Category Archives: Law and Politics

Government Granting Agencies and Wastin’ Time

NPR some time back had an article on scientists leaving science, mostly because government funding of research has become more like a sweepstakes than a well. I had posted a couple of comments in the following thread, and I’d rather those didn’t get lost, as Google seems not to take note of or index comments […]

Seen on PBS: Weird Guy from AEI

The PBS NewsHour this past evening had a guest on from the American Enterprise Institute, one Frederick Hagan. Mr. Hagan apparently is critical of the president and administration concerning the problem of the “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, depending on your outlook) in Iraq. It was all pretty much boiler-plate grousing, with copious “I […]

Church Youth Groups and Apologetics

Over on Facebook, Nancy Pearcey responded to a post about young people and deconversion from churches with a modest proposal: let them read apologetics. Age at which people leave the church — Tell me again why youth groups focus on games and goodies instead of majoring on apologetics? One study found that the age at […]

“Cosmos” and the Bruno Flap

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s rebooted “Cosmos” series spent a chunk of time relating a version of the life of Giordano Bruno, including his interactions with the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church and subsequent burning at the stake. This has proven unpopular with the heirs of the Inquisition and other nit-pickers. From the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution […]

Florida: OPS Employees, Benefits, and Timely Information

Kudos to the state of Florida for making healthcare benefits available to all full-time employees this year. That includes full-time “other personnel services” (OPS) employees, who previously got no benefits whatsoever. This could have been postponed one year, but Florida decided to roll it out this year. But the implementation has glitches. To distinguish part-time […]

Final Decision Goes Against Coppedge

The Coppedge v. CalTech and JPL case is done, with a final decision handed down by Judge Hiroshige on Wednesday that confirms his preliminary ruling in favor of JPL. There are news reports here and here about the end of the case. Coppedge had sued, claiming wrongful termination, saying that JPL fired him from his […]

A New Year

The Mayan apocalypse failed to appear, so I had a nice New Year’s day here in Florida. The temperature got into the 70s here, and not too breezy, so Diane and I worked on various things that all too recently would have been too hot to do comfortably. But here in the evening, I’m reflecting […]

Florida: Allen West Concedes

CBS News reports that Allen West(R) has finally conceded the House race for Florida’s 18th District to challenger Patrick Murphy(D). Patrick Murphy wasn’t waiting on that, though; the report says that he is already in Washington, D.C. for orientation. 330986 24213

Florida: Marco Rubio is Not A Scientist, Man

US Senator from Florida Marco Rubio gave an interview to GQ recently. Rubio was asked a question that Republican politicians simply hate to field: How old is the earth? (Hat tip: Talking Points Memo.) Why is this a difficult question? It isn’t because the science hasn’t been disseminated; this is a part of any middle […]

False Balance in Fact Check

The Chicago Tribune Fact Check on the debates goes for that false balance thing in the headline: “FACT CHECK: Romney flubs geography, Obama goofs on rival’s record, in final debate” Mitt Romney, candidate for Commander-in-Chief, who not long ago identified Iran as a tippy-top threat to the security of the USA, has no clue about […]

Cooperation and Distinguishing the General from the Specific

The New York Daily News ran an article from the Associated Press on fact-checking former president Bill Clinton’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. Usually, I would simply quote relevant sections, but given the Associated Press’ litigious approach to being quoted on blogs, I will have to recommend that you open the link […]

How Do You Really Feel?

At the urging of Mike Haubrich, I coded up a poll as I was convalescing from my recent illness. The poll aimed to tease out some of the common motivations that go into the USA presidential vote. The current results are in graphical form: If you’d like to put in your entry in the poll […]

David Frum Follows Akin into Idiocy

The breaking news story yesterday was Missouri Republican candidate for US Senate Todd Akin’s discussion of abortion and rape. On “The Jaco Report”, Akin was questioned about his anti-abortion stance and whether there should be an exception made to allow women who had been raped and became pregnant to get an abortion. Akin’s response turned […]

Welfare and Lying with Statistics

On Facebook, I ran across a graphic posted by “Things Liberals Hate” and shared by a Facebook friend. (The “share” apparently no longer exists in my friend’s thread, a few minutes after posting a link to my criticism to the thread. However, The Weekly Standard shows the original graphic.) It shows a bar graph of […]

Official Interference in Biology

We’ve heard tales of officialdom greasing the way for people to profit over the consideration of species and ecosystems. Now we’ve got a home-grown Florida tale along those lines. Craig Pittman wrote an article appearing in the Tampa Bay Times that goes into the details. Department of Environmental Protection employee Connie Bersok has been suspended […]

WWJBD?

I see from the news that our armed forces have had another bad encounter with dead combatants, this latest kerfluffle stemming from photos taken as military forces pose with blown-up suicide bombers. We end up with another round of apologies, the folks who are supposed to be our allies moving closer to our declared enemies, […]