27 February 2010

Link roundup for 27 February 2010

Looks like Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign is in get-tough mode (found via Truth 101).

Natural selection is still working.

Being a Mormon missionary looks more fun than I realized.

Look -- it's two feet of snow!

Steele is just following Republican practice.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.....

How is salvation achieved?

Christopher Hitchens denounces international sports (found via Russell Blackford, who quotes a hilarious comment on Hitchens's article).

Anyone who gets upset about this cannot be taken seriously.

Obama Islamic crescent Muslim right-wing blah blah blah.....

We are smarter than they are.

Part of the revolution may be televised.

Paranoia strikes deep.

Scientifically-illiterate people are scientifically illiterate.

Tom Degan reviews CPAC (for a conservative view see here).

Virginia skimps on worker protection (sent by Mendip).

Shocked at recent rises in health-insurance premiums? Hey, they need the money.

Palin's ambition poses a religious problem.

Not all rich people pay 17% of their income in taxes.

Teabaggers are blowing a gasket over Scott Brown's vote on the jobs bill, but he never was one of them.

The CBO estimates that the stimulus increased employment by 1.0 to 2.1 million last quarter, and its effects will grow through 2010.

Those teabagger schemes to recall Senators are unconstitutional.

Religious bigots freak out at a ground-breaking meeting between Obama administration officials and atheists.

A little-known story from the 1920s illustrates once again the murderous vileness of puritan moralists.

One Palin baby or two? I'm still trying to figure out whether this means anything.

The European economic crisis is producing impressive levels of acrimony between Greece and Germany.

Teabaggers in Britain? Not quite.

Michael J. Totten cuts through the nonsense about the Mabhouh assassination.

Qaddhafi has declared a jihad on Switzerland over its minaret ban.

Solar power is going big.

Elephants issue birth announcements.

Howard Friel fact-checks the books of global-warming denialist Bjørn Lomborg, with predictable results (found via Pharyngula).

Treachery and self-interested plotting are rife among royalty (found via Mendip).

Embryonic stem cells cure retinitis pigmentosa blindness in mice.

Researchers are already using stem cells to treat human cardio-vascular disease in Germany and Slovenia.


Blogger TomCat said...

Thanks Infidel. It's an impressive list.

27 February, 2010 10:44  
Anonymous Hugo Grinebiter said...

Anyone who gets upset about this cannot be taken seriously.

Isn't that half your country, though? We get FULL boobs in our daily papers. Not quite in "Sun page Three" mode, but in the sneakier way of editors looking for stories on mammography (or the perils of sunbathing etc.) so they can illustrate them with a boob or two. It annoys me, but not because I think I or anyone else (including kids) will take damage from seeing a nice boob, but because I dislike the whole business where news stories are illustrated by stock or arranged pictures, like the old shop signs for the illiterate. If there isn't an actual event to photograph, I'd rather have just text thanks.

28 February, 2010 01:42  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

TC: Thanks.

HG: I wouldn't say half, but we do have a ridiculously puritanical element which makes something of a hobby of getting upset about such things. Business kowtows to them because it's easier than dealing with the fusses they make, so the public space is more de-sexualized than in most Western countries. It doesn't really matter much. People can find anything they want on the internet anyway.

28 February, 2010 04:08  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning Mr.Infidel!

Actually I was reading these mostly yesterday .... but had to go to work halfway through.

When I look at that pic of Ronald McDonald .... doesnt he look like one of them teabag's getting busted in a protest gone sour? :)

The "Get Stupid" video's from Bit's and Piece's were great!

"Lady GaGa" from MSN Music causing "outrage" .... it's about goddamn time girl! I mean I expect this, we all must pay our due's, and for me .... you just havent done your obligation yet until you go against the grain, this grain being those fundamoralist's and affiliate's (God's personal little chosen Teddy Bear's) .... I mean .... they all do it at one point, whether it's playing the evil/ villian part in some screenplay early on, or exposing the natural beauty and/ or sexuality of nature, or in your lyric's or public statement's .... Everyone from Monroe, to Madonna to the Dixie Chix done likewise .... it's paying your due's. CONGRATULATION'S to Ms.GaGa .... and wish her the best! She has great talent's and is a very beautiful woman as well. And this doesnt by far only apply to the female gender .... guy's must pay their due's as well!

