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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: 2,695

Journal Archives

Network Solutions is undergoing a Distributed Denial of Service Attack

I use Network Solutions and have had problems reaching my website and can not even log on to Manage my account. Their phone support technician explained that they are undergoing a Distributed Denial of Service Attack and that they are doing all they can to fix the problem.

I am so relieved.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:04 PM (0 replies)

There are 1,931 private companies working on intelligence, counterterrorism, or

or homeland security in the country (http://www.businessinsider.com/booz-allen-confirms-edward-snowden-as-employee-2013-6#ixzz2VmKbPJPi)

Is is possible that number might be a little high?

Considering that our government is dysfunctional, incapable of finding solutions to problems that as many as 80% of American's support (taxing the rich for instance), how can they solve a problem that stretches through every branch. They can not provide the necessary oversight for so many private corporations when they fail completely at providing oversight on Government bureaus.

Both Democrats and Republican Senators and Congressmen knew about these programs and never questioned them. It is their job to provide oversight of the Federal government. But they failed at that.

Our government is dysfunctional. It has allied itself with a corporations whose vested interest is to see that these huge, expensive, and possibly unconstitutional programs continue. I question whether there is anyone in our government that we can trust to do anything about it. The Judicial Branch can not act outside the courts and can not investigate on their own. The Congress has the power of oversight of the federal government. What they do with that power is run endless trumped up investigations of nonexistent scandals when there is a real scandal running that they know about and are part of.

I do not see anyone we can trust in our government to act in the peoples interest instead of serving the interest of their own power.

Do you?



Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sun Jun 9, 2013, 11:29 PM (11 replies)

Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-edison-closing-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-20130607,0,7920425.story
Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good
Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good
Southern California Edison announced Friday it would shut down the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant.


The move comes 17 months after the San Onofre plant was closed because of problems in steam generator systems. The plant powered about 1.4 million households in Southern California before the outage.

Until now, Edison had vowed to restart the plant. But the company released a statement Friday saying it would stop the process to fire up the plant.

---SNIP___

"We have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs," said Ted Craver, chairman and chief executive of Edison International, parent company of SCE.

Of course, the paps of Southern California Edison will still be there for a good while, because decommissioning takes a long time, and because they will have to store Nuclear Material there until a permanent storage solution is found, which will be seven days after the Twelfth of Never what with all the NIMBYISM in this country. But it won't be operating. According to NPR, they have 90% of the 2 billion dollars necessary to decommission the place in a fund. Most of the people working there will be joining the ranks of the unemployed.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Sat Jun 8, 2013, 05:41 PM (3 replies)

Study: A Little Forethought Can Cure the Urge Toward "Mindless Accumulation"

Study: A Little Forethought Can Cure the Urge Toward "Mindless Accumulation"
At the beginning of the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes made a bold but logical prediction (pdf): In the long run, humanity was solving its economic problems, so that by 2030, in "progressive countries," a 15-hour work week would be the norm. Now, 17 years short of 2030, the world seems to have fulfilled Keynes' prophecy that we would be eight times better off economically than they were when he was writing. So where is the leisure he foresaw? Why are we all still working like fiends? In this paper, Christopher K. Hsee and his co-authors suggest that at least part of the explanation is psychological. Where rational economic creatures would work until they had earned enough to satisfy their needs, Homo sapiens has a propensity for "mindless accumulation": Working until you can't work any more, thereby earning way more than you need. In a series of lab experiments, the researchers write, they've isolated this tendency to "overearning" and found hints of a possible cure.

In their first experiment, 29 women and 26 men were each put in front of a computer monitor with a headset, on which pleasant piano music would play. For the next five minutes, the volunteer had a choice: Keep listening (ie, enjoy a bit of leisure time), or push a key and hear an irritating sound for a fifth of a second. For this annoying task (ie, work), they would be rewarded with a miniature Dove bar. Half the group was told it would take 20 noises to earn one chocolate; the other half got a much lower wage: 120 noises for one chocolate. In the second half of the experiment, the volunteers got their "pay" and could eat as much of it as they pleased. But, as in life, they couldn't take any chocolate with them when they left. So the volunteers had a clear incentive to "work" for as much chocolate as they could enjoy in the lab, and no reason to work for more.

