Blog Archives

Bill Nye the Science Guy says don’t teach your kids Creationism.

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Scientist and children’s television personality Bill Nye, in a newly released online video, panned biblical creationism and implored American parents who reject the scientific theory of evolution not to teach their beliefs to their youngsters.

“I say to the grownups, ‘If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it,'” said Nye, best known as host of the educational TV series “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

If I were a professional educator, I would give Bill Nye my thanks for coming out with this video:

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. Creationism is not.

 

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Expressing my sympathy for Justice Ginsburg…

From the NY Times:

This year, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continued to work after breaking two ribs during one of the Supreme Court’s busiest months, and just a few weeks before the court released its landmark decision on President Obama’s health care law.

Justice Ginsburg spoke about the injury for the first time in an interview with Reuters, published on Wednesday.

When Justice Ginsburg fell at her home on the evening of June 4, she initially “thought it was nothing,” she told Reuters.

Nevertheless, she went to the Office of the Attending Physician at the Capitol the next day, where she learned she had fractured two of her ribs.

Good for you, Justice G… I’m sitting here with 5 cracked ribs, a clavical and a scapula from my fall and I’m impressed that you went right back to work without spending 4 dreary days in a hospital.

I hope your next couple of months is relatively painless.

Obama Campaign changes the focus on “Obamacare” – It’s a POSITIVE label

According to Reuters:

President Barack Obama’s campaign has embraced the term “Obamacare,” seeking to turn the negative name Republicans assigned to his healthcare reform effort into a positive branding tool just as the Supreme Court studies the law’s constitutionality.

“Happy birthday, Obamacare,” Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, wrote in an email to supporters last week to note the anniversary of the reform becoming law.

“If you’re tired of the other side throwing around that word like it’s an insult, then join me in sending a message that we’re proud of it,” he wrote.

While it may be a little late in getting around to this strategy, there’s a good chance it can work To help promote it, the Obama campaign  is reaching out with promoti0nal products:

T-shirts that say “I like Obamacare” are available on the campaign’s website for $35.

Buttons with the same message go for $5.

I expect to be seeing these around soon… perhaps on me.

Planet Under Pressure Conference in London – We’re getting close to irreversible climate changes…

While politicians argue with scientists, the climate actually goes on changing.. and not to our advantage. Reuters has been commenting on this conference that runs through tomorrow:

Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists

The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.

“This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University‘s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London.

It’s amazing how many of the best scientific minds see the problem, yet they are faced with huge negative concepts by the politicians who would have to vote in the bucks to make changes.

As we argue this out for the rest of the decade, we can watch the polar ice caps melt and the tropical rain forests dry up and many species that we rely on disappear.

It is up to us as individuals to push our representatives into dealing with the truth. Right?

We hear so much about Google invading our lives…

Here’s one you weren’t expecting:

A view from much further away.

(Reuters) – A Frenchman took Google to court on Thursday over a photo published online by its Street View application showing him urinating in his front yard which he believes has made him the laughing stock of his village in rural northwest France.

The man, who is aged around 50 and lives in a village of some 3,000 people in the Maine-et-Loire region, is demanding the removal of the photo, in which locals have recognised him despite his face being blurred out.

He also wants 10,000 euros in damages.

“Everyone has the right to a degree of secrecy,” his lawyer, Jean-Noel Bouillard, told Reuters. “In this particular case, it’s more amusing than serious. But if he’d been caught kissing a woman other than his wife, he would have had the same issue.”

The Judge is ruling on March 15th. This will be one to wait for.

Meanwhile, watch what you do in your own yard.

Court: Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France

Many thanks to my wife who forwarded this article to me.
Published on Monday, February 13, 2012 by Common Dreams:

A French court Monday found US agriculture giant Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004.

Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente “Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’ suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product… and must entirely compensate him,” said the judgement from the court in the southeastern city of Lyon.

In 2004, Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente, opened the tank of his pulveriser machine. He inhaled fumes of Lasso, a weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, and fainted.

He was taken to hospital and stopped work for almost a year, reports radio station France Info. He suffers from memory loss and often feels faint.

* * *

Reuters is reporting:

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

Farmer mixing Lasso, a Monsanto herbicideIn the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the sum of damages. […]

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers’ reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year.

Now let’s get after Monsanto HERE IN AMERICA!

Friday report from the Labor Dept.: Jobs up higher than expected…

According to Reuters, U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected in July as private employers stepped up hiring, easing fears the economy was sliding into a fresh recession.

