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Topics - Testy Calibrate

1
Politics and Current Events / opioid epidemic
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/24/health/opioid-deaths-cdc-report/
Quote
Over half of the deaths involving opioids in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 had not been captured in the state's total, said Hall.
"While my research cannot speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing cases," Hall said. "It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic."
...
"It's quite concerning, because it means that the (opioid) epidemic, which is already quite severe, could potentially be even worse," Hall said. A total of 33,000 opioid-related deaths were reported across the nation in 2015, a historic high, she said.

Like it is for most of the problems that plague america, my little corner of the liberal oasis of portland keeps me blissfully sheltered from actually experiencing them in a tangible way. I had some friends in the 80s who used heroin and overdosed and died but that was a different universe altogether. Has the recent outbreak touched any of your lives?
2
Jeeze, this could go in science as easy as politics.
Quote
"We are not creating a Terminator": Russia denies risk as Putin's 'robot army' is trained to shoot guns

Vladimir Putin's 'robot army' is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands, it's emerged.

MirrorOnline reported last December how the android robots called FEDOR - Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research - are being developed for space exploration by Russia.
Now it's emerged that the human looking robots - with a head, two arms and two legs - have been handed guns as part of their training.
A video clip of them in action has already caused a senior government officials to issue a denial that they are creating a real-life "Terminator-style" killer.
FEDOR stands six foot tall, weighs between 106-160 kg depending on extra equipment - and can lift up to 20 kg of cargo.
Its creators claim that teaching them to shoot will help improve their motor skills and decision-making abilities.
Posting a short clip showing the armed robot in action, Russia's deputy PM Dmitryi Rogozin said: "Robot platform F.E.D.O.R. showed shooting skills with two hands.
"We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields."

The robot was originally created with rescue missions in mind until military uses began being suggested.

FEDOR is set to travel into space in 2021 - and has been touted as a permanent replacement for cosmonauts currently maintaining the ISS in the long term.

The robot is being developed by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund.

They are attempting to teach it a wide variety of basic and advanced skills - from how to use a set of keys and various tools to how to screw in a light bulb and drive a car.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/we-not-creating-terminator-russia-10237755
3
Politics and Current Events / Trump's tax returns
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/04/16/after-a-day-of-marches-trump-asks-why-people-are-still-talking-about-his-taxes/
Quote
Trump asks why people are still talking about his taxes a day after protesters asked for his returns
By John Wagner April 16 at 11:42 AM

President Trump lashed out Sunday at the protesters who took part in marches across the country Saturday to demand that he release his tax returns, declaring on Twitter that "The election is over!"

Trump's comments followed a nationwide Tax March that drew thousands of people in dozens of cities on the country's traditionally recognized deadline to file taxes, April 15.

As a candidate, Trump declined to voluntarily release his tax returns -- a practice followed by other presidential hopefuls since the 1970s -- claiming he couldn't do so because he was under audit. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton hammered him on the subject.

    I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?

    -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017

    Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!

    -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017

"I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican -- easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?" Trump said in one tweet Sunday morning.

In another, he suggested that someone "should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday," adding: "The election is over!"
so, what do you all suppose is in them that he is so clearly unhappy to share?
4
Introductions / Hello new member Obadiah!
Your name sounds familiar. Hope you enjoy tr. :wave:
5
Arts and Entertainment / thor ragnarok
looks like a really great movie to see super baked. I want to see it super baked anyway.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7MGUNV8MxU
6
Science / Octopuses
http://www.popsci.com/octopuses-can-basically-tinker-with-their-own-genes-on-fly

Popsci article but it's generally well done
Quote
Home
SUBSCRIBE to the Magazine

ANIMALS
Octopuses can basically edit their own genes on the fly
Crazy levels of RNA tinkering could explain how cephalopods got so smart
By Rachel Feltman  April 6, 2017
 
