The Ghost of Chamberlain

Of course the proximate issue is whether the prospective deal with Iran is 'another Munich'.

Now I'll leave aside some minor contemporary details like the fact that as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Iran is perfectly within its rights to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes in any way they see fit, and that Ayatollah Khameini "has also issued a fatwa saying the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons is forbidden under Islam.", and that Pakistan (Sunni) is a non-participant that openly has nuclear weapons and Israel (another non-participant) almost certainly has them but will not admit it, or that Saudi Arabia (participant) has stated that they will purchase them if they deem it desirable.

Let us think instead about Munich.



It get's better? Not fast enough, not here and not now

Life near Camp Pendleton is apparently lacking in support for transgender kids.

 photo Sage-David_zpsrsqte3za.jpgOn March 3, Sage took his own life.

Sage was one of us and was one of the many LGBTQIA teens that frequents the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.

Our Center’s youth want to celebrate Sage’s life and remember his legacy of love and acceptance, and not dwell on his pain. While so many have been questioning the reason behind this tragedy, Sage was loved and respected by his family and peers and this is how his closest friends here at the Center want to remember him.

However, Sage’s story brought to our attention just how vulnerable our LGBTQIA youth really are, constantly challenged by a society that only seems to accept and impose a gender binary idea of the world.

--Max Disposti, North County LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside, CA



The Breakfast Club (Rebellion)




Stipe, John condemn treatment of transgender prisoners

Michael Stipe and Elton John issued a joint statement yesterday condemning the treatment of transgender prisoners in the state of Georgia.

Transgender women in male prisons have an equal right to protection from violence and abuse in prison, yet they continue to face horrific injustices.

The musicians referred to both the situation of Ashley Diamond, linked above, and that of Zahara Green, who was forced to perform oral sex on a prisoner at Rogers State Prison in 2012. When Ms. Green complained, she was placed in protective the same cell as her abuser. There she was raped repeatedly for 14 hours before a guard came to check on the situation.




Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my
example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much
happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than
he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgWelcome
back to Science Thursday.  This particular film was shot by CERN
interns during some downtime, of which they have quite a lot actually
since it's broken more often than it's working.


What a lot of people don't know about the Large Hadron Collider is that it's basically been operating at half capacity since an accident during the test phase blew out a large section.
 Now, after two years of re-building, it is poised again to create that
Black Hole Apocalypse that swallows the Earth into it's singularity
(not to worry, as it turns out micro Black Holes are unstable and loose
mass (energy) through Hawking Radiation at a rate too great to sustain themselves indefinitely, so you can rest
assured that we're far more likely to die of Global Climate Change).

Anyway it's been down for two years (much like Shell's Arctic
drilling scheme) and started it's run up to full capacity next week.
 Beyond nailing down the Higgs Boson, a lot of what they expect to find is nothing.


Scientific method.  A Theory is not a Theory unless it makes predictions that are experimentally disprovable-

How often have I said to you that when you have
eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the truth?

Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?
To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

The dog did nothing in the night-time.
That was the curious incident.

A lot of the work for CERN from here on out is testing some of the
predictions of various Theories and seeing if the experimental results
match.  The fuzzyness of the Higgs Boson for instance could indicate Supersymmetry which predicts up to 5 types of Higgs Bosons.

If the Standard Model is in fact correct, it covers only 4% of
the observed Universe.  27% is "Dark Matter" that is currently
undetectable but exerts a huge Gravitational influence (umm... Black
Holes are detectable so it ain't that).  "Dark Energy" even less so, but
this is the force that observationally inflates the Universe beyond a
size where Gravity can ever collapse it.

The Large Hadron Collider might, might produce energy levels
sufficient to detect Dark Matter.  Nobody is talking about Dark Energy

Oh, and 'Dark' in this context means undetectable by current means, might as well call it Rebellion.

So how to do you detect the undetectable?  Why, by it's absence.
 The hope for Dark Matter is that certain types of collisions will,
instead of producing results that conform with the Standard Model, lose
detectable energy (mass) in a replicatible way that advances the math
describing it's nature.

Or not.

Cern restarts Large Hadron Collider with mission to make scientific history
by Ian Sample, The Guardian

Sunday 5 April 2015 15.48 EDT

The pat on the back and call to arms marked the
restart on Sunday morning of the world's largest and most powerful
particle accelerator. More than two years after it handed researchers
the Higgs boson, and was closed down for crucial upgrade work, the
machine is ready to make scientific history for a second time.

How that history will be written is unknown. High on the wishlist for
discoveries are dark matter, the invisible material that appears to
hang around galaxies and makes up more than 25% of the universe; hidden
extra dimensions that would explain why gravity is so puny compared to
other forces of nature; and an explanation for why the world around us
is not made from antimatter.

