Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Thursday, October 23, 2014

hate comments

Jaclyn Glenn, an outspoken atheist, gets a lot of hate mail.  Much of it is from Christians, and it can be some of the vilest shit around.  There is something just a little incongruous about a "good Christian" cursing out someone for not believing.

I have sent a lot of comments to a lot of different preachers and Christians but I have NEVER stooped to such vile language. Logic and reason will get you further, with most people, that is.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rush is the biggest liar

What does it say about our country when the radio personality (Rush Limbaugh) that is shown to lie more often than any other media figure or network gets paid more money than any other figure?

Apparently, lying gets rewarded in this culture. Big time. Politicians take note.

Pew study finds Rush Limbaugh least trustworthy news source

A new survey from Pew Research finds that Rush Limbaugh is America’s least-trusted news source. And who does America trust most?
CNN.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the Pew poll say they don’t trust Limbaugh, a bombastic conservative radio voice. Fox News follows closely with 37 percent saying they don’t trust the network. Glenn Beck ranks third, with 24 percent of respondents saying they distrust Beck.
The Pew survey was conducted March 19-April 29.
The five major news networks top the trust spectrum, with 54 percent of respondents saying they trust CNN, 50 percent saying they trust ABC and NBC, 46 percent saying they trust CBS and 44 percent saying they trust Fox News.
Forty-four percent of respondents say they get their news from CNN.
PunditFact is tracking the accuracy of claims made on the five major networks using our network scorecards. By that measure, 61 percent of the claims fact-checked on Fox News have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, the most among any of the major networks.
As for the rest:
• 45 percent of the claims made on NBC and MSNBC rate Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire;
• 38 percent of the claims made on CBS rate Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire;
• 36 percent of the claims made on ABC rate Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire;
• 22 percent of the claims made on CNN rate Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.
For the record, 82 percent of the claims we've checked from Limbaugh have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

VIN look-up

If you go here, you can see if you car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) has any type of recall for it outstanding.  You are supposed to get a letter when there is a recall of your vehicle, but those letters don't always get to you.

My new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has no recall pending, but when I tried to input the VIN to our other car, a 2008 smart ForTwo, I got this message:

VIN recalls look-up, other functions 

temporarily unavailable 

NHTSA is experiencing intermittent network issues that are making some functions on SaferCar.gov temporarily unavailable. These include our recall search by the VIN look-up tool, searching for complaints and recalls, and filing a complaint. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to try back later.

Monday, October 20, 2014

VOTE!!

Monday, October 20 is the first day of Early Voting in Texas. We had people camping out in Texas on Sunday night to be first in line to vote. Most all of them were Democrats. 

Somewhat surprisingly, the Texas Neanderthals (aka the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature) did not try to curtail Early Voting in Texas. Instead, they passed the most restrictive Voter ID law in the nation, only days after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. 

The number of actual Voter Fraud cases across the country are in the single digits. All these attempts to curtail nonexistent Voter Fraud are transparent attempts to restrict the number of people voting.

The more voters, the more Democrats get elected. It's that simple. And so Republicans try to restrict the number of voters by Voter ID laws, curtailing Early Voting, reducing the number of polling places, etc etc. If they were capable of shame, they would be ashamed.

Eventually, enough of the old white guys will die off and this country will turn a darker shade. This will be a good thing. If we're lucky, religion will die off at the same time, but I'm afraid that superstition will hang around for many more years to come.

Tom Toles put it simply recently.


BTW, here are the acceptable forms of ID in Texas. Bring it to the polls, until we can vote out these bigots!

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Because I Got High

A great video from Afroman!


I have only one request of President Obama in his last two years in office: get marijuana reclassified from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II or III. 

OK, two requests: #2, get MAD about something! But then again, if he's getting high, he's unlikely to get mad. Eh, never mind!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekly Address - Ebola

President Obama devotes this week's "Weekly Address" to Ebola.  It's worth listening to. 

It is disgusting, to say the least, to see members of the GOP using Ebola to scare people into voting against the Democrats. There is simply no depth they will not plumb to take political office.  And FOX, geez, anything to whip up the people against Obama. Any. Thing.

Cut funds 
Blame Obama 
Rinse and
Repeat



Today, I want to take a few minutes to speak with you-directly and clearly-about Ebola: what we're doing about it, and what you need to know. Because meeting a public health challenge like this isn't just a job for government. All of us-citizens, leaders, the media-have a responsibility and a role to play. This is a serious disease, but we can't give in to hysteria or fear-because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. We have to be guided by the science. We have to remember the basic facts. 

First, what we're seeing now is not an "outbreak" or an "epidemic" of Ebola in America. We're a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we've seen three cases of Ebola diagnosed here-the man who contracted the disease in Liberia, came here and sadly died; the two courageous nurses who were infected while they were treating him. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them, and we're doing everything we can to give them the best care possible. Now, even one infection is too many. At the same time, we have to keep this in perspective. As our public health experts point out, every year thousands of Americans die from the flu. 

Second, Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch. It's not transmitted through the air like the flu. You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus. The only way that a person can contract the disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is already showing symptoms. I've met and hugged some of the doctors and nurses who've treated Ebola patients. I've met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office. And I'm fine. 

Third, we know how to fight this disease. We know the protocols. And we know that when they're followed, they work. So far, five Americans who got infected with Ebola in West Africa have been brought back to the United States-and all five have been treated safely, without infecting healthcare workers. 

