Sunday, September 25, 2011

cuckoo behind cuccinelli

The Legend of Pine Ridge talks about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's hocus-pocus around climate science.

"Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is persecuting the world-famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, might want to read 'The Impact of Climate Change to 2030.' In my opinion, Cuccinelli persecutes climate scientists because his father is a consultant/lobbyist for the natural gas industry. His father's company, Quest-Fore gave $96,000 to Attorney General Cuccinelli's campaign, according to a report published on the Internet.

The mendacious Cuccinelli and his deputy W. Russell claim that Dr. Michael Mann is being investigated for fraud, not because he is one of the world's foremost climate scientists. That is a transparent lie. Dr. Mann is being hounded by operatives for the fossil-fuel industry who are operating against our national security from their outpost in the Virginia Attorney General's office."

Friday, September 23, 2011

spotsy tea party candidate has trouble with property rights

I thought the Tea Party was all about freedom which they often apply heavily to property rights? Well don't tell Tim McLaughlin, a Republican Party endorsed candidate for the Chancellor District Board of Supervisors seat. McLaughlin had a major problem with property rights this week.

"On Sunday, McLaughlin saw someone remove two of his 4-by-8 signs from the Harrison Crossing shopping center on State Route 3, and he quickly found a nearby Virginia State Police trooper to report a crime, according to Sgt. Les Tyler.


Trooper J.J. Liston investigated and then charged a 39-year-old man with grand larceny.


Turns out the man works for the Silver Cos., which developed the shopping center, now owned by Lee Properties. He was told by his employer to remove the signs, Tyler said.


The state police handed the case to Spotsylvania Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Neely, who decided to drop the charges...But McLaughlin feels the signs in question were specifically targeted by the Silver Cos.


'The company obviously supports my opponent,' he said."

Whoa! Looks like someone has an issue with the Constitutional rights of a private business to control its own property. Perhaps if McLaughlin gets elected, he will push for an ordinance requiring all businesses in the county to allow the display of political campaign signs on their property during an election year.

And what did the Silver Companies have to say about McLaughlin's accusation of endorsement?

Judson Honaker, president of Silver Companies commercial division, stated that "it's possible McLaughlin could be a good supervisor, but [Hap] Connors [McLaughlin's opponent] is a 'proven commodity.'"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

stafford county schools slip on a banana peel

Once again a Fredericksburg area school system over-reacts and makes news. Free Banana Man!

 
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

is your sperm bank racist?

Once again we learn about the secret fight to end the ginger race,

"Cryos, a Danish network of international sperm banks and the largest one of its kind, has officially stopped taking sperm from redheaded guys...Cryos director Ole Schou even went on record to state that, unless a woman's partner was a ginger or she had a preference for red hair, he didn't see many people choosing red hair over other hair types. In fact, the only country where the specimens were running off the shelves was Ireland."

No demand for ginger sperm? Looks like we need a good marketing campaign...

Friday, September 16, 2011

chart of the day - era of big government

Yglesias has an excellent post today, but the chart is what I love.



Notice the spike in government spending during each recession? Recessions are one reason why you cannot have a balanced budget amendment. When no one can afford to spend beyond their means - the fed can, will and should. That spending helps correct the downward trend. Now paying down that debt during the good times is a whole other issue...

Oh, and you'll notice that the era of big government ended 30 years ago.

hpv vaccination - a careful decision

Thank you Michele Bachman.

The presidential candidate's mistake about HPV this week provided me with a great program on Thursday's Diane Rehm Show. It will be another six years before my wife and I will have to make a decision on whether or not our oldest daughter will be vaccinated, but after listening to this week's episode, I'm pretty sold on the idea of the vaccine.

Here are a few facts about HPV and its vaccine:

  • Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. 
  • There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. 
  • Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it. 
  • HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners—even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms. 
  • HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. 
  • Each year, about 12,000 women get cervical cancer in the U.S. Almost all of these cancers are HPV-associated. 
  • Ways to lower your risk of exposure to HPV: vaccination, condom use, monogamous relationships and abstinence. 
As in any personal health decision for you and your family, get your facts from doctors not politicians or drug manufacturers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

area 51 - no aliens

I recently finished Annie Jacobsen's Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. I usually steer away from such titles because they tend to end up talking about UFOs and aliens (not the ones from Mexico.) But when I scanned the comments section of Apple's iBook store, I was struck. Jacobsen was getting blasted by all the "aliens are among us" folks. She was really getting hammered.

"This book may have potential," I thought.

I downloaded the preview and ended up buying the ebook. I got what I wanted - a great history of the CIA and the nation's black-opts programs. There is no real way to know how much is accurate or even close to accurate, but I did obtain a great amount of prose about our early nuclear weapons program. (The details made me very uncomfortable, especially the accounts of nuclear "tests" on military "volunteers.") I also got some great first person accounts of the early U2 and A-12 programs. I loved every page.

