NYC

37. Lucky Tran, PhD, Biologist, University of Cambridge

38. Damian Alexander Stanley, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, California Institute of Technology

39. Hanah Chapman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, CUNY

40. Dr. John Abraham, University of St. Thomas, School of Engineering

41. Mark Mason PhD, former primate evolution researcher, UC Berkeley


Graham Blames Gore for GOP Inaction on Climate

weasel words:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blamed Al Gore in a speech for the fact that “people of my party are all over the board” when it comes to thinking climate change is real.

Said Graham: “I said that it’s real, that man has contributed to it in a substantial way. But the problem is Al Gore’s turned this thing into religion. You know, climate change is not a religious problem for me, it’s an economic, it is an environmental problem.”


Inaugural 2017

Jon Stewart Knows How To Paint A Picture


Automatic voter registration sought in California

Automatic voter registration sought in California
03/24/2015 1:24 PM 03/24/2015 2:17 PM

Every eligible Californian would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Alex Padilla is exploring.

“If government knows who’s here, who’s 18, who’s a citizen, why go through hoops?” Padilla said in an interview. “Let’s just register folks automatically.”

The proposal follows Oregon’s new, first-in-the-nation policy sending ballots to every citizen who has made contact with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Padilla was elected to his post last year after a campaign in which he vowed to expand California’s often-miniscule voter participation rates. In addition to the many voters who stay home on Election Day, Padilla’s office estimated that nearly 7 million people eligible to vote have not signed up to do so.

Since federal law already requires Department of Motor Vehicles offices to give customers the option of registering, Padilla said, it would be logical to make the registration automatic. Other state agencies that retain information showing eligibility could potentially perform the same function, he said, and the law would ideally allow people to opt out.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article16200185.html#storylink=cpy




NYT Editorial: Best Alternative to Violent Confrontation = 2 States Living Side By Side

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dealt a grievous blow to a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, for baldly political reasons, the idea of two states living side by side in that region remains the best alternative to violent confrontation and should not be allowed to die.

Since negotiations seem impossible, President Obama has told Mr. Netanyahu that the United States would have to “reassess our options.” Obama administration officials say that could mean support for a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a sovereign Palestine along the pre-1967 lines that divided Israel from the West Bank and Gaza. At a minimum, the administration should not veto a resolution that is expected to be proposed by France and other permanent council members.

In recent years, peace proposals advanced by the United States and others have focused on agreed upon land swaps that would let Israel retain some settlements while compensating Palestinians with land that is reciprocal in quantity and quality. In a Palestinian state, security forces would be used only to maintain internal security and the rule of law. The two states would refrain from alliances that bring them into conflict. Palestinian refugees would have the right of return to Palestine, a limited number would be permitted to unite with families in Israel. Jerusalem would be open to all but also shared in some way.

A clear Security Council statement in favor of a two-state solution would be an important benchmark. If the United States and other major powers quickly show commitment to that approach, they might be able to keep Palestinians from pressing a complaint against Israel in the International Criminal Court. The Palestinians, who will join the court on April 1, have long argued for an investigation of Israeli “war crimes.” Israel vehemently opposes action by the court, which would poison relations even more and alienate many Americans.

the rest:
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