Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Might Be A "Christian" If...


10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women and children!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Precautionary Principle

I am childless, old, and sterile. I have NO stake, biologically, in the outcome of the climate crisis. I likely won't even live long enough to (have to) endure its harshest consequences (which are going to be horrific!@)

But still I'm fond of this big blue marble, and most of its inhabitants--including even some (few) humans.

So I have become an advocate of the Precautionary Principle, which states: If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those who advocate taking the action.

This principle provides a rationale for policy makers to make "discretionary decisions" in situations where there is evidence of potential harm in the absence of complete scientific proof.

The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk.

Such protections might be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

In some legal systems, as in the law of the European Union, the application of the precautionary principle has been made a statutory requirement.

A decade ago, already, environmentalists concerned about the impending climate catastrophe were insisting that it be brought to the table even though, in the CorpoRat-owned USofA, it was always a non starter:
A comprehensive definition of the precautionary principle was spelled out in a January 1998 meeting of scientists, lawyers, policy makers and environmentalists at Wingspread, headquarters of the Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin. The Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, which is included in full at the end of this fact sheet, summarizes the principle this way:

"When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."

Key elements of the principle include taking precaution in the face of scientific uncertainty; exploring alternatives to possibly harmful actions; placing the burden of proof on proponents of an activity rather than on victims or potential victims of the activity; and using democratic processes to carry out and enforce the principle-including the public right to informed consent.
If even a sterile, childless curmudgeon such as I can find sympathy for such an instrument, why, I wonder, do not parents rise up and DEMAND it inform climactic policy decisions, if not for themselves, then for their kids?

The Perils of "Soshulizm"

Via a semi-viral FB post today and yesterday:
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.
Sochulizm SUKKS!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rigged Polls: Usually They're Not This Sloppy, But It's NEWSMAX, So...

The blogosphere knows NEWSMAX to be a blatantly partisan, fucktard/rightard/birthtard front. Today they had a poll. It is an exemplary case of all the things you can do to cast your poll into disrepute statistically while you get the data you want., one of America's leading online news services, is conducting an urgent national online poll about President Obama and the Democrat's plan for universal health care.

Newsmax will provide the results of this poll to major media outlets. Additionally, Newsmax's results will be shared with popular radio talk-show hosts across America.

Newsmax reports have been cited by major media outlets, including CNN, ABC News, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC and other major networks.

Don't miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard! Many media outlets and national leaders are interested in your opinion. Hundreds of media outlets have reported on Newsmax's online polls.

Vote today!
1) Do you support President Obama's and the Democrat's plan for universal health care?

2) Do you believe the Democratic health plan should include 45 million uninsured, including illegal aliens?
Yes, should include 45 million.
No, should not.

3) Do you approve of President Obama’s handling of health care reform?

4) Do you believe Obama’s health care plan is too expensive?

5) Do you agree that new health care costs should be paid for by increasing taxes on the "wealthy"?
Yes, increase taxes on the wealthy.
No, don't increase taxes.

6) If you were allowed to join the public health care system at rates cheaper than your private insurance, would you join it?
Yes, I would join.
No I would not join.

7) Who did you vote for in 2008?
Barely competent reading skills will reveal the evident bias of the poll; it doesn't take a degree in rhetoric. In the first question you have already a begged question there. The Shamwow/Senate plan does less than nothing about creating "universal health care." The second question contains an equally blatant untruth to which the voter is encouraged to assent, that "45 million" beneficiaries will include aliens. Then, having implanted the cues, the next questions are more neutrally phrased, since these are probably the items which will be featured in the later press releases. If I were a clever fellow, I would call this a case of "Poll-ution."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is This What You Thought Was Going To Be CYCBI?

Wherin I invite any of the still-rabid Obamanoids to review this transcript/vid, and please. to interpret this revelation in the most favorable light, like how it betokens more 'change you can believe in." Shamwow is directly quoted from the "interview" Prez. Sham gave to Faux News' premier interrupter, Brett Baird (I doubt he'll EVER have kids, the way he interrupts) the other day:
"Now, we can fix this in a way that is sensible, that is centrist. I have rejected a whole bunch of provisions that the left wanted that are — you know, they were very adamant about because I thought it would be too disruptive to the system."

Okay, you loyal Hopery/Changery folks, you sure got some 'splainin' to do!

