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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,169

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U.S. establishes policy for exports of armed drones

Source: Reuters

By Andrea Shalal and Emily Stephenson
WASHINGTON Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:46pm EST

The U.S. government on Tuesday established a policy for exports of military and commercial drones, including armed ones, and said it plans to work with other countries to shape global standards for the use of the controversial weapons systems.

The State Department said it would allow exports of lethal U.S. military drones under strict conditions, including that sales must be made through government programs and that recipient nations must agree to certain "end-use assurances."

The policy, the details of which are classified, comes after a two-year review amid growing demand from U.S. allies for the new breed of weapons that have played a key role in U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.

It could help U.S. companies boost sales of military and commercial drones in an increasingly competitive global market.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/18/us-usa-drones-exports-idUSKBN0LL21720150218

The Problem: AP's framework does not properly acknowledge (US) American Exceptionalism...

Oklahoma legislative committee questions legality of Advanced Placement courses in public schools
World Staff Writer


Fisher, who has been active in a church-and-state organization called the Black Robe Regiment, said the AP U.S. history course framework emphasizes “what is bad about America.”

Larry Krieger, a teacher who spoke to the committee via conference call, implied that the AP framework was created by some of the same people responsible for Common Core.

Both said the framework omits the concept of “American exceptionalism.”

The framework has come under fire in several states, including Texas and South Carolina.



Some more about State Rep. Fisher:

Representative Fisher, Dan
District 60 - Republican



Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment

Dan Fisher

-Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Yukon, OK
-One of the first original Pulpit Freedom Pastors
-National leader in the Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment
-Oklahoma State Representative, District 60

Family and educational background:

Dan Fisher grew up in Van Buren, Arkansas and is a graduate of Van Buren High School, Westark community College and Arkansas Tech University. He and the former Pam Loftin have been married for 31 years and have two children, Jacob, 25 years and wife Brittany, and Rebekah, 20 years and husband Tony Wise. Jacob is presently a student at the Oklahoma State University Medical School in Tulsa and Rebekah is a pre-med student at Southwestern Oklahoma University, in Weatherford, OK. Dan and Pam raise a few horses on their 20 acres just west of Yukon, OK where they live in a log house they built themselves.



The "Black Robe Regiment" seems to be traceable to Beck and Barton though that is probably not the complete story:

What we know about Beck's Black Robe Regiment
Blog ››› August 30, 2010 5:29 PM EDT ››› FAE JENCKS

This weekend, Glenn Beck announced the re-creation of a revolutionary force called the Black Robe Regiment. At his Restoring Honor rally on Saturday, Beck claimed that "our churches have fallen asleep" and that the "thousands of clergy" in the Regiment who subscribe to his particular views on the role of religion in American life, will "start the heart of this nation again and put it where it belongs: our heart with God."

On his radio show this morning, Beck delved into a little more detail about how the group was formed and who, exactly, some of these members of the Regiment are.

Apparently, the idea began with Beck's favorite historian, David Barton. When Beck told Barton he wanted to "get religious leaders together," Barton suggested forming a Black Robe Regiment -- named after what Barton had said was a group of preachers who supported the American Revolution from their pulpits. Beck decided that was "exactly" what he was looking for because it was a movement supposedly like his that was "not about politics."

Beck then described the first meeting he held with "the largest evangelical leaders in the country" some of whom had been involved in the Christian Coalition. Beck explained that at first the leaders he was recruiting were "very skeptical," as David Barton told him, "because of [Beck's] faith." When Beck spoke to these "skeptical" leaders, he apparently told them that "we're about to lose our country, and we need to teach the correct principles of liberty and freedom, and it has nothing to do with politics." He also warned that: "we're all going to lose our religious freedom if we don't" stand together.



Beck interviewing Barton:

'Glenn Beck': The Black Robe Brigade
Published April 29, 2010


BECK: We're back with David Barton, by the way, to learn more about the forgotten history stories. Check out David's DVD set, "The American Heritage Series," available at WallBuilders.com.

All right. We're talking about the Black Regiment, which is now known as the Black Robe Brigade.

BARTON: Right.

BECK: They were responsible for the revolution according to the British. And I mean, everything I read —

BARTON: And John Adams and all the other Founders as well.



