Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is Palin actually TRYING to start a civil war?

Telling her teabaggers to stop cars with Obama bumperstickers and demand answers?:
Or that bumper sticker you see on the next Subaru driving by, an Obama bumper sticker. You should stop the driver and say, "So how is that hopey, changey thing working out for you?"
If you read the comments, there are a lot of liberals hoping to have an excuse to imitate teabaggers and lock and load so to speak.... especially after the road rage incident involving an Obama for President sticker.

And that hopey changey thing is working out much better than having you a heartbeat away from the presidency, lady.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Sometimes earlier technology is better:
Rare Austin which stood in garage for 50 years discovered... and starts first time!
Try not to piss off your crazy armed-to-the-teeth base!:
In the Wake of Arrests in Three States, Right-Wingers Rush to Defend Terror Suspects, Criticize FBI
In one word: No. In three: PLEASE GOD, NO!:
Is America ‘Yearning For Fascism?'
Frank Rich tries to explain the fever pitch of hysteria:
The Rage Is Not About Health Care
In one word: Yes. In elventy: WTF, just do it! We're drying up and blowing away here!:
Can Wastewater Save California's Parched Farmland?
The destruction of the ocean habitats continues:
Mysterious whale die-off is largest on record
When in doubt... take off clothes:
Man cites boredom after arrest on streaking charge

Remember when President Kennedy had to reassure the nation

That his Catholicism would not affect his ability to be president? (my bold):
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe.
Thank you, President Kennedy. Now look at who had the attention of Rep. Stupak:
Doerflinger has a lengthy title—he's the associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. But he's better understood simply as the point man on abortion issues for the most powerful institution in the US Catholic Church. Most people have never heard of him. However, Doerflinger helped write the Stupak amendment in the House bill that placed tight restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion. He amplified spurious charges that the Senate bill would use government money to fund abortions. Doerflinger fought to the bitter end for the Stupak amendment to be included in the final legislation—even after Stupak himself had abandoned the fight. By refusing to compromise on what was, in the end, a minor difference between the House and Senate bills, Doerflinger—the man behind the curtain of the abortion imbroglio—very nearly killed health care reform.
Which America do you want to live in?

Teabaggery involves screwing...

Hapless and unsuspecting taxpayers...


The next war

So it’s the punks versus the plutocrats — those who want to rein in runaway banks, and bankers who want the freedom to put the economy at risk, freedom enhanced by the knowledge that taxpayers will bail them out in a crisis. Whatever they say, the fact is that people like Mr. Shelby are on the side of the plutocrats; the American people should be on the side of the punks, who are trying to protect their interests.
Being a punk sounds like much more fun than a plutocrat anyway..

The FBI is clearly a islamofascisticsocalismizing commie organization

Or they wouldn't have put a stop to this peaceful, neighbor-loving, good Christianist group:
Hutaree, the Christian militia in southeast Michigan reportedly raided by the FBI Sunday, was preparing to battle the Antichrist because "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment," according to its Web site.

A Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the FBI, arrested at least seven people in three states as part of the raids on the Adrian, Michigan-based group, the Detroit News reported.

Details are still murky because the charges against those arrested are still sealed. But one member of Michigianmilitia.com told the News that "he heard from other militia members that the FBI targeted the Hutaree after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations."
Update... more specifics:
Nine members of the Christian militia group Hutaree have been indicted on multiple charges involving an alleged plot to attack police, including seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney in Michigan announced this morning.

"Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence," according to the government's press release...
They're doing the same weird reasoning that activated Timothy McVeigh. They think that by attacking what they think is the government, they will bring on the Red Dawn scenario.... but all they would actually do would be to kill innocent people. People in their own community.

The government will not fall by attacking a police department. Government will not fall even if all governmental buildings were to explode as long as society operates together as a unit. Nice that Hutaree has exposed itself as a society-hating terrorist group.

I don't think Jesus would find this behavior acceptable. You know, this man:
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lights out

/shriek... does it have to include my computer?!!11
On Saturday, March 27th at 8.30pm (local time) Earth Hour 2010 will begin, and homes and businesses around the world will extinguish their lights for one hour to create awareness about climate change and demonstrate the powerful affect of a single decision.
Ok ok... one hour. Sheesh. I'll just sit in the dark then, shall I and think about saving the earth?


Why would people be taking sexual advice from these people?

Revelations of the sexual abuse of children by priests at Catholic institutions have swept across Europe and into Benedict's native Germany. The pope himself has come under fire for a case dating to his tenure as archbishop of Munich and another dating to his stint as the head of the Vatican office responsible for disciplining priests.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, a top Vatican official, acknowledged in an interview published Saturday that church authorities had on occasion maintained silence over cases of sex abuse. But he defended the pope, saying Benedict "was the first one who — already as a cardinal _felt the need for new, harsher rules."
Harsher rules? Like hitting them with bigger rulers?

Yet we have people in our own secular government who want to give weight to what a bunch of these old men in funny hats have to say about the reproductive control of women.


(click pic for link) Read the quote bubble in the left hand corner.

You do what you want, Rep. Stupak. Just leave me and my family out of your plans, thanks.

Dear sir or madam:

An open letter to conservatives: Please grow up and remember Republicans at one time actually stood for something.

Cantor's "I know you are but what am I?" speech

Billmon at Daily Kos sees the pasty white fingerprints of Rove:
What makes this particular example so cunning are the specific words used. Liberals complain that conservative protestors have worn guns to teabagger rallies, or waved signs warning that if "Brown can’t stop this, a Browning can"? Well, now the Democrats also have been accused of using "weapons." Has the RNC stepped over the line by showing Nancy Pelosi burning in a sea of fire? Well, the Democrats are also "fanning the flames." Did the GOP House members encourage their followers to think of themselves as a revolutionary army by waving "Don’t Tread on Me" flags from the House balcony during the HCR vote? Well, the Democrats are also "ratcheting up the rhetoric."

