Obama does something right

I think this is exactly what the federal government ought to be doing: building the national infrastructure and setting priorities. So I’m completely behind Obama’s proposal to make community college free for everybody for the first two years, a project that will lead to an expansion of our educational system, more employment for educators, and more opportunities for young people. It’s estimated to cost $34 billion — scrap a few defense contracts, we can cover that.

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I get email: Comma writes back!

I guess he noticed my previous mention of the wacky Terry Dean, Nemmers.

freethoughtblogs Monitor:

Would you please explain to me why UMM Prof Paul “Logical Fallacy” Myers is inciting his less-than-intelligent cult following to harass me? I have received a harassing email and my youtube channel at ArrestAJudgeKit is being flooded with wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated assertions that I am supposedly a “Sovereign Citizen.” Myers is using his bully pulpit to call my sanity into question with wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated assertions. Has Myers deluded himself into thinking that his Ph.d. is somehow a state-issued license to diagnose? Maybe Myers should review the Mn laws on criminal defamation and harassment before taking such irresponsible actions?

My reasonable suspicion is that this is Myers’ retaliation for my lawful data request for public data related to Myers’ inciting UMM students to censor and criminally damage UMM sanctioned material, isn’t it? It shocks the conscience that Myers would incite UMM students to censor and criminally damage UMM sanctioned material, doesn’t it? Now shame-filled and guilt-ridden Myers feels the need to intimidate me, a UMM graduate, into silence? I will not be bullied by UMM Prof Paul “Logical Fallacy” Myers nor his less-than-intelligent cult of personality followers, will I?

Terry Dean, Nemmers

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I get email

You know who scares me? It’s not the trolls on the internet. It’s the local loons.

I got a weird demand from some guy named Terry Dean Nemmers (for some reason, he calls himself “Terry Dean, Nemmers” — I’ll refer to him as Comma from now on). This was sent to me and many other people at UMM, but it’s really irrelevant to me, since he’s going to have to go through campus police and the administration to get any of those things he is requesting. But he’s clearly been fed well on Fox News to direct his hatred at me.

Chancellor Johnson:

Chapter 13 data request – Email me the 13.82 Comprehensive Law Enforcement Data. Subd. 7. Criminal investigative data for the incident involving PZ Myers, associate professor at UMM. Email me the incident reports, handwriting samples, audio files and the referral to the prosecutor for prosecution. It shocks the conscience that UMM personnel would incite others to engage in censorship and criminal activity, isn’t it?

Oh, and in case you intentionally forgot, you are currently illegally withholding (censorship, right?) the following public data: 1. Names of all UMM personnel 2. Salaries of all UMM personnel (In dollars and cents – if coded provide key to code) 3. Incident reports for the 09-05-13 botched West Central SWAT raid (publicity stunt) at America’s Best Value Inn in Glenwood. You remember: The willful misuse of municipal, county, state and federal funds on a wild goose chase for Andrew Dikken.

Terry Dean, Nemmers

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If you don’t heed the warnings now, it’ll be worse later

That’s always the case. It seems a potential scandal is roiling the UK right now, with the revelation that Prince Andrew may have been led into unseemly behavior. Or, rather than “led”, ran eagerly into it. Tsk.

Buckingham Palace has resisted growing pressure to explain Prince Andrew’s association with convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, whom the royal is believed to have met on numerous occasions, including on his private jet, yacht and in stays at his New York and Florida mansions.

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Creationism was killed…by creationists

Since I bashed that absurd article on evolution on Salon, it’s only fair that I mention that they’ve also published a good one: The destruction of creationism: How the search for the beginning of time sparked a scientific revolution. It’s by Martin J.S. Rudwick, and I adore Rudwick’s books — he writes about 19th century geology, and how the scientists of the day struggled with the evidence to develop our modern understanding of geologic time. Gripping stuff, if you’re a nerd.

This article is all about old-time theologians grappling with the idea of a pre-Adamite history of the Earth, which is the beginning of what will eventually kill creationism as scientifically viable. Once you start asking questions of the book, and you start looking at other sources to, say, merely clarify ambiguities, you’re doomed — you’re going to have to start considering new evidence, and pretty soon the splendorously isolated purity of your source text is corrupted.

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Road to ruin

The Atlantic has a rather depressing article on The Tragedy of the American Military. Here’s the kernel of the story: the knee-jerk idolatry of the military by the American public is leading to a decline in its effectiveness and to wasteful expenditure of human lives.

If I were writing such a history now, I would call it Chickenhawk Nation, based on the derisive term for those eager to go to war, as long as someone else is going. It would be the story of a country willing to do anything for its military except take it seriously. As a result, what happens to all institutions that escape serious external scrutiny and engagement has happened to our military. Outsiders treat it both too reverently and too cavalierly, as if regarding its members as heroes makes up for committing them to unending, unwinnable missions and denying them anything like the political mindshare we give to other major public undertakings, from medical care to public education to environmental rules. The tone and level of public debate on those issues is hardly encouraging. But for democracies, messy debates are less damaging in the long run than letting important functions run on autopilot, as our military essentially does now. A chickenhawk nation is more likely to keep going to war, and to keep losing, than one that wrestles with long-term questions of effectiveness.

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