Archive for the ‘We’re All Gonna Die’ Category

Indecent: The Inhumane Response To The Newtown Tragedy

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

When the BBC hosts pilloried me about remaining mute and not opinionating in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I noted that it seems like we should at least be quiet until families are notified. It’s unseemly to be politicizing a very personal tragedy.

“This isn’t about politics,” one host shrieked,”it’s about GUNS!”

I responded,”Well, the solution to the gun issue the president brought up would be political.”

The host continued by saying that he felt the reason I hadn’t written about the tragedy and that the NRA hadn’t spoken about it was because we were ashamed. I countered with the fact that I was, presently, talking to the BBC about the tragedy and defending Americans rights to keep and bear arms. I was not ashamed to defend that.

But I was ashamed that defending the Constitution had to be done in this way at this time.

It was unsettling. It was too soon. And yet, someone had to push back against the philistines willing to ride on the backs of dead children to pursue their political agenda. And though sickened, I spoke up.

Jonah Goldberg captures this disgust nicely. Please read his whole post. Here’s a snippet:

I haven’t written much about the Newtown shooting. I did write my first column of the week about it because I felt I had to chime in. But I resented it. Maybe it’s because I’m becoming too sentimental about kids. Maybe it’s because I’m sick to death of death. Maybe it’s some other personal failing on my part, but I nonetheless resent being dragged into the political maw so quickly after a bunch of little kids were picked off by a madman with a gun. I agree with 90% of the things written by my colleagues about guns and gun control and the second amendment over the last week, but I nonetheless find it a bit grotesque that it’s necessary for anyone to be celebrating or defending guns before these little, little, kids have even been buried. It feels indecent to me.

It is indecent.

No, your ends do not justify these means.

I have to wonder: Do the folks indulging in this orgie of political posturing know loss and death? Are they so distanced from sorrow that they cannot empathize with the parents and suffering families? Are they such zealots for their cause that they’re willing to step on a heap of dead children to fight for it? Do they not see what they’re doing?

Maybe it’s just that when you’re a humanist, your instinct is to blame humans. If your worldview is that people are essentially good, that they’ve been nurtured wrong, or society failed, and then evil, evil guns were around, then blaming parents, doctors, teachers, gun manufacturers, “society” is the route one goes. And this time, the usual blamable subjects don’t quite fit that worldview. The boy’s mother, school officials, psychologists, everyone, were trying to do something to help him. The boy couldn’t be helped or wasn’t helped soon enough. Maybe he didn’t want to be helped.

So, it’s the guns and people who have guns who are evil. Someone must be blamed.

It is devastating to look at the deaths of twenty children and see the horror unfold in a lovely community (that did all the right gun control things) and for evil to still happen.

One feels helpless.

Helplessness is the natural human state. Humanists just live under an illusion — more laws, or better people, or the right resources will make all societal ills vanish. No, they won’t.

And so, we see folks fighting like badgers about guns, because it feels like Something Can Be Done. It’s better to be angry and active, then passive and helpless.

It is tougher, as Eugene Kennedy says, when tragedies strike, to accept what is. Andrew Malcolm and I interviewed Professor Kennedy about the Newtown tragedy.

Rather than talking about guns or laws or even mental illness, Professor Kennedy talked about the nature of man, of suffering, and of our walk on the earth. To me, it seems like we should be talking about those things.

Instead, we’re talking about guns. It is, as Jonah says, indecent.



Adam Lanza And The Look Of Mass Murder: Why do mass murderers look the same?

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

What do mass murderers have in common? Their facial expressions. At least, that’s the way it looks to me.

I don’t know what to make of this, but I thought I’d share these pictures and let you judge for yourself. Basically, I was looking at this Lanza kid and that professor who killed her colleagues came to mind. Then, I thought of the guy in Colorado who killed the people at the Batman showing, and I thought: they all look the same.

Clinically, they all look mildly hyperthyroid–you can see the whites of their eyes in some cases. Their faces are drawn. Their hair flat, dull, and looking like they may be nutritionally deprived.