And this week, at my direction, we're stepping up our efforts. Additional CDC personnel are on the scene in Dallas and Cleveland. We're working quickly to track and monitor anyone who may have been in close contact with someone showing symptoms. We're sharing lessons learned so other hospitals don't repeat the mistakes that happened in Dallas. The CDC's new Ebola rapid response teams will deploy quickly to help hospitals implement the right protocols. New screening measures are now in place at airports that receive nearly all passengers arriving from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. And we'll continue to constantly review our measures, and update them as needed, to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep Americans safe. 

Finally, we can't just cut ourselves off from West Africa, where this disease is raging. Our medical experts tell us that the best way to stop this disease is to stop it at its source-before it spreads even wider and becomes even more difficult to contain. Trying to seal off an entire region of the world-if that were even possible-could actually make the situation worse. It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth. Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track. 

So the United States will continue to help lead the global response in West Africa. Because if we want to protect Americans from Ebola here at home, we have to end it over there. And as our civilian and military personnel serve in the region, their safety and health will remain a top priority. 

As I've said before, fighting this disease will take time. Before this is over, we may see more isolated cases here in America. But we know how to wage this fight. And if we take the steps that are necessary, if we're guided by the science - the facts, not fear - (not FOX) then I am absolutely confident that we can prevent a serious outbreak here in the United States, and we can continue to lead the world in this urgent effort.


Friday, October 17, 2014

History 2

As a sort of addendum to yesterday's post about "10 Things You Don't Know", today is a note about the History 2 TV channel ("H2").


 
H2 is owned by A&E Networks, which is a joint venture between Hearst and ABC/Disney. Other networks in the stable are A&E, Lifetime, LMN, fyi, The History Channel (now "History"). 

The History International channel ("HI") was launched in 1996.  In 2011, they re-branded into History 2. 

One thing I like about H2 is that they say they will NOT have any reality TV shows.  Yea!  The History channel has some popular reality TV shows like "American Pickers," "Pawn Stars," "Swamp People," and "Ice Road Truckers." What those show have to do with "history" is rather hard to say.

Lately we've been watching episodes of Henry Rollins' "10 Things You Don't Know," now in it's third season, and "How the States Got Their Shapes."


H2 also has some science-based series, such as "Ancient Impossible" and "Ancient Discoveries."


They also veer into pseudo-science now and then with series like, "Ancient Aliens," "UFO Hunters," and "Haunted History." It's up to the viewer to discern what's what, so bring your skeptical mind and critical thinking skills. This is actually some TV worth watching.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 Things

The full name of the TV show is "10 Things You Don't Know About," and you may not know about the show at all, like me, until recently. Hosted (and written, I think) by Henry Rollins, they're really good. Yes, that Henry Rollins.

Official PR: 



In 10 THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT, punk rock icon Henry Rollins uncovers crazy new twists and tidbits behind the historical tales, figures and places you only thought you knew. He’s taking a break from writing and performing to focus on his other passion—history.  Henry wants to see the odd, the fascinating and the shocking—and he’s taking viewers on a journey into the past unlike any other.

He’ll encounter wild personalities, national treasures, and provocative details about some of America’s most fascinating subjects.  Whether he’s analyzing centuries-old documents at the National Archives, exploring the inside of a dead gangster’s speakeasy or finding out what that strange statue on a D.C. street corner is—he’s on a mission to discover 10 Things that the casual history fan needs to know.


The show is on the History 2 channel - H2 for short - and is in it's 3rd season. They've made about 25 episodes so far, and there's an episode guide here.  

The current season is available on their website so you can watch on your computer or iPad, etc, provided you have a broadband internet connection, of course. 

We've caught three episodes this past week, which I linked to below.  

The Almighty Dollar

Watch Full Episode



Civil Rights

Watch Full Episode


Bravo, Henry!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Katherine Hayhoe


And on another point along the spectrum of religious thought, we have people like Katherine Hayhoe, a scientist and evangelical Christian that accepts the reality of climate change. She, unlike most evangelical Christians, is willing to undertake the actions needed to convert to a renewable energy future. 

I feel strange saying it, but THIS type of Christian we need more of. Think of science as yet another gift from God. Hey, why not?  And I'd bet she would even prefer to keep religion out of the government, but that topic didn't come up during this interview. 

Bill Moyers is signing off after this season for good, dammit. I think Bill is telling us that there are indeed some Christians that are trying to remain relevant and willing to work with scientists and even atheists to build a better future.

Fewer crazies and more like Heyhoe would be helpful.




from Bill Moyers.com

Climate Change — Faith and Fact

The latest in a string of dire reports on climate change came this week from the United Nations’ meteorological advisory body, which said that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, due to a “surge” in carbon dioxide, prompting fears of an accelerated warming of the planet.

A majority of Americans think global warming is real and that human activity’s a factor, believing in the science behind reports on climate change. But some two-thirds of white evangelical Christians aren’t convinced.

In the face of those who use religion to deny the worldwide crisis of climate change, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, believes that her faith is compatible with science. This week she speaks to Bill about ending the gridlock between politics, science and faith in order to find solutions to the widespread threats associated with global warming.

“…The New Testament talks about how faith is the evidence of things not seen,” says Hayhoe, who was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. “By definition, science is the evidence of things that are seen, that can be observed, that are quantifiable. And so that’s why I see faith and science as two sides of the same coin.”


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