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Hometown: Cleveland
Current location: Ohiohiohiohio
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 30,972

Journal Archives

A Reminder: Internet Atheists Fucking Suck

Yes, I knew that would get your attention. It's the title of the article and not my words!

I had no idea this was going on. I found this article on the Facebook "Atheist Safehouse" after joining that group and reading a lot of nasty posts about Islam. The posts were not just criticizing the epistemology of another batty Abrahamic religion, but they were bigoted and racist attacks on every person born into Islam. Any poster who objected to the over the top language was verbally assaulted as being an apologist for terrorists.

The Facebook profiles of the nastiest members had articles posted by the "nationalist" sites of the "alt right". Profile pictures included variants on the Pepe frog mascot. They totally revealed themselves when one of them referred to me as a "cuck", which is a term only used by them.

Somebody actually posted this article in the Atheist Safehouse. Predictably, it led to denial and a postings of nasty memes and name calling. The moderators of that site are fools. The article is from the perspective of an Old World Muslim who became a skeptic and dealt with writing that denigrated him for his origins. Excerpt:
...Like the majority of young people who grew up in religious environments – particularly those from non-Christian backgrounds – my first interaction with atheism was also my first meaningful engagement with the internet. In these atheist forums I found a race and class-blind safe space, one in which I could express a private contempt for the theological doctrine I had been forced to study during my years in religious school. Indeed, in those atheist communities on the now defunct Totse.com, eBaum's World and, eventually, the darker corners of Myspace, I found a community in which I could reject the identity I was born into, and instead forge a new one on my own terms.

Yet, for a growing number of people who turn to the internet to talk about leaving religion, the online atheist / sceptic community has become more alienating than accepting. Atheism – like most online communities – has always had characters who enjoy being confrontational; Pat Condell – the former comedian, turned old man shouting at clouds – existed long before Reddit. However, recently, rather than remaining an outlier, content like Condell's – which disregards theological critique for snarky racial and orientalist tropes about Muslims – has become a staple of the online atheist community. And thanks to the rise of populism across the western world, connections between the internet's atheist community and far-right identitarians have never been more clear.


big sigh


Goddamned Greenwald revealed Reality Winner to the feds, now she is in detention

How it all came to light

On May 30, three weeks after Winner allegedly printed the classified document, The Intercept (Glenn Greenwald's current mode) contacted the U.S. government, likely through the NSA, to discuss an upcoming story based on the intelligence document it had obtained. The Intercept even shared a copy of the document with government officials, who confirmed that it was indeed classified at the top secret level, "indicating that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security," the affidavit said.

Two days later, the FBI was notified of the matter and initiated an investigation to determine the source of the leak.

Further analysis of the documents showed that they "appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secure space," according to the affidavit.

Winner was one of just six individuals who had printed the intelligence document, according to an internal audit of the agency that housed the report. The audit also revealed that Winner was the only individual of the group that had email contact with the news outlet.

FBI agent Justin Garrick said in the affidavit filed with the court that he interviewed Winner at her home on Saturday and that she "admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue" and sent it to a news outlet.

The news outlet was not identified in the charging documents, but a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed that the charges were connected to The Intercept’s Monday report titled: "Top-Secret NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election."


Nuclear Power's Original Mistake: Trying to Domesticate the Bomb (Bloomberg View)

Op Ed:
... The Shippingport plant soon began generating electricity, and the government pronounced the reactor a success. And on one level, it certainly was: it sparked the construction of dozens of nuclear power plants in the U.S. and abroad, a good number of them designed and built by Westinghouse. Everything miraculous about the nuclear power industry began at Shippingport.

But so did everything that is overwhelming it now. Aside from the cost overruns, the electricity produced by Shippingport was quite costly. Though Duquesne Light bought electricity from the government at the rate of 8 mills per kilowatt-hour, the actual cost ranged between 55 and 60 mills.

In succeeding decades, nuclear power costs declined, but the industry remained heavily dependent on subsidies. And in recent years, the investment cost of developing new nuclear plants ballooned from $2,065 per kilowatt in 1998 to $5,828 in 2015, according to a World Nuclear Association report.

All of this bodes ill for the future of nuclear power. But the failure for nuclear to live up to its potential should hardly surprise us. It began as an idealistic attempt to domesticate the bomb in peacetime; the actual economic cost and benefits of doing was a secondary concern at best.


Subsidies: http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nuclear_subsidies_report.pdf

CNN Sciutto: CENTCOM Commander says Russia is likely "providing some kind of support" to the Taliban


It is a twitter tweet from 8:15 Wednesday morning

Jim Sciutto‏ Verified account
Just in: CENTCOM Commander says #Russia is likely "providing some kind of support" to the Taliban in Afghanistan

The following tweets don't dispute Jim Sciutto's report. The US Army is fighting the Taliban.

What is the word that means "bigot against another religion"?

How do I tag a RW dumbass who posts horrible things about Muslims? There is one polluting my favorite gardening forum. For Jew haters, we have "antisemite". That term has problems in it's origin, but it's meaning is clear enough to everybody.

So I need a term for "anti Muslim bigot" that can also be applied to people who hate on broader classes of religious identities. "Racist" is a good broad term for typical bigotry, so I need a parallel. These America-great-again types get their blood boiling with adrenaline hating on Muslims at this moment, but they are the sons and daughters of that American tradition of hating Jews, Catholics, Mormons, etc. One of their campaigns led to the assassination of a beautiful President. More on that later.

Ok, help me with the term. I thought I would post it here in the land of atheists because you would understand. Of late I call myself a skeptic, but I like to tell people that I am "an apostate Catholic". I have an upbringing that gives me license to apply my moral umbrage. Ooops, I am wandering. Good morning, good day, whereever you are.