This is pretty sophisticated stuff -- way beyond what I would expect from your typical hack GOP congressman. Which does make me wonder who’s writing Cantor’s stuff these days (Step on out from behind the curtain, Karl: We can see you.)

The basic objective of all this, as I wrote way back when, is very simple:
The goal is to confront the public with two sides hurling identical charges at each other -- the better to convince them that it's just another partisan mudfight and who the hell knows . . . anyway.
In that sense, the "mirror image" technique is a like a bomber scattering chaff behind it to try to fool enemy radar or deflect a heat-seeking missile from the real target. As I said, it’s one of the tricks Rove would use when Team Bush lost the news cycle, which suggests the past few days of coverage of the Great Teabagger Freakout have done some real damage –- or at least, that the Rovian high command thinks it has done some damage.
They did this throughout the Bush campaigns, the Bush terms of terror and we all sat around and pulled our hair out in frustration because the media ate it up.

Times are changing. Can we get the media to change too?

h/t to Dusty Crickets in comments who finds the best quotes!

Update: The Huffington Post says it all:
Don't you DARE use this against us in the elections, y'hear?! WE'RE the party of guns and thugs! Democrats and liberals are by their very nature weak and afraid!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm so sorry my neglected and abused pit bull ate your kid

That doesn't reflect on me now, does it?:
Tea Partiers and others on the right are starting to distance themselves from the recent spate of violence and racism that has characterized the opposition to health-care reform.

In a letter to President Obama and Congress released yesterday, an alliance of Florida Tea Party groups called the Tea Party movement "a peaceful movement" and declared that they "stand in stark opposition to any person using derogatory characterizations, threats of violence, or disparaging terms toward members of Congress or the President."

A similar coalition in Colorado -- where the office of Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) recently notified police about a phone call it received threatening violence -- released a similar statement. "Tea party and similar groups across Colorado are saddened tonight to hear of threats made upon Democratic lawmakers in response to the passing their recent health insurance reform legislation, specifically ... Rep. Betsy Markey," it said.

And FreedomWorks, the Washington grassroots lobbying group that has helped co-ordinate Tea Party events put out a statement declaring "political violence is both immoral and ineffective, and will only set the movement back."

Apparently you guys haven't been paying attention to what you've been encouraging, egging on, inciting. We sure have.

I fully expect teabaggers and wingnuts to go into a tizzy of mock surprise when an elected official is shot at. But it would be really interesting to watch the reaction if such a despicable action was aimed at a Republican.

Pit bulls often turn on their own family.

*edited to fix quote

Update: Digby nails it:
They know that serious violence is very likely. They are simply inoculating themselves against the charge that it was their inflammatory rhetoric that caused it. It will be the Democrats complaining about their inflammatory rhetoric that made the teabaggers snap. If they'd just stayed quiet and not made daddy mad, he wouldn't have had to hit them.

The only thing these people should be doing is calming down their crazies. Instead they're ginning them up. Heckuva job.

Update 4/1/10: Kelly Kleiman of the blog The Reality Based Community touches on this very thing: Health care reform politics and Kristallnacht 2010.

This above all other things will save millions of innocent lives

Obama Announces New U.S.-Russia Nuclear Treaty.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Rachel Maddow teaches Scott Brown a lesson

Liberals actually do fight back against blatant lies. With the truth. With facts. Against the Right Wing Smear Machine that has been in full gear since the Clinton era.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aren't all politicians viewed this way already?

14 percent of Americans say President Barack Obama may be the Antichrist. When split by political party, 24 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats viewed the nation's leader in this way.


Here's the percentage breakdown of respondents' views of President Obama:

38 percent say he wants to take away Americans' right to own guns.

32 percent say he is a Muslim.

29 percent think he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government.

29 percent think he has done many things that are unconstitutional.

27 percent say he resents America's heritage.

27 percent say he does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do.

25 percent say he was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.

25 percent say he is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of.

23 percent say he is a racist.

23 percent say he is anti-American.

23 percent say he wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers.

20 percent say he is doing many of the things that Hitler did.

When broken out by political party, results showed some stark differences. For instance, the majority of Republicans believed the president is a Muslim and a socialist, while around 40 percent believe he is a racist, someone who resents American heritage and "wants terrorists to win."

Forty percent of Republicans, compared with just 15 percent of Democrats, think Wall Street pulls his strings.

When Harris' Taylor saw the results he told LiveScience he was "flabbergasted. I would've guessed the numbers would've been a lot smaller than that."

He added, "It means that very large numbers of people are misninformed not only about President Obama but many things in modern life."

The findings lend support to, and in fact were done to verify, themes in John Avlon's new book "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America" (Beast Books, 2010).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



Or no bees at all:
MERCED, Calif. – The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides.
Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.


Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006 a new concern, "colony collapse disorder," was blamed for large, inexplicable die-offs. The disorder, which causes adult bees to abandon their hives and fly off to die, is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides, experts say.
"It's just gotten so much worse in the past four years," said Jeff Pettis, research leader of the Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. "We're just not keeping bees alive that long."
This year bees seem to be in bigger trouble than normal after a bad winter, according to an informal survey of commercial bee brokers cited in an internal USDA document. One-third of those surveyed had trouble finding enough hives to pollinate California's blossoming nut trees, which grow the bulk of the world's almonds. A more formal survey will be done in April.
"There were a lot of beekeepers scrambling to fill their orders and that implies that mortality was high," said Penn State University bee researcher Dennis vanEngelsdorp, who worked on the USDA snapshot survey.
Beekeeper Zac Browning shipped his hives from Idaho to California to pollinate the blossoming almond groves. He got a shock when he checked on them, finding hundreds of the hives empty, abandoned by the worker bees.
The losses were extreme, three times higher than the previous year.

Makes you laugh, makes you cry...

Georgie Bush's fear of them common folk makes him wipe his hand on Clinton's shirt after shaking hands with Haitians. Really high class there, George.

Why Republicans hate Obama so much.

More unhinged unleashed ugliness and hate.

