mercredi 30 novembre 2016

Sad, a Tacoma police officer killed tonight.

They don't have the suspect in custody yet.

The male shooting suspect was barricaded inside a home with a rifle near East E St. and E. 52nd St.

The male officer responded to a domestic call about 4 p.m. when the shooting took place, according to police. A neighbor said he heard two to three shots fired. The officer was transported to Tacoma General Hospital for surgery after the shooting, and police released details of his death about 9 p.m.
Everyone isn't out of the house yet.

via International Skeptics Forum

When world leaders embarrass themselves and turn to denial

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump President, is this a joke?

I don't know what to tell people in the streets!

via International Skeptics Forum



Yesterday evening a couple of middle aged women knocked upon my door.

As members can appreciate, I am in a particular mode right now so I took the opportunity to engage with these women claiming to be witnessing Jehovah and find out a little more as to their agenda related to being witnesses of Jehovah, since I have my own opinion on what that agenda is, and have shared it most recently in the OP of this thread as well as in my posts in said thread, as well as in other posts in other threads.

One might say I am perhaps a little obsessed with the subject, but in reality it is more a case of trying to understand something which - whether w'all like it or not - affects and effects the goings on of human beings on this I am, trying not to ignore it, or fall at its feet in fearful worship of it or consign it to the 'evil god' department and pooh on it.

So with the opportunity at my door I allowed the communication to proceed and took the time to interrupt these women now and again to give them information pertinent to what they were conveying but they had never thought about before in relation to Jehovah.

This caused some interesting reactions.

First I asked them why they knocked on peoples doors and they said something about a 50 tsunami coming and what would I do in relation to knowing that and would I not try and warn the neighbors.

Rather than go off on a tangent explaining the holes in their metaphor/analogy I decided to ask them what they are saying on Jehovah's part which offered assistance in relation to the impending doom of Armageddon.

They said that Jehovah had a plan and they would be okay.

I asked them what in a nut shell the plan was.

They said Jehovah would bring in his kingdom.

I asked what that meant...they quoted the prophet Daniel in relation to the The Kings Dream story and
the stone which crushed the statues feet of clay represented Jehovah's kingdom destroying the systems of disparity (my interpretation of 'the worlds kingdoms') and making everything all right in the world again. Essentially the promise of a system of parity set up by Jehovah

AS the conversation flowed, I told them briefly my understanding of what was happening and included the logic of how prophesy of future events that can be created and made to come to pass simply through having the money and position of power and influence to actually bring prophesy into reality (make them actually happen) and explained to them why I thought Christianity was an invention of Roman and Jewish intelligent planning in order to control people and get them to more readily accept systems of disparity in order to get those people to calm down and tow the line.

Thus, perhaps then a message of hope where in fact the message was made up and was not from Jehovah at all...Jehovah had other plans.

I put that idea into their heads.

Something to think about...

As expected, they battled on with their 'Jehovah isn't like that' attitude, and not one to want to burst anyone''s hope bubbles, I directed the conversation to what I though 'GOD' was, and told them about First Source Consciousness, and went through the points about my theory of simulated universes, and this planet/universe being a place where evil aspects of FSC came in order to rehabilitate from their experiences with the practice of pure evil.

Furthermore, I said that I saw Jehovah as the creator and administrator of this - our simulated universe, but also saw him as somewhat representative of FSC and for that matter...not only the creator and administrator but also the consciousness experiencing this universe in our forms....essentially connecting the dots from FSC right down through the simulations and into this one, because that is the self aware source of all Consciousness.

I told them that WE were really Jehovah and that the systems of disparity used organised religion in order to make us believe we were separate from 'GOD' (FSC) in that way. I explained that putting the idea of GOD upon a throne and making us worship that idea as if we were not ourself also self aware beings all come from the same source...

They told me Jehovah was not like that.

I told them, 'that is not what organised religion is saying...

They told me they could not accept my understanding that Jehovah and I and them and everyone was essentially the same consciousness and I could see clearly how immediately their body language responded to such a thought and the walls went up immediately and they said that on this point they could not step over that line, and even when I explained to them why they could not (because of the dogma organised religion uses with their adherents) they categorically said that they could not move forward with me on this and all communication is now pointless.

I replied 'does that mean you won't be knocking on my door again?'


"Because, if you do - be prepared to have more of the same. After all this is my door you are knocking on."

They left in an amicable enough manner...

I am inclined still toward the notion that systems of disparity will not be overcome by 'Jehovah's Kingdom' and Jehovah will leave us to our fate because Jehovah knows that if we cannot do it for ourselves, then we do not represent Him anyhoo.

In other words, if we can do it for ourselves, then we are Jehovah after all.

On that note, and because we live in this universe and there is much time and space in order for us to eventually get our **** together, we will - lots of pain to come yet - find a way in which to do so.


via International Skeptics Forum

New fiver: Bank of England looking to make note meat free

The Bank of England says its supplier is working on "potential solutions" to the issue of animal fat in its new £5 notes.

The Bank said the problem "had only just come to light" and it was treating the concerns with "utmost seriousness".

via International Skeptics Forum

Signs of hope from an unlikely source

I listen to news talk radio on a long weekend commute and the shorter weekday rides. Last night I tapped into a Mark Levin broadcast. He was not in full-on repetitive rant mode, so I listened. He was counting down the top electoral college victories in history. Trump's win was in the bottom 25 percent. This was a reaction to a Kellyanne Conway's claiming that Trump had won the EC by a landslide. Levin also credited Hillary with a 2.3 million and counting popular-vote lead. His point ended up being that there was no huge populist uprising, no mandate, at that conservative media were going to "hold his feet to the fire" on Trump's campaign promises.

Even though I don't want Trump to keep his promises, I found Levin's bit encouraging. If it were done by SNL or John Oliver or even CNN, it would not have as much potential impact. I think Levin is pretty smart and understands that if NATO can't depend on the U.S., then maybe Israel can't either. Talk radio hosts now have to do something besides hate Hillary and cheer for Trump. Are they beginning to hedge their bets a little? They have their own careers and credibility to protect. They're not all "ditto heads." They have to stay relevant and entertaining and I'm interested to see where they go from here.

via International Skeptics Forum

Pelosi re-elected to Dem leadership

Really? It's worked out so well for the Dems since she's been in the leadership. I'm a Dem and this is part of the problem with the party. It takes forever to get new blood. The Repubs change leadership like it's the Reign of Terror and they're winning.

via International Skeptics Forum

NYC: Man steals bucket of gold worth $1.8M USD

Bucket of gold flakes valued at $1.6 million stolen from truck


There's a reason you aren't supposed to leave vehicles unattended in the middle of New York. You never know how valuable their contents can be.

A man stole an aluminum bucket full of gold flakes valued at $1.6 million from the back of an unattended truck in midtown Manhattan on September 29. The pail weighed approximately 86 pounds.
An armored truck company was making a pickup and left the back of the truck open and unattended in front of 48 West 48th St. between 5th and 6th avenues. In the time the truck was left alone, a man was able to walk up and make off with some of its precious cargo.
This was either an inside job or an incredible sequence of coincidence.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 29 novembre 2016

Win 10 "File Explorer" hangs/delays wtfo

Anyone else get this? This almost never happened with other Windows....I'll have this thing up, go to click on a file or folder......and get the beloved spinning circle, sometimes up to 30+ seconds (but typically about 5-10). wtf?? It's not like I'm maxing out my system at the time or doing anything unusual.

via International Skeptics Forum

Student Loans in a Nutshell

If I earn a degree from an institution of higher learning--bachelors, masters, doctors--I will be able to produce things of higher value to society at large.

Indeed, having earned such a degree, I will be able to produce things of such high value that society will compensate me many times over the cost of such a degree. In fact, society will reward me so much that I will be able to repay your loan, plus a profit to offset your opportunity cost and even improve your life, and also offset my own opportunity cost and improve my own life. Everybody--the educator, the lender, and the borrower--all benefit from such an arrangement.

