Date Set for Presidential Science Debate 2008
By Alexis Madrigal EmailFebruary 11, 2008 | 1:42:24 PMCategories: 2008 Presidential Election, Politics

The growing movement to host a presidential debate focused on science has reached a new milestone. The organizers of Science Debate 2008 have set a date, April 18, and a venue, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. With the details firm, the four remaining presidential candidates Democrats Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton along with Republicans John McCain and Mike Huckabee, have received their invitations. There is no word yet on which candidates plan to attend, but we'll keep you updated as (we hope) the RSVPs come in. has expressed public support for Science Debate 2008, joining a long list of other institutions that believe the candidates' ability to set smart policies on scientific issues is a key component of their fitness for the presidency.

For more background on Science Debate 2008, you can check out our previous coverage here on Wired Science and a longer article from Sarah Lai Stirland,'s crack political reporter. Sarah had a great quote from Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor at Case Western, noting the host of science-based topics that have serious policy significance--stem cell research, climate change, science education, and biotechnology. (And Loretta, I'm sure, would add the future of space exploration).
technoir: (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2006 02:07 pm)
I guess it is in the hands of the courts now. I suppose we will see the first challenge soon.

Bush to sign US terror trial bill

President George W Bush is due to sign into law a bill that sets standards for the interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects held by the US.

This follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that military tribunals first set up to prosecute detainees at Guantanamo Bay violated US and international law.
Read more... )
technoir: (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2006 12:23 pm)
So I suppose I should post this as it have been the subject of much argument.

What has happened to civility in our discourses? At what point did it become okay for people to be called un-American for questioning our government? When did it become okay to call those who want to peruse safety with out restraint fascists? Is it okay to say someone is like Hitler to make some sort of political point? I will not understand, nor will I ever understand why some people feel it is okay to be uncivil if people don’t agree with you. I am a strong critic of the current trends in our administration. I may even go so far as to say they are dumb things to do. I will however try and make my points in logic and passionate argument. I will endeavor to avoid directly insulting people who believe in those policies. You know what, that does not make me any less strident in my beliefs. It merely means I have the capability to make the argument civil. These are not baby killing monsters. These are men and women who believe in their cause and that these measures they are pursuing are needed. I disagree with them. I will express that with letters and debate. I will express it with my votes.

I have a number of friends who are conservative. I don’t believe them deluded or foolish. I believe them perhaps to be wrong on points because of certain points I will gladly talk with them about. I trust most of them will treat me with the same respect.

The whole demonizing of people on the opposite end of the political spectrum thing is just a waste. It convinces no one except the people who already agree with you. In the opposite people who may have been willing to listen to you tune you out because you have started to use the language to indicate you’re on the extreme. It is no better for a liberal to use the language of anger and fear than it is for a conservative. You only prove yourself the same and indisguishable from the people you oppose.

And why is it people want to do this in the end. Are people so frustrated that no one sees the way they do? That seems a likely explanation for why Bush and his fellows do it though I don’t know. Is it a stroke to the ego that you can prove yourself strong in your opinions, so strong you don’t care who you offend? Well I am sure that is a motivator for at least some.

I myself prefer to look to our better angels and say that while I strongly disagree with someone I will not be reduced to schoolyard name-calling. I believe in the notion that discussion and action are better gauges of our national character than name-calling and mudslinging.
technoir: (Default)
( Sep. 13th, 2006 09:49 am)
Okay a few minor points...

Am I going to be kicked out of the liberal classification if I say I do not want Hilary Clinton as president? Am I the only one who cringes at the thought of this woman. She has consistantly iritated me every time I hear about any time she has taken a stand. maybe cause the times I hear about it is blatent politics or she is talking about how our children need to be protected from video games, tv and movies. Can the Democrats not come up with someone better? Al gore looks like a bitter whiner. Dean does not stand up to the test either. Barak Obama might be a choise I dont know but right now the field of democrats is pretty slim. There is a movie coming out starring Robin Williams that has the premise a John Stewart type comedian host of a topical comedy show runs for president and wins. I am amused by this concept as much as anything because iut is so believable. Running for president as much as anything is a popularity contest these days. John Stewart is likable and smart. If he ran is it not believable he would win?

On the republican side I pointed out if Colin Powel ran for president he would probably win to a friend of mine at work. All of my black coworkers stated they believe he would be killed before he could ever win. They were convinced because Colin Powel was black he would eventually be killed for trying to become president. These were all normally reasonable people but on this they saw not alternative result. I am bothered that this seems such a previlent view. Is this really still a fear? I could see it it being a legitimate concern 30 years ago, but now?

on an unrelated note I am thinking of trying to attend a Universalist Unitarian church. In many ways it the only church can honestly feel at home in. I am a spiritual person but I am certainly not a Christian or a religious person. I do feel however I sometimes miss the sharing of that spiritual aspect in my life. I am think of going to a Universalist Unitarian church to maybe get some of that.

not much else at the moment.
technoir: (Default)
( Apr. 25th, 2006 10:48 am)
I joined Ipac, a political action commitee oriented towards dealing with technology issues from the consumer rights and privacy rights stand point. thought I would share this bit they sent me yesterday for those who are interested.

