September, 2009 archive
Smart Is Bad. Dumb Is Good. It’s a Wingnut World. 0
Steve has the IQ dump.
Yeah, the links check out.
Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.
Up is down, in is out, and the sky is green.
It’s a wingnut world. Tra-la-la and a hey-nonnie-nonnie.
(Can you tell I’m down to my last nerve?)
Stray Thought 0
Greater Wingnuttery XLI (Updated) 0
It used to be considered bad form to advocate the violent overthrow of the government of the United States of America (although the wingnut in question claims to merely musing . . . .)
Indeed, it was considered an “unAmerican activity.”
The right wing in this country is profoundly disturbed
by the scary black man in the White House.
Eating Choking on their words. From Josh Marshall:
As you can see, the angle Newsmax is taking on this is to suggest that Perry doesn’t really have anything to do with them, that he’s just an “unpaid blogger.” Now I think we all understand that there are many sites — Kos, Redstate, even TPM — where readers are allowed to set up their own blogs or diaries and write their own stuff. These are essentially discussion areas. And it’s a cheap shot when someone finds some nutty diary on Kos and says DailyKos published such and such. Newsmax is claiming that that’s what’s happening here. But we’ve taken a close look. And I think it’s clear that that is not true. Perry has written a weekly column for the site going back to at least 1999. And he’s prominently listed on the bio page of all Newsmax columnists, along with Dick Morris, Dr. Laura, Grover Norquist, Lanny Davis, Michael Reagan, Rep. Ernest Istook, etc.
Seen on the Street 0
Breakers at Wise Point, Virginia, at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Whittle Your New Computer from That Log . . . 0
No Laughing Matter 0
It’s not a good idea to joke about assassination, though the wingnut brigade seems to think it is.
Those Secret Service folks take their jobs very seriously:
Facebook Inc., the most popular social-networking Web site, said it pulled a third-party program from the service that asked if President Barack Obama should be assassinated.
Facebook is working with the U.S. Secret Service, which is investigating the matter, company spokesman Larry Yu said today. The application, which allows users to conduct surveys of Facebook members, was used to create the Obama poll.
“We take any threat against our protectees very seriously, and we will investigate it thoroughly,” Darrin Blackford, a U.S. Secret Service spokesman, said in a telephone interview, adding that the investigation began Sept. 26.
My guess is that it was one of those quizzes like the new one, just released, “Which Bunk Do You Want?”
Aside: I do not recall lefties joking about assassinating elected officials in the preceding eight years. Sure, I heard a lot of lefties say a lot of unpleasant things about what Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices did. I said my fair share.
And, ya know what? We were right.
They did do all the things we said they did.
But I did not hear or read anyone who wished or even joked about their being assassinated, just who wanted them out of office.
Now it seems that you can’t turn around without hearing someone joke about assassinating President Obama.
What the hell is wrong with these people?
Fresh Air and No Water 0
Keeping the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel full of clean air and empty of water. Follow the link to read the whole thing and see the slideshow:
The control rooms are the brains of tunnel operations. The facility has two, one at each tunnel. They’re perched on the top floor in two of the four ventilation buildings at the ends of the tunnels.
Quiet and spare, the only clue that they control a major transportation facility is the view out of a window of cars and trucks zipping by below at 55 mph.
From these rooms, operators monitor all aspects of the tunnel with 10 cameras at each tunnel, three computers, and a control panel of buttons, lights and alarms.
When water starts collecting somewhere and pumps start running, a light and alarm are activated and stays on until the controller walks around the desk, stands before the panel and turns it off.
As I pass through the tunnels today, I shall do so with different eyes.
Electric Limbo 0
So you think electrical service is a no-brainer, huh? They build their dream house, then found out that it was in no-man’s land:
Stan Blackwell, director of distribution and design for Dominion (Power Company), said the company logged a work order to provide electricity to the home Feb. 16. It discovered and confirmed that the home was in Community Electric Co-op territory within 36 days of that date, he said.
From that point on, the onus was on Community Electric, Penn said.
The problem was discovered seven months ago. Neighbors indicate that they have been willing to provide the required easements from the git-go.
They’ve been living in an RV since June 1 (at which time they had expected to be in their new home).
Supposedly the power was to be turned on by today.
Your non-government bureaucrats at work.
At Scientific Blogging, Michael White dissects creationism’s laughable efforts to offer credible criticism of evolution. Follow the link to see the concrete evidence for his reasoning:
Creationists aren’t interested in real scientific debates over evolution; they want to use this code language to put religiously motivated, amateur critiques into the curriculum. The Texas school board controversy over these seemingly insignificant words isn’t about whether we should discuss weaknesses with high school students; it’s about whether we should let unqualified members of the intelligent design PR movement put nonsensical critiques into the classroom.