While India and Bangladesh were arguing about ownership, the island left. See? Global warming is actually good for something!

Why high fructose corn syrup is actually really really bad for you:
That high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) causes weight gain is not surprising; that it leads to a significantly higher weight gain than regular table sugar, even when overall caloric intake is the same? Surprising. Regardless of how innocent the sensitive souls from the Corn Refiners Association may purport HFCS to be, a Princeton University research team begs to differ with new research demonstrating that all sweeteners are not created equal in terms of weight gain.

In addition to causing considerable weight gain in lab tests, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.
Russia and the US close to treaty:
WASHINGTON – All but the final details have been cleared away for a historic nuclear arms reduction pact between the U.S. and Russia, officials said Wednesday, with the former Cold War rivals reaching agreement on necessary documents for a new treaty that both countries consider an important measure of trust and cooperation.
Ripples from the Iraq war:

Why the U.S. Won't Leave Iraq... Hmmm let me guess... could it be? Oil? REALLY?

Oh NO!! They are letting a terrorist loose! OMG!
A federal judge on Monday ordered the Pentagon to release a long-held Mauritanian captive held at Guantanamo Bay who was once considered such a high-value detainee that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld designated him for "special interrogation techniques."
U.S. District Judge James Robertson's ruling was classified, so there was no immediate explanation for why he granted the habeas corpus petition of Mohamedou Slahi, 39. A notation in court files said an unclassified version of the ruling would be made available, but didn't say when.
Slahi is the 34th Guantanamo detainee ordered freed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that detainees could challenge their incarceration in federal court, but his name was already well known because of investigations into detainee abuse.
Those probes found that Slahi had been subjected to sleep deprivation, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, moved around the base blindfolded, and at one point taken into the bay on a boat and threatened with death. Investigators also found that interrogators had told him they'd his mother and have her jailed as the only female detainee at Guantanamo if he did not cooperate.
The interrogations were so abusive that a highly regarded Pentagon lawyer, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch , quit the case five years ago rather than prosecute him at the Bush administration's first effort to stage military commissions.
Real life Tetris is terrifying!

Cat health insurance company.

Holding their breath and turning blue

Do we reward tantrums?

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly: (my bold)
In terms of messaging, though, I think Ezra has the right idea:
I could imagine a lot of smart ways to begin obstructing the chamber and making life miserable for Democrats. But declaring that you won't work after 2 p.m? Do Republicans really think the average American is going to rally to that battle cry?
If Senate Dems want to see Republicans scramble, they'd run with this one. Have the leadership hold a press conference and announce, "We're stunned that Republicans won't let the Senate function after 2 p.m. American workers don't the option to just stop working at 2 because he or she feels like it, and there's no reason their Republican senators should just call it a day after lunch. Republicans have gone from the party that only says "no" to the party that's too lazy to say anything at all."
Look, Democrats. We're helping you here. Expose this tantrum for the idiotic behavior it is.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The mask slips

And the monster is revealed. The true GOP.

Bob Herbert of the New York Times:
For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.
This is ugliness that was unleashed by the bizarre witch hunt of the Clintons, unleashed by the neocon agenda in the Bush terms, whipped on by the McCain/Palin speeches. The neocons and the Republicans realized that if you goad people into a frenzy, they will attack those who protest against wars, try to stand up against hate speech, attempt to have a public discussion. The easily distracted ignorant and stupid became their minions which freed them up to pursue their own agendas.

They took off the leash for the Bush years and cannot now rein them in. Watch them as they try to pretend these monsters aren't their own. They are already trying desperately to buff Bush's image, rewrite history, lie outright .... and when they find that won't change the rampaging wingnuts and teabaggers, try to indicate Bush was actually a liberal.

Bush's policies were the Republican policies taken further and more completely than any other president has ever taken them. Take a look at the wreckage and realize that this is what the Republican party stands for. The GOP OWNS the Bush debacle and the ensuing ugliness, and no amount of buffing, rewriting nor lying will change that.

Update: Krugman has more:
And let’s be clear: the campaign of fear hasn’t been carried out by a radical fringe, unconnected to the Republican establishment. On the contrary, that establishment has been involved and approving all the way. Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”

Without question, the campaign of fear was effective: health reform went from being highly popular to wide disapproval, although the numbers have been improving lately. But the question was, would it actually be enough to block reform?

And the answer is no. The Democrats have done it. The House has passed the Senate version of health reform, and an improved version will be achieved through reconciliation.

This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Mayans were right!!

2012 will bring the END OF THE WORLD!!!!1!

Except it's Iceland that's starting a bit early....
Iceland sits on a large volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic's mid-oceanic ridge. Eruptions, common throughout Iceland's history, are often triggered by seismic activity when the Earth's plates move and when magma from deep underground pushes its way to the surface.

Like earthquakes, predicting the timing of volcanic eruptions is an imprecise science. An eruption at the Katla volcano could be disastrous, however — both for Iceland and other nations.

Iceland's Laki volcano erupted in 1783, freeing gases that turned into smog. The smog floated across the Jet Stream, changing weather patterns. Many died from gas poisoning in the British Isles. Crop production fell in western Europe. Famine spread. Some even linked the eruption, which helped fuel famine, to the French Revolution. Painters in the 18th century illustrated fiery sunsets in their works.

The winter of 1784 was also one of the longest and coldest on record in North America. New England reported a record stretch of below-zero temperatures and New Jersey reported record snow accumulation. The Mississippi River also reportedly froze in New Orleans.

"These are Hollywood-sort of scenarios but possible," said Colin Macpherson, a geologist with the University of Durham. "As the melt rises, it's a little like taking a cork out of a champagne bottle."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blog sprinkles


Sailor at SteveAudio tracks the Media's weird tilt to the right.

Biden at the top of his game:

What you can do with a bunch of kids.

I thought Bryan had found the worst webcam ever with the cheese webcam, but these might actually be the most boring webcams EVER.

Teachers having to think about murderers and killers as they practice lockdowns.

