Archive for facts

Rick Perry Isn't Stupid -- He's Just Ignorant Of The Facts

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Perry

CPAC is going on this week and wraps on Sunday. You all know what CPAC really stands for: Conservative Pinocchio Activists Convention. It's where lies are your friends and truth is your fiend. Longest nose at the end of the week wins and so far, it's a tight race but one of the leading candidates is Texas Republican, Gov. Rick Perry.

This year, in addition to his garbled rhetoric came new packaging. He's got glasses. Someone might have warned him that wearing big oversize spectacles doesn't make you smart, or even look smart, they just bring more attention the ever-growing proboscis.

Rick Perry seems to have really made a popular comeback this week while addressing the crowd, tossing them one piece of raw meat after another. Not that his bon-mots had any relevancy to fact, but he sure got that good ol' time religion feeling going. He stoked the crowd more than anyone else.

So I was interested in doing a little fact-checking on one of his claims. It seemed to fly right into the face of what I had been reading. I live in California now and pay great attention to our fiscal outlook here in my adopted state. According the Perry and reported by YAHOO NEWS:

Perry said Democratic governors lead states with higher taxes, more regulations and fewer jobs. He singled out New York and California as egregious examples.

The Los Angeles Times reported this, recently:

"We now find that California’s state budget situation is even more promising than we projected one year ago," said the report from the Legislative Analyst's Office. "The state’s budgetary condition is stronger than at any point in the past decade."

The state is on track to end the current fiscal year next June with a reserve of $2.4 billion, more than twice the original estimate of $1.1 billion, thanks to higher-than-expected tax revenue, the report said. California's school funding formula is also expected to send $3.1 billion more to schools.

Schools could see an additional $3.1 billion sent to them? Education? Gov. Perry, aren't you the one who wants to eliminate the department of education altogether?

Oh, and according to your own Texas Medical Association, doesn't Texas leads the country in uninsured residents? I know you strive to be number 1, but you do it in the worst possible way.

Governor Perry, how do truth and official reports jibe with your statement condemning Democratic run states? Not so much. Suffering, are we, from the big hat, little cattle syndrome, Gov. Rick? Or is it little brain?

But while you're at the Pinocchio convention, maybe you should talk to your fellow governor from New Jersey, who like you aspires to be elected President in 2016. Governor Chris Christie's state ranks dead last in fiscal solvency, according to the US Economy Report reported by NBC.

Do you really think either of you has a chance to run a nation when you can't even run your own states?

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Bill Nye Makes Ham Sandwich Out Of Creationism Whole Cloth

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CreationismDebatew396h232

Tuesday night there was a live debate on creationism vs. evolution between best-selling Christian author Ken Ham and Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye ("the Science Guy"). Any doubts on who won?

Hint: Sliced ham on Nye.

Here's a few highlights. The entire (and it's long) debate is below, but here's some nuggets you will surely enjoy. These are from NPR:

To the argument that the creationists' theory is that the earth is only about 4000 years old Nye states:

"I encourage you to explain to us why we should accept your word for it that natural law changed just 4,000 years ago — completely — and there's no record of it.

"You know, there are pyramids that are older than that. There are human populations that are far older than that — with traditions that go back farther than that. And it's just not reasonable to me that everything changed 4,000 years ago."

The story of Noah's ark:

"Then, as far as Noah being an extraordinary shipwright, I'm extraordinarily skeptical," Nye says. He cites his own family's background in New England, where people spent their lives learning how to build ships.

"It's very reasonable, perhaps, to you that Noah had superpowers and was able to build this extraordinary craft with seven family members," Nye says. "But to me, this is just not reasonable."

That's not to say that Ken Ham was a pushover. No, he got his licks in too. Here's his response to the Noah's ark argument above.

Ham defends Noah's ship-building ability, saying he hasn't met him — and neither has Nye.

Nye was at the top of his game for this debate. One of the testier moments came when Ham argued that you can't take the past and project the future. You must believe only in what it says in the bible.

He [Nye] says Ham takes the Bible — "as written in English" and translated many times — as more accurate and reasonable than "what I and everybody in here can observe."

"As far as, 'You can't observe the past,' I have to stop you right there," Nye says. "That's what we do in astronomy. All we can do in astronomy is look at the past.

"By the way, you're looking at the past right now," he tells the audience, "because the speed of light bounces off of me and then gets to your eyes. And I'm delighted to see that the people in the back appear just that much younger than the people in the front."

One final argument to share with you that puts some mustard on this Ham sandwich is this:

Nye discusses layers of ancient stone and sediment in places such as the Grand Canyon, and the various animals you'll see there. He says there is no evidence of intense churning and bubbling that an epic flood would bring.

"And by the way, if this great flood drained through the Grand Canyon, wouldn't there have been a Grand Canyon on every continent?" Nye asks.