It seems that Fisher wants to be John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg who anecdotally stripped off his clergyman's robe to reveal an officer's uniform after preaching a farewell sermon to his frontier congregations at Woodstock, VA and thus commenced to recruit 300 for a Virginia regiment in a single day back in 1776. Here is more on that:

Muhlenberg a recruiter for the Revolutionary War?
September 2007

PBS History Detectives host Elyse Luray (left) talks with Mary Redline, library archives/project manager at the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia, about a cloak that’s part of the school’s historical collection.

In a History Detectives segment in July, Luray delved into rare period accounts from Lutheran pastor Peter Muhlenberg’s family, friends and contemporaries to learn whether the cloak was really the one Muhlenberg tore from his shoulders during a fiery sermon in January 1776, revealing a uniform. It’s said that he rallied some 300 parishioners to the patriotic cause with that act. While it was determined the robe was authentic, the dramatic disrobing was deemed a myth.

Peter Muhlenberg’s father was Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, considered a founder of U.S. Lutheranism and of many congregations that still exist today.


History Detectives
Season 5, Episode 5
July 23, 2007 (from http://epguides.com/HistoryDetectives/)


Investigations: Muhlenberg Robe


The Transcript:

Elyse: But what about the story of the disrobing? Gregg says the first mention of Muhlenberg stripping to reveal a rebel uniform comes in 1849, in a biography written by Muhlenberg's great nephew.

Gregg: "Deliberately putting off the gown, which had thus far covered his martial figure, he stood before them a girded warrior." That's what, at least, makes it into print in 1849.

Elyse: But this was nearly 75 years after the event. And Gregg has been unable to find contemporary accounts of Peter Muhlenberg's flamboyant farewell sermon. And just to make sure that I’m perfectly clear, there is absolutely nothing in any written text at this point, that you've been able to find, that talks about the robe before this book?

Greg (sic: Gregg): There are no letters, there are no books. There are no journal entries. There are no memoirs from his sons, for example, that we might expect. Nothing.



For the sake of completeness, here is the webpage of the history professor who was interviewed:

A. Gregg Roeber
Professor of Early Modern History and Religious Studies
Co-Director of Max Kade German-American Research Institute



Of course, the Representative who wants to do away with Oklahoma's AP US History would rather follow a "historian" like David Barton:

Of course, one wonders what is out there on the topic of the sermon at Woodstock. Here is an interesting article discussing the unlikely veracity of the legendary disrobing/recruiting:

PBS Show Gets it Right with the Story of Peter Muhlenberg's Robe
Chris Rodda
Sat Aug 04, 2007
at 08:15:59 PM EST

As some of you probably already know, I haven't been able to do much writing about history lately because I've been splitting my time between my usual work and doing research for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Bruce Wilson, also on MRFF's research team, has already posted the latest MRFF news here and here, so I'm going to get back to some history with a story I've been looking into for the last few weeks.

With the beating PBS has been taking lately over its unfortunate decision to air the pseudo-documentary, "Wall of Separation," I wanted to write something about one of my favorite PBS programs, one that never fails to live up to the standards that we expect from PBS. In stark contrast to the perpetuation of the religious right's American history myths with its recent airing of"Wall of Separation," a recent episode of PBS's History Detectives included a segment disproving one of the most popular of these myths -- a myth that not only adorns the cover of one of David Barton's books and appears on a mousepad sold by WallBuilders, but is depicted in stone in the U.S. Capitol Building.

The myth is the story of Peter Muhlenberg, the Lutheran minister who, since the mid 1800s, is said to have stood before his congregation in January 1776, and, after delivering a stirring, patriotic farewell sermon, removed his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Revolutionary Army officer, enlisting three hundred soldiers for his "German Regiment" on the spot.


So, what are the chances that both Kercheval and Smith would have forgotten an event as memorable as Muhlenberg's dramatic sermon and disrobing? ...that Colonel Smith, a nearby army officer in this sparsely populated area, wouldn't have remembered that three hundred soldiers were recruited in a single day? ...that Samuel Kercheval would have omitted such a striking local story of patriotism in a book full of far less significant anecdotes?



Anti-Vaccine DO's FAIL: "Why All the Anger?" Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Basic Physics

Why All the Anger?

by Dr. Jack Wolfson
Special to Health Impact News

I recently did an interview which was aired on NBC Phoenix. I was asked my opinion on vaccinations in response to the current measles outbreaks that have occurred at Disneyland in California. My reply has generated quite a bit of anger in thousands of people.

There has also been a tremendous amount of support to my comments and opinions. In short, The Society Against Injecting Our Kids With Chemicals (TSAIOKWC for short) has a lot of followers.