Skinheads sentenced to work in Holocaust museum. Good idea, hope it works.

So we finally passed a health care bill... NEXT.

And just so you know:
The following Democrats voted against the House's effort to pass the Senate health care bill: Adler, Altmire, Arcuri, Barrow, Berry, Boren, Boucher, Bright, Chandler, Childers, A.Davis, L.Davis, C.Edwards, Herseth Sandlin, Holden, Kissell, Kratovil, Lipinski, Lynch, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, McMahon, Melancon, Minnick, Nye, Peterson, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Space, Tanner, Taylor, Teague

Help vote Stupak out of office. (Btw, Stupak backwards is kaputs....) And oh, my... they are turning on him already. Update 3/23: REALLY turning on him!

What ever has happened to Riverbend of Baghdad Burning? Does anyone know?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hope incoming


And Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope blogging.

If gay soldiers were in the Greatest Generation war...

How come we won?

You can interrupt a Democratic president because....

It shows you're a REAL journalist guy and anyway Republican preznits don't need the aggravation? They can't threaten you with Cheney's secret assassination squad? Republican preznits are special?

Even with the interruptions or non, I can sure tell who actually is presidential, has a grasp of all the facts and nuances, can complete complex sentences, and use big words. And not get testy being interviewed by an asshole. (Or interviewing an asshole.)

God... just listening to Georgie's excuses is nauseating... all of them WRONG. His condescending style of speech, his simplistic view of the world, his platitudes, his sound bites.... I am so glad this man is off the world stage.

Just keep him off.

*edited for stupid grammar.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jefferson v Calvin and the Women-hating Anti-Choicers

This is a confusing decision to me. The Texas State Board of Education takes out Thomas Jefferson and puts in John Calvin. Why Calvin? He's not even part of the 'Enlightenment'.

From Wikipedia:
The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment) is the era in Western philosophy and intellectual, scientific and cultural life, centered upon the eighteenth century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority.
And if you notice, it says the age of REASON, not religious dogma. Anyway, back to the Texas crew:
According to TFN: "the board stripped Thomas Jefferson from a world history standard about the influence of Enlightenment thinkers on political revolutions from the 1700s to today. In Jefferson's place, the board's religious conservatives succeeded in inserting Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin. They also removed the reference to 'Enlightenment ideas' in the standard, requiring that students should simply learn about the influence of the 'writings' of various thinkers (including Calvin and Aquinas)."
So they are getting rid of one of our very own American philosophers and thinkers and presidents to drag in a fifteenth century religious theologian.


More research (all from Wikipedia):
*Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system and an approach to the Christian life.[1] The Reformed tradition was advanced by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli, but it often bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the Reformed churches of which Calvin was an early leader. Less commonly, it can refer to the individual teaching of Calvin himself.[2] The system is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity, stressing the absolute sovereignty of God.

*The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass."[1] The second use of the word "predestination" applies this to the salvation, and refers to the belief that God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace, while leaving the remainder to receive eternal damnation for all their sins, even their original sin. The former is called "unconditional election", and the latter "reprobation". In Calvinism, men must be predestined and effectually called (regenerated/born again) unto faith by God before they will even wish to believe or wish to be justified.

*Total depravity (also called total inability and total corruption) is a theological doctrine that derives from the Augustinian concept of original sin. It is the teaching that, as a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is freely offered. It is also advocated to various degrees by many Protestant confessions of faith and catechisms, including those of Lutheranism,[1] Arminianism,[2] and Calvinism.[3]
Dusty Crickets offers this review of Calvin in comments:
From a link I tagged from over at PZ's place...

"...John Calvin is considered the founder of the Puritan ethic. The theocracy he established in sixteenth-century Geneva, Switzerland, prohibited dancing, drinking, gambling, card playing, ribaldry, fashionable clothes, and other amusements. Theaters were closed and attempts were made to drive taverns from the city.

Proclaiming "the chief duty of man is to glorify God," Calvin required religious instruction for all, public fasting, austere living, and evening curfew. According to the town records, a man was imprisoned for three days for smiling during a baptism.

Sex researcher Aileen Goodson, Ph.D., states the Puritans who came to America emphasized biblical interpretations that considered the human body as inherently impure and depraved. She further reports they "had neither the time nor the inclination for frivolity. Their body guilt and shame became the law of the land, and this law was even more extreme in the United States than overseas."

The anti-sex attitude of the Puritans is also described by historian John Demos. He reports that throughout the seventeenth century, the Puritans in Plymouth Colony had "a steady succession of trials and convictions for sexual offenses involving single persons. 'Fornication,' in particular, was a familiar problem."
Although the Puritans had serious and even pathological hang-ups about pleasure, they were into violence. Calvin's Geneva beheaded adulterers. Religious dissenters were hanged, decapitated, or burned at the stake. Christopher Hitchens describes Calvin as "a sadist and torturer and killer, who burned Servetus (one of the great thinkers and questioners of the day) while the man was still alive."
Massachusetts Puritans also had a law, based on Leviticus 20:9 from the Old Testament, that a child who curses his or her parent shall be put to death. Calvin would have approved, for his government used the same verse to justify beheading a small boy in Geneva for striking his father.

As a result of the command at Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," Puritans were responsible for the insanity of the Salem witch trials......."

and so on.
Lovely. So why on earth is Texas trying to drag us back into the Dark Ages? Just who are they writing these 'history' textbooks for?

