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Thread: Puke Watch

  1. #111
    SiriuslyLong is offline
    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    I have addressed carried interest thoroughly in another thread.

    My anger is not displaced. It is appropropriate. The issues with Buffet or others are not mine. Unlike yourself, I am not interested in taking from Buffet for the greater good of mankind - I tend to my own back yard (and it's looking damn good after cutting the grass today). I am interested in preserving whatever wealth we've created for those that we have brought into the world, and affording ourselves a decent life style. It's that simple. I cannot do that with varied governments picking my pocket well in excess of $35,000. Remember, I live in a 1200 square foot ranch with 2 kids. It is not luxury, nor is it clean at the moment.

    As for corporations, you must realize that commerce is the driving force of taxes. Increased commerce increases "our" tax base (and I use "our" extremely loosely"). The flurishing of corporations is essential for commerce. I would agree that the corporate tax code is indeed broken as I have cited in my posts about GE and their tax avoidence - especially considering Immelt is a democrat. The cost of doing business in America is an important variable. It should not be overlooked.

  2. #112
    Atypical is offline

    Filling in the Gaping Holes in WikiLeaks' Guantanamo Detainee Files

    by: Jason Leopold, Truthout

    Imagine that the more than 700 Guantanamo files released two weeks ago by WikiLeaks contained information explaining how interrogators obtained "intelligence" from "war on terror" detainees captured or sold to US forces after 9/11, such as this firsthand account:

    "On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18, 24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. When I asked the (military police) what was going on I was told that interrogators from the day prior had ordered this treatment and the detainee was not to be moved. On another occasion, the (air conditioner) had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room probably well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night."

    That description was taken directly from an email written by an FBI agent on August 2, 2004and sent to officials at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC, describing the torture of one detainee as witnessed by the agent while he or she was stationed at Guantanamo.

    After reading those horrific details, would you take at face value the information this detainee, who may have been a teenager, an elderly man or a person who suffered from mental problems, gave up to his interrogator?

    Well, that's the impression one is left with after reading the Guantanamo files, identified by the government as Detainee Assessment Briefs (DAB). The documents, prepared between 2002 and 2008 and signed by top military officials stationed at the prison facility, certainly bolster the Bush administration's case that the detainees in custody of the US military are the "worst of the worst," despite the subtle caveats about the veracity of the information.

    Nowhere in the files does it state that dozens of detainees were tortured prior to and during their interrogation sessions, which may well have resulted in false confessions, one of the cornerstones of the "enhanced interrogation" program, that the Defense Department then used to justify the detainees' continued detention.

    Instead, the Guantanamo files seem to suggest that detainees, the vast majority of who were either innocent or low-level foot soldiers and have since been released, were treated humanely during the course of their interrogations and willingly confessed to a wide-range of crimes, such as being members of al-Qaeda and that they participated in or planned attacks against the US and/or its interests in other parts of the world.

    A Backdrop of Torture

    Several years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained emails from the FBI in connection with the organization's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the government related to the treatment of detainees in custody of the CIA and Department of Defense.

    The emails are the first-hand accounts of agents who were stationed at Guantanamo and said they witnessed detainees being abused or tortured by military personnel and interrogators under contract to the CIA and Department of Defense. The emails, of which the names of agents and detainees are redacted, were written in response to a request issued in 2004 by the FBI's Office of General Counsel requesting information from agents who "observed any aggressive mistreatment, interrogations or interview techniques of GTMO [Guantanamo] detainees by representatives of any law enforcement, military or Bureau personnel."

    The agency received more than 434 responses. Two dozen were "positive" and documented incidents of abuse agency personnel witnessed, but said they did not take part in. While there is not enough evidence in the agents' reports to suggest that all 779 Guantanamo detainees were treated brutally, the details the agents described closely match the accounts given by former guards and numerous detainees who have been released from the prison. Moreover, some agents said they took part in briefings conducted by Guantanamo officials who said certain types of abusive treatment, such as keeping detainees chained to the floor in freezing cold or hot cells prior to an interrogation, was the policy in place at the time.

