Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798 - Forbes
The article itself generated sufficient buzz to get picked up over at the Washington Post's blogs where they brought in Adam Rothman, an historian at Georgetown:
"It's a good example that the post-revolutionary generation clearly thought that the national government had a role in subsidizing health care," Rothman says. "That in itself is pretty remarkable and a strong refutation of the basic principles that some Tea Party types offer."
"You could argue that it's precedent for government run health care," Rothman continues. "This defies a lot of stereotypes about limited government in the early republic."
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thanks to the Weigand/Maziarka clique for having once again called attention to West Bend as a bastion of 18th century anti-Enlightenmentism. After the Wisconsin State Journal ran the story on Ms. Weigand Debunking Evolution at the Dane County Fair, the zealots at the Institute for Creation Research picked up the story.
Even crazier, the West Bend Daily News reprinted the ICR's "response" for, you know, informational purposes. Not to stir up controversy and sell more papers. No.
Unfortunately, trees were killed to make the paper this drivel was printed on and, while I do not believe trees have rights, per se, I don't approve of waste.
With my professor's hat on, the ICR once again gets an F for intentionally equivocating on the term, "belief" solely for the purpose of misleading the reader.
"Equivocation" is the use of the same term in two different ways, and it's standard Creationist Three-Card-Monty. The logical trick is pretty simple. They fudge the definition of "belief" in order to make their case seem reasonable.
Some beliefs depend on evidence, and some don't. The first are called inductive inferences, the second are called 'superstitions'. Creationists, and fundamentalists of all sorts (whether Christian, Islamic, or Jewish) need to make the distinction between inductive inferences (also called "science") and superstitions (also called "superstitions") fuzzy because the moment you can see the difference clearly, their arguments evaporate.
For more fact-based reality, do check the National Center for Science Education which, thankfully, keeps an eye on attempts to sneak creationism and a fundamentalist religious view into the public school science curriculum... something the Weigands and Marziarkas are bent on bringing about in contravention of the rule of law.
The original can be found, with footnotes and everything at the ICR site. Here's a chunk of it.
A Wisconsin-based evolutionary botanist said that the booth "is a testament to the power of belief and the difference between belief and science." But his statement is wrong, because it assumes that science does not involve belief, when in fact belief is a fundamental requirement for operational science. Prior to investigation, any scientist must first believe that the world operates according to regular principles, that his or her study results will meaningfully correlate to reality, and that there is such a thing as truthful reality. These beliefs find their foundation only in biblical Christianity.
The assertion that science is separated from belief also wrongly assumes that belief in creation does not involve scientific examination of evidence. This assumption is convenient if a person prefers to ignore the reams of scientific evidence that point to recent, special creation.
The claim that this booth is attempting "to debunk scientific fact" is apparently a shallow slander. Instead, it looks as though Weigand and her sponsors actually promote just the opposite approach: Encouraging people to do better science by interpreting hard evidence using common sense, instead of relying on the dogmatic propaganda that is necessary to prop up evolution's failed paradigm.
The only dogmatic propaganda here is the use of badly translated and politically charged Greek and Hebrew to make the case for importing religious fundamentalism into our publicly funded schools.
A New York Times/CBS News poll shows tea party support down to 20 percent while unfavorable opinions of the group have doubled.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.
Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country. As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF. The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: “We were told that if we refused the international community’s conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North. But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.” (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)
Monday, August 22, 2011
"If you're a moderate Republican in West Bend, you're a liberal," Carlson said.
By the standard's of the Koch brothers devotees in the Common Sense Citizen Krewe, Barry Goldwater would have been considered a socialist.
Friday, August 19, 2011
It is unclear what Perry meant about Texas schools teaching both creationism and evolution, as teaching creationism in public schools is illegal. There have been several attempts to introduce "supplemental materials" into Texas curriculum that would express doubt over evolution, or to advance creationism under the name of "intelligent design." But these efforts have not come to any major fruition.
This is also not to say that communities there will all teach evolution with gusto -- but if teaching creation were done in any official capacity, it would be struck down as an unconstitutional establishment of religion under decades of case law from the Supreme Court and lower federal courts.
