Daily Archives: January 12, 2010

What has Obama really accomplished in his first year as President?

A while back we were discussing whether or not President Obama had done “enough” or otherwise the “right” things since becoming president.

Several commenters draged out long lists of things that were discussed during the campaign (many prior to the magnitude of the economic crisis being realized) and insisted that since none of these things had been completed in the first 10 months of his presidency, he was a total failure.

As I pointed out to these commenters, the president actually gets four years, few presidents manage to do all the things they said they would do, Obama (as was also the case with Clinton) was handed a major problem by his Republican Predecessor that demanded the new president’s immediate and undivided attention, and so on and so forth.

(One common indicator that the whinger in this sort of argument is cluless is a comment like “He hasn’t passed a single piece of legislation” … as though the president was even allowed to pass legislation!…. which reminds me to add that the rate at which things get done depends in part on how things go in Congress.)

Anyway, please enjoy the following video regarding Obama’s first year in office.
Continue reading What has Obama really accomplished in his first year as President?

Haiti Links and Resources (UPDATED)


Current news from the BBC

Arikia Millikan’s twitter feed. Arikia has relatives in the area, and is tweeting current news.


US citizens seeking information on your relatives in Haiti, call this number: 888 407 4747

UNICEF page for Haiti: Information and link to donate.

Direct Relief International: Web page and link for donations

American Red Cross International Response Fund

Oxfam now has its Haiti page up, here.

Science and other info:

Tectonics of the Haitian earthquake

Global Seismic Monitor

Help earthquake victims in Haiti (UPDATE)

At the moment, the only secular relief organization that indicates that they are on top of Haiti, and is a respected and effective organization, and so on and so forth, is Direct Relief International. Here is their web site.

UPDATE: If you are a US citizen and seek information on your relatives in Haiti, call this number: 888 407 4747

You’ll probably get a busy signal but keep trying.

If you know of any other secular organizations that are providing the opportunity to donate to help people in Haiti, please post them below.

Drs. without borders and the various UN groups are obvious cases, but so far their web sites don’t have a “help Haiti” link.

Is it Possible to Communicate Through the Power of Thought?

Before I took the snap, I had a funny feeling that Alec was trying to tell me something. Not verbal communication or any facial expression or signal; whatever it was, I knew that he wanted the deep ball. So I called hike and the ball was snapped to me and I threw the ball as far as I could. The defense looked back, only to see that my brother Alec caught the ball with nobody contesting him. He leaped into the end zone and we celebrated our touchdown. “Wow!” said Victor. “You guys are an amazing team, it’s like you guys used some kind of twin telepathy on that play.

Find out what’s going on here…

Genie Scott Honored by National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences is to honor NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott with its most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal. … “the medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good”; Scott was chosen “for championing the teaching of evolution in the United States and for providing leadership to the National Center for Science Education.” She will receive the award on April 25, 2010, during the Academy’s 147th annual meeting.

The president of the National Academy of Sciences, Ralph J. Cicerone, commented, “Eugenie Scott has worked tirelessly and very effectively to improve public understanding of both the nature of science and the science of evolution,” and the chair of the Public Welfare Medal selection committee, John Brauman, added, “We honor her for many years of organizing coalitions of scientists, parents, teachers, business people, clergy, and others to defend the teaching of evolution.”

All the details are here.