    But a report issued in 2009 by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the treatment of detainees in US custody concluded that the abuse of Guantanamo prisoners was systematic, widespread and ordered from the top. When the emails and the Senate report are held up alongside the DAB, they complete the picture and underscore why the veracity of the information in the DAB should be called into question.

    For example, one email written by an FBI agents states, "during my assignment at GTMO [in 2003] I received a briefing from the military personnel assigned to operations at GTMO, that non-cooperative detainees could be placed on a list for a specific interrogation technique involving interruption of a sleep pattern called the 'frequent flyer program,'" which was designed to disorient prisoners and break them down physically and mentally prior to being interrogated.

    "With this particular technique, identified detainees were moved frequently from cell block to cell block at intervals that appeared to be every hour or every two hours depending on the shifts and availability of military personnel to move the detainee," says the email, noting that Guantanamo officials maintained a "detainee movement database." "Detainees were moved along with all of their personal belongings. Due to the movement to different cells the detainees had their sleep interrupted throughout a 24 hour period. The duration of the program for particular detainees seemed to depend on the cooperativeness of the detainees."

    A July 9, 2004, email written by an FBI agent states that in mid-2002, one detainee, who had a full beard, was found in an interrogation room, his head wrapped entirely in duct tape because, an Army contractor said, laughing, according to a separate email describing the incident, he was "chanting the Koran and would not stop."

    The email written on July 9, 2004, also discusses how an interrogator "commanded" a German shepherd "to growl, bark and show his teeth" in front of an individual believed to be high-value detainee because the helpless prisoner "failed to provide any substantive information" during the course of a 24-hour interrogation session.

    The FBI report on this incident as recounted by the agent in an interview with his superiors said, "based on conversations with [redacted] [redacted] believed Department of Defense authorization for the permitted use of harsh/aggressive interrogation techniques may have come from Secretary [of Defense] [Donald] Rumsfeld."

    The detainee in question is believed to be Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks. What's notable about this email is that it states the torture al-Qahtani was subjected to took place between September and October 2002, but Rumsfeld did not formally approve of specific interrogation techniques used against al-Qahtani, as highlighted in the FBI email, until December 2002 with the issuance of an action memorandum.

    Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the lead attorney defending al-Qahtani, said in a sworn declaration that his client was subjected to months of torture based on verbal and written authorizations from Rumsfeld, which match up with the details contained in the FBI emails.

    "Mr. al-Qahtani was subjected to a regimen of aggressive interrogation techniques, known as the 'First Special Interrogation Plan,'" Gutierrez said. "Those techniques were implemented under the supervision and guidance of Secretary Rumsfeld and the commander of Guantánamo, Major General Geoffrey Miller.

    "These methods included, but were not limited to, 48 days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory over-stimulation and threats with military dogs."

    An email written by another FBI agent said Miller "requested permission to utilize 'special interrogative techniques on" the detainee believed to be al-Qahtani, who by December 2002according to the same email, was "admitted to the base hospital for hypothermia."

    Miller's signature can be found on many of the DAB, but those files, include al-Qahtani's, fail to cite the torture techniques he implemented as a matter of policy at Guantanamo.

    In January 2009, Susan Crawford, the retired judge and a close confidant of Dick Cheney who, until last year, headed military commissions at Guantanamo, said al-Qahtani's interrogation met the legal definition of torture and, as a result, she would not allow a war crimes tribunal against him to proceed.

    Another FBI agent wrote in an email dated July 14, 2004, that the agent saw detainees being subjected to "sleep deprivation, interview with strobe lights and two different kinds of loud music."

  3. #113
    Atypical is offline


    "I asked one of the interrogators what they were doing [and] they said it would take approximately four days to break someone doing an interrogation 16 hours on with the lights and music and four hours off," the agent wrote. "The sleep deprivation and the lights and the alternating beats of the music would wear the detainee down."

