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John McCain’s Victorious Defeat – The Colbert Report – 8/25/10 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

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August 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, humor, John McCain, mccain, political humor, political/social, politics, republicans | Leave a comment

25 August 2010

Classes start today. Back at it; I’ll be busy with a rewrite and classes, and rehabbing my knee/shoulder.

Politics Senator Jim Inhofe calls Senator John McCain a “closet liberal”. I say: Senator Inhofe is an out of the closet loon (creationist, climate change denier, etc.)

But Senator McCain did win his reelection primary (57-32 at of last night) and will probably win reelection.

Science
Mice can be trained to sniff out disease:

Scientists have trained mice to recognize the whiff of bird flu in duck poop, and they think they can train dogs to do the same thing. If so, flu-sniffing dogs — or chemical sensors built to duplicate this not-so-stupid pet trick — could become a new line of defense in the fight against epidemics.

The latest findings focus on the detection of avian influenza, a.k.a. bird flu. But Bruce Kimball, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher who presented the study today in Boston at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, suggested that the trick could be used to sniff out other diseases as well. “To be honest with you, I think we could demonstrate this type of effect in a lot of areas,” he told me.

Human evolution Here is an interview with a scientist who thinks that tools really forced human evolution; that is, it wasn’t mostly natural selection after a certain point:

You begin your book The Artificial Ape by claiming that Darwin was wrong. In what way?

Darwin is one of my heroes, but I believe he was wrong in seeing human evolution as a result of the same processes that account for other evolution in the biological world – especially when it comes to the size of our cranium.

Darwin had to put large cranial size down to sexual selection, arguing that women found brainy men sexy. But biomechanical factors make this untenable. I call this the smart biped paradox: once you are an upright ape, all natural selection pressures should be in favour of retaining a small cranium. That’s because walking upright means having a narrower pelvis, capping babies’ head size, and a shorter digestive tract, making it harder to support big, energy-hungry brains. Clearly our big brains did evolve, but I think Darwin had the wrong mechanism. I believe it was technology. We were never fully biological entities. We are and always have been artificial apes.

So you are saying that technology came before humans?

The archaeological record shows chipped stone tool technologies earlier than 2.5 million years ago. That’s the smoking gun. The oldest fossil specimen of the genus Homo is at most 2.2 million years old. That’s a gap of more than 300,000 years – more than the total length of time that Homo sapiens has been on the planet. This suggests that earlier hominins called australopithecines were responsible for the stone tools.

Is it possible that we just don’t have a genus Homo fossil, but they really were around?

Some researchers are holding out for an earlier specimen of genus Homo. I’m trying to free us to think that we had stone tools first and that those tools created a significant part of our intelligence. The tools caused the genus Homo to emerge.

I don’t know how this conjecture will play out.

Social From NPR: young people are struggling to find athletes to use as a hero or role model.

My take: so what? Being a good athlete means that you are good at sports. That is fine; I enjoy boxing,NBA, NFL and track action. But being a good athlete hardly means being a hero. Scandals? Meh. Sure, I don’t like cheating. But this off the field/court/out of the ring stuff means little; these peoples are really a type of entertainer and not much else. Scandals involving our elected leaders or, say, scientists who falsify research bother me much more.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, arizona, disease, evolution, flu, health, John McCain, mccain, morons, nature, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, science | Leave a comment

16 August 2010: pm

Mathematics: sent off a paper. Well see; this is the resonance paper. I think that it is good enough to get published somewhere so I went ahead and tried for my first choice.

Posts
No, President Obama is not feeling the love. But as I said earlier today, that is par for the course.

Republicans
This is the type of Republican that I can’t stand:

But here is the kind of Republican behavior that I respect (see 1-1:15 into it)

And evidently Senator John McCain is deciding to stand on principle concerning the proposed repeal of the 14’th Amendment.

Internet: no, Facebook doesn’t have a “dislike” button.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Barack Obama, John McCain, mccain, morons, Republican, republicans, republicans politics | Leave a comment

Game Change by John Heilemann Mark Halperin: a review

This is the book that I am talking about; I listened to the unabridged audio version on CD.

