August 28th, 2012

moon and stars

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientist and children's television personality Bill Nye, in a newly released online video, panned biblical creationism and implored American parents who reject the scientific theory of evolution not to teach their beliefs to their youngsters.

"I say to the grownups, 'If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we've observed in the universe that's fine. But don't make your kids do it,'" said Nye, best known as host of the educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy."

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Edge of the abyss

The first weeks of Janni's life, my wife, Susan, and I are taking lots of home video, imagining her watching these tapes alongside us and her friends as a teenager, pretending to be mortified, but happy on the inside knowing how important she's been to us from the beginning.

About a week into her life, she stops sleeping, aside from 20 to 30 naps within a 24-hour day. We're still recording, though. We don't want to miss anything, although we do need to sleep at some point. She screams constantly when she's awake, but again, she'll probably find this amusing when she's a teenager watching all of this.

A couple of weeks go by and she's still not sleeping for even one hour straight. Nothing is comforting her, so it must be colic - the only possibility we'd heard of that keeps babies awake and constantly screaming at this age.

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I didn't bold anything because it's so long, and such an interesting/sad story I didn't know where to start.

Ron Paul: If I Was In Charge The People Killed on 9/11 Would Still Be Alive

Ron Paul feted in raucous six-hour farewell rally

(Reuters) - Thousands of die-hard Ron Paul supporters paid no heed to Tropical Storm Isaac on Sunday and held a marathon rally in Tampa to celebrate the 77-year-old congressman, who gave a farewell speech of more than an hour about his libertarian views.

As Republican National Committee officials scrambled to adjust the storm-shortened schedule for this week's convention to nominate Mitt Romney for president, Paul followers gathered across town at the University of Southern Florida's Sun Dome.

Paul, who is retiring from Congress this year after a colorful career and three failed White House runs, looked embarrassed as he got a prolonged standing ovation from an ear-splitting crowd as music thumped "Ron Paul, Ron Paul" in the background.

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So...apparently he would have saved a whole bunch of lives except reality is his kryptonite.

I believe I bolded the only thing that really matters in the article.
David Thewlis - santa hat

Missouri delegates angry at Mitt Romney over Todd Akin

TAMPA — Missouri GOP delegates are rejecting the heavy-handed push by Mitt Romney and national Republicans to boot Todd Akin from their state’s Senate race, revealing a split among Republicans that could imperil the party’s effort to take back the chamber in the fall campaign.

In interviews with POLITICO, delegates argued that Akin could still win the race in the conservative state, pushing back against the notion that his remarks on rape were a death blow to his Senate candidacy. Several delegates here in Tampa seemed angry at the national party, saying the decision to withhold millions of dollars in campaign funding is the real impediment in their effort to oust Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.

“Absolutely,” said John Putnam of Carthage, Mo., when asked if he was disappointed at Romney for demanding that Akin exit the race. “I think he needs to rescind that, retract that. I think [RNC Chairman] Reince Priebus and [Sen.] Roy Blunt and all the people need to support the candidate that the folks from Missouri nominated and picked in the primary.

“I think the GOP party bosses that are trying to drum him out are creating a bigger split in the party than Todd Akin is,” said Putnam, head of the Jasper County Republican Central Committee.

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Paddies Kinney Still

Iran Bans Women From College Courses

Female students in Iran have been barred from more than 70 university degree courses in an officially-approved act of sex-discrimination, which critics say is aimed at defeating the fight for equal women's rights.

In a move that has prompted a demand for a U.N. investigation by Iran's most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 B.A. and B.Sc courses in the coming academic year will be "single gender" and effectively exclusive to men.

It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country's religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year's university entrance exam.

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I've always found it fascinating that women vastly outnumber and outperform men in universities in Iran, especially in scientific and technical fields, despite how oppressive the regime is towards women. I really think we need to study this phenomenon and learn from it. It's also pretty incredible how educating women in Iran has completely changed the demographic landscape in a single generation (the birth rate has dramatically declined within just a couple decades). The drive that Iranian women have to succeed is amazing, and very inspiring!

oh holy shit
  • chaya

Gabby Douglas: Teammates Called Me a Slave

As if the rigors of intense gymnastics training weren't stressful enough, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas says she also dealt with bullying by her teammates so troubling that it almost drove her to quit the sport.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday on Oprah's Next Chapter, Gabby told the host that, before she moved to Iowa to work with coach Liang Chow, she felt isolated at her Virginia Beach gym and was even called a "slave" by fellow gymnasts. From Us Weekly:

Now 16 and in possession of two gold medals, Douglas (with mom Natalie Hawkins) told Oprah Winfrey on Sunday's Oprah's Next Chapter about the less-than-ideal atmosphere at a local gym. "One of my teammates was like, 'Can you scrape the bar?' And they were like, 'Why doesn't Gabby do it, she's our slave?'"

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Source at The Root.

Jan Brewer: Obama Is 'Race-Baiting,' Pandering To Latinos

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, an immigration-hardliner who signed the state's controversial SB 1070, said Monday that President Barack Obama is attacking Republicans for their views just to pander to Latinos.

“It’s all the time, the race-baiting; it’s all the time, you know, that we’re bigots," Brewer told Politico on its live broadcast from the Republican National Convention.

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No Enbridge
  • romp

The Jobs Crisis: Obama, Romney and the Low-Wage Future of America

To the extent that there has been any attention paid to public policy issues amid all the mud-slinging in the 2012 presidential campaign, the most frequent subject has been jobs—and which candidate can create more of them over the next four years.

