Saturday, September 18, 2010

What Has Real Value: 10,000's Of International Scientists Or Rush Limbaugh?

Consider what the Limbaugh/Morano crowd is saying about climate: not only that that the world’s scientists and scientific institutions are systematically wrong, but that they are purposefully perpetrating a deception. Virtually all the world’s governments, scientific academies, and media are either in on it or duped by it.
The only ones who have pierced the veil and seen the truth are American movement conservatives, the ones who found death panels in the healthcare bill. It’s a species of theater, repeated so often people have become inured, but if you take it seriously it’s an extraordinary charge.
For one thing, if it’s true that the world’s scientists are capable of deception and collusion on this scale, a lot more than climate change is in doubt. These same institutions have told us what we know about health and disease, species and ecosystems, energy and biochemistry. If they are corrupt, we have to consider whether any of the knowledge they’ve generated is trustworthy.

We could be operating our medical facilities, economies, and technologies on faulty theories. We might not know anything! Here we are hip-deep in postmodernism and it came from the right, not the left academics they hate. Scientific claims are now subject to ideological disputation. Rush Limbaugh is telling millions of people that they’ve taken the red pill and everything they once knew and could trust is a lie. They’ve woken up outside the Matrix and he is their corpulent, drug-addicted, thrice-divorced Morpheus.
What could go wrong?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Using What You Know vs Using What You Don't Know

"Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept."

- Dan Barker; Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists (via eelesa)

Why do some people use what they don't know, like the infinity of time or the mystery on the universe, to define what they know?

Another example, believing all the religious stories on God is like believing a person can fly. Is it my burden to prove he can't fly or is it your burden, as a believer, to prove that he can?

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If Violent Crime Has Plummeted, Why Are So Many Imprisoned?

One in every 31 American adults is under control of the correctional system.   The U.S. imprisonment rate is astronomical; it is six times that of many European countries.

A big city like NYC has seen significant drops in crime over the past 2 decades. Overall violent crime in the US had declined dramatically, as well.

Why are there more and more people in State and Federal prisons? The answer: Reagan's War On Drugs.

Our imprisonment rate is the result of imprisoning people who break drug laws, NOT violent criminals or even people who commit property crimes. The increase is largely due to more aggressive policing of drug law violations.

And, as you can see in the figure below, the aggressive policing of drug law violations can be found disproportionately in black neighborhoods. (White and black people take drugs at a very similar rate, but black neighborhoods are more heavily policing and drugs more common among blacks than white have carried heavier sentences — i.e., crack versus cocaine until recently). This figure shows that the increase in the incarceration rate is mostly an increase in the black incarceration rate.

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Chart via Pam Oliver

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Evolution Of The GOP

Beohner's Oompa-Loompan, Antii-Wonkan Behavior

Deists Founded This Country, Not Christians

"America—with its history of slavery, misogyny, genocide, and corruption—is worshipped as a sort of infallible source of “Christian” values, the Founding Fathers elevated to the level of deities. (I find it ironic that women in this religious movement are calling for an ideological “return” to colonial America when colonial women were forbidden to vote!) Rather than depicting Jesus Christ as the example of faith, hope, and charity, Beckians depict Samuel Adams, George Washington and Ben Franklin as a sort of holy trinity, the embodiment of Christian values. Of course, the contrast is striking. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. The founding fathers killed their enemies. Jesus insisted that his Kingdom had no borders. Religious nationalists say America is a “chosen nation.” Jesus said “turn the other check.” Beck’s followers say, “Don’t tread on me.” Jesus grew his Kingdom through sacrifice. Political leaders grow their kingdoms through politics, power, and war."

Rachel Held Evans

If Jesus tried to throw out the money lenders from the Temple in 2010, Tea Partiers would have God's son in their crosshairs.

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The Have's and the Been Had's.

"We do have two Americas. We have the America that’s living in reality. The people who understand that Obama is a centrist liberal from Hawaii who is trying to dig us out of the hole we’re in. And then we have this other FOX/Matt Drudge/Rush Limbaugh reality where he is a Muslim sleeper cell, Manchurian candidate who was sent over by his Kenyan father… "

Bill Maher

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"417 Senators and Reps. have been renominated, 7 lost (98% won)"
— So much for the anti-incumbency media line - GregMitchell (via brooklynmutt)
Is this a Fox media bias or a liberal media bias at work here?