Creationists have no credibility on this issue of common descent because they don’t know what they’re talking about. The main intelligent design textbook Of Panda’s and People can’t even get the basic argument used by biologists straight. The authors clearly don’t understand how biologists infer evolutionary relationships from DNA sequence, because they make a basic blunder that anyone who has taken Biology 101 in the last 20 years could refute.
(Here’s another discussion of the blunder, from the Kitzmiller trial transcript – scroll down to the part that starts with “I think the treatment of biology by Pandas is inaccurate…” In a nutshell, Pandas falls for the basic ‘if humans descended from chimps, why are there still chimps?’ fallacy, by suggesting that today’s living amphibians are intermediates between fish and reptiles. The correct answer is that today’s reptiles and amphibians are both descendants of a common amphibian-like ancestor – and DNA sequences reflect that.)
Stray Thought 0
Dis Coarse DIscourse 0
When Congressman “I Know I Am but What Are You?” Wilson accused a truthful President Obama of lying during a speech to a joint session of your elected representatives incongruously assembled, many American reporters compared his to that in the British House of Commons.
An Englishman says not:
This (behavior–ed.) may have something to do with the no-holds-barred atmosphere on US talk shows where it is not unusual to see panellists shouting at each other. In contrast, Jeremy Paxman and John Humphrys merely repeating a question 10 times looks positively genteel. And while the serious papers seem to resist character assassination, the American radio airwaves are full of hate.
It is this kind of unbridled malevolence, accompanied by deliberate disinformation, that is so shocking.
The only thing I have seen in Britain that even comes close to the kind of viciousness so prevalent in American politics emanated from the now-banned Federation of Conservative Students, who sold the infamous “Hang Nelson Mandela” badges and had a centrefold in their magazine showing an electric chair with the slogan “IRA Terrorists: Plug ‘Em In”. This was back in the mid-1980s and they appear to have been reprogrammed since then.
“I don’t know how to answer that that’s not a trap.”
–Beck the Feckless
Afraid to stand behind his own statements. Feckless defined (emphasis added):
adjective 1. ineffective; incompetent; futile: feckless attempts to repair the plumbing.
2. having no sense of responsibility; indifferent; lazy.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
The Problem with Polls (and Other Statistical Studies) 0
Scientific Blogging takes a look and considers that it’s often not the data, nor the scholarly interpretation, but the journanimalism:
- The media already often get the details wrong in reporting scientific studies. It makes it worse to compound that with confusing reporting.
- The media often highlight the wrong bits, in efforts to get catchy headlines and “interesting” copy.
- Readers don’t understand statistics, and misinterpretation is likely even when the stats are there. Don’t make it worse by eliminating them.
- Readers are prone to generalize results beyond what’s valid, and they’ll likely apply a group trent to specific individuals, as in the example above.
- Readers don’t understand the limitations of studies. Reporters should try to talk about one or two key limitations.
Read this. It makes it easier to understand the mess.
Docking the Ike 0
Read about it here.
There’s a neat, non-embeddable video that shows what it takes to get a ginormous aircraft carrier into a slip.
The Dialectic of Dialog 0
Tim F. on the internal contradictions of contrarians:
With respect to common usage ther terms liberal and conservative have gone batshit insane. Conservative used to imply defending individual liberties against government interference. By that definition the ACLU is the most conservative nonprofit entity in America and Glenn Greenwald, Joe Klein’s “civil liberties extremist”, count as more conservative as anyone. Yet for some reason nearly every American who calls himself ‘conservative’ hates Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU*. Another solid conservative point of dogma was resisting international adventures. The Republican party tried to block the war against Hitler and it was two liberal Presidents (Kennedy and Johnson) who sent us to war in Vietnam. Today “conservatives” on FOX News sneer down their noses at anyone who disagrees with bombing and . . . militarily occupying Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Burma, Venezuela and whoever else they hate today.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Blackwashing|
Morning QOTD 0
Adventures in Self-Centeredness 0
Josh Marshall comments:
With Sen. Kyl pointing out that men have no interest in having insurance cover child birth, no doubt women will note that they have little interest in covering prostate and testicular cancer. And surely men will get back into the act and want to get out of under the cost of covering breast cancer, which very few men get.
We Need Single Payer 0
The crappy U. S. health care system takes another life.
Greater Wingnuttery XL 0
A calvacade of spits,
Death threats send elementary school into lockdown.