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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: 5,391

Journal Archives

Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic

Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic – Tens of thousands of Muslims are fleeing to neighboring countries by plane and truck as Christian militias stage brutal attacks, shattering the social fabric of this war-ravaged nation.

In towns and villages as well as here in the capital, Christian vigilantes wielding machetes have killed scores of Muslims, who are a minority here, and burned and looted their houses and mosques in recent days, according to witnesses, aid agencies and peacekeepers. Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes.

The cycle of chaos is fast becoming one of the worst outbreaks of violence along Muslim-Christian fault lines in recent memory in sub-Saharan Africa, tensions that have also plagued countries such as Nigeria and Sudan.


The Conversation is dreven by mosters, ISIS, Boko Haram, Atheists, loan wolves, but we should recognize that there are other monsters comitting crimes against humanity.

What is happening in Euope, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq taks the air from the room, but there are other monsters of different faiths. A friend at facebook brought this to my attention and pointed out that it hasn't gained the attention in the same way as ISIS or even Boko Haram.

I wonder why?
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Feb 16, 2015, 11:23 AM (18 replies)

A nation filled with robot pastors’: Evangelists plan to convert atheist computers to Christianity

A nation filled with robot pastors’: Evangelists plan to convert atheist computers to Christianity
hristian evangelists said this week that artificially intelligent (AI) computer brains should be converted from atheism to Christianity.

In an article published on Wednesday, Gizmodo’s Zoltan Istvan pointed out that the world was nearing a point where “autonomous, self-aware super intelligences” created by humans would be part of our culture.

And several pastors and theologians told Istvan that there was no reason that a computer could not be saved by Jesus.

“I don’t see Christ’s redemption limited to human beings,” Providence Presbyterian Church Associate Pastor Dr. Christopher Benek insisted. “If AI is autonomous, then we should encourage it to participate in Christ’s redemptive purposes in the world.”


Can a machine that has no sense of self be saved, other than by clicking "Save."

I want to think that this is a joke. I see no evidence of that.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Feb 5, 2015, 02:36 PM (13 replies)

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

I would take my moral lead from Labour’s 1945 Election manifesto, which seems to me an ideal blend of hope in a better future and determination to bring it about.



However, we have to deal with things now that were not dreamt of then, so I’d begin by cancelling Trident (an absurdly over-powerful weapon for a medium-sized country to wield) and putting the entire nation on a green pathway. The threat of climate change is the biggest potential danger we face, and we seem to have no idea either how important it is or how to stop doing the things that are causing it.

Then I would call a constitutional convention: a gathering of representatives from every section of the population to take a long hard look at the way we are governed, the institutions that control our lives, and the way we can control them. Our electoral system has now passed beyond a joke. Our governments are effectively appointed by the small minority of voters who live in marginal constituencies.

As an American, buried in the slurry of our own political system, I was amazed at what this man had to say. I have no idea if he has a chance of winning, but he does have some interesting, liberal / progressive ideas.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:54 AM (5 replies)

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

(NPR Interview)
Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid
In considering whether to launch a presidential campaign, former Sen Jim Webb of Virginia tells Steve Inskeep his big challenge would be raising money to promote his ideas.


He talked about retuning to the Franklyn Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson roots.

He also said Democrats could "Do a better job with white people."

He said in many cases white voters are being misunderstood as racist.

He wants to give everyone access to the corridor of power regardless of antecedents.

It is an interesting interview, but doesn't give much meat because the really doesn't talk about policies.

Well worth listening to.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Jan 30, 2015, 01:05 PM (42 replies)

Haven't been here in a while. I am working on a Science Fiction Novel.

that will be 80,000 words in length.

The world building is, so far, the most demanding part of the project. I want it to be a close to reality as I can.

What are others here working on?
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Dec 31, 2014, 01:14 AM (10 replies)

The terrorist hacking of Sony, and their capitulation, prove that Capitalists are arrogant cowards

All my life I have been told how courageous, focused, and determined intrepid businessmen and corporations are in their dedicated war to squeeze every Penny, Ruble, Yuan, and Shekel out of consumers.

Put the mother fuckers to the test, and they cut and run.

(There was a tad of hyperbole in the above statement.)

(But only a tad.)
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Dec 18, 2014, 09:52 AM (34 replies)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery for Coronary Blockage

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery for Coronary Blockage

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized after doctors discovered a blockage in her left coronary artery.

Ginsburg "experienced discomfort during routine exercise" on Tuesday evening, according to a statement from the Court.

She underwent coronary catheterization procedure at MedStar Washington Center this morning.

Despite being diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, Ginsburg, appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, has never missed a day of oral arguments due to medical treatment.

The court is set to hear arguments on Monday.


Get well, Justice Ginsburg.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Wed Nov 26, 2014, 12:35 PM (3 replies)

A Takata Airbag Plant In Mexico Blew Up In 2006

A Takata Airbag Plant In Mexico Blew Up In 2006

Editorial note: This story was originally reported by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein and Ben Klayman of Reuters. Business Insider has added additional contextual detail about the Takata recall.

The dusty, industrial town of Ciudad Frontera, Mexico, has moved from the far reaches of the global auto supply chain to the front lines of an investigation into why air bags from Takata Corp are blowing up with lethal force in accidents.

The Takata plant there has been confirmed as the source of defective air bags made in 2001 and 2002 and again around 2012, according to recall records, automakers and regulators. In 2006, the factory blew up, driving home for workers and residents the volatility and risk of the explosive compound at the core of Takata’s air bags.

This is related to the recall. Something rotten in Maquiladora's even then.

Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 09:45 AM (0 replies)

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb
The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.

Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.

Organization of the cortex begins in the second trimester of pregnancy. "So something must have gone wrong at or before that time," says Eric Courchesne, an author of the paper and director of the Autism Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego.

The finding should bolster efforts to understand how genes control brain development and lead to autism. It also suggests that treatment should start early in childhood, when the brain is capable of rewiring to work around damaged areas.


This should help drown the already discredited research of Andrew Wakefield that somehow convinced so many people to refuse to vaccinate their children.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Mar 27, 2014, 03:33 PM (5 replies)

Every President will face a handful of fortuitous or disastrous events

Because the world is in a constant state of change. Massive changes in technology and communication made it easier to off shore jobs and save money for investors and owners at the expense of workers. China did not open the floodgates of cheap labor because of NAFTA. They did so because it made sense within the context of their own society and national agenda and the explosive growth of their own modern industrialization. For the same reason, a growling middle class created by that industrialization has increased the cost of their labor and many of these cheap labor jobs are migrating to other parts of Asia and Africa. Technology makes it cheaper to build a new factory in Sri Lanka or Uganda. This process was actually at work in the 60's with the development of Maquiladoras in Mexico that led to the shipment of jobs from the US. China actually poached a lot of those jobs with the promise of even cheaper labor.

I am not fond of Free Trade agreements, but they are not the only historical current that created todays situation. NAFTA is a symptom of the proliferation of International Corporations who chase poverty so they can use the desire of starving people for any kind of work. Once those workers get a glimmer of hope, the Corporation moves on to the next country because it is better for corporate profits to find the lowest wages possible for everyone but executives, the board of directors, investors, and owners.

The real answer is not bitching about NAFTA. The real answer is a world wide labor movement. Unions need to go international for real and fight for better wages in every country because a raise of $.05 an hour here is impetus for an industry to go where they can pay a worker $.01 for every dollar a worker makes here. As long as Corporations can move to take advantage of cheap labor for a fraction of the cost of transportation, this process will continue. Free Trade agreements are only a tiny fraction of that process, and they are not the cause of it.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:08 PM (0 replies)
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