Friday, 30 October 2009

The Big Question: Are scientists now really able to make sperm and egg cells in the lab?
Nonsense: it is a small, empirical one: either they can or they can not.
      As for the ethical question, either medical research is good or it is bad. Experts should try all non-lethal means to cure disease or they should try none (allowing people to die unless a god intervenes). There are no ethical grounds for preferring one kind of non-damaging therapeutic approach over another.
Obama's "Intricate" Indonesian Wedding Band
Get a life!
Cheney Ogled My Wife's Breasts
Oh no! And I bet she had them taped down and well hidden. 
She surely wouldn't have had a tight sweater or been displaying any cleavage, would she?
House Health Care Bill: A Death Sentence For My Fellow Breast Cancer Survivors
What Joe Wilson said
Getting the Deal Done
"As they are the party of NO, we need to change the rules"
Isn't this exactly what the Retroblicans said 4 years ago?
Why not work on common ground?
New Wrinkle in JFK Assassination StoryI love stories where everyone who could confirm or deny is dead - they have such legs!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Briton's song released in bid to avert execution
Britain may think the death penalty a bit extreme, regardless of the number of deaths the 4 Kilograms of Horse would have contributed to, but certainly life in prison would not be extreme?   
    Unless of course, you wish to see Heroin use as evolution in action - in which case, give him a medal.  
Obama: 12 months on, star falls back to earth
Yeah! We gave him a loaf of bread and three fishes and how many did he feed?
Tackle causes of child poverty, not just symptons
    "factors which do contribute to child poverty: living in a jobless household, low educational attainment and truancy, family breakdown, teenage smoking and obesity, to name but a few"  
     Natalie's partial list is of factors that contribute to child failure, not child poverty - and she missed the big 2 that cause most child failure: parental indifference and active parental animosity. 
     True, all of these factors are more prevalent in poor homes than more affluent ones.
Letterman is sexist, says female writer
Got it! Any sexual relationship at the office is always composed of one sexist and one victim. If a woman choses a relationship with a more - rather than a less - powerful man, it makes the man sexist and the woman a victim by definition.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Marcus Jordan's shoes could cost college millions
There is an important principle here: it is not how well the kid can play, it is how well can he advertise. 
Remember: absolutely everyone involved in the UCF basketball program is getting paid for their efforts, except the athletes.  If we let some prima donna player get between the school and its money, it would defeat the purpose of having college sports in the first place.
Most Dangerous Global Warming Deniers
I like "Global Warming Deniers"!  
I conflates presuming global warming as an historical fact with the emotional baggage of the holocaust, thus painting the other side of the argument as more evil than ignorant.    A tactical coup that Beck or Limbaugh would be proud of, had they come up with it.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Police dogs bit power station protesters
The freedom to protest does not include the freedom to commit violence. Tearing up fencing is hard to describe as anything but a violent act. Those who live by the tooth may get bitten in return.
Sir Ian Blair 'trying to rewrite history'
     Mr de Menezes was killed in error by police doing their job. Blair's comments do not seem a rewrite of history except to those who have a vested interest in painting police as evil. He said "the officers were adamant that" - he did not state that this is what occurred.
     Misinformed, incompetent, over-reactive the police may occasionally be - as they certainly were in this case - but they are usually not evil. Charlie 2 & 12 went onto the tube to kill a man they thought a threat to themselves, to you and to me. That's what we pay them for.
    Here is the job description: Wanted: person to be shot at by criminals and terrorists. If you shoot back, you will be second-guessed and may be charged with murder if you cannot defend your decision. In less public actions that are later defined as mistakes, punishment may be restricted to loss of career and pension.
Freedom of speech fine until the invective is against you
     Question time has had many racists on in the past - including racists of many different skin colors. Why is BNP so different: just because they do not try to cast their racism in code or is it because they are white?
    What better way to expose the bankruptcy of their ideas than putting them in the public forum?
People try to ban things when they fear those things are winning. Banning is often the last gasp of a corrupt and dying regime. Surely we can beat back racist nonsense without resorting to facist tactics?

PS: "Hitler won the votes of the majority. Would the BBC have done him the honour, too?"  Of course they would - it's their job.
Media prejudice against Lib Dems
Mr Huhne's case for bias in political reporting, and the reasons for it, are probably correct. Unfortunately, the main reason this seems to exercise him is what it does to his party's chance of winning, not what it means for our society. Well at least he is, in this regard, a main-stream politician.
The art of science
Science has always been art: a human attempt to understand the universe in which we live. Like most art, it can be beautiful, inspirational, provocative, ugly or mundane. The only difference between science and art is the definition of truth: emotional and personal in one case, objective in the other.
Excess alcohol will kill one person every hour
Excess food will kill three every hour.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Peace isn't what Obama is achieving
Obama hasn't solved Afghanistan, the Middle East, Basquedom, Northern Ireland, Global Warming, American Health Care or the World Economic Downturn. 
    All he has offered is hope and the idea that, if we all work together "yes we can" solve some problems. 
What good is that, anyway? We don't want to work to solve these things: we want someone else to do it for us.
Why is the world still hungry?
There are 4 main reasons why hungry countries don't grow more food:
1) Their countries have no secure land tenure, making credit difficult
2) Their governments are corrupt and siphon off most of the profits via middlemen
3) EU and US farm subsidies make buying abroad cheaper than growing at home

The People vs Wall Street
Fact is: these guys did NOT think they were doing wrong - they thought they were working hard in the best interest of their clients and the economy. It was the whole system that was crook and they never looked at the system from a dispassionate viewpoint. (To be fair, neither did 99% of us - the general public - who were making money off them in the boom times. And we certainly ignored any commie-pinko-running-dog lackeys that said the whole financial system was wrong.) 