Davis-Besse Ohio nuclear plant may be closed in cost-cutting move

The endangered FirstEnergy plants in Ohio sell their energy at market prices that have been pushed down by a glut of cheap energy from natural gas and other sources, and those low prices aren't high enough to continue to justify operating those power plants, Jones said. FirstEnergy and other power companies have asked Ohio to set energy prices at a level that would make the plants more profitable for the companies. But price controls seem unlikely, he said.

FirstEnergy continues to analyze how we can thoughtfully yet expeditiously move away from competitive markets over the next 12 to 18 months in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. We first announced this effort during our quarterly earnings call on November 4, 2016.

As part of the process, we are exploring a variety of strategic alternatives for plants owned by FirstEnergy subsidiaries operating in the competitive marketplace, including Davis-Besse. These alternatives include converting generation to a regulated or regulated-like construct, seeking solutions for nuclear units that recognize their environmental benefits {sic}, exploring the sale of additional generation assets, or moving forward with additional deactivations.

- Jennifer Young, First Energy

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio had given to First Energy a rate arrangement to keep this sad plant online by raising our rates as protection if "natural gas prices rose in the future". It is still non competitive.

The US under Obama has outperformed the world &the market thinks Trump can do better: SELL 8Dec016

The Dow and S&P500 are testing all time highs again. I am selling equities and rebalancing my portfolio toward corporate bonds or cash.

Trump is offering "infrastructure" in the form of long term financing for private tollways and toll bridges. Such financial structures already exist and are bonafide. However, Fat Bastard has nothing that can create public or private spending this year or even next year. Obama put almost a trillion dollars into "shovel ready" projects like the Cuyahoga Innerbelt Bridge that started immediately and finished ahead of schedule. Kudos for Ohio DOT, btw. I don't expect impact for five years and it will be so subtle as to be lost in the mud at the bottom of the data stream.

Corporate tax rates will be cut. Ok, that should free up capital for buying factories and hiring people. However, companies don't know what to do with the profits they have. Some bought up their own shares, which is a zero sum game. Many sat on the cash or created extra dividends: that did not boost the economy with extra sales to those capitalist class consumers. What is surely lacking is a stronger consumer market. Depression of wages has stunted that. American wages feel the pressure of new workers of the world entering the workforce.

Trade. Pence said at Trump's "F--ked You Rally" in Cincinnati that there would be more trade deals. But Fat Bastard campaigned against trade deals. Fat Bastard may have mastered the art of building golf courses, but he is willfully ignorant in matters like international negotiations. He is going to flub trade.

President Obama had an objective and action for doubling US exports in about a decade. Expect that to flatline and that US exporting companies with high value products that create wealth in this country will not be able to add high paying jobs.

Attitude. Republicans think that some sort of dam has broke and that now things will be set to right. They are buying equities on faith. I am going to take advantage of them now. I just have to decide on what is my threshold to buy back in. I am going to sell in lots of the next month. I will probably buy back from those fools if there is a correction of 10%.

Disaster. Fat Bastard likes to taunt the Chinese. His attitude does not reflect that he has some muscular skill of talking tough with our rivals. Au contraire, he is just stupid. He is going to blunder us into an international incident. I would not be surprised if one of those nukes owned by Pakistan finally gets put to use. That would crash everything. How would he deal with a hurricane or earthquake? In any case, the people of Syria are going to be crushed by Putin's boy Assad and we will never vanquish the soul of Islamic State in Levant.

I could have *forced* an insurer to cover me since I had had continuous coverage

If one had been "continuously covered" through an employer, COBRA, or a private policy, one could have "forced" an insurance company to cover you. That was how I understood it four years ago. I looked into it, but never had to use it. I spent a huge amount of time at Ohio and federal websites.

I was terrified that I would be laid off. I had a diagnosis that might have meant huge premiums. I will never know, since policy has changed. I agree with your last paragraph.

Obama to begin new series of economic addresses

Source: Yahoo.com

The address Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., will be the first in a new series of economic speeches that White House aides say Obama intends to deliver over the next several weeks ahead of key budget deadlines in the fall. A new fiscal year begins in October, and the government will soon hit its borrowing limit.

The speech comes just a week before Congress is scheduled to leave for its monthlong August recess and is designed to build public pressure on lawmakers in hopes of averting the showdowns over taxes and spending that have characterized past budget debates.

In his economic pitch, President Obama will talk about efforts to expand manufacturing, sign up the uninsured for health care coverage, revitalize the housing industry and broaden educational opportunities for preschoolers and college students. He will also promote the economic benefits of an immigration overhaul.
President Obama's focus on the economy comes as he has experienced a degree of success with the Senate, which passed an overhaul of immigration laws and unclogged a Republican blockade against several presidential nominations. It also reflects a belief at the White House that the administration has been able to manage a series of confrontations with Congress over the Internal Revenue Service, phone surveillance of Americans and the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-begin-series-economic-addresses-000143541.html

USA Today-- President Obama will kick off a several-weeks long effort Wednesday to barnstorm the country and press resistant Republicans to work with him to bolster the economy.

In the campaign, President Obama will lay out his vision directly to Americans for how Washington and the private sector can put a charge into an economy that is improving only in fits and starts.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said in an e-mail that President Obama believes Washington "has taken its eye off the ball on the most important issue facing the country." Among the specific topics related to the economy that President Obama will address in the coming weeks are job security, education and health care.

WKYC news in Cleveland said that President Obama will be speaking in Ohio. The executive department will implement policy that does not require the cooperation of the obstructionist pin heads in Congress. That is what has already been done for climate protection.
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