:: Skeptical Notion

A blog about politics, news, science and whatever else strikes my fancy. -- A member of the Reality-based Commmunity.
:: Welcome to Skeptical Notion :: bloghome | contact | Syndicate this site (XML RSS) | Skeptical Notion is proud to be an ePatriot. Donate to the DNC today!
Skeptical Notion Tip Jar
[::..Favorite Blogs..::]
Talking Points Memo
Daily Kos
Hit and Run
Political Animal
Thinking It Through
Counterspin Central
The Agonist
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Whiskey Bar
Shadow of the Hegemon
Angry Bear
Paul Krugman's Home Page
The Left Coaster
Byzantium Shores
Uncertain Principles
Planet Swank
The Notion
Fester's Place
Opinions You Should Have
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
The Panda's Thumb
Bob Harris
[::..Other Blogs..::]
American Leftist
[::..Fun Sites..::]
The Onion
The Brunching Shuttlecocks
Something Positive
Penny Arcade

:: Friday, June 17, 2005 ::

On Vacation

I know that I've really been on vacation for the last few months, but I'm actually going to be computer and internet free for a week. I'll be back on the 27th, and hopefully less grumpy.
:: Morat 1:53 PM :: ::

Probe Sought in Terri Schiavo 911 Call

And I thought George was the stupid one:
Gov. Jeb Bush asked a prosecutor Friday to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, calling into question how long it took her husband to call 911 after he found her.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bush said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m., and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.
'Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay,' Bush wrote. 'In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome.'

Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday from The Associated Press. In comments in The Miami Herald, he said Terri Schiavo would not have survived if her husband had not immediately called 911.

'It's absolutely preposterous,' Felos said. 'If he had waited 70 minutes she would have been dead.'
Didn't he get spanked badly enough last time?
:: Morat 10:10 AM :: ::

:: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 ::

Schiavo's Brain Was Severely Deteriorated, Autopsy Says

I think Michael Schiavo is about to sue some people:
An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused.
Happily, most of the people making the really libelous statements were either religious fanatics or Republicans, and I think I can handle seeing lose quite a bit of money for slandering and libeling an innocent man.

Yes, I think I can handle that just fine.

The autopsy reported that Terri Schiavo's brain was roughly half the correct size (it had shrunk) and despite this, her parents insisted she could have recovered -- which just goes to show you how deluded they've become. According to their lawyer they're discussing "unspecified legal action" -- against whom or for what I have no idea.

Hopefully Randall Terry. Although I think Michael's got first crack at that nutcase. I predict that not a single one of those shrieking about Terri's poor condition, or how evil Michael was, well ever mention the topic ever again.

Dr. Dean, would you mind hounding Bill Frist about it? You're a fellow doctor -- perhaps you could use this to illustrate to Dr. Frist why medical ethics preclude diagnosing a patient without even seeing his or her chart, much less actually examining her.....
:: Morat 1:15 PM :: ::

:: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 ::

Objectively pro-lynching

Americablog has the list of the pro-lynching US Senators:
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
George Voinovich (R-OH)
Now, I'm not surprised that nearly a quarter of the GOP Senators refused to sign an anti-lynching petition (specifically, these Senators refused to sponser a bill that apologized for past Senate inaction on lynchings). Got to keep that base fed, and there ain't nothing they like more than racism. (We do, after all, have a President who announced his bid at Bob Jones University -- last refuge of those who are squicked out by interracial dating -- and whose campaign against McCain in 2000 turned around a very disturbing and bigoted whisper campaign).

But my question is: Why the hell is Kent Conrad on that list? Why is there ANY Democrat at all on there, much less one from North Freaking Dakota?

Of course, both my home state Senators are on the list. My only comfort is that Texas had a LOT of Kerry voters. Sadly, there were a lot more Bush voters....
:: Morat 11:52 AM :: ::

Virtual Paritcles

And this is why I'm adding Driftglass to my blog list:
Out in the middle of the Big Empty (OK, yes, there's no 'middle'. Fuck you, ya picky bastards) these little guys just bang! into existence and then vanish. Always a pair -- a particle and an anti-particle of various denominations -- they pop in for a visit and then annihilate each other and disappear.