Not dissimilar to the mafia soldier who thinks he is doing his best for his family. Ask him: is it right to whack someone? Well, yes, if he did something really wrong. Would you like to be whacked? Well, no, but if I did something really wrong, I should be whacked. Would you like someone to sell numbers or sex to your kids? Yeah, nothing wrong with that. Would you like someone to sell drugs to your kids? Well, no, but it's my job to raise my kids so they don't buy drugs; think of it as evolution in action. 
    Do you think the Mafia is good or bad for society? Well, that's a difficult one, there are pluses and minuses that can be argued and you're waxing all philosophical on me now. It's just the way the system works: I didn't invent it, I was born into it and I can't change it.

That's the way the investment business thinks and works, except they are completely convinced that they are on the side of the good guys, truth, justice and the American way.
The Mayoral Race that wasn't
"The people of New York City believe in the values of the Democratic Party, but they don't trust it to produce strong leaders on the local level."        Not so stupid, these New Yorkers, are they?
Why Joe Biden Should Resign
It used to be that one resigned when one did something wrong or thought that others were doing something wrong. Okay, I agree that is gone - people only resign if they set to prison or hounded from office by the media. Ariana Huffington now has a  novel suggestion: people should resign when they think or do something right.
     Oooh! I made a statement! Of course, I am thereafter useless in solving this (or any other) problem unless I carp from the outside and mount a campaign against the insiders who are trying to solve it.  A very 21st century solution, Ariana.  Much better than being an eloquent and critical insider whose views must be listened to.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Expenses: MPs cry foul at payback demands
"Their argument is that these claims were within the rules when they made them and that to force them to pay back money now is retrospective justice"

I think you'll find they argue that it is retrospective Injustice.
Let's imagine you work for a company who says your expenses limit for an hotel is 100 pounds per night. Four years later, they say: "Look, we've changed our mind. We now think the limit should have been 80 pounds, so you owe us 5 grand." How would you react?
Schoolgirl lost fingers in plaster of Paris
"No surprise to find a privatised foundation school involved in an incident like this. The governing body were not meeting the most basic of legal requirements - which is why responsibility needs to go back to duly elected local authorities pronto."

Good idea. 
They would have swept this incident under the carpet before it ever saw the light of day.
Another phoney war: the one on climate change
"CO2 does help plants grow, but generally helps weeds more than crops"
On which planet?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Okay, he has given hope to many hundreds of millions of people around the world, but what has he done for me lately?
    PS: This award is really going to annoy those who make their stance by spreading fear and mistrust.
10 Best Mass Insults: Viv and Merv on the merits of their own countries
"This is my island, my culture. Don't you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl." said the West Indies' Viv Richards to Australia fast bowler Merv Hughes (pictured). "In my culture we just say f*** off." was Hughes' response.

And, in Britain, when they say eff off, it is generally considered an intelligent retort

Tories' EU ally: Poland should not apologise for killing Jews
People that did not do it should not apologise to people it was not done to? Shameful suggestion. Tsk tsk.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Questions Americans Should Ask About Afghanistan
Three more:
1) Why would America oppose more troops when more troops means fewer American casualties?
2) Does America want a reputation of "invade other countries, ruin them, then run away"?
3) Is there any iniquity that America will fight or Should evil men be free to do their will anywhere in the world so long as it is not on American soil?
UN Failed To Prevent Afghan Election FraudSo-and-so could have prevented such-and-such. The UN could have prevented fraud, God could have prevented original sin. Why is it always someone else's fault beside the people who actually did the deed?           It is time to face facts: No One in Afghanistan cares about the "will of the people". Not the government, not the warlords, not the Taliban, not Al Qaeda, not the UN, not NATO. Afghani elections were always going to be a charade, rigged by any and all with the slightest power to rig them. The winner is the guy who can say: my rig's bigger than your rig. 
       And only Euro-American liberals seem to give a hoot one way or another -- not a group to inspire confidence about getting much done:  Good values; lousy follow through
As Layoffs Persist, Good Jobs Go Unfilled
Nursing is one of those professions where there has always been a large supply of trained professionals who are unwilling to work in their field anymore. Its not about pay, its not about hours: its about power imbalance (lots of responsibility, little authority) and the way they are treated.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

with one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, this is no time to worry about the debt
Right: Let's borrow more to keep our current lifestyle and let our children pay for it
Serial Cheating Is Worse Than an Affair?
Women fear their man having sex with another woman, as it could lead to intimacy and hence alienation of resources.   Men fear their woman having intimacy with another man, as it could lead to sex and hence having to raise the offspring of another.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Credit Rating Agency Analysts Covering AIG, Lehman Brothers Never Disciplined
Yes! Let's punish anyone who is ever wrong. That will surely improve advice, won't it?   
 OK, here's a slob at a ratings agency; call him Joe Blogs. He wasn't fired but, for the next 20 years, when he gives a company an AAA rating, folks in the know will say: "Yeah, and he also gave an AAA to Lehman Brothers 5 days before they went belly up."    Unless you can show me how Joe Blogs profited from ruining his reputation and hence his career, you will have a hard time proving criminal intent.
      PS: The stock market IS like gambling. As anyone in Vegas will tell you: craps is a method of punishing people who do not know math. For the stock market the phase is: if you ain't in the know, don't spend your dough. The real problem with ratings agencies is gullibility: people thought they were in the know. Turned out not to be the case. Bye dough.

Go Nanny State!

Drug tests for exam students 'inevitable'
There is no hypocrisy in saying that these performance-enhancing drugs are OK for folks to use if they have been diagnosed with a "disease", but evil when taken by healthy (i.e.undiagnosed) people - is there?
      Outlaw anything students might do that "helps them to focus and concentrate" - we wouldn't want that, would we? If they can't focus and concentrate on their own, let them eat cake.