I want to address all this misguided anger and see if we can re-direct it where it belongs.


8. In fact, be angry with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for creating computers so you can sit around all day blasted with electromagnetic radiation reading posts like this.



Unless he has been sticking his head into an operating microwave oven, getting regular sunburns or hanging out around x-ray/gamma ray sources, there is not much of a reason for him to be worried about being "blasted with electromagnetic radiation."

Visible light, after all, is a form of electromagnetic radiation, So, if the monitor were not "blasting (one) with electromagnetic radiation", it would not be operating properly.

One should note the following information:

Radiation from Computer Monitors

Radiation is a broad term used to describe energy emanated in the form of waves or particles. Radiation in the form of waves is referred to as electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation of sufficient energy can cause atoms to become electrically charged, or ionized, and is referred to as ionizing radiation. Lower energy electromagnetic radiation is referred to as non-ionizing radiation. All electromagnetic radiation combined can be represented in an array known as the electromagnetic spectrum.

Electromagnetic radiation emanates from both natural and man-made sources. Examples of naturally occurring electromagnetic radiation include sunlight, cosmic rays, and radioactive materials in the earth's crust. Man-made sources of ionizing electromagnetic radiation include X-rays from medical and radiographic equipment, therapeutic and diagnostic radiochemicals, and nuclear power. Man-made sources of non- ionizing radiation include lasers, radar, television and radio broadcasting, communication systems such as cordless and cellular telephone systems, household appliances, and computer monitors.


Computer monitor users have expressed concerns about the possible health effects from the electromagnetic radiation that monitors produce. The concerns generally center around adverse pregnancy outcome (spontaneous abortion or birth defects). It has been postulated that these effects are due to electromagnetic radiation exposure from monitors. The biological effects of exposure to VLF and ELF fields similar to those produced by monitors have been studied for many years, and the research continues today. Cancer and reproductive outcomes are the topics studied most intensively. Current available scientific information does not identify a health risk from exposure to the electromagnetic fields associated with the use of computer monitors.

Computer monitors emit electromagnetic radiation in a broad range of frequencies. Although the electromagnetic radiation field intensities are measurable, they are not substantially above background office levels. The effect on health from the use of monitors has been studied for many years, and the research continues. The present consensus of experts is that there are no data to suggest a health risk from exposure to the electromagnetic fields associated with the use of monitors.

Radiation Protection Program
Environment, Health and Safety Office
N52-496, ext. 3-EHSS


TYT: Cop Who Shot & Killed Sleeping 7-Year-Old During Botched Raid Walks


The Actual Interview...

H.R.83: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015

31 Democrats Vote YEA:

Yes Votes

Lamar Alexander R TN
Kelly Ayotte R NH
Tammy Baldwin D WI
John Barrasso R WY
Mark Begich D AK
Michael Bennet D CO
Roy Blunt R MO
John Boozman R AR
Richard M. Burr R NC
Benjamin L. Cardin D MD
Thomas R. Carper D DE
Bob Casey D PA
Daniel Coats R IN
Thad Cochran R MS
Susan Collins R ME
Christopher A. Coons D DE
John Cornyn R TX
Joe Donnelly D IN
Richard J. Durbin D IL
Michael B. Enzi R WY
Deb Fischer R NE
Lindsey Graham R SC
Kay Hagan D NC
Orrin G. Hatch R UT
Martin Heinrich D NM
Heidi Heitkamp D ND
John Hoeven R ND
Johnny Isakson R GA
Mike Johanns R NE
Tim Johnson D SD
Tim Kaine D VA
Angus King I ME
Mark Steven Kirk R IL
Mary L. Landrieu D LA
Patrick J. Leahy D VT
Mitch McConnell R KY
Barbara A. Mikulski D MD
Lisa Murkowski R AK
Christopher S. Murphy D CT
Patty Murray D WA
Bill Nelson D FL
Mark Pryor D AR
Harry Reid D NV
Pat Roberts R KS
John D. Rockefeller IV D WV
Brian Schatz D HI
Charles E. Schumer D NY
Jeanne Shaheen D NH
Debbie Stabenow D MI
John Thune R SD
Patrick J. Toomey R PA
Mark Udall D CO
Tom Udall D NM
John Walsh D MT
Mark Warner D VA
Roger Wicker R MS


On Torture Victims...