What it is about: it is the story of the 2008 general election. It picks up in 2006 and covers the primary and general election; it also has an epilogue which ends with then President Elect Obama talking Senator Hillary Clinton into accepting the Secretary of State position.

Though the book talks some about strategy and the events of the nation and the world during that time, it is mostly a “behind the scenes” look as to what was going on inside the respective campaigns at the time.

Most of the book dealt with the Democratic primary. Frankly, I didn’t learn much about the Obama campaign; then again I had already read Renegade by Richard Wolffe, Obama: From Promise to Power by David Mendell and The Promise by Jonathan Alter. About the only thing I didn’t already know was how deeply Joe Biden’s late campaign gaffes irritated Obama.

Much of my suspicions about the Hillary Clinton campaign were confirmed and elaborated on. I knew that she was a bit overconfident going in; she saw Obama as a flash in the pan, at first anyway. But I didn’t realize how much dysfunction there was on her campaign team and how much of it was the fault of the people that she took on from President Clinton’s 1996 team (Mark Penn, in particular). With a better team, she might have won.

What I learned most about was John Edwards. This book painted him as a previously humble man who made good who then let fame and prestige go to his head. It also drove home that Elizabeth Edwards was far from the saint that she was portrayed to be. I admit that I mostly blew off the National Enquirer articles; it turns out that they were substantially true.

The Republican campaign wasn’t covered as closely. Basically, they focused on John McCain and how his campaign melted down at first (couldn’t handle being the front runner status), reinvented itself in a stealthy, low key mode, and then came roaring back. It also brought out the obvious: that Sarah Palin was a desperate, unvetted pick. The book seemed to focus on her mental and emotional instability (at least from the point of view of the McCain staff).

It did talk about Rudy Guiliani’s lame campaign, a tiny bit about Fred Thompson’s half hearted effort, gave a word or two about Mike Hukabee and it did talk about how much the other candidates hated Mitt Romney. But mostly it focused on the internals of John McCain’s run. I wish that Mitt Romeny had been covered to at least the degree that John Edwards was; it did mention his reversing his previous “reasonable” positions to placate the rabid Republican base.

It also talked at length about John McCain’s idea to run with Joe Lieberman and why that idea fell through; it also talked about McCain’s idea to pledge to accept only one term as President, should he win.

About the general election itself: it did talk about the economic crisis and how McCain came across as unstable; Alter’s book discusses that in more detail.

One historical error: the book seemed to indicated that the Biden-Palin debate was viewed as more or less a draw.
Here are the insta-poll results: CNN: 51-36 Biden, CBS Uncommitted voters: 46-21 Biden.
Fox News had Biden winning 61-39.

THAT is not “more or less a draw”. It is true that Palin wasn’t quite as idiotic as the Republicans had feared that she would be.

However, the end of the book was very interesting; it talked about how Obama wooed a reluctant Hillary Clinton into accepting the Secretary of State position.

In all, I found it hard to stop listening; then again, I love politics.

August 8, 2010 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, books, economy, edwards, hillary clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, mccain, Republican, republicans, sarah palin, social/political | 2 Comments

3 June 2010 (am)

Workout notes Yoga, rotator cuff exercises, then 5 miles of walking: 1 on the treadmill, 1 on the track (1 lap on, 1 off; 8 laps to the mile), then 3 outside. My shins are bothering me a bit; my guess is that my legs are becoming straighter.

So, I had better continue with the toe raises and shin flex exercises.
Posts
Here is a study of the numbers of people with degrees per square mile. I find Rob Pitingolo’s analysis to be interesting:

It’s becoming increasingly accepted that there is real economic value to bringing a lot of smart and entrepreneurial people together in the same place. This can be tough to measure, unfortunately. Perhaps best proxy we have available is educational attainment – usually measured as the number of people in a particular place with bachelor’s degrees or higher, as reported by the Census Bureau.