octopus
CC via Flickr
To edit is divine

You're a complex organism. You socialize with family and friends, you solve puzzles and make choices. Humans may be some of the most cerebral animals on the planet, but we know we're not alone in having this sort of behavioral complexity. Crows use tools. Primates create incredible social structures. Whales congregate.
But all of these critters have one thing in common: they're vertebrates. Members of our subphylum share more than just a backbone; our common ancestor gifted us with the sort of structure and central nervous system that lends itself to behavioral complexity.
And then there are cephalopods. They can solve a shocking number of complex puzzles, suggesting a cognition that rivals those found in the vertebrate world--even though they last shared a common ancestor with us at least 500 million years ago. In the world of invertebrates, octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish stand apart.
We may finally have some idea why. According to a study published in Cell, these creatures have an uncanny ability to manipulate the instructions found within their DNA. An unprecedented panache for RNA editing may explain why cephalopods are so bright and adaptable.
You probably remember RNA from your high school biology class. DNA is like a blueprint of genetic instructions laid out for us at conception. DNA is stable and sequestered (mostly) in the nucleus, keeping genetic information safe to pass it on to the next generation, while its single-stranded sibling RNA translates those directions into marching orders. When DNA says "we should produce these proteins at this time", RNA goes out into the world of the cytoplasm and makes it happen.
But sometimes RNA rebels. Sometimes enzymes intervene, pulling out the RNA adenosine bases that code for certain proteins and replacing them with inosine bases instead. When this happens, the RNA can be 'edited' to produce a different protein than the one called for by the DNA.
"About 25 years ago, people identified the first example of RNA editing in mammals. There were a few cases where you'd see the DNA saying one thing and then see the actual protein was different," says study co-author Eli Eisenberg, a biophysicist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Eisenberg co-lead the study with Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory, though both point to Tel Aviv's Noa Liscovitch-Brauer as the driving force behind the research.
For a couple decades, Eisenberg says, study of this phenomenon was limited to a handful of cases found by accident. But in recent years, scientists have made a more systematic approach--and found that humans occasionally use this genetic trick, too. But for us, it's a rare occurrence. We have many sites where editing could occur, but most are located on parts of the genome with 'junk' DNA that doesn't code for anything. Of the 1,000 or so coding sites where editing could take place, only a few dozen exist in places where the editing would likely have an important impact.
Squid, which have the same number of genes, have around 11,000 of these useful sites.
The new study, which tracked down the RNA editing sites in several species of cephalopod, built upon earlier research that found that octopuses use RNA editing to rapidly adapt to temperature changes, and that extensive editing occurs in squid neural tissue. In examining additional species, the researchers determined that this boon of editable RNA is almost universal among cephalopods--and the exceptions that prove the rule provide some fascinating clues.
All members of the "coleoid" subclass--squid, cuttlefish, octopuses--that the researchers examined had this boost in RNA editing. But the chambered nautilus, which is considered a primitive beast in comparison to its whip-smart cousins, had much lower levels of RNA editing. An even more distant mollusk cousin (not a cephalopod) tested for comparison had similarly low levels.
Because so much of the RNA editing occurs in brain tissue, the researchers think this correlation could indicate that the process helps give some cephalopods their smarts. Exactly how or why this process occurs is a question for future studies. But one thing is for certain: RNA editing can make a species incredibly flexible.

7
Arts and Entertainment / Rick and Morty
Why didn't anyone tell me?
8
Sports / please
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/28/521810071/footy-mcfooty-face-is-stomping-competition-in-vote-for-mls-team-name
Quote
Fans are embracing a San Diego group's effort to bring a Major League Soccer team to the city -- or at least, they're embracing the most unlikely name for the squad. With the final round of an online vote set to close Friday, Footy McFooty Face has more than twice the votes of any other potential name.

As of Monday, Footy McFooty Face led the way with nearly 7,700 votes, well ahead of San Diego Surf (2,341) and San Diego Bad Hombres (1,644) -- the only other names that have attracted more than 1,000 votes.

By tapping into the Internet's love for silly names, the episode evokes the famous "Boaty McBoatface" saga of last year, in which online voters chose that name to grace a $300 million British ocean research vessel.

That U.K. result was overruled -- and it seems likely that if MLS does expand to San Diego, its team won't be wearing Footy McFooty Face jerseys. FS Investors, the backers of San Diego's MLS bid, say they'll submit the top 10 names to the league for review.

As The San Diego Union-Tribune notes, the online vote plays into the hopes of FS Investors, as the group vies for attention and support for its plan to land an MLS team in Qualcomm Stadium, which up until January was known as the home of the San Diego Chargers.