As a kid I had a brief idea that I would be a fighter pilot until I realized my eye sight would shoot down that plan. (I used to read everything I could get my hands on about Chuck Yeager.) Then I got it in my head that I could design the planes by becoming an aeronautical engineer, but then the whole "math" thing derailed that career path.

I'd check the book out if such things interest you.

"What about the aliens and Roswell stuff," you ask?

Jacobsen presented a whole new account of that incident. Her account comes from a "source" close to the UFO crash that claims the crash did happen and that it was a Soviet aircraft with a genetically mutilated crew. The story goes that Stalin wanted to create a panic in the United States that aliens were attacking so he had these teenagers "aliened" by some Nazi scientists and developed a "flying disk" technology for the craft.

I give her this - it's a new one. I even think I like it better than the usual alien stuff. I'm not on the alien abduction bandwagon. I'm more with Neil Tyson on aliens.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

fighting fire with wi-fi

Via GIZMODO,

"This Wi-Fi ball, courtesy of Intel, has sensors built-in that, if thrown into a burning building, could keep our bravest out of harm's way. Intel showed their fireball off at their IDF Day Zero presentations. It's really simple: the ball is outfitted with gas sensors that detects carbon monoxide, ammonia, and chemicals in the smoky air, as well as the air temperature, and sends it back via Wi-Fi to a server on the fire truck. The signal then gets shot back to the site commander's smartphone, and he or she can advise about the safety of the building."

 

more proof higher ed is not about ed


Yglesias hits one out of the park with help from a report on scholarships by Kay Steiger and Jorge Rivas:

"The issue here isn’t racial discrimination, it’s a symptom of the fact that the incentive structure of American higher education is totally screwy. Schools want to produce two things. One is rich alumni who give them money, and the other is high ratings from US News and World Report. Both goals can be pursued either by investing resources in recruiting better inputs or else by investing resources in doing a better job of teaching. It turns out to be more cost-effective to invest in recruiting better inputs. And since high school seniors from high socioeconomic status families tend to already be better-prepared for college than kids from low-socioeconomic status families, that means that financial aid resources naturally flow to the high-socioeconomic status students."


And you wonder why I don't give you any money when you call me...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

perry death record gets applause

The creepiest part of the Republican Presidential Debate last night was the applause Texas Governor Rick Perry received before and after discussing his record on death penalty cases.

 

James Taranto tries to explain the audiences' un-nerving response, "It seems to us that the crowd's enthusiasm last night was less sanguinary than defiant. The applause and the responses to it reflect a generations-old mutual contempt between the liberal elite and the large majority of the population, which supports the death penalty."

Andrew Sullivan penned a different view, "Any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join."

We all have our issues with the death penalty. My work with my church has revealed statistics that it does not prevent crime and actually costs more than life in prison. My faith is also pretty clear on death as a punishment. But what is a society to do with mass murders? These mentally disturbed people are beyond reform and treatment. Their actions create a simple emotional response of an eye for an eye. It is, to say the least, complicated.

I don't think it should ever be applauded.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the art of flying

The Art of Flying is available on iTunes tomorrow. It will make you feel more human than you have ever felt. Don't miss it.

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

c500 announces 2011 endorsements

The Committee of 500 informed its membership of the organization's 2011 endorsements for Spotsylvania County supervisor candidates tonight.

Those endorsed are:
  • Chancellor - Hap Connors 
  • Courtland - Jerry Logan 
  • Livingston - Raymond Bell 
  • Salem - Don Holmes 
The official public announcement is expected by tomorrow morning. The political action committee is now organizing its membership to work in coordination with the endorsed candidates' campaigns to achieve election or re-election.

Let the games begin!

Monday, September 5, 2011

remember labor day

Today is an extra day off for most of the country. Like Memorial Day, Labor Day is a celebration and remembrance of an important population of our country. Where Memorial Day celebrates the contributions of persons in uniforms, Labor Day celebrates the contributions of persons in work attire.

How it all started (from Wikipedia),

"Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair, which it had been observed to commemorate."

Yes. Striking workers were killed by U.S soldiers and law enforcement. How far we have come. Here are some items that we all get because of the labor movement.

  1. The Weekend 
  2. Better Wage And Income Equality 
  3. The End of Child Labor 
  4. Employer-Based Health Coverage 
  5. The Family And Medical Leave Act
These are just a few and considered the most important. And it should be noted, at the time of this nation's greatest prosperity (following World War II) unions were at their height in membership. During that time income equality was at its lowest. It was not all due to labor's strength, but that strength was a large contributor.

Happy Labor Day.