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Agnosticsherbet

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Diego/Ca/Nuevo Pacifica
Home country: U.S. of A.
Current location: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 2,837

Journal Archives

Science Textbooks Publishers Stand Up To Creationists: We Don’t Publish Fiction

Science Textbooks Publishers Stand Up To Creationists: We Don’t Publish Fiction
In a positive step for a flagging American education system, Texas science textbook publishers are keeping creationism out of their books. All 14 of the publishers who make science textbooks for classrooms in Texas have decided to exclude mention of religiously motivated “creation science” theories.

The Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan organization whose goal it is to promote religious freedom and civil liberties, has reviewed the latest textbooks written for Texas students and submitted to the Texas Education Agency and reports that the textbooks have resisted political pressure to include creationism or Intelligent Design when teaching about the subject of evolution.

In a statement by the Texas Freedom Network, they report their findings:

Materials submitted to the Texas Education Agency and examined by the Texas Freedom Network and university scientists show that publishers are resisting pressure to undermine instruction on evolution in their proposed new high school biology textbooks for public schools. “This is a very welcome development for everyone who opposes teaching phony science about evolution in our kid’s public schools,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. “Texas parents can applaud these publishers for standing up to pressure from politicians and activists who want to put their personal beliefs ahead of giving Texas students a 21st-century science education.” - See more at: http://www.classwarfareexists.com/science-textbooks-publishers-stand-up-to-creationists-we-dont-publish-fiction/#sthash.2ZQGPF6e.dpuf


This is a great step for education. I applaud fighting back against a state government attempting to force religion into education.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 02:52 PM (22 replies)

Fox News Allegedly Pushed Back Criticism With Phony Commenters

Fox News Allegedly Pushed Back Criticism With Phony Commenters
From NPR reporter David Folkenflick's "Murdoch's World," as quoted by Media Matters:


On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked.

We all pretty much knew this was happening. It is good to see this finally getting a little attention.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 01:28 PM (7 replies)

Did the Continuing Resolution change "macro-PROCESS of debt ceiling raises, making them automatic"

"unless both houses pass a bill stopping the automatic hike."
That question was asked by David Brin on Facebook.

Yes, yes I know his name is a dirty word here, but please bear with me.

David Brins' Face book page
All right, this I did not predict. Apparently the bill that was passed last night altered the macro-PROCESS of debt ceiling raises, making them automatic unless both houses pass a bill stopping the automatic hike -- and that will be subject to presidential veto. If this is so -- and my cursory reading may be flawed -- then a major part of last night's action escaped attention from the media. THE major news, in fact. It means there will be no further brushes with default. Period.


He was answered by Doug Van Belle who said:
Just confirmed with Keith Gaddie, Professor of Politics at U Oklahoma and regular commentator on American Electoral Politics, something that David Brin asked about on his FB wall.

Yes, the bill that was passed last night does alter the macro-PROCESS of debt ceiling raises, making them automatic unless both houses pass a bill stopping the automatic hike -- and that will be subject to presidential veto.

Basically, that suicide bomb has been taken out of the hands of the Tea Party


I haven't heard that in the news. In fact, there seems to be some talkin' Smack about doing a part two of the government shut down and debt ceiling crises in January and February. If they did that, then there is no way that the debt ceiling is going to be used ever again.

Just wondering.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 07:47 PM (4 replies)

New Government Shut Down Coming, brought to you by the same fanatics that brought the last.

Conservatives Learned The Wrong Lessons From The Shutdown Debacle
For a certain block of House conservatives, the ones who drove Speaker John Boehner toward a government shutdown and near-default against his will, the lesson of the last few weeks isn't that they overreached. Not that they made unachievable demands, put their leadership in an impossible position, damaged their party's position with the public and left a deep uncertainty about whether the GOP conference can recover and legislate.

No, what they're taking away from the 2013 crisis is: They didn't go far enough.

