General election polls, hidden birds, hidden matter…

Extraordinary claims
11 minutes long, but very good:

Short version: “lots of people accept it” is not evidence that it is true.

R. P. Feynman on childhood, algebra and calculus

Note: I remember the “X for the practical man” series. I tried to read the “calculus for the practical man” book and couldn’t get past the “definition” of “dt” which I remember being defined as “a very small unit of time”. I was in 8’th or 9’th grade at the time.

Cool photo
Go to Conservation Report to obtain a wall-paper size version of this:

You can see the moon, Venus with clouds and birds.

Note it has come to my attention that this photo is copyrighted:

You can see the copyright rights in you must include my name Isaac GP and my website with my picture…

This certainly makes me want to check out the other photos at his website; this one is a beauty.

Speaking of nature and art, this video uses NASA footage of Saturn and Jupiter to create an artistic video; ONLY genuine footage is used (and pieced together cleverly).

Back to earth
Can you find the bittern (a type of marsh bird) in this photo? This is part of the Conservation Report Animal Camouflage series.

(click on the thumbnail to see a larger image at Conservation report. To see this on flickr, go here (and see the guesses)) You can also see the full size photo. It isn’t easy to spot!

Speaking of stuff that is hard to spot: we aren’t seeing the amount of “nearby” dark matter that we should; cosmology is starting to get even MORE interesting.


I am not a huge fan of David Brooks, but I have some respect for him. This article is very interesting: it talks about the difference between competition and finding something new. Competition doesn’t always lead to added value!

My take: I see this in higher education. Example: many colleges and smaller universities are competing for students; they do this, in part, by more recruiting, providing more student facilities, providing more student services, etc. NONE of this effort makes the product (education) any better at all! But, ironically, it does drive up costs.

Note: I know that the Brooks article was about innovation versus success in an established area, but I was focusing on “adding value” as a result of competition. My observation was tangential.


I always joked that I could never campaign in a Republican neighborhood as they’d call INS on me. 🙂

Poor Newt. 🙂

Ok, now this is going to be Romney vs. Obama. What do early polls say? Well…in terms of predicting the outcome: not much, one way or the other.

April 26, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, astronomy, Barack Obama, books, cosmology, evolution, mathematics, Mitt Romney, nature, Newt Gingrich, political humor, politics, science, social/political, superstition | 2 Comments

Indecision 2012 – Republican Southern Primary – Simplified Speeches – The Colbert Report – 2012-13-03 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

While campaigning in the South, Rick Santorum scoffs at global warming while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich mock Barack Obama’s energy plan.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Indecision 2012 – Republican Southern Primary -…, posted with vodpod

March 14, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, political humor, politics, rick santorum | Leave a comment

Bubbles, teaching and Super Tuesday

Personal: too much decaf coffee last night? I’ll have to avoid it tonight and see if it makes a difference.

Good luck with this Randazza
Once again, Randazza (an accomplished First Amendment Lawyer) makes the case that Sandra Fluke does NOT have a valid defamation case against Rush Limbaugh. I have no legal training, but his argument makes sense to me. But nature of the “Republican War on Women” crowd, I doubt that his arguments will make any difference; for many of these “Rush Limbaugh is a nasty man who made anti-women comments” is it, period.

I wrote a piece about Sarah Palin getting “outraged” over Bill Maher’s comments (he called her a *unt) while she gleefully accepted a VP slot from someone (Senator John McCain) who had used the same word….and I got a few “don’t defend Maher”, “two wrongs don’t make a right” comments. These people didn’t seem to understand that I was pointing out that Ms. Palin’s “outrage” was, well, selective.

In a perfect world, I’d set something up so that someone would have to pass a logic and reading comprehension test prior to commenting on something that I wrote.

Speaking of testing
My views on grade school teaching is mixed. Though we send some smart, motivated people to be teachers, many are not our strongest college students. On the other hand, I can’t believe some of the BS that some teachers are put through. So much of what the teacher is evaluated on is beyond their control.

Super Tuesday
Willard “Mitt” Romney won 6 states and hung on for a 1 point victory in Ohio…against a broke lunatic. “Crazy” Rick Santorum won Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota by impressive margins and “Nasty” Newt Gingrich easily won Georgia (no surprise).

But that wasn’t all. On the Democratic side, Dennis Kucinich lost his bid for reelection (he was put into a new district which also had a sitting Democrat). This leads me to a point: a Representative which might be popular with progressives on a nationwide basis might not be so popular locally. I think that we sometimes overreact to strong floor speeches which really “stick it to the Republicans” while the day to day, far less visible hard work of governing goes unnoticed…except perhaps at the local level.

And yes, Republican “Mean” Jean Schmidt lost her bid for reelection; she was “primaried from the right”. Ms. Schmidt is known for her marathon running; she ran a 3:19 in 1993 and can still turn over pretty good times, even in her 60’s. I don’t agree with her politics, but that is some good running.

