Fukushima Daiichi Update

Fukushima Workers

I squeezed some of this topic into a recent podcast on My Podcasts on YouTube. It’s important to know that the Fukushima reactor is still not fully scrapped and that while radiation levels are low they are also not decreasing by any significant measure in all recent online published studies.

Resources and Blogs:

IAEA Updates

The Guardian Reporting On Worker Death In Decommission Process; accidental death by all reports and not a direct failure of TEPCO to safeguard their employees health and well-being in this specific case.

Fukushima Update Blog (LA Times Reporters)

Fukushima Diary (Iori Mochizuki)

Radiation Warning

I Don’t Blog As Much As I Used To

web

I just don’t compose much that goes into blog format these days.  Sorry about that if were around back when I posted like wildfire. I do a lot of writing and have been plagiarized the times that I posted my best work. However, I’m leaving Web-impressions somewhere if not around here and I thought I might share a decent argument I wrote against the notion that God created the universe.

youtube_logo

I find it way harder to believe the universe always existed.That’s fine. Math and science have nothing to do with what you find acceptable. So big whoop. You have weird stances on logical deduction and sound reasoning. You’re hardly the first and won’t be the last.

Or the universe created itself, or popped out of nothing. All of these are absurd. Man the lengths people are willing to go to deny God.”

Again you just don’t understand the Big Bang Theory (sometimes called the “first event“) in any meaningful way. Nothing was “created” because that word implies an intelligence for which we have no evidence of. “Popped out of nothing” is just a poor way of expressing the concept. A better way to say it might be “exploded out of non-spacetime” or “expanded outward from highly condensed existing matter.”

I get that you think this is big exercise to disprove your God but in fact this is, like all valid science, just following where the facts lead us. The “God did it” explanation is one that is very easy and explains nothing to us about the how and why. Whereas the Big Bang model (which has many variations that I’m probably screwing up as a layperson) exactly addresses these issues in cosmology with real answers that form together like a symphony of knowledge of what we already understand to be true.

I feel the need to point out, however, that in cosmology a deistic god (very specifically not the Christian or Abrahamic god) is highly plausible while at the same time being completely unnecessary to the model. A deistic stance on the creation / formation of the universe doesn’t break down the models or change the level of logical accuracy. But it also adds nothing new into the equation either, making it this little weird caveat that some people like to throw in but others find repugnant because they are very rigid about their mathematics.

I myself am not so clear on that one, having had too much time to think about it. It’s also valid to talk about self affirmation in existence, in which I mean human time travelers started things not that we define our physical reality crap. Think about it if you’re still reading this whoever you are: a point in our future results in technology that allows to bend time backwards to the First Event (Big Bang) and we find nothing there, realizing that if we don’t detonate our vessel’s drive to trigger said event that all of existence will thereby fail to exist. Yeah, see this way more plausible than even the deistic logic let alone the theist’s stance on these matters. 

Anita Sarkeesian: Entrepreneur, Activist or Phony?

tumblr_mjbca99TtE1qdc32wo1_500

For those not keeping up with the pulse of YouTube: a channel by the name of Feminist Frequency run by Anita Sarkeesian has recently gathered $160,000 via Kickstarter to produce what is currently a three part video series focused on sexism in videogames entitled “Damsel in Distress.” Originally she asked for $6,000 for this project and spoke of academic value as well as intense research involved in the final product.  But the videos about videogames are only the catalyst in a tale of Internet Infamy that begins with feminism and ends with pseudo-science.

businesswoman

The dubiously high amount of money involved raised many eyebrows due to the fact that YouTube videos of this exact nature are produced on shoe string budgets every day. She refuses to allow comments or ratings which is a tactic looked down on by most Internet users for obvious reasons. Compounding this is some evidence to show she likely screen captured the videos of other YouTube users rather than recording original video from the games she supposedly bought for the research stage of the project. But I’ll return to that topic later. Whatever else may be true of Sarkeesian there’s no arguing that she has become extremely successful directly as a result of this Kickstarter project and is rumored to have entered the professional gaming industry as a consultant to EA Games on the title Mirror’s Edge 2.

