Don’t speak. Don’t speak.

The only reason people wouldn’t have insurance is if they’re cheapskates? Really?

“Family health insurance premiums that would have taken a minimum wage worker 329 hours to earn in 1979 would have taken 2,079 hours in 2011.”

“Nine employees covered by the federal health insurance plan.”

Justice Antonin Scalia: less demand means higher prices. Wait … what?

“My other advice is to check their watches from time to time: it is 2012, not the mid-1970s.”

“Wise investment in infrastructure now saves taxpayers money in the long run.”

“The New Hampshire law would require that doctors give unscientific, medically inaccurate information to patients or else lose their jobs.” (via)

“The influence of politics on science at the FDA has become increasingly blatant.”

“The Bible never directly addresses, and it certainly does not condemn, loving, committed same-sex relationships.” (via)

He wasn’t welcome there because of his clothing, his status as a homeless man, his notoriety.”

Jesus is attacking the patriarchal power structure, cutting it off at the knees.”

This is an idea that should be deeply disturbing to American Christians.”

“In case of the disappearance of True Christians, there are instructions located in the above box to help those who are left behind.”

One in five teenagers will experiment with philosophy.”

“A European team said on Wednesday that about 40 percent of red dwarf stars — the most common type in the Milky Way — have a so-called “super-Earth” planet orbiting in a habitable zone that would allow water to flow on the surface.”

(Post title in honor of Dianne Wiest, who turns 64 today.)

  • JessicaR

    I know it’s getting bad and I’ll have to take a news fast when I start breaking out the cute animal videos/pictures, but it’s depressing that a good portion of our polticians and our population don’t have the fraction of the empathy of this frickkin’ seal, http://polyhymnia.tumblr.com/post/19994946654/a-seal-helping-a-helpless-turtle-get-back-into-the

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Come on people! I don’t think the title was referring to us!

    On topic: I can’t tell who’s stupider – Romney or Scalia, although at least Scalia knows his job is safe regardless of whatever nonsense he spews.

  • http://www.livefromhamiltonpark.wordpress.com/ Kubricks_Rube

    From the Richard Beck link:

    Jesus isn’t saying God is a man. Jesus is attacking the patriarchal power structure, cutting it off at the knees. The issue isn’t about gender. The issue is about power.

    Right now on the Patheos homepage, there’s a column on why women can’t be priests (emphasis added):

    Those who argue for women’s ordination usually do so using three forms of argumentation: 1. Utilitarianism 2. Sentimentalism  3. Civil Rights. [...]

    These argument can be part of the greater discussion, but they don’t have much weight in the Catholic Church, because the Catholic Church works from a different premise to start with. We begin with theology and the truth of the theology governs all other decisions. Practical and sentimental and civil rights questions–while important in civil society– are very low in priority when making decisions within the Catholic Church.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2012/03/why-women-cannot-be-priests.html

    I realize Beck is not Catholic and not disussing ordination per se, but perhaps Fr. Longenecker would be surprised to learn there are theological arguments for alowing women full equality.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    If civil rights aren’t important within your organisation, this tends to imply bad things about your organisation. Just a thought.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

      
    “The Bible never directly addresses, and it certainly does not condemn, loving, committed same-sex relationships.” (via)

    Well, most of you are probably familar with this. 

    “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
        2And Saul took him that day and would let him go home no more to his father’s house.
        3Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
        4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword and to his bow and to his girdle. ”

    Now granted, from the nonbeliever’s perspective this is most likely read as propaganda, emphasizing how David was for all intents the ‘brother’ of the now dead heir-apperent, in order to justify what was probably a straight up coup, in as much as any of this was real at all.  And of course the idea that eros is unquestionably stronger than philos is strictly a modern sensibility.  In those days it was considered deeply unmanly to love your walking incubator(s) more than your comrades. 