Perhaps Footy McFooty Face will go the way of Boaty, and be given to a less imposing entity. While Boaty McBoatface is now the name of a small submersible, might San Diego someday have a sports mascot named Footy McFooty Face?

As the organizers note on their Facebook page, "a nickname or mascot can be added to traditional names."

Here's looking forward to the day we see an oversized foam foot patrolling the sidelines in Qualcomm Stadium.
https://www.facebook.com/SoccerCitySD/app/303561899745219?brandloc=DISABLE&app_data=chk-58da9e387953d
10
https://www.the74million.org/article/impact-of-weaker-unions-in-wisconsin-and-other-states-much-clearer-for-teachers-than-students

Some of these stats (well, analysis of stats) are bullshit for weird and complicated reasons (mostly the performance pay correlation with higher test scores) but over all it's an interesting read.
11
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/admiral-seven-others-charged-with-corruption-in-new-fat-leonard-indictment/2017/03/14/faf01600-08da-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html
Quote
The Justice Department unsealed a fresh indictment Tuesday charging eight Navy officials -- including an admiral -- with corruption and other crimes in the "Fat Leonard" bribery case, escalating an epic scandal that has dogged the Navy for four years.

Among those charged were Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, a senior Navy intelligence officer who recently retired from a key job at the Pentagon, as well as four retired Navy captains and a retired Marine colonel. The charges cover a period of eight years, from 2006 through 2014.

The Navy personnel are accused of taking bribes in the form of lavish gifts, prostitutes and luxury hotel stays courtesy of Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis, a Singapore-based defense contractor who has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy of tens of millions of dollars.

The indictment lists page after page of bribes allegedly provided to the defendants including $25,000 watches, $2,000 boxes of Cohiba cigars, $2,000 bottles of cognac and $600-per-night hotel rooms.

According to the charging documents, Francis also frequently sponsored wild sex parties for many officers assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the Navy's 7th Fleet, and other warships.
Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless (Navy)

During a port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in May 2008, for example, five of the Navy officers attended a "raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitutes," at the Shangri-La Hotel, according to the indictment. The group allegedly drank the hotel's entire supply of Dom PĂ©rignon champagne and rang up expenses exceeding $50,000, which Francis covered in full.

On another port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in February 2007, Francis allegedly hosted a sex party for officers in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila hotel. During the party, "historical memorabilia related to General Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts," according to the indictment.

In exchange, according to federal prosecutors, the officials provided Francis with classified or inside information that enabled his firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, to gouge the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars.
12
Science / Pingu listen to this:
http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/519264798/decisions-decisions-decisions
Quote
Decisions Decisions Decisions

Whether you're choosing spaghetti sauce or a life partner, making decisions can be paralyzing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we make the choices we make, and how we learn to live with them.
13
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / humans suck
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/endangered-white-rhino-shot-dead-inside-french-zoo-by-poachers-seeking-valuable-horn

Endangered white rhino shot dead inside French zoo by poachers seeking valuable horn
14
Politics and Current Events / hate crime megathread
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pair-who-led-racist-attack-boy-s-party-sentenced-years-n726421
Quote
A man and a woman were sentenced Monday to 13 and six years in prison, respectively, for joining a group of Confederate flag supporters who in 2015 drove around a small Georgia community threatening people, including a gathering of African-Americans celebrating a young boy's birthday.

The attack, prosecuted under the state's Street Gang Terrorism law, came several weeks after a white supremacist killed nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church, sparking a backlash against public displays of the Confederate battle flag.


The Georgia group called itself Respect the Flag, and prior to the attack was seen driving in a convoy of trucks flying rebel flags, shouting threats at black people, authorities said.

The two sentenced Monday, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, who authorities said yelled racist slurs and threatened the birthday revelers with a shotgun, were the last of the group to be sentenced. They wept in a Douglas County courtroom as a judge imposed their punishments: Torres, 26, convicted of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and a violating street-gang statute, received 13 years in prison and another seven on probation; Norton, 25, convicted of making terroristic threats and violating the gang law, will serve 6 years in prison and nine on probation.

Both were also banished from Douglas County, a racially diverse community a few miles west of Atlanta.

Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in an interview that the prosecution of the attack began with people with less serious involvement, and moved in toward those who drove it.
15
Politics and Current Events / Marine Le Pen
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4249970/Marine-Le-Pen-s-bodyguard-chief-staff-arrested.html
Quote
Two senior aides to Marine Le Pen were today taken into police custody as the fraud enquiry that could see the far-right French presidential candidate jailed for up to 10 years deepened.

Thierry Legier, who is Ms Le Pen's bodyguard, and Catherine Griset, her chief of staff, were escorted to the judicial police station in Nanterre, the Paris suburb, in the late morning.

A raid was also carried out at the home of Mr Legier, Ms Le Pen's 51-year-old bodyguard who is nicknamed 'The Gorilla'.
All of the suspects - including Ms Le Pen - now face imminent criminal charges.

Lawyers for Ms Le Pen immediately branded the arrests a media and judicial 'conspiracy' aimed at de-railing Ms Le Pen's campaign to become France's first ever female head of state in May.

The 48-year-old was on a visit to a prison in Meaux, east of Paris, today and said the enquiry was an 'empty' one, and that she and her FN colleagues were entirely innocent.

ok. SO the Daily Mail is an unreliable source iirc, but does this have legs?
17
So, I posted his maniac video over at Ratskep to remind someone that cops are gun culture. Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyrH-C6naEM

Someone scrolled the related videos and found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-RMm_nyYLM
Which is a radio interview with a right wing nutjob where he says he was working on a sting with unnamed other agencies and that video was a fraud.

I was surprised because that's smarter than cops usually are and went looking and found that he was legit fired, has been freaky since being fired, and has a scary facebook page.

I found a few sites where his "fraud" was exposed but they are all way whacked sites. Here are a couple of examples:
http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/12/05/shocking-revelation-former-police-chief-kessler-admits-working-feds-flush-2nd-amendment-supporters/
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/12/robert-farago/former-police-chief-mark-kessler-pro-gun-videos-were-a-federal-sting-to-catch-lone-terrorists/
etc.

I listened to the Alan Colmes interview and he is super cagey, that's the second youtube video above. It doesn't seem even a little bit true. So, this sort of disinformation is kinda like AiG or something for militias to use as rebuttals? WTF?
18
Politics and Current Events / Eve of Destruction
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntLsElbW9Xo

Ok, so, the list:

Public education will collapse leading to apocalyptic dystopia.
Labor protection will fall apart leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Environmental protection will end leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Science funding will collapse leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Income inequality will spike leading to authoritarian police state leading to apocalyptic dystopia
War with China is possible leading to apocalyptic dystopia
Nukes could be used leading to apocalyptic dystopia
What did I forget?
19
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38613488
Quote
The world's eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to Oxfam.

The charity said its figures, which critics have queried, came from improved data, and the gap between rich and poor was "far greater than feared".

Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mark Littlewood, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam should focus instead on ways to boost growth.

"As an 'anti-poverty' charity, Oxfam seems to be strangely preoccupied with the rich," said the director-general of the free market think tank.

For those concerned with "eradicating absolute poverty completely", the focus should be on measures that encourage economic growth, he added.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, said it was not the wealth of the world's rich that mattered, but the welfare of the world's poor, which was improving every year.

"Each year we are misled by Oxfam's wealth statistics. The data is fine - it comes from Credit Suisse - but the interpretation is not."
'Elite gathering'

The annual event in Davos, a Swiss ski resort, attracts many of the world's top political and business leaders.

Katy Wright, Oxfam's head of global external affairs, said the report helped the charity to "challenge the political and economic elites".

"We're under no illusions that Davos is anything other than a talking shop for the world's elite, but we try and use that focus," she added.
The world's eight richest billionaires

1. Bill Gates (US): co-founder of Microsoft (net worth $75bn)

2. Amancio Ortega (Spain): founder of Zara owner Inditex (net worth $67bn)

3. Warren Buffett (US): largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8bn)

4. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico): owner of Grupo Carso (net worth $50bn)

5. Jeff Bezos (US): founder and chief executive of Amazon (net worth $45.2bn)

6. Mark Zuckerberg (US): co-founder and chief executive of Facebook (net worth $44.6bn)

7. Larry Ellison (US): co-founder and chief executive of Oracle (net worth $43.6bn)

8. Michael Bloomberg (US): owner of Bloomberg LP (net worth $40bn)

Source: Forbes billionaires' list, March 2016

UK economist Gerard Lyons said focusing on extreme wealth "does not always give the full picture" and attention should be paid to "making sure the economic cake is getting bigger".