Therefore, if you will loan me the cost of such a degree, I will guarantee to you that I will repay your loan with interest, from the profits of all the valuable things I will be producing for society at large.

And then I will go and "earn" a liberal arts degree, and blame you when I cannot produce anything society thinks is especially valuable.

Remind me again: Why do we subsidize higher education?

via International Skeptics Forum

Minority Groups "Special Rights"

I have been hearing more people talking about the "Special Rights" that minority groups are getting, and how scary it is. We saw this as part of the so called "push back" in the US elections.

What I am confused about though are what these so-called special rights that groups, such as the LGBTQ community, have, actually are? What rights do they have or have been given that members of those groups don't have? What makes these rights special?

Is it the right to be judged as an employee by your work and qualifications and not your gender identity or sexuality?

Is it the right to be served as a customer at any business regardless of race, gender, or sexuality?

Is it the right to rent a home or a room at a hotel or B&B without being denied because of your race, or sexuality?

Is it the right to form a public and officially, legally, recognised and licensed relationship with the person you love regardless of their race or gender?

Is it the right to go to the bathroom of your choosing without being harassed and threatened because you fail to conform to gender stereotypes?

Is it the right to walk down the street without fear of being harassed, attacked, or worse because of your race, sexuality, or gender?

Is it the right not be be arrested and made into a criminal because of who you are or who you love?

What exactly are these special rights?

Perhaps someone on the Right can explain it to me, cause I don't get it.

via International Skeptics Forum

Working Class Voters

I recently saw this article from the Harvard Business Review by Joan Williams.

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class

It rang true to me.


The dream is not to become upper-middle-class, with its different food, family, and friendship patterns; the dream is to live in your own class milieu, where you feel comfortable — just with more money. “The main thing is to be independent and give your own orders and not have to take them from anybody else,” a machine operator told Lamont. Owning one’s own business — that’s the goal. That’s another part of Trump’s appeal.
The analysis feels right to me. The Democrats have been losing working class support since Reagan because they don't understand this.


New York Times published an article advising men with high-school educations to take pink-collar jobs. Talk about insensitivity. Elite men, you will notice, are not flooding into traditionally feminine work. To recommend that for WWC men just fuels class anger.
Trump's appeal is the promise to bring back those working class jobs that can support a middle class salary. If the democrats deliver a similar message in 2020, and the these working class voters still don't have those good paying jobs, the pendulum could swing back to the democratic side.

However, as others have said, the reality is we are moving away from a high paying manufacturing base and these working class voters are simply SOL because neither party can deliver those jobs. Manufacturing continues to use robotics to replace workers.

An article in Inc supports this indicateing manufacturing is coming back to the US but not necessarily the jobs.

What message will appeal to these working class voters if you are to be honest about their prospects? It is my guess that the only way to appeal to these voters is to lie to them about their future prospects until they are a significant minority of the voting public. How would a politician appeal to them with policies that are realistic (not simply empty promises of bringing back high paying manufacturing jobs)? Everything I read indicates if you want a high paying job in the future, you have to continually improve your skills.

via International Skeptics Forum

Amazon Christmas(?) Ad

I posted this in The Thinking Atheist forum, and nobody seemed interested in the point of the ad. I'm wondering what kind of reception it'll get here.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

via International Skeptics Forum

Daily Trump Insanity: Burning the flag should be illegal

The freaky part is I don't know if this is him trolling us for lols like a child, whether he is simply unhinged, or whether this is a cold and calculated suggestion to probe for reaction and tolerance.

via International Skeptics Forum

Petraeus Emails - Who is Paula Broadwell?

So it seems Don the Con met with Disgraced "General" David Petraeus as - get this - a candidate for Secretary of State.

Here's a guy who was actually found guilty of emailing classified information to some hog he was banging on the side.

Hypocrisy from the GOP?

Say it ain't so!

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 28 novembre 2016

Jesus and Buddha as room-mates in Japan

There has been a popular manga series which has Jesus and Buddha living as room-mates in a typical small apartment in suburban Tokyo called "Saint Young Men" (聖セイント☆おにいさん".

It's now been made into an animated movie. Here is a clip from the movie (it has English subtitles):

Jesus and Buddha are in a sauna. They meet a man with a large tattoo on his back. (In Japan, people with tattoos are often yakuza.) Jesus is mistaken for a yakuza because of his scars. Funny!

via International Skeptics Forum

Leah Remini talks about Scientology on A&E channel.

I've been seeing ads for a series that will air on A&E Tuesday night featuring Leah Remini.


Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will premiere the first of eight hourlong episodes on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10 p.m. As The Hollywood Reporter first reported in September, the series was filmed over the course of the summer. It will follow the former Scientology member as she speaks with others who've left the controversial church. A release from the network said it will dive deep into stories of "abuse, heartbreak and harassment" experienced by those who have left the church.
This could be interesting. I've got a morbid fascination with Scientology in the same way I'm curious about North Korea.

Steve S

via International Skeptics Forum

All the goodies Pres. Trump will give us...

A brief catalog of at least 282 campaign promises by D. Trump:

In Donald Trump’s final days on the campaign trail, he promised his supporters that “every dream you ever dreamed for your country” will come true if he becomes president

via International Skeptics Forum

Active shooter at Ohio State University


Originally Posted by CNN
At least eight people were taken to hospitals after an active shooter was reported on the Ohio State University campus Monday, authorities said.

One of those eight patients is in critical condition, Columbus Fire spokeswoman Rebecca Diehm said.

via International Skeptics Forum

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, a division of Trump, Inc.

Trump has made no qualms about that fact that he is going to conduct Trump business while in the White House and even in the Oval Office. He is very quick to point out that the president isn't subject to Ethics laws.

The USA will have to get used to the new vetting process for all decisions made in the White House. The sole criteria will be "Is this good for Donald Trump and his businesses?"

via International Skeptics Forum

Entropy and the Big Bang

It seems that an important question in physics is "why did the universe start in a state of low entropy?".

I'd like to ask a related question: given an expanding universe, is there a relationship between density and entropy?

The early universe was in a state of high density and high temperature. What I'm asking is, given expansion doesn't that necessarily imply low entropy?

As the universe expands it will necessarily cool off. That's very similar, as I see it, to a state where there is a high temperature region with a low temperature region near-by, such that energy can flow from the region of high to low temperature.

In this case we have a high temperature system that will evolve into a low temperature system over time (due to expansion). Without expansion that wouldn't happen: the average temperature would just remain the same.

So, my question is, does that evolution from high to low temperature imply an evolution from low to high entropy?

If so it seems odd, but entropy becomes dependent not just on the current state of the system but on possible future states.

To make my point perhaps more clear: isn't it necessarily the case the there are more possible states for a system to take post-expansion than pre-expansion?

Or to take another tack: say I have a model universe that's finite in size. I start it in a low entropy state and let it evolve for a while until it reaches thermal equilibrium. It's now in a high entropy state. Then we turn on expansion. It seems to me that I've just opened up the possibility for higher entropy and my system can go on evolving in interesting ways (rather than just having random thermal fluctuations).

But maybe I'm just rambling incoherently here.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 27 novembre 2016

Trump Claims Millions of Illegal Votes Cast

In reaction to the call for a recount, Donald Trump, President-Elect of the United States (or if we are being pedantic, the presumptive president elect, since it doesn't become official until the electoral votes are counted in Congress in January?) claimed today that millions of illegal votes were cast in the presidential race.

It is very difficult to put into words just how disgusted I am with this claim.

There is absolutely no evidence to back this up. If it were true, then our very democracy would be threatened. If the claim were to be believed, it would seriously undermine our system of government. No, really. That's not hyperbole. No one will take the claim seriously, so it won't actually undermine anything, but if there really were millions of illegal votes cast in the election, it would mean that we simply could not trust the electoral process in the United States. Likewise, if any significant fraction of the population were to believe the claim, it would undermine our system of government. No one could possibly have faith in the system if they believe that millions of illegal votes were cast. Millions of votes is plenty to sway an election. If it were possible that there was that much fraud, then your vote really wouldn't matter.