I want to know what medications these people were on. The public has a right to know about them: their family situation, their parents’ psychological profiles, birth order, any psychological diagnoses, their I.Q.’s, surgeries, illnesses, vaccinations, medications, nutrition, genetics… everything.

Public policy will be suggested, but how can we come up with adequate solutions if we can’t pinpoint the problem? And clearly, all of these people have problems–and they aren’t new ones. People knew they were trouble. In many cases, family tried to intervene.

Don’t they look the same? What goes wrong in the wiring that we recognize this form of crazy? No one is surprised by them. Or these cases seem to rarely surprise anyone. Is it because we see and/or sense the crazy emanating off of them? Very often, they cross paths with psychologists, teachers, doctors, and their parents are worried, overwhelmed, in denial, or inept. [Lanza’s mom had confrontations with the school system.]

What do we do with this?









It doesn’t matter their names. In fact, I don’t want to dignify these killers with showcasing their names. They all look the same.

They share a bleak, blankness in their eyes. Their mouths are drawn. They seem to be removed, distant. And underneath it all, there seems to be a suppressed fury.

The world is unfair. Nothing matters. So kill the world.

These seem to be the faces of malignant nihilism.

Emptiness.

Evil.

Possessed?



Obamacare Hurts Obama’s Reelection Chances

Monday, February 27th, 2012


According to this recent poll, President Obama’s first term might be his last term based on his signature piece of legislation. Susan Page of USA Today reports:

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage “a bad thing” and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.

“Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether,” says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. “It should be my own choice.”

Well, this is predictable.

Some on the right fear that when Obamacare gets more entrenched, say around 2014, that people will like it more. I disagree. Here’s why:

1. People who are currently insured don’t have long doctor wait times, can get procedures covered if their doctor deems them necessary, etc. Under Obamacare, wait times, access, will get worse.

2. People who aren’t currently insured already get health care. I know this is shocking, but they do. Now, they’re going to have to buy insurance, sign up with paperwork, go through crap to get what they used to get by pay cash or turning up on a hospital’s doorstep.

3. Many people excited about Obamacare are excited in theory and have little to lose. That is, they are already richand can afford what they want no matter or they’re already poor and on the government dole.

The vast middle of America hates Obamcare and their fury will rise as the government tells them all the treatments, tests, medications, and doctors they can and cannot have.

Nationalized healthcare (and for all the blather otherwise, this is centrally controlled health care) is profoundly un-American. It goes against the grain of everything American.

Obamcare is anti-choice, anti-freedom, anti-responsibility, and pro-central command and control, pro-limits, and pro-bureaucracy.

It is a disaster.



Christopher Hitchens: Always Learning…And Coming To The Truth?

Friday, December 16th, 2011


Christopher Hitchens died yesterday, here in Houston at MD Anderson.

A faithful atheist, Christopher Hitchens wrestled with God. I appreciated watching it in action. It was like witnessing Jacob go round after round with the Maker begging to be blessed. Hitchens wanted to be blessed with belief, I believe.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seemed to me he felt cursed by not being allowed entre into an intellectual world he couldn’t understand. His unbelief limited his understanding of the world both literary and literal and unlike so many, he seemed aware of his lack. He seemed to resent it. So, he fought.

An honest believer of any stripe fights. The mindless, whether atheist or God-fearer, makes a mockery of belief itself. Some might be surprised that a man who seemed to so despise God would be respected by believers. Here’s been my experience: the fighters acknowledge Something whether conscious or not.

Reminds me of the verse Revelation 3:15:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”

In a politically correct world of facile sophistry, Christopher Hitchens was either hot or cold. He certainly wasn’t lukewarm.

He didn’t brook the flabby self-congratulation of the likes of Bill Maher the king of cheap and easy pseudo-intellectualism.

One of my favorite Hitchens moments was between Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan in a debate moderated by the incomparable Tim Russert. At one point, Hitchens decried Andrew’s whining like a little girl. It was offensive, un-p.c. and completely deserved.