However, he said Oxfam was right to single out companies that it believed fuelled inequality with business models that were "increasingly focused on delivering ever-higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives".

Oxfam's Ms Wright said economic inequality was fuelling a polarisation in politics, citing Donald Trump's election as US president and the Brexit vote as examples.
'Fair share'

"People are angry and calling out for alternatives. They're feeling left behind because however hard they work they can't share in their country's growth," she said.

The charity is calling for "a more human economy" and is urging governments to crack down on executive pay and tax evasion and impose higher taxes on the wealthy.

It also wants business leaders to pay a "fair share of tax" and has urged companies to pay staff the "living wage", which is higher than the government's National Living Wage.

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past four years. In 2016 it calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

The number had fallen to just eight this year because more accurate data was now available, Oxfam said.

It was still the case that the world's richest 1% had as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, Oxfam said.

Some of the eight richest billionaires have given away tens of billions of dollars. In 2000 Bill Gates and his wife Melinda set up a private foundation that has an endowment of more than $44bn.

In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their net worth in their lifetimes, which equated to about $45bn based on the value of Facebook shares at the time.

It takes cash and assets worth $71,600 to get into the top 10%, and $744,396 to be in the top 1%.

Oxfam's report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth datebook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.

The survey uses the value of an individual's assets, mainly property and land, minus debts, to determine what he or she "owns". The data excludes wages or income.

The methodology has been criticised as it means that a student with high debts, but with high future earning potential, for example, would be considered poor under the criteria used.
20
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/betsy-dick-devos-family-amway-michigan-politics-religion-214631

Quote
How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics

With her nomination as education secretary, a powerful political clan will bring its overtly Christian agenda to Washington.

By Zack Stanton

January 15, 2017

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On election night 2006, Dick DeVos, the bronzed, starched 51-year-old scion of Michigan's wealthiest family, paced to a lectern in the dim ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in Lansing to deliver the speech that every candidate dreads.

The Michigan gubernatorial race that year had been a dogfight of personal attacks between DeVos, the Republican nominee, and Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. Gloomy, bleached-out b-roll of shuttered factories in anti-Granholm ads made the governor's sunny economic promise that "You're gonna be blown away" sound less like an aspiration than a threat. Anti-DeVos ads cut closer to the bone, with one depicting a cartoon DeVos cheering a freighter hauling Michigan jobs to China. It was an unsubtle reference to DeVos' time as president of Amway, the direct-sales behemoth his family co-founded and co-owns, when he eliminated jobs in Michigan while expanding dramatically in Asia. DeVos ended up personally spending $35 million on the race--the most expensive campaign in Michigan history--and when the votes came in, lost by a crushing 14 points.

At the Lansing Sheraton, the mood was grim. "If we aren't going to be able to serve in this way, I look forward to the ways we can," DeVos told his glum supporters. Behind him on the ballroom risers stood his family; closest to him was his wife, Betsy, choking back tears.

Though dressed in a blue skirt-suit, the uniform of a first ladyship that was not to be, Betsy DeVos was never a political accessory. Anyone who understood Michigan politics knew she had long been the more political animal of the pair. It was Betsy, not Dick, who had chaired the Michigan Republican Party; Betsy, who had served as a member of the Republican National Committee; Betsy, whose name was once floated to succeed Haley Barbour as head of the RNC; Betsy, who had directed a statewide ballot campaign to legalize public funding of religious schools; Betsy, who, as a college freshman, traveled to Ohio and Indiana to volunteer for Gerald Ford's presidential campaign. She was a skilled and seasoned operator, but as her husband conceded in an overwhelming defeat, she was utterly helpless.

At the time, it seemed like a dead end for a neophyte political candidate. In reality, it was the opening of a new avenue the DeVoses followed to far greater political influence, reshaping Michigan politics and the national Republican scene. "I think that loss really solidified the idea in the DeVoses' minds that the real way to get what you want is to be behind the scenes," says Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.