So we are in a rather awkward position. We have the duly elected President-elect claiming that his own election was fraudulent. This incredibly dangerous claim could really call into question the legitimacy of the greatest democracy in the world. Fortunately, though, no one takes his claim seriously, save for a few fringe lunatics, so the damage will be limited.

What shall we make of this claim? That he is lying? That he is delusional? That it was just a temper tantrum and that words that come out of his mouth are insignificant and should be ignored? I'm not sure which explanation I want to be true.

This is the president we elected. This is the president we deserve. In the words of a very successful marketer, "Sad!"

As for the recount itself, while I, and indeed almost everyone, thinks it is a waste of time, it is being conducted in accordance with the laws of the state of Wisconsin, and recounts might be conducted in the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, in accordance with their laws as well. I don't know if there are any other states whose deadlines for recounts has not yet passed, but there may be recounts in other places as well.

Jill Stein, who is leading the recount effort, has, like Trump, also suggested the possibility of vote fraud, so perhaps some think I ought to be outraged at her as well. However, there are several differences between her and Trump. First and foremost, we don't take her seriously anyway. Not only did she lose, she isn't even a significant national politician. Who cares what she thinks? Second, she did not allege that there were millions of fraudulent votes. She is alleging that it is worth investigating whether or not there might have been a much smaller level of fraud. While I disagree that there is any reason to believe in any vote fraud, she is simply saying that there is enough unusual activity to warrant a closer look, and she is following the legal procedures for doing so. The process is in place. She has exercised her rights under the laws of those states. While we may not take the effort seriously, we are bound to follow it.

A beginning like this does not bode well for his term as president. I did not like Trump, and my dislike for him was not rooted in ideology, but rather in his lack of self control. His campaign staff had to force him to shut up on his Twitter account so as not to alienate more voters. Apparently, now that the election is over, there is no one with the ability to rein him in.

via International Skeptics Forum

How cold is it on Mars, really?

I recently watched ep 2 of the National Geographic miniseries 'Mars', and one of the major plot points was the danger posed to the astronauts by the cold temperatures of the planet, especially at night. It's common in popular media to portray Mars being a dangerously cold place, and the numbers seem to support that - average temperatures around -55 C.

But with only 1% of the atmosphere of Earth, it would seem the effect of convective heat loss would be significantly lower than what we're used to. I also recall from thermodynamics courses (vaguely, as it was a half a lifetime ago) that a properly insulated body loses heat very slowly due to radiative heat transfer. If these assumptions are accurate, it seems possible that a person in a suit designed for survival on Mars would stay warm with moderate activity, and may actually overheat without active cooling systems, regardless of the outside temperature.

So am I missing something, or is the cold on Mars not as big a challenge as portrayed in popular media?

via International Skeptics Forum

ExxonMobil now supports the Paris climate agreement

Yes, Exxon now supports decarbonization, and said this after the Trump election. Presumably they're trying to pivot their business model to take advantage of where they see things going, and they now see climate change as an actual rather than theoretical existential threat to their ability to continue business as usual.

via International Skeptics Forum


I'm a little surprised I haven't seen a thread on this yet.

There's a conspiracy circulating that John Podesta, and by extension Hillary Clinton, is at the center of a pedophile network based in a DC pizza restaurant.

This is the highest order of tinfoil hattery, the entire thing is balanced on supposed hidden meanings of innocuous words and images.

What bothers me is that this theory which should make Alex Jones blush, seems to have a sudden huge rush of followers and support, including the main Trump subreddit, hundreds of thousands strong.

via International Skeptics Forum

Surge protectors

There are a lot of sources that claim surge protectors can't protect from a lightning because there simply is too much current and the only way to effectively protect any device is to unplug it during storms. On the other hand, several manufacturers say that their protectors, when overloaded, will get damaged themselves but will cut the power to the devices and so it's effectively the same as unplugging them. And there is also the odd anecdotal report of people who say that after a lightning they lost many sensitive devices but those plugged in a surge protector survived. So what's the deal ? Is it possible to 100% protect from a lightning with a surge protector ?

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 26 novembre 2016

Is this evidence that life might once have arisen on Mars?

Not yet finding this story in any "science" source, but I haven't looked very hard.


via International Skeptics Forum

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson on the Big Bang

According to a recent (today) posting, Ben Carson, well known ******* and republicker, had something to say about his problem with the Big Bang: he says that he cannot/does not believe that big explosion could have happened because it obviously would have destroyed the Earth.
This is not med up, but, unfortunately it did not list a source. Worse, it is perfectly easy to believe.

via International Skeptics Forum

Android battery problems

Friends, countrymen, lend me your ears.

I have a Droid mini. Phone used to last around 3 days with light internet use.

In June battery started to die much sooner, so I bought a $13 battery on EBay and had it installed.

Long story short, new battery doesn't last any longer than old battery. If anything, it's even worse.

I think may $13 battery may have been a dud or refurbished.

How much would a quality new EG30 battery cost? Ebay has them for up to around $45.

If I buy another one, how do I first charge? Let it drain down to 0 then do a full charge? Just charge the thing till 100%? Charge all night?

I know Lithium Ion batteries have no memory issues, but my spider sense says that first charge means something.

via International Skeptics Forum

Athletics Records on the Moon

Let us assume a huge sports hall on the moon with terrestrial air inside. How would athletics records differ from corresponding records on Earth?

In case of long jump, triple jump, hammer throw and javelin throw, reasonable first guesses can be made by simply multiplying terrestrial records by factor six, due to the fact that lunar gravity is only 1/6 = 17% of terrestrial gravity (i.e. 83% weightlessness with respect to gravity on Earth).

Thus as "lunar athletics records" we roughly get:
  • Long jump: 50 m
  • Triple jump: 110 m
  • Hammer throw: 500 m
  • Javelin throw: 600 m
A reasonable first guess for high jump is more difficult. In case of pole vault I would assume that jumps up to a height of around 30 m should be possible with corresponding long and flexible poles.

Does somebody know how to make reasonable guesses for sprint races?

Cheers, Wolfgang

via International Skeptics Forum

Is a new economic model needed

The world economic forum have said that we are at the beginning of a 4th Industrial revolution predominantly created by big data, IoT, 3D printing, AI, machine learning and robotics and increase in service based intangible products. It suggests that 7.1 million jobs will have disappeared by 2020 to be replaced by only 2 million new types of Jobs. It also suggests that this rate of conversion will only accelerate in the next 10 years.

The digital disruption of our economies is just going to get faster, but where are the debates in every country on new models and responses in new skills planning, universal income models, technological, social and political impacts.
Switzerland has been looking at universal income models but it is difficult to see how a single country responds to such a global phenomena.

Do we need a new economic model for the 4th Industrial Revolution? How does the political situations created by Brexit, Trump etc affect us at a time of potential massive employment change?

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 25 novembre 2016


So tonight I wanted to watch a series of videos on YouTube related to Manitoba Hydro's generating stations. Just as the second video started, a white balloon appeared on top of the video saying "Make money on YouTube." It did not have an X to close it ... I had to click on the damned thing to make it go away, and it replaced the balloon with an ad!

RANT! Okay, I get that YouTube wants to make money by selling ads. But to PUT THEM ON TOP OF A VIDEO I'M WATCHING??
And I REALLY HATE the fact that YouTube is for all intents and purposes a monopoly on this sort of content, so they can abuse their captive audience with crap like this, and do it with impunity. And like the nice little psychopaths they are, Google simply doesn't care. Not about me, not about their abuse of power ... it's all about money.

I'm SO pissed off right now. No way in hell am I going to sign up for a paid account with Google to get rid of the ads. That's practically a protection racket. Give money that THAT outfit? It feels like I'd be paying someone to rape me.

via International Skeptics Forum

Castro has passed on

It finally happened Fidel is no more.

via International Skeptics Forum

Events/Disasters that directly confront God belief.

Many years ago when I moved to Gladstone (Queensland, Australia), I was told by a local that a cyclone had hit the town some years before.

