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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Nokomis, FL
Home country: US
Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:58 AM
Number of posts: 27,659

About Me

Retired 3x, living comfortably on the Gulf Coast, biking, beachwalking, lifting free weights, eating mostly properly, keeping my mind active, in my seventh decade, intending to give Methuselah a run for the record...

Journal Archives

Paul Singer Backs Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio's highly touted debate performance on Wednesday has already yielded a significant tangible benefit: The Republican presidential candidate has snagged the support of mega-donor Paul Singer, in a move that will be widely seen in the political world as a blow to struggling rival Jeb Bush.

One of the party's most prolific and hard-to-please donors, Singer gave more than $16 million to candidates and political committees in the last four years, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission. Fiscally conservative and socially moderate, the hedge-fund manager has donated to conservative candidates and causes, such as pro-Israel groups, former Ambassador John Bolton, and the Tea Party Patriots, but he has steered many of his contributions to his own super political action committee, American Unity, which supports Republicans who back gay rights. He gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the super-PAC supporting Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, and he supported former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 White House bid.

Over the last two presidential cycles Singer, founder of Elliott Management, convened private meetings of his fellow wealthy New York Republicans, at which presidential candidates effectively audition for support. A Harvard law school graduate, Singer started his firm in 1977 with $1.3 million that friends and family staked him. The New York-based firm now oversees assets valued at more than $25 billion. Its flagship fund has lost money in just two calendar years.

Scientists discover evidence of dark lightning

A person could be struck by dark lightning and not even know it.

Like ordinary lightning, dark lightning brews inside thunderclouds. In fact, it may be a competing way for the clouds to release their energy, says Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology. Dwyer has come up with a model explaining how dark lightning arises. His idea awaits further measurements for confirmation

Scientists first began seeing hints of dark lightning from gamma ray measurements from satellites since at least the 1990s, according to this NASA video. Gamma rays, the most energetic wave in the electromagnetic spectrum, are typically associated with radioactive decay, nuclear detonations and supernova explosions. Dark lightning appears to be made of X-rays and gamma rays.

Although no one knows for sure, humans may have been struck by dark lightning before, most likely during an airplane ride, Dwyer told the Washington Post. Even that is unlikely: Pilots usually stay away from storms, and dark lightning flashes are rare compared to ordinary lightning bolts. If hit, however, plane passengers probably wouldn't hear or feel the strike, but they would absorb what Dwyer estimated to be an entire lifetime's worth of safe radiation.

Star Transport Fired Truckers for Refusing to Transport Alcohol, Federal Agency Charged

A federal jury in Peoria, Ill., has awarded $240,000 to two Somalian-American Muslims who were fired from their jobs as truck drivers at Star Transport, an over-the-road trucking company, when they refused to transport alcohol because it violated their religious beliefs, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which brought the case. The trial started on Oct. 19, and the jury returned its verdict the next day after 45 minutes of deliberation.

Judge James E. Shadid, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, found in favor of EEOC after Star Transport admitted liability in March 2015. The resulting trial was to determine compensatory and punitive damages and back pay. The jury awarded Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale $20,000 each in compensatory damages and $100,000 each in punitive damages. Judge Shadid awarded each approximately $1,500 in back pay.

EEOC alleged that in 2009, Star Transport fired Mohamed and Bulshale after they were required to transport alcohol. Both men told Star Transport that they believed doing so would violate their religious beliefs under Islamic law.

EEOC also alleged that Star Transport could have but failed to accommodate the truckers' religious beliefs, as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc., No. 13-cv-1240) in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Peoria in May 2013.

HUH! All religions are equal, but some are more equal than others. Good thing they weren't required to transport a cake to a gay wedding...

This was alerted on and failed a hide. I alerted and that's when I found there had been 1 earlier.

The language show's that a LW-er felt like being a "funny" lad. I know some of the DI Left thinks exaggerated "Southern-speak" is hilarious when trolling, but how could the depiction of Schumer's cousin in post #2 of the linked thread be allowed to stay?...

