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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: New Orleans
Member since: Wed Jul 20, 2011, 09:14 AM
Number of posts: 10,175

About Me

Well lets see, stuff about me... Veteran, Navy Admiral's Staff 2nd Fleet. I practice Kendo as my primary martial art. I am also a ranking Iaidoist (Japanese Sword). Working on a Master's in International Forensics' Accounting. Filmmaker, originally commercials, now working on my first feature comedy film, should be released Summer or Fall of 2016.

Journal Archives

How to Talk to a Far-Right-Winger

First a word of explanation.

Please note that the title of this essay does not refer to a “conservative,” but to a “far-right-winger.” As I’ve said many times (most recently with a certain virality), the two terms are in no way equivalent. Far-right-wingers are anything but conservative; they profess some of the most radical and ideologically driven agendas of any on the political landscape.

Got it? Okay. So now onto the question under review. How DO you talk to a far-right-winger?

Answer: You don’t.

I'm serious. Just stop. Don’t bother. You’re wasting your breath.

Michael Shermer, in his fantastic book The Believing Brain, reminds us that despite the scientific age in which we live, the brain is fundamentally a “belief engine.” And on top of that,

Once beliefs are formed, the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which adds an emotional boost of further confidence in the beliefs and thereby accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes….

In fact, you may be doing even worse than wasting your breath. Every argument you have only makes their beliefs stronger. Don’t believe me? Take a look:


An Idea To Mitigate Rising Seas In Miami Beach: Lift The Entire City

One way Miami Beach might prepare for the threat of rising sea levels is to elevate the whole city.

“The only tried and true solution to combating rising sea levels is to raise with it,” says Eric Carpenter, public works director for the City of Miami Beach.

As the city celebrates its centennial, the top-level engineer and Miami Beach resident spoke with WLRN about how sea-level rise will affect the city’s next 100 years.

Miami Beach has started installing pumps to keep water off the streets. The plan is to have 75 to 80 pumps in place by 2020. The city is also in the process of elevating some of its lowest roads and sidewalks by 1.5 to two feet.

But Carpenter says that’s just the start. There’s a very real possibility the entire city’s infrastructure -- roads, buildings, parks -- will need to be elevated an extra two, three or even four feet over the next 100 years.


The Republican Party and the Rise of the “Christian” Sociopath

As many of you might know, I live in Texas, a state which is part of what’s known as the “Bible Belt.” Needless to say, religion is a very big deal in most areas of the “Bible Belt.” But growing up as a progressive in a very conservative part of the country has been amazing. It’s easy to be a progressive when you’re from a much more liberal part of the country, but I became one as a direct result of what I saw growing up around hypocritical and irrational conservatives.

Especially when it comes to Christianity. See, I’m a Christian but I don’t subscribe to any organized religion.

In fact, I believe organized religion is one of the worst things that’s ever happened to the human race.

It’s human-made laws and rules exploiting faith as a means to control large groups of people. But it always blows my mind to see Republicans go on and on about how they’re the “party for Christian values” considering the policies they support are those of some deranged, greedy sociopath. Not only that, but many of these states in the so-called “Bible Belt” have supported atrocious events in our history.

Many of these are the states that:
Started a war for the right to own other human beings as property.
Opposed giving women the right to vote.
Supported segregation.
Opposed legal interracial marriage.
Opposed the Civil Rights Act.

Read more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republican-party-rise-christian-sociopath/

There are too many studies, new study finds

Science is drowning in studies, and it took a study to expose it.

In a paper entitled 'Attention decay in science', professors from universities in Finland and California conclude that "the exponential growth in the number of scientific papers makes it increasingly difficult for researchers to keep track of all the publications relevant to their work.

"Consequently," the say, "the attention that can be devoted to individual papers, measured by their citation counts, is bound to decay rapidly."

While this particular study relates to the booming number of academic papers and journals, it's a trend we can probably all relate to.

(I think we should study this)


Just got back from Gulf Wars XXIV The Medieval Event

Had a blast week long event with classes, battles bardic competitions, feasts and everything medieval

Logan act Petition Against the 47 Makes required 100K Signatures! at 141,934 Signatures


The Conservative March Toward a Society of Sociopaths

Last night I spent some time with a close friend (let’s call him Jake) and as we often do when we get together, we discussed politics. You see, he’s a fantastic source for political insight because he doesn’t really follow politics or have any kind of political affiliation. Hell, I don’t know if he’s ever even voted.

