Monthly Archives: February 2011

Antievolution bill in New Mexico tabled

House Bill 302 was tabled by the Education Committee of the New Mexico House of Representatives on a 5-4 vote on February 18, 2011, suggesting that it is unlikely to come to a floor vote before the legislature adjourns on March 19, 2011. A version of the currently popular “academic freedom” antievolution strategy, HB 302, if enacted, would require teachers to be allowed to inform students “about relevant scientific information regarding either the scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses” pertaining to “controversial” scientific topics and would protect teachers from “reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so.”


Details here

When will this madnes end?

If you live in Georgia, and have a miscarriage, you will be investigated, if recently introduced legislation is passed. The bill proposed …

… by House Republican Bobby Franklin would make abortion the legal equivalent of murder and require miscarriages to be investigated by authorities.

Franklin’s bill would classify the removal of a fetus from a woman for any reason other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus as “prenatal murder.” Physicians indicted for alleged “prenatal murder” would have their license suspended until they were found innocent of the crime.

Although the legislation would not place any criminal penalties on natural spontaneous abortions, it would require miscarriages to be reported by hospitals and other medical institutions, and a fetal death certificate issued.

The rhetoric from Wisconsin is that the voters voted for the elimination of most collective bargaining when they voted Scott Walker into office. When recently asked if his anti-union efforts are payback against those who supported his opponents, he said, “The simple matter is I campaigned on this all throughout the election. Anybody who says they are shocked on this has been asleep for the past two years.” He gave the same basic story at other times as well. It turns out he lied.

Also in Wisconsin, a pro-union website has been blocked for access via the Capitol’s Wi-Fi connection.

Anyone trying to use the state Capitol’s Wi-Fi connection to access www.defendwisconsin.org Monday and early Tuesday received an error message.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Teacher Assistants created the website to share information with protesters and let them know where volunteers were needed. Democratic party officials claimed that it was available at the Capitol until at least last Friday.

“In a direct assault on the First Amendment, Scott Walker’s administration is blocking access in the Wisconsin Capitol to opposition websites,” Wisconsin Democratic Party press secretary Graeme Zielinski told CNN.

Who controls Scott Walker anyway? Turns out, the Koch Brothers do, as revealed in this pranked call in which someone faked being David Koch calling the real Scott Walker:

Wow, Imma try that. Who should I be? Who should I call?

Deputy AG suggests shooting Wisconsin Demonstrators to Death

A deputy attorney General of Indiana, responded to a tweet indicating that Wisconsin demonstrators might be swept out of the capitol building by police with this: “Use live ammunition.” Adam Weinstein, the original tweeter of the news from the Capitol building, who happens to be a journalist, writes:

From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were “political enemies” and “thugs” who were “physically threatening legally elected officials.” In response to such behavior, he said, “You’re damned right I advocate deadly force.” He later called me a “typical leftist,” adding, “liberals hate police.”

Later, Weinstein determined that the violent misanthropic tweeter was none other than Jeff Cox, Deputy Attorney General at Office of the Indiana Attorney General, and former comedy writer and editor with Sun Features.

Not funny, Jeff.

Who writes the fortune cookies, anyway?

A few months ago, for reasons that I do not recall and could probably never explain, Amanda and I stopped at one of those crappy little Chinese Restaurants stuck between a dry cleaner and a dollar store in some out of the way run down strip mall in Andover.1 We were very hungry; I remember that. We ordered the usual: Egg foo yung for Amanda (I personally don’t know why anyone would eat that) and Kung Pao chicken and something noodly for me.

We were expecting to be satiated by the food, but to be made somewhat ill from the low quality ingredients and poor cooking one usually finds in a hole in the wall Chinese takeout place. Amanda, of course, would hardly notice because she is a born and bred Minnesotan which pretty much disqualifies her from identifying quality Chinese food. (I hope she doesn’t read this particular blog post!) But seriously, we do have a bit of a difference in opinion on what constitutes good Chinese food, and this opinion does seem to be shaped by our regional origin. My opinion is, of course, more correct, not because I grew up in Albany, New York (where there was exactly one Chinese restaurant at the time) but because I lived for 17 years in Boston, where Chinese Food is as good as it is in, say, San Francisco.

But then we ate the food and it was shockingly good!

So one day when conditions were just right for ordering pizza, we ordered Chinese food from Wok 88, the aforementioned hole-in-the-wall. This time we ordered something different, and it was also outstanding. Since then we’ve ordered food from this place a few times. I am very impressed.

But then the unthinkable happened.
Continue reading Who writes the fortune cookies, anyway?

Evolution, Creationism, and the ‘Cautious 60 Percent’

Steven Newton, Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education:

… Why is “neutrality” toward evolution such a disaster for college-bound kids?

Evolution is the foundation of biology. Just as geologists cannot decipher the earth’s features without plate tectonics, and physicists cannot understand the interaction of light and matter without quantum electrodynamics, biologists cannot explain the diversity of life on earth without evolution. Trying to teach biology without evolution is like teaching auto mechanics without discussing engines. Teachers should not be neutral toward evolution because scientists are not neutral about evolution. …

Click here for this interesting post.

The Biggest Loser Backfires

The Biggest Loser is a TV reality show on which people who really do weigh a lot more than is healthy compete to lose weight. They do this on teams. There are various challenges. There are charismatic trainers. And, of course, because it is a TV reality show, individuals can get tossed off the show either because of poor performance (not losing enough weight) or by getting voted off.

An interesting and entirely inappropriate trend has developed on this show.
Continue reading The Biggest Loser Backfires