    All the same though, chick-a-wow-wow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edo-Owaki/1268185670 Edo Owaki

    I’m gonna have to throw in that super-Earth worlds have problems of their own, like hostile surface gravity and atmospheric pressure. (And that the kinds of planets that are POSSIBLE in M-series star systems are really unfriendly to developing technology on any recognizable lines.)

    But still, that report is… wow. That’s awesome.

  • Jonathan Lundell

    Much as I hate to make excuses for Scalia (and I’m guessing at the context of the quote), he may be noting, correctly, that absent an individual mandate, fewer healthy people will buy health insurance under ACA, leading to higher premiums because of adverse selection. One reason that health insurance is different from other markets.

  • Anonymous

    I realize it’s also completely off-topic, but: http://www.themarysue.com/wolves-love-this-woman/

  • JessicaR

    Thank you, I needed something like that very badly today, and in return here’s Freddie Mercury sitting on the shoulders of Darth Vader, http://polyhymnia.tumblr.com/post/20068199480/randomdeinonychus-vylettesdomain

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Ugh, in Norway even the wolves are “socialized”. Buncha commies…

  • Anonymous

    Romney’s stupider, but Scalia’s more evil.  Glad I could clear that up.

  • Mike

    I remember reading this story for the first time and thinking, “This would make an awesome movie!”. Then, “Why, of all the stories I’ve heard about David, have I never heard about Jonathan?”

    Their bond has definately been downplayed in western culture.

  • JessicaR

    NBC did a terrific, and sadly short lived, series called Kings that was a modern day alternate future retelling of the story of Saul and David and Jonathan. Well worth seeking out on DVD or streaming video.

  • Jay in Oregon

    Kinda off topic, but it turns out that there’s more fisking of really bad fiction than just Fred ripping apart the Left Behind books.

    It turns out that there is a novel adaptation of Back to the Future released before the movie came out. Written using an early draft of the script, by someone who clearly needed to attend the Jenkins School of Creative Writing.

    http://btothef.tumblr.com/

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know why I was surprised that the Right-Wingers ignore science. They maintain job security by trying to one-up each other in the “what’s the stupidest thing I can think of next?” department.

    My current novel, a satire novel in the vein of Gulliver’s Travels or Alice in Wonderland about American society set in the multiverse, has a section that I’m working on right now that targets bad left wing science (in particular, “What the [Bleep] Do We Know”* – never force a skeptic to sit through that movie, like I had to in my social problems class in college). But I have difficulty aiming at the left. I feel like bad science from the left is the result of an innocent stupidity that has almost a charming quality to it** (I mean that in the most patronizing sense possible), while the the bad science on the right*** is the result of malevolent, predetermined, and dangerous stupidity. It’s hard to criticize the left when they’re not the ones who are forcing people to abide by their dangerously stupid view of the world, but bad science is bad science and should be roundly criticized where it appears, whether it’s the post-modern left or the post-modern right.

    * I wonder how many self-profess leftists know that J.Z. Knight, the conartist bullshit liar channeler of RAMTHA, WARRIOR OF LEMURA! proclaimed that HIV is God’s punishment for being gay.

    ** noted exceptions to this include the anti-vaxxer movement and the alternative medicine movement. The leaders of those movements are vultures, except vultures preform a useful service for the native ecological systems. We tested all of the alternative medicine styles out there, and the ones that worked we kept and called “medicine.”

    *** I spend an almost inordinate part of the novel taking apart the right, but I rarely touch on the bad science that the right perpetuates. Part of it is because the right doesn’t *believe* in their bad science in the same way that the left believes in their bad science, and their bad science is instead a framing device for their attempts to shove their religion in the public sphere. So I attack the religion instead, and save myself the hassle of having to deal with stupid science. It gets painful at points trying to create worlds where they’re right and gays and liberals are Nazis. Infinite possibilities does not mean infinite impossibilities.

  • Michael Pullmann

    That’s standard practice with novelizations, even today.

