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Agnosticsherbet's Journal
Agnosticsherbet's Journal
January 29, 2016

EXCLUSIVE-EgyptAir mechanic suspected in Russian plane crash-sources

EXCLUSIVE-EgyptAir mechanic suspected in Russian plane crash-sources
An EgyptAir mechanic whose cousin joined Islamic State in Syria is suspected of planting a bomb on a Russian passenger plane that was blown out of Egypt's skies in late October, according to sources familiar with the matter.

So far Egypt has publicly said it has found no evidence that the MetroJet flight, which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport, killing all 224 people on board, was brought down by terrorism.

A senior security official at the airline denied that any of its employees had been arrested or were under suspicion, and an Interior Ministry official also said there had been no arrests.

But the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, said the mechanic had been detained, along with two airport policemen and a baggage handler suspected of helping him put the bomb on board.

January 28, 2016

Is there a God -- An essay by John Shirley

Is there a God -- An essay by John Shirley
Does God exist?

When we ask this question, perhaps we should first define our terms. What do we mean by God? What ontological framework is involved in our idea of God's existence? A gigantic super-anthropomorphic entity, the creator of the universe -- is that what must exist, for God to exist? Must it be a Someone who is In Charge and who, as the Bible said, has numbered every hair on your head, and knows when every sparrow falls? (And what did the Bible's writers really mean by that?)

If ever there was a question for which the answer is more questions, it was that one.

But let's not be coy about so important a question. (It is, at least, important to many of us). To simply state, "Whether God exists is all a matter of definition" is just another cop-out; just another sophistry.

I don't kid myself that I can speak with genuine authority here. I can only offer opinions which I hope are thought through. And we'll come to those...

This fascinating essay by Science Fiction Writer, John Shirley, made this old Agnostic think.
It is worth reading.
January 7, 2016

Microsft Edge, Windows 10's new worst browser, has issues with Democratic Underground.

After logging into the account, Windows edge displays the following message.

"Resubmit form?
To refresh this page, your browser needs to repeat any actions
you've already taken. For example, if you've already entered
info into a form, your form will be resubmitted by the site.

Retry Cancel"
If you "Retry," Edge will cycle through this process until you are too old and decrepit to push a key on your keyboard.
If you "Cancel," Edge will cycle through this process until you are too old and decrepit to push a key on your keyboard.

Your only hope is to move the mouse very quickly to the top of the page where it says,
"If this page does not refresh, please click here."

If you are quick enough, you can get to Democratic Underground and enjoy the companionship or arguments, whichever is your choice.

If not, you only hope is to open the "Task Manager" and shut down Microsoft Edge, or put you computer in a bottle with a message that says, "Microsoft is a shitty corporation. Do not use this computer."

I submitted a complaint to Microsoft. I doubt I have enough life left to me to get an answer.

Thanks in advance.

January 7, 2016

California Could Sound the Loudest Call Yet for Overturning ‘Citizens United’

California Could Sound the Loudest Call Yet for Overturning ‘Citizens United’
This post originally appeared at The Nation.

When Americans cast their ballots for president next November — at the close of what will be the most expensive campaign in the country’s history — voters in the nation’s largest state could weigh in on the question of whether to amend the US Constitution to counter the influence of all that campaign cash.

Sixteen states have already formally requested that members of Congress support an amendment to effectively overturn the US Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission — the most egregious of a series of High Court rulings that have ushered in a new era of corporate spending and special-interest influence. So, too, have 650 communities across the country, including Los Angeles, the most populous city in California and the second-most-populous city in the United States.

But a vote by Californians in favor of an amendment that would renew the authority of local, state, and federal officials to regulate campaign fundraising and spending has the potential to send the most powerful signal yet in support of the constitutional remedy.

That signal should have been sent in 2014. Unfortunately, the opportunity to express popular support for reform — and to prod Congress to act — was thwarted that year by defenders of the current system.

I am so onboard with this.
Most important item on the ballot.
Vote yes.
January 3, 2016

‘I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die’: Oregon militia occupiers fess up to local

I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die’: Oregon militia occupiers fess up to local reporters
Writing for OPB, Amanda Peacher stated that early estimates of 150 occupiers are wildly inflated, saying, “only a few dozen men are occupying the federal building.”

According to Peacher, federal employees were advised to stay clear of the refuge, in a memo that read: “Our top concern is employee safety. All employees are accounted for, and the Refuge will be closed until further notice. Employees of all land management agencies in the area will operate from alternate worksites, telework, or administrative leave.”

Outside of the refuge, she interviewed one militia member — identifying himself only as “Capt. Moroni” — who told her, “I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die

If that is what they are there for, just turning off water and power is not going to end this.

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