Archive for September, 2005

Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

September 29, 2005 2 comments

I thought this was rather funny:

COLMES: Now you say, for example, in “Rules to Talk to a Liberal” —

COULTER: Yes. Do you have — is this from the new paperback [edition of How to Talk To a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter]?

COLMES: Yes. “Never compliment a Democrat.”

COULTER: Yes. That’s an important one.

COLMES: “Never show graciousness toward a Democrat.”


COLMES: “Never flatter a Democrat.”

COULTER: Yes. I know they sound similar, but they’re actually — there are distinctions.

COLMES: Now you’re also quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday —

COULTER: Excellent.

COLMES: — in an article about Pat Tillman, who it is now said it was a Noam Chomsky fan, was going to vote for John Kerry, was against the war in Iraq. And you referred to him as “virtuous, pure, masculine like only an American male can be.” I wonder if you still would say those things, knowing now what we have learned about Pat Tillman. He was a John Kerry supporter.

COULTER: Did you get that from a document from CBS News?

COLMES: No, but that’s what you said, so I wondered if you would retract that, given what you say about liberals and Democrats.

COULTER: No. But I don’t believe it.

HANNITY: I don’t believe it either.

COLMES: He was going to meet Noam Chomsky when he — had he come back.

HANNITY: He signed up because of a desire to fight.

COLMES: Against Afghanistan, not Iraq. He was against Iraq.

COULTER: I really don’t believe that, and I think you got it from one of those documents Mary Mapes handed to Dan Rather.

COLMES: No, that’s not true.

Granted, it’s Coulter, but it’s still pretty funny.

Categories: The Right


September 28, 2005 1 comment

As everyone surely knows, Tom DeLay has been indicted.

A conviction on the felony charge against Mr. DeLay, 58, carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The lawmaker has consistently maintained his innocence and today asserted that the indictment resulted from a “purely political investigation” by the Travis County district attorney, Ronnie Earle, a Democrat.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Mr. DeLay said, adding that he had violated “no law, no regulation, no rule of the House.” Mr. DeLay, speaking on Capitol Hill, described Mr. Earle, a longtime antagonist, as “a partisan fanatic” and a “rogue district attorney” and said the prosecutor had shamelessly courted journalists on “the only days he actually comes to the office.” Mr. DeLay said the charge lodged against him today was “one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history,” one that is “a sham, and Mr. Earle knows it.”

And of course, the grand jury that indicted him has also been duped by Earle. Pretty smart guy, eh? Getting a grand jury to go along with “one of the…most baseless indictments in American history”? Damn, he’s good! Especially for a guy who apparently isn’t at work that often.

Categories: Congress


September 27, 2005 3 comments

Nothing like working on a resume to make me painfully aware of how little I’ve actually accomplished.

References are another dilemma. I think I should have both professional and personal references. I can get at least one CS professor (I think I can, at least) and certainly someone from one of my jobs. But personal? I don’t think some random college kid would make a good personal reference.

Also, I wish I would have figured out that the job fair is Friday before, say, today.

I think I’m catching a cold, too.

But, enough whining.

Categories: Personal


September 27, 2005 8 comments

Societies worse off ‘when they have God on their side’

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

Can we PLEASE drop this “secularism is bad for society” crap now? Please? I can’t wait for Agape Press to weigh in on this.

I should point out that this is more corroboration for the final paragraph in my faith post.

EDIT: I’m also going to point out that I’m not particularly interested in religion being bad for society; that conclusion doesn’t seem warranted. I’m interested insofar as there appears to be absolutely no correlation between religiosity and societal health.

(via Pharyngula)

UPDATE: Here’s the actual study. There doesn’t appear to be anything flagrantly dishonest about it, though its significance shouldn’t be overplayed. The negative correlations are very weak and the author does seem to realize this. His strongest conclusion is the one I made in the above edit.

UPDATE 2: I thought this short comment by William Dembski was pretty funny. Shouldn’t he read the study? Shouldn’t he offer some sort of support for his rather pathetic speculation that the data was fudged? I’ll leave you to ponder those questions.

Categories: Religion

Another stupid politics test

September 26, 2005 Leave a comment

That I, of course, took:

You are a Social Liberal (75% permissive) and an Economic Liberal (36% permissive)

You are best described as a Democrat: You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

I took it the other day and I was a “Strong Democrat.” My God, I’m becoming more conservative by the day!

Actually, the questions don’t allow for a lot of nuance, so I kind of flip back and forth on a couple of them.

Categories: Silliness

Media Matters browsing

September 26, 2005 Leave a comment

I don’t link to Media Matters often enough. They occasionally get their facts wrong, but overall they do a good job. There’s been a flood of interesting stuff up recently:

Bill O’Reilly wouldn’t be surprised if Kerry changed Christmas to “winter solstice”

Dick Morris attacks Clinton, fails miserably

O’Reilly thinks independents swung the election for Bush

Limbaugh makes shit up about Katrina and Cindy Sheehan

The right-wing media marches on.

Categories: The media


September 26, 2005 Leave a comment

It seems W.R. Grace thinks Libby residents are just peachy:

W.R. Grace to asbestos victims: You’re not sick

LIBBY — Roughly 700 of the 870 Libby area residents enrolled in W.R. Grace’s medical plan got letters earlier this month saying they either don’t have asbestos-related disease anymore or may not be as sick as they think they are.

The surprise letters came in two forms from Grace, the former owner of the vermiculite mine in Libby that exposed miners and the community to deadly asbestos.

One letter informed plan members that a review by medical experts indicated that they had no asbestos-related condition. The second letter acknowledged the presence of an asbestos-related “condition or illness.” Each letter provided a synopsis of what benefits are available.

“I’ve been cured by Grace. It’s a miracle,” asbestos victim Bob Stickney said tongue-in-cheek. “I don’t know how they can say at first you have asbestos disease, and now you don’t.”

Grace’s medical experts continue to use guidelines developed for people exposed to chrysotile asbestos, which differs significantly from the amphibole asbestos found alongside the vermiculite formerly mined near Libby, said Alan Whitehouse, a doctor at the CARD clinic.

Amphibole asbestos affects the lungs differently, Whitehouse said. Most Libby asbestos patients suffer from pleural disease, which can progress rapidly and have major health impacts as the plaque encompasses the lung “like an orange rind” and restricts breathing, he said.

Grace’s experts make their decisions based on X-rays alone, which don’t tell the whole story, Whitehouse said. He called the letters telling patients they don’t have asbestosis “nonsense.”

“That’s an attempt to minimize what you have,” he said.

I should point out that Whitehouse was the first doctor to really pay attention to the problem in Libby.

Apparently Grace still hasn’t figured out they can’t just sweep this under the rug anymore. They didn’t even bother to make up a lame excuse like smoking this time.

As Matt said, sick.

Categories: Montana