    The agent added that during a conversation with a female interrogator she "bragged about doing a lap dance on one detainee," an incident recounted by another FBI agent and "another interrogator bragged about making [a] detainee listen to satanic black metal music for hours and hours. The interrogator dressed as a Catholic Priest and baptized the detainee in order to save him."

    Such abusive treatment, beyond being grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and anti-torture statutes, was also used to get detainees to become government informants, which the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files show was the case with at least eight prisoners who provided interrogators with information on more than 200 others.

    The FBI emails include what appears to be one of the earliest incidents of abuse that took place at Guantanamo, following the opening of the facility in January 2002. The agent told his superiors that, in February 2002, he traveled to Guantanamo to debrief a detainee regarding "case specific information on the 'Portland 7' Counterterrorism matter."

    The Portland 7 was a sleeper cell made up of American Muslims in Portland, according to the government, who tried to align themselves with al-Qaeda and fight against US forces in Afghanistan. They were indicted in October 2002 and sentenced to federal prison the following year.

    According to the FBI email, the Guantanamo detainee was brought into a "makeshift plywood shack" and the agent who was there to conduct the interview with the prisoner observed that he had a "black eye, facial cuts around the nose area and his fingers on both hands," which the agent believed were broken, "were taped up." The agent said he was told by a colonel in charge of the military guards that the "detainee's injuries were sustained in a scuffle due to the detainee becoming non-compliant and had to be brought into compliance by a Rapid Response Team."

    The Rapid Reaction Team is also known as the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF), "a team of military guards comparable to a riot squad, who are trained to respond to alleged 'disciplinary infractions' with overwhelming force," according to a February 2009 report issued by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

    "At Worst, a Travesty of Justice"

    In the end, what the Guantanamo files released by WikiLeaks show is that the claims the government made about the threat the detainees posed to the US and its allies and interests was simply untrue - a lie - and although the Bush administration knew the prisoners were innocent, they refused to set them free because of the political repercussions that would have ensued.

    That's what Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell during George W. Bush's first term in office, said in a sworn declaration in the case of one detainee, 52-year-old Adel Hassan Hamad, a year before the Guantanamo files were released. Wilkerson, as the detainee files now show, was right.

    Hamad, who spent five years at Guantanamo and was released in 2007, is suing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former Joint Chief of Staff Richard Myers, and a slew of other Bush administration officials for wrongfully imprisoning and torturing him.

    His DAB justifying his imprisonment says he was "likely" a member of al-Qaeda and "likely" using his employment in non-governmental organizations to "facilitate funds and/or personnel" for al-Qaeda.

    Another reason Hamad was detained and eventually deemed an "enemy combatant," according to his assessment brief, is that he allegedly was "not telling the full details of his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood" and was "always employed by organizations that espoused radical Islamic views or assisted individuals" associated with Osama bin Laden, assertions that the government could not back up. Although the assessment brief says Hamad "claimed to have avoided any participation in jihad or terrorist related activities" he was deemed a "medium" risk because "he may pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies."

    What the assessment brief does not say is that Hamad, who was arrested at his apartment by Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) because he was suspected of living in an al-Qaeda safe house along with an Algerian who was also imprisoned at Guantanamo, was brutally tortured, interrogated daily and had "dogs set upon [him] while watching United States military personnel laughed and mocked him," according to his lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle.

    The issue of torture, which Wilkerson acknowledged took place at Guantanamo and elsewhere, factored into his decision to take the extraordinary step of stating in his declaration that he would go to court, swear on a Bible and testify in Hamad's case if it ever moves forward about what the Bush administration knew and when they knew it.

    "[I] made a personal choice to come forward and discuss the abuses that occurred because knowledge that I served in an Administration that tortured and abused those it detained at the facilities at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere and indefinitely detained the innocent for political reasons has marked a low point in my professional career and I wish to make the record clear on what occurred," Wilkerson wrote in his declaration.