"All the churches were destroyed", he said, "But all the pubs were untouched". "People here are trying to figure out if there is some message in this".

Now I can't be sure of the veracity of this story, but it is a good one that tickles my fancy.

Anyone know of other stories along these lines?

via International Skeptics Forum

Anyone else ruin Thanksgiving with politics?

You can bet I did. No one that voted for Trump got any turkey from me. Also they got a long rant on how terrible they are. And then turkey anyways because I'm not a monster.

By the way this is the year I realized I AM the crazy uncle. But my turkey is also crazy good.

But I guess most of you just argued football instead? To keep the peace?

But don't worry about my victims. They'll feel better when they get my Christmas cards...provided they open them.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is God a Metaphor?

Dear Friends,

As you probably know, authors of essays are often eager to find readers.
I am one of such authors.

That is why my mini-book, "Is God is a Metaphor?", costs less than
one dollar, at .

Just type the book title into their search box, and click RETURN.

This mini-book will probably trigger a debate.

I do have the pdf version of this essay; I will email it to any person who asks for this privately, in anticipation of posting comments.

Please share this information with all who might be interested. Thank you in advance.

Ludwik Kowalski Ph.D. (See Wikipedia)

via International Skeptics Forum

Who would be a good "Liberal Trump" to run against Trump?

Since it is clear the Republicans knew how to play their cards, and they went for the Character that is fun to watch, to run as a candidate, it seems like the Democrats could play that game as well.

So how would be a good Celebrity that is known well enough and has enough "Charisma" to run agains Trump?

My main vote so far is Stephen Colbert. He has the appeal toward the Democrats, but he also appeals to a lot of Republicans as well (Mostly, those who watched the Colbert Report, thinking it was actually a Conservative Show). He's a Roman Catholic, so he has the Religion card to appeal to people who follow a Religion. And now that he has his Late Show, he's quite popular as well. In his show, he has interviewed Republicans and he seems to do well with them, and treats them with respect. He even had a SuperPac once, so he already has some experience Running as a Candidate.

via International Skeptics Forum

What I think about consciousness in relation to this reality.

What I think about consciousness in relation to this reality.

• The universe is a simulation.

• Consciousness has always existed and always will exist. It had no beginning and will have no end. I call this consciousness "First Source" to denote the fundamental essence of all other types of consciousness derived from this one.

• First Source Consciousness creates the simulations and uses these to explore and experience. This process allows FSC to imbue aspects of its self into innumerable simulations without having to leave its dominant reality of FSC.
Essentially this means that metaphorically it is Father/Mother and it is also the Children.

• Some simulations have allowed for consciousness to focus upon, explore and experience evil expression.

• Our simulation is a specific creation designed to place evil aspects of consciousness within for the purpose of rehabilitation from the affects caused by other simulation experiences which have promoted evil intent and malevolent behaviour.

• Our simulation is designed to hold the evil intent in a place where it can do the least damage and has the properties necessary as a first step process toward rehabilitation of the wayward.

• Other simulations exist to which we will eventually experience as the next step in the process of rehabilitation once we have completed the life and death sentence of this simulation.

Those are the basic points of the theory. The theory itself is the combination
of other theories and belief systems which human beings are influenced by.

"Human Beings" are evil aspects of consciousness and their forms and environment are specifically designed for the purpose of rehabilitation - the first step in the process.

That's what I think about consciousness in relation to this reality.

via International Skeptics Forum

Science in Trouble!

Science in Trouble! Epistemological Holes Start to Manifest in the Heart of Scientific Method - a written piece by Devaraj, now online at


via International Skeptics Forum

Pair charged in explosive device at elementary school; planned to shoot cops, start r

This kind of thing does nothing to help race relations...


A convicted felon who claims he wanted to shoot cops is behind bars in connection with the explosives device planted outside of a Trussville elementary school.

Authorities today announced state charges against 35-year-old Zachary Edwards and 34-year-old Raphel Dilligard, both of eastern Birmingham. They are charged with possession of a hoax destructive device, rendering false alarm and making terrorist threats, said Trussville police Capt. Jeff Bridges.

via International Skeptics Forum

The 'San Antonio Four' have been exonerated.

Another decades long USAian miscarriage of justice has finally been resolved. :rolleyes:

On Tuesday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals finally cleared Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera, and Anna Vasquez of all wrongdoing. The four women were convicted of child sexual abuse in 1997, during one of the periodic USAian bouts of "satanic panic".

The alleged victims (there is no actual evidence any sexual assault took place) were Ramirez's nieces, then aged 7 and 9 who claimed to have been sexually abused at Ramirez's apartment on multiple occasions.
An "expert witness" (Dr. Nancy Kellogg who is still practicing medicine and specialising in the field of child abuse pediatrics) used by the Texan authorities described the alleged assault as "satanic-related" ritual. The girls were allegedly held down by the women and raped repeatedly with small objects including syringes, vials of white powder and a handgun.

Ramirez was sentenced to 37.5 years in prison, while the others were sentenced to 15 years each with Vasquez being paroled in 2012, and the others being bailed a year later, after one of the two alleged victims recanted and the state's "expert witness" retracted her testimony. Earlier this year a state district court judge overturned their convictions, which came at one of the USA's periodic "gay panics" (all four women are gay) and "national hysteria … over satanic sexual abuse".
On Wednesday the judges found the woman, all now in their forties, "have unquestionably established that they are innocent". And they also noted the father of Ramirez's nieces "engaged in a pattern of threatening behavior towards the complainants and false allegations of sexual assault"

Nancy Kellogg, head of the child-abuse unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center, testified during the trials that the thickness of the sisters’ hymens was a sign of trauma, and that reddening of the younger girl’s hymen was evidence of assault and a white line on the older girl’s was a scar. This wasn't even generally accepted back then is is now considered complete rubbish. Additionally, in the absence of the jury, Dr. Kellogg also testified that the unusual situation of multiple female perpetrators made her think it was a case of "Satanic ritual abuse". Even in 1997 this opinion was utter rubbish; indeed back in 1991 an FBI agent (Kenneth Lanning) published a landmark summary in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect, in which he summarised eight years of looking unsuccessfully for evidence of the bloody rituals commonly reported in cult-abuse cases. Lanning stated that child sexual abuse is a real problem, and blaming it on elusive cults wastes resources and impedes the credibility of those seeking to protect children.
Kellogg has refused to comment on the case, as she has on other miscarriages of justice where her testimony was involved, such as the wrongful conviction of Frank Navarijo in 1991.

Hopefully a truly massive lawsuit against the incompetent and bigoted Texan authorities will ensue.

The Guardian

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 24 novembre 2016

Russia voted for Trump...


The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

via International Skeptics Forum

Albert Einstein supporting the psychic Gene Dennis?

In 1932, Albert Einstein publicly endorsed an alleged psychic girl known as Gene Dennis.

I am looking for information on this person because I wanted to write an article on Gene Dennis for a skeptic newsletter I contribute to.

A favourite magician of mine was David P. Abbott he debunked many fraudulent mediums but according to this website he also endorsed Dennis as genuine and became her manager:


The following year magician David P. Abbott invited her to his home so that her psychic powers could be tested. Abbott had built a reputation on debunking psychics. Behind the Scenes with the Mediums (1907) was his magnum opus on the fakery of Spiritualist mediums. But, weirdly, instead of debunking Gene Dennis he became her manager. He wouldn’t be the last magician to swap sides either to share a psychic’s limelight, affections or profits.