I have seen this done in two ways. The first approach reports the proportion of college degree holders in a particular city. Usually, college towns like Austin, Texas and other stereotypically “brainy cities” like San Francisco and Seattle do well. The second approach looks at the raw number of people with bachelor’s degrees in a particular city. Using this approach, big cities usually do the best, as they should. New York City has a huge population, of course many of its residents will have college degrees.

Both of these approaches have flaws. The theory that there is economic value to having smart people together rests on the assumption that smart people collaborate with each other. You could have a whole bunch of smart people in one place, but if they don’t interact with each other, what’s the value?

That’s why I propose we start using educational attainment density, measured as college degree holders per square mile.

Note: this is not the same as “number of degrees in a city” nor “proportion of those with degrees in a given population”; the idea is to see how many people with degrees are packed together in a given area with the (hope?) that those who live nearby might interact more.

Even more interesting: check out the discussion here. The Republicans are crying “foul” over the fact….yes, the “bluer” regions are deemed to be smarter by such an analysis.

I think that they protest too much. If I wanted to try to make the case that Republicans are mostly idiots I’d cite this:

PRINCETON, NJ — There is a significant political divide in beliefs about the origin of human beings, with 60% of Republicans saying humans were created in their present form by God 10,000 years ago, a belief shared by only 40% of independents and 38% of Democrats.

Or I might cites these videos from various Republican primaries:

But…that would be misleading. Example: walk into any UU church; it is likely to have mostly liberal congregants. And yes, you’ll find a high rate of belief in new-age woo things (e. g. homeopathy, magnet therapy, etc.)

Economics
Paul Krugman hammers the “common knowledge” that the Republicans continue to spout off: yes, it is mostly nonsense (e. g., Freddie and Fannie caused the housing bubble, etc.)

Whose Fault Is It? When things go wrong:

blame the liberals for the BP disaster as Sarah Palin did:

This is a message to extreme “environmentalists” who hypocritically protest domestic energy production offshore and onshore. There is nothing “clean and green” about your efforts. Look, here’s the deal: when you lock up our land, you outsource jobs and opportunity away from America and into foreign countries that are making us beholden to them. Some of these countries don’t like America. Some of these countries don’t care for planet earth like we do – as evidenced by our stricter environmental standards.

With your nonsensical efforts to lock up safer drilling areas, all you’re doing is outsourcing energy development, which makes us more controlled by foreign countries, less safe, and less prosperous on a dirtier planet. Your hypocrisy is showing. You’re not preventing environmental hazards; you’re outsourcing them and making drilling more dangerous.

Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country’s energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It’s catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.

We need permission to drill in safer areas, including the uninhabited arctic land of ANWR. It takes just a tiny footprint – equivalent to the size of LA’s airport – to tap America’s rich and plentiful oil and gas up north. ANWR’s drilling footprint is like a postage stamp on a football field.

Oh…so the environmentalists had SUCH an impact during the Bush administration (how many votes did we have?) and, by the way, you (and your allies) continued to push for OFF SHORE drilling.

But wait…it was an Act of God:

(does this confirm the suspicion that the Republicans worship the oil industry? 🙂 )

And about that Israeli attack on the Gaza relief flotilla: it was OBAMA’S FAULT. Really. 🙂

June 3, 2010 Posted by | alternative energy, Barack Obama, creationism, Democrats, economy, environment, evolution, green news, mccain, Middle East, Political Ad, politics, politics/social, quackery, religion, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, science, social/political, training, walking | 2 Comments

John McCain’s Complete the Danged Fence Ad

Now the parody:

May 15, 2010 Posted by | John McCain, mccain, political humor, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

9 May 2010: some politics

Senator McCain: trying to “out right wing” his right wing primary opponent:

The Democrats: can point to results:

The Republicans: Senator Shelby gives their response to the financial bills being proposed in the Senate:

Surprisingly, I agree with some of Senator Shelby’s ideas, as does Robert Reich:

Cap the size of the biggest banks. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the best way to reduce financial risks that could (and almost did in the fall of 2008) bring down the entire economy is to spread risk-taking over thousands of small banks rather than centralize it in four or five giant ones. The giants already account for a large percentage of the entire GDP. Because traders and investors know they’re too big to fail, these banks have a huge competitive advantage over smaller banks. This advantage will make them even bigger in coming years, and make the economy even more vulnerable to them.