He then discusses the layers of animal fossils in the layers — from rudimentary sea animals to "the famous trilobites" and clams, oysters, and mammals. "You never, ever, find a higher animal mixed in with a lower one," he says. "You never find a lower one trying to swim its way to the higher one."

So here's the entire debate. Like I cautioned, it's a bit long. Each of the two combatants got 30 minutes to start off with for statements. Then it becomes Q & A from the audience. That comes around the one hour and 50 minute mark, if you want to fast forward. Enjoy this epic battle.

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This Holiday Season Megyn Kelly Wears Ignorance On Her Sleeve And It Suits Her Well -- No Joke

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Black Santa

Oh, so it was just a joke, claims Megan Kelly. Normally, when you tell a joke, when it's over you know the person telling it was not serious. Sadly, comedienne Kelly who's never been known for her comedy stylings, pulled one over on all of us -- or so she'd have us believe. It took her two days to come up with that one?

It's such a relief to know that Fox News' Megyn Kelly is not backing down -- she's staring facts right in the eye and refuses to blink. God, isnt' that the true test of a really strong comic. Make it seem so real. It's reassuring to find someone who sticks to their guns (how appropriate on the 1st anniversary of Sandy Hook's massacre), even when facts seem to be opposing her views. But why let those pesky little morsels of truth or even anthropology get in the way of a good joke.

After Kelly's controversial (though she claims are tongue-in-cheek) statements on Wednesday night, which included two subjects, both relating to race, she was bounced from the air until the firestorm of criticism died down. It only took a day, but it gave her the time to reflect on her outrageous statements and compose a response. The first of her gaffs was a two-fold issue. She claimed as gospel, that Santa Claus was not only a real person, but that he was white. Her second tenet of contention was that Jesus too was unquestionably white.

Well, the second one is easiest to debate. She's probably wrong. Christians are taught that Jesus was the son of God. If we humans were made in His image, Jesus too would be all races and nationalities. But even more anthropomorphically speaking, the population of Bethlehem (the accepted Jesus birthplace - that little manger down near 5th and Main) was not composed of white  people, at least as American consider white people today.

Judas Iscariot had to indicate to the soldiers whom Jesus was because they could not tell him apart from his disciples. That would mean he looked like the "natives" of that area. They were much more Arabic in their features -- perhaps even African ethnic would be more appropriate.

Now unless Jesus's mother Mary was knocked up by a Roman and not the immaculate conception that we've all been told was the "cause" of this event, then Jesus most likely didn't look like Meagan Kelly's brother or cousin -- that kind of white.

So, let's say that Jesus's skin color is very much open for discussion, that has not silenced by Megyn's ignorant spouting. Here is what Jesus most likely looked like, according to ScienceMechanics:

face-of-jesus-01-0312-mdn

Next we get to Santa Claus. Well, our fearless hostess with the leastess stands by her earlier statement that Santa is real.

Flesh and blood, a real dude. From everything I have ever read he's a created character. Not the surest of sources, but certainly in sync with everything else I can find, here's the story behind the "creation" of Santa Claus according to Wikipedia:

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, has part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. Over time, traits of this character and the British folklore character Father Christmas merged to form the modern Santa Claus known today.

The truth, which Megyn constantly is a stranger to, is that Santa is a composite of characters, real and fictional. But some people can't separate fact from fiction. Ms. Kelly is one of them.

Now with a last name like Kelly, I'm going to to out on the limb and guess she celebrates Christmas. She has three children. At one point or another, didn't she confess to her kids that there really isn't a Santa Claus? Or worse yet, that he's dead.

Santa as a character has been the source for many movies, plays and books. But evidently, Kelly has never heard of fiction. I can't wait until she see's Saving Mr. Banks and proclaims Mary Poppins was real and could actually fly. She even sights a movie "Miracle on 34th Street" as her source to clear up any Santa conjecture.

Does Santa really come every Christmas and deliver gifts to Megyn's kids? She's so lucky she doesn't have to go shopping like the rest of us parent for our kids gifts. Please Megyn, drop Santa my name so  next year I don't have to fight Black Friday shopping and can just sit back and wait for presents to appear under the tree. Oh, the money I'll be saving.

Now it's to watch Ms. Kelly in action and judge for yourself. Was she joking or was she just demonstrating how ignorant she can be. I'm gonna guess you'll pick the latter.

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Would Parents Have Deserted Son If He Had Cancer?

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I wish

I wish I was taller, stronger and had more hair. But I don't. I live with what I was given. And there are very few people who I've met who found my limitations (in my mind only) cause for ridicule or mockery. Oh, I've take a few short jokes, a few reseeding hairline quips, but nothing I couldn't handle. I can't remember ever being denied anything other than once, at the Eastern States Exposition when I was a kid, I wasn't tall enough to go on ride. My friends went. I just had to stand and watch. But I wasn't singled out for a random reason. It was a safety issue, and I understood that.

