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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

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Sorry, Haters: 'Derp' is a Useful Term, and It's Here to Stay


Sorry, Haters: 'Derp' is a Useful Term, and It's Here to Stay

By Josh Barro, June 5, 2013, 10:15 am

- snip -

But now we have a rigorous definition of derp, thanks to Prof. Noah Smith. Turns out that derp is actually a Bayesian probability concept:


Panel: US Should Let Nature Cull Wild Horse Herds

Source: Associated Press


— Jun. 5 1:16 PM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A scathing independent scientific review of wild horse roundups in the West concludes the U.S. government should likely instead let nature cull the herds.

A 14-member panel assembled by the National Science Academy's National Research Council, at the request of the Bureau of Land Management, concluded BLM's removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.

By stepping in prematurely when food and water supplies remain adequate, and with most natural predators long gone, the land management agency is producing artificial conditions that ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth, the committee said Wednesday in a 451-page report recommending more emphasis on a variety of methods of fertility control to keep horse numbers in check.

The research panel sympathized with BLM's struggle to find middle ground between horse advocates who say the federally protected animals have a right to be on the range and livestock ranchers who see them as unwelcome competitors for forage. It noted there's "little if any public support" for allowing harm to come to either the horses or the rangeland itself.

"However, the current removal strategy used by BLM perpetuates the overpopulation problem by maintaining the number of animals at levels below the carrying capacity of the land, protecting the rangeland and the horse population in the short term but resulting in continually high population growth and exacerbating the long-term problem," the report said.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/independent-panel-readies-review-blm-mustangs

New Details in FBI Investigation of Michelle Bachmann (Sworn Testimony: Approved Secret Payments)

Source: David Shuster at Huffington Post

New Details in FBI Criminal Investigation of Michele Bachmann

David Shuster | Jun 04, 2013

While Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was announcing her retirement to much fanfare in the media, according to information given exclusively to Take Action News, the FBI was busy collecting potentially damaging evidence against her from two former campaign aides. According to sources close to the criminal investigation of Bachmann's presidential campaign, the FBI has now been given sworn testimony and documents alleging Bachmann approved secret payments to Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson in exchange for his help and support in that state's 2012 Presidential caucuses. Ethics rules explicitly prohibit Iowa lawmakers from accepting payments from Presidential campaigns or PACs. Investigation sources tell Take Action News the FBI is examining money laundering allegations against Bachmann, as well as possible wire fraud and mail fraud.

As we detailed on my nationally syndicated radio and YouTube show Take Action News this past Saturday, the key claims against Bachmann are coming from two of her former campaign insiders -- former Congressional chief of staff Andy Parrish and former national field coordinator Pete Waldron. Waldron has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, alleging the payments to State Senator Sorenson were improper. Parrish has provided an affidavit to investigators, confirming Bachmann knew of and approved the payments.

The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee voted more than a month ago to appoint a special investigator to determine whether State Senator Sorenson was guilty of violating Iowa state ethics rules prohibiting direct or indirect employment from a political action committee. The Committee's ongoing investigation of Sorenson is based on Waldron's FEC complaint and Parrish's testimony.

It's not unusual for a political campaign, with all of the paperwork and forms required by the FEC, to make mistakes. Furthermore, many U.S. lawmakers have been fined by the FEC for improper fundraising, spending, and misleading accounting records. The Bachmann case, though, is different. Her own team is alleging the campaign violations, and declaring that Bachmann knew about the actions in advance. Presumably, Bachmann -- like other Presidential candidates -- signed hundreds of disclosure reports filed with the federal government. If she lied on those reports, or mailed misleading financial statements, however, she may face serious legal trouble.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-shuster/new-details-in-fbi-crimin_b_3381810.html

David Sirota: "New Data Shows School 'Reformers' Are Full of It - Propaganda Has Jumped the Shark"


MONDAY, JUN 3, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

New data shows school “reformers” are full of it

Poor schools underperform largely because of economic forces, not because teachers have it too easy


- snip -

Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).

- snip -

That gets to the news that exposes “reformers’” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study, “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about to one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding … leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.”

Those data sets powerfully raise the question that “reformers” are so desperate to avoid: Are we really expected to believe that it’s just a coincidence that the public education and poverty crises are happening at the same time? Put another way: Are we really expected to believe that everything other than poverty is what’s causing problems in failing public schools?