That’s why Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ted Kaufman of Delaware have proposed breaking up the nation’s biggest banks by imposing caps on the deposits they can hold and put limits on their liabilities. The proposal has drawn support from Republican Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Richard Shelby (Ala.).

But the White House has let Senate Dems know it’s against the proposal, and the Senate this past week voted it down, 33-61. Twenty-seven Democrats opposed this common-sense measure. Brown and Kaufman should do everything they can to make sure the public understands what they’re trying to do, and reintroduce their amendment.

But, on the whole, Senator Shelby lets politics get the better of policy.

Notice how the Republicans continue to harp on something that really wasn’t the problem:

Economist Dean Baker: Claim that Fannie and Freddie “responsible for the financial disaster is absurd on its face.” Economist Dean Baker reported in September 2008 that the accusation that “the financial crisis is attributable to the close government relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” is “obviously not true.” He further wrote:

Fannie and Freddie got into subprime junk and helped fuel the housing bubble, but they were trailing the irrational exuberance of the private sector. They lost market share in the years 2002-2007, as the volume of private issue mortgage backed securities exploded. In short, while Fannie and Freddie were completely irresponsible in their lending practices, the claim that they were responsible for the financial disaster is absurd on its face — kind of like the claim that the earth is flat.

Indeed, in a 2006 Securities and Exchange Commission filing covering its activities in 2004, Fannie Mae stated (report available here): “We did not participate in large amounts of these non-traditional mortgages in 2004 and 2005.” In the report, Fannie Mae also noted the growth of subprime lending and reported, “These trends and our decision not to participate in large amounts of these non-traditional mortgages contributed to a significant loss in our share of new single-family mortgage-related securities issuances to private-label issuers during this period.” In a 2006 Federal Reserve analysis, Souphala Chomsisengphet, a financial economist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Anthony Pennington-Cross, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, reported that the value of the subprime market had increased from $65 billion in 1995 originations to $332 billion in 2003.

Daniel Gross: Investment banks to blame for subprime loans. In an October 2008 Newsweek article, Daniel Gross wrote:

There was a culture of stupid, reckless lending, of which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the subprime lenders were an integral part. But the dumb lending virus originated in Greenwich, Ct., midtown Manhattan, and Southern California, not Eastchester, Brownsville, and Washington. Investment banks created a demand for subprime loans because they saw it as a new asset class that they could dominate. They made subprime loans for the same reason they made other loans: They could get paid for making the loans, for turning them into securities, and for trading them –frequently using borrowed capital.

Former Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld: Fannie and Freddie played “de minimis” role. Gross further reported that the following happened during testimony by Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

At Monday’s hearing, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., gamely tried to pin Lehman’s demise on Fannie and Freddie. After comparing Lehman’s small political contributions with Fannie and Freddie’s much larger ones, Mica asked Fuld what role Fannie and Freddie’s failure played in Lehman’s demise. Fuld’s response: “De minimis.”

I find it very ironic that Senator Shelby talks about terror and Al Qeada; in going into Iraq, the Republicans did exactly that: took the eye off of Al Qeada!

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, economy, mccain, Middle East, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | Leave a comment

5 May 2010 (noonish)

Workout notes I had an interesting 2700 yard swim; 500 pull, 250 (alt 3g/swim with fins), 5 x 50 (25 first, 25 swim), 250 (alt 3g/swim with fins), 5 x 50 (25 first, 25 free), then 4 x (100 paddle, 100 free, 100 pull).

We had the usual two (young man, woman in the blue suit), and two “new” women in bikinis.

Later, over lunch, I got in the rotator cuff series.

I haven’t slept well over the past two nights (Barbara has had cramps one night, then food poisoning last night) and the blood donation (double red cells) has affected me. It is as if I am out of shape.

