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Bradical79

Profile Information

Name: Brad
Gender: Male
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Columbus, Ohio
Member since: Tue Mar 23, 2010, 02:21 PM
Number of posts: 1,719

About Me

I'm an underemployed 32 year old man studying computer science when I can. I used to be an evangelical Christian, but those beliefs gradually eroded over the course of the Bush presidency (particularly as the Iraq war dragged on) which led me to study more and look at my faith more critically. Socially, I believe in equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or religion. I do very strongly believe in separation of church and state, and the protection of our constitutional rights. Even though my experience with church was very positive and I miss it very much, I think strong criticism and examination of religion is very much warranted. Economically, I suppose I'm fairly moderate. I'm not anti-capitalist, but I do see great value in some socialist policies like universal healthcare, and social security. Like a lot of Americans, my economic education has been pretty weak and I'm only now starting to take formal economic focused courses in school. I'm sure my view will evolve based on more education and research. In my personal life I have an extremely wide range of interests. I used to be an accomplished athlete in my sport, but my health took a nosedive in my 20's. Right now I'm most interested in regaining my health, learning the ins and outs of computer science, working on my writing, and figuring out how to best use what skills I have to improve my life and the life of others.

Journal Archives

Toomey, Portman Hurt By Supreme Court Stance

New Public Policy Polling surveys of Pennsylvania and Ohio find that both Pat Toomey and Rob Portman are suffering from very weak approval numbers as they seek reelection to the Senate. Furthermore voters in their states, by wide margins, want the vacancy on the Supreme Court to be filled this year. Their opposition to even considering a replacement for Antonin Scalia has the strong potential to put them in even worse standing with voters than they are already.

Key findings from the survey include:

-Only 29% of voters approve of the job Toomey is doing to 40% who disapprove, and just 30% approve of the job Portman is doing to 39% who disapprove. They’re both very much in the danger zone for reelection based on those low approval numbers. One thing complicating their path to reelection is how bad the overall brand of Senate Republicans is. Mitch McConnell has a 13/56 approval rating in Pennsylvania, and a 14/57 one in Ohio. His extreme unpopularity is going to be a weight on his party’s incumbents running across the country.

-Strong majorities of voters- 58/35 in Ohio and 57/40 in Pennsylvania- think that the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. What’s particularly noteworthy about those numbers- and concerning for Portman and Toomey- is how emphatic the support for approving a replacement is among independent voters. In Ohio they think a new Justice should be named this year 70/24 and in Pennsylvania it’s 60/37. Those independent voters are going to make the difference in these tight Senate races, and they have no tolerance for obstructionism on the vacancy.

-Voters are particularly angry about Senators taking the stance that they’re not going to approve anyone before even knowing who President Obama decides to put forward. By a 76/20 spread in Pennsylvania and a 74/18 one in Ohio, voters think the Senate should wait to see who is nominated to the Court before deciding whether or not to confirm that person. Toomey and Portman are out of line even with their own party base on that one- Republicans in Pennsylvania think 67/27 and in Ohio think 63/32 that the Senate should at least give President Obama’s choice a chance before deciding whether or not to confirm them.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/02/toomey-portman-hurt-by-supreme-court-stance.html

30% of science teachers give misinformation about climate change

SCIENTIFIC METHOD / SCIENCE & EXPLORATION
30 percent of science teachers give misinformation about climate change
Kids get on average a single hour of (often wrong) instruction on the subject.
by Annalee Newitz - Feb 11, 2016 3:05pm EST

Though roughly 95 percent of scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans, you might not know it if you were learning about the environment in middle school or high school. In a recent randomized study of thousands of science teachers, a group of US researchers found that nearly a third of teachers tell students that the current observed trends in global climate change are "natural."

