Thursday, August 31, 2006

My hope springs eternal

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.
And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes?
In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?
The confusion we -- as its citizens— must now address, is stark and forbidding.
But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart — that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.
The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.
And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”
As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.
This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.
Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.
But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: “confused” or “immoral.”
Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.
“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”
And so good night, and good luck.

From Keith Olberman's countdown last night. You can see it from crooks and liars and the link goes to the script. It is heartening in a way that I feel has been sorely lacking. Possibly, finally we have a national voice calling out that the emperor has no clothes on.

Two years later


Two masterpieces by artist Edvard Munch have been recovered two years after they were stolen from an Oslo museum.

Yay!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bastards

"BOSTON - The level of nicotine found in U.S. cigarettes has risen about 10 percent in the past six years, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Health"

Please Joss, say it ain't so!

"Katherine McPhee, last season's 'American Idol' runner-up, is reportedly being considered for a film version of 'Wonder Woman.'
The screenplay for the Joss Whedon film is expected to be finished by the end of 2006, the New York Post reported Wednesday. "

Too many men could mean more violence

"Although healthcare for women is generally improving, these advances have been offset by a huge increase in the use of sex-selective abortion, and there are now an estimated 80 million missing females in India and China alone, says Hesketh.
When there is a shortage of women, the women can 'marry up' and inevitably the least desirable men have no marriage prospects, according to the study published in the published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Monday, August 28, 2006

What we need?

"Orb of Influence
Ages are believed by some to affect mankind. For Aquarius (also called 'the Water bearer'), it is reported we have already been feeling influences - titled Orb of Influence (the last ten degrees backwards of the Age of Pisces) - in the accelerated individual, social, cultural, scientific and technological development and globalization through the 20th century. This view is consistent with the popular notion of the New Age movement that regards current times as the 'dawning of the Aquarian Age'.
On the other hand, the Aquarian Age is thought to bring with it an era of universal brotherhood rooted in reason where it will be possible to solve social problems in a manner equitable to all and with greater opportunity for intellectual and spiritual improvement, since Aquarius is an airy, scientific, and intellectual sign and its ruler planet, Uranus, is associated with intuition (knowledge above reason) and direct perceptions of the heart; and on the mundane level it rules electricity and technology. It is generally described by astrologers that in the Age of Aquarius there will be a blending of religion and science to such a degree that a religious science and a scientific religion will be formed.
Eastern astrology associates the Age of Pisces with the yin; i.e., spirituality and intuition. Aquarius, on the other hand represents the yang, with its emphasis on rationality and high technology."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Study: Teacher's gender affects learning - Yahoo! News

"WASHINGTON - For all the differences between the sexes, here's one that might stir up debate in the teacher's lounge: Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women."

For example, with a female teacher, boys were more likely to be seen as disruptive. Girls were less likely to be considered inattentive or disorderly.
In a class taught by a man, girls were more likely to say the subject was not useful for their future. They were less likely to look forward to the class or to ask questions.

Daily Kos: How a Housing Slowdown Will Cause a Recession: UPDATE

"More specifically, Witter's expectations are colored by rather disturbing data:
� 32.6% of new mortgages and home-equity loans in 2005 were interest only, up from 0.6% in 2000;
� 43% of first-time home buyers in 2005 put no money down;
� 15.2% of 2005 buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth (negative equity);
� 10% of all home owners with mortgages have no equity in their homes (zero equity);
� $2.7 trillion dollars in loans will adjust to higher rates in 2006 and 2007."