But Jake is a great source because he has another close friend, let’s call him Stan, who’s a far right-wing conservative. Therefore he hears my side and Stan’s side, watches the news, reads the paper and based on only what he sees as logical and rational he molds his opinion.

Which to this point he often tells me most of the stuff Stan says to him just doesn’t make any sense. Last night when discussing Stan and some of what I refer to as his asinine political beliefs, it occurred to me—Stan is exactly how Republicans want Americans to behave.

And Stan is a sociopath.

He’s a white male, strongly opposed to most other races and immigrants. Believes every single far right-wing economic theory imaginable and actually cited Argentina as a “beacon for true capitalism.”

He has no remorse for others, seems to live in a world where he’s the focal point but he presents himself as extremely charming and personable when you first meet him. He has no problem ignoring social ethics or morals if it benefits his self interest. He’s told my friend that people should only worry about themselves, and not care about the struggles of others. That in life, self interests should trump everything else.

Read more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-conservative-march-toward-a-society-of-sociopaths/

Broken, venal, dysfunctional: The GOP clown show, Hillary’s challenge, and our frozen democracy

Mitch can't fix the Senate. Boehner can't control his caucus. GOP's a disaster; Democrats have no soul. Now what?

“We ought to start with the view that maybe there are some things we can agree on to make progress in this country… the Senate needs to be fixed… We’re going back to work and actually pass legislation… “
–Sen. Mitch McConnell, Nov. 5, 2014

On the day after the biggest win of his life, Mitch McConnell was feeling the love. Once he called hounding President Obama out of office his primary duty as a public servant. But rhapsodizing about common ground and fixing Congress, he sounded almost Obamaesque. Looking back at those words — and at a Congress that remains as venal and broken as it ever was — one can’t help but wonder: Did he mean it?

He probably did. Every politician has heard his inner Lincoln beseech him to bind up the nation’s wounds. Even if McConnell were deaf to the plea, the same self-interest that led him to a life of obstruction now requires him to prove he can do what he fought to keep Obama from doing: Make the damn place work. He figured the bar would be easy to step over, having lowered it himself.

Was he ever wrong. McConnell promised to open the floor to more amendments and force senators to come to work — and that he did. But as for finding common ground or actually passing any bills, the pattern seems set in stone. Despite winning historic majorities in both houses, Republicans haven’t changed Congress or themselves. They aren’t about to.

A quick recap:

Their only victory came before they were sworn in, when Obama leaned on Democrats to back a budget that increased defense spending, weakened efforts to slow global warming, allowed stock speculators to saddle taxpayers with their losses, and punched another hole in campaign finance laws. Republicans buried it all in a lame-duck budget because each of those moves are so unpopular. Obama said he gave in to avert a shutdown.

Posted by Katashi_itto | Mon Mar 9, 2015, 07:20 PM (1 replies)

Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away

Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers

A drive through the sticky Florida heat into Alton Road in Miami Beach can be an unexpectedly awkward business. Most of the boulevard, which runs north through the heart of the resort's most opulent palm-fringed real estate, has been reduced to a single lane that is hemmed in by bollards, road-closed signs, diggers, trucks, workmen, stacks of giant concrete cylinders and mounds of grey, foul-smelling earth.

It is an unedifying experience but an illuminating one – for this once glamorous thoroughfare, a few blocks from Miami Beach's art deco waterfront and its white beaches, has taken on an unexpected role. It now lies on the front line of America's battle against climate change and the rise in sea levels that it has triggered.

"Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here," says atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of the University of Miami. "It is something that we are having to deal with today."

Every year, with the coming of high spring and autumn tides, the sea surges up the Florida coast and hits the west side of Miami Beach, which lies on a long, thin island that runs north and south across the water from the city of Miami. The problem is particularly severe in autumn when winds often reach hurricane levels. Tidal surges are turned into walls of seawater that batter Miami Beach's west coast and sweep into the resort's storm drains, reversing the flow of water that normally comes down from the streets above. Instead seawater floods up into the gutters of Alton Road, the first main thoroughfare on the western side of Miami Beach, and pours into the street. Then the water surges across the rest of the island.

Girl Raised From Birth By Wolf Blitzer Taken Into Protective Custody

"'Molly' and Developmental Psychologist Dr. Kenneth Ives come on Today Now! to talk about her upbringing as a half-human, half-Wolf Blitzer.
Posted by Katashi_itto | Fri Mar 6, 2015, 08:48 AM (6 replies)
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