One of the most painful Hitchens exchanges was Hitch and his brother debating over the existence of God. What pained me was Christopher’s brother Peter’s pain.

Peter wrote about his journey to Christianity (well worth the read):

Being Christian is one thing. Fighting for a cause is another, and much easier to acknowledge – for in recent times it has grown clear that the Christian religion is threatened with a dangerous defeat by secular forces which have never been so confident.

Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.
The one reliable force that restrains the hand of the man of power. In an age of powerworship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power.

While I was making my gradual, hesitant way back to the altar-rail, my brother Christopher’s passion against God grew more virulent and confident.

As he has become more certain about the non-existence of God, I have become more convinced we cannot know such a thing in the way we know anything else, and so must choose whether to believe or not. I think it better by far to believe.

And then he writes of his brother:

My brother and I agree on this: that independence of mind is immensely precious, and that we should try to tell the truth in clear English even if we are disliked for doing so. Oddly enough this leads us, in many things, to be far closer than most people think we are on some questions; closer, sometimes, than we would particularly wish to be.

The same paradox sometimes also makes us arrive at different conclusions from very similar arguments, which is easier than it might appear. This will not make us close friends at this stage. We are two utterly different men approaching the ends of two intensely separate lives.

Let us not be sentimental here, nor rashly over-optimistic. But I was astonished, on that spring evening by the Grand River, to find that the longest quarrel of my life seemed unexpectedly to be over, so many years and so many thousands of miles after it had started, in our quiet homes and our first beginnings in an England now impossibly remote from us.

It may actually be true, as I have long hoped that it would be, in the words of T. S. Eliot, that ‘the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time’.

And if that peace could come…

Well, we all get old and we all soften, or most with any shred of wisdom do. And so, the question was asked by Mark Judge,”Is Christopher Hitchens about to convert?

My initial answer to the question was a version of “isn’t it pretty to think so”? My second thought was who can know the mind of men? And that reminded me of I Corinthians 2:11 (again in the King James version because I’m partial):

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

Or said in a modern way, “After all, who knows everything about a person except that person’s own spirit? In the same way, no one has known everything about God except God’s Spirit.”

We can only know believers by their fruit and forgive me, but Christopher Hitchens was withering. Ultimately, his belief is between him and God. It is for all of us.

Either way, I’m thankful for Christopher Hitchens. His keen mind and incisive questions forced a believer to be better in his answers.

And that is why I’ll miss Christopher Hitchens most–his unintended consequences. It is with great irony that he caused many who were learning, to come to the truth–even if he couldn’t.

UPDATED: Please read his brother Peter’s eulogy. It’s excellent. A smidgeon:

He would always rather fight than give way, not for its own sake but because it came naturally to him. Like me, he was small for his age during his entire childhood and I have another memory of him, white-faced, slight and thin as we all were in those more austere times, furious, standing up to some bully or other in the playground of a school we attended at the same time.

This explains plenty. I offer it because the word ‘courage’ is often misused today. People sometimes tell me that I have been ‘courageous’ to say something moderately controversial in a public place. Not a bit of it. This is not courage. Courage is deliberately taking a known risk, sometimes physical, sometimes to your livelihood, because you think it is too important not to.

Another moving tribute by his friend, Peter Robinson.



Losing The Future: A Discussion With Adam Baldwin

Monday, April 4th, 2011

How bad is it, really? President Obama and his soundbite messaging insist that we’re “winning the future”. Adam Baldwin, actor and conservative begs to differ. He talks about where we really are as a country, right now.

Adam and I had a “big picture” discussion about where the country is financially. It’s not the most uplifting conversation. But then, if you want sunshine and delusion, watch an Obama presser. Here’s a link to the podcast. It’s about 30 minutes long.

Over the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been writing. I decided to just take a break. I needed perspective. The big picture gets murky when lost in the depths of policy but since the devil’s in the details, many watchdogs stay there. And yet, the big picture needs to be understood to put the details in context. Sometimes one can swim so deep and lose which end is up.