These guys:


These men are going to prevent you from controlling your own body. Because they are men and you are a woman. Because JESUS says so. And He's a man.. or something.
Anti-Abortion Extremists Go to “Hell”

In the escalating fury of anti-abortion groups since George W. Bush left office, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America (OR/OSA) has announced that protesters will storm “the gates of hell” to shut down family planning clinics in Charlotte, N.C. the week of July 17-24.
Even though OR/OSA’s head extremist, Phillip “Flip” Benham, was recently arrested in Charlotte for stalking and for violating a South Carolina law against residential picketing, his organization is still determined to harass doctors and patients. But as part of its National Clinic Access Project, the Feminist Majority Foundation is trying to prevent Benham and the other protesters from setting up ladders and scaffolding on the property of the Family Reproductive Health Clinic and using amplified sounds systems to scream at patients from ladders on the other side of a 6-foot fence.
Even more unsettling have been threats against abortion-providing doctors in Charlotte, as Benham has plastered the clinics and home neighborhoods of two doctors with menacing “WANTED” posters that include threatening language as well as their names and addresses of their private offices and homes. The posters encourage people to contact the doctors, “expose [them] to the powerful Gospel of Christ” and make them stop “killing babies.” At least three abortion providers who were murdered in the past had been similarly targeted with “WANTED” posters that were distributed publicly.
And these guys: Catholic bishops want to control your uterus. They know what's best. Amazingly the sisters don't agree! The nuns support health care reform ... because they remember what it was like to be human?

And these guys: Utah considers stoning, shaming and the stocks?
Utah Anti-Abortion Bill Citing ‘Reckless Act’ Is Withdrawn
DENVER — A sweeping anti-abortion statute in Utah that would have allowed up to life in prison for a woman whose fetus died from her intentional or reckless behavior was withdrawn by its sponsor on Thursday and will be revised to be narrower in scope.

The original bill, which was sent to Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, for his consideration — and set off a firestorm of anxiety and criticism from abortion rights and women’s advocacy groups around the country — now goes back to the Legislature, neither signed nor vetoed.

The sponsor, Representative Carl D. Wimmer, a Republican, said he had removed a key clause that would have allowed prosecution under Utah’s criminal homicide laws for a “reckless act of the woman” that resulted in death to a fetus. Language will remain, he said, that makes a woman’s “intentional” actions, if resulting in the death of her fetus in an illegal abortion, a felony.
Frustration Makes Pro-Lifers More Anti-Abortion Than Ever

Anti-abortion advocates coined the moniker "pro-life" because they wanted to connect with the majority of Americans who supported abortion restrictions. A new poll shows just how anti-abortion the "pro-life" movement really is.

The new poll,by Gallup, shows that, since the nineties — and the wholesale adoption of political evangelicals into the Republican Party — anti-abortion Republicans have become increasingly opposed to abortion. In a bit of good news, the increasingly crazed rhetoric from those people has seemingly driven more Democrats to the pro-choice position.
This is why Texas is rewriting textbooks, to placate the ignorant, the hateful, the fearful, the stupid. This is why our country will look like this in a few years....


Update 3/20: Credo Action has a petition to fight against the rewriting of history Texas is doing.

Who is the fairest in the land?


Credo is asking for votes:
It's that time of year — America has basketball bracket fever. Here at CREDO, we've been putting the finishing touches on our second annual Bracket of Evil. It's a different spin on a fun tradition. You can vote in our bracket and help determine the most evil forces* at work in American politics today.

This is not just fun and games. With such a target-rich environment for political activism, your votes will help guide our strategy for progressive action in 2010.

We've assembled the "Sinister Sixteen" for 2010. Is Joe Lieberman a bigger jerk than Rahm Emanuel? Is Glenn Beck a greater scourge than Rush Limbaugh? Who is the bigger threat to America: Big Coal or Blackwater? It's up to you: Visit BracketOfEvil.com to decide and help drive our agenda.

Could this be reverse psychology?

Texas history textbooks telling high schoolers they are to ignore Thomas Jefferson and pay attention to that tight-assed, thin-lipped, anti-masturbation, religious extremist Calvin? Guess who they'll be looking up on Wikipedia?

Dusty Crickets in comments found this horrifically prudish statement by our good ol' Calvin:
"I will content myself with briefly mentioning this, as far as the sense of shame allows to discuss it. It is a horrible thing to pour out seed besides the intercourse of man and woman. Deliberately avoiding the intercourse, so that the seed drops on the ground, is doubly horrible. For this means that one quenches the hope of his family, and kills the son, which could be expected, before he is born. This wickedness is now as severely as is possible condemned by the Spirit, through Moses, that Onan, as it were, through a violent and untimely birth, tore away the seed of his brother out the womb, and as cruel as shamefully was thrown on the earth. Moreover he thus has, as much as was in his power, tried to destroy a part of the human race. When a woman in some way drives away the seed out the womb, through aids, then this is rightly seen as an unforgivable crime. Onan was guilty of a similar crime, by defiling the earth with his seed, so that Tamar would not receive a future inheritor."
The only reason we'd need to pay attention to this rigid religious extremist is to remind ourselves just how far we've progressed since his time. Thanks in part to Thomas Jefferson.

Update: Have to back off a bit from my slander of John Calvin. Just a bit. He was deeply religious yet stood up against the even more rigid church structure of his time. I'm now researching Calvinism, the Enlightenment and the break-up of the Catholic political power structure.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self-executing rule?

No, it's not shooting oneself in the foot, although the Democrats have been adroit at doing just that lately.

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly:
In a nutshell, the House would vote once -- approving the sidecar measure and "deeming" the Senate bill as having passed. The Senate bill would then head to the White House for a signature, while the budget fix would head to the Senate.

As expected, the responding tantrum is nearing full force. The WSJ editorial page is outraged; Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is suggesting laws approved through the self-executing rule aren't laws that Americans have to follow; and assorted GOP voices, on and off the Hill, are characterizing the deem-and-pass approach as unconstitutional.


Indeed, while the deem-and-pass approach used to be rare, its use became far more common 15 years ago -- right after Republicans took over Congress. Don Wolfensberger, former chief of staff for the House Rules Committee under Republicans, explained in a column a few years ago, "When Republicans took power in 1995, they soon lost their aversion to self-executing rules and proceeded to set new records under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)."

It's a familiar pattern -- Republicans open doors, and then whine incessantly when Democrats walk through them.
I wonder if this would prevent the Republicans from performing all their histronic speeches which I'm sure they have lined up and ready to go.... no show, no tedious amendments, no fight to the death on the House floor.... Would the self-executing rule prevent them from their heroic defense of the status quo?

