Don’t Drink Foo Foo Drinks, Don’t be Fooled by Foo Foo Budget Cuts

Don’t Drink Foo Foo Drinks, Don’t be Fooled by Foo Foo Budget Cuts

foo-foo-drink

I don’t drink Foo Foo drinks except on rare occasions – there’s plenty of good reasons. One is that they are generally more expensive because they are blended, have those toy umbrellas and such, and you never know the alcohol content. So when I drink it’s usually a shot with chaser, or a mixed drink that I watch the bartender pour. That way I don’t get too much alcohol, and I don’t get too little. Too little and you get the hangover without the high, and too much creates those embarrassing tales that people never let you forget years later.

The budgets that congress has passed the last three years while the Democrats have been in power have a lot in common with foo foo drinks, there’s a lot of strange shit in them and you never know how it’s going to affect you.

Not only are the budgets bad, but what about the hidden costs of their other legislation? Just today they passed a big extension of hate crimes legislation – what’s this going to cost in terms of legal challenges, penal costs from sentence extensions, and will we have a hate crime hangover 20 years down the road? Who knows? The Dems don’t, but they are attempting to make it appear they are trying to be efficient in wasting our money – take this for example — Obama says he will cut 100 million from the budget – woohoo! Sounds like a lot right? Well here’s a visualization to give you an idea.

Happy 61st Independence Day Israel!

Happy 61st Independence day Israel!

mt-herzl-ceremonyTorch ceremony at Mt. Herzl, photo credit Gil Yohanan at YNET

A Panda Baby Step Back

A Panda Baby Step Back

Hoppe at Panda’s thumb backs off a bit from his case for NCSE’s approach after further analysis and debate, and once again I support his conclusion with the added information.

Just as ID should not be taught in Science class, NCSE should not be suggesting means to reconcile science and religion, but instead should stick to the fact that many people have and do reconcile evolution and religion. That’s fine since it’s science and empirical. [ I have a mea culpa here, I skimmed part of the articles on this because it was more back and forth than fact, so I missed that they were in fact suggesting means to reconcile.]

Hoppe argues that NCSE should use their strength which is Science, and leave the religious means for accomodating evolution to churches rather than suggesting a particular method; doing that puts them in a religious rather than scientific realm and could lead to pitfalls.

Here’s my original article:

Evolution, Pragmatism or Agnosticism?

In the Evolution discussion Richard Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb dissents from the Coyne/PZ Meyers view. I’m in agreement with Hoppe, but it’s not pragmatism alone that makes it so.

The pragmatism goes like this: Since we hope to convince more conservatives that teaching religion in science class is a bad thing, then we shouldn’t hand out the big smackdown to religion by essentially agreeing with Discovery Institute’s dichotomous view that to be a good Christian you must be opposed to science, since the Coyne/Meyers version of that is just the obverse wedge: If you support science then you must automatically deny G-d.

One is philosophy, the other religion – neither wedge should be allowed in science. Ayn Rand said “Politics is philosophy in action.” If we allow the teaching of a politics in science that denies G-D, then not only are we diminishing Science and being unpragmatic, we are also proselityzing a philosophy.

That’s probably just as unconstitutional as teaching religion as science, and as you will see below it’s not scientific. If the rabid atheists  must have that view taught then like religion it belongs in history, philosophy, and social classes, but not in science classes.

One of my heroes in this ongoing political struggle is Genie Scott and she explains this much better than I in the video below.

Even as a child I did not have faith, and PZ in many ways is like an ex-smoker in that he had faith and changed his mind – now he wants everyone else to. So he’s taking a hardline and saying that Evolution’s defenders should go on offense in his reply to Hoope here

Spring Reigns

after-spring-rains

Spring Reigns

A photo I took after a Spring rain.

Obama’s Nuclear Energy Limbo

Obama’s Nuclear Energy Limbo

A good post is up at NEI discussing the ambiguity of the Obama Adminstration’s stance on new nuclear energy plants in the face of the push for cap and tax:

If a cap and a price are imposed on carbon dioxide emissions, [nuclear] plants could be among the biggest economic winners in the vast economic shifts that would be created by greenhouse gas regulations.

That’s from the New York Times, borrowing a story from Climate Wire, which while noting the nuclear plants achieve the goal of carbon emission reduction rather well, runs though the tough sledding it faces.

For example, President Obama is overly ambiguous in his support:

“The president needs to show his cards on nuclear energy,” said energy consultant Joseph Stanislaw, a Duke University professor. “He cannot keep this industry, which must make investments with a 50-year or longer horizon, in limbo for much longer.”

We’re not absolutely sure this is the right way to put it – Congress weighs in, too, and we’ve seen an EPA report that basically shows that carbon emission reduction goals are unattainable without nuclear energy. The nibbling around the edges is happening from both ends.