While thinking about politics in the greater context, I’ve been reminded, yet again, that the most important discussions are happening elsewhere. What are people learning at church? What are people seeing on TV? What beliefs are being transmitted directly into the minds of people which completely trump any political and economic reality?

The fact is, in modern American life, even with the country and currency on the brink of economic disaster (and this is not just hand-wringing–nearly every expert I’ve spoken with believes that the dollar is weakening, that trust is nigh unto lost), most people cannot seem to care.

To pull a nerd reference, it’s like the Star Trek episode where everyone is playing that sunglasses video game–utterly blind to the world around them. With our modern ability to control so much of our media experience the illusion is that we control the message, but it’s not true. We don’t even fully grasp the extent to which we’re controlled; all of us, including those of us fighting it.

President Obama knows this. So while political activists deride his obsession with his NCAA bracket, President Obama knows that more people care about that than they do about the fact that the President is responsible for their job losses if they’re oil workers, as an example. They care more about that then his selling out of the taxpayer interests in service of greedy union bosses. So, President Obama golfs knowing that the press will shrug their shoulders. He knows that the war isn’t won in the political realm at all.

Serious issues like the budget are treated as ideological fights rather than a something tangible and real and with consequences. Anyway, it seems the real fight is outside of politics and in the popular culture. The real fight is in the realm of ideas and philosophy. And our immediate gratification, neutered culture is teaching one message and our political class, well half of them anyway, are fighting that message in order to make responsible decisions.

It’s an epic battle. We risk losing the future if we don’t fight on the real battlefield.



America At The Crossroads–No Event Horizon, Yet

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Not so long ago, I was upset with the State of Things and it was Andrew Malcolm the LA Times Blogger, my podcasting co-host and former NYT editor, who disabused me of the notion. Recalling the race riots of the late 60s and the angst around the Vietnam war, he convinced me that we ain’t nowhere near bad, yet. I’m inclined to believe him.

Politics, these days, is what politics in our Democracy has been a long time: pointed, shrill, symbolic and silly. One only needs to read Mark Twain, to know that average Americans have long held their leadership in tolerant contempt. We all just think what we are experiencing is the worst ever. Why wouldn’t we? History, especially in this self-centered, immediate-gratification age begins with us, well, “me”, right?

So this morning, my longtime online friend Brendan Loy decried the political environment. I suggest that you go read his whole post. He pretty fairly encapsulates the bulk of our intense Twitter back and forth argument. He says,”America is at something closer to an event horizon than a cross-roads“. Rather apocalyptic for a professed non-religious person.

A couple things occur to me as I’ve contemplated his anxiety and anger. I’m going to put my thoughts in a numbered format in no particular order of importance–it will just be easier when people disagree with me.

1. America faces an identity crisis: Are we going to be Europe-lite and recede into irrelevance ala Britain. Are we going to value, as I say, a social safety net over freedom? The two are inversely proportional. America, as it stands, wants both. They want a less bossy government. They also want the government to take care of them permanently. Americans are much like teenagers: all the fun, none of the responsibility! But the bill is about to be paid. The population statistics cannot support this current double-bind. The economics of it are failing. So the overriding tension in America is an identity-crisis. It is a crisis within each citizen. It is not resolved.

2. America faces a cultural crisis. The young people and the left side of our country seem to dislike America. This is supported in polling. They don’t like the culture. They don’t like the word “capitalism”. They like the word “progressive” and “socialism”. They view America as essentially bad. Of course, they’ve been told that America is bad, so it’s no wonder they see that perspective. Unlike during World War II, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, both resulting in the freeing of heretofore abused people, Hollywood has portrayed soldiers as merchants of death and destruction and evil instead of liberators of people. So the older WWII generation love America and see it as a force for good in the world. The young and left do not. In fact, they believe in a quasi-we-are-the-world, utopianism that elevates third world despots to the level of America. American exceptionalism? Oh, hell no! That would mean someone is better than another. But America is better. Objectively better. A culture cannot survive if it hates itself. And so there is tension. Remember, we now have a generation of kids who have received awards for participation. Every no-talent-ass-clown believes he’s as good as anyone else. Competition, capitalism, merit and excellence have been exchanged for participation, redistribution, self-esteem and trying. America didn’t win culturally by being communal but by freeing individual creativity. There is cultural tension against this very notion–against the notion of greatness itself.