Update: And here we go... Josh Marshall of TPM:
Okay, this is rich. Rep. Eric Cantor is insisting that Speaker Pelosi hold an up or down vote on the original senate bill alone rather than a single vote on the original bill and the amending bill.


Have we forgotten why we're here? The entire reason we're in this situation is that Cantor's fellow party members in the Senate won't allow any votes on health care at all. They wouldn't allow it last year and they're still blocking a simple up or down vote on any health care bill in the senate. That's the whole ball of wax.

Just what we'll need for the nuclear winter....

Orange juice and a portable sun?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi in the face!

Q: What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Pi in the sky.

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin pi.

The mathematician says “pi r squared.”
The baker replies “No! Pies are round, cakes are square!

If you ask a scientist what pi equals he'll tell you it equals 3.14159.
If you ask a mathematician what pi equals and he'll tell you pi equals the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter.
If you ask an Engineer what pi equals he'll say "Pi? Well, it's about 3, but we'll call it 4 just to be safe."
And if you ask a kid what pi is, he’ll ask if he can have ice cream with it!

But the best video EVER to celebrate Pi day is:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NOW we can get him for war crimes!!

Right? Right? You heard him, he confessed right there!
Former Bush Adviser Karl Rove says he's "proud" the Bush administration used techniques like waterboarding "that broke the will of these terrorists, and gave us valuable information that allowed us to foil plots."

In an interview with the BBC, Rove was asked about the Bush administration's interrogation techniques, and whether he is "proud" of its use of waterboarding.

"I'm proud that we kept the world safer," he replied. These techniques are "appropriate, they're in conformity with our international requirements and with U.S. law."
Keep us safe? Really? Your actions were the greatest recruitment tool al-Qaeda ever had. Safe? You activated the worst planned vanity war in American history and broke our military. Safe? Historians will look back on the Bush era as the point where the USA finally stepped over the line and ceased to be a superpower. Safe? I don't fucking think so.

So now we just don't buy any textbooks from Texas?

What on earth do they think they're accomplishing? Rewriting history? ... Don't answer that.
Conservative Bloc Prevails In Latest TX Textbooks Standards Vote

Another vote, another win for the conservative majority on Texas' State Board of Education.

The 11-4 vote today on the latest draft of Texas' high school history standards comes as the story has blown up, attracting intense media coverage from national outlets including the New York Times and Fox News, which reported live from Austin all week.

"In all honesty, it was a debacle for public education," says Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network, a liberal watchdog that tracks the board.

Sometimes people expect too much from their health care

Care does not include sex - Dutch nurses' union. But let's not tell Congress until AFTER they vote on the health care reconciliation bill....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jon Stewart's interview with Marc Thiessen

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 3
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Rove says Bush is smart

Oh really?

Ok... I've just nauseated myself looking through all these videos. God, it really feels like we suffered through decades with this man rather than only EIGHT horrible fucking years. Rove is trying to rewrite history, has been since the beginning of his reign of terror. Question is, will we let him?

For some fucking reason...

Some bullshit happening somewhere...

I love the Onion.

How really very odd....

John Yoo's emails are missing. Who could have predicted....?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Maybe THIS will get their attention?

Those manly men who don't want to acknowledge Rachel Carson did good work or that pollution should be controlled or that going green really is a good and healthy thing to do for ourselves and our planet:
Atrazine, one of the most widely-used weedkillers, can turn male frogs into females, researchers reported on Monday. “Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults,” Tyrone Hayes of the University of California Berkeley and colleagues wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The atrazine can turn male frogs into females that are able to mate and successfully reproduce.

Previously the chemical had been shown to disrupt development and create hermaphroditism in frogs, whereby they develop both male and female features. This latest study of 40 male frogs shows the process can go even further, Hayes said. “Atrazine has caused a hormonal imbalance that has made them develop into the wrong sex, in terms of their genetic constitution.”

Although banned in the European Union in 2004, atrazine is still one of the most commonly used herbicides across the globe. Its endocrine disruptor effects, possible carcinogenic effect, and epidemiological connection to low sperm levels in men has led several researchers to call for banning it in the US. Like many herbicides, it is sold under numerous trade names (see next page).

“Approximately 80 million pounds are applied annually in the United States alone, and atrazine is the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water,” the researchers wrote. It can be transported more than 621 miles from the point of application via rainfall and, as a result, contaminates otherwise pristine habitats, even in remote areas where it is not used.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I read the news today, oh boy....

Harassing three year olds for gender bending.

Well... the one family, one child thing really really worked, didn't it? Estimated 96 million women missing from the population of Asia.

Redefining Capitol Hill speak.

Romney says his Massachusetts health care isn't like Obama's even though it is.

Dinna go to warp speed, Scottie!! It'lla kill yeh!

Growing low-oxygen zones in oceans worry scientists. ... It concerns a lot of regular citizens, too, you know.... as well as fish, crabs, shrimp....

Love wins.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sadly, this is true.

"....these [health insurance] companies they profit by denying health care, not providing health care." Marcia Angell to Bill Moyers.

Just so you know

You are unemployed because you like it. So says Tom DeLay, and he should know!
"You know," Delay said, "there is an argument to be made that these extensions, the unemployment benefits keeps people from going and finding jobs. In fact there are some studies that have been done that show people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out.

Host Candy Crowley: Congressman, that's a hard sell, isn't it?

Delay: it's the truth.

No concept on what regular people go through, is there? Where did they get the concept that poor people are lazy, that bad things happen to bad people, that somehow being chosen by the people to serve in Congress is like being chosen by God to do whatever you want to because you are special and everybody else is not.... Is there something in the water in Washington D C that makes people go mad?