But there is another history that keeps scientists awake at
night: the possibility that the LHC's discoveries begin and end with the
Higgs boson, that it finds nothing else over the next 20 years it is
due to run. As Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate and professor at the
University of Texas in Austin, told the Guardian: "My thoughts on the
possibility of the LHC telling us nothing new don't go beyond hopeless


Until now, the Large Hadron Collider has run at only half its design
energy. The machine was restricted to 7TeV collisions after a weak
connection led to a short circuit that caused an explosion less than two
weeks after it was first switched on in September 2008. The blast
covered half a kilometre of the machine with a thin layer of soot and
closed the collider for more than a year. The repairs cost the lab £24m.

The machine was switched back on in 2009, but Cern took the
precaution of running at half energy to slash the risk of another
accident. The gamble paid off. On 4 July 2012, the lab's Atlas and CMS
detector teams declared they had discovered the Higgs boson months
before the machine was shut down. A year later, Peter Higgs, the
Edinburgh-based physicist, and François Englert from Brussels, won the
Nobel prize for their work on the particle, which is thought to give
mass to others.


The Higgs boson was the last piece of what physicists call the
Standard Model, a series of equations that describe how all the known
particles interact with one another. Though successful, the model is
woefully incomplete, accounting for only 4% of the known universe. With
the LHC, scientists hope to find physics beyond the Standard Model, a
first step to explaining the majority of the cosmos that lies beyond our

"The LHC will be running day and night. When we will get results
we don't know. What is important is that we will have collisions at
energies we've never had before," said Arnaud Marsollier, a Cern

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think,
the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to
you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with
Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If
it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these
experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found
to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope;
there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

ek hornbeck :: The Breakfast Club (Rebellion)
Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.
 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

This Day in History










Funeral of Pope John Paul II; Pablo Picasso dies at
91; Teen aids patient Ryan White dies at 18; Hank Aaron hits 715th home
run; Kurt Cobain found dead in home from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Breakfast Tunes










Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac


It takes a long time to become young.

Pablo Picasso




An Enlightened Mayor

 photo betsy-hodgesweb-817x404_c_zps4xiso5n8.jpgLast Thursday Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges gave the 2015 State of the City Address at the American Swedish Institute.

She demonstrated what a progressive mayor can be.

Video of the speech will be across the fold, but it is nearly an hour long. I suggest listening to the whole of it when you have time. Climate change, equal opportunity regardless of race, parental leave, mass transit, living wage, paid sick leave, strengthening'a all there.

Personally I want to zero in n the last approximately six minutes.

At 42:30 in Mayor Hodges' speech, she says:

Recently, a person very dear to me let me know she was a transgender woman. My first response? Congratulations, and how great! The ability to know who she is and live as herself is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration.

Now all of us must work together to make that truth real everywhere she goes.

Last year saw history made in our state and in the city of Minneapolis. I was so proud of the Minnesota state high school league when they voted overwhelmingly in December to make sure transgender athletes could play and participate as their lived gender. We at the city convened the first Transgender Issues Work Group, tasked with examining and recommending policy for the City enterprise and the city as a whole. They also hosted the city’s first-ever Trans Summit, bringing together community members, community organizations, City departments, and overall community resources to take the next steps toward community-generated policy change. I was proud to be part of it. Much love and credit to Andrea Jenkins, whose dedication and activism made it possible; I wish her well in her new role as the new and first ever oral historian for the Transgender Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

The 2015 horizon is bright as the next generation of city policy begins to take shape. This work is needed. Transgender people experience some of the worst levels of violent crime, hate crime, discrimination in the workplace and in public, stereotypes, and ignorance of any group in this country or in the world. Here in Minnesota, 77% of transgender people report experiencing harassment on the job. 27% of transgender kids in school report being assaulted. Most damning, 43% of the trans people surveyed reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

What can any one of us do in the face of this data? In our interactions with transgender people — frankly, as in our interactions with anyone — we must start with love and with celebration. We must start with the knowledge that being who you are in this world is to be celebrated. We must follow that with the commitment to making each one of us safe as we walk through the world as ourselves. And we must follow that with policies that support it.

Everyone in our city can learn from the courage that our transgender friends display every day. To my transgender friends, I want to thank you for your investment in Minneapolis, our community, and our people. The best way I can thank you is by persisting in my commitment to making sure that all of us know that all of us need to be in the picture of this city for us to succeed, including and especially you.

Because we can’t do this without you, Minneapolis. Everyone must be in this picture or we will not be One Minneapolis.




DOJ intervenes in case of Ashley Diamond

 photo Ashley_Diamond_zpsva39xxxv.jpgThe Department of Justice has filed a 19-page brief in the case of Ashley Diamond v Owens, et al. in a District Court in Georgia.

Ms. Diamond, 36, lived openly as a transgender woman since she was a teen, but was arrested for theft, probation violation, escape, and obstruction of justice. She was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of 11 years. She was, of course, sent to a male prison.

You’d have thought she murdered a small village. But it was their final chance to get her out of Rome, and they did.

--Charles Neal Sumlin, victim of the theft




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