3. America faces an institutional crisis. The church was undermined with the pedophile priest scandals. Science has been undermined with global warming, I mean cooling, I mean climate change. Academia has become a propaganda churning machine. The government writes more laws and our leaders seem more lawless. The press is not trusted as an unbiased forum for fact. The courts seem capricious. No one trusts any institutions anywhere.

4. America faces an economic crisis. In this, we are not alone. The world suffers with us. There is a lot less money going in than going out. We cannot print money forever. We simply can not do it. Eight million people (8 million!) people have lost jobs and they are not going to start working tomorrow. Not only that, but many Boomers face retirement and reality is dawning: money is running out. Not only that, but doctors willing to deal with Medicare/Medicaid, etc are running out. The jig is up all the way around. This is anxiety provoking.

5. America faces a moral crisis. I hesitate to write on this because it’s a can o’ worms. What I mean: Americans used to have a collective ethic that they shared–hard work, church, marriage, kids, home, etc. Life from one home to another at least appeared to be relatively the same. People married young. Had kids young. This had the result of forcing kids to grow up. Being a perpetual adolescent didn’t work so well when you had another mouth to feed. It also created social cohesion of sorts. Things have changed. People stay single longer, get married later. People may have kids or not. Now, there are positives and negatives to this, I don’t intend to oversimplify–only to note that social expectations, well, there aren’t any social expectations or no uniform expectations, anyway, which is my point. This causes anxiety, too. What is right and wrong? What is the best way to do something? This used to not be a question, right? My parents generation didn’t seemed to be plagued with this self-doubt. Fill-in-the-blank was just “the way it was”. Now, there is no “way.”

6. America faces an educational crisis. American education lacks an overarching historical context and cohesion. I believe this lack of understanding of history also contributes to our unease. What caused the Great Depression? How about the World Wars? How did Rome fall? What caused the French revolution? How could a civilized people support the rise of Hitler? We have a vague sense that things are bad, but how bad? And do we have any context to put our current crises into? Not really. Not only that, but Americans have been institutionalized from cradle to grave; systemized from day care to end of life care. Yes, it matters. Have you seen how children are forced to march through halls with their hands behind their backs? Of course, it’s for expedience sake, but with education so systematized, the deficits in learning are universal. Not only that, following the system is valued over critical thinking. Also, objective truth, established facts, are dismissed as “that’s your opinion”. In addition, fierce debate and being forced to defend a position seems to not be the way of education these days. The act of debating is itself stressful because children aren’t forced to defend their opinions. They are honored by sharing them. It makes for an intense interest in politesse but a lack of cogent thinking and overt hostility to having a thought challenged or corrected.

7. Technology amplifies every good and ill. Where the loud-mouthed jerk used to only annoy his family and neighbors at reunions and picnics, now he blogs and annoys everyone. Good news, fair news is also amplified. But the ignorant, arrogant, clueless, mouthy, amoral, mediocrity now has a platform. It can be annoying. Still, on the whole, the best rise to the top, and the arena of ideas is debated across the country–like Brendan and I did this morning. I don’t even know where he lives now. Tennessee? Colorado?

Anyway, this all reminds me of a scripture. Sorry agnostics reading this, but this scripture seems so apt. 2 Timothy 3:

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

There is no question that in these times we have more information, more knowledge, but less understanding and nearly no wisdom, it seems.

Discourse can be disrespectful and unfair. A general lack of kindness can be extended to our ideological adversaries. There seems to be no sense that “we’re all in this together.” Demonization passes for communication. Humor is really ridicule and meanness. Charity seems extended to no man.