Abbott explained his actions by telling the story of how Gene Dennis passed a stringent test of her powers in his booklet The Wonder Girl, a name claimed to have been bestowed on her by Arthur Conan Doyle. But Abbott’s manuscript didn’t see the light of day until Walter Graham published it in 1992. Todd Karr casts more light on the arrangement the magician and psychic came to in his book (written with Teller) House of Mystery (2005) which is I think the most complete account of Gene Dennis’ career and contains many wonderful photos and ephemera.
References for the above information

Online I also found a skeptical paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 1932, the abstract reads:


When given an opportunity to demonstrate mind-reading ability and "psychic powers" this examinee failed to give evidence of either.
I will probably download this paper. Just asking here for any information on Gene Dennis and her involvement with Einstein.

via International Skeptics Forum

Sources and influences re: HPB's "Ascended Masters"

I find Madame Blavatsky to be a fascinating personality whose inventions are still very much with us today. I'm intrigued as to how she developed her "ascended masters" concept. Any thoughts?

via International Skeptics Forum

Noam Chomsky Says GOP is the ‘Most Dangerous Organization in World History’


Surely this is hyperbole, many will say. Chomsky admits “The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it?”
“The facts,” he says, “suggest otherwise. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to [the] destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.” He asks people to “consider what we have just been witnessing.”
Think about it: awful as Hitler and the Nazi Party were, the German leader did not have the power to destroy all human life even had he wished. Nuclear weapons aside, the Donald Trump and the GOP do. Because, as Chomsky says, the second important event to take place on November 8 was a WMO report that stated that the last five years have been the hottest on record (we have since seen 2016 is on track to be the new hottest year).
I can't see how he's entirely wrong. Not even ISIS has the power to make the entire globe less inhabitable.

via International Skeptics Forum

Contact Electors to vote against Trump

^^^^^ List of GOP Electors

The Electoral College meets on December 19th to vote for President.

They can vote for any candidate they like. They can still choose a different person for President, other than Donald Trump.

I urge you all to contact the GOP Electors in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and urge them to vote for another Republican, preferably John Kasich or Jeb Bush, as they are sane men, calm under pressure, able to handle stress in difficult times. Unlike Trump, who is a loose cannon who simply doesn't have the temperment to be President.

If you do contact these people, please be polite, civil, and courteous.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trying to get Win 7 Sys Recovery from HP. :(

My short but ongoing adventure...

The good news... spent three hours on the phone with HP yesterday and they'll send me a replacement for the recovery USB I bought from them. It throws a "(filepath)... \RStone.exe not found" error before getting to the file(s) installation on the new drive (yes... stoNe, not stoRe). No one knows what the hell that is or why but they'll go with a bad build scenario and we'll try a new one.

The bad news... I ordered the thing on the 1st and after the delay of switching from DVDs to USB sticks for delivery (they don't like optical anymore?), it finally arrived Saturday the 19th.
The replacement isn't expected before the first of next month. :(:(:(

Now, the bizarre...

I escalated through three tiers, finally getting a supervisor (and a tech on the party line so I could explain it all again), and everyone was honestly wanting to help except the first guy I spoke with.

When informed this was for a 4/5 year old Pavilion G7 laptop he told me, in no uncertain terms... 'it's obsolete", HP no longer supports it, I should go buy a new laptop. And when I asked if I could just buy a new OEM Win 7 full install package, he said "no, that won't work". :confused:

What the hell HP, what the actual hell. :mad::mad::mad:

God damned maroon.

via International Skeptics Forum

UK Autumn Statement 2016

The UK chancellor Philip Hammond has made his autumn statement. Some of what he has said has made it into the Brexit thread but I wanted a more general discussion here.

One of the key messages I took away is that we've now switched to austerity lite - the poor and disabled will still be screwed over by government spending cuts but at least there'll be money available for the big corporations.

One of the things tucked away in the statement was changes to the "flat rate VAT scheme", much beloved of small and start up companies (I used it myself when I started my company - it simplifies VAT returns considerably). It seems that the rates will be going up for a lot of small businesses at the same time that corporation taxes, paid largely by big businesses are going down:

Once again it seems that the government is determined that the costs of austerity are transferred from those most able to pay (the rich and big business) to those least able to pay (the poor, disabled and small business). :mad:

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 23 novembre 2016

Post-it note "Hate Crime"


At Edgewood College, police are investigating a post-it-note that was deemed a "hate crime" by college officials.

The post-it-note says "Suck it up, pussies!" Whoever wrote it also drew a winking, tongue-out smiley face, like this:

OK, so I was a little skeptical of this. It seemed a bit too on-the-nose, but unless someone outright fabricated a message from the "Vice President for Student Development", it's all right there (Occam's razor says it isn't a fabrication). A post-it note saying "Suck it up, pussies!" is a "hate crime" he believes.


According to a letter sent out by Vice President for Student Development Tony Chambers, a student at the college started a campaign to let students and others express their feelings about the outcome of the election by placing notes on a table in the commons.

One note—bearing the phrase “Suck it up, pussies!”—was placed on the inside window of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, eliciting outrage within the traumatized academic community.
So it's OK to write post-it notes expressing your feelings about the election, but write a contrary one and it's a "hate crime". "Hate Crime", what the actual fudge? A post-it note expressing an opinion? Are you so emotionally fragile that you can't handle this???

via International Skeptics Forum

How do we know (ordinary) ancient persons existed?

Hello historians,

Hopefully I can find more critical feedback here than I did in the Religion and Philosophy section on my understanding of how it is we can "know" or have "reasonable confidence" that certain ancient figures were in fact historical and not fictional.

My focus is on figures for whom we have no public monuments but for whom we must rely entirely upon what we read in various manuscripts.

The original impetus for my thoughts has been the debate over the historicity of Jesus. I am not interested in the Jesus question per se here but rather in what other lovers of history have to say about the following suggestion setting out how we can have confidence that a person was historical or not.

Critical feedback is sought:


Originally Posted by vridar (Post 11565807)
We have strong confidence in the historicity of ancient persons if they appear in a literary source
  • that consists of a narrative that in key aspects is confirmed by external material/primary evidence (e.g. Josephus, Livy)
  • whose general reliability is confirmed by independently derived information in other literary works (e.g. we have five ancient historical works about Alexander the Great — Diodorus Siculus, Quintus Curtius, Plutarch, Arrian)

Arrian writes long after Alexander but he identifies earlier sources that he relies upon. He could be making that all up, but the other independent evidence gives us grounds for having some trust in him.

With Jesus we have no comparable sources. In fact, many if not most of the stories in the gospels have been identified as adaptations of Old Testament narratives and passages.

Normally an ancient historian who wanted to impress readers with the authority of his narrative would identify himself and state his sources and explain why his history was to be believed. The Gospel of Luke appears to do that but falls short -- it speaks in generalities without identifying any so-called "eyewitness".

That is a very brief synopsis of my reasoning. Much more could be fleshed out, but I will leave it at that for starters.

via International Skeptics Forum

What? Iraq and Iran don't want to cut Oil Production?

Seems like a lot of people in OPEC are getting worried that Iraq and Iran don't want to cut oil production:

Well, why should they? I mean, if Iraq and Iran cut back Oil Production, then everybody makes more money...and then funds the terrorists who muslim the Shias who live in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Iran!

Naw...Iraq and Iran probably don't want to see the price of Oil go up, and then have Qatar, Saudi, the UAE , Kuwait, etc...use those profits to try to over throw them and their allies. As a result, I think the price of oil is going to stay low for a good while longer!

via International Skeptics Forum

Voter Suppression - 2016

I didn't see a thread about this, so I figured I'd start

Methods such as restricting polling locations and hours, strict identification restrictions, and voter purge lists appear to have been used with increasing frequency in recent elections. It appears this especially true in conservative areas. At least, based on my reading and understanding. It also appears conservative politicians believe these tactics do help suppress Democratic voters. And with the 2014 decision gutting the Voter Rights Act, we've seen a flood of various suppression schemes in conservative states and counties.

I think this is an interesting topic. I'd like to focus on cataloging and verifying (if possible) instances of various suppression tactics used during the 2016 elections. It would also be very interesting to try to quantify impacts. I have access to ArcGIS. If we can locate voter data from current and past elections, we could easily quantify potential impacts. I think these analyses are extremely important in understanding current future impacts of these suppression tactics. And I think it's probably a good idea to understand these impacts, because I think it's fair to expect these tactics to only strengthen in coming elections.