They aren't angry with Speaker John Boehner for ultimately capitulating to Democratic demands. They're frustrated with their more mainstream colleagues who put him in that position.

Mind boggling isn't it, but the news just keeps coming. Check out this gem from Rep. John C. Fleming (R-LA).
GOP Rep Looks To Next Showdown: 'We’re Going To Start This All Over Again'

Pledging to vote against the plan to re-open the government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until at least Feb. 7, Rep. John C. Fleming (R-LA) indicated that he's already looking toward the next showdown.


“I’ll vote against it,” Fleming said, as quoted by the New York Times. “But that will get us into Round 2. See, we’re going to start this all over again.”

Fleming was one of 144 House members — all Republicans — who voted against the deal that passed both houses of Congress on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he told reporters that Republicans wanted to use the looming debt limit deadline as leverage.

I am heartened at the work done by President Obama, Democrats in the Senate, and those in the House that worked to end this least session of the Cruz Crazies. I am disgusted that there are people in Congress who think Part II, III, IV, or whatever remake of he last crises is going to improve them. Their manufactured crises cost billions to our economy and food out of the mouths of or families. It is hardly over and t hey are out their revving up their engines to get back into what they see as some bizarre ass clowns Game of Thrones.

And I am sick of the notion that poor John Boehner just could not help himself when those big strong muscular studdly men told him to give them whatever they want because it was inevitable. Boehner was a willing participant, and he will be willing the next time.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 11:20 AM (0 replies)

General In Charge Of US Air Force's Nuclear Missiles Fired Over Personal Misbehavior

Source: Bussiness Insider

The top general in charge of the U.S. Air Force's entire arsenal of nuclear weapons has been relieved of his command, The Air Force Times reports.

Two-star Maj. Gen. Michael Carey commanded a total of 450 missiles and 9,600 people at locations across the U.S. as head of the 20th Air Force and Task Force 214.

Gen. James Kowalski, the commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, made the decision following an inspector general’s office investigation into “Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment."


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/general-in-charge-of-nukes-fired-2013-10#ixzz2hR9WaFH6

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/general-in-charge-of-nukes-fired-2013-10



Now, that should make us all feel safe and secure.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Oct 11, 2013, 01:52 PM (6 replies)

Who the hell are the 87 no labels? Well here they are.

At first glance, they seem to be a group of Democratic moderates (some would call them Blue Dogs, Third Way, Conservadems, etc., etc., etc.) and Republican Moderates (Rinos, traitors to the class, socialist wanna bees, Friends of Obama, I am not up on all the derogatory terms Republicans have for groups that are left of the Tea Party) but what they really seem to be is a caucus concerned with controlling spending (Fiscal Matters). There is a stated desire to stop fighting and start fixing, but other than fixing spending problems (fiscal stuff) I don't see a lot about their issues or desires yet.

It is pretty clear that the Republicans are from the center right region of the political spectrum, while Democrats are what would be called centrists or even Center Right like Joe Manchin and Scott Peters.

What this really looks like is that group back in the 60's-80's called Rockefeller Republicans. Most of that group came form the North East and they were fiscally conservative business oriented folk who tended to be more socially liberal. (Think old New England Money, sort of like the old Bogart movie remade with Harrison Ford "Sabrina."

I find that rather than toss invective, it is good to know who these power groups are. There are certainly enough of them so that, like the Tea Party, they could have considerable influence on the way the House does or doesn't''t do its job. Any one now can look at the main site and see if their Congressman is a member of this group.

A list of 52 are below. They do not include co-chairs Evan Bayh, John Huntsman, and Joe Manchin. Clealry form the updated numbers they are a growing faction or Caucus in the House. The claim 87 members now, and are expecting 100 by years end.

