Archive for May, 2014

Quiz regarding separation of church and state

May 30, 2014 | By | Reply More

FFRF offers this quiz (and the answers) regarding separation of church and state in the United States. Something to share with those who insist that the U.S. is a “Christian Nation.”

Share

Read More

Road signs

May 29, 2014 | By | Reply More

As I was driving today, I struggled to discern the meaning of this sign in south STL. I finally decided it meant “It is raining bicycles,” which means you should be carrying a heavy duty umbrella. But then I noticed the yellow sign in the distance, which I guessed to mean “People lose their bicycles here.” I’m really confused.bike sign cropped

Share

Read More

Tax breaks are as big as the deficit

May 29, 2014 | By | Reply More

According to the National Priorities Organization:

In 2013, the cost of tax breaks was equal to the entire U.S. discretionary budget [1]. However, the discretionary budget is subject to an annual appropriations process, where Congress debates the proposed spending. Tax breaks, on the other hand, remain on the books until lawmakers modify them. As a result, over a trillion dollars a year in lost revenue – more than 1.6 times the 2013 budget deficit – goes largely unnoticed.

Share

Read More

Chris Hedges on the NDAA

May 29, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

From Truthdig:

The U.S. Supreme Court decision to refuse to hear our case concerning Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which permits the military to seize U.S. citizens and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers without due process, means that this provision will continue to be law. It means the nation has entered a post-constitutional era. It means that extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil by our government is legal. It means that the courts, like the legislative and executive branches of government, exclusively serve corporate power—one of the core definitions of fascism. It means that the internal mechanisms of state are so corrupted and subservient to corporate power that there is no hope of reform or protection for citizens under our most basic constitutional rights. It means that the consent of the governed—a poll by OpenCongress.com showed that this provision had a 98 percent disapproval rating—is a cruel joke. And it means that if we do not rapidly build militant mass movements to overthrow corporate tyranny, including breaking the back of the two-party duopoly that is the mask of corporate power, we will lose our liberty.

Share

Read More

Re-paint

May 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

Last month I carefully sanded and painted the passenger side rear corner of our 2001 Dodge Caravan. It didn’t look perfect, but it was more than passable. Yesterday someone scraped the same part of the same car while it was sitting on a parking lot. So tonight I rode the same bicycle back to the same auto parts store and the same guy sells me another can of the same type of paint as I stood there wearing the same bike helmet that I wore last time. “Have we met?,” he asked. I explained, “Yes, you’re the guy who insisted that I use grade 2,000 sand paper last time, and I refused, saying that it would make that part of the car look too nice–and it all would have been for naught. I explained why I had returned, then asked, “Did I CAUSE that jerk to scrape my car yesterday by choosing to paint it last month? He said, “Yes. That’s how life works.”

Share

Read More

The promise of fecal transplants

May 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

Some patients are having astounding success with fecal transplants, and a DIY community is growing. BBC reports:

There is growing recognition that faecal transplant is the best way to treat [some] patients. In the first randomised trial of the technique published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, 94% of patients were cured by the treatment, whereas a course of antibiotics cured just 27%. The disparity was so huge that the researchers stopped the trial early, on the grounds that it was unethical to deny the better cure to the cohort assigned antibiotics.

Share

Read More

Deepak Chopra nonsense generator

May 26, 2014 | By | Reply More

This nonsensical Deepak Chopra quote generator will make as much sense as many of the quotes of Chopra himself. And yet you won’t wince when you read these because you’ll know that they are supposed to be random strings of words.

Share

Read More

Why vote?

May 26, 2014 | By | Reply More

I wish I could say I disagree with this Harper’s article from 2012. Excellent points by Kevin Baker. Full title: “Why vote? When Your Vote Counts for Nothing.”

Share

Read More

How long is the iTunes terms and conditions?

May 24, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

How long are the iTunes terms and conditions? 32 feet. The set of iTunes disclosures was printed out in 8 pt font and measured by Omri Ben-Shahar’s and Carl E. Schneider. They have written a new book on the failures of consumer disclosures titled: More Than You Wanted to Know. In the following video, Ben-Shahar characterizes mandated consumer disclosures as the “most common and possibly the least useful form of regulation.”

Watch the demonstration of the physical length of the iTunes contract here.

Share

Read More