Gay Marriage, Swine Flu, and Dissension in the Ranks of Evolution Supporters

Gay Marriage, Swine Flu, and Dissension in the Ranks of Evolution Supporters

Gay Marriage
Iowa has become the third state to legalize Gay Marriage, and as a supporter of Gay Marriage that’s good news to me. I don’t however see a tidal wave of states rushing to adopt similar legislation, most will go for Civil union instead. That’s problematic in it’s own right due to federal code that prevents SSI and other benefits from going to children of gay parents, which doesn’t seem too “pro family” to me. It would be good if the sections defining benefits as going only to married heterosexuals were extended to permit that, otherwise there will be no compromise in states proposing civil union as opposed to marriage.
I like the idea of this controversial social issue working at state level with the sole exception of that benefits question. Given time and test social issues are best initially solved state by state: because in a legislative labratory of fifty states eventually someone will hit on method that’s best for everyone and then it will become adopted in widespread manner. I dislike the contentious and hysterical people trying to decide this issue yesterday at both ends of that spectrum.

Flu Outbreak
A good article at Pajamas Media goes into the panic attack over the flu outbreak, and states that some might be profitting from the panic. I agree; it’s the flu, and people die every year from variations of it. The panic posts might get hits, but it’s sliding into yellow journalistic ground to artificially inflate panic by not comparing to the flu outbreaks we have every year:

With the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, there always has to be something to say. You need excitement. “We’re all gonna die!” sells papers and gets people talking. What’s missing is a sense of proportion. Somehow, the way these things get blown up is never a big story — and hardly anyone is appropriately horrified.

Evolution, Pragmatism or Agnosticism?

In the Evolution discussion Richard Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb dissents from the Coyne/PZ Meyers view. I’m in agreement with Hoppe, but it’s not pragmatism alone that makes it so.

The pragmatism goes like this: Since we hope to convince more conservatives that teaching religion in science class is a bad thing, then we shouldn’t hand out the big smackdown to religion by essentially agreeing with Discovery Institute’s dichotomous view that to be a good Christian you must be opposed to science, since the Coyne/Meyers version of that is just the obverse wedge: If you support science then you must automatically deny G-d.

One is philosophy, the other religion – neither wedge should be allowed in science. Ayn Rand said “Politics is philosophy in action.” If we allow the teaching of a politics in science that denies G-D, then not only are we diminishing Science and being unpragmatic, we are also proselityzing a philosophy.

That’s probably just as unconstitutional as teaching religion as science, and as you will see below it’s not scientific. If the rabid atheists  must have that view taught then like religion it belongs in history, philosophy, and social classes, but not in science classes.

One of my heroes in this ongoing political struggle is Genie Scott and she explains this much better than I in the video below.

Even as a child I did not have faith, and PZ in many ways is like an ex-smoker in that he had faith and changed his mind – now he wants everyone else to. So he’s taking a hardline and saying that Evolution’s defenders should go on offense in his reply to Hoope here.

Opposing Mosques in America? Updated

What if it Were Happening in America? (updated)

There’s a big blogspat going on and as usual Charles Johnson is on the right side of the truth. He’s calling out the neo-nazi backgrounds, associations, and political partnerships between the Euro-Supremacist groups organizing the Pro-Koln anti-mosque movement.

The Paleosphere has risen in defense of Robert Spencer and Pamela at Atlas Shrugs who were billed by the Pro-Koln group as coming to attend or speak at the event, and now the usual obfuscations and cries of “guilt by association!”, it’s the “Soros attack machine!” and “Psyops!” are screeching across their close-knit bigotted group.

First of all here’s a hint for all conservative bloggers – before you chime in you best do some real research on the groups in Europe so you know what the heck you are talking about.

Secondly let’s put all of that Euro-Supremacist stuff aside for a moment.

Step back and look at the bigger picture. If someone were building a mosque in the US anywhere, would you support a group of Yo-Yo’s showing up to stop it?

Is it libertarian to tell someone how they may or may not use their property?

Is it constitutional in the US to stop a mosque from being built? (Think before you answer – what if it were a church, a temple, or a synagogue?)

It’s basically un-American and not a conservative value to oppose freedom of religion. Is that a politically viable stance for conservatives to support?

There you go; the big picture, please think on it.

UPDATE: Robert Spencer says he won’t go, but defends the group and attacks detractors, if he feels so strongly why doesn’t he go then?
One other note: The pro-serbia lobby in the US has had “no new mosques” as a talking point for years (at least since 2005 where you can find Jatras articles pushing that point) so don’t imagine that a similar campaign would never be mounted here. If it were it would be disastrous for Republicans.

Gegentrik also points out that some of Pro-Koln’s political opposition is as extreme: when you get extreme enough then at some point you cross over and become the mirror image of your enemy.

Addendum:

Some backgrond on people partnering with Pro-Koln:

Petra Edelmannova

Vlaams Belang

and the organizer, Manfred Rouhs.

Lillian

lillian

Lillian

A picture of my grand-niece.

How Anti-Vaxxer Madness Leads To Dead Babies

How Anti-Vaxxer Madness Leads To Dead Babies

This is horrid, but I recommend that you watch it.

The next is anecdotal and from my experience, not a study and not truly empirical evidence of anything: I come from a family of five children, all who got every vaccination and innoculation known to man because we were Army brats. We experienced no ill effects, and neither I nor my siblings ever suffer as much as the general populace when colds, Flus, and other ailments make the rounds. We either don’t get sick at all, or our recovery is quicker than average and symptoms less stressing.

H/T Discover: Bad Astronomy.

Lamar Alexander: We Should Mimic the French

Lamar Alexander: We Should Mimic the French

Mime jokes aside, Lamar Alexander gets things right in this video even though I disagree with him on some other topics (notably TRACS.)