Because of who comprises it and how it is financed, the education “reform” movement has a clear self-interest in continuing to say yes, we should believe such fact-free pabulum. And you can bet that movement will keep saying “yes” — and that the corporate media will continue to cheer them as heroes for saying “yes” — as long as public education money keeps being diverted into corporate coffers.

But we’ve now reached the point where the economics-omitting “reform” propaganda has jumped the shark, going from deceptively alluring to embarrassingly transparent. That’s because the latest Department of Education study isn’t being released in a vacuum; it caps off an overwhelming wave of evidence showing that our education crisis has far less to do with public schools or bad teachers than it does with the taboo subject of crushing poverty.


Tom Tomorrow: Relationship Talk

Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/03/1212638/-Relationship-talk

"I'm Biracial & That Cheerios Ad Is a Big Fucking Deal," ALSO "10 Reasons It's Best Commercial Ever"


I'm Biracial, and That Cheerios Ad Is a Big Fucking Deal. Trust Me.

Meagan Hatcher-Mays
Yesterday 5:10pmg 165,006L 875

By now you know some racist dicks have whipped themselves up in a frenzy of racist dickery over the portrayal of an interracial family in a Cheerios ad. You see, Cheerios has committed the heinous crime of “acknowledging that interracial families exist,” and also that “sometimes interracial families need to eat breakfast.” This was too much for the racist dicks—Cheerios was forced to disable comments on YouTube where the video was posted. (What’s up with you racist dicks, anyway? Don’t you have jobs?)

I am biracial. My mom is black and my dad is white. My family often had the audacity to eat breakfast even though cereal was not being specifically marketed to us. When I was growing up, there were no families on television that resembled mine. My family was something of an anomaly in the overwhelmingly white neighborhood of Seattle where I lived. When I was with my mom, people would look at me and ask, “What is she?” When I was with my dad, people would ask, “Is she Italian?” Because this is definitely the kind of information that strangers are entitled to.

But life was even more confusing for my brother. He was born with blond, curly hair and bright blue eyes. He looked nothing like my mom. When they were alone together, well, that’s when shit got real. The white mothers in my neighborhood not only assumed my mom was my brother’s nanny, but they inquired after her services. Single brows were raised when my mom assured these awful women that she was, in fact, the biological mother of my brother. (This was before Botox. Eyebrows could move freely then.) When my maternal grandmother came to pick us up from daycare, despite being on the authorized pick-up list, they made sure to call my dad to make sure this black lady was legit. (By the way, there are worse things than being kidnapped by a black lady in a luxury Cadillac who takes you to her country club for lunch and lets you drive the golf cart.)

- snip -

This commercial is a huge step for interracial families like mine who want to be seen in public together and maybe eat some heart-healthy snacks. But it also validates the existence of biracial and multiracial people. Often we’re treated like exotic flowers, who should feel complimented when people say stuff to us like, “All biracial women are so beautiful” or “I would kill for your skin.” One of the hardest things about growing up the way I did is feeling like you need to choose one racial identity over another just to fit in. The fact that strangers constantly ask you to identify yourself (forcing you to put yourself in a category) makes you feel conspicuous and gazed upon. You catch strangers looking at you. You know what they want to ask you. You know that they won’t leave you alone until you give them a rundown of your heritage.



10 Reasons Why The "Just Checking" Cheerios Commercial Is The Best Ever

Global Grind ‎- 8 hours ago

If you thought you lived in a post-racial world before yesterday, you were probably ...

CLOSE RANGE - Storm Chasers Caught near OK Tornado Today

@BTSullivan91: Most insane video of my career.. I never ever want to be in this position again.. Strong tornado hits the team! http://t.co/sOPpuGA1ex

5/31/2013 CLOSE RANGE Union City, Oklahoma Tornado - INSANE Video

ByBrandon SullivanMay 31, 2013

Brett and Brandon got extremely close to a violent tornadic circulation that produced multiple tornadoes in very close range... The team was hit by inflow jet winds into the tornado and their vehicle received damage as a barn was completely destroyed. A hay bale came barreling across the road and was tossed into their car.. The team is very fortunate to live to chase another day... Incredible storm chaser traffic prevented an escape from the tornado like normal.. There have been fatalities with this tornado.. The team's thoughts go out to those affected!

PHOTO: Weather Channel's Storm Chaser Mike Bettes' SUV Thrown

@SeanSchoferTVN: The @weatherchannel vehicle just got thrown 200 yards by tornado. We stopped to help & they are OK. @jimcantore http://t.co/AayAhvuBwA

Reports are they were scraped up some, but o.k.

Bettes: "What we were trying to do was get away from it."
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