Critter's Crap on the rich and taxes was a nice read as well. This is what I was trying to point out in I believe the last round up .... as far as this talk about 17% tax pay out's ( stating shock of anyone who had to be out of pocket at all, unless your working class) or whatever. Most folk's dont really see how taxes work as far as what is taxable, transfer of properties after death, what can or cant be wrote off, etc. Yeah .... you can "officially" find all kind's of info on what people "technically" pay ... for "show" ... what you dont see is the what they get reimbersed after all the paper work. Actually many working class people take the easy route's and let tax preparer's do their taxes for instance and dont utilize all they could. Understand who create's the tax legislation and code's, and learn from their practice's how and what they do .... and you can save yourself quite a little stash, and make a few buck's actually. Put it this way .... if I had a fairly good size company, decent amount of property, and enough money to generate more money from it ..... I dont see any reason from what I know and read .... why I would have to be out of pocket on any taxes or daily expenses for that matter, my only spending out of pocket/ account would be my investment choice's .... and that would be my only losses, if I utilized what is available to me. I dont care if it's just my daily vehicle and gas .... I would have it as an "expense" and get reimbersed, or some angle, whether I have to go to the office, or jump on my jet for tea time midday in London. Getting a clear look at who pay's taxes and how they work in this country .... and how estate/ property values and taxation work's, I dont see any reason why anyone would shell much of anything out of their pocket unless they just volunteered to because they feel guilt or something. The incredible part of all this is how so many average folk's are suprised when they hear about this. I have also posted on this .... and how you can even get your hired sex service's paid for as well .... it's all a "business". Why do you think professional's in the sex service industry carry hand held debit and credit card device's when they meet client's .... and go under business name's like "ABC Enterprises" (made up name for the point here) or such, instead of say "Mandy's Erotic Escort's"? Being an accountant as you stated you were .... I am sure you know a few trick's as well, and none of this certainly would suprise you.

Science Daily's research into blindness via stem cell's was a good read too!

Thanx Guy ..........

28 February, 2010 06:57  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

BTW .... I heard Fannie Mae "may" be trying to ask for another multi billion dollar bite of stimulus pie. My heart goes out to them ... I am frightened if we dont give them all what they want .... the global economy will meltdown and we will all be doomed, and it will be the end of civilisation ... so everybody please contribute ... I'm too young to die ..... please!

28 February, 2010 07:12  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RC: When I look at that pic of Ronald McDonald .... doesnt he look like one of them teabag's getting busted in a protest gone sour?

Well, he's not really dressed oddly enough, but I take your point.:-)

you just havent done your obligation yet until you go against the grain, this grain being those fundamoralist's and affiliate's

As John Cleese said, there are those whom one would wish to offend (a favorite quote of mine).

And this doesnt by far only apply to the female gender .... guy's must pay their due's as well!

If I ever become famous, I promise to pose topless for a magazine cover too -- just don't expect it to do much for sales:-) Yeah, I know Ted Haggard is a guy and he managed to make a really spectacular public mess, and my hat is off to him, but one has to draw the line somewhere.:-)

Oh, and I'd have more confidence in Fannie Mae if it didn't have a name that makes it sound like a cookie store.

28 February, 2010 07:37  
Anonymous rita said...

I esp. enjoyed the link to the AXE Mormon video as it reminded me when my middle daughter, at around 15 years old, got the hots for a cute Mormon missionary. She got baptized & everything...fortunately as soon as his stint was up he moved on & she promptly dropped all her Mormon activities.
My town has a lot of Mormon influence, too much I think... half the members of the city council, police & fire department, it's enough to make an atheist paranoid.

28 February, 2010 10:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Rita: Glad she escaped. Obviously it depends on the guy, but a relationship like that could have led to a whole morass of trouble. You seem to have had enough problems with one family member stuck in Thailand.

I never thought there would be that much Mormon influence down there. Rather surprising. Don't the local fundamentalists freak out over it?

28 February, 2010 10:40  
Blogger Rita said...

This town has a LOT of churches in it. They all seem to get along fairly well, though. The 7th Day Adventists & The Catholics, wrangle a little. The Catholic priest has called me at the newspaper a couple of times about his gripes with other churches. I think he feels a bit persecuted & outnumbered by the protestant fundies. I kinda like him.
My biggest problem is with my Mom's Minster(Pentecostal) he knows I'm an atheist, so when he comes into the office he always says, "How are YOU doing?" (In that sincere, I really care voice.) When I say, "I'm fine." He always says, "Are you really?" No matter how I answer that stupid question, he always implies I have an attitude. I usually just say something like, "I wouldn't of said I was fine, if I wasn't." You are clever, maybe you could come up with something better for me?

28 February, 2010 16:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Rita: This is something I've noticed on the occasions when I'm pestered by evangelists -- they always seem unable to accept that someone can be living a satisfactory life without religion. No matter how much I insist that I have no "god-shaped hole" in my life, they think there must be some underlying dissatisfaction there if they just probe for it.

It seems obvious to me that this attitude is an intolerably arrogant one, but you may not feel comfortable saying that so bluntly to the minister, especially since it sounds like he doesn't explicitly raise the issue of religion at all.

Since he must know you used to be religious years ago, perhaps you could come up with something along the lines of "I'm much happier these days than I was earlier in life." But short of having a flat-out argument you 'd probably want to avoid, I don't think there's any way of getting such a person to lay off.

28 February, 2010 18:30  

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