Thursday, December 30, 2004

Faith-Based v. Reality-Based, Redux

Florida State may open a Chiropractic school, angering some of the fact-based community there.

They have created a funny "map" which they envision may be the ultimate status of the campus if the quackery school opens the door to further non-reality-based teaching.

Good for the professors standing up to this.

Who's leading the push to insitute a quackery school? Members of the faith-based party, it seems:
But Sen. Dennis Jones, the Treasure Island Republican who spearheaded legislative support for the school in the spring, said the professors were "overreacting."

He accused anti-chiropractic groups from outside the state of stirring faculty opposition at FSU.

"If they resign, so be it," said Jones, a chiropractor himself. The instructors don't deserve to teach at FSU, he said, "if they're putting their credentials with people known for promoting professional bigotry."

The Legislature appropriated $9-million annually for the chiropractic school, which was pushed by Jones and then-Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville, an FSU graduate. It would be the only school of its kind in the country.
So now requiring evidence and experimental support is "professional bigotry." How quickly the Republicans turn to victim status when they meet any resistance.

Dr. Stephen Barrett's invaluable is a good place to start investigating many kinds of quackery, including chiropractic.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Tsunami and Earthquake

How horrible this event is.

Charity Watch has compiled a list of groups that are offering relief services to victims. They rate "based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency" which seems a good place to start.

Charities Offering Emergency Relief in Southeast Asia

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Cemetaries Promote Terrorism

Tenn. Muslims Seek Approval for Cemeteries

SOMERVILLE, Tenn. - Muslims planned to turn an old sod farm near Memphis into a cemetery, but angry neighbors protested, complaining the burial ground could become a staging ground for terrorists or spread disease from unembalmed bodies.

It was not the first time a group faced opposition when trying to build a cemetery or a mosque, but the dispute stood out for the clarity of its anti-Muslim rhetoric.

"We know for a fact that Muslim mosques have been used as terrorist hideouts and centers for terrorist activities," farmer John Wilson told members of a planning commission last month.


Belinda Ghosheh, owner of the five-acre plot being considered for the cemetery, said a meeting of planning officials drew such a hostile crowd she feared for her safety. One woman yelled, "We don't need bin Laden's cousins in our neighborhood."

Ghosheh and her husband, a native of the Middle East who has been a U.S. citizen for more than 20 years, live in neighboring Shelby County.

"These people would possibly have been our neighbors if we had decided to build on that property," she said. "If this doesn't go through, we're still getting rid of it. I would never live out there now."
These idiots really do want a war against all Muslims, it appears.

Christmas Consequences

Dad Tries to Sell Christmas Gifts on EBay

"No kidding. Three undeserving boys have crossed the line. Tonight we sat down and showed them what they WILL NOT get for Christmas this year. I'll be taking down the tree tomorrow. (December the 23rd)"

Bad kids.

Here's the sale on Ebay-- currently it's over 800 dollars.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Lynndie England Fansite

Joke? I'm no so sure.

The collection of Michael Moore hate-graphics (on another page) is a peek into a pretty twisted mind -- a mind that might actually have a Lynndie England fan page.

Consume at your own risk.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Faith: The Good Kind

Well, you know, so much of the time we’re just lost.

We say "Please God, tell us what is right. Tell us what is true."

When there is no justice, the rich win, the poor are powerless.

We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead. A little dead.

We think of ourselves as victims. And we become victims. We become ... we become weak.

We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs, we doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law.

Well today you are the law. You are the law.

Not some book. Not the lawyers. Not a marble statue or the trappings of the court.

See, those are just symbols of our desire to be just... They are in fact a prayer, a fervent, and a frightened prayer.

In my religion they say “Act as if you had faith. Faith will be given to you.”


If we are to have faith in justice we need only to believe in ourselves and act with justice.

See, I believe that there is justice is in our hearts.
The Verdict

Monday, December 13, 2004

Digby Wins

Theres nothing wrong with this.

Fight back. Stand up for your beliefs, because they are American beliefs. Tell a good narrative -- one that relies on facts -- and let people know that what the Republicans are doing is telling them a story that doesn't mean anything in the real world.

They can win doing that if you don't take them on. You will lose by capitulating.

Take them on. In a hardcore way.

That's what they've been doing for over 20 years, and that has led to the least impressive president in American history being revered by a huge chunk of the electorate.

Tell the naked truth. If it's a lie, say it's a lie. If it's the truth, say it's the truth. Don't triangulate.