image

Which brings me to the first quandary: Is she a capitalist genius or just a case of luck combining with opportunity? I don’t think it’s as easy as some of her detractors would like to discount her as simply a “troll” (meaning intentional instigator) taking it to the next level. That’s one possibility but considering the nature of human greed I find it also likely she uses pop culture as a crutch to avoid the more scientific elements of social commentary all while appealing to her base, in this case hard-line feminists, to keep the donations coming with lots of red meat. All the benefits but none of the heavy lifting. As an example of this she doesn’t present any information to the viewer about learned and demonstrated behavior in the field of Child Development Psychology which would be the cornerstone of a hypothesis involved in linking external input like the themes and plot devices in videogames with outward attitudes toward the opposite gender.  Fancy way of saying she is obviously not doing an academic piece.

download22

One thing that occurred to me when I saw her first video was most of her arguments could be transplanted to rail against rap and hip hop music, or against the fringes of the artist community, or pretty much any extreme form of expression. But somehow I don’t imagine a young woman who wants to decry the evil rap music industry right next to figures like Bill O’Reilly and Pat Robertson would catch much traction on YouTube. Sarkeesian’s main point in summation, while it takes a different route to get there, is no different from the position of the religious right-wing: society is harmed by things I find offensive being popular.

community

That brings me to my second quandary: Is she an earnest activist that is merely making amateur mistakes or is there intentional deception by stating her opinions as facts numerous times? Again I’m not entirely convinced the worst to be true. It’s not all that impossible most of what she has presented that has ruffled feathers is just us witnessing a slow learning curve on her part to avoid logical fallacy. I read some old political posts of mine and felt deep shame … because I wrote them prior to taking a college course on critical thinking and proper argumentation. So hey, total benefit of doubt thing going on here. But to ever buy this one in full I need to see her start basing factual statements in facts and come to see that if you decry a social injustice you perceive but provide no positive solutions then others who feel as you do are left feeling disempowered (common theme in her videos) instead of united in this common worldview.

laptop-thief

My final quandary: Are we being lead around by the nose here or not? The strongest point that leads me to think this a con artist at work is not so much the large pile of cash she got but rather what other users pointed out: she is almost certainly using footage of Let’s Play videos (someone voices what is essentially a podcast alongside a game they’re playing) to pad out her game footage shots and blatantly ignores or misrepresents the context within a story line she critiques. As a quick example of misleading viewers about the contextual story line within these games she references Fable 2 as a title that represented the “male revenge fantasy” overlooking the fact you can select to be female without affecting any element of the story and after the death of your sister you are mentored by a powerfully authoritative female character. As to the other point I’ve heard some users say she “stole” these clips of game footage but (1) not giving attribution is bad Web-etiquette but not stealing per se and (2) with the exception of the audio these Let’s Play videos are likely the sole property of the game makers or YouTube not the person who used a computer to mesh together game play and commentary. Find a copyright lawyer to really nail that down but in the case of potential plagiarism I’m near positive that unless they have a partnership with a gaming company thus a legal department behind them they can forget about this sort of thing being declared anything other than Free Use by YouTube. That said, it’s beyond suspicious to me that such a highly funded project would borrow footage in this way at all.

Crying-girl-1024x768

The sad part is no matter what Sarkeesian holds as her true intentions the focus on tired clichés being overused in gaming and how these plot devices, or tropes, are used to enforce unfair gender stereotypes is an opinionated stand to take but it’s just a simple fact that the professional gaming industry is predominately male and could greatly benefit from say a youthful female voice on YouTube encouraging women to strike out toward careers in gaming design and development. I have no doubt the gaming industry as a whole would welcome a more gender balanced input when it comes to design and development. The number of female gamers in the market keeps rising and they often bring different tastes and expectations to a videogame than male gamers do.

But instead of that sort of encouragement, so far anyway, we have three videos that contain contradictions and have yet to succeed in proving or even attempting to prove the central premise that fictional fantasies lead to negative attitudes and beliefs about others. We already beat that horse to death with the whole violence in the media causes violence in real life bullshit that was debunked over and over again.

Correlation is not causation, Anita.