That said, with respect to the 2016 election, I view the impacts of potential voter suppression the same way I view a couple bad ref calls in a football game. They can certainly change the final outcome, but a winning team should never put itself in a position that a couple bad calls could determine the final outcome. Teams should always focus on what they could have done better, not what the refs could have done better. In that spirit, I don't want this thread to just be a festival of bitching and blaming. I'm really just looking looking for information, discussion, and hopefully some quantifying so we can move past the hand-waving.

via International Skeptics Forum

First or Third person, past or present tense.

So... I am a bit of a hobby writer, with a few bits out there, nothing you will have read, but one of the things I like playing around with is the different styles of story telling. So there are the obvious first person ("I did this") or third person ("A character did that") styles in the past, or present tense, with a few quirks to play with (a narrator telling the story in a conversational, rather than formal way, or playing about with tine).

What has surprised me is when I talk about books I like, how many writers or readers will say: Pratchett? Never read him, it is all third person." Or "No way. First person is always a deal breaker".

So, is there any style you wont read? Is it just taste, or is there something about it you cant connect with?

via International Skeptics Forum

Evidence of voting hacking??

At least, that's what an independent group of computer scientists and lawyers are saying.


A group of renowned computer scientists and lawyers have urged Hillary Clinton to challenge the election results in three key states after they gathered "evidence" to suggest the election results were potentially manipulated.


The group of activists, including voting rights lawyer John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan's center for computer security and society, believe their evidence shows that results in these three battleground states - which lost Ms Clinton the election on 8 November - might have been hacked.

As reported by New York Magazine, the group is not speaking on the record but is privately lobbying Clinton’s team to challenge the election results.

In Wisconsin, Ms Clinton received 7 per cent fewer votes in counties that depended on electronic-voting machines compared to countries that used optical scanners and paper ballots, and consequently Ms Clinton may have lost up to 30,000 votes. She lost Wisconsin by 27,000 votes.
According to the article, there are also six Electoral College members who plan to be the so-called "faithless" electors; they've flipped their vote from Trump to Clinton.

I'm certainly no expert in computer hacking or voting machine hacking, but it seems this is not spurred on by either campaign; it was an independent review that may possibly have caught evidence of vote tampering in three key swing states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. I plan to follow this story closely to see what the outcome is; whatever it is, I hope it's decisive enough to keep from causing massive protests as one or the other candidate loses. The last thing we need now is Trump or Clinton supporters rioting in the streets because their candidate either had victory taken away from them (Trump) or had a possible chance to win snatched away (Clinton).

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 22 novembre 2016

I was raised with Scientology as mostly a set of beliefs, and have written down my th

I was raised in Scientology and held it for many years as a set of personal beliefs, as something connected to my family. My practical involvement amounted to some auditing and courses and I went through a phase where I was really excited about it as a kid.

In 2012 I wrote a review of my thoughts on Scientology, and since than I've been recording my thoughts on the Scientology and church culture I grew up with.

Much of my thoughts were just looking at Scientology, looking at the world, and drawing conclusions from comparisons (here's how science works, here's Scientology) and not wanting to use the assumption that critical sources are trustworthy as an argument. (I did read criticism, but for the most part sought arguments through logical observations.) When something brought Scientology to my mind, I'd write something down; a silent assertion of my own views when caught between family and the internet, adding up over time.

I've finally organized most of them onto google docs here. The summaries and conclusions section is a glimpse at how my thoughts evolved over time, the rest of it is from all over the last four years.

Since I've posted on here about Scientology a couple times, and my last thread here was just a prod to get more anti-Scientology arguments, I thought I'd share with you guys.

I'll also answer any questions anyone's interested to ask, especially if they don't want to have to do a ton of reading.

via International Skeptics Forum

The rolling coal thing

This fad where guys modify their trucks to spew as much black smoke as possible is getting out of hand. I'm really sick of getting stuck behind them at stoplights.

Who started this thing? Why does it seem like it is always the guys that also have truck testicles that do it? Do they correlate with Confederate flag t-shirts?

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Science poisoned our natural environement, now it has to save our natural world

Since Enlightement, science poisoned the world with its filthy techology, which was very bad for our natural environement.
In Brazil they found a group of people still living close to nature in the jungle, healty and surviving.

Science brought forth technology that could not be recycled and the waste of it is destroying our planet.
Now we need science to save our planet, but science will not be able to clean its own mess.

via International Skeptics Forum

Chitown squirrel takes out alderman who warned against them

Snitches get stitches.


Last month, Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins was raising the alarm about "aggressive squirrels" wreaking damage on trash cans in his community.

This month, the squirrels struck back...

At a local meeting in October, Brookins repeatedly raised the issue of squirrels and trash cans, in the face of bemused and occasionally giggling colleagues, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "Literally — I can have a brand new can drop and within a couple days, the squirrels have eaten a hole through it," Brookins said.

It was weeks later, on Thursday, that Brookins was out for a bike ride when, as The Chicago Tribune puts it, he "was jumped by a kamikaze squirrel that leapt into the front wheel of his bike and lodged himself in the spokes, sending the alderman flying over the handlebars."

via International Skeptics Forum

Score a Big one for Science! "Homeopathy does not work."

The FTC (not the FDA) has ruled that "homeopathic" substances must clearly state on their labels that they do not work and there is no evidence they ever have.


via International Skeptics Forum

"Skeptic" magazines free to good home

I'm finding it less and less likely I'll ever get back to these again:

Looks like roughly 1997 through 2010, not necessarily all-inclusive.

Probably best for someone in the N GA, Chattanooga or Knoxville areas where I could meet you with them. But if someone wants to cover shipping, I'm game.

Let me know - seems a shame to relegate them to a dumpster.

via International Skeptics Forum

Campus Freedom Index

Has anyone looked at this?

The organization is essentially the Canadian equivalent of FIRE (USA) but I didn't hear about it until recently when I listened to a chat on the topic between Gad Saad and Michael Kennedy (they go over the results and contrast USA vs Canada). The methodology is linked on the website.

I decided to look at my own school and found some shocking stuff on the UoG page:

Here's some anti-oppression training that apparently a member of each student club has to attend. I'm not at all surprised by the language used and the ideas dispensed ("reverse racism is not real") but it's still jarring to read.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 21 novembre 2016

Trump isn't a fascist? Meet advisor Bannon's bestest buddies

Warning: don't play the vid in the article unless you have a strong stomach and no problems with your blood pressure.

via International Skeptics Forum

North Carolina Republicans attempting to steal governorship

Shameless attempt to outright overturn the popular will (and one of the few bright spots for Democrats in a dismal year):

via International Skeptics Forum

Congratulations Trump Seniors, you just got knifed in the back

Trump's own transition website now says he will support GOP phase out of Medicare.

Predicted Next up: Social Security

The "on your own" society has arrived.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump corruption thread

It appears to me that a thread needed to be created to keep track of all of Trump's corruption and fraud scandals. He isn't even in the office yet, and he's selling the White House.

"About 100 foreign diplomats, from Brazil to Turkey, gathered at the Trump International Hotel this week to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel."

This is just one of many scandals, and more are sure to come.

via International Skeptics Forum

Sad note on the G. H. Williamson legacy

In my researches into Williamson, an important early UFO writer, I have discovered that his son is living in a homeless shelter in Austin. He is also on the sex offender registry for child molestation. :(

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7.3 quake off Japan with tsunami warning


Originally Posted by CNN Breaking News
A tsunami warning is in effect for Japan's Fukushima Prefecture after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off of Honshu at 5:59 a.m. Tuesday (3:59 p.m. Monday ET), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

A tsunami wave of 1-3 meters (3-10 feet) is possible, according to the agency.

via International Skeptics Forum

Tsunami Warning - Fukishima


Hope it turns out to be much ado about nothing.