    Of course, that doesn’t excuse deficiencies in the quality of writing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edo-Owaki/1268185670 Edo Owaki

    The closest equivalent to bad left-wing science I can think of is Lysenkoism, which may be worth a look. It’s completely irrelevant to America, but it’s the closest example I can think of.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Are you talking about the one by George Gipe? ‘Cause I have that one :D *reads your link now*

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, God. What the bleep do we know? *instant rage train*

    Abuse of quantum mechanics really, really annoys me. (>_<)

  • Anonymous

    The closest equivalent to bad left-wing science I can think of is Lysenkoism, which may be worth a look. It’s completely irrelevant to America, but it’s the closest example I can think of.

    I can think of a few:
    • GMO food fear.
    • Fracking causes major earthquakes.
    • Anti-vaxxers.
    • FTL / Cold Fusion / Solar Power cranks

    There are some other’s that are pretty bipartisan but that’ll do for starters.

    1) GMO Food.  All your food is GMO – we’ve just gotten a lot better at modifying it really quickly.  That might be a problem – but there’s ain’t nothing natural about a banana – so GMO food itself is beneficial.  (Agricultural mono-cultures on the other hand…)

    2)Fracking causing earthquakes.  Fracking causes minor tremors that are only found because you’re looking for them when they happen.  It does however cause the fskcing water to catch on fire.  I’m unclear as to why it needs to ALSO cause earthquakes.

    3) Anti-vaxxers.  This is all such bullshit it’s hard to describe calmly.  There’s no there there.

    4) FTL / Cold Fusion / Electric Car.  This is bad science in that it’s people thinking that the government or some company is actively suppressing some kind of magical technological silver bullet.  No – it’s just that electric cars are hard, cold fusion ranges from theoretically iffy to impossible and FTL is as flat out impossible as things get.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    New Age BS isn’t left-wing. It has an extremely strong tendency to blame the victim for what happens to him or her. Most people on the left-wing also scoff at it. It’s outside the left-right spectrum in the U.S., but is more easily used by cults and totalitarian movements than by anyone with an ounce of mainstream credibility. As a “self-professed leftist,” I have never known any “self-professed leftist” who believes in that crap. 

    The closest thing to right-wing anti-intellectual anti-science claptrap that liberals in the U.S. have embraced is fat-shaming. It’s scientifically unsound and causes real, serious harm. However, this isn’t a “left-wing” thing, as many people on the left are outspoken about how unscientific, bigoted, and harmful it is.

  • Anonymous

    Often overlooked is the fact that the academic left is almost single-handedly responsible for global warming denialism and all of the other Right-wing anti-science garbage that gets treated so seriously by our public sphere.

    Back in the mid 1990s, there was a spat between the left-wing academics and post-modernist critics and the hard sciences. Said left-wing academics applied their deconstruction theories and such scientific theorems, and tried to undermine the scientific process in the name of “constrictive criticisms” – that is, declaring science to be relative/useless because it was created by DWM/insert other criticism here. This was called the “science wars”. While the left-wing academics waged war against the scientific establishment in the name of post-modernism, the right-wing took notes. All of the attacks that the left used against the scientific establishment during the “science wars?” The ring-wing is using them now to support continued denial of global warming, lies about abortion and whatever cancer of choice you have here, lies about evolution, etc.

    The left-wing academics are part of the reason we’re in this mess. That’s not to say this would’ve happened if they’d kept their mouths shut – the right would’ve done this sooner or later – but the left helped damage the credibility of science to the point where the right’s lies about it could be effective. The damage done to the credibility of science can still be seen on the left with bad sciences like the ones that Lori lists.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the thing about the left though – unlike the right, nobody says that it speaks for the entire group. They do belong on the left wing spectrum, but they do NOT speak for the entire left-wing spectrum in the same way that theocratic Christians speak for the Christian right. They do, however, find a home in left-wing metaphysics. That’s who the movie “What the bleep do we know” is aimed at (the “metaphysical left”, iirc).