March 7, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, education, marathons, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, politics, politics/social, republicans, rick santorum, Rush Limbaugh, social/political | Leave a comment

There are many good reasons to NOT vote for Newt.

This isn’t one of them. 🙂

I love Pearls Before Swine. 🙂

March 7, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, humor, Newt Gingrich, political humor | 1 Comment

Indecision 2012 – Floridal Kombat – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 01/30/12 – Video Clip | Comedy Central: Mitt owns Newt

Mitt Romney exploits Newt Gingrich’s vulnerabilities in Florida. Airdate – 01/30/12

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Indecision 2012 – Floridal Kombat – The Daily S…, posted with vodpod

February 1, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, political humor, politics, republicans | Leave a comment

Newt, Give it up!!!!

What can I say:

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Newt Gingrich campaign has a robocall out in Florida claiming that Mitt Romney once took kosher food away from Holocaust survivors.

The allegation made in the call, obtained by anti-robocall activist Shaun Dakin, is undoubtedly targeted at Florida’s large Jewish and elderly populations.

The text of the call:

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.

So is this what happened?

The call is referencing Romney’s veto of a 2003 bill. It came at a time that some nursing homes were considering eliminating their kosher kitchens during a period of budget cuts. Their plan was to instead bus in kosher food from other locations. The bill Romney vetoed would have given an additional $600,000 in funding to nursing homes, therefore making it possible for them to continue cooking kosher food on site.

Note: then Gov. Romney didn’t cut the budget; he was vetoing an increase, which was passed anyway and part of that increase was used by the nursing homes to continue to cook kosher food. If the veto were upheld, residents would have still had kosher food; it just wouldn’t have been cooked there.

I am loving this! 🙂

Oh, here is an intentional joke:

January 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, humor, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Political Ad, politics | 1 Comment

Whores: attention, political and otherwise

Workout notes
Leg weights followed by an 1800 yard swim.
Legs: 3 circuits of: push backs (130), adduction (190) abduction (190)
lunges + squats with 45 pounds: 10 front, 10 back, 10 squats, done 3 times with hip hikes inbetween
Then toe raises
Then 4 x 30 sit ups.
Yes, I got sweaty! I didn’t realize it would take 55 minutes.

Then the swim: 1000 in 19:38, 5 x 100 on 2 (1:50-52 each), 3 x 100 IM.
Not good, but it felt good.


I am not sure as to why they were those tiny little spandex bun huggers that creep all over the place, but I am not complaining. 🙂

Sex and fetishes A couple of days ago I mentioned finding this photo in this stream of photos.

Well, it turns out that this has nothing to do with yoga; some of the so-called poses in this stream are terrible! But that isn’t the point; these women are from an outfit called (the site is NOT, NOT safe for work; it is a soft-core porn site). That is unremarkable. But what is remarkable is what they list as fetishes. They have the usual…and then they have this:

That’s right: glasses!!!! I admit that I’ve always liked women in glasses but I didn’t know that was a common thing to like. Yes, I know; Sarah Palin wears glasses…and visually, I admit it. I find her attractive….physically.

Political Whores
I am enjoying the Republican race to see who is going to lose to President Obama this fall. One has Willard “Mitt” Romney:

Watch him run away from his successes in Massachusetts!

Then there is the “converted” Newt Gingrich (who is trailing badly in the Florida polls). He caught on with the right wing religious types in South Carolina (New York Times):

n 1999, shortly after the Senate voted to acquit President Clinton on two charges of impeachment stemming from his affair with the intern Monica Lewinsky, Paul Weyrich — mastermind of the union of the Republican Party and the Christian right, a founder of the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the Free Congress Foundation — threw up his hands in despair.

In a letter to his ideological allies, Weyrich declared: “I no longer believe that there is a moral majority. I do not believe that a majority of Americans actually shares our values.”

Weyrich declared defeat:

Cultural Marxism is succeeding in its war against our culture. The question becomes, if we are unable to escape the cultural disintegration that is gripping society, then what hope can we have?

In the face of this onslaught of moral corruption, Weyrich counseled withdrawal from society at large. A “legitimate strategy for us to follow is to look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture,” he wrote. “We need to drop out of this culture, and find places, even if it is where we physically are right now, where we can live godly, righteous and sober lives.”

What would Weyrich, who died in 2008, make of the fact that Newt Gingrich — who was himself having an adulterous affair during the Clinton impeachment proceedings (one of several conducted by the former speaker, according to his own testimony and a number of lengthy journalistic investigations, including this one from CBS and that one from the Daily Beast) — won the 2012 South Carolina Republican primary with a plurality of voters who described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians?