Is it power? Or lead?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Taking steps

To start undoing what has been done in our name:
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, introduced an amendment to the 2010 intelligence authorization bill imposing a 15-year criminal sentence on any “officer or employee of the intelligence community” who tortures a detainee. (Twenty years if the torture involves an “act of medical malfeasance”; life if the detainee dies.)
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is concerned about possible misconduct in Afghanistan by the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater and has promised to review the issue, the Pentagon said.
So what does Blackwater do?
A Code Pink protester claimed a high-ranking Blackwater official threatened his life during a break of a Senate Armed Services hearing focused on the military contractor's actions in Afghanistan.

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin reported that the threat was made by Johnny Walker, a program manager with one of Blackwater's subsidiaries. Walker testified at the hearing about the role his company, Paravant, played during its mercenary deployments to the Middle East.
But then this is going on:
In an interview with the Pakistani TV station Express TV, Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed that the private security firms Blackwater and DynCorp are operating inside Pakistan. “They’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan,” Gates said, according to a DoD transcript of the interview. “There are rules concerning the contracting companies. If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”
And the realization that if we didn't have mercenary groups, we'd be unable to fight the wars we're in. We don't have the troops.

Yet the court sides against Rumsfeld:
CHICAGO � A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a civil lawsuit accusing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of responsibility for the alleged torture by U.S. forces of two Americans who worked for an Iraqi contracting firm.

U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen's ruling did not say the two contractors had proven their claims, including that they were tortured after reporting alleged illegal activities by their company. But it did say they had alleged enough specific mistreatment to warrant hearing evidence of exactly what happened.

Andersen said his decision "represents a recognition that federal officials may not strip citizens of well settled constitutional protections against mistreatment simply because they are located in a tumultuous foreign setting."

Andersen did throw out two of the lawsuit's three counts but gave former contractors Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel the green light to go forward with a third count alleging they were unconstitutionally tortured under procedures personally approved by Rumsfeld.
Update 3/7:UPDATE:
A Xe spokesman has told Talking Points Memo that they are unaware of any plans for the RNC to hold a fundraiser at their Moyock, N.C. facility. The spokesman said he was unsure why there was a slide in an RNC fundraising presentation that suggested otherwise. RNC Communications Doug Heye also told Politico's Ben Smith, who broke the story, that "No such Blackwater event ever existed," despite the calendar entry.

The Republican National Committee plans to hold an April fundraiser at a Moyock, N.C. compound owned by the military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater, Politico reports.

According to an RNC fundraising document uncovered on Wednesday, RNC "Young Eagles" -- party major donors under 40 -- will meet at the facility in the spring.

What democracy?

In his film Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore squares off with the free-market system for its role in leveraging the United States's wealth into the hands of a few.

But in one clip cut from the documentary -- which Moore provided exclusively to RAW STORY -- he interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, who explains how capitalism is actually contributing to the very downfall of the human race and the "degradation of the planet."

"All sorts of people who have spent their lives studying climate change, from Bill McKibben on down, have warned us that we don't have a lot of time left," Hedges said. "So it's not just that capitalism has destroyed our economic system and hijacked our political system, but it literally is extinguishing the system that sustains life. If that's not thwarted soon...then we will begin to see massive dislocations, environmental refugees, further depleting of natural resources. Overpopulation is also an issue. The UN estimates that by 2050 the size of the planet will double."

The very concept of capitalism, Moore declares in the film, is the problem because it inevitably leads to a system where the richest few control the means of production as well as the levers of power -- leading to a "plutonomy," a term used in a leaked Citigroup memo from 2005, in which the finance juggernaut concluded that the United States is no longer a democracy.

In the interview, Hedges decries America's turn toward supply-side economics over the last three decades as the cause of stagnating middle class incomes, contrasting it with the increasingly lavish fortunes of the wealthy and the aid they often receive from the government at the expense of working people.

Scapegoats are needed

To bond people together! How can we know we're all on the same side if we don't define who we're against??!!11?
Virginia attorney general instructs state colleges to stop protecting gay students from discrimination.

Cats and hope


Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope Blogging!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I've always wondered just exactly why

Global 'warming' denialists are so adamant in declaring rapid climate change a liberal plot. I mean... WHY?

Well... I get comments.

SmarterThanYou tells me:
You pompous fools. Looking down your nose at the rest of the world while true science (aka GEOLOGY) shows there are natural reasons for any climate shifts. These consistent & tangible geological trends are nothing new. This has been well documented for decades but nooooooo, you phenoms are just so much more intelligent. Fools.

This one is from last week:

This one is from 2001:

Guess what?!?! They both state that sea level isn’t rising which implies the ice caps aren’t melting. Gee, I sure hope us silling wingnuts can wrap our heads around these findings by your beloved scientists.

Oh and now the heavy winter is your reasoning? I find that interesting b/c a few years ago when we had a mild winter, THAT Was the proof of Global Warming. Don’t believe me? Well here is one of those crazy conservative websites that shows soundbites illustrating my point.

You morons are willing to tax our industry to death with your “Green credits” over bad science. It’s b/c of fools like you that this country can’t keep industry within our own borders.
Ok. You cite geology as the one true science. Great, I know geologists and have taken geology. So... what do geological websites say about rapid climate change?
The United States faces the potential for abrupt climate change in the 21st century that could pose clear risks to society in terms of our ability to adapt. A new report led by the USGS makes several conclusions about the potential for abrupt climate changes from global warming during this century.” Quoted from the USGS.
Twenty or so links to different articles within the last few years follow that quote.

So why on earth would you choose geology as the most reliable science above all others? Atmospheric sciences, Meteorology, Climatology, Oceanography? And then I found this. One meeting where global warming deniers could actually get their foot in the door and be heard. Apparently all other scientists and sciences were disproved by this one hilarious meeting. The fact you both quote geology as a true science yet then mock education and other sciences is truly illuminating. Geology follows the dictates and procedures of all other sciences.

So I suppose showing you satellite photos of glaciers in full retreat, or ice sheets snapping and floating away or Greenland's coastline appearing for the first time in centuries won't impress you? Telling you about the rising sea levels threatening North Carolina or Thailand or the Florida Keys or the islands of Tuvalu won't change your mind? The changing salinity of the oceans won't help?