Democrats and Republicans Stand United
These 52 members showed up for America: Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ); Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY); Rep. John Barrow (D-GA); Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA); Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA); Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL); Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA); Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX); Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI); Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO); Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN); Rep. Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA); Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX); Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA); Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA); Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA); Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI); Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA); Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI); Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL); Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY); Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR); Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS); Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH); Rep. David Joyce (R-OH); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ); Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA); Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA); Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY); Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA); Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC); Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME); Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC); Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL); Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY); Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA); Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA); Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI); Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC); Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL); Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY); Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI); Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ); Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR); Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ); Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH); Rep. GT Thompson (R-PA); Rep. David Valadao (R-CA); Rep. Todd Young (R-IN)



Now that we have some idea of who these people are, we can cuss them, discuss them, cast invective, or write them and tell them what we think.

Is your Congressman on the list?
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Oct 10, 2013, 11:55 PM (10 replies)

Brain scans show that dogs are as conscious as human children

Brain scans show that dogs are as conscious as human children
By specially training dogs to lie motionless in an fMRI scanner, neuroscientists have finally taken a look inside the mind of our favorite companion animal. And to no dog lover’s surprise, they exhibit a level of awareness that will force us to reconsider the ways in which they’re treated.

There’s a provocative and fascinating opinion article in the New York Times by neuroeconomics professor Gregory Burns where he describes his latest work studying dogs. After training and scanning the brains of dozens of them, he says he’s left with the inescapable conclusion that “dogs are people, too.”
Related

Unlike behavioral analyses, Burns’s work is providing actual neurological evidence that dogs, like so many other animals, experience consciousness and emotions at a level comparable to humans. He did so after training dogs (with the help of Mark Spivak) for months to be comfortable inside fMRI scanners — and having them wear earmuffs to protect their sensitive hearing from the 95 decibels of noise the scanner makes.

Dogs as conscious beings strikes a blow at the religious argument for the origin of consciousness and at the casual misuse and exploitation of dogs for profit. I think the comment that "dogs are people, too" is a bit unscientific. Dogs as conscious beings expands our notion of consciousness.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Oct 7, 2013, 03:56 PM (14 replies)

California GOP Officially Dead

California GOP Officially Dead
At one time in its history, The Golden State was a red state. It is the state from which the tax revolt, popularized by Governor and then President Ronald Reagan, was launched in the United States. Recently, however, the Republican Party in California has been slowly dying.

As reported by The Sacramento Business Journal, Republican registration in the state has dropped seven points over the last decade. This new data from the Public Policy Institute of California shows that 43.9 percent of the registered population are Democrats, but Republican registration has declined to 28.9 percent. In addition, independent voters are more likely to lean Democratic. Four out of 10 independents lean Democratic, versus three out of 10 who lean Republican.

It is now virtually impossible for a Republican to hold statewide office positions such as Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Senator.

One could argue that the California GOP was officially dead since last years election, when the Democrats gained a super majority in both houses, and a Democratic governor and lieutenant governor. Pure Democratic legislation can now be passed in the state with no attention paid to the Republican representatives.

California has a reputation as a bellweather state, and where it goes, so goes the nation.

Once can only hope that a suitable and subtle ceremony can be arranged.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:11 PM (53 replies)

Republican/Libertarian/TeaParty/Conservatives just achieved their wet dream

of putting most of the government workers out of a job and shrinking government to bathtub size. They have left the individual states as the only fully functioning governments. (tenth amendment orgasm) They passed a bill to pay the military, and though it doesn't fund other military enterprises (wargasm) that seems to be one thing they could agree on.

So riddle me this?

What is their incentive to turning the government back on?
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Oct 1, 2013, 02:03 PM (33 replies)

The United States is Now a Failed State.

This may be temporary. Republicans may come to their senses and sing Kumbaya....

Shit, what the hell am I saying.

Will the last elected representative to leave the House please turn out the lights.

Ethiopia, move your ass over. We want a chunk of the Couch.


The above was a statement of my utter disgust.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Oct 1, 2013, 12:25 AM (10 replies)
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