Exit polls show that Gingrich beat Romney by 44-22 among born-again and evangelical Christians, and by 46-10 among voters who said the religious convictions of the candidates mattered “a great deal.” His margins were equally strong among supporters of (and sympathizers with) the Tea Party, a constituency that closely overlaps with religious conservatives.

In fact, the Gingrich campaign reveals the current state of the Christian right, its status anxieties, its desperation, its frustration and in particular its anger. The extreme volatility of Gingrich’s primary season bid reflects not only the success and failure of his own tactical maneuvers and those of his opponents, but also the ambivalence of the Republican electorate in choosing between ideology and pragmatism — an intraparty struggle dating back to the candidacy of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

But not all Tea Party types in Florida are buying it: (Christian Science Monitor)

A straw poll of Florida tea party supporters taken Sunday night, following a tele-forum hosted by the Tea Party Patriots with three GOP presidential candidates, showed Mr. Gingrich ahead with 35 percent of the vote. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania came in second with 31 percent, and Romney was third with 18 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is not campaigning in Florida and did not take part in the tele-forum, got 11 percent.

But more-scientific polls of likely Florida GOP primary voters show a different picture. A Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows Romney beating Gingrich among self-described tea party supporters, 40 percent to 35 percent (and winning among all Florida Republicans 43 percent to 29 percent). Although an NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend shows Gingrich slightly ahead of Romney among Florida tea party supporters, 36 percent to 34 percent, it also found Romney winning in Florida overall 42 percent to 27 percent.

And there is even some word that some Sarah Palin supporters are unhappy with her supporting Mr. Gingrich.

I still think that Mr. Romney is the heavy favorite for the nomination.

Attention Whores: no, not Ms. Palin:

Donald Trump’s camp says he’s talking to “high level political operatives.”

I can confirm that over the past two weeks I have spoken with many high-level political operatives, campaign managers, finance directors — some of whom I have spoken to in the past. Most are new people from all over the country,” said Michael Cohen, executive vice president at the Trump Organization and special counsel to the reality TV star.

“Until the time Mr. Trump decides to either endorse a candidate or run himself, I am exploring on his behalf the possibilities of ensuring Mr. Trump appears on the ballot in all states, and to develop a team of professionals who could ensure a potential victory,” Cohen added.

If he runs, I wonder if he can make 1 percent of the popular vote. Will he pick Sarah Palin as his running mate? 🙂

Oh yes, here is one of the best:

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has long held a tight grip on the marionette strings of the GOP. Wielding undue influence as the head of the Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist ensures that Republican lawmakers sign his anti-tax pledge and threatens them with electoral defeat should they even think of deviating from it. Norquist has marked a successful few years, killing the deficit super committee agreement, batting down a tax increase on millionaires, and, of course, ensuring the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Pleased with his headway, Norquist is now mapping out how he can ensure further anti-tax victories by securing Republican majorities. In an interview with the National Journal, he mused that a GOP mandate would obviously enact an extension of the Bush tax cuts, work to maintain a repatriation holiday for corporate profits, and even pass House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan that jeopardizes Medicare. But when asked what Republicans should do if faced with a Democratic majority that won’t keep the tax cuts, Norquist had a simple answer: “impeach” Obama.

NJ: What if the Democrats still have control? What’s your scenario then?

NORQUIST: Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he’s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He’s made no effort to work with Congress.

I am not sure as to which “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” he is talking about. But hey, he can talk about anything he wants…and I can talk about making the New England Patriots football team. 🙂

On a more uplifting note

I’m not sure when “giving back to the country that gave you so much” ceased to be a conservative virtue. But today’s conservative political leadership is intellectually and morally bankrupt.

January 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, big butts, bikinis, economy, human sexuality, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, politics, politics/social, republicans, spandex, swimming, tax cuts, weight training | Leave a comment

Snowy Saturday…sort of

Ok, it was just an inch and the roads are somewhat clear. Nevertheless, I’ll be lifting and then doing a short run on the track this morning.


Note: Presidents of both parties have been complaining about his “hold” policy for years. Yes, I thought it was dumb even when President Bush was in office. There might be some breakthrough in reaching an agreement to at least amend some of these procedures.

I don’t have the data on Senate holds but I do know that the Republicans have used the filibuster at an unprecedented rate.

Newt Gingrich and his Super Pac “Winning our Future”
Here is a Gingrich ad:

(note: Mr. Huckabee said that he was taken out of context and did NOT endorse the ad)

Winning Our Future’s ad

Notice how slick this ad is and how is very quickly slips in the appropriate disclaimers; Mitt Romney is never exactly accused of any direct wrongdoing. In fact, this ad presents what is old news in Massachusetts. But the tone is designed to scare the voters rather than to inform them. Very devious…:)

So how well are the candidates themselves doing on truthfulness? Here Nate Silver makes an analysis; one should read Mr. Silver’s cautions though.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Political Ad, politics, republicans | Leave a comment