“How far will these treaties go in the end? Allowing foreign governments and corporations to dismantle our environmental laws seems like a mere step along the way to giving foreign governments and international interests the power to dictate to the people of the United States via the courts in other matters. Anyone voting to ratify this "agreement" would be committing treason, it seems to me -- make that, WOULD be committing treason. Using executive power to make this agreement unilaterally seems particularly horrific, bordering not simply on economic sabotage but on fascism itself. As much as I despise GW Bush and the Republicans, I find it more and more difficult to make the argument that Obama is any better. In a way, he might be worse, because he pretends to be "for the People" in a way that Republicans do not -- insidious.”
“There shouldn't be cuts to science support of any sort, of course, but I do wish Mr. Nye would have used his persuasive powers to talk to the president about Canadian tar sands, offshore drilling and fracking instead. It's far more important that somebody manage to blast through what appears to me remarkable ignorance on Obama's part regarding these matters, or at least remarkable indifference.”
“I've been fighting the thorium battle for years. Too many vested interests against it, I think, and a fatal symbiosis with ignorance and fossil fuel propaganda, for the US to lead the way. Fortunately, India is also building thorium reactors, so maybe the penny will fall in the near future. If we keep electing people who think the Earth is 6000 years old though, it'll never happen in the US.”
“Sounds like it would cost as much as oil, having to extract it from sea wells, pipe/ship it ashore, pipe/truck it somewhere, deliver it, etc. After all, the entire cost of oil is in the price of production and delivery.”
“I was sort of remembering that they grew the plankton in human stew or something. I knew that people were used in the process, but it's been forty years since I read it. A prescient book, anticipating quite a few problems we face today, including global warming. Maybe there's a startup "Soylent Green" going on in Silicon Valley as we speak. We do have rather too many prisoners in the States these days, and California is especially plagued with prison overpopulation...”
“"Those excess nutrients fertilize the algae and might help spiral its growth..."
Why the mealy-mouthing "might"? Of course it does. There are not two correct opinions about this. The idea that it "might" not seems strange, almost like some subliminal insertion from the anti-science crowd, weirdly reminiscent of "excess C02 from human activity might cause a rise in global temperatures".”
MJBUK on Dec 8, 2013 at 10:04:19
“The process is well-established - just Google 'algal blooms' followed by such as UK, Baltic Sea, Europe, Australia, China (well-covered by HuffPo) and the like, and you soon discover scientific reports about the role played by fertiliser run-off.
"If we do determine that something bad is happening and the wastewater treatment plants are the main cause, it's not like we can flip a switch overnight and upgrade all of these plants."
That statement rather misses the point, because given that the processes involved in algal blooms are well-known, the structure of the Bay strategy plan would necessarily integrate the planning costs of upgrading wastewater infrastructure, and the long-term operating and maintenance budgets for these plants amended accordingly. Were these aspects, ignored, dismissed, denied, or was it assumed that the Bay 'cleaner water' somehow would be immune to algal blooms?”
“I'd be sure I sent a payment to whoever I THOUGHT I was covered with. If they cash the check, then they'd be hard pressed to not be found liable for covering the insured amount. It would also have the advantage of having the insurance company possibly straightening any glitches out with the client.”
“Really. I have been amazed that "faulty" has been the adjective of choice for describing the "intelligence failures". The operational word here should be "fabricated intelligence". Intentionally misrepresenting the information provided by the intelligence services, and injecting total fabrications and forged documents into the information stream should have been treated as a form of sabotage, with the appropriate charges of treason made.”
“What a NOVEL idea! Who said the Republicans were unimaginative? This is certainly BRAND NEW in the political world of the Right Wing. Good out-of-the-box thinking! I've even heard rumors of Republicans suggesting new tax cuts, that would not only pay for themselves, but cover ANY sequestration problems imaginable.”
“I'm reminded of the movie Silver Streak. Why don't they have a co-pilot on trainslike they on aircraft? Makes me wonder how many crashes are caused by the engineer having a heart attack, seizure, falling asleep, or whatever, where his foot stays on the accelerator.”
“Ronald Reagan established this embassy, an act which would driven every revolutionary and political activist during the American Revolutionary War l apoplectic .Mussolini is a dubious authority for dictating (har har) its status as a country, and one can only wonder what makes it a country, in any normal sense of the word. If political power is the criterion, certainly the Augusta National Golf Club should be rather apt as an analogy, since the members there probably have nearly enough power between them to give the Vatican a run for its money in pushing governments and people around to do their bidding. Traditional native clothing. such as tridents and silk slippers, does not a country make, nor does adopting Latin as their "Father tongue".
We did fine without an embassy in the Vatican for 200 years. We could manage without it again.”