AIDS Crisis Shapes Bishop's Stance

"'You should come up with a position which makes sense and which is in sync with the values we espouse, a nonjudgmental God and the infinite worth of a human being,' Dowling said. 'Moral injunctions do not help people. I think all this calls for a rethink and the acceptance of an authentic pro-life stance. The issue becomes: How do you protect life in this pandemic?'
He said it was important for the credibility of the church to be there for everyone. 'Once it is possible in a moral principle to make room to save lives,' he said, 'my position extends to women and girl children who are subject to all kinds of abuse.'
'Abstinence is fine as an ideal, but it does not work in all circumstances,' he added. 'We have to try a more holistic approach, a theology and possibility for people to encounter God right within their situation.'"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Weddings and fear at Pandagon

That they often don’t speak up until the women have worn themselves out worrying is a great example of how those with power will relinquish it reluctantly. Wicoff’s husband sounds like a good guy generallly but even he was unwillling to propose for six whole months after an episode she bravely describes that ended with her sobbing and sobbing with frustration because while she and he were both sure they would get married, he just wouldn’t ask. The power of being able to determine when this would happen was so intoxicating that even a good man was unable to let go of it, even though he was humiliating the woman he loved. Don’t underestimate the allure of power, in other words.
Apparently, this scene with the woman sobbing and begging for a relief to the end of her anxious wait was played out with the vast majority of women Wicoff interviewed. The humiliation of this scene is such that one eagerly seeks easy solutions to relieve women of it, but as Wicoff explains eloquently how it ends up being so unavoidable for most women who get married or want to. Perhaps women could do the asking? That isn’t an answer, because in our society as it is, if a woman asks she’s seen as desperate. And, as Wicoff notes, feminism has even been co-opted to keep women from pressing for marriage. Her husband, for instance, responded to her pressure for a proposal by accusing her of not being feminist enough and being clingy. Every avenue a woman seeks for relief presents another humiliation. According to Wicoff’s interviews, many if not most of the women ended up issuing a veiled ultimatium in order to get relief from the anxious wait, were forced to make it clear to their husbands that if these men didn’t give up the power they enjoyed to keep women anxiously waiting, the women would play their final card and leave the relationship.

Weddings and marriage have been the topic of a lot of conversation on my trip this week and once again Amanda kicks ass at walking through why the whole thing is so deeply unsettling. The whole post is great.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

fabulous

"The residents just thought it was a pretty weed and so they decided to nurture it,' department spokeswoman Susan Quayle told Reuters by telephone."

Best quote yet

"It's still a dangerous situation because you still have fire and you still have explosives and the two don't mix very well,' said Ed Baswell, a spokesman for the Bossier Parish Sheriff's office.'"

I mean really if you think about it they mix very well:)

Gawker CliffsNotes: "Don't Marry Career Women" - Gawker

"We realize that many of you lead busy lives; some of you are so busy, in fact, that you probably lack the time to read Forbes' 'Stay Away From the Smart Bitches' piece. In that spirit, we've put together a brief summary of the article, based entirely on its slideshow. It actually comes off as a miraculous fairy tale for adults, complete with suitable moral. After the jump, the condensed version of why you shouldn't marry those ball-busting, cash-making whores."

Regendered forbes article

"Gals: A word of advice. Marry pretty men or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don�t marry a man with a career.
Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional men are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that men�even those with a �feminist� outlook�are happier when their wife is the primary breadwinner."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Interviewed on the Today show

"Buchanan's book is filled with controversial statements about the threat of immigration, including a claim that the United States must keep 'Americans of European descent' from becoming the 'minority' in order to 'survive.' But rather than challenging Buchanan on the contents of his book, Gregory allowed Buchanan to repeat his theories that President Bush's immigration policy 'will lose the American Southwest to Mexico linguistically, ethnically, [and] culturally' and 'that [the southwest] part of America is moving back to Mexico, from whom we took it in 1848.'"

Racism is now acceptle and mainstream? I thought we liked these type of folks hidden and out of the way?

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia

"OLYMPIA, Washington - A fierce group of raccoons has killed 10 cats, attacked a small dog and bitten at least one pet owner who had to get rabies shots, residents of Olympia say. "

Are the animals catching on?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

friggin incredible

"As I discussed in 'Zombie debt is hard to kill,' there is now a booming market in the pursuit of debts so ancient that they used to be considered uncollectible. This year a whopping $110 billion of such debt is expected to be sold to collection agencies, up from virtually nothing 10 years ago.
Because the old liabilities cost collectors as little as 25 cents for each $100 in face value, companies can make a profit if they can get debtors to repay even a tiny fraction. Along the way, some collectors realized they also could squeeze money from people who didn't even owe it.
Some consumers pay because their finances are so disorganized they don't realize the debt isn't theirs. Others are coerced into paying by illegal threats of lawsuits or ruined credit. Some, like Alappat, pay rather than risk losing a desired loan."