In fact, they're the little jobbers that make singularities detectable. Right on the edge of the Event Horizon (that's the Lobby of the cosmos' own Hotel California, the Black Hole) as they skip in and out of existence, sometimes one half of the pair falls into the Abyss, and the other one flies away, making the ultimate nightmare Beast of the Universe sorta glow.

So why the hell am I talking about Virtual Particles?

Because they have a half-life that is almost immeasurably brief.

And by an eerie coincidence, if you take the length of that interval, and divide it by a billion, that is exactly how much I care about Michael Fucking Jackson.

:: Morat 11:44 AM :: ::

The Book of Hindrocket

If you've ever read Powerline, you owe it to yourself to read this.
:: Morat 11:39 AM :: ::

Kos Pie Fights

I thought I'd weight in -- a week or so late -- on the whole Kos pie-fight ad thing. I'm not going to bother recapping it, because I don't care. I don't care about the ad. I don't care about Kos' comments or his later apology. I don't care if the ad offended you, if Kos' original response or his apology offended you, or even if you're frickin' Kos and the original slew of complaints offended you.

I don't care. However, since a good number of otherwise sane and healthy people do, let me sum up my feelings:
  1. It was a stupid ad. If, however, you're calling it "soft-core porn" you're stupid yourself. If you believe it was soft-core porn, please don't post here. PLEASE. Go away. I don't want to hear your viewpoint. I don't want to know about it. Take heart, I feel the same way about fundamentalists of ANY stripe.
  2. I didn't find it offensive, just stupid. If you found it offensive, I can understand that. I don't really care, and would probably wonder where you lived so I could move there, because a place wherein a blogad for a stupid reality TV show is your biggest issue must be a nice place.
  3. Kos' statement about the uproar was rude and condescending. It's easy to see he was pissed off when he wrote it.
  4. The uproar over Kos' statement consisted both of accurate criticism and over-the-top ranting. Has the phrase "benefit of the doubt" ever occurred to anyone before? Perhaps it's possible -- and I realize this is insanity -- that he was just really pissed about some of the hate mail he got from liberals rather than, you know, a raving misogynist.
  5. If you're going to call me naughty names and tell me I'm a bigot, go away. I don't care. I treat all stupid people exactly the same, regardless of what set of gonads they have. Both sides were morons on this, and I'm treating you with exactly equal measures of contempt.
Are we all clear? The initial reaction to the ad was stupid. Kos' written comment on it was stupid. The resulting uproar was stupid. I can understand everyone's motivations and feelings -- people were offended, Kos was pissed at being called a misogynistic bastard, and more (and different) people were offended that a pissed off Kos wrote some nasty things.

Everyone was equally stupid.

And what do I plan to do about this? Absolutely frickin' nothing. Because it's exactly the reaction this whole damn thing deserves.

I will give Kos some helpful advice (not that he'll ever see it): Every movement, cause, or grouping has it's wingnuts. They're the first ones to send you nasty emails and say stupid, ridiculous, retarded things. Just ignore them. Reacting to them is really dumb.

I will give the upset people some advice: Sometimes people say stupid shit. Sometimes it's because they're stupid. Sometimes it's because they're bigoted. Sometimes it's because they're angry. And sometimes it's because they're humans and humans screw up. Try giving people the benefit of the doubt. Rushing to crucify someone -- especially an ally -- is really dumb. "Benefit of the doubt". Seriously, you'll enjoy life a lot more.

Update: Despite being -- I thought -- crystal clear, apparently there is some confusion. So let me divide everyone into catagories.

Kos: Rude and condescending, but forgivable -- nasty emails from wingnuts kinda comes with the job. Even when it comes from friends, he needs to handle it.
People upset by the ad: Entitled to their opinion, even if I think they're so thin-skinned it's amazing they've managed to last this long. They get an eye-roll, but everyone has their hangups.
People who called the ad "soft core porn": Ignored. I try to restrict my dealings with people vaguely in touch with reality.
People upset at Kos' reaction: Understandable (see "rude" above).
People upset at Kos' reaction who consider it proof he's a bigot: People who should really know better, and need to learn the phrase "benefit of the doubt" -- but forgiveable.

Are we clear? The people we ignore are the "soft-core porn" people, because they don't live in the actual world. Everyone else's motiviations are understandable, even if I think they're all being stupid.
:: Morat 11:17 AM :: ::

:: Monday, June 13, 2005 ::

A Master Politician at Work

A really good look at Dean:
Transformative politics is not for sissies.
If you're to really change political trends, and put bottom rail on top for a generation, you can't be gentle about it.