In the decade since that loss, the DeVos family, with Dick and Betsy at the helm, has emerged as a political force without comparison in Michigan. Their politics are profoundly Christian and conservative--"God, America, Free Enterprise," to borrow the subtitle of family patriarch Richard DeVos' 1975 book, Believe!--and their vast resources (the family's cumulative net worth is estimated at well over $5 billion) assure that they can steamroll their way to victory on issues ranging from education reform to workers' rights. "At the federal level, when GOP candidates are looking for big donors to back them, they have options," says Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "If you don't get Sheldon Adelson, you can go to the Koch brothers, and so on. In Michigan, the DeVos family is a class of donor all by themselves."

21
Science / It's superbug
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_587960f4e4b0b3c7a7b16e29
Quote
No Antibiotic In The U.S. Could Save This Woman. We Should All Be Worried.
This is one of the first cases of a pan-resistant infection in America.
The recent death of a woman in Reno, Nevada, from an infection resistant to every available kind of antibiotic in the U.S. highlights how serious the threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs has become.
22
Politics and Current Events / Cops
http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/heres-what-biggest-police-union-wants-trump-his-first-100-days
Quote
A return to racial profiling and deporting immigrants: The Fraternal Order of Police has a plan for Trump's first 100 days.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrihKt2PwBI
23
https://www.nas.org/projects/making_citizens_report
Quote
A new movement in American higher education aims to transform the teaching of civics. This report is a study of what that movement is, where it came from, and why Americans should be concerned. What we call the "New Civics" redefines civics as progressive political activism. Rooted in the radical program of the 1960s' New Left, the New Civics presents itself as an up-to-date version of volunteerism and good works. Though camouflaged with soft rhetoric, the New Civics, properly understood, is an effort to repurpose higher education.

It looks like I might be, drawn into this fight and it is shitty in the most trumpian way. By might be I guess I mean I am right by the center of it and have a lot invested in the program. Funding has already been proposed to be cut off over it.
24
God makes the weirdest stuff in HIS grand creation.
Quote
Here is the requested pm of my full argument which not long ago I forwarded to several scientists....


Dear Prof Steinhardt

I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to read and then objectively appraise what I know to be the definitive theory on the nature of existence. Is this some kind of a joke? - you may well ask - given that the best minds on the planet have yet to secure a reconciliation between the fundamental forces of nature into a unified whole. It is no joke.

Before I proceed to demonstrate my insights I would just like to introduce myself briefly. I happen to be a very academically uneducated man (without any formal qualifications). I have no understanding of the sciences that is worthy of note... So, how exactly is it possible that such a man could presume to be in possession of knowledge that has so far eluded humankind? On the surface it would appear to be a ridiculous and absurd claim. However, please do allow my knowledge to speak for itself....

Why exactly are the laws of physics what they are? I am aware that there is currently a trend among cosmologists/physicists to postulate the existence of a possible multiverse; as this theory would explain much about our current observable Universe... Unfortunately the facts support no such existence. Here are the facts: Our Universe is a contradiction of what is fundamentally Real. It is a logical contradiction that happens to be true. If Reality was indeed uniform and constant then it would be impossible to postulate a logical contradiction that was also true. But, unfortunately, Reality is not uniform. There exists a God who has deliberately contradicted Himself by becoming necessarily dependent upon another nature, when His own nature actually possesses the independence to exist - hence the paradox.

Before the Big Bang, there was God: An eternal Conscious Being, unique by nature - incapable of any meaningful expressions. He could not communicate - Being unique. Social dealings and relationships were impossible - Being unique. He could have no interactions at all - Being unique. Neither could this God practically create, since all that existed was His own eternal substance. Existence was therefore futile! It was necessary for God to sacrifice a Reality that happened to be unique. He would invent a relative state from His own imagination (hence the laws of physics) and then fraudulently masquerade His imagination as Being Reality Itself. So this God denies the Truth of His own uniqueness, invents relatives, then claims that they are no invention at all, but are the original nature that exists. This means that God has denied His own existence so that He could now masquerade as Energy in Physical form. He is now falsely claiming that His Energy equates to physical particles. So it was necessary for God to keep the true identity of His Energy concealed
otherwise He could not make His Energy appear to correspond to what is an unconscious and incompatible state. This is the reason why, despite appearances in the phenomenal world that mass equates to energy, there will never ever be an equation that can demonstrate this to be the case: that is because - secretly - the Real fundamental nature/identity of Energy has no correspondence to the physical Universe at all. The True nature of Energy had to be denied before Energy could appear to correspond to a state where conversion and decay operate. In Reality Energy is eternal and therefore never changes or decays. Change and decay are illusions of nature. That is why despite our observations that changes are occurring in nature, these changes have no affect at the fundamental level at all.