It was originally expected that the number of new jobs would b3 85,000… less than the 100,000 minimum necessary to start correcting the unemployment burden. In reality, the new estimate is that the number is 117,000 which brings the unemployment rate from 9.2% to 9.1%.

How much better the situation gets in the next six months is unknown. A stand-off between Democrats and Republicans over raising the country’s debt ceiling poisoned the atmosphere for employers and consumers. Whether this new report helps them to bounce back is questionable.

Austan Goolsbee

Commenting from the White House, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee said:

“While the better than expected report is welcome news, the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.” 

On my older MacBook and life has slowed down…

White MacBook laptop

My regular MacBook is sitting alone on the kitchen table awaiting a call from Apple tech Services at 2:00 this afternoon. This morning I changed the case bottom on it (second one I’ve had to put on do to the “warping” problem this model has… new base was at Apple’s expense since they know they have put a less than perfect machine out here) and after I replaced it, sticking point for point on Apple’s instructions, and turned the machine on, the network wouldn’t connect. The error message was that “the Airport card is missing,” which is unusual since I didn’t touch any Airport card… just took off te old base and put on the new one.

I’M ALMOST CERTAIN THAT APPLE WILL FIND A WAY TO COST ME MONEY HERE. They always eind a way.

Meanwhile, my older book is back in service (Elly has been using it but her new MacBook Pro came in yesterday.)  Hope your day is going better than mine.

What does Pakistan use Lobbyists for?

Asif Ali Zardari.

Asif Al Zardari opens his wallet.

According to Reuters, they use them to deny that anyone in the Pakistani government knew that bin Laden was hiding near the Capital for close to six years in the biggest house in the neighborhood:

WASHINGTON (Reuters/Tim Reid) – Pakistan‘s Washington lobbyists have launched an intense campaign on Capitol Hill to counter accusations that Islamabad was complicit in giving refuge to Osama bin Laden.

Alarmed by lawmakers’ demands to cut off billions of dollars of U.S. aid after bin Laden was found living in a Pakistani safe house for six years, President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered a full-court press to quell mounting accusations that it helped the al Qaeda leader avoid capture.

Mark Siegel, a partner in the Washington lobbying firm of Locke Lord Strategies — which is paid $75,000 a month by the Pakistani government — told Reuters on Thursday he had spoken twice to Zardari since U.S. special forces killed bin Laden on Sunday, and “countless” times to the Pakistani ambassador in Washington.

“They are certainly concerned,” Siegel said, adding that suggestions the Pakistani government knew about bin Laden’s whereabouts was nothing more than speculation.

Wow. $75,000 a month to put out press releases.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy isn’t buying it, however. He told Vermont Public Radio:

“It’s impossible for them not to have some idea he was there.

Mark Siegel, referring to claims by the Afghan government that Pakistan must have known bin Laden’s whereabouts, said:

“Must have known doesn’t mean knew.”

Sure.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Obama Signed Secret Libya Order Authorizing Support For Rebels!

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

President Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.

_______

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and the White House declined immediate comment.

News that Obama had given the authorization surfaced as the President and other U.S. and allied officials spoke openly about the possibility of sending arms supplies to Gaddafi’s opponents, who are fighting better-equipped government forces.

We’ll have more on this tomorrow as it becomes clearer what Obama has done and who the arms are going to (Al Qaeda, anyone?)

Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggie” until you can find a rock.
– Will Rogers

Yesterday saw largest crowds since Vietnam War march in Wisconsin

clipped from news.yahoo.com
A crowd estimated at more than 70,000 people on Saturday waved American flags, sang the national anthem and called for the defeat of a Wisconsin plan to curb public sector unions that has galvanized opposition from the American labor movement.
In one of the biggest rallies at the state Capitol since the Vietnam War, union members and their supporters braved frigid temperatures and a light snowfall to show their displeasure.
The mood was upbeat despite the setback their cause suffered earlier this week when the state Assembly approved the Republican-backed restrictions on union collective bargaining rights over fierce Democratic objections.
Unlike previous protests, the rally on Saturday brought out thousands of union workers not directly affected by the bill, including the state’s firefighters, exempted along with police from the Republican proposal. Dozens of private sector unions were represented as well at the event.
blog it
Picked this up from Reuters via Yahoo News… I was amazed that there was so little television coverage of this yesterday, although sick old me looked for it all day. The after-day press, however implies that it was a pretty big thing. 

Tells us who is controlling television, doesn’t it.