    Also, I have. I sat through an entire social problems class with a professor who varied between that and believing that 9/11 was hoax (which is not strictly left wing, nor is it strictly right wing. However, I was the only person in the class who didn’t believe that garbage). Note that you’re also talking to a self-professed leftist. In fact, I’m about as far left as the political scale will let me go. There are stupid people on all sides of the political spectrum. The only difference between left-wing anti-science and right-wing anti-science is that left-wing anti-science isn’t a framing device for regressive views of society and a means to force those regressive views on us as a country.

  • Anonymous


    My current novel, a satire novel in the vein of Gulliver’s Travels or Alice in Wonderland about American society set in the multiverse, has a section that I’m working on right now that targets bad left wing science (in particular, “What the [Bleep] Do We Know”* – never force a skeptic to sit through that movie, like I had to in my social problems class in college). But I have difficulty aiming at the left. 

    To be fair (and to expand upon your later point), anti-science isn’t a necessary feature of the Right.  It’s just that anti-science positions are incredibly useful for the Right’s typical power base: fundamentalist religions and large corporations.  The former have their social and creation views challenged by research, and the latter are the direct targets of science-based regulation.  

    It’s difficult to imagine left-wing anti-science outside of current nutcrackery because the Left doesn’t have a consistent, organized power base in the same way that the Right currently does.  Creating an anti-science left-wing dystopia would first require deciding what big forces are solidly left-wing in the antiverse.

    Maybe a single-payer health care system… that only covers homeopathy?

    I’m not sure how it could come about, but being anti-education is more consistent with radical left-wing thought than being anti-science.  If we start with a typical right-wing piece of propaganda that the left wants everyone to be exactly equal, then the kind of education necessary to actually specialize and conduct science would be at odds with that equality.  They don’t call it the Ivory Tower for nothing. 

    It’s not a totally insane idea, since even in current left-wing politics we see the kernel of that process.  Democrats are only truly pro-research and pro-education in comparison to outright anti-research Republicans.  If we imagine a world where “we have millions of homeless, so we can’t afford to send people to the moon!” really wins, then science-apathy really could dominate.

  • Tricksterson

    Reminds me of Hal Clement (?)’s Matter of Gravity

  • Tricksterson

    First of all Longenecker, really>  That’s his real name>  You didn’t make that up?

    Second, so he’s saying that the Catholic Church is impractical, coldblooded and gives civil rights at best a secondary importance.  By extension this also applies to it’s theology.  Well, at least he’s willing to admit it.  Thank Whoever I’m an ex Catholic.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Bad left-wing science?

    It’s tricky.

    Take Malthus. His stuff was big for a while. Some of his theories remain valid and useful, but his forecasting on population growth versus food production turned out to be wrong. However, there are still those who argue in favor of the generic Malthusian catastrophe, but with different hats. Some will say Malthus wasn’t wrong, technology just keeps buying us time. (Hey, neat! Unfalsifiable theories!) Others will say that the concept was right, but food isn’t necessarily the limiting factor. While the underlying concept seems to have merit (population planning versus resources) most of the implimentations go overboard with Mad-Max-like scenarios of famine and disaster.

    Framing matters as well. The civic-government sponsored recycling programs in the U.S. are viewed by many as wasteful because the cost of running them more than doubles normal sanitation costs (twice as many containers, twice as many trucks, etc.) and there is no shortage of inexpensive landfill space. So from an economic standpoint, they’re bad. (economics is a science… kinda) But from a civics perspective, “what do we do with garbage” is an important question.  You get a similar issue with nuclear power; if you frame it in terms of volume of waste produced or  economic costs, probable risks within reasonable possible outcomes, if you compare it with other alternatives in those terms, you get one position. If you frame it in terms of potential harm, waste longevity and treatment options, and of worst-case-scenarios (a power plant hit by an earthquake and swamped by a tsunami at the same time) then you get a different position. It’s easy to make a liberal/progressive scientific position look bad by accepting the conservative/regressive frame.

