December 9th, 2010

Godzilla, default

A modest question:

Given that the Southern Baptist Convention finally disavowed white supremacy in 1995, what would have happened if the chaplains from that denomination had raised this kind of stink back in 1948? After all it was against their spiritual beliefs which at the time stated God made the white man superior to the black man. I also wonder how long they would have had their jobs if they'd tried that kind of blackmail then. Behavior like this is one reason that I have no respect for people who prefer to be allowed to hate over doing their own jobs and fulfilling their own oaths to their country.

In my opinion this behavior is utterly and totally reprehensible and amounts to an attempt by the clerics to blackmail the government and their troops.

House Democrats reject White House Deal

A non-binding voice vote at the Democratic caucus rejects the White House compromise plan that was worked out with key Republicans in the Senate this week. House Democrats were incensed especially over the estate tax, as well as the way the negotiations were handled. Paul Krugman has suggested that the White House has also screwed up by having all the benefits front-end loaded (e.g. unemployment benefits), and will run out a full year before the 2012 elections, causing the economy to slow down significantly just in time for Republicans to blame the President. House Democratic caucus members are drafting new proposals for the White House to counter-offer, no reaction yet from the President.

Appearing on Fox News yesterday, Representative Anthony Weiner (my Rep, YAY!), explained House Democratic frustration with the current compromise and offered his analysis especially on the estate tax. Rep Weiner is pretty deft on his feet, refusing to be badgered.

UPDATE 2 PM EST: Speaker of the House Pelosi will not hold a floor vote on the compromise.

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Sri Yantra

Wikileaks....Shell and Nigeria.

At the risk of boring people rigid....

Now, I'm not necessarily a 'fan' of Wikileaks and Julian Assange: but as far as I'm concerned the more that comes out confirming this sort of stuff, the more I'm prepared to believe that Assange and Wikileaks are doing a good thing. Now please note, the Wikileaks release to the Guardian newspaper comes some four days after the Independent article, and seems to confirm some of the background to the Independent article, which apparently had nothing to do with the Wikileaks release of the US embassy cables.

One amongst us whom I admire a fair amount (no names, no pack-drill underlankers ) has opined that Assange is nothing more than a troll of a puffed-up and turbocharged variety. However, I feel when stuff like this comes out, Assange and Wikileaks have gone a long way towards justifying their position; and, troll(s) or otherwise, they are providing a confirmatory information service many of us find useful to aiding our understanding of the world; ie, Journalism.

But that's just my opinion. I'm sure you all have your own, which you'd be perfectly happy to share.

Motherless Sons of Micky

Scientists have used stem cell technology to create mice using the genetic material from two male mice.

I can't say I'm really surprised that this happened. Given what we know about stem cells these days it was only a matter of time. Of course, since this means same sex couples could one day have children who are genetically theirs and that these kids would be able to reproduce normally then it's only a matter of time before there is an EPIC flip out over this from fundamentalists.

Personally, I'm all for this and anything else to do with stem cells. Mostly because I don't believe that all the junk you see in sci-fi stories about the dangers of genetic engineering will ever come to pass.
  • rasilio

So, who do you think launched a cybermissle at Iran?

For any not familiar with the story...

It appears that some government or groups of government spent about a year developing the most sophisticated computer virus ever developed, which which was specifically targeted at only 2 systems in the entire world and capable of almost completely shutting them down. Which facilities? Those would be Iran's Nuclear Reactor and it's uranium enrichment facility.

Somebody had a plan to stop them from ever getting a nuke or at least seriously delaying the effort and they implemented it more than a year ago and now the Iranians are scrambling to figure out how to fix their systems (largely unsuccessfully)

So who did it and who did they tell about it?

Obvious candidates are The US, China, Russia, and Israel but there are a few other darkhorse candidates (India, Germany, England, maybe France).

Second question, obviously a work like this can seriously hamper the Iranian efforts but eventually it will be eradicated and their progress will continue, do you think that whoever is behind this has a plan B for when that happens?
Quaero togam pacem.
  • mahnmut

What Ails America?

There have been all sorts of polls about American politics (including here), but none of them has addressed the "bigger picture". So I'm now asking: What Ails America? The answers will probably be far more diverse and complex than the recent "what's ailing Russia" poll, I'm sure (it was the Chechens, we get it. Oh wait...). After all, America Iz Da Bestest, therefore morst diverse, complex, and most fascinating place on Earth, no? Besides, I'm sure you guys have much to say on the matter, being the Americacentrics that you are. ;-)

So what's ailing America? (Please use both polls as the slots weren't enough).

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Of course there's probably more than just one thing ailing America, so we could vote for several things at a time.
Godzilla, default

Compassionate conservatism at its finest:

In my opinion this is what the real face of "fiscal conservatism" is and very little I've seen of the behavior of the Republican Party over the last few years would convince me otherwise. From arguing that crimes deemed worthy of capital punishment in post-WWII war crimes trials are not crimes, to declaring themselves with a straight face committed simultaneously to balancing budgets, hoodoo economics, and fighting two wars, to defending grossly unconstitutional policies that render Separation of Powers meaningless, to arguing not only contrary to all fact that people like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were Marxist-Leninists and simultaneously that UHC is equal to the Gulag, and of course that God loves bullying gay teenagers there is this, of which I shall provide both the link and an excerpt.

I must say that if this is what God is telling these people to do, they must be worshiping Tetzcatlipoca instead of the Christian God who specified concern for the least of these and that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God:

Republicans Block U.S. Health Aid for 9/11 Workers

WASHINGTON — Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation on Thursday that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and residents of New York City who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke from ground zero.

The 9/11 health bill, a version of which was approved by the House of Representatives in September, is among a handful of initiatives that Senate Democrats had been hoping to approve this year before the close of the 111th Congress. Supporters believe this is their last real opportunity to have the bill passed.

The Senate action created huge uncertainty over the future of the bill. Its proponents were working on Thursday to have the legislation inserted into a large tax-cut bill that Republicans and Democrats are trying to pass before Congress ends it current session later this month.

But whether that happens is in part up to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. The bill’s backers are counting on Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a top Reid deputy and a supporter of the bill, to persuade Mr. Reid to go along with that idea.

Such a move might complicate passage of the tax package, which includes another provision that Democrats, including President Obama, sought in return for supporting tax cuts Republicans wanted: an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans


And one more thing-so much for all that garbage about how 9/11's site is a sacred ground to be cared for as a new religious place of pilgrimage. Claim that with a straight face and then refuse to pay health aid for the surviving workers. How positively......compassionately conservative.