The War Within The Republican Party Is ON!

Let the GOP Circus Show chip away Republican seats in the 2010 elections for the next 48 days.

One thing we know from most recent Republican administrations, doing the least amount of work trumpeting the most lazy of policies to the least principled of voters has created the atmosphere where choosing the short-term wrong decision is Option #1.

The easy, least principled option is to go more to the right after 2 failed election cycles to appeal to a shrinking base and offer no new ideas, only failed tax cuts. Now, witness Tea Party candidates fracturing the right wing of the Right Wing and BINGO, short term undisciplined populism leading to long term Party intellectual extinction. Well done.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rich Americans Save Tax Cuts Instead of Spending, Moody's Says

Hand the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it.

Tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush were followed by increases in the saving rate among the rich, according to data from Moody’s Analytics Inc. When taxes were raised under Bill Clinton, the saving rate fell.

The findings may weaken arguments by Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who say allowing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to lapse will prompt them to reduce their spending, harming the economy. President Barack Obama wants to extend the cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and couples earning less than $250,000 while ending them for those who earn more.

Reblog this from every mountain top.

Republican tax cuts for the rich, AKA the failed Bush cuts, only help the rich, they only increase income disparity. They do not effect the economy!

Business cycles effect spending. The economy needs more spending by the middle and working classes. Not more savings by the wealthiest.

Wake up blue collar America, you're getting hosed by the Republican agenda. Live a conservative lifestyle if you want, we all do, but the economy can't handle anymore Republicans leadership riding this country into the ground.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Buffett Rules Out Double-Dip Recession Amid Growth

Warren Buffett ruled out a second recession in the U.S. and said businesses owned by his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. are growing.

“I am a huge bull on this country,” Buffett, Berkshire’s chief executive officer, said today in remarks to the Montana Economic Development Summit. “We will not have a double-dip recession at all. I see our businesses coming back almost across the board.”

Election Day is looking better for Democrats and Obama.

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Quote Of The Day

"The very best organizer and fund-raiser in the Democratic Party is going to be here in Iowa -- Sarah Palin."

-- David Plouffe, Obama campaign strategist

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Not A Joke: "Galileo Was Wrong, The Catholic Church Was Right" Conference

No, this is not from the 1600's, this is this year, 2010. Don't see a time on the schedule for the Kool-Aid Cocktail Hour.

Note to Catholic Church: Geocentrism is dead, Scripture is not science.

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The GOP, The I.O.U Party

Newt Goes Racialist [Again]

Over the weekend, disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told National Review that the best way to fully appreciate President Obama's decisions is to "understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior."

David Frum explains that what Gingrich wants Americans to believe is, "[A]t his deepest personal level, what Barack Obama really wants to do is strip white property owners of everything they possess." Frum added:

When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.

When will ugly, racially-charged rhetoric from high-profile Republicans become problematic? Why is Newt, a man who was driven from power by his own party, and who hasn't held office at any level in more than a decade, still treated as credible by major media outlets?

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The Liberal Psyche

Chait is exasperated with liberals' disappointment over Obama, "a president with the most effective progressive record in more than four decades":

Liberals tend to imagine progress occurring in a blaze of populist glory, but almost inevitably it requires grubby compromises with powerful and unseemly interests. Medicare, Social Security—they were all half-measures that involved a devil’s bargain. In 1949, Arthur Schlesinger identified the “doughface” progressive tendency as a discomfort with the realities and compromises of governing. “Politics becomes, not a means of getting things done,” he wrote, “but an outlet for private grievances and frustrations.”

I don’t think this trait describes all of Obama’s (or Clinton’s) liberal critics, and certainly not [John] Judis. But it does reflect a persistent liberal uneasiness with power.

Yes We Can. Keep it going.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dear American Media:

Every time you shove a camera in the face of some one-off nutjob kook who wants to deface a holy book you’re helping to pull the trigger on the next terrorist bomb or gun that kills a US serviceman/woman or innocent civilian.

Yes, you’re in a competitive new world and the standards have been thrown out the window, but is it really worth a few extra viewers or pageviews to have people’s blood on your hands?

This is not the way back to profits. This isn’t providing insight, it isn’t adding to the store of learned knowledge, and hell, it isn’t even entertaining.

Please, stop.

A Concerned Citizen.

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How "We Were Attacked" Has Turned Into "Us" And "Them" Within America