Well, there is a crisis in America, more than one actually, and if it feels like war, it’s because it is. We are struggling for our very souls as a nation of free people. Who are we? What do we stand for? Who do we want to be? What do want for ourselves and for our children?

The first phase of a fight is ideological. And we’re in this phase. Ultimately, this is an individual struggle. People are having to reassess their notions of themselves. Do they believe they can take care of themselves? At what point does a person need, want, deserve a bailout?

I mean, these are painful questions. Shaming questions. America suffers generally because we’ve been indulgent individually. And our institutions have reflected the individual failure. We tolerated sin in our churches. We tolerated dishonesty in our halls of science. We tolerated propaganda in our schools of higher learning. We tolerated living beyond our means economically. We tolerated immaturity and selfishness in our relationships. We tolerated things because, like the Corinthians of Paul’s time, we thought it made us more righteous. We fell in love with our tolerance and we indulged our self-indulgence.

Each American stopped viewing himself as a responsible patriot and more like a co-dependent citizen. Everyone was drunk together.

Now, Americans are furious with bailouts here and there, a stagnant economy and the general State of Things. They are cutting back their lives. They’re making hard choices…well, most are. And still, it doesn’t look to be getting better. Meanwhile, the government, in contrast, spends like a meth-addled lottery winner. And, blaming the people while they’re at it.

So in this environment, people fight. Will a solution come, Brendan? I don’t know. Will America have to fully implode to reset the button? I doubt it will come to that. More likely, there will be internal struggle and strife as tough decisions are made out of necessity.



Global Warming Alarmism Cult Prompts Murder-Suicide

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The Global Warming cult scored its first known Kool-aid moment this weekend. From the UK Daily Mail:

A seven-month-old baby girl survived three days alone with a bullet in her chest beside the bodies of her parents and toddler brother.

Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming.

Her parents said they feared the effects of global warming in a suicide note discovered by police.

How many parents have had to calm their child’s fears about the global warming pseudo-science being presented as fact every day in the schools? Is it so surprising that people would be so afraid that the best solution they can find is to eliminate themselves?

Really, that’s the fundamental belief of AGW, right? People are evil. They suck up resources. The world would be a better place with less people. And oh, by the way, we’re all going to die in the next few years anyway. Might as well take control of it.

These people heard the messages loud and clear and acted on them. It shouldn’t be surprising.

H/T @CalebHowe on Twitter



If You Had Hours Or A Few Days To Live, Would You Want To Know?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I’m reading this article on a cat who leaps into your bed at the old folks home and he has got solid death instincts. He only becomes your companion when you’re on your way to permanent sleep:

Dr Dosa first publicised Oscar’s gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has gone on to double the number of imminent deaths it has sensed and convinced the geriatrician that it is no fluke.

The tortoiseshell and white cat spends its days pacing from room to room, rarely spending any time with patients except those with just hours to live.

If kept outside the room of a dying patient, Oscar will scratch on the door trying to get in.

When nurses once placed the cat on the bed of a patient they thought close to death, Oscar “charged out” and went to sit beside someone in another room. The cat’s judgement was better than that of the nurses: the second patient died that evening, while the first lived for two more days.

Dr Dosa and other staff are so confident in Oscar’s accuracy that they will alert family members when the cat jumps on to a bed and stretches out beside its occupant.

“It’s not like he dawdles. He’ll slip out for two minutes, grab some kibble and then he’s back at the patient’s side. It’s like he’s literally on a vigil,” Dr Dosa wrote.

Hmm… maybe if I was already in hospice, this could be helpful…making sure to have that phone call, talk, whatever.

On the other hand, if the cat is wrong only 10% of the time….

I would like to know if I was dying:
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls



Good News Research On H1N1

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

From Rice University researchers:

Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have found what they believe is a weakness in H1N1’s method for evading detection by the immune system.

Comparing its genetic sequences going all the way back to the virus’s first known appearance in the deadly “Spanish flu” outbreak of 1918, they discovered a previously unrealized role of receptor-binding residues in host evasion, which effectively becomes a bottleneck that keeps the virus in check.