Weep for Sweden as the advance of the Caliphate continues...

Sweden is being overwhelmed in its efforts to absorb a record number of asylum seekers looking for refuge inside its borders. The country’s migration agency on Thursday raised its forecast to as many as 190,000 people arriving this year and 170,000 people in 2016. The agency warned costs will rise to 60 billion kronor ($7 billion) next year, double its earlier forecast, and reach about 70 billion kronor annually through 2019.  

The current refugee situation lacks an equivalent in modern times,” said Anders Danielsson, director general of the agency. “We see people literally walking through Europe.”

Sweden has emerged as one of the main destinations for people fleeing the war in Syria, with refugees also flowing in from Afghanistan and Iraq. While Swedes have largely accepted their government’s open policy, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are seeing a groundswell of support after emerging as the third-largest party in last year’s election. There have also been several fires set at asylum centers across the country. 

To get a sense of the scale of Sweden’s refugee program, an equivalent inflow to the U.S., adjusted for population, would be 6 million people. So far this year, about 100,000 have arrived in Sweden, including 20,000 unaccompanied children. Authorities are now erecting tents and need as many as 45,000 additional housing spots this year, according to the migration agency.

So, what does DU think about the Biden-Hillary "screw Bernie" maneuver?. ..

Currently at DU: "Due to high traffic, certain forum features are currently disabled (Level 1)"

The RINO-DINO Dance, a daisy-chain of Republicans who DON'T want Trump and Democrats who DO want...

... Hillary and who BOTH want politics-as- usual. Discuss...

Yeah, Biden's not gonna run...

Joe Biden "will not be bullied" by Clinton campaign into deciding on run

A close confidant and longtime adviser of Joe Biden's who spoke to him recently says Biden, as vice president, feels he has earned the right to make a decision about his political future on his own timetable.

"He (Biden) really does not care about John or anyone else," the source said, referring to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. "He does not like bullies and will not be bullied. He has never really been part of the Democratic establishment and could care less about it." Podesta told multiple media outlets last week that it was time Biden made a decision about whether he's running for the presidency.

This appears to be a preemptive spinning of what DIDN'T cause Joe to decide against a run, once he finally announces that he isn't running...

Something for your "to do" list in 2029. And if very unlucky, 2036...

To those who follow space news, 2004 MN4 is hard to forget. Around last Christmas, astronomers ranked this asteroid's (Apophis) chances of striking Earth April 13, 2029, at 1 in 37, giving it an unprecedented threat level of 4 on the Torino impact-risk scale. By the end of January, additional observations reduced the risk to 1 in 10,000, ruling out a 2029 impact — but not a future strike.

The new orbit held a surprise. It moved the location of MN4's close 2029 pass outside the error box, the volume of space containing the probable positions computed by previous determinations. This isn't supposed to happen. Clark Chapman, a prominent Near-Earth object (NEO) researcher at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, found this occurrence so disturbing he suggested that alternate mathematical approaches might be better suited to characterize NEO impact risks than what astronomers are currently doing. Such techniques are used to evaluate risks of airline accidents or nuclear power plant disasters. 

If 2004 MN4 passes through the keyhole, Earth's gravity could deflect it just enough for an impact in April 2036. The keyhole's existence is why the impact risk hasn't dropped to zero. Optical and even radar observations aren't sufficient to nail down the asteroid's location to within 600 yards — only about 1.7 times the asteroid's diameter. Achieving "adequate accuracy" is why Rusty Schweickart is urging we intercept MN4 and place a transponder and some scientific instruments on its surface, before 2014. Why so early? Astronomers need time to collect the precision data that will determine whether MN4 will pass through the keyhole.

Is this the very first "obsessed with DU" thread on Discussionist? (Dates form May 17, 2014 )...

... I was looking for something VERY different and the search function popped this up... with a lot of names I do not recognize...

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