A tsunami warning is in effect for Japan's Fukushima Prefecture after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Honshu at 5:59 a.m. Tuesday (3:59 p.m. Monday ET), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

via International Skeptics Forum

We’ve seen Donald Trump before – his name was Silvio Berlusconi


We keep being told that the Donald Trump phenomenon means we have entered the era of post-fact politics. Yet, I would argue, post-fact politics has been tarnishing democracy for some time. Twenty-two years ago a successful businessman sent a VHS tape to Italy’s news channels. It showed him sitting in a (fake) office. He read a pre-prepared statement via an autocue.

The man’s name was Silvio Berlusconi, and he was announcing that he was, in his words, “taking the field”. The first reaction was derision. Opposition politicians saw his political project (the formation of a “movement” called Forza Italia – Go for it, Italy – just months ahead of a crucial general election) as a joke. Some claimed a stocking had been put over the camera to soften the impact of Berlusconi’s face.

But Forza Italia soon became the biggest “party”. In the working-class Communist citadel of Mirafiori Sud in Turin, an unknown psychiatrist standing for Berlusconi’s movement beat a long-standing trade unionist. Berlusconi had not just won, he had also stolen the left’s clothes and some of its supporters. That first government was short lived, but Berlusconi would dominate Italian politics for the next 20 years – winning elections in 2001 and 2008 and losing by a handful of seats in 2006. In terms of days in office, Berlusconi ranks as Italy’s third longest-serving prime minister, behind Mussolini and the great liberal of 19th-century Italy, Giovanni Giolitti.

One wonders if Trump would also get away with not just paying for sex with an underage prostitute, but also pressuring police to drop an investigation if said prostitute were caught shoplifting. Considering Trumps outrageous behavior i would quite honestly not be surprised.

via International Skeptics Forum

Interns beware... Donald is comin' stag to the White House

Looks like the missus and the sprog are staying in NYC for the school year.

Teh Don on the loose in the West Wing. :eek:


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The Trump Pool

How long do you think he's going to last? Whether he withdraws, gets embroiled in a scandal, or is impeached and removed. Or, he'll serve out the full one (or two) terms.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 20 novembre 2016

Teacher who fell pregnant after 'daily sex' with student faces 30-years jail


A US schoolteacher has pleaded guilty after she was impregnated by a 13-year-old student.

Alexandria Vera, 24, had sex with the teen almost daily for nine months, according to Aldine Independent School District Police.

Vera fell pregnant but later had an abortion after Child Protective Services questioned her about her relationship with the father, Vera told investigators.


Vera was initially charged with continuous sex abuse of a child, which could have landed her a life sentence, but is pleading guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual assault as part of a deal which could reduce her prison time to 30 years, according to CBS News.

via International Skeptics Forum

What will Trump do after terrorist attack?

It is highly likely that there will be another terrorist attack in the USA.

If Trump has his way, it will be a BIG attack, that he can take advantage of for his agenda.

What will Trump do after a big attack in the USA?

via International Skeptics Forum

Clinton lost although she won the popular vote - for dummies

Clinton lost although she won the popular vote - for dummies
Hillary's real maiden name is the same as her first cousin once removed Tim Kaine, alias Howard Ronald Stewart Hitler.
"Trump beats Hitlery Clinton" is a script that can be reduced to three words: her father trumped.

Trump plays classic bomber before his FULL self-detonation, same as Obama
Illuminati suicide bomber Trump in one of his main missions as classic bomber:
Nov 20, 2016 - "president elect Trump" is about to start the Registry for "detention" alias extermination camps for US citizens, starting with the Muslim registry.
Once completing his classic bombing missions, the "billionaire" will be "arrested" and stripped of his presidential title, to let Hillary Clinton be crowned Miss Universe, as the real 44th president, successor of GW Bush.

Reminder from Feb 2016:
"Moderate" Republican Chris Christie in the pioneer role for the acceptance of Hitler trumped
First "establishment politician" to endorse Trump after the "billionaire" set two genocide related milestones.

Genocidal Trump's two milestones
Trump was the first US or european politician in the IV Reich (since the Red Army put an end to the jewish holocaust by Hitler, 1945):
1. - to call for genocide: "we must kill their (ISIS) families".
Reminder: last one was Hitler, calling for the extermination of the jews in 1935.
2. - to call for a religious or ethnic Registry for citizens in the USA or Europe (starting with muslims).
Reminder: last ones were Hitler (started with jews in Germany) and Roosevelt (started with ethnic japanese in the US).
1945 didn't put only an end to the Holocaust but also to the scripted genocide of non-whites in the US, that would start with ethnic japanese: ALL such US citizens had already been moved from the Registry to "detention" camps.

GREAT TRIBULATION: Endless Deception is one of its features: Trump and Hillary Clinton
The script for the actor playing "billionaire Trump" stands above all for Endless Deception, starting with having americans accept the "election" of Adolf Hitler's oldest daughter as first woman president, years after her half-sister Angela became first woman chancellor of Germany, all explained by Last Prophet in 2007.
What does endless deception means in this case?
Start with Hillary Clinton disliked by 98% of americans while her missions range from genocide of more than one hundred million americans to the break-up of the United States.

Feb 2016: GREAT TRIBULATION: Endless Deception: From Trump to Homs, Syria

Apr 20, 2016, on Hitler's anniversary: End Times Sign: 3 digits milestone for multiplying votes
New York primaries: Clinton real votes counted 100 times each - milestone for converting real into official results.
Contrast it with Trump's results, generated, by BOTH a multiplier and a divider.
Contrast the very last thing Hitler's oldest daughter, "billionaire Trump" and "socialist Sanders" would say:

via International Skeptics Forum

Russia, Ryzan, Litvenenko... Putin

Hello to all the good posters here at ISF. I am a new poster here, but no stranger to ridiculing my friends and family who have been taken by the truth movement...

More recently however, I've been drawn towards the story of the 1999 Russian Apartment Bombings, and their aftermath. I'd love to hear some other people's thoughts, particularly as I know the site has some Russian posters.

The story goes:
(for beginners)
There were a series of 4 bombings. Bombs were placed in the basements of civilian apartment blocks. They went off in the middle of the night. Hexagen (sp?) was identified as explosive.

The people were in shock and panic, the state on high alert.
Then, in Ryazan a citizen reported suspicious behaviour in an apartment basement.
Police came in, bomb squad confirmed viable device. A manhunt resulted in the arrest of three suspects.
The suspects turned out to be FSB agents... And it was only a drill to test readiness.

The terrorists carried out no attacks after Ryzan

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Donald Trump calls for safe the theater!

Yes, it's true!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_9678.jpg (17.4 KB)

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Stundies Reborn?

Maybe we can restart the Stundies, but instead of mining the CT boards we can follow the comments made by trump and his cabinet. They're certainly going to be a lot of CT-heads in his administration.

via International Skeptics Forum

Menard Turning In Freemen?

Freemen: Is Menard Turning Your Name In To The Government?

Robert Menard has been very clear in stating that he has helped create a government accessed registry of freemen on the land!

Not realizing what he is admitting to Robert Menard has repeatedly and openly bragged that he and other freemen have been allowed to avoid criminal statutes because would-be arresting officers checked a government accessed registry of freemen and allowed them to go on their way.

So who created this government registry of freemen, but the director of the World Freeman Society himself, Robert Menard?

Robert Menard has publicly admitted to using money donated by freemen themselves to create a registry of Freeman Peace Officers, or C3POs, and has apparently turned that list over to the government!

Yes, Robert Menard has openly claimed to have been recognized as a peace officer by government officials who, no doubt, checked the C3PO registry!

So who created this government registry of C3POs, but the director of the Canadian Common Corps of Peace Officers himself, Robert Menard?

Beware freemen!

