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

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

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

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.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Liars for Jesus

The Religious Right just loves to tout how religious this nation's Founding Father's were, and they just love to twist history to fit their narrative.  I guess they can't really help it. They've been dealing in lies for so long it becomes reflexive. When your whole foundation and reason for being is built on a lie, I guess we should expect a series of lies to prop up the farce.

Chris Rodda got tired of refuting garbage and lies on the internet about the history of our country, so she decided to write a book.  In these pages, you will find ammunition (aka the truth) with which to refute their bullshit, if you want to.

Chris was kind enough to allow multiple excerpts from her book to be published free online.  Take a look. (All the chapter headings below are clickable.)

The Religious Rights Alternate Version of American History - Volume I.

Read the Foreword, Introduction, and first few pages of each chapter:

Foreword by Rev. William N. Esborn
About the author: Chris Rodda is someone who never intended to be a writer, but got pissed off enough at the rampant Christian nationalist revisionism of American history that she decided to write a book about it, which somehow led to her "day job" as Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. She is also a blogger on the Huffington Post and Talk2Action, writing about historical revisionism, religious issues in the military, and whatever else she feels like writing about.

Go to the website here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Republican cuts kill

The Democrats should make a number of ads like this, highlighting what happens when we cut, cut, cut budgets.  We can't possibly ask the millionaires and billionaires to chip in a little more tax money, now can we?  Why, that would be far too ... logical.

‘Republican Cuts Kill,’ which was produced by the Agenda Project Action Fund, mixes disturbing footage of the Ebola outbreak—including images of body bags, hazmat suits, and corpses—with clips of Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Rand Paul, and Republicans in some of the most competitive races around the country demanding more spending cuts. The demand for cuts is juxtaposed against testimony from top CDC and NIH officials detailing how budget cuts substantially hampered their ability to address the crisis.

The Daily Puppy

Black Collar Crime


National Weather Outlook