Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vote Turley

There's an ABA poll for best legal blog here. Vote for Jonathan Turley in IMHO category.

The Satyricons have threatened kittens.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Pay Taxes For This?

The Needville Independent School District, Needville, TX, has a short hair policy for boys. An American Indian boy had long braids according to his culture. The NISD refused to budge and was sued by the ACLU. The ACLU won and now NISD is appealing that decision.

What is the matter with these idiots. Don't they have anything better to do with their time and the taxpayer's money? Is the NISD so flush with cash that they can afford all the legal fees?

I am amazed that a school would concern itself with such trivialities. That they can justify their actions, I have no doubt, but I suspect that these people just enjoy having power over children. Anything that diminishes that power, even a tad, cannot be tolerated.

I remember growing a Beatles' haircut when I was in high school. The school couldn't care less, but my father made me get it cut off.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sarah Palin Book Tour

Sarah Palin's positions are so vague that people are free
to see her positions as anything they want.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Facilitated Communication

Recently there's been a story regarding a man who was in a coma for 23 years. The video shows the man making astonishing claims with the aid of facilitated communications (FC). FC is a hoax. Here is the Frontline episode that debunks FC:

The facilitators are charlatans. They exploit vulnerable people. They sell lies. They are despicable.

The clergy/priest class are a lot like the FC facilitators. Their business is also based on lies. They lie to vulnerable people thinking these lies provide some form of sustenance. They even believe the lies themselves, improving their appearance of sincerity. Just as with FC, there is no real communication, just the belief that there is communication.

For more on the man in the coma, I recommend this post.

/Note: the Google video takes a while to get started.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There's a V in Evolution

But there's no evolution in V, the new series on ABC. The visitors are from another planet but look exactly like humans. However, the visitors surely evolved, just like us, from lower form of life. The nondeterministic forces that caused the evolution of humans would be different on another planet, and hence, the outcome of the evolutionary process would also be different. It would be practically impossible for the evolutionary processes on two different planets to result in the exact same species.

I don't know if I'm going to continue watching V. If the writers avoid such an obvious plot problem as this, it can only go downhill in future episodes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Time Shift

Falling back: my cable set top box, laptop, and wristwatch all handle the change to Standard Time automatically. The stove and microwave need to be changed manually. Why does my microwave need the day, month, and year just to change the time? Then there's the clock in my car. It's got recessed buttons that refuse to work 99% of the time. It will be weeks before the clock in my car is right.

Note: it's Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Asleep at the Yoke

Airliner crew flies 150 miles past airport.

A Northwest Airlines flight from San Diego, California, overshot the Minneapolis, Minnesota, airport by about 150 miles Wednesday evening, and federal investigators are looking into whether the pilots had become distracted, as they claimed, or perhaps fell asleep.

I remember a flight, this was back in the day when you could listen to air-ground communications on the in-flight headsets, when I suspected this happened. Ground control was calling our flight but there was no answer. This went on for only fifteen minutes and we didn't overshoot our destination.

There are air-ground pocket sized receivers that are available. Not sure if they're allowed on the plane. An pair of (awake) ears is better than the plane running out of fuel.

Going Rouge

Order here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's The Cover-Up, Stupid

The state of Texas executed an innocent man. His name was Cameron Todd Willingham. He was convicted of the arson deaths of his three daughters. The problem is, the initial arson evidence was botched. A nationally recognized arson investigator, Craig Beyler, later wrote a scathing review showing that the charge of arson was bogus.

This would be disastrous for the current governor of Texas, Rick Perry, in his upcoming primary election against Kay Bailey Hutchinson. So what does he do? He covers up the review by firing four of the nine Texas Forensic Science Commission members who started the investigation.

Governor Rick Perry has no shame. But he does have terrific hair.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Lost Symbol

Just finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. Not for those who believe that the primacy of existence holds sway over the primacy of consciousness. Too much Noetic mumbo-jumbo for me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Goldwater Turns Over in Grave

The extreme Republican Party

Let’s not mince words here: We now have an entire political party that is not only dedicated to the mediocre. It is dedicated to the nearly deranged.
Ouch! That's going to leave a mark.

The religious right and their anti-evolution, anti-science beliefs have hijacked the party of Goldwater. It was Goldwater who said "I don't have any respect for the Religious Right." The party of Palin is a party that celebrates ignorance. No lie is too big not to be believed by the wingnuts. Their ignorance is reinforced by Fox News and legitimized by the noncritical reporting of the MSM. If the Republicans think that this is an effective strategy for winning national elections, then the Democrats will be the majority party for a long time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

Let's work to spare humankind from further religious 'thought', that shallow pretentiousness with delusions of profundity.


