The implications of Isaac Newton's physical theories of mechanics, which treated the universe as if it were a machine (hence the term "mechanics") built by a creating god yet running on its own principles independent of the interference of the creating god (though Newton never denied that God couldn't interefere, just that he didn't), encompassed much more than physical change and movement. Soon other areas of experience came to be regarded as mechanistic and independent of divine interference: social structures, economics, politics, and so forth. Each of these areas could be understood and manipulated solely through rational methods, since they operated through consistent and orderly laws and principlesLINK
The philosophes of mid-eighteenth century France developed this mechanistic view of the universe into a radically revised version of Christianity they called deism. Drawing on Newton's description of the universe as a great clock built by the Creator and then set in motion, the deists among the philosophes argued that everything—physical motion, human physiology, politics, society, economics—had its own set of rational principles established by God which could be understood by human beings solely by means of their reason. This meant that the workings of the human and physical worlds could be understood without having to bring religion, mysticism, or divinity into the explanation. The Deists were not atheists; they simply asserted that everything that concerned the physical and human universes could be comprehended independently of religious concerns or explanations.
Deism: Deism is a term coined in the philosophe movement and applies to two related ideas: a) religion should be reasonable and should result in the highest moral behavior of its adherents; b) the knowledge of the natural world and the human world has nothing to do whatsoever with religion and should be approached completely free from religious ideas or convictions.Best wishes to my fellow patriotic Democrats, and thanks for all that you do to make the world a better place.
The Big question is why doesn’t anyone have the guts to tell Dick Cheney to shut up?
I can’t believe he is still getting away with claiming that the Bush administration and Republicans kept us safe for 8 years.
Excuse me Mr. X-Vice President September 11, 2001 was on your watch, 2,974 victims of terrorism dead on American soil on your watch Mr. Cheney.
To use a term which is actually an understatement “what hutsba” I guess in Dick Cheney’s mind they didn’t take office until September 12, 2001, well here’s a new flash Dick yours and the Republicans tenure from 2001 to yes even present.
September 11, 2001 – 2,974 dead – Terrorism
March 2003 to present – 4,299 dead Americans – Iraq War
March 2003 to present – 31,156 wounded Americans – Iraq War
The as yet unknown cost of the Bush administration’s failure to finish the job in Afghanistan which has allowed the Taliban to regroup, reorganize and recruit to greater numbers than before the Afghan war.
Persons like Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh talk big they talk brave and they talk as if they are on the front lines of defending America.
The truth is they are only brave precisely because someone else is doing the fighting and dying for America both Cheney and Limbaugh had an opportunity to defend America to show they were actually men and not the cowards we now know them to be.
In Cheney’s case a record five that’s right count them FIVE deferments from service at a time when his country truly needed him.
Taxes and the Economy
By now, everyone is surely aware that the NCLB Education act "mandates" annual standardized, "high-stakes" tests be developed and administered in all our States to nominally increase "accountability" in public education.
I want to raise another question. What agency has responsibility for oversight of the "testing companies" that are building and administering the States' standardized tests?
The obvious answer is that the USDOE has "statutory responsibility" for oversight and final "approval" of the State's testing systems.
But recent developments in Illinois seemingly call the "efficacy" of the DFederal Department of Education's oversight system into question.
Here's the link to a story in today's Chicago Tribune that started me examining the issue and related facts:
Errors may snarl state testing Officials hire auditor, worry state test scores may show failure of system (By Stephanie Banchero - Chicago Tribune reporter August 2, 2008)(Click Link for Story)
Here are some links to the "official correspondence" between the US Department of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education about the "review and approval" of the Illinois Statewide Assessment and Accountability system.
(June 23, 2006)
(September 8, 2006)
(June 29, 2007)
(January 4, 2008)
The apparent problems with "validity and reliability" of the ISAT were resolved; according to USDOE's standards for oversight of state assessment systems.
These are the facts; as reported by the Chicago Tribune today and from the US Department of Education's "official correspondence" with the Illinois State Board of Education.
Does anyone besides me see a discrepancy here? Could it be either the Illinois statewide assessment system is flawed, or the Federal oversight of that system is flawed.... OR BOTH?
I'm very temped to offer my "interpretation" of what this might mean and the situation's underlying causes. But I'll hold off on that and monitor the posting to see if anyone besides me thinks this subject is worth talking about.
If appropriate, I'll conntribute my views to subsequent discussions.
BOULDER CITY, Nev. — At first, as he adjusted pumps and checked temperatures, Aaron Boucher looked like any technician in the control room of an electrical plant. Then he rushed to the window and scanned the sky, to check his fuel supply.
Mr. Boucher was battling clouds, timing the operations of his power plant to get the most out of patchy sunshine. It is a skill that may soon be in greater demand, for the world appears to be on the verge of a boom in a little-known but promising type of solar power.