—-

More Video Links:

More than a Damsel in a Dress: A Response” by KiteTales

Three Simple Questions for Anita Sarkeesian” by IWALVG

Female Game Developer’s response to Tropes vs Women” by dolldivine

Damsel Trek…” by Triox45

GAME OVER: Anita Sarkeesian has won” by MundaneMatt

USAToday: ‘Embryonic Stem Cells Used On Patient For First Time’

 

USAToday.com:

 

For the first time, surgeons have injected a spinal cord injury patient with human embryonic stem cells in a federally approved experiment, a biomedical firm said Monday.

Food and Drug Administration officials approved the start of the privately funded safety trial in July, allowing a long-awaited test of the cells, which were grown from a single embryo to resemble forerunners to spinal cells.

The unnamed patient received the cells at the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta hospital specializing in brain, spine and related ailments.

 

Despite religious objection of some the benefits of embryonic stem cells are already being applied to better the lives of others. I see this as a victory over religious insanity and unthinking, arcane dogmas that serve no purpose in the modern world.

Paul Krugman: Health Care Now (+ Analysis)

This is the article and accompanying essay that drove me to talk about student peer review editing in a previous post.

Dr. Krugman explains his case on NYTimes.com:

The whole world is in recession. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe — in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care.

The bottom line, then, is that this is no time to let campaign promises of guaranteed health care be quietly forgotten. It is, instead, a time to put the push for universal care front and center. Health care now!

And then there is this college essay of mine:


Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, wrote an opinion piece appearing in The New York Times where he argues strongly for social reform of health care access and ensuring affordable premiums for all Americans. The central thesis of this paper being that Krugman effectively conveys a sense of urgency in the health care social reform agenda by using a combination of rhetoric, “considering counter-examples” and a series of rational arguments that are all valid in nature. Written at a time when the Obama White House had yet to reveal its presidential proposal on health care reform, Krugman uses the economic forecasting of both his own make and that of the Obama administration to predict of likely “prolonged unemployment,” and warns of a “looming health care disaster” upon the horizon. Krugman believes the U.S. alone will share in this fate of a “health care catastrophe” in which basic medical care will not be available to millions as unemployment persists and the recession continues forward.

Krugman argues the banks and lenders were essentially sick and the government gave them medicine in the form of financial assistance, what kind of medicine and how much he sets aside by stating “I have problems with the specifics,” which was the right thing to do and now the American people are sick or in danger of becoming extremely ill so the government must provide medicine in equal fashion to all and not only the wealthy few. Krugman feels a measure of fair treatment must be shown clearly to Americans who have not benefited from government bailouts or other recovery measures taken by the government.

Working on the assumption that some members of “Mr. Obama’s circle” are advising to place health care on a low priority policy agenda Krugman considers a series counterarguments that would be likely proposed from that perspective. Considering the perspective that crisis and turmoil are not the time for committing to social reform is one of three examples of “considering alternative examples” on behalf of Krugman. He argues that times of turmoil are in fact the best time to engage in social reform by citing the actions of F.D.R. in the Great Depression and also by “seeking informed sources” in quoting White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to assess the current mood in the White House of placing health care in a top priority who is quoted as saying, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” One could argue against Krugman’s position by saying that the national economy is unstable at this time and that any budgetary measures not solely centered on spending cuts should be resisted until marked economic stability can be seen. Krugman assumes that the issue of cost to be one of the possible arguments against health care priority in the Obama White House.

Instead of arguing the point that universal health care will save us money in the long term despite initial costs, instead the case is made that universal health care is costly indeed but compares that expense to other government expenditures in contrast against a prediction of the Commonwealth Fund of the cost of Obama’s campaign health care promises totaling $140 billion in federal spending. Krugman refers to $140 billion as “not a small sum,” but then compares this against the Bush-Obama recovery spending and cites this Commonwealth figure directly against that of the Obama stimulus small business tax cuts. I believe Krugman could have shown a contrasting numerical figure against the Commonwealth figure to enhance our ability to properly consider the “background rates” of the Obama stimulus tax cuts and the Bush recovery efforts in terms of the number of billions of federal dollars spent.

