Daily Archives: December 5, 2011

Romney’s Job Creation Strategy: Layoffs!

Mitt Romney really does seem to come from Bizaro Land. Nothing he says seems to match what he’s done.

The Republican presidential contender says he learned about expanding employment during his time heading a private equity firm. But under his leadership, Bain Capital often maximized profits in part by firing workers.


Now a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney says his Bain experience shows he knows how to create jobs. He often cites Bain’s investment in a little-known office supply store called Staples, which now employs more than 90,000 worldwide.

But …. Under Romney’s leadership, Bain became one of the nation’s top leveraged-buyout firms, helping lead a trend in which companies were acquired using debt often pledged against their own assets or earnings.

Details here at the LA Times

Hat Tip RT

Religious groups still can’t use public schools facilities for worship

This was known, it is basic first amendment logic, but fundies can’t leave the rest of us alone because if they do they will die and go to hell. So, more time, money and resources have been wasted on a continuing court battle that may have ended today at the Supreme Court.

Continue reading Religious groups still can’t use public schools facilities for worship

Voyager 1 Is In the Stagnation Zone

… and probably has been there for months, but new research is confirming the nature of this very interesting phenomenon. It is the outer edge of our solar system, where fast moving stuff heading away from the sun has slowed down because it’s movement is stifled by gravity, but some extra-energetic particles are still leaking out into the greater galactic region, from which they are unlikely to return. Also, the solar system’s magnetic fluxy stuff is bunched up in this region.
Continue reading Voyager 1 Is In the Stagnation Zone

Mayor Anthony Court is an Untrustworthy Hypocrite

Or perhaps he’s just gonna go to jail for contempt of himself.

Remember the Ellwood City Municipal Building nativity display, and the dustup over that?

After complaints last year from groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Mayor Anthony Court opened the door to displays from non-Christian groups as well. He even invited FFRF to submit their own display. The property currently hosts a crèche, a Santa scene, a snowman, Kwanzaa posters, and a Hanukkah menorah.

But when the FFRF provided a nice, tasteful display about being rational and stuff, the mayor rejected it.

The Friendly Atheist has all the details here.

Class M Planet Discovered

Maybe. Well, not really. But it could be ….

NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the “habitable zone,” the region around a star where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don’t yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets.

Details here.

The Fetish in relation to Skepticism

I was just glancing through the blog of Katheryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, a book about people who were wrong about stuff, often big stuff (for example, she talks about individuals who spent decades in jail owing to false convictions). Meantime, I’m working on posts related to the falsehoods and “Everything you know is wrong” series. And, as I do this, I’m thinking about a way in which people get things wrong that is often overlooked or, perhaps, not recognized as a specific category of irrational thinking.

[This is a repost, originally published here. You may want to glance at the comments on the original. It is possible that I struck a nerve.]

This has to do with the idea of a fetish. It is likely that I’m using the word “fetish” in a different way than it is usually used in modern English parlance, so some definition is appropriate. Here’s some material from various dictionary sources:
Continue reading The Fetish in relation to Skepticism

Assange can fight extradition

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has won the right to petition the UK Supreme Court in his fight against extradition to Sweden.

He lost a High Court battle last month to be extradited over alleged sex offences, which he denies.

Judges refused Mr Assange permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court – but said his case raised “a question of general public importance”.

He can now directly ask the Supreme Court to look at his case.

The rest of the story, from the BBC