Torture victims will bear psychological scars long after CIA report scandal fades
The architects of CIA torture sought to make individuals powerless to disobey by breaking down their self-control. Restoring it can be a lifetime’s work
Spencer Ackerman in New York
Saturday 13 December 2014 10.13 EST

Jabuli prefers solitude indoors, having lost all safety once before. When he does go out he seeks crowded public spaces, so there will be witnesses if his tormentors reappear to kidnap him again. Ten years on, time and distance have not healed the damage that comes from torture.

“You live with the fear that the people who tortured you may come back to torture you again,” he said, “regardless of if you are in a safe country.”

Triggers are everywhere, even a decade later. Armored vans on the street make him think of the station where he was tortured. He fears intimacy, because he doesn’t want someone to see him having nightmares, or to watch him wake up crying. He worries he will not be “good enough to have a family”.

More than a decade ago, Jabuli endured seven months in a torture chamber in a central African country he asked the Guardian not to identify. (Jabuli is a pseudonym he recommended.) He was placed in “stress positions”: his elbows and ankles were bound to each other behind his back as he faced downward, resulting in a pain so consuming that he could barely breathe.



Happy Bill of Rights Day to All on Monday, December 15, 2014!

Obama Proclamation of Bill of Rights Day 2014

12 December 2014

Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, D.C.
December 12, 2014


For more than two centuries, our Nation has been shaped by courageous women and men who have dared to raise their voices and work to safeguard the blessings of liberty and justice*. In the face of tyranny, early patriots stood up against an empire and proclaimed the independence of a new Nation, declaring that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. To secure these rights, they fought a war and enshrined these truths into our Constitution. The product of a fierce debate and great compromise, our founding charter was a remarkable yet imperfect document. It provided the foundation for a society built on freedom and democracy, but essential questions -- including those of race and gender -- were left unresolved. Yet before it was fully ratified, our Founding Fathers began working to refine its text, an early milestone in our unending journey to form a more perfect Union.

Ratified on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights secured our most fundamental freedoms. These first 10 Constitutional Amendments protect our rights to protest, practice our faiths, and hold our Government accountable. They guarantee justice under the law, allow for the dissemination of new ideas, and create the opportunity for those left out of our charter to fight to expand its promise. In times of war and peace, and through waves of depression and prosperity, these tenets have not only endured, but they have strengthened our Nation and served as an example to all who seek freedom, fairness, equality, and dignity around the world.

On the anniversary of the Bill of Rights, we reflect on the blessings of freedom we enjoy today, and we are reminded that our work to foster a more free, more fair, and more just society is never truly done. Guided by these sacred principles, we continue striving to make our country a place where our daughters' voices are valued just as much as our sons'; where due process of law is afforded to all people, regardless of skin color; and where the individual liberties that we cherish empower every American to pursue their dreams and achieve their own full measure of happiness.

Our fidelity to these timeless ideals binds us together as a Nation. As we celebrate Bill of Rights Day, let us recommit to the values that define us as a people and continue our work to broaden democracy's reach by strengthening the freedoms with which we have been endowed.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 15, 2014, as Bill of Rights Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this

twelfth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.



There seems to be some irony present in this proclamation, but it eludes me. Maybe I am only imagining it.

Should Glenn Beck seek additional help? What is "a hyperextension of [the] adrenal gland"?

Though the first obvious answer is "Who really cares? Don't waste time discussing him.", though the second obvious answer is something that profanely approximates "Let that guy burn!", and though the third obvious answer is "Of course!", an examination of Glenn's following statement seems to indicate that he is exactly as gullible as the rubes who believe his dangerous, self-serving, jingoistic, conjoined fictions of patriotism and religion (that is, if one can suspend the belief that his videos are nothing but a shabby ruse to allow Glenn to bilk his stable of rubes out of more of their money):

Here is an approximate transcription of Glenn Beck's statement from time 5:39 to time 8:04 in the video: he is discussing Carrick Brain Centers. (Following this is a 2011 commentary on chiropractic neurology from the site Science-Based Medicine along with the background of that site's editor - the author of the commentary.)

