19 June 2010 posts

Wingnut Representatives: they just don’t get it.

Rep. Grayson’s ad:


Economics: Paul Krugman makes a very interesting point about conservatives:

There are many things to say about Alan Greenspan’s op-ed yesterday, none of them complimentary. But what struck me is the passage highlighted by Tim Fernholz:

Despite the surge in federal debt to the public during the past 18 months—to $8.6 trillion from $5.5 trillion—inflation and long-term interest rates, the typical symptoms of fiscal excess, have remained remarkably subdued. This is regrettable, because it is fostering a sense of complacency that can have dire consequences.

You know, some people might take the fact that what’s actually happening is exactly what people like me were saying would happen — namely, that deficits in the face of a liquidity trap don’t drive up interest rates and don’t cause inflation — lends credence to the Keynesian view. But no: Greenspan KNOWS that deficits do these terrible things, and finds it “regrettable” that they aren’t actually happening.

The triumph of prejudices over the evidence is a wondrous thing to behold. Unfortunately, millions of workers will pay the price for that triumph.

(emphasis mine)

Fox News: Watch Jon Stewart from at least 4 minutes onward. First, Fox News gets upset that the President invoked the standard deity toward the end of his BP speech (yes, I saw it as lame but necessary pandering to a superstitious public). But then, watch what they said the day before…they wanted him to PRAY FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION.

Bizarre: I agree with Sarah Palin on something policy related! Really!

Rep. Aaron Schock, IL-18. His attire in this photo is making waves; the photo has “gone viral”.

Education: to be blunt, when I assign grades, I pull out a spread sheet, look at the numbers, and I make it a point to hide the student names. I don’t see the names until I’ve assigned the grades. That isn’t true for every professor.

News of the bizarre:
A woman sues an airline because her silicone enhanced breasts didn’t have enough room on an airliner; during turbulence they crashed into the seat in front of her. Yes, there is a photo with the article. Hat tip: Randazza. 🙂

Bizarre: some educator evidently can’t count to six.

Crappy Neighbor: ok, merely an “annoying at times” neighbor. He saws, grinds and pounds nails all day long, almost every day. Yep, he is a retired blue collar guy. I’d love to have a neighborhood of retired librarians or book lovers; I doubt that this guy reads much.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Aaron Schock, civil liberties, economy, Fox News Lies Again, humor, IL-18, morons, Peoria, Peoria/local, Political Ad, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, summer, superstition | Leave a comment

4 June 2010

Workout notes 3 mile “easy” walk focusing on posture. Tomorrow I’ll walk in a local 4 mile race; attempting the 12 or 24 hour race in Minnesota would be idiotic. For tomorrow: I’ll focus on proper posture (or an approximation to it) and on using my feet; I won’t worry about legal knees.

Then I cut the grass, removed the tree/ivy that I tore off; it was quite a chore. I always fuss just a bit to guard against “oh honey, could you do this and that too?” I detest yard work!

I don’t like neighborhoods in which people do it constantly either:


The 4 miler tomorrow: I did this race several times; as a runner I ran 27:54 in 1997, ran 25:59 in 1998, and 26:58 in 1999 and 30:55 in 2005. I’ve also helped out a couple of times.

Science and Religion: Professor Moran wonders why those who have strong opinions in favor of religion are welcome to express their opinions, but those who have strong feelings against are not.

For more on the Templeton Foundation, read this Nation article.

Science writing
Jerry Coyne laments the tendency for journalists, in the name of “being fair”, quote “both sides” even in situations in which there is only one side. Yes, this happens in mathematics as well (e. g., when a local crank announces a bogus result).

ReligionAyaan Hirsi Ali is an atheist who left Islam and has been the object of death threats. Her book was reviewed by Nicholas Kristof who seemed to be more concerned about her opinions on Islam than by the fact that some Muslims were trying to kill her for exercising free speech rights. Kristof gets blasted here.

BP Spill The Conservation Report points us toward many images of oil covered wildlife. Yes, these images are depressing.

No, environmentalist activists are NOT the culprits behind this spill, even if Sarah Palin thinks so:

Human disasters
Cenk Uygur wonders if the US has a double standard for Israel versus the Arab countries: after all, a US citizen was killed in the Israeli taking over the Gaza relief flotilla.

Social: on the surface, this sounds ridiculous:

In what has to be one of the biggest violations of common sense and burden of proof in motoring news this year, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that officers can “visually estimate” how fast a person is driving… and give them a ticket for it.

Thanks Ohio Supreme Court for giving cops the green light to make up speeding tickets.

Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor said “Rational triers of fact could find a police officer’s testimony regarding his unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed, when supported by evidence that the officer is trained, certified by (the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy) or a similar organization, and experienced in making such estimations, sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s speed. Independent verification of the vehicle’s speed is not necessary to support a conviction for speeding.” […]

But here is the rest of the story:

In a 5-1 decision yesterday, Ohio’s Supreme Court upheld a speeding ticket based solely on how fast a driver appeared to be moving. The court considered the case of motorist Mark Jenney who drove through a State Route 21 radar speed trap operated by Copley police officer Christopher R Santimarino on July 3, 2008. Santimarino guessed based on the appearance of Jenney’s black SUV that it was traveling at 79 MPH in a 60 zone.

Santimarino claimed that his thirteen years as a traffic cop and his certification in speed estimation by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy qualified him to make expert visual determinations of how fast vehicles are moving within 4 MPH. In court, Santimarino testified that his radar showed Jenney was traveling at 82 MPH on direct examination and 83 MPH on cross-examination.

Based on this, a district court convicted Jenney. On appeal, Jenney succeeded in having the radar evidence thrown out because the officer failed to produce the required certification documents at trial. The appeals court then ruled that the visual guess as to Jenney’s speed was sufficient evidence for a conviction. Jenney appealed to the supreme court, which agreed with the lower court rulings that an officer’s educated guess is sufficient to overcome that state’s burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sports: the University of Texas might be joining the Pac-10; they might be able to join the SEC too but:

There is also reason to believe Oklahoma could be enamored with joining the SEC. But that does not appear to be an option Texas officials would be willing to consider. There is a sense among UT officials the academics in the SEC are not on par with Texas.

Ok, so lets look at those graduation rates for football: in 2006, Texas was one of the 12 schools that had sub 50 percent graduation rates in football and men’s basketball.

So, let’s fix that! 🙂

June 4, 2010 Posted by | books, civil liberties, environment, humor, Middle East, nature, politics, politics/social, racewalking, running, sarah palin, science, social/political, summer, time trial/ race, training, walking | Leave a comment