    In an email sent to Truthout two weeks ago, a day after the Guantanamo files were released, Wilkerson said the findings in many of the DAB confirms his own independent investigation he conducted nearly nine years ago.

    The files, he said, "seem to indicate at best a poor attempt at meaningful and proper detention and at worst a travesty of justice."


    Every official report I've read indicates that almost all of these prisoners were not dangerous - as the above indicates. They were 'turned in' by those with personal grudges or for other insignificant reasons.

    Folks, this is what the 'Great USA' does! And conservative (religious) idiots, mostly in the south, want to erase negatives from textbooks because they are "lies" - or, say, we can't have our children taught that about our country.

    Torture does not work, and inhuman treatment of people always rebounds to our detriment.

    But remember, conservatives (and others) liked doing this shit. Think about that!

    This makes me sick.
    Last edited by Atypical; 05-09-2011 at 07:34 PM.

  4. #114
    Atypical is offline

    Bill Maher to GOP: President Obama Just Ate Your Lunch

  5. #115
    Atypical is offline

    Congress must crack down on prosecutors run amok, says John Paul Stevens‏

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court decisions have given local prosecutors impunity for violating constitutional rights, and urged Congress to respond by authorizing victims of misconduct to sue.

    In a speech Monday night to the Equal Justice Initiative, which advocates for indigent defendants, Justice Stevens criticized the court’s March decision overturning a jury’s $14 million award to an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row after prosecutors concealed evidence that could have cleared him. (Click here to see the full text of Stevens’ speech.)

    The case of Connick v. Thompson saw the court split 5-4 along its conservative-liberal divide. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas rejected the freed man’s theory that the New Orleans district attorney’s office was negligent for failing to train its staff to comply with longstanding precedents requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence to defendants.

    Lawyers for the wrongly imprisoned man, John Thompson, made that argument because Supreme Court precedent requires proof that it was the local government’s policy to violate constitutional rights before it can be held liable.

    Thompson’s lawyers “did not prove a pattern of similar violations” that was “the functional equivalent of a decision by the city itself to violate the Constitution,” Justice Thomas wrote.

    Stevens said Monday that the nature of the American criminal justice system—where most local prosecutors are elected—“creates a problem of imbalanced incentives that ought to be addressed at the state and national level.”

    Because district attorneys often run on tough-on-crime platforms, the pressures to ensure convictions far outweigh the rewards for respecting rights of the accused, Stevens said.

    That could be fixed, he said, by making district attorneys liable when their subordinates commit outrageous violations of constitutional rights. Private-sector employees already are liable for their employees’ misconduct, under a legal doctrine called respondeat superior.

    The doctrine “provides a powerful continuing incentive for employers to make sure that their employees are adequately trained,” Stevens said, something “especially important where electoral incentives encourage abuse.” More important, he said, “it would produce a just result in cases like Thompson’s in which there is no dispute about the fact that he was harmed by conduct that flagrantly violated his constitutional rights.”



  6. #116
    Atypical is offline

    Republican FCC commissioner to resign, and join the team (also Republicans) at


    Federal Communications commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker announced Wednesday that she will resign from the FCC on June 3 and join Comcast-NBC Universal as its senior vice president of governmental affairs.

    Baker, a Republican, joined the FCC in 2009 after working at the National Telecomunications and Information Administration under President George W. Bush. While at the NTIA, Baker oversaw a $1.5 billion coupon program to help consumers make the transition to digital-only television.

    The commissioner’s announcement comes four months after she voted to approve a merger between Comcast and NBC Universal.

    In a March speech on the FCC merger process, she said that, in her opinion, “the NBC/Comcast merger took too long.”

    The media reform advocacy group Free Press issued a statement criticizing Baker’s move. “This is just the latest -- though perhaps most blatant -- example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating,” said Free Press president and CEO Craig Aaron. “The continuously revolving door at the FCC continues to erode any prospects for good public policy.”