Nonetheless, those in the high-wage group (one chocolate for 20 noises) "overearned" by a wide margin: As a whole, they worked enough to get nearly 11 Dove candies per person, even though they actually ate less than five per person. (There was an outlier—one hungry loon who earned 50 chocolates and ate 28 of them—which created some odd statistics but didn't alter the overall results.) Meanwhile, the low-wage people (one chocolate for 120 noises) earned only an average of two and a half Dove bars each. This was, nonetheless, more than they wanted to eat; they too left some chocolate on the table.

So, the experimenters write, they've shown that their volunteers will work earn more than they need, piling up chocolate that they'll never eat. And this tendency was much more pronounced in the "high-wage" group.

This fascinating study found what appears to be a drive in modern populations to earn more than they will ever need, even though it doesn't make them happy. Read it through and you will find that they also found that, with proper framing, people can be convinced to stop earning once they've earned enough and be happy.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri May 24, 2013, 04:41 PM (0 replies)

Where's all the money gone?

Where's all the money gone?]
Outside the United States, the Pentagon controls a collection of military bases unprecedented in history. With US troops gone from Iraq and the withdrawal from Afghanistan underway, it's easy to forget that we probably still have about 1,000 military bases in other peoples' lands. This giant collection of bases receives remarkably little media attention, costs a fortune, and even when cost cutting is the subject du jour, it still seems to get a free ride.

With so much money pouring into the Pentagon's base world, the question is: Who's benefiting?

Some of the money clearly pays for things like salaries, health care, and other benefits for around one million military and Defense Department personnel and their families overseas. But after an extensive examination of government spending data and contracts, I estimate that the Pentagon has dispersed around US$385 billion to private companies for work done outside the US since late 2001, mainly in that baseworld. That's nearly double the entire State Department budget over the same period, and because Pentagon and government accounting practices are so poor, the true total may be significantly higher.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to such contracts and given our recent wars, the top two countries into which taxpayer dollars flowed were Afghanistan and Iraq (around US$160 billion). Next comes Kuwait ($37.2 billion), where the military has had a significant presence since the first Gulf War of 1990-1991, followed by Germany ($27.8 billion), South Korea ($18.2 billion), Japan ($15.2 billion), and Britain ($14.7 billion).

With Republicans hyperventilating about overspending, when they are not making up scandals on the fly, that is certainly a chunk of change poured down the rat hole of the big business of national defense. It is way past time we packed up and brought the boys home.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue May 21, 2013, 12:05 AM (3 replies)

The Extinction Protocol Weird Smelly Mystery Foam Oozes Through Cracks

The Extinction Protocol Weird Smelly Mystery Foam Oozes Through Cracks
May 14, 2013 – CHINA – Something very strange started oozing out of the streets in the Chinese city of Nanjing on Saturday night. Generally, when weird things start erupting from the ground in Asian countries it’s in the form of a giant b-movie monster, but this invasion was a whole lot realer, and a whole lot smellier. At around 9PM, pedestrians began to notice the pavement at the Wende Baiyun Lane cross intersection started to crack and split open, and before long, a foamy white substance was spewing from the cracks, brimming with it a foul-smelling stench. Within a short time, the foam had spread to a 50 meter radius and stood a foot high.

China continues to suffer the consequences of runaway industrial development. Today, Godzilla Poop, tomorrow, who knows?
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu May 16, 2013, 11:59 AM (5 replies)

Palestine Palestinian Journalist Jailed for Abbas Photo

Palestinian Journalist Jailed for Abbas Photo
(RAMALLAH, West Bank) — A West Bank appeals court on Thursday upheld a one-year prison term for a Palestinian journalist who had a photo on his Facebook page that authorities claimed portrayed President Mahmoud Abbas as a traitor, rights activists said.

It was the second such case in two months, and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is facing mounting criticism for stifling dissent. In particular, Abbas’ security forces have targeted supporters of the Islamic militant Hamas, which seized the Gaza Strip from him in 2007.

The defendant in Thursday’s case was Mamdouh Hamamreh, a reporter for the Hamas-linked Al-Quds TV.

