Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston




CORRECTION! Thank you, KEN VANDERZANDEN for putting this into a poster!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Science Sunday into Monday

Well here you go.  A man who had to have had many biology classes in order to earn his M.D. degree actually said this:

Possible Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested over the weekend that religion was necessary for testing scientific theories because the science could be “propaganda.”

Here's his quote:

"I find, a very good measure of correlation between my religious beliefs and my scientific beliefs — people say, how can you be a scientist, how can you be a surgeon if you don’t believe in certain things?” he continued. “Maybe those things aren’t scientific. Maybe it’s just propaganda.”

Hmmmm.  Interesting.  Biology could be propaganda? 

I wouldn't let this man near anyone in my family.  He's nuts.

Also, this guy.  One of my heroes.  No.  I guess I shouldn't say heroes.  That demeans him.  He was a scientist who respected rationality and who expected us to accept rationality over mysticism.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Senator With The Snowball

From Karoli @Crooks and Liars:

This is just too awesome not to publish in its entirety.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) enlightens the Republican anti-science, grandstanding "Senator With A Snowball" from Oklahoma, James Inhofe:

After Senator James Inhofe trolled the entire Senate with his snowball on Thursday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse stepped up to the mic with his fact snowplow to clear away the mess. 

So much win. Here's the transcript: 

 WHITEHOUSE: I'd just like to complete my remarks with regard to the Senator from Oklahoma and his snowball. I'd like to ask unanimous consent that I show the Earth Now website on the iPad device that I have. And if you go to Earth Now it's actually quite easy to load, and you can see how that polar vortex measurably brings the cold air down to New England where we are right now. 

 And this is produced by NASA. These are pretty serious people. So you can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball. 

The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, who is the head of the Pacific Command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific. He's a career miilitary officer and he's deadly serious. You can either believe the United States Navy, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball. 

The religious and faith groups are very clear on this, by and large. I would particularly salute the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has made a very, very clear and strong statements and we are going to hear more from Pope Francis about this when he releases his encyclical and when he speaks to the Joint Session of Congress on September 24th. And I think that it will be quite clear that you can believe the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball. 

In corporate America, there is an immense array of major, significant, intelligent, responsible corporations who are very clear that climate change is real. Companies like Coke and Pepsi. Companies like Ford and GM. And Caterpillar. Companies like Wal-Mart and Target. Companies like VF Industries, which makes a wide array of clothing products, and Nike. Companies like Mars and Nestle. So, we have our choice. We can believe Coke and Pepsi and Ford and GM and Caterpillar and Wal-Mart and Target and VF Industries and Nike and Mars and Nestle, or we can believe the Senator With The Snowball. 

Every major American scientific society has put itself on record -- many of them a decade ago -- that climate change is deadly real. They measure it, they see it, they know why it happens, the predictions correlate with what we see as they increasingly come true. And the fundamental principle is that it is derived from carbon pollution, which comes from burning fossil fuels, are beyond legitimate dispute to the point where every leading scientific organization on the planet calls them unequivocal. 

So, you can believe every major American scientific society, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball.

What John Oliver said:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead


TUESDAY, MAR 4, 2014 

Rudy Giuliani: Unlike Obama, Putin is “what you call a leader”

Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead

A leading Russian opposition politician, former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been shot dead in Moscow, Russian officials say. An unidentified attacker in a car shot Mr Nemtsov four times in the back as he crossed a bridge in view of the Kremlin, police say. He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine.


In his last tweet, Mr Nemtsov sent out an appeal for Russia's divided opposition to unite at an anti-war march he was planning for Sunday. "If you support stopping Russia's war with Ukraine, if you support stopping Putin's aggression, come to the Spring March in Maryino on 1 March," he wrote. 

Speaking earlier this month to Russia's Sobesednik news website, he had spoken of his fears for his own life. "I'm afraid Putin will kill me," he said in the article on 10 February (in Russian). 

I believe that he was the one who unleashed the war in the Ukraine," he said. "I couldn't dislike him more." Mr Putin has been widely accused of fomenting the bloody rebellion in east Ukraine - an accusation he denies.

Almost 5,800 people have died and at least 1.25 million have fled their homes, according to the UN. 

The Ukrainian government, Western leaders and Nato say there is clear evidence that Russia is helping the rebels with heavy weapons and soldiers. Independent experts echo that accusation while Moscow denies it, insisting that any Russians serving with the rebels are "volunteers".

Now there's leadership for you!  Rudy, will you be sending a love-note to Pootie-Put on his fabulous leadership skills?  He is, afterall the ex-KGB leader you admire.