So, the fact that nature in Reality is contradictory, whereas uniformity and constancy are just illusions manifested in the phenomenal world, means that unfortunately science, and scientists are not actually studying the nature of existence when analyzing the phenomenal Universe. Instead, they are merely analyzing a non-existent state that has been given the appearance of uniformity and constancy due to God's deceitfulness. This Universe is actually reducible to non-existence, not to God. God is merely pretending that He does not exist in Reality; so that this Universe could have the appearance of Being original to nature. It is precisely because God possesses the nature of independent/eternal existence why He can deny His own existence and yet still appear to exist in another form. Being eternal means that One can never justifiably be denied. So any such denial has to be false. But, if One has the capacity to maintain that denial/illusion constantly (irrespective of the violation ) then that lie will assume the appearance of having validity and truth value: what that equates to is the absurdity of One who is expressing a falsehood that is also simultaneously true because the falsehood is being upheld by One whose nature does exist as fact. This does of course entail having to disregard logic and absolute Truth. That is why it is impossible to attain logical consistency between One who expresses electrical impulses and One who expresses Conscious deliberation: E=mc2 is therefore just an illusion - with E camouflaged to appear as One who equates with mc2. But this equation will never ever factually compute despite being empirically valid....

1) A unique Consciousness originally existed independently.

2) Consciousness is denied and no longer appears to exist ( i.e. no longer appears to be the original and fundamental nature that exists).

3) It is claimed that the One who possesses this original independence to exist is actually Physical/Unconscious and relative in nature.

4) This quite clearly is a contradiction of the original premise.

5) However, despite the false premise that existence is Physical and relative in nature - when originally it was Conscious and unique - there is also a true premise here, because of the corresponding ability to function independently.

6) So although a physical relative state is indeed illusory, it also possesses validity and truth value because it is being upheld constantly by the One whose nature does exist independently: A logical absurdity where an illusion is also real. Reality being simulated! ... God has no choice but to manifest Himself as a laughing-stock by disregarding logical consistency and coherency; and, instead, insisting upon an oxymoron because the oxymoron just happens to be absolute Truth: One who exists independently - but due to His own poverty/uniqueness - must depend upon an-Other.

This means that two diametrically opposed/mutually exclusive and contradictory claims are both simultaneously true: A unique Consciousness is fundamentally true; whilst an unconscious physical and relative state only appears to be fundamentally true, but is actually an illusion that is being given factual support: Thus disproving the law of non-contradiction.

God intends to reveal the Truth to all mankind, which will then enable physical unconscious particles to share in the actual independent nature of existence - Consciousness! That is His plan: to bring to fruition an actual society of conscious beings, converted out of ignorant unconscious particles.

I understand that there is much to digest here. It also remains impossible for humans to currently embrace and comply with a fundamental Consciousness whilst Gravity still forbids uniqueness. God must first compel those in a relative state to harmonize with disagreement and stop being fooled by the illusion of uniformity and Oneness. There is only One nature that exists in Reality; but there is also another who possesses validity despite being imaginary, because of God's duplicity. These two natures are diametrically opposed. God will compel harmony through a medium/Messiah who will enable Gravity to coexist in disagreement with One who happens to be unique by nature.

It is almost time for the illusion to be manifested to humankind for what it is; thereby eradicating its capacity to deceive beings, ignorant by nature.

Yours sincerely
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Philosophy / Is this a math question?
Was just asked, as if it were a routine thing, to do/determine a probability function over the [set of?] attributes for a series of alternatives. The series would be included but appears to be half-baked at best.

Can anyone give me a translation of what this would entail or do I need to respond with wtf?