    Plenty of government staffers have gone on to work for high-profile tech companies, bolstering company knowledge of the regulatory and lobbying landscape. In November, Comcast hired National Cable & Telecommunciations Association head Kyle McSlarrow — Baker’s new boss — to head its D.C. lobbying office. McSlarrow was a former deputy secretary in the Energy Department and ran former Vice President Dan Quayle’s 200 presidential campaign. Other former government staffers now in the tech world include James Cicconi, AT&T’s lead lobbyist and former staffer for George W. Bush, and Arts &Labs head Mike McCurry, who served as press secretary under President Bill Clinton.

    Facebook, Google and Twitter have also all hired former White House staffers as the companies wrestle with consumer privacy issues and are called to defend their practices before government panels.

    In a statement announcing her resignation, Baker said she is most proud of the work she has done with FCC on spectrum reform. “It is the most important step we can take to ensure our nation’s competitiveness in an increasingly interconnected world,” she said.

    In a statement, McSlarrow said, “Meredith’s executive branch and business experience along with her exceptional relationships in Washington bring Comcast and NBCUniversal the perfect combination of skills.”


    Yet ANOTHER example of the cozy relationship government has with business. Does anybody think this is dangerous? Pay attention to her approval of the merger just before her departure from the FCC.

  7. #117
    Atypical is offline

    REPORT: Koch Fueling Far Right Academic Centers At Universities Across The Country

    Yesterday, ThinkProgress highlighted reports from the St. Petersburg Times and the Tallahassee Democrat regarding a Koch-funded economics department at Florida State University (FSU). FSU had accepted a $1.5 million grant from a foundation controlled by petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch on the condition that Koch’s operatives would have a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications. The simmering controversy sheds light on the vast influence of the Koch political machine, which spans from the top conservative think tanks, Republican politicians, a small army of contracted lobbyists, and Tea Party front groups in nearly every state.

    As reporter Kris Hundley notes, Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previous known. Many of the Koch university grants finance far right, pro-polluter professors, and dictate that students read Charles Koch’s book as part of their academic study:

    West Virginia University: As ThinkProgress reported last year, Koch funds an array of academic programs at West Virginia University, a public university. One Koch-funded academic at WVU, economics professor Russell Sobel, has written a book blasting regulations of all types. He even argues that less mine safety regulations will make coal miners more safe. As the St. Petersburg Times reported, a similar arrangement has been made with WVU as with FSU in accepting at least $480,000 from Koch.

    Brown University: The Charles Koch Foundation funds the Political Theory Project at Brown, which provides funding for “Seminar Luncheons for undergraduates, academic conferences, research fellowships for graduate students, support for faculty research, and a postdoctoral fellowship program.” Amity Shales, a pop-conservative writer who argues that the New Deal made the Great Depression worse, an odd theory promoted by Charles Koch himself, has been a featured speaker at the Koch-funded Project at Brown. Moreover, Koch’s donation of at least $419,254 to Brown has underwritten a number of research projects in the Economics and Political Science deparments, including a paper arguing that bank deregulation has helped the poor.

    Troy University: The Charles Koch Foundation, along with the Manuel Johnson and the BB&T Foundation, provided Troy University, a public university, a gift of $3.6 million to establish the Center for Political Economy last year. The Center’s stated goal is to push back against the belief following the financial crisis that markets need regulation. Notably, the entire Advisory Council for the Center is made up of Koch and BB&T-funded professors at other universities, including Russell Sobel at West Virginia University and Peter Boettke at George Mason University. Currently, the Center’s only staffer, Professor Scott Beaulier, is a board member of the ExxonMobil-funded attack group, American Energy Alliance, and a former staffer for Koch’s think tank at George Mason.

