Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vote for Jesus!

My Jewish friend in Chicago is campaigning vigorously for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Mayor.  I figure if my friend is willing to become a Jew for "Jesus," the least I can do is offer my blog to help out.

It's Time to Choose a New Mayor.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Interacting with the Online Enemy

An intersting Reuters article about how Nestle is interacting with the online enemy makes me wonder if this is how the government interacts with those who question the official story of 9/11.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jerry Coyne's Safe Space?

Given that I have been banned from making any sort of comment at Jerry Coyne's blog - not even a link to a cute cat video - I wonder if that is his safe space.

UPDATE:  I take it back!  They posted my link to a cute cat video!  There's hope!

For all you curious people:  this one.

NEW UPDATE:  I take back my take back!  My post of the link to the cute cat video was deleted!  LOLOLOL!!!

So yes, I think it is reasonable to conclude that is Jerry Coyne's safe space.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to Effect Change? Target the Economic Elite, not the Politicians.

From here:
The group made a number of decisions along the way that attracted criticism, even from some who agreed with EQAT that global warming is a threat. One was to focus on a bank instead of political authorities. The Environmental Protection Agency and politicians are the legitimate deciders on environmental policy, we were told. Why target a bank that is only doing its job?
We chose our target believing everyone needs to take responsibility for their role in the unfolding disaster of climate change, including banks whose financial decisions have enormous consequences compared with most individuals and groups.
Princeton study released in 2014 gave support for our choice to target the economic elite. The study found major policy decisions in the United States don’t result from the normal political processes, but from the economic elite telling politicians what to do. Billionaire Warren Buffett earlier put it more pungently to the New York Times, when he said, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
EQAT recognized that many Americans are in denial about the class warfare raging around them. Targeting a bank, we though, might help people smell the coffee.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Conundrum of Robert Reich's Remedy

Robert Reich's article, "The Conundrum of Corporation and Nation," begins by telling us that even though most American corporations are doing better, most Americans are not. The first reason he cites as an explanation for this situation is

First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries.
In fact, most Americans have no influence at all. That’s the conclusion of Professors Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, who analyzed 1,799 policy issues — and found that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
Instead, American lawmakers respond to the demands of wealthy individuals (typically corporate executives and Wall Street moguls) and of big corporations – those with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets.
Depressing news for those of us who didn't know it.  But what is his remedy?   He provides the answer at the end of his article: 
What’s the answer to this basic conundrum? Either we lessen the dominance of big American corporations over American politics. Or we increase their allegiance and responsibility to America.
It has to be one or the other. Americans can’t thrive within a political system run largely by big American corporations — organized to boost their share prices but not boost America.
Unfortunately, he neglects to inform us how people who have a near-zero impact on public policy can change  it.  Anyone out there have a clue? 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What does Evolution mean?

Casey Luskin, who is a proponent of Intelligent Design, isn't my favorite writer, but I think he makes the issue clear here:

"What does "evolution" mean? As we saw in my previous post, no one doubts the idea that I called Evolution #1 -- that is, the uncontroversial observation that small-scale changes can occur in populations of organisms. Evolution #1, or microevolution, is well-supported by a large body of evidence. Evolution #2 refers to universal common descent, which receives wide support in the current scientific understanding. Whether that support is justified is another question that I leave aside for now. However, as the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism List shows, when it comes to what I termed Evolution #3 -- the idea that an unguided process of natural selection and random mutation can account for the complexity of life -- there is major scientific controversy and cause for doubt. It is when we speak about Darwinian evolution in this sense that the scientific evidence turns decidedly weak, as the mainstream technical literature confirms."

ID proponents are divided on the question of Evolution #2 - universal common descent.  Michael Behe, for example, argues in his book, The Edge of Evolution, that the evidence for it is overwhelming.   But nearly all ID proponents would challenge Evolution #3 - that the complexity of life can be accountd for by an unguided process. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Shroud of Turin and the Jew

UPDATE:   Barrie Schwortz's review of part 1 (about the Shroud of Turin) of CNN's docudrama, "Finding Jesus.