I'm fucking waiting...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Language Games

Parsing the Plan! The foregoing link takes you to a page on which the House Democrats have helpfully arranged a list of 10 "benefits" which will kick in IMMEDIATELY when the Senate plan is shoved up our wistfully willing, waiting rectae. I shall leave it to the clever reader to view the page. I'll wait. We have all day.

The list is compact, and at first glance it does seem to offer good reasons to be glad, even happy, possibly even joyous for the apparent changes it claims. Here is the top-most "benefit":
"Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans..."
Makes you feel all warm and wonderful, innit? No exclusions for CHILDREN. Balloons! Cake!!! PONIES!

But what if we "parse" this one?

Go bac to the linked page; look at the typography: The HouseDim page highlights (bf) everything up to "children," then reverts to normal face type for the phrase "in all new plans."

Now, you gotta know these folks aren't paid by the word. They're mostly all lawyers of one kind or another. They don't include words they do not need. So that last phrase should suggest something to careful readers. To me, an inveterate "between/behind the lines" reader, it suggests that something might be being elided; kinda slurred, so you might not notice it.

For example, from the typographical trickery, might one/we surmise that while such exclusions are indeed forbidden in NEW programs, they may be allowed to persist in EXISTING (i.e., not "new') plans? They don't say, one way or the other, but it is the Health Insurance Parasites we're talking about here. You cannot be too careful.

Let's look at another proud bullet point: "Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans..."

Again, examine the typography. The phrase included but not bolded is "in all individual plans." This, it seems to me, suggests that while, indeed, INDIVIDUAL plans might be protected, perhaps corporate/group plans would NOT be?

For your homework, review the WhiteHouse boilerplate and parse the remaining eight "benefits" for their unstated possibilities.

This is good experience for living in an authoritarian or a totalitarian regime...My friend from the former Soviet Union tell me you get VERY good at it with enough practice. And we're gonna get enough practice, I can assure you...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Here's Some MORE "CYCBI"**: Beware "Belligerents"

Via Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic's blog:

A Detention Bill You Ought to Read More Carefully
MAR 5 2010, 3:40 PM ET

Why is the national security community treating the "Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010," introduced by Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on Thursday as a standard proposal, as a simple response to the administration's choices in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing attempt?

A close reading of the bill suggests it would allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on suspected activity.

Read the bill here (PDF), and then read the summarized points after the jump.

According to the summary, the bill sets out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning.

(There is no distinction between U.S. persons--visa holders or citizens--and non-U.S. persons.)

It would require these "belligerents" to be coded as "high-value detainee[s]" to be held in military custody and interrogated for their intelligence value by a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team established by the president. (The H.I.G., of course, was established to bring a sophisticated interrogation capacity to the federal justice system.)
Izzit Just Me who "imagined" Prez. Shamwow said he'd restore the rights the Busheviks stripped away? If it was, then I got no complaint.

But if not, somelucy pliss got some 'splainin' to do...

(CYCBI = "Change You Can Believe In")

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Prosecutiion or "Persecution": Shamwow's DoJ & the Bushevik War Criminals

I regard with amusement the apparent euphoria attending on the announcement today that the Shamwow/Holder DoJ may seek a special prosecutor for Bushevik war-crimes.

I expect this is a non-starter for several reasons" As the HCR debacle demonstrated, Shamwow doesn't have ANY excess political capital, and and political capital would be needed in bushels to pursue prosecution. There are four "practical" reasons why no Bushevik will ever face justice for crimes committed in office...
1)Precedent: There isn't any... All previous prosecutions of official miscunduct have been prosecuted while the alleged malefactors were still IN office.

2) Pragmatics: Lets face it. If Shamwow prosecutes ("persecutes") the (white) Busheviks, he guarantees his half-black ass will be hounded for EVER in retribution. Remember Nixon/Clinton? Remember JFK, who was killed mainly for firing Allan Dulles from head of the CIA? The powerful do not gladly bear pett affronts.

3) National emergency. If that plea were allowed in, prosecution would be utterly FUTILE.

4) Jury nullification: there are STILL 30% of the population who are sympathetic toward the Chimp. It only needs one, and the percentages say there'd be no fewer than two or three...
So it's nagahapun....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prof J. Stiglitz, Nobel Economist on "Freefall"

About an hour in length, and worth every second, if you're puszzled about what's been going in Washington and on Wall Street...