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Idea for improving public scientific literacy

Science works because scientific institutions create environments where bad ideas can’t survive. On the other hand, bad ideas thrive in other environments such as social media, news media, and other forms of public discourse. There are many topics of importance where public opinion is drastically at odds with current state of knowledge in the scientific community, partially due to the fact that it is very difficult for scientists and science communicators to relay technical information to a non technical audience. The importance of these communication efforts can not be understated. However, it is also important to draw a clear line between the areas where scientific research is formally debated, such as conferences and the technical literature, and non technical areas where scientific information may be communicated in some sense. Blurring this line is extremely counterproductive because it gives the appearance of legitimacy to those who have none. On the other hand, many view scientific institutions as corrupt and motivated by politics or greed rather than open scientific inquiry. I don’t believe this to be true in general, but nonetheless there is really no good argument that the public should simply submit to the authority of scientists. A possible remedy for both these problems is not for scientists to meet the public in non technical public forums, but rather for the public to have the opportunity meet scientists in scientific forums. One avenue for this type of interaction is the creation of conferences where members of the lay-public whose views differ from that of the scientific community have the opportunity to present their ideas to the professional scientists.

There are many benefits to creating this sort of conference, the first being that it would put the burden of proof back where it belongs. Many in the public do not realize that if an idea manages to gain some level of acceptance in the scientific community then it has already undergone a great deal of scrutiny. Many also do not realize that any idea, regardless of the level of acceptance it has gained among experts so far, must be discarded if the idea is falsified by the presentation of proper evidence. Members of the public who disagree with a scientifically accepted idea should realize that it is up to them to present an argument on why that idea is wrong. They should also be given the opportunity to do so and have their view subjected to the same scrutiny that the scientific community would give to one of its own members.

Even if someone never participates in such a conference, it’s mere existence would provide some benefit. Anyone from a public figure to a person posting thoughts on social media might rethink their views if they know they may be challenged to present their ideas to professionals. Some will of course miss this opportunity for introspection, but others will not. This may lead to many members of the lay public to finally consider the crucial question “what if my views are wrong?”. Hopefully, this will open up a small intellectual space for critical thinking to begin, and some of those with strong opinions in opposition to scientifically accepted ideas may consider the possibility that they had previously overestimated their competence.

If a person or group is trying to advance a particular argument, an interesting sort of litmus test for that group's intentions is who this group is targeting. Efforts by a group focused on convincing the lay-public while making no attempt, or perhaps just a minimal attempt, to present their case to the relevant scientific community are telling. This sort of behavior impugns the credibility of those who engage in it since anyone who is confident in professing the truth of their claims to the public should also be comfortable presenting their ideas to the scientific community. Hopefully, a forum entirely dedicated to the public presenting their dissenting views to professional scientists will make it unambiguously clear who is willing to have their ideas challenged and who is not.

Like practically any topic, many public discussions on scientific subjects have resulted in the formation of highly polarized camps. Toxic rhetoric about one side being pro science and another being anti science are completely counter productive. Science should not be viewed as us vs them, but rather all of vs bad ideas. If someone presents a view that is contrary to accepted science, do not call them anti science but rather invite them to participate in the scientific process on the same playing field as anyone on the inside of the scientific community. Either they fail and we can congratulate them for their intellectual courage, or they succeed and we can congratulate them on their accomplishment.

There is no doubt that many scientists would view this sort of engagement with the public as a waste of time that could be spent on more meaningful research. However, I don’t think that any scientist really has the luxury of conducting their work in isolation within the ivory tower. It is far too dangerous to have a scientifically illiterate public. If anyone has any thoughts on this idea, especially if you think it is terrible, please let me know. If you have any other thoughts on how to actually implement something like this or any other ideas related to improving public scientific literacy, please let me know as well. Regards, Colin

via International Skeptics Forum

Population question

How many human breeding pairs would it take to create a civilization? Assume that nothing untoward is going on like a plague or whatnot, just your basic "Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh, my!". All of the basic human instincts for survival allowed here such as killing, being killed, etc..

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samedi 19 novembre 2016

Immigration Compromise

I was thinking today about the different views about immigration.

The Right wants all illegals sent home, especially if they have committed crimes.

The Left wants all illegals to stay and have a pathway to citizenship.

I understand the Rights' anger over the idea of amnesty for 11 million people who disrespected our border and our laws.

I also understand the Left wanting to show compassion to people who are mostly law-abiding and only want a better life for themselves and their families.

So, here is my compromise solution. I think most will like it.

#1. All illegals convicted of a felony abroad or in the USA, must be deported. This also includes misdemeanor assault, drug selling, theft.

#2. All illegals brought to the USA while under the age of 16, by their parents, who have not had any criminal convictions here, can immediately apply for a Green Card but their application goes to the back of the yearly line.

#3. All other illegals, may apply for a Green Card at the back of the line, but only after they they serve in the US Military or fullfill 1,000 hours of unpaid community service. This work can be performed at a church, school, homeless shelter, community center, nursing home, public park.

Such work, will show their commitment to the USA and improving our community and society.

Failure to abide by these requirements, will make the person subject to deportation.

What ya think?

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The world's most complex machine/device ever

I was listening to a Science podcast just minutes ago where the host was interviewing a former Space Shuttle pilot when he (the host) said that he thought the Shuttle was the most complex device ever made.

I would have said the LHC, but I'm not an engineer. A modern aircraft carrier must be up there too.


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Autonomous Driving

How about this for computer hardware and software design? I have on reservation a Tesla Model 3 that will be able to do this.


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Samsung Tab 2 update

A couple months ago my tablet upgraded its OS.

There is an odd feature/bug since then.
Before I plug it in to charge I turn it off. However, when I later pick it up again it will be turned on. I suspect it automatically turns on once battery is at 100%

Any Tab2 users here see the same thing?

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In Defense of Facebook Censorship

I'll be the first to admit that I trust the media but no matter what I say or do it seems like most people do not. Talking about the facebook censorship issue where Facebook is planning to fact-check trending news. I think this is a great idea as it will help readers avoid stories that may not be true.

A lot of people I know IRL have a huge problem with this and they go on rants about how Facebook will block certain news stories. Does anybody else agree with me?

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Fake news is a threat to democracy

Fixation on Fake News Overshadows Waning Trust in Real Reporting


Something is deeply wrong when the pope’s voice, reputation and influence can be borrowed by a source that describes itself as “a fantasy news site” to claim that he has endorsed a presidential candidate, and then be amplified, unchallenged, through a million individual shares.

The attention paid to fake news since the election has focused largely on fabrications and outright lies, because they are indefensible, easy to identify and extraordinarily viral. Fake news is created by the kinds of people who, when asked, might call their work satire, or admit that they’re in it for the money or for the thrill of deception. Theirs is a behavior that can and should be shunned, and that Facebook is equipped, and maybe willing, to deal with.

For many people, and especially opponents of President-elect Donald J. Trump, the attention paid to fake news and its role in the election has provided a small relief, the discovery of the error that explains everything. But as the attention has spread widely — even President Obama talked passionately about it on Thursday — it may lead to an unwanted outcome for those who see it not just as an explanation, but also as a way to correct the course. It misunderstands a new media world in which every story, and source, is at risk of being discredited, not by argument but by sheer force.

False news stories posted on fly-by-night websites were prevalent in this election. So, too, were widely shared political videos — some styled as newscasts — containing outright falsehoods, newslike image memes posted by individuals and shared by millions, and endlessly shared quotes and video clips of the candidates themselves repeating falsehoods.

During the months I spent talking to partisan Facebook page operators for a magazine article this year, it became clear that while the ecosystem contained easily identifiable and intentional fabrication, it contained much, much more of something else.

I recall a conversation with a fact checker about how to describe a story, posted on a pro-Trump website and promoted on a pro-Trump Facebook page — and, incidentally, copied from another pro-Trump site by overseas contractors. It tried to cast suspicion on Khizr Khan, the father of a slain American soldier, who had spoken out against Donald J. Trump.

The overarching claims of the story were disingenuous and horrifying; the facts it included had been removed from all useful context and placed in a new, sinister one; its insinuating mention of “Muslim martyrs,” in proximity to mentions of Mr. Khan’s son, and its misleading and strategic mention of Shariah law, amounted to a repulsive smear. It was a story that appealed to bigoted ideas and that would clearly appeal to those who held them.

Fake news is a threat to democracy. Ignorant citizens cannot function.

via International Skeptics Forum