It seems freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the West Bank are non-existant
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Mar 29, 2013, 05:54 PM (3 replies)

Bill Would Force Calif. Gun Owners To Buy Insurance

Bill Would Force Calif. Gun Owners To Buy Insurance
SACRAMENTO (AP) — Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation Tuesday that would require California gun owners to buy liability insurance to cover damages or injuries caused by their weapons.

Similar bills have been introduced in other states after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. They include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York.

“I was moved, like many others, being the father of two young children, by the Sandy Hook incident and looking for constructive ways to manage gun violence here in California as well as the rest of the country,” said Assemblyman Philip Ting of San Francisco, who introduced AB231 along with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. “There’s basically a cost that is born by the taxpayers when accidents occur. … I don’t think that taxpayers should be footing those bills.”

Requiring gun owners to be responsible for their actions is a great first step.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:36 PM (211 replies)

Obama is a Democrat, and the Democratic Party courts liberals as major constituency but,

parties change over time. Until WWI, the Democratic Party was not liberal. By the time of Truman, when Blacks were allowed in the Party, we had moved to a center left, with a strong racist southern constituency. Northeaster Republicans were more socially liberal than many in the Democratic Party. When Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he lost the South. Nixon's Southern strategy brought Southern Democrats into the Republican fold and Reagan completed that process, turning Reagan Democrats into a Republican South. With Reagan, Northeastern socially liberal Republicans began to move to the Democratic Party. This process ended with Obama as the North East is heavily Democratic and socially liberal.

The entire country shifted right from Nixon through Bush. Even Jimmy Carter was a Social liberal fiscal Democrat a bit to the right of Johnson. Clinton was to the right of Carter. Oh, he tried a few liberal things higher taxes, and bringing gays more into the mainstream. (At the time, don't ask don't tell was considered an abomination in the sight of God. I lived through it, in the military. It lasted too long.) But Clinton's fiscal policies and deregulation were comfortably Reaganist.

2006 began the move back toward the left in reaction to massive Bush and Republican mismanagement. Obama is not a liberal in classic political terms, or even compared to Johnson or Kennedy. But he has moved us back a bit to the left in social issues. The Affordable Care Act, (a thoroughly Republican plan circa 1990), revealing that the Republicans had moved so far right that they could not even agree with solid Republican Policy of the 90's. He was slow to accept gay marriage, but finally ended Don't Ask Don't Tell and does not defend DOMA. He has appointed center left Justices. He continues the Imperial policies of Bush (foreign wars,war on terror, interventionist, spying on American Citizens) and has claimed the right to kill American Citizens without due process.

He sits, I think, at the center of American Politics, which would be center right under Bush, more than Center Right under Clinton, Right under Reagan, etc. etc. The momentum of the American public is left now. President Obama can slow that down by fighting it or help it along by going with the public.

He is still limited by what will pass the most right wing Republican Party in history. This isn't going to change until, at least, January of 2015, and only if we elect a Democratic Congress.

He was the only choice. Even if Hillary Clinton won the nomination, there would have been little difference. Republicans would have been as intransigent under her as they have been under Obama. No more liberal candidate was in the running.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:27 PM (0 replies)

Let the re-branding begin...

What some call the "battle for the head of the party" (Republican party that is), and others a "civil war" has an interesting front, the attempt to re-brand their party.

Yes, yes, I know it won't work hear, but they don't give a damn what we think and know it wouldn't work anyway. You can see this re-branding effort with people like Jeb Bush (don' laugh! All right, laugh and get out of your system). Now that you've cleaned off your screen and cleansed your drawers of the residue of mirth, just give me a moment. The Bush's actually tried to attract Latino voters to the Republican Party and did not stand four square behind shipping all those foreigners who fail the white test back over the border. People like Jeb Bush, Christie (don't let his gratitude for the President's work at getting help for Ne Jersey fool you.), Rick Perry, and hispanic Republican Latinos, and especially Marco Rubio will be at the center of re-branding Republicanism to make it a more attractive lipstick embellished pig for Latino voters.

This will require shit-canning, actually concealing under a lot of lipstick, the tea-party contingent.

How well this will go is anybodies guess.

But it is a process that we should all watch, with popcorn and interest.
Posted by Agnosticsherbet | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:08 PM (0 replies)
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