The third counterargument, and the one that Krugman suspects to be “the real reason” behind the then stalled health care agenda, is one of a political point of view that the people of America are focused on “the economic crisis” and it “is a bad time to pushing fundamental health care reform.” Citing the history of both the failure of Bill Clinton to complete reform and the success F.D.R. he calls this argument “precisely wrong.” He succeeded in strengthening his case by using “more than one example” of how a economic recession or depression is in fact the best time to do social reforms. This use of a fact based argument with multiple examples is a very sound and logical way to present his counterargument and effectively defeats this notion. In his saying “it’s possible that those of us who care deeply are reading too much into the administration’s silence,” there is a recognition of his strong personal investment in the matter thereby confronting the issue of personal bias possibly effecting the objectivity of the argument presented. This confronts the matter of “considering objections” and “making fundamental changes in advance” which is pivotal to weight of his argument as a whole.

By confronting the matter of objectivity outright and presenting this in his argument he clearly recognizes that “the truth as one sees it can still be biased.” Drawing upon a series of analogies between 1929 and 2009 which vary from extremely relevant to somewhat “relevantly similar examples.” First, he compares Social Security to the health care reform which is a strong analogy in that both are important life planning matters but not readily apparent in their importance such as basic needs like shelter or clothing. Second, he compares the current recession to the Great Depression which is a fair analogy to make for the two events in size and scope may differ greatly but the underlying global effects remain the same. Third, he compares financial bailouts and health care access which is relevant but less than concrete as the bailouts were a reactionary government measure while the “health care catastrophe” is yet to occur therefore the analogy is sound but lacks a concrete correlation between financial bailouts and working-middle class social safety nets in an absolute sense.

In conclusion, the argument for the priority of health care reform and the conveyance of a sense of urgency surrounding that agenda are presented in a logical and focused manner by Krugman. The credentials of the source of this argument combined with the use of historical arguments give a high level of validity to the position that Krugman is supporting. In a both tactile and ominous manner this case for reform resounds strongly with the reader for it is not a case of pure rhetoric, but rather a case of rhetoric backed by valid arguments and intelligent dissection of all plausible counterarguments to his thesis. Krugman’s diagnosis of the situation may be dire but the disturbing nature of the news does not make it any less important to listen to the doctor.

—————————————————————————-

Citation:

Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. 4th. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2009. Print.

HuffPo: Texas Textbook Massacre

This recent development has me extremely enraged, in a time when I can afford no more of that emotion without bursting at the seams.

From the Huffington Post:

AUSTIN, Texas – A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum’s world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

Richard Dawkins – The Virus of Faith

Some say that while religious fundamentalists betray reason, moderate believers betray faith and reason equally. The moderates position seems to me to be fence-sitting, they half-believe in the Bible. But how do they decide which parts to believe literally, and which parts are just allegorical?”

As a member of the religious moderate camp, I take issue with these statements. There is no question that fundamentalists betray reason, but a moderate does not betray faith nor reason and here is why: scientific facts are not rejected by a moderate as they are by a fundamentalist therefore that which accounts to the betrayal of reason for the fundamentalist is not true of the moderate; by drawing upon a more personal and perhaps more primal sense of faith and understanding the moderate is only leaving the confines of faith that are formed as preconceived misconceptions in the minds of others while never betraying the true nature of their own faith. By my logic, moderates are neither betraying faith nor reason. While there is nothing less than truth in the statement, “they half-believe the Bible” I believe the position is not “fence-sitting” in the least and here is why: The Bible is a flawed book, like trying to look at the truth through broken glass; if we draw a distinction between a precept or a series of moral teachings against certain stories that the vast majority of our number believe are purely allegorical in nature that is not failing to take a position but rather the act of taking the position that these pieces should be venerated while others diminished. The question posed by Dawkins is profound and requires a more lengthy response than I am willing to formulate at this moment. The short and witty answer is: arbitrarily. But that is mostly in jest and mainly meant to point out that there is no one definition of moderate religious belief so much as there is a loose grouping among many faiths and churches. It cannot to be answered to the satisfaction of Dawkins and others that would apply strict logical reasoning to the equation but the difference between allegory and literalist in the Bible comes from divine interpretation or, to use a less provocative term, personal spiritual guidance.

We are privileged to be alive, and we should make the most of our time in this world.”

I could not agree more with Dawkins on this point.

Life is precious and should not be given any less value to every waking moment of it.

Where I divide greatly from Dawkins is centered around this conflict between God and science.

Religion, expressly organized and established religion, are in direct conflict with science. There is no doubt of this whatsoever.

But I and many others do not see God and religion as one in the same.