It is not the kind that features shiny panels bolted to the roofs of houses. This type involves covering acres of desert with mirrors that focus intense sunlight on a fluid, heating it enough to make steam. The steam turns a turbine and generates electricity.
The technology is not new, but it is suddenly in high demand. As prices rise for fossil fuels and worries grow about their contribution to global warming, solar thermal plants are being viewed as a renewable power source with huge potential.
After a decade of no activity, two prototype solar thermal plants were recently opened in the United States, with a capacity that could power several big hotels, neon included, on the Las Vegas Strip, about 20 miles north of here. Another 10 power plants are in advanced planning in California, Arizona and Nevada.On sunny afternoons, those 10 plants would produce as much electricity as three nuclear reactors, but they can be built in as little as two years, compared with a decade or longer for a nuclear plant. Some of the new plants will feature systems that allow them to store heat and generate electricity for hours after sunset. Read More »
We already know the DNC site is undergoing some major changes along with new people coming in and others moving on. I think it’s safe to say there are already major changes proposed for the partybuilder blog site wether that is to shut it down or to add moderators and rules. The rumors have been going around as to which, either way I think we’ll all see soon enough once the convention is over.
However, in case it is not set in stone here is my wish list and the wishes of many others when this came up months ago, if partybuilder stays:
Moderators – 24/7
Rules, Etiquette and Help and How To - You agree to TOS when you create your blog (didn’t we?) so make that the first page you see when you enter partybuilders. Have simple etiquette, the Rules of the blog, and what happens if you break them, including links. Make that a clickable page meaning you have to click it to close it and not by pass it. Also, make that the Home or Opening Page with a link to it on every page inside partybuilder. That would be especially helpful to new people or those that forget.
Improved Search features
Skip to whatever page number
Blog Poll and personal blog polls
Folders/Bins for all the various topics – such asGeneral - Health & Education - Environment & Energy - Economic Policy Foreign Policy / Security - Economy - Environment -Military - Etc
In addition, have those on the left of the site since there is nothing else over there.
Oh and fix the various options options in html editor.
Please and thank you : )Read More »
Texas Oil Tycoon Urges US to Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil By Deborah Tate
22 July 2008
Tate report - Download (MP3)
Tate report - Listen (MP3)
M Arcega Pickens report / Broadband - Download (WM)
M Arcega Pickens report / Broadband - Watch (WM)
Longtime Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is calling on the U.S. government to take steps to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. He is promoting an energy plan that features wind and natural gas - a proposal he discussed with lawmakers at a congressional hearing Tuesday. VOA's Deborah Tate reports from Capitol Hill.
T. Boone Pickens testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, 22 July 22, 2008
T. Boone Pickens is a man with a mission.
"I only have one enemy, and that's foreign oil," he said. "That's what I want to get rid of. My plan will reduce our dependency on foreign oil by 38 percent."
Pickens told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the United States imports nearly 70 percent of its oil today, up from 24 percent in 1970. He said many of the countries supplying the oil are not friendly to the United States.
Pickens warned of negative consequences in 10 years if the United States does not take any action.
"If we continue to drift like we're drifting, you're going to be importing 80 percent of your oil, and I promise you, it will be over $300 a barrel," he said.
Off Shore Wind Farm Locations Found Via Satellite
By Matt Ford | Published: July 13, 2008 - 09:22AM CT
With oil and energy prices skyrocketing, more people around the world are starting to look at green and renewable energy sources. Wind power, which was found to be a true green alternative to fossil fuels, has gotten a recent boost thanks to a bet by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens. His company, Mesa Power, is planning a $2 billion investment in what will be the world's largest wind farm ever built, set to be located in west Texas. According to Pickens, if the US were to take advantage of what he calls the wind corridor that runs from western Texas to the Canadian border, the country could have 20 percent of its energy supplied by wind power.
20 percent is not bad, but where else could large scale wind farms be built? A Publication in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters by a team of scientists from NASA's JPL uses satellite data to measure the surface stresses over the oceans. Recent technological advances have made floating wind farms possible, but the key is putting them in the right locations. The article examined eight years of data from the QuikSCAT data to determine the energy distribution over the world's ocean. The research identified three causes of regional variations in the power carried by the winds: "land mass deflection of the surface flow, the gap wind channeled by land topography, and surface stress variation produced by atmospheric buoyancy driven by ocean front."
Read More »
Defying social stigma and the culture of shame surrounding rape victims in Pakistan, she not only spoke out about the assault, but in a valiant move, took the perpetrators to court and won. She then used the money she received from her court case to open a school for girls in Meerwala and enrolled in the school herself. This school is the first girlsÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ school ever to exist in her village and the closest one for miles. The school has 5 classrooms, 5 teachers and nearly 200 students - all female. According to Mukhtar Mai, helping other girls and women gives her a reason to live and her school is indeed a testament to her courage.Want to really make progress in ending the long term terrorist threat? This simple action will do more to transform the middle east than any army could accomplish in a lifetime.