Neil DeGrasse Tyson Takes Science Deniers to the Woodshed: ‘Fringe Information Is Unraveling Our Democracy’

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The astrophysicist fears for America’s future as a leader of the free world.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson warned this week that America’s democracy is “unraveling” because “fringe” information is treated with the same weight as legitimate science.

Tyson appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday to comment on the recent catastrophic hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

“Earth is pissed off,” Tyson informed MSNBC co-hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle. “I don’t know how else to put it. These are shots across our bow at this point.”

Tyson noted that some “people are still saying, ‘I choose not to follow the consensus of observations and experiments gives us.’”

“Anyone who wants to base policy on research papers that are not in the consensus of what others have shown,” he continued, “that is risky — no! It’s irresponsible.”

Ruhle pointed out that voters and shareholders are not interested in “adding thoughtfulness” to their decisions.

“That is the unraveling of an informed democracy,” Tyson replied. “If you have people deciding based on fringe information and making policy based on it, yes, it is the unraveling of an informed democracy. And I fear for the future of this country as a leader of the world.”

By David Edwards/Alternet/RawStory

Posted by The NON-Conformist


Court fines and fees: Another barrier to North Carolina’s ballot box

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How much money do you have to pay before you cast your ballot on Election Day?

Image result for court fees


For most North Carolinians, the answer might seem obvious: none. As the cornerstone of our democracy, voting is supposed to be fair, accessible – and free. But for an increasing number of North Carolinians, the right to vote can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

How is that possible? The answer is because North Carolina denies the right to vote to people who have felony convictions but cannot afford to pay their court costs, even if they have satisfied all other probation requirements.

Thanks to an ever-growing system of mandatory fines and fees, those caught up in the criminal justice system can be forced to pay anywhere from $40 to hundreds of dollars a month for the cost of their court administration, jail fees, probation, electronic monitoring, drug testing, even community service – and more. If they are unable to pay, they face a penalty fee for nonpayment, increasing their fees and lengthening their probation period.

These costs have increased substantially over time. In 1999, the base cost a person would pay for a superior court date was $106. Today the base cost is $198 with the potential to grow to more than $10,000 in serious cases as additional penalties snowball. Even if they have served all the terms of their sentence, even if they have had no probation violations, low-income people often remain on probation simply because they are low-income. And in far too many North Carolina courts, judges will not conduct hearings on a person’s inability to pay, as is required by law.

More from NC Policy Watch

Posted by Libergirl

Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy

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Posted by Libergirl

US Voting far from ideal

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American politicians keep criticizing other countries’ electoral systems but prefer not to see the serious drawbacks in their own, say Russian experts commenting on the US presidential vote.

The experts closely watched the neck-and-neck battle for the White House – both its outcome and the way the vote was organized in the “world’s greatest democracy.”

The Russians noted that there were some irregularities in the voting process.

“The polls have once again demonstrated that the US electoral system…in many aspect does not meet modern democratic standards,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told journalists on Thursday.

More from Russia Today

Posted by The NON-Conformist


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This article has me a bit choked up. I wrote about JC Penny awhile ago when it was going through its problems with the One Million Moms boycott. April brought job cuts to the company and now it  will cut an additional 350 jobs at its headquarters. I bet you since the moms are a nominal Christian group they will say this was God’s will and will happily take credit for it. I’m sure included in their glad tidings is the fact, that straight and probably Christian people lost their jobs as well. No problem, they will pray for them to find jobs. This is the thinking that goes behind blind ignorance. This is a great example of the perversion in religion I often fight against.

There is a new saying called the single parent hoax. I kind of made it up but it still fits nicely within the frame of what’s being written. Recently, Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman wrote SB(senate bill)507 which classifies single parenting as child abuse. There is another provision that is written that is equally shocking and it also affects same-sex couples. Take a look for yourself so you want  just take my word for it.

Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read: 48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read: 48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

This guy should be voted out. His reasoning for the bill, 31 percent of  Wisconsinite children are raised by single parents. This is overreaching governance that is unnecessary. The problems or better yet the true problem has to be addressed instead of an ignorant ass bill being written.

This sign had me at a loss for words. When was the last time we had a Christian President? As a person of faith I’m not the most motivated by politicians using their religious pedigree on the campaign trail. The last and only sincere Christian president was in my estimation, Jimmy Carter. I’m just saying. This is where the rubber meets the road. Is Mormonism a christian religion. EVERY NOMINAL CHRISTIAN DENOMINATION SAYS NO! I’m smiling, cause I’m wondering how these patriotic, God-loving, country loving, gun-toting, non-constitutional understanding people are going to vote. Their God will whisper in their ear “vote Romney a venture capitalist who has done more to destroy the American framework by taking advantage of its many offerings.”  I’m sure this guy has slept well knowing how he has acquired his dough.

Welcome to our democracy that you can buy as well as sell. A Christian president is laughable, I want a person to represent the people and keep their promises; like that’s going to happen. Anyway, cast your vote and hope for the best, whatever that is. Didn’t Bush II base policy on the voice of God?  He claims God told him to go into Iraq. We see how that worked out. He and immoral Clinton single- handedly destroyed this country and yet folks want another Christian president.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say anything about the Penn State debacle. I have to be careful not to be disrespectful. I don’t blame Jerry Sandusky, he was a sick man who needed help yet he preyed on young boys while Joe Paterno did nothing about it. What is more problematic is he is supposed to be a Christian with core values. Another issue is the talk of the death penalty which should happen, but people are arguing the incident didn’t affect the outcome on the field and the program will suffer because from the bad press. Really? This is criminal behavior/activity that should be punished to the highest extent.  Joe is no longer with us and can’t speak for himself but what is left of his legacy does speak of itself.

The NON-Conformist

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