Saving gods by making them even emptier of meaning

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Baby We're Through

Parody video using the Shirelles' hit Baby It's You.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cameraman Vs Wild

Although Bear's exploits are amazing, the cameraman must do the same feats while carrying heavy camera gear.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

CCR - Bad Moon Rising

Great stereo. CCR performed at Woodstock.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Too Young to Vote

At last night's Obama town hall meeting, he called on 11-year old Julia Hall to ask her question. But wait, it turns out that Julia's mother is an Obama supporter! I'm shocked! Thanks to investigative blogger Michelle Malkin, the fact that an Obama supporter's child asked a question, has been ferreted out. Can a Pulitzer be far behind?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Republican Vandalism

The best analysis of the town hall demonstrations that I've read:

... these behaviors – the eagerness to shut down civil discussion and the willingness to accept untrue claims about the subject to be discussed – both demonstrate the same set of values. It is not a coincidence and it should not be a surprise that the two tendencies travel together among the same group of people. They are both motivated by a lack of interest in truth and reason. A culture that hates truth and reason enough to shut down civil debate is quite likely to also be a culture that does not care whether their reasons for doing so are true or reasonable.
Sarah Palin and her claim of "Death Panels" pops into my head for some reason.
This is the most recent expression of a growing history of intellectual recklessness and vandalism of the political process that has become such an integral part of Republican Culture.
The Republican base is anti-intellectualism. In a reality based on science, reason, and skepticism, the Republican base is no where to be found. Their reality is driven by the primacy of consciousness, whatever they think is true, therefore, must be true. Facts be damned. Their illusion is maintained by Faux News, Rush Limbaugh, and numerous blogs. Critical thinking is not required and even discouraged. The comparisons to religion are obvious and not coincidental.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Worst Person in the World

The gold goes to Keith Olbermann. My favorite news show is (was) Countdown (on MSNBC) and its host has a serious credibility problem. There appears to have been a quid pro quo deal between GE (the parent company of MSNBC) and News Corp. Olbermann was ordered to lay off Bill O'Reilly and he complied. Olbermann's response, that "I am party to no deal" is a classic non-denial denial. Corporate influence is the hallmark of Fox News and now MSNBC, too. Olbermann's stained reputation can only affect other MSNBC shows, such as the Rachel Maddow Show.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Strange Denial

The interwebs are all abuzz about a possible Todd and Sarah Palin divorce. Spokeswoman Meg Stapleton says there's no truth to the rumors:
Yet again, some so-called journalists have decided to make up a story. There is no truth to the recent “story” (and story is the correct term for this type of fiction) that the Palins are divorcing. The Palins remain married, committed to each other and their family, and have not purchased land in Montana (last week it was reported to be Long Island).
The Palins remain married? That's an odd reply, the rumors didn't say they were divorced. The Palins remain committed to each other? This is even more odd. What does that mean? Couples can remain committed to each other and their family, even after a divorce. There is nothing in the "denial" about the couple still being in love. If anything, the rumors are given credence by that odd "denial".

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stupid Acts

President Obama said that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" when they arrested Harvard Professor Henry Gates. If anyone is interested in the law:

... one conclusion seems clear -- the legal ground for his arrest was shaky from the start.

What George said:
The arrest was punitive, in my opinion. The officer didn’t like Gates’ lack of submission to his authority, so he arrested him on a disorderly conduct charge (a bogus [punitive] charge, which was why it was thrown out
To me, the aspect of race is secondary to punishment. He [Crowley] wanted to punish Gates for having the nerve to question him.
At the point the professor was identified, it should have ended. It wasn’t — only because the officer didn’t like the response he was getting

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Good Deed

Back when I lived in LA, actually Oak Park, one Saturday morning I went to see a movie at the AMC in Woodland Hills. I parked my car in a rather deserted lot, being the first movie of the day, and as I got out, I looked down and saw a CA driver's license on the ground. I picked it up. There were no other cars parked to the left so I assumed the DL was lost long before I got there. I put the DL in my shirt pocket and headed into the theater.

After the movie I'm sitting in my car in the parking lot, contemplating what to do. Should I mail the DL to the owner, since the address was on the DL. I considered giving it to a police officer. Both of those options would have taken days to return the DL so I decided to return the DL myself. This is what I would have wanted if it were my DL that was lost.

The address was in Venice. I broke out my Thomas' book of maps of LA (which I kept in the car), found the DL address, and plotted my route. I would take Topanga Canyon to the PCH and from there to Venice. I set off, it was like an adventure. Topanga Canyon is a beautiful drive. Once I arrived in Venice it took some navigating before I arrived at the correct address. I knocked on the door but there was no answer. I left the DL in the mailbox. I never knew if the DL ever made it into the correct hands, but I'd like to think so.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sarah Palin - Trailer Trash

Letterman has never been very funny, Leno always had him beat in that category. Dave went over the line with the Palin jokes, but she's trying to exploit a misunderstanding to try and score some political victimhood points. And she's using her 14 year old daughter to accomplish this.

First it was like Levi versus Bristol on the Jerry Springer show. Now this. She must think that the only bad publicity is no publicity.