Jon Stewart to Fox News: Making the Super-Rich Pay Taxes is "Class Warfare"? No, the War Is on the Poor.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
That the Tea Party is just a way to repackage the religious right has no better proof than Ralph Reed. Reed has taken the tenets of the 1990s Christian Coalition that he directed for the "Faith and Freedom Coalition," which is now a major player at Tea Party events.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
In a strange revelation Thursday, Mother Jones magazine unearthed a mostly forgotten 2002 movie that stars none other than Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann during her days as an education activist, warning Americans about a coming second Holocaust brought on by the U.S. public education system.
An interesting comparison between Rick Perry and our own local military fashionistas at Boots and Sabers.
Why do we need democracy when we have swords, jodhpurs, and God?
Saturday, August 13, 2011
In the real world, of course, labor unions actually agreed to those concessions, yet Walker pressed ahead with his union-busting proposal anyway, which is what prompted the whole battle.
Various efforts to submerge this truth have been central to conservative arguments about Wisconsin throughout this battle. Prominent conservative columnists such as Charles Krauthammer have pretendedthat Walker’s proposals shouldn’t have surprised Democrats, and that Dems subverted the will of the people by resisting them, which is aprofoundly distorted history of what actually took place.
Meanwhile, Scott Walker himself has sought from the beginning to downplay the importance of his union-busting proposal by insisting that he campaigned on it. Politifact decisively debunked that claim, and Walker himself subsequently admitted under questioning that he hadn’t explicitly campaigned on the proposal at all.
The real reason Republicans and conservatives need to continue dissembling about what happened is that poll after poll has shown that the American people sided with public employees in this standoff, and don’t think their bargaining rights should be taken away. It’s fitting that the public face of the national GOP is seeking to elide this inconvenient fact and falsify the history of events in Wisconsin one last time on national television for all to see as this whole affair comes to its conclusion.
Monday, August 08, 2011
Amber Hahn is was a Wisconsin county GOP chair whowent on Fox News not long ago to pose as a “random concerned parent” full of Panic and Outrage over the dangerous “pro-union propaganda” teaching of labor union history in public schools. Then Hahn drove her car around drunk until it crashed while her three children were also riding in the car. That’s a little bit terrifying and hypocritical, you might say! Eh, here is the thing about a “family values” politician, tho: danger to children only exists if it is utterly fictional. Real Danger does not count.
The end result is that Wisconsin’s ranking has risen for places to do business and in June jobs created here accounted for 50 percent of the jobs added in the entire nation. [My italics...] These early results show we are on the right track and can only continue to improve. Quite a stark contrast to our state’s previous tax and spend policies. The Legislature also passed legislation to require a two-thirds super-majority vote to raise income or sales taxes unless a statewide referendum supports the increases. This will ensure that Wisconsin stays on the right fiscal path.
This little meme of disinformation went around pretty quickly, and was debunked pretty quickly as well. Apparently Rep Strachota didn't see that memo....
PolitiFact Wisconsin | Wisconsin Republican Party says more than half the nation's job growth in June came from Wisconsin
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Although, Darling hasn't called her a baby eating Satanist yet. Maybe she's saving that one up for Monday.
John Nichols: Alberta Darling delivers for out-of-state billionaires
As co-chair of Wisconsin’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, Sen. Alberta Darling was charged by Gov. Scott Walker with cobbling together the most anti-public education budget in state history. And Darling delivered, with a plan to slash $800 million in funding for public schools across Wisconsin while scheming to shift tens of millions from the state treasury into the accounts of private schools.
Darling was not doing just the governor’s bidding, however.
She was delivering for the American Federation for Children, the powerful national network of billionaire campaign contributors that has been pouring millions into school privatization projects in numerous states.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
And remember, not to decide, is to decide.
Stop Koch. Stop Walker. Save Wisconsin! - YouTube
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
The dispute began when the school board denied the student group official status — even though the club had been meeting unofficially for years — at its May 9 meeting. Official recognition allows a club to be in the yearbook, raise money on campus, post information in the schools and use the schools’ equipment and resources.
The lawsuit filed against the board stated the board’s action was in violation of the Equal Access Act and the First Amendment. After the lawsuit was filed, the board voted to rescind its previous vote and recognize the group if the lawsuit was dropped.
“In litigation the losers don’t get to dictate the terms of the lawsuit,” Fincke said.
In a news release, Fincke wrote it was necessary for the student group to “have long-term protection” due to the views of some board members and religious community leaders.
Monday, August 01, 2011
GE Moves 115-Year-Old X-Ray Unit’s Base to China to Tap Growth