Race, racist judges, defamation, quantum taxes and death….

Here is more discussion about “does the concept of race make sense”; here Puff the Mutant Dragon critiques some of what Jerry Coyne said.

The main issue: it is true that certain genes (and the characteristics that are a result of these genes) do come in clumps; certain Africans are susceptible to sickle cell anemia whereas Swedes aren’t; many Asians “blush” when drinking. On that, there is no disagreement. The discussion appears to be on the word itself: “race”.

My take: my knee jerk inclination is to side with Dr. Coyne here; after all, it is easy to look around and see that you are in Tokyo rather than in Abuja. But the term “race”, as used by the public, often denotes skin color and “features” and that is where things get interesting. For example: when I walk around in, say, San Antonio, TX, people automatically speak Spanish to me. I “look Mexican”. In fact, that is my cultural heritage. But was I in for a big surprise when I got my maternal and paternal genetic history. I was haplogroup K on the maternal side; R-1b on the paternal side. That is European ancestry…and note that my paternal grandfather was from Spain. In other words, genetically, I am “white” though those who look at me won’t see me that way.

Racist Judges
Yes, the Montana judge apologized for forwarding a nasty, racist e-mail message about President Obama and initiated a “judicial misconduct” investigation against himself. But…here is the real issue for me:

Earlier this week a Great Falls Tribune reporter found something startling in his inbox: a shockingly racist and misogynistic email forwarded from the most powerful federal judge in Montana, which “joked” that the president of the United States was the product of his mother having sex with a dog. The story soon became national news, with groups like ours calling on Judge Richard Cebull to resign.

Cebull quickly apologized to the president and submitted himself to a formal ethics review, somewhat quelling the story. But the story is about more than one judge doing something wildly inappropriate and deeply disturbing. It’s about a conservative movement in which the bile and animosity directed at the president — and even his family — are so poisonous that even someone who should know better easily confuses political criticism and sick personal attack. Come on: going after the president’s late mother?

Attempting to explain his email forward, Judge Cebull told the reporter, John S. Adams,

The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan. I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. Is sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.

Judge Cebull is hardly alone in using the old “I’m not racist, but…” line. In fact, his email was the result of an entire movement built on “I’m not racist, but…” logic that equates disagreement with and dislike of the president with broad-based, racially charged smears. These smears, tacitly embraced by the GOP establishment, are more than personal shots at the president — they’re attacks on the millions of Americans who make up our growing and changing country.

Mainstream conservatives have genuine objections to President Obama’s priorities and policies. But since he started running for president, a parallel movement has sprung up trying to paint Obama as an outsider and an imposter — in unmistakably racially charged terms. Too often, the two movements have intersected.

I won’t get into policy here; people will disagree on that. You sometimes find two Nobel Laureate economists on different sides of the same issue. I get that.

But there appears to be a more deep seated animosity going on here. My take:

President Obama is a modern man. He is comfortable coming from Columbia and from Harvard Law; he wrote a book that has curse words and the “n-word” in it (Dreams From my Father); in fact HE WROTE his own books (no ghostwriter). He watches and played basketball and continues to have lots of black friends. He visits other countries and openly tells them that their point of view matters; he admits that we’ve done wrong (at times) AND reminds others that we’ve done a lot of right too. He seems to understand that the rest of the world isn’t (and shouldn’t) be in a “US first” mode and he understands that in many areas, other countries have caught up or surpassed us (in some areas).

He even had the audacity to admit that not every American is Jewish or Christian and that there are non-believers too.

That just enrages many conservatives; they see their old “every REAL American” mentality fading away. And it is!!!! 🙂

In short, dinosaurs such as this judge can foresee their own coming extinction…ok, not really, but they are seeing that THEY are NOT the only REAL Americans. They are PART of America, not the defining part of America.

That’s my take anyway.

Did Rush Limbaugh defame Sandra Fluke? (the “slut” issue). Randazza says “no” and his argument makes sense to me.

Quantum Taxes
Corporate taxes does this mean that taxes on dividends are a “double tax”, or do these “fall on wages”?
Well, which answer favors the wealthy at which time…that is what is “true”.

Unless we don’t; no asteroid 2012 DA14 will NOT hit us a year from now. It will come “relatively” close though (17,000 miles).

Acting Catholic
A lesbian was denied communion at her mom’s funeral. I talked about this on facebook; the thread went on and on.

But Friendly Atheist got it right: Don’t blame the priest for acting Catholic (though other Catholics told me that they were instructed by Priests to NOT deny communion in such circumstances):

Don’t blame the priest. Blame the Church.

The Atheist Pig says it well:

Personally, I don’t want the church (or religion in general) to change to accommodate everyone’s particular beliefs because that would imply that religion still has worth and relevance in today’s world. In my opinion, it doesn’t. I’d rather that people throw of the shackles of religion and superstition and embrace truly secular society.

… I’m sorry, Barbara, I sympathize with your situation, but I do not support your effort here. If you’re unhappy with your current club, I would suggest joining ours. We’ve got a wonderful membership that’s growing every day. We don’t ask you to tithe. We don’t ask you to get up early on Sunday. And we don’t ask you to change. We’re fine with you just the way you are.

This funeral ought to serve as just another reason you should abandon Catholicism. This priest wasn’t the problem. He was taught to act this way by his superiors. Blame them. Your family deserved more respect than the Church could offer and your mother deserved a better sendoff than the one she received. When the grief begins to subside, I hope you can muster the courage to leave that faith.


Yes, the Catholics who would have given her communion are more compassionate people (and many would have), but they are going against their church. Why stay in the Crazy Club?


March 4, 2012 Posted by | astronomy, Barack Obama, biology, economy, evolution, politics, politics/social, republicans, science, social/political | 4 Comments

Sluts, Sluts and More Sluts!

For those who might be perplexed by the title:

And for the record, it wasn’t “just the left” that “went nuts”.

Mr. Limbaugh lost sponsors because of this.

But never mind this. What I want to know is……..

Where in the heck were all of these “sluts” when I was single???? 🙂

I know; I don’t have a ton of money and no one would mistake me for an Olympic swimmer or a famous actor…but come on, man! 🙂

My take: deep down, the “mainstream” (e. g., “big money”) Republicans are probably delighted at the prospect of not having this weight around their necks and would like nothing better to see him fade away.

March 4, 2012 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, republicans, Rush Limbaugh | Leave a comment

Longer walk

Today’s walk: 3:41 for the Boredom course plus a 2.1-2.2 mile loop (16.2-16.4 miles). I was at about 3:11 for the Boredom section (mediocre; a bit slower than my last). But it was pain free; my piriformis didn’t bother me AND neither did my knee.

Weather: sunny, windy (normal for this time of year); below freezing (27-28 F, or -2 C) at the start and it warmed up a bit.

Sights: well, not “sights” but I heard a very loud woodpecker and a barred owl (doing the “monkey chatter” song)

And yeah, I saw a few feminine shiny butts and VPLs; it is spandex season. 🙂

I’ll stick to 16 miles in March, maybe move to 18 in April and progress slowly, with the idea of maybe a road marathon and a trail 50K in the fall.

March 4, 2012 Posted by | injury, training, walking | Leave a comment