More Phosphorus

The history of the match that I linked to yesterday (which really is an excellent little history -- read it) is part two of "Fire from Urine." Here's a link to Part One, about the history of phosphorus. We begin with a charming evocation of the stick-to-it-iveness of alchemists:

Phosphorus: fire from urine:
"'More than 300 years ago, in 1669, Hennig Brand, a Hamburg alchemist, like most chemists of his day, was trying to make gold. He let urine stand for days in a tub until it putrified. "

I'm sure he had many people who just dropped by to hang out for hours.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Founding Fathers Hate American Christmas

Those of you who visit Atrios (all of you, I'd guess) have already learned this, but it bears repeating

History Channel - Christmas

When was the celebration of Christ's birth (Christmas) first declared a federal holiday in the US?


Nearly a century after the US was a nation. I guess Jesus wasn't so important to the Founding Fathers.

And, for those who aren't so interested in American history, guess when the first friction matches were sold. It's earlier than when Christmas was a holiday. Remarkable.

What is the history of the fire-producing match? What did phosphorus have to do with it? When were safety matches created, and when did they finally become important in the US? And why is "phossy jaw" an important medical issue during the development of the match?

All answered -- with more interesting stuff -- in this fascinating piece. Here's an intersting side point:
Phosphorus vapour is oxidised in air to phosphorus(V) oxide (P4O10) and it the oxide that is dangerous. It is taken into the body through cavities in the teeth and destroys the jaw, causing 'phossy jaw' or phosphorus necrosis. It does not attack people with sound teeth and the match manufacturers introduced free dental treatment and regular inspections to protect their workers.
There are pictures of "phossy jaw" available on the web, such as here. (Warning: not a pretty picture, though not a graphic wound photo.)

In the match essay above, one can compare the actions of various government in dealing with "phossy jaw." I leave that up to the web-surfer.

Friday, December 10, 2004

I Couldn't Stop Lauging

The Poor Man made me laugh really hard.

"Peter Beinart will assume that there's something to this, and write about how the Democrats need to abandon their unmanly intellectual elitism and embrace the proud Democratic tradition of Wavy Gravy. Gregg Easterbrook will mount his 600 cubic hectare gravity bong and write a column about how the theories of evolution and relativity are only theories, maaaan, and as such are no better than his theory that there is an infinitely wise and kind and just spirit controlling the universe who allows the creatures he loves unconditionally to suffer the many arbitrary cruelties of this world, such as Gregg Easterbrook columns. Principled liberals and moderates will roll over, and public universities will create Departments of Conservative Studies, where you can earn a Doctorate in Wingnuttery for your dissertation on how the Dixie Chicks made us lose Vietnam."

Hilarious all the way through, and makes a good point, too. Namely, that one reason academics may tend to be leftist is that many areas of the academy are part of the reality-based world.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Sound Like Nam Yet?

Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters

Washington, DC, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.

"When we already have people from Iraq on the streets, my God," said Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. "I have talked to enough (shelters) to know we are getting them. It is happening and this nation is not prepared for that."

Of course, when Viet Nam was going on, there was no such thing as a "homeless shelter."

Thanks George W. Bush.

Now work on Social Security so, while you don't destroy it this decade, they'll have nothing when they retire. Jesus will love you for that.

Washington Post Spews the Funny

Here's a priceless bit of drollery from Harold Myerson at the Post. It's an Op-Ed column cast as a news story from 2016 reporting the reappointment of Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, beginning his 16th consecutive year as SecDef.

Eternally Rumsfeld.

I know it sounds deadly, but it's deft and funny.

Here's just the last paragraph:
Rumsfeld's decision to remain at the Pentagon's helm may not have been dictated entirely by his desire to stay until the PTCZWBOS is secured. "Don took a bath when the dollar tanked back in 2005," one prominent Republican said, "and hasn't done all that well since the dollar was pegged to the yuan. In the absence of Social Security, he can't afford to quit."
I laughed out loud several times. Please read it, if you like to laugh.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Funny Cause It's True-ish

Sub Democrat seeks Dom Republican Couple for fun and games

I yearn for the day when this isn't something people "get" as being a joke about democrats.

With our current leadership, I'm not sure that day is close.

From wonkette.