    Utah State University: The Charles Koch Foundation has given nearly $700,000 to Utah State University, mostly for the Huntsman School of Business. The money has been used to hire five new faculty members, and establish a program for undergraduates to enroll and learn about Charles Koch’s “Science of Liberty” management theory. Professor Randy Simmons, the “Charles G. Koch Professor of Political Economy” at the school, helps select students — who must provide information about their ideological interests in their application form — to the Koch program. Simmons also works for several Koch-funded front groups, and writes papers against environmental regulations. Charles Koch’s book, “The Science of Success,” a book Forbes mocked for proclaiming a “Marxist faith in ‘fixed laws’ that govern ‘human well-being,’” is part of the required reading list for the program. A representative for Utah State did not return ThinkProgress’ calls about conditional strings attached to the Koch grant.

    Charles Koch Foundation grants, along with direct Koch Industries grants, are distributed to dozens of other universities around the country every year, to both public and private institutions. Some of the programs, like the Charles Koch Student Research Colloquium at Beloit College, are funded by grants of little over $130,000 and simply support conservative speakers on campuses. We have reached out to several of the schools to learn more about the agreements, but none so far have returned our calls.

    Budget constraints and other problems at universities have allowed a small set of oligarchs to use school donations to interfere with academic integrity on campuses. A group of hedge fund managers, working through the Manhattan Institute’s Veritas Fund, have created entire departments dedicated to advancing failed supply side ideas and climate skepticism. John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T Bank, a bailout recipient, has used his corporation’s money to force college campuses to adopt Ayn Rand readings into their programs.

    Overall, Koch is still a dominant player when it comes to meddling with academic integrity. Part of the effort is coordinated through operatives like Richard Fink, who doubles as a vice president at Koch’s corporate lobbying office. Through an organization called the Association of Private Enterprise Education, Koch organizes these corporate-funded university departments into a powerful intellectual movement. The organization allows Koch staffers in Washington DC to request certain types of studies, interfere with hiring decisions, and reward loyal free market academics with hefty research grants.


    Money can get you anything, regardless of the consequences for the rest of us.

  8. #118
    Atypical is offline
    Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee killed an amendment by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) that would have closed the so-called "terror gap" -- preventing firearm sales to suspected terrorists. GOP members want to protect the right of people on the FBI's terrorist watch list to purchase firearms, arguing that preventing sales would "steal the Second Amendment rights of those placed on the list by mistake."

    Yeah, give everybody a chance to buy a gun. The NRA doesn't want to control it AT ALL. Terrorists CAN get guns. They already have.

    In testimony before a U.S. Senate committee, the head of Exxon Mobil said that, based on supply and demand, oil should actually be currently priced at between $60 to $70 a barrel . "When we look at it, it's going to be somewhere in the $60 to $70 range if you said: 'If I had access to the next marketable barrel, what would it cost," said Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson.

    This guy is the only one with any sense of responsibility. Nah, we don't need any control of speculation! The wealthy are entitled to their greed, dont'cha know.

    The conservative National Review slammed potential president candidate Mitt Romney's "Illogical, Terrible Health-Care Address" in a blog post yesterday, writing he "gave a more articulate defense of Obamacare than President Obama ever has." The magazine followed up with an editorial today attacking the former governor, even though it had endorsed Romney in 2008.

    This is what conservatives are! Romney, who did something great for the people of Massachusetts, now has to back-away from it because that's what makes a conservative. Shitting on people; never doing anything for them. It's what conservatives expect in their candidates!

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) yesterday demanded "significant" changes to Medicare in exchange for raising the debt ceiling , but he will not insist on the Medicare overhaul proposed in the House GOP budget. Instead, McConnell said any deal must include benefit reductions and tighter Medicare eligibility requirements.

    Blackmail - pure and simple. That's what they do!

    The South Carolina Senate yesterday passed a restrictive voter ID bill , drawing the condemnation of civil liberties and civil rights groups. "We hope that Gov. Haley will veto this bill and tell South Carolina lawmakers that we should be seeking ways to encourage more voters, not inventing excuses to deny voters the ability to cast their ballots," said South Carolina ACLU Executive Director Victoria Middleton.

