Daily Archives: May 10, 2012

The status of this blog

Dear loyal readers, quiet lurkers, constant commeters, and trolls,

On or before the 24th of May (hopefully not later) Scienceblogs.com will under The Branding. The Branding is not a phenomenon found in a cultish horror movie involving corn and a school bus, nor will it involve British schoolboys or a buried alien spacecraft. The Branding is when National Geographic’s “brand” is imprinted on this site, and we become something of a National Geographic project. From that point forward several things will be different on this blog, some of which I’ll mention below.

Between now and then there is a problem. All of the blog posts and comments that were posted prior to a date in late April have already been ported to the new platform and when The Branding happens, they will be there. But anything that has been, or will be, placed on this blog will not automatically become part of the new platform. It is possible for me to move old posts or place new blog posts on the new platform, but not comments.

So, comments you place on this blog between now and The Branding will not be preserved. Therefore, you might want to not make them.

UPDATE: I’m told that a solution to this problem is being worked on.

I know this is unusual, but there are reasons for it which I can explain roughly but I can’t answer questions about because I don’t have access to the independent IT firm hired to do this work. The bottom line is that the old MovableType platform was virtually intractable. I’m not sure how they ended up making the transition but it was not a simple export/import situation. There are rumors that wget and awk may have been used, that’s how bad things were.

Since you can’t comment on my posts, I don’t want to write any more posts on this blog until we are up and running. I may still post something now and then but more likely I’d ask you to visit and comment on the X Blog, which will of course be functioning perfectly for the whole time (I hope!). The X Blog is here.

The changes will include a new look and feel, no left sidebar that I put stuff on and I think no About page. Since that personalized stuff will be gone, I’ll be updating Gregladen.com to include that stuff. Commenting will be better managed. To comment on the new blog, probably, you’ll have to have a thing that looks like a real email address that will act, essentially, as your “password,” which will be approved so after you’ve commented once you’ll be able to keep commenting without problems. Unless, of course …. (well, never mind that).

The content of this blog will not change, nor will any of the policies … we are already working under the “new” methods and rules. However, there may be some more interaction with National Geographic’s other blogs and activities, if I chose to do that. NGS is not requiring anything, but there my be opportunities available that I’ll take up.

So now, we enter the big sleep. I am not going to turn commenting off because that always breaks things on this old movable type platform. Besides you may want to leave a comment or two knowing it will disapear later. Like when you write stuff on a wall you are about to paint over!

(I may regret that I said that.)

If you want to have a discussion about this that will not be erased, I’ve made a place for you to do that HERE.

First HIV preventing drug likely to be approved

FDA advisers back approval for first pill shown to protect healthy people from AIDS virus
A panel of federal health advisers has endorsed the first drug shown to prevent HIV infection in healthy people, clearing the way for a potentially landmark approval in the 30-year-old effort against the virus that causes AIDS.

In a series of votes, the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval of the daily pill Truvada for healthy people who are at high risk of contracting HIV, including gay and bisexual men and heterosexual couples with one HIV-infected person. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, though it usually does. A final decision is expected by June 15.


Bachmann is done in politics

She did the most unAmerican thing possible: She pledged her allegiance to the flag of another country by taking on the citizenship of that foreign power. Presumably this decision will doom her re-election to the Congress. And ..

By embracing a socialist and gay-friendly country, Tea Party favorite Bachmann can kiss any vice-presidential hopes, or even another White House run, goodbye. She could even be in trouble in her own congressional re-election.

Unbelievable. I demand that she be investigated.

Romney’s Possible Anti-Gay Bullying and Obama’s Ideological Evolution: Rethinking it

My first guess about President Obama’s recent statement that his views on Gay Marriage was this: Both Biden and Obama, along with virtually all Democrats, are for Marriage Freedom and against the absurd anti-gay restriction we see being implemented around the nation, most recently in North Carolina. However, Obama has this thing about being strategically centered, and tried to walk this line between civil unions and marriage. But then, Vice President Joe Biden, as does some times, spoke more openly than a controlled message like that allows, and indicated a pro-gay marriage stance over the weekend. This forced Obama’s hand on the issue, and most likely they were already considering doing that. The timing was just to be a bit different than planned. Continue reading Romney’s Possible Anti-Gay Bullying and Obama’s Ideological Evolution: Rethinking it

The Nazis have been Repressed!

Do you remember the campaign to get WordPress to shut down the Nazi hate site in Greece?

Apparently, it worked. Commenters both here and at sb.com have told us that the Nazi site has been taken down.

Congratulations to us!

There have been complaints that we are repressing free speech. This is not true for several reasons.

First, we are not violating the “Right to free speech” because there is no universal law or regulation that compels a private company based in the US (or wherever) to provide a platform to a political party in another country.

Second, the reason this campaign was valid to being with is that the Nazis have violated WordPress’s terms of service. Really, all that had to happen is that WordPress would be notified of this, they look into it, see it is obviously true, and shut down the site.

Putting a finer point on that: Demanding that WordPress keep the Nazi site up is a violation of “rights” … telling a company that their reasonable terms of service can’t be applied, suddenly and arbitrarily, to a particular group. Of Nazis.

Third, They are Nazis. One could subscribe to the American Ideal that every American should agree to die on the battlefield protecting the rights of the most nefarious groups such as the KKK and Nazis and various white supremacists and so on. But, once again, this is in Greece, this is international pressure being applied, the idea that every American should die protecting the rights of Nazis is absurd. Yes, I know, once you throw the Nazi’s under the bus, you will eventually be throwing the Girl Scouts under the bus. But that is an absurd argument. We might not know to draw the line in a particular place, but we can tell on occasion that some one or some group is well beyond that line. Nazis are beyond that line.

There are other reasons. Feel free to add them in the contents.