Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are you weird?

I keep finding unexplained, unsupported, and somewhat alarming statements in the middle of articles online which are only marginally related to the statements at issue.

Take this example, in an article whose headline says: Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ, which is, you have to admit, a compelling headline. So, reading there, I came across this tidbit:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Same Old, Same Old

According to a story in ABC News, "Conservatives Plot Comeback With Renewed Energy". The interesting thing, as they get more and more free coverage, and attract more and more stand-out weirdos and clowns and people-from-whom-it's-hard-to-tear-your-eyes when they're on TV, is that they haven't gotten it yet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why America No Longer Believes Her Politicians

In a story from the Wall Street Journal today, about the Wellpoint (owner of Blue-Cross) announcement of an almost 40% premium rate increase for individual health insurance in California (and elsewhere), there's mention of a number of politicians who are annoyed:
The House Ways and Means Committee's top Republican, Rep. Dave Camp, (R., Mich.), in a statement said private insurers' premium increases are "unacceptable," but that Democrats' proposals "would actually make the current situation worse by making coverage more expensive."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Biology professor, denied tenure, goes on shooting rampage

A horrible story about a 40-something biology professor who was denied tenure at the University of Alabama at Huntsville was made more horrible by a quote from a student (quoted by MSNBC):
Gina Hammond, a UAH student, told WAFF that she lobbied the University of Alabama trustees to allow students with gun permits to carry their weapons on campus. She was turned down.

“I’m scared to go back to school,” Hammond said. “However, if they were to allow me to carry my pistol on campus, I would not be as scared.

“... I’m sorry that nobody in that room had a pistol to save at least one person’s life,” Hammond said.
One of America's college students demonstrates her reasoning ability. Shit for brains.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Upside of Maturity

There's a rarely discussed upside of middle age, and that's the ability to process new-- and possibly very divergent-- trends of thought simply and effectively into your own way of thinking, without having to stop too much and rethink everything. As a young student of philosophy, it took me years to plumb the ideas and importance of Plato, and nearly a decade to unravel Aristotle. With age, I find it's easier to grasp a new thinker, incorporate the new ideas into my own world view, and move on. This is a blessing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two thoughts

I read some commentary about the Audi ad during the Super Bowl-- you know, the one with the "Green Police" running around and arbitrarily arresting well-to-do white perpetrators of ecological crimes. This was actually an interesting idea-- handcuffing the guy who chose "plastic" at the supermarket checkout, calling in a SWAT raid on the home that sent the battery out to the trash pickup-- until the denouement, when the authorities manning a roadblock looking for bad emissions, read the logo on the back of an Audi and said, "Clean diesel? You're free to go..." and our protagonist gets to accelerate out of the crowd and down the highway. A fun ad, over the top, and in touch with some environmental issues which it seemed to be highlighting with excess and humor. The problem?