    This is going on all over the country. Conservatives want to make it very hard for the 'wrong' people to vote. What a country!


  9. #119
    Atypical is offline

    Los Alamitos Unified will require teachers of controversial subjects to prove

    political balance to the school board each year.

    Before Los Alamitos High School science teachers can tackle topics such as global warming, they will have to demonstrate to the school board that the course is politically balanced.

    A new environmental science course prompted the Los Alamitos Unified School District on Tuesday to rewrite its policy for teaching controversial subject matter. Concerned that "liberal" faculty members could skew lessons on global warming, the board of education unanimously voted to make teachers give an annual presentation on how they're teaching the class.

    “I believe my role in the board is to represent the conservative voice of the community and I’m not a big fan of global warming,” said board member Jeffrey Barke, who led the effort. “The teachers wanted [the class], and we want a review of how they are teaching it.”

    The high school will begin offering an advanced-placement environmental science course next fall. Based on demand elsewhere in California, district officials expect it to be popular—more than 15,000 public school students enrolled in the class in 2008-09.

    Although there is a consensus among scientists, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, that global climate change exists, the board of education said the topic is controversial enough to require a change in the district's policy.

    The new class will be the first for which district teachers must prove political balance to the school board.

    “Most teachers are left to center, and if we leave it to teachers to impose their liberal views, then it would make for an unbalanced lesson,” Barke said. “Some people believe that global warming is a crock of crap, and others are zealots.”

    The course also covers topics such as population dynamics, evolution and biodiversity, pollution, ozone depletion and human health and toxicity.

    “We define a topic to be controversial if it has more than one widely held view,” said Assistant Superintendent Sherry Kropp, who will take the district's helm when Superintendent Gregory Franklin steps down at the end of the school year. “There are many issues regarding the environment that have become politicized these days and we want kids to be exposed to all sides.”

    School officials said the class is a good alternative for students looking to add an alternative AP course to their schedules.

    “Our goal is to have every high school student complete at least one AP course, and this is a good one to take because it is not heavily math-based,” said Kropp. “We are excited to offer it.”

    The textbook that will be used, “Living in the Environment,” asks students to analyze why some issues are deemed controversial (such as wilderness protection) and explores how population growth and climate change can cause species extinctions.

    “If the textbook talks about the evil adventures of humanity, we want teachers to describe an opposing view,” Barke said. “Teachers and textbooks are biased.”

    Los Alamitos Unified isn't the first district to raise concerns regarding how environmental science courses are taught. The Texas board of education, for example, mandated that teachers present “all sides” of issues that include global warming. South Dakota public schools are also required to teach climate skepticism, according to a report from the New York Times.

    Still, this might be the first time a California public school takes such a stand.

    “I don’t have data to share on this, but every subject area has its own set of controversies,” said Thomas Adams, director of standards, curriculum frameworks and instructional resources for the California Department of Education.

    Kropp said, “An unbalanced lesson would portray only one side. All we want is to have teachers teach the various scientific theories out there.”


    Yes, there should never be any scientifically based, objective info presented to children (or anyone else) unless conservatives agree with it.

    There it is. Do it our way or we will fight you. There are not any liberal or conservative 'facts'. Only scientifically supported, objective facts. Let the chips fall...

    Nah Too easy.
    Last edited by Atypical; 05-21-2011 at 03:16 PM.

  10. #120
    SiriuslyLong is offline
    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    They should teach them about climate change, no doubt. Right after biology, chemistry, physics, geometry, algebra, trigonomity, geology, geography, meteorology and most importantly, statistics (hypothesis testing, modeling (linear and non linear), F testing, t testing.....). That way the kids can know the science behind the topic. Seems right to me. Maybe even a little engineering so that they can understand the concepts of energy balance.

    I can't believe this happened in CA of all places.

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