Here’s the link to the research. This has implications for all virus transmission.



Climategate: Global Warming & Ridiculing The Ridiculous

Monday, December 7th, 2009

How seriously is Copenhagen going to be when no one believes that global warming is really happening? Not too seriously. Iowahawk captures the spirit:

Narrator

This is the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, home of one of the largest nesting populations of climate scientists in Europe.

Gentle ant’s-eye scene of idyllic campus lawn, strewn about with drunken mating undergraduates

Each year it attracts magnificent migratory flocks of graduate students, adjuncts and visiting faculty from across the northern hemisphere.

Shots of jumbo jets landing at Heathrow; herds of climate researchers busily milling at Duty Free shops, retrieving baggage, phoning for prearranged limo service

Within minutes of arriving on campus, the migratory researchers approach the entrance of the Climate Research Unit and perform the secret credential dance, fiercely displaying their prominent curriculum vitae. This signals to the security drone that they can be trusted with the sacred electronic lanyard badge that will grant them entrance to the hive’s inner sanctum.

Paul at Powerline notes that the Washington Post has finally decided to cover the Climategate story:

Why did it take the Post so long to provide an account of Climategate? It seems to me that the authors, David Farhenthold and Juliet Eilperin, reveal the reason when they claim that the “scandal has done what many slide shows and public-service ads could not: focus public attention on the science of a warming planet.”

It seems so unfair, doesn’t it? The left-liberal community, including the Washington Post, has been unable (in its view) to win the hearts and minds of the public on “global warming” through calm reason. And now, a juicy scandal that cuts against the left-liberal position is about to capture the public imagination.

I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that the Post finally decided to report the scandal at all.

Allah notes Al Gore’s Copenhagen behavior:

Beyond that, a guy who won a Peace Prize for becoming the high priest of this church simply isn’t going to turn on it this easily. The East Anglia boys will dump global warming — and each other, which they’re already doing — before Gore does. Nor do I think he’s ducking the lecture because he’s afraid to face questions about Climategate. Why should he be? He’s already got two pre-packaged “rebuttal” arguments to choose from, the savvy and the schmucky. Just today the UK’s climate secretary went the latter route by warning people not to be distracted from the crisis by skeptic “saboteurs.” That spin will be plenty good enough for a roomful of true believers, I’m sure.

If you don’t think this whole thing has descending into parody, here’s what Paul Krugman says today:

Maybe I’m naïve, but I’m feeling optimistic about the climate talks starting in Copenhagen on Monday. President Obama now plans to address the conference on its last day, which suggests that the White House expects real progress.

And over at NPR, the libs are trying to rationalize why citizens scoff at man-made global warming:

In a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, climate comes in dead last, No. 20 of the 20 big issues of concern to America. But that doesn’t completely explain why a number of recent polls show that people are less and less likely to accept the science of global warming. Here’s where psychology comes in.

Even as scientists become more confident that climate change is a serious hazard, public opinion is shifting the other way, says Kari Marie Norgaard at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.

“This seems irrational,” she says. “And in that sense, it’s challenging the basic premise that we have of an enlightened, democratic, modern society.”

So, the American people are unenlightened rubes, that’s why they’re skeptical. Meanwhile, scientists have lost their ability to be skeptical and the left can’t quite get why the American people are scoffing, at this point.

It should get more ridiculous and ridicule-worry as time goes on….what time we have left anyway. With all the carbon being spewed by the Global Warming folks traveling to Copenhagen, life might be in peril even as I write this:

It is being hyped as the summit that will save the planet.

But according to critics, next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen are more likely to cost the earth.

Researchers have estimated that the bill for the 12-day jamboree will top £130million – and will generate as much greenhouse gas as an entire Africa country.

Yeah, it’s the people who are delusional, alright. The people will take Anthropogenic Global Warming seriously when the scientists and politicians preaching the religion take it seriously.