Jake Fisher
<> to me
More options Apr 24 (20 hours ago)
Many of you have seen or heard about the new amendment to the DMCA being sent to Congress by the Dep. of Justice. We've gotten a copy of the proposed bill and it's worse than we could have imagined.

This is a concerted effort to escalate Hollywood's war on America by creating a generation of criminals and sending them off to jail. That's right: the "Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006" (IPPA, link to bill below) would double the authorized prison terms for existing copyright infringement, create a host of new offenses, and establish a division within the FBI to hunt down infringers. The Members of Congress in the pockets of the Hollywood cartels want to divert $20 million a year and FBI agents from fighting real criminals.

Now is the time to fight back and prevent this from passing. This is the epitome of bad policy, and it's a direct result of the Hollywood Cartel's influence in Congress.

You can join the fight by calling your Congress member or your Senator (links to contact info below). Tell them that you will not vote for their reelection if they do not publicly denounce this bill. Please take notes on your conversation -- including the name of the staffer you talked to -- and post them in the comments section of this post:

IPac will be making this an issue in the 2006 elections, and we need your help to do it. Please consider donating or volunteering.


Donate to IPac:

Call your Senators:

Call your Rep:

Volunteer with IPac:

Read the entire bill here:

Read an article summarizing its provisions here:
technoir: (Default)
( Feb. 16th, 2006 12:11 pm)
U.S. Rejects U.N. Report on Gitmo

GENEVA — The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release the detainees or put them on trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

The world body also called on the United States to refrain from practices that "amount to torture."

The White House rejected the recommendation to shut the prison.Read more... )
I was watching Law and Order tonight. I am a big fan of the show. It is a simple story formula with inventive and amazingly talented writers. The cast has for years been made up of an ensamble that had lots of talent. This year is no exception. They have added the Honorable senator from Tennesse, Fred Thompson. If you cant remember him think of movies like Die Hard 2, Hunt for Red October, and In the Line of Fire. He is also one of the few politicians today I respect for having actuall intergrity.

Here is what the senate bio on him says concerning the reason I respect him

Senator Thompson grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science from Memphis State University in 1964 and his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1967, working his way through school. Two years after law school, Thompson was named an Assistant United States Attorney and at the age of 30 was appointed Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, where he served in 1973 and 1974.

In 1977 Thompson took on the case of a Tennessee Parole Board chairman fired under suspicious circumstances. Thompson's work helped to expose a cash-for-clemency scheme that ultimately toppled the governor. The scandal became the subject of a best-selling book and later a film, Marie, in which Thompson portrayed himself. He went on to appear in 18 motion pictures, including In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II and The Hunt for Red October.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Fred Thompson maintained law offices in Nashville and Washington and served as Special Counsel to both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of the Watergate memoir At That Point in Time.

Okay that said I have to say I often disagree with the man.
I can respect a man and disagree whole heartedly. But my favorite thing about him as an actor is that he plays a good example of an intelligent southerner. So often we see so many protrayals of men from the south being red necks or inbred hillbillies. Some of us grew up in the south and are happy about it. It is nice to see the stereotype shot down once in a while..

One last thing about this guy.
he was once quoted as saying" After six years in the US senate, i long for the sincerity I felt in Hollywood."

that about sums up my opinion of poltics these days.

Radical moderate monarchist
technoir: (Dr.Quest)
( Jul. 4th, 2002 03:38 pm)
America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn’t standing still.

E.E. (Edward Estlin) Cummings (1894–1962)

I find myself thinking of patriotism today. I have friends who say that word with derision or through clenched teeth. Patriotism is a bad word to many. People of "learning" assosciate all that is wrong with this country with flag waving thugs.

SYLLABICATION: pa·tri·ot·ism
NOUN: Love of and devotion to one's country.

I concider myself a patriot. Not the everything my country does must be right patriots. More of the loves his country so much he wants it to live up to the ideal. I want america to be the land of the free. I want to be proud of my countries accomplishments. And I am for the most part. Are country is the greatest in the world for the simple reason we have the right to tell off anyone, from the president on down.

I think our countries recent trend is disturbing and I am not happy about it. I can say that and not get in trouble for it. I could say it to George W. and not get in trouble. I can right in a news paper or in my Livejournal and nothing happens. The FBI doesn't kick in my door. I dont loose my job. I am not labelled a traitor. And when election time comes I get to try and vote out the folks I think are fucking up. Isn't that a great country?

Yes I am ashamed of someof my countries actions but I still say I am a patriot. I will willingly say I am from the greatest nation on earth. I know thats cheesy but hey I am nothing if not willing to be cheesy at times.

OH well back to my rambling to myself


technoir: (Default)


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