So far, that debate mostly involves attacking the other guy, rather than advancing any real solution. The Obama campaign has been trying to define Mitt Romney as an effete champion of outsourcing (with some justification) while the Romney camp has dwelled on Barack Obama’s failure to reignite the job market (also with some justification, though in some significant part the failure is because of GOP obstruction).

Their descriptions of their own plans are no more edifying. As the incumbent, Obama has to run on his record—and despite his talk of bold solutions, that means either exaggerating his successes or making a lot of excuses.

Romney, meanwhile, offers little more than a collection of vague allusions to the wholly disproven theory that tax cuts lead to hiring.

The fact is that there is no Democratic jobs plan, if Republicans are able to keep either their control of the House or their ability to paralyze the Senate, or both. And there is no Republican jobs plan at all.

So what’s the press to do? There’s some value in differentiating between the two positions, which in this case has the added advantage of exemplifying each party’s central weakness (in one case a failure of will, in the other a departure from reality).

But read some recent scholarship on the subject, and it turns out there is much more to talk about than that.
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  • chaya

Crossed Fingers Look Too Much Like Guns for Moronic School

Grand Island Preschooler Asked to Change the Sign for His Name in School

Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.

"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.

Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?

"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way," said Hunter's grandmother Janet Logue.

"It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through S.E.E.," Brian Spanjer said.

S.E.E. stands for Signing Exact English, Hunter's sign language. Hunter's name gesture is modified with crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own.

"We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child," said Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson.

That's just about all GIPS officials will say for now.

Meantime, Hunter's parents say that by Monday, lawyers from the National Association of the Deaf are likely to weigh in for Hunter's right to sign his own name.

Despite whatever rules and regulations may exist, some Grand Islanders we spoke with said they don't think it's right to make a three year-old change the way he says his name.

"It's his name. It's not like he's going to bring a gun to school when he's three years old," commented Dana Schwieger.

"I find it very difficult to believe that the sign language that shows his name resembles a gun in any way would even enter a child's mind," Grand Island resident Fredda Bartenbach reflected.

But for now, that's a discussion between the Spanjers and Grand Island Public Schools officials.

Source has a video of how Hunter's name looks.

  • mschaos

A Troubling Chant on the Convention Floor

An unscripted moment happened late this afternoon that caused the assembled mainstream media to turn away in the hope that it would disappear. As I was standing in line for a sandwich next to an Italian and a Puerto Rican correspondent, a controversy was unfolding on the floor. The RonPaulites, whose furious devotion to a single idea have made them the Ellen Jamesians of the right, were protesting a decision by RNC officials not to seat members of the Maine delegation, which was split between Paul and Romney supporters following rule changes made just prior to the convention. There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “USA! USA!”

The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.

At least half a dozen respected Latino pols are scheduled to talk later on at the convention. I doubt any of them will generate a clip like the one that might be playing wall-to-wall tonight in San Juan and southern Florida.


i>way to lock in that latino vote there

RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed Animals’

An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM.

The CNN official declined to confirm specific details of the incident to TPM but generally confirmed an account posted on Twitter by former MSNBC and Current anchor David Shuster: “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’”

It is not clear whether the alleged culprit was a delegate or attending the convention in some other capacity.

In a written statement, CNN addressed the matter but divulged few details: “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

TPM’s calls to RNC and convention officials were not immediately returned.

Shuster's tweet
  • kangofu

Repub women don't want to hear Repub men's views on women's health

Some Republican women wish men would just shut up
Source - Reuters
By Patricia Zengerle
TAMPA, Florida | Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:40pm EDT

(Reuters) - Republican women attending the national convention this week are fed up with talk that their party is waging a "war on women," and some say it doesn't help that a few Republican men keep talking about abortion, rape and contraception.

"Why are men discussing this? That would be my question," asked Mary Anne Carter, policy director at YG Network, a conservative-leaning non-profit group running the "Woman Up!" pavilion at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

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Speaking of Akin, a Dutch Candidate has also been spouting similar "facts":
[Trigger Warning - Rape - Article under spoiler cut]
'Rape seldom results in pregnancy' says SGP leader
Source - Dutch News
Tuesday 28 August 2012

'Women seldom get pregnant as a result of rape and that is a fact,' orthodox Christian party SGP leader Kees van der Staaij told a tv programme on Tuesday.

He was reacting to a question about the furore in the US around similar remarks made by Republican congressman Todd Akin.

Van der Staaij said rape is dreadful and recognises the huge consequences for the victims, but his party remains against abortion. 'We are, under all circumstances, for the unborn life,' he told the RTL programme.

The image must not be created that all abortions are the result of rape, he said.

The SGP leader has created a furore of his own on micro-blogging service Twitter. One satirical respondent tweeted: 'So Kees van der Staaij has kicked off the 1632 election.'
mus | like a bird in a cage

Cash-strapped Ontario Liberals introduce bill to force wage freeze on teachers

Tens of thousands of Ontario teachers will likely see their wages frozen and their benefits cut this fall as the province's cash-strapped Liberals swung a legislative hammer Monday to battle a $15-billion deficit.

The minority government introduced a controversial bill that would force new contracts on teachers and school workers, as well as give the Liberals the power to ban lockouts and strikes for at least two years.

It will likely become law, as the Progressive Conservatives have agreed to help pass the legislation.

But the price may be steep for Ontario's self-described "education premier," whose austerity efforts have alienated influential groups whose support — both political and financial — has helped the Liberals hold on to power for nine years.

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