“The Vatican Embassy SHOULD be closed! Since when do a few hundred old bachelors running a private club in Rome rate as a country? It's like having an embassy at the Augusta National Golf Club.”
EvgenyLibek on Nov 28, 2013 at 08:18:07
“You are certainly correct to disfavor any such alignment.
But, you proceed (like many commentators here) from a false premise.
Vatican City is not some city in Italy -- it is a sovereign country, and has been recognized as such, since 1929 (when the Church signed a Treaty with none other than Mussolini).
The nature of that affiliation is quite troubling, indeed -- and, it's quite interesting that Jeb Bush would attempt to bond with Catholics (on Thanksgiving), based upon the Church's very troubling historical affiliations (and dealings).
We could read this as Jeb Bush rejecting the direction of this new Pope, and attempting to connect, instead, with the worst elements (those complicit in a sinful history)....
Your comparison to a golf club affiliation is completely dubious -- no doubt the result of you lacking key information.
This is not the only embassy that USA has with a small, undemocratic, theocratic regime.
Remember, we have embassies all over the world -- not only in secular democracies. This embassy is no endorsement for any religious or political organization.”
“"...or, if the GOP can take over, an even more effective check on the executive's ambitions."
And bigger checks to international corporations.”
A Regular on Nov 24, 2013 at 12:28:25
“The fa.sci.st. party in republican clothing is going to be a complete fail by early 2015 when the corporate welfare queens are going to get their welfare checks cut from themselves by the new IRS tax reform laws. Watch and see. Those laws are now being crafted by Senate Democrats and the IRS attorney's and will be on the Senate floor Spring of that year.”
“I must say, I don't remember there being an Algebra II in high school, so maybe it's merely the second half of what was then required and known simply as Algebra. (The end of trig was where we got a glimpse at calculus and analytic geometry.) I went to the University of Virginia, and there was remedial math you could take before taking first year math, for those who needed a stronger math base than they received in high school. Odd that colleges no longer have remedial math (how about English?), even to help those needing a refresher course (older students, coming to college after serving in the military, for example), before settling into the core curriculum.”
palindrom on Nov 23, 2013 at 14:43:13
“I teach at one of the most selective schools in the country, and essentially all of our students are traditional 18-21 year-olds, but even so we probably could use remedial courses for some of our students. ”
“I somehow doubt that the average cook in Japan or S. Korea can solve differential equations, but I could be wrong. I took my degree in 1966, when students were still being flunked out right and left, rather than being offered pasty curricula that keeps the students in their seats and the money coming in. Precious few athletic scholarships, too, so not quite so many phys-ed majors. Current BS degrees are indeed like an Associate Degree back in the '60s, or so I've read, so you could be correct.in many cases.”
Jeff Woodring on Nov 23, 2013 at 12:33:05
“They send my granddaughters home every Wednesday 2 hours early. Weird.”
“Learning Algebra II when the time comes is a trivial hurdle in the pursuit of a science degree, relative to the other difficulties. In any case, why not make it an elective? In daily life, a basic acquaintance with chemistry would be helpful to almost anybody, and I don't mean solving equilibrium reaction equations, just what reacts with what and why, the elements, common compounds, toxins, etc. -- high school chemistry. You don't need much more than arithmetic for high school chemistry, college chemistry being quite another matter.”
palindrom on Nov 23, 2013 at 13:01:35
“I disagree that AlgII would be a 'trivial" hurdle for a busy college student. And at my school, at least, we don't teach courses at that low a level -- the lowest-level math we have is intro calculus. Any student who arrived without AlgII would automatically be locked out of about half the majors on campus. ”
“"Many academic experts and school administrators had argued that algebra II specifically is a key prerequisite for success both in college and beyond. "
I don't buy it. If one isn't headed for engineering or a "hard science" degree, it will prove almost entirely useless and totally forgotten by the time a person is thirty. I have a Bachelor of Science with a minor in math (six hours short of a math degree), so I definitely see the value of Algebra II, per se. but for those not headed for a career in the sciences, it is almost a complete waste of time. Their time would be better spent learning to write effectively or, better yet, how to cook.”
darrthom on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:23:40
“Of all people I should think you would understand the value of advanced algebra. Mathematics is the ultimate form of deductive logic. You apparently missed a lot in your math classes. You don't seem to apply logic well in your thinking process.”
Jeff Woodring on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:22:52
“Your average cook in Japan or S. Korea would have the equivalent of your BS by the 10th grade.”
Just a passerby on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:18:01
“That's not true. My degrees are not in engineering or a hard science, and I use algebra a lot - not only in my work, but in my daily life.”
palindrom on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:17:37
“"If one isn't headed for engineering or a "hard science" degree, ... "
Unless you're clearly headed toward vo-tech, or something, how can you be sure, as a high-school student, that you WON'T develop an interest that requires Alg II? Such as economics or medicine?”