Because people aren't bad off enough?

can i have a pair for Christmas?

"The whole Armor of God Pajama set will help your children to depend on God to protect them from their fears, doubts, and uncertainties at night so their sleep can be restful and peaceful."

Study finds standard "obesity" test badly flawed

Body Mass Index, invented by Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet between 1830 and 1850, is a measure of body fat calculated from height and weight.
A figure of less than 18.5 is considered underweight, while from 18.5 to 24.9 is normal, 25 to 29.9 is overweight and anything over 30 is categorized as obese.
Intended as a broad indicator of general health, it has become a standard diagnostic tool of heart disease risk.
Maria Grazia Franzosi from the Instituto Mario Negri in Milan, writing in the same issue of the Lancet, noted that a 52-country study comparing four different tests -- BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, waist measure and hip measure -- found that waist-to-hip was the best predictor of heart attack risk.
"BMI can definitely be left aside as a clinical and epidemiological measure of cardiovascular risk," she said.


Its crap like this that makes trying to figure out how to be healthy so annoying. I understand BMI being easy for anyone to calculate, but given that it isn't predictive of what it is supposed to predict, why not add a disclaimer. Granted, maybe if I read all the way through eDiets or any of the other ones I would find a disclaimer, but I would prefer this understanding to be much more front and center.

Monday, August 21, 2006

so cool

"'It appears that we've seen the birth of an ocean basin.' "

what if its true!

"'What we have developed is a way to construct magnetic fields so that when you travel round the magnetic fields, starting and stopping at the same position, you have gained energy,' McCarthy said.
'The energy isn't being converted from any other source such as the energy within the magnet. It's literally created. Once the technology operates it provides a constant stream of clean energy,' he told Ireland's RTE radio."

no comment necessary

"More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams"

well said

"It's not the program's sexuality that bothers me but the fact that, in a country rife with vestigial puritanism, it views sexuality through a leering lens. Continental Europeans see far more nudity on their televisions and in their daily lives than we do. They don't bat an eye because, you know, human bodies. We all have them. Ah, but America. Marked by repression on the one hand (magazines condemned for cover images of breast-feeding babies and nude expectant mothers) and masturbatory excess on the other ('Girls Gone Wild' and any men's magazine that isn't GQ or Esquire), we are forever looping between scolding and ogling. We are never at peace."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

it had to work both ways

"NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian businessman born with two penises wants one of them removed surgically as he wants to marry and lead a normal sexual life, a newspaper report said Saturday. "

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Go Grandma!

This happened in Laura's neighborhood. It's a terrible story, but a happy ending and a hilarious quote (below). And yes, they ended up catching the guy- yay!


A few years back, the mother-daughter team took a self-defense class. In an instant, everything Miller learned came back to her.

"They tell you to scream and to try and pop them in the nose, but I couldn't get my hand up there," said Miller

She also said she thinks that her trip to the beauty parlor may have helped.

"I said it was so fuzzy, with all these curls, that's what helped my head when he was banging it against the bed," she said.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blog updates

Hello all,

Just a little housecleaning. I changed comments to a pop up window and also you no longer have to put in that annoying word verification thing. Everyone's comments should immediately publish now. Hope that helps.

Actually, hell is other people

"Hard as I find it to navigate friendship, I'm lucky to have so many people I can call friends. But what about those who don't? What about those with only two confidantes, a couple of close friends? I don't see why that should be an indication that we're more socially isolated -- for some people, voluntary loneliness isn't so lonely after all. As Daniel Nester's mother always told him, 'If you find one friend in your life, you're lucky.' "

I'm working from home today due to my project mates infecting me with their colds. As I sit in seemingly forever in a room with people I won't know six months from now, the nature of friendship is being brought into particularly sharp focus. I definitely have more than one friend in life and am glad I can be considered lucky:)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

excellent smackdown of shumley

This is the commentary from just one of the blogs i read. I would lose to see how this is being reacted to in general in the blogosphere.