God exists as a metaphor for the unknown, in one mode of thought, and the very practice and essence of science relies entirely upon an unknown in order to exist.

The day we know everything, we will have little more use for science.

This is much the same I feel about God or more loosely the concept of a “higher power”: the day we control life and death, the flow of time, and have attained all power the universe has to bestow is the day none alive would see a use for a “God”.

The unknown itself, defines both science and faith.

Faith is irrational, and taken to extremes it is always dangerous. While science has no such pitfalls.

But I still do not advocate the eradication of faith, though I do agree with Dawkins in regards to religious upbringing not being a healthy psychological practice to put a child through.

I believe, and I shall surely write more of this in days and months to come, that faith combined with reason is not a flawed stance or lacking any amount of logical context.

I would also argue from a more emotional standpoint that a purely scientific view of the world, as I once held myself, is “sterile” and “overtly plain”.

Texas Joins In On The Science-Denial Trend

The state of Texas has jumped on the science-denial bandwagon currently gripping the right-wing. Texas has challenged the EPA findings that greenhouse gas emissions are classified as “dangerous,” claiming that the findings are based on flawed science. This is of course a false and absurd claim coming from the leading greenhouse gas emitter of the U.S.

Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional director over Texas, said the agency is confident the finding will withstand any legal action. He also said the move isn’t surprising considering Texas’ pattern of opposition to the EPA.

“Texas, which contributes up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial sources in the United States, should be leading the way in this effort,” he said. “Instead, Texas officials are attempting to slow progress with unnecessary litigation.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said it’s the first legal challenge by a state, though industry groups have also challenged it.

Texas says the EPA’s research should be discounted because it was conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for its work on climate change but has since been embarrassed by errors and irregularities in its reports.

(Nobody ever successfully connected the so-called “Climategate” hacking incident, which I assume are the “errors & irregularities” mentioned, and the matter of the Greenhouse Gas Effect or the Climate Science findings as a whole in any way except political partisans with obvious Big Energy funding and absolutely no facts to back up the case they make.)

The guys and gals of The Great State of Denial, good ol’ Texas, seem to hold different standards of The Scientific Method and Comparative Analysis. Maybe those words are just too big for Texas.

I see this as just a symptom of a much larger problem breeding under the surface: the praise of ignorance over knowledge; the willful destruction of critical thinking.

The “debate” over climate change can be settled in moments by the most simple process of comparing the credibility of the sources and the amount of raw data on both ends. There is not a debate going on in the scientific community, there is a consensus with a few skeptic holdouts that have almost all published debunked papers at some point or another, but within the political community and the business community they would like very much for this issue to be up for debate. But it’s not, an overwhelming body of evidence exists in favor of Climate Science and skeptics fail to bring any new data (“Climategate” was the biggest joke on conservatives and their complete inability to rationally review data ever) so it’s simply “denial” and nothing more from these Big Money influenced talking heads. The Deniers and the Consensus; Texas just put itself on the side of the Deniers.

What lies under the surface here is the desire to squelch all rational discussion and replace it with bumper-sticker sound bytes. If anyone dares speak out against these ridiculous claims circulating and tries to use facts instead of rhetoric, then you can bet they will start up the personal attacks and just making even more broad claims about more unproven garbage. If you are even perceived as “smart” then you must be a “elitist liberal” who will only “lie to confuse you.” They are teaching people to hate intelligence and love stupidity in the once great state of Texas, all in the name of keeping their rich friends happy and scoring cheap political points while they are at it too.

Hacked “Climategate” Emails Did Prove One Thing

(NCTimes.com Blogs)

I keep my eye on politics, and since the uploading of some illegally obtained data from Britain’s CRU the political right wing has lost it’s mind. Science-denial has gripped them and they intend to brow-beat on anyone who questions their faulty logic. This hacking incident being called “Climategate” by the anti-environmentalist right wingers has brought to light to discerning observers that these people are divorced from all logic and rational thought. That they would defend any notion that fit into their preconceived world view regardless of an insurmountable body of research that clearly amounts to scientific fact.

The fact that almost every person the right supports this flawed and debunked theory that these emails prove anything beyond a level of professional bias being enacted against skeptics of the CRU is absurd.