You can't cajole. You can't seduce. You have to go right for the throat. And you have to be ready for the whole of the old order to come down on you for it.

So let's be clear about this right now. Love him or hate him, Howard Dean is a master politician.
You should read the whole thing.

Yep. It's Dean week here. Again. Why? Because he's in the news. Unlike virtually every other Democrat he's in the news. And what are we discussing? If the Republican leadership is a bunch of rich elitists who have never worked a day in their life. (Or, if they're stupid, clearing brush for photo-ops in August. In Texas. Bush shouldn't press his luck. He ain't 20 anymore, and that's a recipe for heat stroke.). If the GOP is overwhelmingly white and evangelical. (As if the 2005 GOP Congress couldn't prove that....).

If Dean isn't pissing off Republicans, he's not doing his job. Hell, you had Dick Cheney on Fox saying Dean was "helping Republicans". (Okay, first rule of politics -- if your enemy is HELPING you, you don't advise him to stop. Yet for some reason people seem to think Cheney has only the Democrat's best interests at heart). Yep, that's right -- the Vice President of the United States and the guy actually running the White House and the GOP emerged from his cave and bashed Dean -- Ye Olde Head of the DNC. That's pretty good proof Dean's doing his job.

Why? Simple -- first, Dean's fundraising is amazing. Despite how it's been reported, Dean's head and shoulders above his predecessor, and he's doing it with far less reliance on donations from the wealthy. (McCain-Feingold was going to slam this year's Democratic fundraising. Despite that, Dean has beaten previous off-year records -- both in dollar amounts and as a percentage of GOP fundraising). Second, Dean is busily implementing a fifty state strategy. The GOP does not want to see a Democrat on every race, nor does it want state Democratic parties to have more message control. Dean's tossing aside the Democratic Party the GOP knows how to beat and replacing it with a better funded and better run party -- with a much larger slate of candidates. To add insult to injury, Dean's out on national news making incendiary statements that prompt newspapers to actually investigate things the GOP would rather not talk about -- like it's overwhelmingly white face, or it's tight relationship with the religious right (especially so soon after the Schiavo meltdown).

The GOP has always been wary of Dean. They think he's a danger to them. If they truly thought he was a loose cannon bound to do more harm than good to the Democratic party, they wouldn't go on Fox and say so.
:: Morat 10:32 AM :: ::

Howard Dean speaks out in Chicago

This can only mean one thing:
'My view is FOX News is a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party and I don't comment on FOX News,' Dean said. That was in response to vice president Dick Cheney calling Howard Dean 'over the top' on Fox News on Sunday.
Biden and the DLC are going to have to go on Fox news and apologize. I just can't see any way around it.

Goddammit, Dean! Stop it with your 'stating the obvious'! What next? Grass is green? Sky is blue? Don't you get it? You're alienating voters with your damn "facts" and "reality".

Stop it before we lose the House, the Senate, and the White House! (Link via Daily Kos).
:: Morat 10:04 AM :: ::

Republican lawmakers urge shift in Iraq plans

I saw this on Daily Kos:
Other Republicans on television talk shows joined Democrats in criticizing the administration for playing down the insurgency, while overestimating the ability of Iraq's fledgling forces to fight without U.S. soldiers in the lead and failing to plan for the post-invasion occupation.

'The insurgency is alive and well. We underestimated the viability of the insurgency,' Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on CBS' Face the Nation. He said the administration has 'been slow to adjust when it comes to troop strength and supporting our troops.'
I could say something substantive, but what I really thought was "What's this 'we' shit, Kemosabe?"

I think it's time for a fun game of 'Pin the War on the President'. He rolled around in his bloody little fiasco when it was going well (actually, when it wasn't going so badly that even the GOP couldn't lie about it anymore), so I don't think anyone should have a problem rubbing his nose in it now.
:: Morat 9:57 AM :: ::

[::..Current Reading..::]
Recent Reading
Book Recommendations
[::..Wish List..::]
Skeptical Notion Wish List
[::..Book Posts..::]
Children's Fantasy
Fat Fantasy
Odds and Ends
Standalone Fantasy
[::..Everything Else..::]
Powered by Blogger Pro™ Listed on BlogShares Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com