So my life has been a series of choices, based on reasonable logic. No one said "Hey shortie, you suck. Get off my property." Or "hey baldie, the toupee shop's at the other end of the mall." And even with my average looks, I've never been asked to leave Abercrombie & Fitch, though I surely don't fit the profile of the guys on their posters or shopping bags. Hey, we can all dream, right?

I have limitations that are not of my own making. Height. Looks. Middle-aged baldness. My sexuality is not a choice either. I was born heterosexual and am happily married with two kids. I didn't chose that life. It's who I am.

Nick kicked out of house

HUFFPO reports on an 18 year old boy named Nick who's life was turned upside down recently. He was a victim of ignorance, not his choices. Just because he discovered who he is inside, he now faces dire consequences doled out by his parents. Some anonymous person tipped them off that their son might be bisexual. It makes you wonder if he had been stricken with cancer if his family would have treated him the same way. Is human sexuality worse than cancer? Neither are a choice.

When Nick's parents found out their son was bisexual, they threw him out of the house, leaving his belongings on the front yard. They also confiscated all of his savings he earned bagging groceries as a part-time job while attending school. Although his parents did not support him, hundreds of strangers have rallied around the homeless, penniless 18-year-old to offer their support. So far they managed to raise thousands of dollars.

Nick is who he his, not who he chose to me. Becoming a lawyer or an engineer might be something he picks to do, but what he's made of mentally and emotionally, who and what he desires, is outside of that realm choice.

Two things amaze me about this story. First, that one day his "loving" parents accept him, then the next they shun him, literally tossing him to the curb. That hurts to hear. It makes you wonder what kind of folks they really are. After 18 years and no reported problems within his household which includes three sisters, it's rumors of his sexuality that cause his father and step-mother to discard him like stale fish?

The second facet of this event is the outpouring of love and support Nick has received from friends and mostly strangers. This travesty is turning into a cause. The awareness of other torn individuals, of any age, 12 or 82, to come out and just accept themselves and the hand that life has dealt them is uplifting.

Sadly there are the narrow minded among us who don't let love and family rule over bias and bigotry. I certainly don't hate Nick's parents. I don't know them. But Nick does. And when the shock of his displacement sets in, hopefully the outpouring of love and compassion he's receiving will far outweigh any ill thoughts he may have for them.

I know my gay friends always feared their coming out. Yet once they did, they had, for the most part, gained acceptance. Maybe not immediately, but over time. And they were happier for it.

Good luck Nick. Just because you may have discovered you're the "B" in LGBT, you deserve to be happy. We all do. I hope you find it.

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Fact Checking The Talking Heads? Why Fox News Is Nervous

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truthometer

Time marches on. First we had Fox News. No checking of statements or facts. Just say whatever works for the Right wing and it will be accepted as gospel.

Then comes along PolitiFact. It's a fact checking group who's mission is to take apart widely circulated stories and do some fact checking on them. The stories are rated on their veracity. That started to keep some of the more outrageous claims to a limit -- or at least allowed for a tamping down of the total fabrications. But even the results of the PolitiFact findings were often called into question -- just ask Rachel Maddow.

Now, born November 1st, just a few days ago is PunditFact, a site dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows.

According to the source itself, PolitiFact.com:

PunditFact is a partnership of PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, the journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times.

The new site will have a dedicated staff of journalists who will research claims by media figures and rate them using PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter. The fact-checks will be published on PunditFact.com and will often be featured on the main PolitiFact site.

This could be interesting.

Soon those nattering nabobs of negativism, the jabbering ninnies of the networks will be encouraged to do more than just read the stories handed to them. They might have to actually start listening the the balderdash that comes out of their echo chambers. These pundits will be held to veracity levels that heretofore escaped them -- just like the hot air most expel with each eye-rolled sigh and statement they made courtesy of their teleprompters.

Will it matter? Will it change anything? Probably not, but it will be fodder for more criticism and conjecture.

How truthful is O'Reilly? Chris Wallace? Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity? Well, if PolitiFact is any guideline as to the accuracy of facts and verisimilitude of PunditFact itself, Rachel Maddow will most likely nail it as she had done in the past. They ought to be sued for their own lack of fact checking.

While it remains to be seen who the most trusted name in news will be, the act of rating talking heads promises to be a fun one. Now if we can just hook up these people to get a large, non-lethal jolt of electricity every time they lie, we'd have a lot more fun with this. If we turn up the juice, we might even have ourselves a Hunger Games of News -- and around election time, won't that be fun?

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Video- Fox Goes To Bat For 60 Minutes Benghazi "Witness" Who Admitted He Lied

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See!! Fox can have it's own opinion and facts. More here at MM.

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Video Mid Day Distraction- 38 Sweet Facts About Candy

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Via.

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