Yes, blood donation does affect me; I am usually sub optimal for 5-6 weeks though the worst is over after about 2-3 weeks. The double red cells really does affect the endurance; that is why I donate in the “off season”.

Politics
Yes, BP has contributed to President Obama’s campaign but:

President Barack Obama is the biggest recipient of BP political action committee donations of any political candidate in the last 20 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and an analysis published Wednesday by Politico.

Obama’s take from the company whose drilling site is leaking tens of thousands of gallons of day into the Gulf of Mexico: $77,051. To view a list of all of BP’s donations in the 2008 election cycle, click here.

BP Human Resources chief Dawn Bobbit gave Obama $4,600 in the last election cycle. BP America Health and Safety Advisor Alfred Apodaca contributed $500.

To be fair, the energy and natural resource sector wasn’t even among Obama’s top 20 contributors by industry for his 2008 presidential run. If anything, Obama appears to have favored nuclear power (his home state of Illinois is among the country’s largest users of nuclear energy, and two of his top advisers used to work for the nuclear energy giant Exelon).

But his massive take from the company responsible for an ever-growing oil spill off the Louisiana coast is sure to raise eyebrows among those who question the Administration’s response to the spill.

Just to keep things in perspective. As usual, the President should be judged by what he does in office. We’ll see.

Paul Krugman: on the grownups:

Atrios writes about this often, the persistent perception that conservative authority figures are the grownups, the people who know what really works, while the critics are pie-in-the-sky nuts. Yet for the past decade at least, the “grownups” have again and again proved utterly clueless: they told us that it was crazy to blame market manipulation for electricity shortages, to question the case for invading Iraq, to suggest that there was a housing bubble, to doubt that derivatives were making finance safer.

And yet they retain all of their arrogance and some of their prestige. Why?

Why? I think that conservatives don’t really judge policy by actual results but rather by how closely the policy aligns with their ideas. Here is an example of this:

The notion that the first thing to do is “secure the border” between the United States and Mexico — and only then worry about comprehensive immigration reform — falls somewhere between hopeful fantasy and cynical cop-out. It’s a good sound bite but would be a ridiculous policy. […]

Fact-based analysis is increasingly out of fashion, however, and so the border-first hallucination has become popular among politicians and pundits reacting to Arizona’s new “breathing while Latino” law. The measure, which has sparked angry protests nationwide, orders police to act on “reasonable suspicion” in identifying, arresting and jailing undocumented immigrants.

Anyone who thinks such extremism could be quelled if the federal government would just “secure the border” really ought to visit Arizona and take a look. Or at least consult a map. Or even just read up on what is happening at the border — which, according to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, “has never been more secure.”

Border crossings by undocumented immigrants have declined sharply over the past decade. With more Border Patrol agents on duty than ever before, apprehensions of would-be immigrants along the 2,000-mile border have dropped from a peak of 1.8 million in fiscal 2000 to 556,000 in fiscal 2009. Some of the decrease might be the result of tougher border enforcement, but the weakness of the U.S. economy also could be a factor.

There has been much sound and fury about Mexico’s rampant drug violence spilling over into the United States — much of it wrong, at least as far as Arizona is concerned. Sen. John McCain, who should know better, said recently that failure to secure the border “has led to violence — the worst I have ever seen.” Gov. Jan Brewer said she signed the state’s outrageous new law because of “border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration.” But law enforcement officials in border communities say this simply is not true.

Surf to the link to read the rest.

Racism: the Harvard “racist” e-mail incident. I talked about this here. Here is a mathematician’s take on it:

A recent email by Harvard law student Stephanie Grace allegedly asserts, “I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.” According to the Harvard Crimson newspaper’s blog, this email was forwarded to black law student associations across the country.

Our outrage over the student’s political incorrectness aside, are African-Americans less intelligent than whites? As an African-American who graduated summa cum laude in mathematics with the second-highest grade point average in his class at Harvard, I would have to say, Yes. Because the hypocrisy on the part of black Americans is stunning and self-defeating: Black Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer has written a research paper stating that African-Americans are less intelligent than whites.