No? Well, we'll just agree to disagree.

You really think acknowledging global warming will mean a loss in jobs? Really? It actually will mean a jobs increase. Besides cutting down on the need for foreign oil, why wouldn't being energy wise be a good thing in general?

But clearly that doesn't matter either. You finally get to the heart of the issue. It's all about beating up Mr. Smarty-pants Science guy, isn't it?

This actually exposes more about you than you realize. Have you asked yourself why?

The sad thing is.... those who are educated know more than those who look down on education and feel that knowledge is a weakness. Or said more correctly, educated people know they will always need to learn more, know how to accept new facts without dismay, know how to study a problem through the scientific process, how to combine two disparate concepts, work through a pile of incoherent data to find a kernel of truth. These people engineer your buildings, make your medicine, design your appliances, protect your food. You live with what scientists and educated people do every day.

Human beings will make mistakes, be in error, look backward, forget history, ignore advice. And, being human, of course scientists have been wrong, will be wrong. But those who understand and respect how science and education can evolve and shift with new facts will help people work with understood theories and concepts. These people will be able to look to the future and project incoming problems and events.

These are the people who will help humanity. Not those who mock the quest for knowledge.

And science is saying there is too much data out there showing that something of great import is happening right now.

Why ignore it?

Would Health Care Reform Help You?

A post by Barbara O'Brien of Mahablog:
Many obstacles and stumbling blocks remain in the way of health care reform. The House and Senate bills will have to be merged, and then the House and Senate both will vote on the final bill. We don’t yet know what will be in the final bill, or if the final bill will be passed into law. Passage will be especially difficult in the Senate, where it will need 60 votes to pass. It is still possible that after all this angst, just one grandstanding senator could kill the whole thing.
But just for fun, let’s look at what conventional wisdom says will be in the final bill and see if there is anything in it that will be an immediate benefit to people with peritoneal mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease.
It is likely that the final bill will provide additional funding for state high-risk insurance pools. Currently more than 30 states run such pools, which are nonprofit, state-sponsored health insurance plans for people who can’t buy insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The biggest problem with such pools is that, often, the insurance they offer is too expensive for many who might need it. Both the Senate and House bills provide $5 billion in subsidies for state high-risk pools to make the insurance more affordable.
Under the Senate bill, beginning in 2014, private companies would no longer be able to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions, nor could they charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. Until then, the state high-risk pools could provide some help.
Closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap — also called the “doughnut hole” — is another potential provision that could help some patients with asbestos-related disease. The “doughnut hole” is the gap between the coverage for yearly out-of-pocket expenses provided by Medicare Part D and Medicare’s “catastrophic coverage” threshold.
For example, in 2009 Medicare Part D paid at least 75 percent of what patients paid for prescription drugs up to $2,700. After that, patients must pay for all of their prescription medications until what they have paid exceeds $6,154. At that point, the catastrophic coverage takes over, and Medicare pays for all but 5 percent of the patient’s drug bills. The final health care reform bill probably will provide for paying at least 50 percent of out-of-pocket costs in the doughnut hole.
You may have heard the bills include budget cuts to the Medicare program, and this has been a big concern to many people. Proponents of the bill insist that savings can be found to pay for the cuts, and that people who depend on Medicare won’t face reduced services. But this is a complex issue that I want to address in a later post.
The long-term provisions probably will include many other provisions that would benefit patients with asbestos-related disease, including increased funding for medical research. Although there are many complaints about the bill coming from all parts of the political spectrum, on the whole it would be a huge benefit to many people.
— Barbara O’Brien
March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Blog sprinkles


4000 years of Choice:
4000 Years for Choice visualizes the ancestral traditions passed down for millennia by lineages of mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. The rediscovery of these practices is deeply transformative when one considers “the right to choose”, especially for those who have been exposed to the “abstinence until marriage” and “anti-abortion” rhetoric.
Our not-so-secret war in Pakistan: The Drone Wars. (With a cool interactive map to see how many people we've killed.)

Yes. We want their names:
The process needs to start with the full disclosure of the identities of the medical professionals who were involved in the torture system, especially within the CIA and Department of Defense. Americans need to know about the qualifications and experiences of the medical personnel who serve them, and that includes knowing how seriously they treat their professional ethics obligations.
Before the doctors and lawyers since back down into the ooze and flow quietly back into society... we want their names.

DarkBlack at SteveAudio's has a slightly NSFW pic of Bunning.....

It's like getting mad at Mom for not picking up your room fast enough after an all night party with your friends. Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:
CHUTZPAH WATCH.... David Kurtz ponders a thought this morning that I consider literally every day.
One of the truly galling Republican political maneuvers over the last 10 years is to go from squandering a huge budget surplus, wracking up trillions in debt, ballooning the deficit, and leaving the next Democratic administration with an economy in shambles -- then as soon as the Democrats are in charge refashioning themselves as budget hawks. You might even think they're setting the Democrats up to fail. I know, hard to believe.

Why Republicans aren't simply laughed off the stage at this point when they try to argue against budget deficits says a lot about Democratic ineptness, media collusion, and short political memories. But I still find it amazing.
I should be used to it by now, but I find it amazing, too. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently conceded when Republicans controlled the levers of power, "it was standard practice not to pay for things."

Think about that concession. Then consider that the very same GOP lawmakers who believed it was standard practice not to pay for things are now outraged that Democrats -- who aren't relying on deficit spending to finance their agenda -- aren't acting quickly enough to clean up the budget mess Republicans left for them.
The Night of White Sheets and Knives?:
SPLC's annual report sees explosive 244% growth in 'Patriot' extremism -- thanks to Tea Parties
JJ has bathing hedgehogs. Really.

Phila of Bouphonia discusses Mommy/Daddy issues.

Squirrel fight!! (h/t to Mahablog)

Who else can curse, stomp the floor, fight, AND eat sunflowers seeds all at the same time? I have to admit the damned squirrels have talent!