Thanks, Dems. Let Bush trash the New Deal on the way to destroying the US as a world power. Whatever you do, be such weenies that you can't find an effective way to win by being aggressive. Instead be submissive for whatever Delay, Rove, and Bush want. And be a "submissive-sex" joke that everyone gets. Yeah, as a Democrat I just love it.

See, that's the meta-story of the joke. And, sadly, there's a lot of truth to it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


The Economist on the dire state of the dollar.

I have dollars that are not in the stock market. I know gold is purchasable on the market, but I didn't like the fact that a bit of gold is shaved off every now and then for overhead. Should I buy bullion then?

What should one do with dollars when the US adminstration is fixated upon a banana republic policy for our currency?

Finally, the Economist says:
American bond yields (long-term interest rates) would soar, quite likely causing a deep recession. Americans who favour a weak dollar should be careful what they wish for. Cutting the budget deficit looks cheap at the price.
Bush shows no interest in cutting the budget defecit. Instead, he is attempting to increase it by TRILLIONS of dollars with his Social Security plans.

So, again I ask, what should I do with my dollars?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A Foolish ...Something

Gaw3 of Keats Telescope does something I haven't considered for a couple years: taking Charles Krauthammer seriously and not just as a Bush mouthpiece. Still, we find that Krauthammer is a Bush (not conservative, nor Conservative, nor Republican) hack.

A Foolish Consistency

Gaw3 writes:
Without too much trouble, one could mention that elections were already underway in Ukraine, but were disrupted and subverted with the connivance of an outside power. If the Iraqi elections get railroaded by the U.S., then I hope Mr. Krauthammer will welcome German and French outrage. In the name of consistency.
Yes, I'm sure Krauthammer values intellectual consistency highly.

As do others, who Gaw3 is anticipating, who say:
Did you know that solving the election crisis in Ukraine is going to involve a full-scale invasion, a several-year occupation, and a terrorist insurgency?
No, Krauthammer is just trying to blame the French and Germans for the abysmal performance of the Americans. Blame-shifting will be his reflex in Bush's second term. Bush can do nothing wrong, and no one who ever disagreed with Bush can do anything right.

The message discipline of the hacks is astounding. Even if the US goes into the toilet, their song is whatever Bush wants them to sing.

Friday, December 03, 2004

They Call Scalia The Smart One


Scalia at Manhattan's Shearith Israel synagogue.
Scalia, 68, addressed the topic of government and its relationship to religion.

In the synagogue that is home to America's oldest Jewish congregation, he noted that in Europe, religion-neutral leaders almost never publicly use the word "God."

But, the justice asked, "Did it turn out that, by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America? I don't think so."

Yeah, I'd bet the Nazis were too principled to use the church to forward the Reich. Sure. Thomas Hartmann does a good takedown of Scalia:
Article 1 of the "Decree concerning the Constitution of the German Protestant Church, of 14 July 1933," signed by Adolf Hitler himself, merged the German Protestant Church into the Reich, and gave the Reich the legal authority to ordain priests.

Article Three provides absolute assurance to the new state church that the Reich will fund it, even if that requires going to Hitler's cabinet. It opens: "Should the competent agencies of a State Church refuse to include assessments of the German Protestant Church in their budget, the appropriate State Government will cause the expenditures to be included in the budget upon request of the Reich Cabinet."

That new state-sponsored German church's constitution opens: "At a time in which our German people are experiencing a great historical new era through the grace of God," the new German state church "federates into a solemn league all denominations that stem from the Reformation and stand equally legitimately side by side, and thereby bears witness to: 'One Body and One Spirit, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of All of Us, who is Above All, and Through All, and In All.'"
Scalia always scared me but I thought he was only misguided, not ignorant.

Now I know it's much worse.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Which Quagmire Is Greater?

Gary Brecher, War Nerd, compares the US in Iraq vs. Russia in Chechnya in the The 2004 Quagmire Bowl!
But in one way our countries are totally alike: we're both stuck in quagmires. You're bogged down in Chechnya, and we're hip-deep in the shit in Iraq.

So whose quagmire is deeper and stickier, yours or ours?

It's pretty easy to make the case for Iraq as a military disaster. By now, the only people who won't admit it are the ones who think God personally ordered us to invade.

I'm not sure where in the Bible they get that from. After all those years of sweating through Sunday morning Children's Service, I don't remember anything about how some kid from Oregon has to lose his leg to an IED in Ramadi. Maybe He was speaking in tongues at the time.
It's funny and makes some good points. Don't know how I've missed War Nerd until now.
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