    Science on the whole tends to be self-correcting, which makes the lifespan of bad science relatively short overall. Things like facilitated communication offer big promise at first, but once the evidence starts piling up, get moved to the wayside.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah, I’ve seen a bit of an anti-science strain among some members of the left. Some of the more strident bicyclists, for example, pooh-pooh any form of human transportation that isn’t their idea of ~the best evar~, even though the simple fact is that mass transit is not always the optimum, and a personal automobile must be an option.

    I have to say though, the fuel that got thrown on the fire (ha ha, see what I did thar) about the electric car mainly comes from the very well-documented sudden recall of the EV1 by General Motors for reasons which seem rather facile.

    Also, the way some leftists I know have criticized any and all technological progress on the grounds that it’s never solved a problem, ever, which they tend to extend to scientific research which feeds into technological implementation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    I was ultimately won over by the science against a vaccines-autism link, but I was suspicious for quite a while. It had nothing to do with the science, about which I was not qualified to speculate. It just came down to the fact that the people saying there was no such link all seemed to be corporate goons or Bush FDA officials, and I didn’t trust anyone out of those groups not to deliberately poison children if there was enough money in doing so.

    Ditto GM foods. My concern about them is that there seems to be little regulation of them (even less when the Republicans are in charge) and if there actually were a health issue, the corporations and the Republicans would conceal it for years and years and then say “well, yes, it does cause children to be born with no heads, but that was years ago so no one is to blame.”

  • Matri

    “well, yes, it does cause children to be born with no heads, but that was years ago so no one is to blame.”

    Seriously? “No one is to blame”? So naive.

    Of course they would blame this on the Left. It won’t make a lick of sense and will be a blatant lie to anyone who has a brain and can spend a few minutes looking it up, but then again they have Fox News.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Institute of Medicine has reported on the matter.

    So has the Center for Disease Control.

    That Andrew Wakefield guy who claimed autism from vaccines?

    His article has been retracted. There is a limit to what even Bush-era political appointees can get away with.

  • Dan Audy

     

    2)Fracking causing earthquakes.  Fracking causes minor tremors that are
    only found because you’re looking for them when they happen.  It does
    however cause the fskcing water to catch on fire.  I’m unclear as to why
    it needs to ALSO cause earthquakes.

    While I grant that for the most part the concern over fracking causing earthquakes is dramatically overshadowed by the damage it causes to the water table and aquafiers, there is valid science that suggests it can trigger earthquakes.  So far, evidence suggests that it probably isn’t the actual cause of the earthquakes but rather causing the accumulated seismic stress to release as a result of the sudden increase in pressures.  The low force of the earthquakes linked to fracking (2.5-4 points on the Richter scale with a 5.7 that hasn’t positively been linked but is considered possible) are probably safe but it is important to recognize that this is what is happening in seismologically inactive areas and because there currently isn’t any extraction work being done near fault lines no one actually knows whether larger earthquakes could be triggered when fracking does begin to take place near them.  While the minor earthquakes triggered by fracking are not dangerous and not justification to restrict fracking in geologically stable areas (groundwater contamination being a much better one) it is a genuine cause for concern and ongoing research before anyone begins fracking in geologically unstable regions.

  • Dan Audy

     Kings was spectacular and had a real potential for a long term modern political drama.  I was really disappointed when it was cancelled and have never quite found out what caused it.  It was an american tv show with the potential to confront uncomfortable political situations at enough of distance that people could recognize the underlying ethical situation with immediately getting their back up because ‘their tribe’ was being attacked and hopefully eventually recognize that a lot of that underlying truth they recognized DOES apply to their own tribes situation.  Heck literally being a dynastic show it had the potential to turn into a longer term established franchise on par with soap operas, but in prime time.

  • Tricksterson

    It got canceled for the simple reason that the handful of Nielson families that decide the viewing trends of the television industry didn’t llike it.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

     That.  Is awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Also, the way some leftists I know have criticized any and all
    technological progress on the grounds that it’s never solved a problem,
    ever,

    Because renal failure isn’t a problem in their little world, to give one example.


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