Britain and the U.S. have a high number of global warming deniers and in the aftermath of this hacking it is found that the hackers are likely members of such a group in Britain so it is much like the other propaganda crusades of the right.

There is clear evidence of a willful ignorance on behalf of these people locked in outright denial.

Sara Palin wrote on her Facebook page recently:

this is doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that makes the public feel like owning an SUV is a sin against the planet.”

I find it laughable that a woman who pushed scare tactics like “he [Obama] associates with terrorists” during the campaign suddenly thinks alarmism is so awful.

Her “environmental priesthood” is scientists around the world and not just environmentalists like myself. She is suggesting the that scientific community is invested in some larger scheme and it is completely manufactured on her part.

And this climate science is not designed to make “the public feel” anything. Science stands on it’s own, apart from this hyperbolic standard she has set up.

Al Gore responded to Palin’s comments:

GORE: Well, the scientific community has worked very intensively for 20 years within this international process, and they now say the evidence is unequivocal. A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a — a principle in physics. It’s not a question of debate. It’s like gravity; it exists.

What many environmentalists are loathe to point out is that like all recent science there is “wiggle room” around different aspects of the science in regards to causality, though most studies confirm the notion that man-made greenhouse gasses are the primary factor contributing to global climate change. The elements here that are simply not up for debate are exactly the elements the conservatives have grabbed on to and frankly at a certain point I have to just laugh.

Michael Oppenheimer, Director of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Department of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School:

There is a mountain of scientific evidence pointing to human-caused climate change; all available to any skeptic. Colder than normal October in the US is not a climate trend, no matter how often it is repeated on uneducated blogs and by unintelligent cable news pundits. It remains true that Earth has warmed more than 1 degree (F) over the last century largely due to buildup of human-made greenhouse gasses. It remains the case that the projections of future climate change are every bit as discouraging as they were before the recent flap began.

Joseph Romn, physicist of the Center for American Progress:

Evidence of global warming is getting clearer, while opponents are redoubling their efforts at misinformation-disinformation campaigns.

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

_________________________________________________

Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. 
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap.  We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. 
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
 
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
Firstwe will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Secondit will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
 
  
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
________________________________________________________

This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

 

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio-interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

 ____________________________________

 

This last quote is vital for me to point out.

 

I find it distrubing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

 

That’s why we elected him.

 

Let the man work!

 

This is called ‘incrementalism’ and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

 

Or at least that’s my take.

 

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

 

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.

Two Stories Worth Note From Scientific American

“Meditation on Demand” by Peter B. Reiner

“Why People Believe Invisible Agents Control The World” by Michael Shermer

Talking About God and Science

An anonymous man once impressed this image upon my mind:

I was doing one of these things awhile back and there was this guy in the room with a huge chip on his shoulder as soon as I said the word ‘God.’ This guy was huge, almost seven feet tall and arms like a gorilla. He told me there wasn’t no such thing as God and on top of that since nobody in the room could do a damn thing about him that he was God as far as it mattered. So I put a challenge to him. I emptied out a dresser, moved it out into the center of the room, and had everyone help me fill the bottom drawer with all the training weights we could. Then I told him to lift it up high. He struggled and moved it around more than I thought he would. But he couldn’t get it off the ground. Then we had everyone in the room, with him, try and lift the dresser. It came up from the floor so easily we almost hurt ourselves, surprised at our mutual strength. When we all sat down again after replacing the dresser and the weights he asked me what was the point. I told him that when he walked in that door today he thought he was God and now he can see that some things are outside his power. The God in everyone else with himself included was stronger than he could ever hope to be alone. So he was not God. But God was still present in the room, between all of us and stronger than any of us.

If you change the physical nature of this image of the huge man proclaiming himself “God” for a more intellectual design, one might evoke an image of a high-brow scholar scribbling out a formula that disproves the existence of God.

This is my impression of many atheists, and certain agonistics, I encounter. It seems to me that many have ‘thought God out of existence’ in the course of earnest and worthwhile studies. To my perception all science, and the nature of all knowledge itself, provides us with a constant ’unknown.’ Even in the absence of any religious background there is more than enough room for an understanding of the universe and life beyond simple reasoning’s of black-and-white logic.

While science shatters dogma and begs the eternal question simultaneously, it still does not negate the concept of a higher power.