Published today in the journal Science, the results of the study reveal that science education on the subject is unevenly distributed. Teachers are all over the map when it comes to what they're teaching about climate change, with 30 percent telling students that "recent global warming 'is likely due to natural causes,'" and another 12 percent not emphasizing potential human causes of climate change. Additionally, 31 percent of teachers appeared to be giving students "mixed messages," teaching that Earth's climate changes could be caused by humans or by natural processes.

Making this scenario even more dismal is the fact that the average teacher only devotes one or two hours to climate change in their lesson plans. That means many students will graduate from high school having been exposed to perhaps only a single hour of teaching about climate change, which is arguably one of the most important drivers of both economic and scientific transformation in our time.


http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/30-percent-of-science-teachers-give-misinformation-about-climate-change/

Black people aren't ignorant / "Yes She Can"

Reposting from my locked thread in GD:

While this is very much related to the primaries, I hope the hosts will indulge me in letting me post my message here where more people will see it. I wanted to respond to something I've seen that I think goes beyond the fever over the primaries to a more troublesome attitude in general. It's this idea that the majority of black voters showing a preference that is difficult for some white people to understand is simply the result of ignorance. While I shared some confusion myself over why Clinton would receive such strong support dispite the numerous gaffes of '08 and damaging decisions of her husband, the idea that all these black potential voters were simply ignorant of these issues that deeply affect them on a direct personal level was laughable to me. I went searching online and found this article/essay from Michael Eric Dyson written in November that caught my attention and really helped this Bernie supporter understand a different sophisticated perspective. Some may not like the source, and I really know little of the author. But I found this piece very well written, thought it brought a sophisticated argument to the table, and contained a depth of content that goes deeper than simply advocating for a particular candidate.

I know there are a wide variety of reasons and rationale for a black person to support one candidate over the other (and a lot have decided Bernie is the better choice), but I really liked how this piece incorporated multiple perspectives and history.

Please read in its entirety before responding, and I apologize in advance if I didn't pick the 3 most interesting paragraphs to highlight. I'm writing on a cheap tablet, and my dad is calling me for dinner (want to post before I lose what I'be writtten, lol). Lastly, I hope my fellow Bernie supporters on this site aren't to mad at me for posting a pro-Clinton article that really spoke to me.

Yes She Can

Why Hillary Clinton will do more for black people than Obama
BY MICHAEL ERIC DYSON

NOVEMBER 29, 2015

There is good reason to be skeptical about Hillary Clinton and race. It’s never been anything explicit, necessarily, but she has sinned in the realm of signification, the place where innuendo and plausible deniability live. Let us start with her first presidential campaign in 2008, and the infamous “3 a.m. phone call” television ad that so spooked folks in the nation’s white hinterland. “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep,” a concerned narrator intoned. “Who do you want answering the phone?”

...
All of which leaves us with an important question: What can Hillary Clinton do for black people as president? She possesses neither her husband’s performative charisma with black folk, nor Obama’s undeniable blackness. She must instead wield the sort of power that politicians would, in a better world, solely rely on: public policy. If we were betrayed by Bill Clinton, and suffered dashed hopes under Obama, maybe, just maybe, we will get from Hillary Clinton what we most need and truly deserve: a set of political practices and policies that reinforce the truth that black lives must, and do, finally matter.

...
In New York, when I asked Clinton what policies her administration would put forth to help black folk, she effortlessly rattled them off: She spoke of redirecting federal resources to local and state law enforcement. She spoke about black unemployment, a subject Obama has hardly acknowledged, the school-to-prison pipeline, which, she said, “often starts because black kids get suspended and expelled at a much higher rate.” She talked about creating “real alternatives to incarceration” for black people, adding that “we don’t want them being put into the prison system for nonviolent, low-level offenses, but we also don’t want them just thrown out on the street. There’s got to be a much better array of services that is available for people to try to get their own lives on the right track.” She touted community empowerment and “the use of the federal dollar to try to support small businesses, which are still the backbone of most African American communities”; she advocated job-training programs, addiction services, mental health treatment: the meat, the substance.


https://newrepublic.com/article/124391/yes-she-can
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