"Honestly, it is a place that you go to if you are absolutely desperate, because they do...crazy stuff...crazy stuff. ... They..uh..they engage in experimental therapy. You know the stuff the government and the insurance companies aren't sure that they believe in. And because of that they don't take insurance, and they cost quite a bit of money. And..uh..and they don't make any promises. But when you're fifteen or twenty doctors in and no diagnosis - at least, a diagnosis that you feel good about. What do you have to lose? Besides, I wondered - big miracle - what are the odds of me moving from New York City to Dallas, Texas, and buying a studio that was literally three-and-a-half minutes down the street from the only place in the world that seems to specialize in exactly what was wrong with me? So, we went and - after a few short visits - they found that I had several things going on from an autoimmune disorder to adrenal fatigue and they found the connection on everything that was going on. And for the first time gave us hope that we could reboot my system - not stop it - but reverse at least parts of it. Everything these guys told us made sense for the first time. It never felt like it made sense. Um...you know...Me never having to sleep was now finally understandable. Apparently, the last sign of adrenal failure is a hyperextension of your adrenal gland. So, in other words, I didn't need to sleep. I could have been lifting cars during my time at Fox. I wish I would have...That would have made a great episode. But now because of that, my adrenal system had blown out, and all I could do was sleep. And one thing on top of another and in the end, my immune system was looking at these natural horm...it was looking at adrenaline as an infection, and so my body was trying to kill its basic functions...."

From Science-Based Medicine:

Chiropractic Neurology
Posted by Steven Novella on November 16, 2011


Chiropractic neurology appears to me to be the very definition of pseudoscience – it has all the trappings of a legitimate profession, with a complex set of beliefs and practices, but there is no underlying scientific basis for any of it.


Some symptoms are also susceptible to conditioning. Vertigo is perhaps the best example of this. At present the most effective treatment for chronic vertigo (a subjective sense of movement, such as spinning) is vestibular therapy – physical therapy designed to condition the patient to the symptoms, to diminish them over time. It is therefore possible that some chiropractic neurology interventions are simply providing this known mechanism. For example, here is a description of Carrick’s treatment of Hockey player, Crosby:

Carrick then signals to restart the gyroscope—with one difference. This time Crosby will be turned upside-down while he is also spun around. He hasn’t experienced this dual action yet. The door clangs shut. Above it, a stack of red, yellow and green lights shines while 10 high-pitched beeps signal the gyroscope is about to start. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

This is a very dramatic treatment, sure to impress the naive. It follows a common philosophy in dubious neurological treatments – the notion that you can “rebuild the brain” by stimulating it. While it is true that activity and simulation are better than no activity and stimulation, it does not follow that simply increasing stimulation will increase the brain’s plasticity or recovery (a simplistic more-is-better philosophy). That basic notion was researched and discarded decades ago, for example with specific reference to psychomotor patterning treatments.



Steven P. Novella, MD

Founder and currently Executive Editor of Science-Based Medicine Steven Novella, MD is an academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, the host and producer of the popular weekly science podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and the author of the NeuroLogicaBlog, a daily blog that covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society. Dr. Novella also contributes every Sunday to The Rogues Gallery, the official blog of the SGU.



At some point, I thought for certain that Glenn was going to exhibit empathy and was going to call for universal health care. I guess I was wrong...

Apparently, the TC hypothesis is not excluded by CERN Higgs data....

However, is there further data that supports the TC hypothesis?

For the actual paper and some other background information on TC from 2007, see the following:

Technicolor Higgs boson in the light of LHC data
Phys. Rev. D 90, 035012 – Published 13 August 2014
Alexander Belyaev, Matthew S. Brown, Roshan Foadi, and Mads T. Frandsen


We consider scenarios in which the 125 GeV resonance observed at the Large Hadron Collider is a Technicolor (TC) isosinglet scalar, the TC Higgs and explore the viable parameter space of the effective Higgs boson couplings within the TC Higgs scenario using the latest LHC data. By comparison with quantum chromodynamics, we argue that the couplings of the TC Higgs to the massive weak bosons are very close to the standard model (SM) values. The couplings to photons and gluons are model-dependent, but close to the SM values in several TC theories. The couplings of the TC Higgs to SM fermions are due to interactions beyond TC, such as extended technicolor: if such interactions successfully generate mass for the SM fermions, we argue that the couplings of the latter to the TC Higgs are also SM-like. We suggest a generic parametrization of the TC Higgs interactions with SM particles that accommodates a large class of TC models, and we perform a fit of these parameters to the Higgs LHC data. The fit reveals regions of the parameter space where the form factors have an order-one absolute value at the 95% CL, in agreement with expectations in TC theories. This indicates that the discovered Higgs boson is consistent with the TC Higgs hypothesis for several TC theories.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.90.035012



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