In “Testing for Racial Differences in the Mental Ability of Young Children,” Fryer writes that “the results of our analysis do not preclude a possible role for a genetic contribution to racial differences in intelligence for a number of reasons.” He goes on to give three arguments in favor of the “genetic story” that the difference in IQ between blacks and whites comes down to A, C, T, and G.

Instead of being excoriated by blacks, Fryer is celebrated, with black Harvard alumna Soledad O’Brien even interviewing Fryer for her CNN series, Black in America; she calls Fryer a “great guy.” Fryer’s family sold crack, and he personally sold marijuana, stole money from McDonald’s, and nearly murdered a white man. At a meeting organized by Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree about reducing the number of young black men in prison, the 1,000-person, mostly black audience convulsed with laughter when Fryer joked that he once thought of going into the pharmaceutical industry, street-side.

He is dead wrong (IMHO) when he writes this:

Should the Harvard law student be expelled for her stupid, offensive, and easily refuted views? Certainly.

No. People should use free speech to refute those views.

Bigotry. Remember the concept “reaction formation” from your psychology class? Here is a real life example:

The pictures on the Rentboy.com profile show a shirtless young man with delicate features, guileless eyes, and sun-kissed, hairless skin. The profile touts his “smooth, sweet, tight ass” and “perfectly built 8 inch cock (uncut)” and explains he is “sensual,” “wild,” and “up for anything” — as long you ask first. And as long as you pay.

On April 13, the “rent boy” (whom we’ll call Lucien) arrived at Miami International Airport on Iberian Airlines Flight 6123, after a ten-day, fully subsidized trip to Europe. He was soon followed out of customs by an old man with an atavistic mustache and a desperate blond comb-over, pushing an overburdened baggage cart.

That man was George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — the callboy’s client and, as it happens, one of America’s most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera.

Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.” (Medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)

Yeah, right. 🙂

Well, I suppose there is yet another reason I’d never cut it as a socially conservative Christian Republican: my sex life and tastes are just too vanilla. 🙂

Here is a hilarious take on this.

Problems caused by religious superstition
Mano Singham takes a look at some of the silly things done to adhere to some rather silly religious laws:

I was at a conference recently and during one session a sign-up sheet was passed around. When it came to my row, the woman seated next to me gave me her business card and asked me to fill in her name and information on the sheet. I noted her long skirt and the fact that it was a Saturday and realized that she must be an observant Jew and that it was prohibited for her to ‘work’ on such a day and writing was presumably deemed to be work, something she confirmed to me later when we chatted at the end of the proceedings. I did as she requested, all the while silently marveling that a highly educated person would voluntarily conform to such absurd rules by an obviously petty god who has way too much time on his hands if he worries about things like this.

All religions expect their devoted followers to do all manner of silly things in order to show their devotion to a god who seems to care about the most petty things. But amongst the more populous religions, Judaism surely takes the lead in the knots that it can persuade its most loyal believers to tie themselves into. Judaism has more than its fair share of religious rituals that can make an outsider wonder how any rational person can think that their god wants them to submit themselves to such contortions just to please him. The anachronistic restrictions on clothes, the long hair and beards, the robes and head coverings, the incredibly complicated food rules, the prayer rituals with all that bobbing and weaving, seem to me to be bizarre. The strangeness of the rituals can cause problems, as in the case of a scare that resulted in a plane having to make an emergency landing because of fears generated when someone started practicing a complicated Jewish prayer ritual with boxes tied to his head and arm that seemed to the other passengers and crew as being inexplicable and, in these days of fear of terror, alarming.

But there are worse implications of such laws:

Five-year-old Jepheth Afum was brought to a hospital in Ghana last week. Doctors found that he was anemic and losing blood quickly.

They knew the only way to save him was to give him a blood transfusion, so they began the procedure. And what did his father do during all this?