Women in Top Ranks Pull Up the Pay of Others

"MONTREAL -- American women earn substantially more money and narrow the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their workplaces reach the ranks of senior management, according to a new national study presented here."

With so much discussion about the death of feminism, I am always heartened by data based evidence of the positive impact of women having more power.

Monday, August 14, 2006

mystical tats

"I believe this same problem comes up when men witness childbirth up close. There are certain poses in which a husband should not see his wife. By all means, be there for the entire labor, as I have been for the births of each of my eight children. But I strongly agree with the advice of the ancient rabbis that husbands should not be staring at the actual delivery. That is just too erotic a part of a wife's anatomy for it to become a mere birth canal."


Shout out to Jess on the title for the best comment on my blog ever!

Seriously, at what point do we move?

"Among the factors contributing to America's low score are poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians, the researchers say.
"American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close," said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University."

At what point does this country become unrecognizable?

PepsiCo names new female CEO

"NEW YORK - PepsiCo Inc. said Monday that Chief Financial Officer Indra K. Nooyi will replace Steven Reinemund as chief executive officer of the soft-drink and snacks company, making her the No. 2 female CEO in the Fortune 500"

Yay!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Postpartum Depression Hits Dads, Too and oh yeah its all your fault!

"That can happen 'if the mother is very, very controlling and wants the baby all to herself,' Coleman said. 'Also, fathers can experience frustration, sexual and emotional, if they forget to remember that
the wife is not interested in sex at that time. If the wife is very motherly and maternal, he might feel kind of useless, on the periphery.'"

Seriously how is it the women are so powerful? Isn't it amazing what we control? fucktards.

A Nation of Wimps

"There is in these studies a lesson for all parents. Those who allow their kids to find a way to deal with life's day-to-day stresses by themselves are helping them develop resilience and coping strategies. 'Children need to be gently encouraged to take risks and learn that nothing terrible happens,' says Michael Liebowitz, clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and head of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute. 'They need gradual exposure to find that the world is not dangerous. Having overprotective parents is a risk factor for anxiety disorders because children do not have opportunities to master their innate shyness and become more comfortable in the world.' They never learn to dampen the pathways from perception to alarm reaction."

Normally I think the parenting articles on MSN are a whole hot of hooey, but I would have to say Ithink this one is right on.

This seems concerning.....

Aug. 7, 2006 As the longtime head of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins is one of America's most visible scientists. He holds impeccable scientific credentials -- a medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in physics -- and has established a distinguished track record as a gene hunter. He's also an evangelical Christian, someone who has no qualms about professing his belief in miracles or seeing God's hand behind all of creation. The cover of his new book illustrates this unusual mixture: The book's title, 'The Language of God,' is superimposed on a drawing of the double helix. 'The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome,' he writes. 'He can be worshiped in the cathedral or in the laboratory.' "

Such a random picture.

Makes me grin every time I see it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

people who shouldn't reproduce

"'I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine,' one woman from Kansas wrote in reaction to the picture in Babytalk, a free magazine that caters to young mothers. 'I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table.'"

Honey, if your husband is uncomfortable with a baby feeding, do you really want to have children with him?

Heat converts Bush ally Robertson on global warming

Temperatures have soared to near record levels in some eastern regions and Robertson said that was "the most convincing evidence I've seen on global warming in a long time."

The funny thing is, these high temps are not evidence of global warming at all (record-breaking highs for 10-20 years in a row would be). But hey, we'll take what we can get.

Coach Accused of Being a Pimp

"A police officer in Maryland heard a surprising story when he found a 15-year-old girl and an adult male engaged in a sex act at 3 a.m. in a car in Takoma Park: She was a prostitute, the girl said, and her pimp was a coach at a high school in Prince George's County."