….Wait! Before you respond, I should tell you his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. And JWs forbid blood transfusions…

[Father] Kwabena Afum and some members of Jehovah Witnesses besieged the theatre room in a bid to prevent them from carrying out their professional duties.

The police, upon hearing the story, rushed to the place to restore law and order and arrested the boy’s father in the process.

The father wanted to see his son die than for him to get a blood transfusion.

But the story gets even worse.

The boy got better.

So his father disowned him.

Note: I am NOT talking about people using their religion to challenge themselves to lead better lives. I think it is great if one’s religion spurs less selfishness and greater service to others. Frankly, some churches are where this takes place.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Barack Obama, economy, free speech, mccain, obama, politics, politics/social, quackery, racism, religion, republicans, republicans politics, sb1070, superstition, swimming, training | Leave a comment

18 December 09

I have a headache; it sure feels like a caffeine headache. But I won’t take any as I need to sleep. 🙂

Workout notes Easy day: 2200 yard swim (lots of drill, mixed strokes, etc.) and that was it. I am planning on doing something prior tomorrow’s graduation exercises which I was roped into going to.

Posts
This will be more of a link dump than anything else;

Humor An adult lady actually throws a tantrum and throws herself on the ground, crying and screaming….over a traffic ticket.

Beer-Lambert law: Fail.

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Oh no…what if all we get out of addressing climate change is a…better world?


(from PZ Myers blog)
Note: this was an argument that even Senator McCain made. See about 3:20 into it:

Science
This underwater volcano footage is stunning:

More here.

Our place in the universe

(hat tip: Uniform Velocity)

Top 10 Astronomy photos of the year: here.

Health Care Reform
Confused by conflicting polls? Perhaps it is because they ask the wrong questions.

Paul Krugman Break the inertia and pass the bill.

Rants
Some liberals: launch a primary challenge against President Obama?
People like myself: you’ve got to be kidding me.

This guy hates the Mummer’s Parade, I think:

When every vapid, overweight decaying blob in South Philly, who spends the other 7/8 of their year voting Republican, bitching about gay marriage and enthusiastically buying pickup trucks they will never need gathers to stick peacock feathers up their ass and practice choreographed group dance moves to the smooth tunes of the Village People, the dramatic irony has surely not escaped my grasp. More stunning still, is that the the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and general stench of impending death is not only somehow higher than it was when I passed this crowd last year, but is also impressive by even American standards. Watching a crowd of XXL sweat suit clad percentage points chug bud light (it’s ok, it’s low carb now!) at 10:30 am on a Sunday morning while talking about their new Camaro is a humbling sight for even the strongest of resolves.

(hat tip: Recursivity)

I admit that I don’t know anything about this parade but I enjoy a good rant. 🙂

December 19, 2009 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, blog humor, Democrats, health care, humor, John McCain, mccain, nature, obama, political humor, politics, politics/social, ranting, republicans, science, Spineless Democrats, swimming, training | Leave a comment

15 October 2009

Workout notes 4 miles on the Riverplex stepper/elliptical; this took about 33 minutes and I quit at the correct time. Then yoga with Ms. Vickie.

Posts

Surprised? Wingnuts are taking one of Robert Reich’s academic lectures out of context so as to cast health care reform plans as having “death panels”.

Economy: Paul Krugman notes that many of the economic troubles started when the “best and brightest” economics graduate students went to Wall Street instead of academia. Note: he is a very bright guy himself so this is hardly an anti-intellectual screed.

Science: where did your ear bones come from? Believe it or not: your jaw.

Republicans again: double standard? They are fine with Aaron Schock’s ab shots but not so much with Meghan McCan’s “sort of” boob shot. Leave it to Billy Dennis to find some excuse to show a boob shot. 🙂 (no, I am NOT complaining!)

Racist Idiot: a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana “is not a racist” but refuses to marry interracial couples. Note: it is a Republican that drew my attention to this article. Kudos to him!

October 16, 2009 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, evolution, injury, John McCain, mccain, nature, politics, politics/social, racism, science, training | 1 Comment